Q1 How far in advance should we schedule our beach portrait?
A: Uh . . . yesterday! No seriously, the sooner the better. Since we only schedule one session per evening, we want you to be assured of a date that is suitable for you especially if your availability is limited. Occasionally we get last minute openings, so we may be able to accommodate you on short notice.
Q2 What is the best time of day for a beach portrait?
A: Timing is everything for creating flattering family beach portraits. There is a small window of perfect lighting that occurs each evening before sunset. We like to call this the "golden hour." Our best sessions start about an hour before sunset to take advantage of this golden hour so that we can give you the most amazing portraits possible.
We often get requests from concerned parents to begin earlier as the golden hour can conflict with their little ones bedtimes. Beginning earlier opens the door to not only harsh, unflattering lighting, but also squinting and the bigger challenge of keeping your eyes open. Just try stepping out onto the beach during a sunny day with no sunglasses! Between the blazing sun and the brightness reflecting up from the sand and ocean, this is a surefire way to get those little ones cranky right from the start. Have no fear, we address your concerns about your little ones in the next question . . .
Q3 I am concerned about taking my very young children out for a beach portrait so late in the evening. Do you have any suggestions?
A: We totally understand your worries about your little ones and the evening hours. This is a concern of several parents each year. Rest assured we have had hundreds of successful beach portraits with infants and young children during the golden hour of light. Keep in mind that your children are on vacation, in a new environment and out in the fresh air. These factors all help your child adjust to straying from their normal routine and maintaining a good mood. Hey, it's much more fun to go to the beach than to go to bed, right?! If possible, we do suggest making sure your children are well rested beforehand. Whether that means later to bed the previous evening and sleeping-in that morning or a nap that afternoon, you know what will work best with your child. We have also found it very helpful to give children something to eat just before your session - just PLEASE no red or blue water ice!
For more tips on preparing children for a beach portrait, visit our Before Session page or just click the button below the next question!
Q4 What should we wear?
A: Not into that matchy-matchy look? No problem! We have several tips and suggestions for a successful beach portrait wardrobe on our Before Session page here . . .
Q5 What if it's cloudy on the day of my photo session?
A: Great! Overcast conditions actually provide good lighting for portraits. Think about it . . . you won't have to squint from the bright sun and shadows will be soft and natural. Clouds act as a natural diffuser to give us nice soft lighting. So . . . DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE CLOUDS!
Q6 What if it rains? Do I lose my deposit?
A: A little passing sprinkle is not much to worry about, however, if we've got cats & dogs coming down, this may put a kink in our plans! Rest assured we will have our eye on the radar all day leading up to your session. We will do our best to work around a passing shower by either moving your session up or back a little bit. If we cannot avoid those crazy cats and dogs, we will give you a call to reschedule your session - usually a few hours prior to your scheduled time so you have time to make other plans. If rescheduling is not possible, we will absolutely refund your deposit!
Q7 Do we have to travel to Sea Isle City for a beach portrait?
A: Not at all. We are happy to travel to your favorite Jersey Shore beach where you'd like to have your beach portrait taken. And we don't charge any travel fees either! Choose any beach from Brigantine through Cape May including Longport, Margate, Ocean City, Stone Harbor, Avalon, all the Wildwoods and, of course, Sea Isle City.
Q8 How long will our beach portrait session take?
A: While our sessions are not timed, we ask that you allow about an hour. The total time will vary depending on the total number of people in the session, the ages and tolerance level of children (and husbands!), environmental conditions and any time constraints a family may have. We will do our best to accommodate your needs and will neither rush through nor drag things out. We have gotten amazing images in less than 20 minutes before so please don't feel like you are not getting your money's worth if your session is less than an hour. We aim for high quality, not high quantity.
Q9 How many pictures and what kind of poses do you take?
A: It is hard to quantify a specific number of proofs you will receive because every family is unique with different needs and we don't want to place a limit on your memories! Whether it's 20 or 200, we will take as few or as many as we need to accommodate your needs.
The best way to get a feel for our style is to view our amazing images in our Galleries. If you like what you see then we are the photographer for you!
If you know exactly what you want from a portrait session, communication is key. At the start of your session, you may want to let the photographer know what types of poses are most important to your family (traditional, fun, candid, etc.). And, if you have a specific pose or grouping in mind, please let the photographer know before your session is over. We are very flexible and will try to accommodate you as long as there is enough time and lighting is sufficient.
If you haven't got a clue what you want or what to ask for, have no fear . . . we know exactly what to do! Our photographer not only has years of experience, but is amazing with posing and will give you a nice variety to choose from.
Q10 I am excited to see my proofs. When & how do I access them?
A: Your private online gallery of proofs will be available via our website about a week after your photo session. Your password will be covertly emailed to you along with Top Secret instructions after your session. You may also view AFTER Session details below since they're really not all that Top Secret. You may order at any time but your proofs are only posted for 30 days before they self-destruct. We recommend placing an order within two weeks. Why? Because we know how life quickly gets in the way and To Do Lists seem to grow instead of shrink. Seriously, get it done quickly and it'll be one less item on your To Do List! One last thing to keep in mind - proofs are not retouched but your final prints will be magnificently retouched and they will look even more amazing than your proofs!
Q11 What kind of retouching can I expect on the prints I order?
A: Who are those strange people in the background of your picture? Don't worry . . . we'll get rid of them as well as that stinky trash can! We will also help out the not-so-young generations by softening facial wrinkles. Got zits? No problem - blemishes and bruises will magically disappear. Hair sticking up funny? We'll do as much as humanly possible to tame any crazy hair issues. We'll also throw in some color adjustments and gently whiten teeth - no need for harsh whitening strips!
Upon request we can also remove scars, bandaids and small tattoos. This is all included in our pricing!
Additional charges will apply to things like head swaps, large tattoo removal, fixing eyeglass glare, tan line removal, etc. There are many "fixes" we can do and there are some we cannot do. Please feel free to ask us about anything you have in mind. We will be happy to discuss options with you and give you an estimate for work needed. We will not do any work on your images unless we are confident it will look natural and seamless.
Q12 Can I use my $100 credit for digital packages?
A: Certainly! We will apply your credit to anything you order, regardless of whether that's prints or digital images or canvas, etc. No limitations here!
Q13 How do I know what size to order for my wall or mantel?
A: This is a great question as many of our clients are looking for that great family portrait to hang over the mantel or display in their beach house. Typically, the more people there are in a photo, the larger the Wall Portrait should be. As a rule of thumb, the faces in a group Wall Portrait should be 2 to 5 inches in height to be visible from across the room. If your group portrait consists of six or more people, we recommend a 24" portrait or larger. For large group poses you will want to consider a panoramic size - the crop will work much better than a standard size.
Here's a great tip . . . cut out some newspaper or cardboard in the size you are considering and hang it up on the wall where your portrait will hang. This is a great way to determine the correct size for the space you have. Don't forget to allow a couple inches all around for a frame unless, of course, you are ordering canvas! We can help you choose the correct size Wall Portrait if you're not sure.
Q14 How do we make a reservation?
A: Simply give us a call! We will need to take a bunch of information from you and give you some instructions as well. If you don't like making phone calls, you can send us an email requesting that we call you instead. Just remember to provide your number and the best time to call. Also, please understand that we cannot make a reservation for you from an email. We actually do need to speak with you!
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