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Questions

You have them.  You might not even know it!

Before our photo session I was concerned about how our 3 children would behave, but Jessie took away all of those concerns as soon as she stepped out of her car. Our children were immediately drawn to her. She played with them and made us all at ease. Jessie was spectacular with the kids, which made for amazing, “real” photos.

At the end of the session the kids said they had fun. What???? They have NEVER said that at the end of a family photo session. Jessie made the entire process easy and enjoyable and she gave us beautiful family memories.
— Jen F. Verona, Wisconsin

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK MY SESSION?

As soon as you know you want one, even if it's March and you want one in October.  I'm only taking a few clients per month and they fill up fast!

How long is a session? 

Family portrait sessions last around 1 hour, newborns around 2-3 hours, and milestone sessions around 20-30 minutes.

Where is your studio? 

The world is my studio! I do all on-location photography.  So where do ya want to go?

Where will my session take place?

That depends!  Most of my clients choose natural settings - parks, beach, woods, or gardens.  Other options might be somewhere industrial or historical, or even your own home.  Whatever is special to you or meets your style! 

What do we wear?

Whatever you are comfortable in! Whatever you do, please avoid dressing in identical outfits.  That is only cute on little tiny kids.  My best advice is to 1) Pick a color scheme of about 3-5 colors and wear different combinations of those, and 2) Mom's outfit is chosen first and everyone dresses around that.  If mommy isn't happy and feeling good, the rest of 'em won't either.  A mix of subtle and neutral tones and then a pop of something bright and colorful usually photographs really well.  I'm happy to help you with this too, so don't hesitate to email/call/text/Skype me for some help!  Side note: consider wearing something comfortable enough that you could sit down on the ground.  You don't HAVE to, but it's more fun if you can!

What NOT to wear...

Identical outfits or near-identical outfits (like everyone in khaki pants and a white shirt). Large prints on your main clothing items (something like a scarf would be ok). Clothing with logos, wording, cartoon or comic book characters, or any other characters - we're going for timeless here, people!  All one color. Frilly, formal, uncomfortable clothes - if you're coming to me for those kind of photos you probably came to the wrong place - unless it's prom. Sneakers.

How are you different?

Your photo session with me is going to be fun.  It's going to showcase your family connection and your authentic selves.  There will be minimal posing and lots of interaction.  I don't want 30 photos of you looking at ME.  I want to see the twinkles in your eyes and the smiles you have for each other!  I realize though that grandma (or whoever) just has to have that traditional "EVERYONE LOOK AT ME AND SMILE!!!" photo, so I'll snap one of those at some point too.  I mean...we want grandma to be happy, right? 

Is there a minimum order requirement?

Yes - in the amount of my smallest collection price. BUT you pay it the day of your session so when your gallery is ready, it's already taken care of! All you need to do is choose your photos.  Clients often love all of the photos or have a difficult time narrowing it down so you're are welcome to upgrade your collection at any time.

I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU, BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S IN THE BUDGET.

I'm happy to come up with a flexible payment plan for you, just ask! Everyone deserves beautiful photos and products to last generations.

Will I receive digital copies of my photos? 

Short answer: Yes. All of my collections include digital files.  Longer answer? Yes, but print your photos!  More often than not, people get those digital photos and life quickly gets in the way.  Part of my job and the service I provide is to make that process extremely easy for you. That is why I sell framed, ready-to-hang photos and canvas.  I'll even happily come hang it for you if you want.  I'm not kidding!  I have narrowed my frames to a few clean, classic, timeless options.  Side note: 8x10 and smaller photos are great, but they don't belong on walls.  They belong on desks and shelves! Those bigger sizes aren't as big as they sound. I have some sweet software that I can show you exactly how each size would look on your actual walls - to scale.  When it comes to these bigger sizes though, you want to invest in quality.  Your grandkids are going to hang these photos in their own homes someday.  Walgreens quality is not synonymous with "heirloom quality". I promise.   

When will I see my images?

Within a day or two of your session I will usually post a sneak peek to my Facebook page or blog. Your online gallery of 30+ hand-edited images will be ready for viewing, ordering, and sharing within 14 days of your session. The gallery will be open for 14 days, at which time your order is due.  Additional gallery time is available in 7 day increments for $50.  If you know in advance that a certain time period will be better for you (for example to correspond with a payday) I'm happy to wait to initially post your gallery for the time period that works best for you. 

WHAT ARE DIGITAL NEGATIVES?

Also referred to as digital files.  I prefer the term digital negatives because I see them as a secondary backup to your prints.  Please remember that technology is always changing and if you don't transfer all of your digital files with it, they will get increasingly difficult to save, find, and recover.  They are also easy to corrupt and lose. You can make a new digital file from a print, but you can't make a new print from a corrupted digital file.  Besides, just like no one wants to flip through an album of film negatives, no one wants to scroll through CD's or USB's.  Get away from the computer screen and invest in the tangible.  

Admit it. You've blown more money at Target on a random day you went there for one thing and left with 20.

What if I don't want digital negatives?

Then you're my favorite client.  I'd be happy to come to your home with all of my print, frame, canvas, and album samples for you see and feel the quality you're investing in.   I can also get out my fun iPad software and work with you to create a custom wall display! 

What if it rains/snows/sleets/hails/tornadoes?

It happens! I start stalking the weather stations about 5 days out.  In some cases it becomes pretty obvious the day before the session if it's going to be doable or not.  Usually though, I wait until the morning of the session to make that call.  I'm not afraid of a little rain, and I love shooting in the nice, non-blizzard snow, but if it's just not going to happen we'll just reschedule.  Session fees and everything will just transfer to the next date - no problem :)

Do you shoot weddings?

Maybe! I shoot the less than typical weddings.  The ones in backyards and bars and beaches or boats (that's a lot of B's).   If that doesn't sound like you, I am happy to recommend several photographers that will fit your style and budget!  If it DOES sound like you, drop me a line through contact form or at jessie@simplesoulphotographs.com.  

I'm afraid my kids will be wild and embarrassing.

If your kids weren't wild and embarrassing, I'd probably be a little concerned.  But seriously - it's ok.  I have 2 of my own.  This is who they are right now and there is nothing wrong with that.  I have yet to have any kids ruin a photoshoot! Sure, there's a first time for everything, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  All I ask though is for you to try not to stress.  What usually ends up happening is that the kids aren't as bad as you think, but you're so stressed out that a lot of my pics will be of you worrying about what the kids are doing :)

Will you photoshop my wrinkles/arms/face/teeth/muffin-top/etc?

Short answer: no. Long answer: I know how to find your most flattering angles and positions.  If it's a permanent/semi-permanent part of you, I'm not going to change it.  Temporary things - zits, bruises, scratches, stray hairs - I'll take care of those.  I might even/smooth some skin tones a little too, but in a way that is still true to you.  To your family and especially your kids, you are beautiful and you are their everything - regardless of what you see in the mirror.  They love you and you need to exist in their photos!