Family Sessions – Top 10 FAQS
The busiest time of the year will soon be upon us and you know what that means…FAMILY PORTRAIT SEASON! A tad cooler weather always makes this the perfect time. Well maybe on the cooler weather, this is Texas. But it’s still the perfect time to update your family portrait.
Maybe you use this time every year to update your family portrait or maybe it has been a few years since the last family portrait. Either way, I’ve pulled together the “most frequently asked questions” about family sessions. I hope these helps to shed a little light on one of my favorite types of sessions and help you make for a stress-free family session.
1. What do we wear?
This is the number question I get. But don’t stress! We’ll discuss this when you schedule your session and you’ll also get a “What to Wear” tip guide. But here are a few quick tips to think about:
-Coordinate your clothing to everyone in your portrait and with the colors in your home where you plan to display your family portraits.
-Remember “coordinate” means “complement”, not necessarily everyone in matching color clothing.
-Stay away from stripes and patterns for the most part. Solid colors do a have a magic “slimming” effect;) Of course, babies and kids look cute in almost anything so they can get away with patterns (see image above;).
-Remember that during your family session, you may be standing and sitting. Make sure all clothing fits well in ANY position.
For a more detailed answer to this question, check out this blog post (WHAT TO WEAR) and don’t forget…when you hire me to photograph your family session, you also hire me to help you plan your session and create beautiful images that will last forever! I’ll hold you hand every step of the way;)
2. How much does it cost?
For this question, I’ll have to give you a two-part answer. The first answer depends on the type of session you are wanting…a MINI session or a FULL session. The session fee for a mini is $50 and last for about 30 minutes. Here we basically we have one goal in mind – Christmas card pictures, just a few to give as gifts, etc. You can expect about 10-15 images most of the time. The full session is an hour (sometimes up to two) and the fee is $70. With this session you can expect about 30+ images – plenty to choose from when you decide to purchase an heirloom family album and/or wall-portraits to decorate your home. For the time being there is no minimum order required , but for now the amount you spend depends on what you want. All products (digital files, prints, albums, etc.) are purchased separately.
When you schedule a session with Sheila Hebert Photography, we will not only discuss clothing options, but we’ll also talk about your budget and what you are wanting from your session. Because a family session can be quite a bit of an investment, I’ll ask you what your goals are from the session. This is a very important question and helps us plan for the session YOU want. The amount you spend on your family session really comes down to WHAT DO YOU WANT!
Every family is different, but just to give you an average of what you can expect: An average cost for a mini session starts around $350. This may include digital files, gift prints, or a combination. This is a perfect session when you’ve recently had a full family session, or you are just wanting to update your family images for a special occasion (like Christmas). For a full/complete session, the average ranges between $750 and $1200. Most people who choose a full session haven’t had a family session in a while and/or want to use the images to decorate their home with beautiful portraiture. Most leave with all or most of the digital files from their session, an album, and/or wall-portraits.
Once again, the investment in your family session depends on what you want as an end result. Again, at the pre-consultation we’ll discuss this so that you can have a good plan to follow, be prepared & choose the best session for your family (mini session or full session). There is nothing worse than choosing a full session and then come back to your order appointment to only be overwhelmed by all the beautiful images. You want them all, but “all” is not in your budget or you have no idea what to do with “all” of them. On the flip side, if you choose a mini session and want a huge variety of options for albums and wall-portraits – you may end up being a little disappointed as well.
So, this is why the pre-consultation is so important to your session! When I find out what you want, I can help you make the best decision on the best type of session for your needs. And don’t worry if you’re just not quite sure – that is exactly how most people feel when we first start planning and discussing their family session. We’ll take it step by step and you’ll at least have a pretty good idea by the end of your session.
3. Where do we meet for our family session?
Most sessions take place at my studio which is in the Splendora / Cleveland area. Here, we have the option of indoors and outdoors. The professional studio has several different backgrounds to choose from (which is super helpful when Mother Nature is not) and we have 14-acres with several “photo-op” areas.
However, if you do have a special location in mind – we can do that too. Location sessions do have a slightly higher session fee and require a minimum purchase. Please get in touch with me if you’d like more information on a location session.
4. How do we schedule a family session?
Easy – just give me a call or email and we’ll get the process started (281-804-3148 or firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also book your session online now or check the calendar to see what’s available first. Click HERE to see the calendar. Please note…online scheduling is a new thing I’m trying out. Not all appointment times may show for a reason or two AND there’s a slight chance that an appointment time you choose may already be full (if that’s the case, I’ll be in touch ASAP). Thanks for your patience as I work through all the bugs.
5. How do we order from our session?
About 1-2 weeks after your photography session, you’ll come back to the studio for a private order appointment. This is when you will see your images for the very first time and this is when you place your order. This appointment will last for about an hour. After your session, you’ll be assigned “homework” to make the order appointment as smooth as possible. Basically, your homework will be to set a budget and then create your need & want list from your session.
By the way, those who actually do their homework really do have a much easier time at the order appointment. There have been a few times when clients have come back totally excited about seeing their images, but totally unprepared on what they want to order. So, I really STRESS DO YOUR HOMEWORK. But hopefully, you will have a pretty good idea from the pre-consultation session of what you are wanting.
6. Can we just have an online gallery instead?
Online galleries are only available for those who purchase a digital collection. For the order appointments, I do ask you to come back in and choose your favorites in person. I know this may seem an inconvenience, but it is really for your benefit. I hear it all the time – “there was no way I could do this online”. And in the past when I have tried online galleries, they really became too time-consuming for clients – a huge disservice for you. So, I really want to make this entire experience for your family session as pleasant as possible. As long as you come back prepared, the order appointment should take no longer than an hour.
7. How long before our order comes in?
After your order session, it normally takes about 2 weeks to get your order in. Custom products (such as albums) do take a little longer – anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Remember…custom portraiture does take a little time, so it’s important to not wait until the last minute.
8. Can we bring our dog (or insert your favorite fur friend)?
Absolutely! Just let me know beforehand (we should talk about this in the consultation) and I can give you a few tips and more specific instructions. Just FYI – I live next to a deer farm, so always bring a leash;).
9. I don’t have a lot of wall space, so what will I do with all the images?
Just because you think you don’t have wall space in your home, there are still several creative ways to display your family images. Albums & easel prints, and a session box are just a few. I can also help you assess your wall space and create a sample of how images will look on your own wall. You’ll be able to see your walls with your images and decide the best size for the area. Unless you live in a glass house, we can probably find “hidden” space that you haven’t thought of. A side note: one of the homework assignments I give is to take & send pictures of areas where you might want to display your images. With this, I can create a mock-up with your own wall and your own images to size. How cool is that!
10. I just need one 8×10 (or one digital file)?
Okay, so this is not a question, but it is comment I get every now and then. Planning a family session takes a lot of time (both on your part and mine). As I mentioned above, with a mini session you can expect about 15 images and about 30ish with a full session. If you really want something less than a mini, then I would love to talk in detail about your session expectations. If it turns out that I’m unable to meet your needs, then I will happily help you with any other questions and refer you to another studio who may of more service to you.
So, there you have…The Top 10 FAQS for family sessions. There’s no such thing as a “dumb question”, so if I’ve left anything out please, please, please send me an email with your question(s) and I will respond ASAP. I do this everyday and sometimes I tend to forget that MOST people don’t have the family portrait taken everyday😊