You have questions, I have answers! Grab yourself a cuppa & make yourself comfy, this stuff is kinda important.
Lets cut to the chase, how much does a family session cost?
The cost of a family lifestyle session is $600. This package includes
- 90 minutes shooting time
- A few sneak peeks on Smith & Archer's social media accounts
- An online, password protected gallery of your images that you can download and share on your social media accounts
- ALL of the images featured on the online gallery in both web size and print size on a custom USB
- A print release, so you can print and share your images for personal use as much as you want
- A story feature on my blog
- A few other little surprises for you, which I don't want to spoil
This price is for ONE family only (up to 6 people), additional people are $50 per person.
What does a session with you look like?
Well each session looks different because each family is different! But in general, the first thing we will do is find a comfy spot to sit and have a cup of tea & a chat about how crazy, exhausting and exhilarating parenting our mini humans is . That way you get to know me a bit better and I wont be a complete stranger telling you what to do! Then I will ask for a quick tour of your house so I can scope out where the prettiest light is and we will get started.
Expect to jump on beds (well the children will do this mostly, but mum & dad are welcome to join in if you want), to have lots of cuddles and kisses and FUN. There will be points of the session that I will even be standing on the bed! Things will be a little crazy and a little messy - in a crumple the sheets and throw pillows around kind of way, not the kind of messy that will result in you need to vacuum because NO ONE needs more vacuuming in their lives. I will direct you a bit but at the same time we certainly wont be forcing anything to happen in the session either, because we are aiming for realness. Also, there will be very few (if any) photos of you all looking at the camera at the same time looking and being overly perfect. Because overly perfect is not real.
The session will generally last for 90 minutes (including our cuppa), but may be longer. Or if the kids patience does not last that long we might wrap it up early.
Where should we have our session?
I LOVE doing in home sessions, because your house is uniquely your space. It is where your things are and where you will feel most comfortable. Your house is also an important part of your story. And doing an in home session also means that if one of your family needs to have a bit of quiet time (like dad or a cranky toddler) then it is easy for them just to disappear for a little while, its not so easy when on location.
We can do a location shoot if you really have your heart set on it, or even a mixture of indoor and outdoor, but I am more of an indoor kinda photographer.
If we have an indoor session, my house has to be immaculately clean right?
Oh god NO! Who has time for that? Aim for an uncluttered but lived in vibe. It does not need to be perfectly clean (unless of course your house is always immaculately clean, and if it is please tell me all of your secrets!) because lets be honest here, it is virtually impossible to have a perfectly tidy house when you have kids. It does not matter how many times I vacuum my floor there are ALWAYS crumbs on it. Remember we are being real in these photos and your house does not have to be showroom perfect.
I recommend you do a general tidy, especially of your living areas and the bedrooms as that is where I am most likely to be photographing you. And trust me, if you house is too perfect then I will mess it up a bit, so don't go overboard with cleaning, don't stress about a few toys on the floor in the kids room, don't have an argument with your daughter because she has crazy messy bed hair and is refusing to brush it. It's all real and it is all beautiful.
What time should we have the session?
If we have an indoor session we can be pretty flexible with the time, so have a think about what times generally your kids are happy and fairly compliant! For the mini humans that still sleep during the day (and don't we all wish we could sleep during the day too) aim for a time they usually wake up (or maybe even slightly before if you would like some sleeping babe photos!). As a rough guide, a morning shoot would ideally start somewhere around 10ish and an afternoon shoot somewhere around 2ish.
Help! What should we wear?
This is a big question and I am by no means an expert, but here are some suggestions.
My first bit of advice is to be true to yourself. If you are jeans and t-shirt kinda people (like me), then you probably shouldn't wear stiff and formal clothes because you THINK you should for photos. There is nothing worse then wearing something you don't feel completely comfortable in, as you will be constantly readjusting your outfit and it will make you feel self conscious. So, by all means rock a dress mum, if that is what YOU want to do, but equally jeans, t-shirt and lovely jumper are a classic choice too.
My second bit of advice is to start with your outfit first and then choose everyones outfit based around yours. If you can, pick their clothes to compliment yours, but again be true to your children's style. If you know that your son wont wear anything other than one particular t-shirt, then we will just roll with that. Please don't try to force kids into wearing stuff they don't want to (trust me, this is a situation I find myself in all too frequently and I have just stopped fighting it now). Your husband will usually be much more compliant, so he should be the easy one to get organised!
Avoid clothing with logos on them as the logos are quite distracting and they also tend to date your photo. If you can try to avoid characters on childrens clothing (think Frozen, Cars etc) please do, but I also understand that sometimes that is the ONLY thing they will happily wear.
And pretty, pretty please, no matchy matchy dressing. When I say base everyones outfit around yours I certainly do not mean choosing exactly the same outfit as yours!
If you need some inspiration pinterest is a very good place to start looking and gathering ideas. Just search "what to wear for family photos" and be prepared to fall down the rabbit hole!
My toddler is being particularly trying or my pre-teen is being .... well a sulky pre-teen, what do we do?
Do not panic! I'm a mum too and I can remember those toddler years (its not called the terrible twos for nothing) and have an occasional sulky pre-teen myself, so don't worry. The kids are going to pick up on your vibe, so if you are anxious and want them to behave like perfect angels, then they are likely to do the exact opposite. I'm pretty good with kids so we will make it work, I promise. We will just embrace whatever is going on because families are wonderful and frustrating and crazy and amazing all at the same time!
How long will it take to get our images?
You will see a few sneak peeks in the first few days after the shoot initially and I allow 4 weeks to get the rest of your images to you via the online gallery, but I will be trying my hardest to get them to you earlier. The reality is that I am a working mum with a husband who travels A LOT for work. Sometimes I am spread quite thin and it is during those times I will take the full 4 weeks.
How many images will we receive?
That is a tough question to answer accurately (which is KILLING the scientist in me!). I guarantee that you will receive a minimum of 40 images from your session but you are likely to receive many more than this! And the good thing is that you get to keep all of the edited images from the session!
Can you edit the photos to get rid of my double chin/flatten my stomach/whiten my teeth?
You know, I once asked the exact same thing when we had some beautiful photos done of our family 6 years ago. And I pretended that I was joking when I asked if the photographer could photoshop my double chin out, but at the same time I was serious too. So I TOTALLY understand why you are asking me this. But the answer is no. I do hand edit each and every photo, but I just make minor adjustments. I do not do any photoshopping at all, because that flies in the face of my realness ethos. However, if you really want something to be altered in your photos, I can organise that for you and there is an additional cost of $10 per photo for that service.
FYI, the photographer did not edit out my double chin and I still LOVE the photos (they are still hanging in our house to this day actually).
This sounds amazing and we adore your photos, how do we book a family session with you?
Oh you guys! I love you. Seriously though, the first step is to fill out my contact form with a few details and I will get back to you asap with availabilities. I will also send you an email containing a link back to this page of my website, because it is super important to me that you read through this page before you continue with a booking. Once you confirm that you would like to book with me I will send you a quote which will also have a contract attached. You will need to accept the quote, pay the deposit and sign the contract ( all of this is done online so it is a pretty simple process). Once the deposit lands in my bank account and the contract is signed you are set! Two weeks before your session I will send you a questionnaire to help me know you guys a little better and plan a few things for the session.
Errrr, we just got an email from "Studio Ninja", what is that all about?
It's still me, promise! Studio Ninja is the program that I use to track all of my photography jobs. You will get some emails from Studio Ninja when invoices are due and contracts need to be signed. It is very user friendly, but if you do have any issues with your client portal then please let me know.
We are planning on getting some of our photos printed, can you help us organise that?
I am mentally high-5'ing you right now. For SO many reasons it is a super smart move to get your images off the USB and onto paper. When you receive your images there will be some information on where to find my print menu. I use a super lovely Australian company for all of my printing. Their products are a thing of beauty and they will instantly become treasured family heirlooms.
Of course you can strike out on your own and organise the printing yourself, the package includes a print release which means you can print as many as you like, whenever and wherever you like! If you would like some suggestions on where to get them printed you are most welcome to email me (spoiler alert: it will not be Big W or Harvey Norman or Officeworks). I can not guarantee the quality of the photos unless you get them printed through my supplier.
We are all sick and can not do the shoot on the day we booked.
I'm sorry to hear that you are not well. And do not worry about your session, we can simply reschedule your session to another date I have available. If your date is within 6 months of your original session then the cost will remain the same. If it gets moved to a date more than 6 months from the original then your session will be subject to any price changes that may occur in that time.
By the same token, if I am sick then we will also have to reschedule because I would be absolutely mortified if I passed my illness onto you.
Sorry, but we need to cancel our session.
Oh boo, thats a shame. Please be aware that the deposit is non-refundable but anything else that you have paid is refundable prior to the session. No refunds will be given after the session.
I have a question that you haven't covered here
Sure thing, just shoot me a message and ask away!