Customizing Your Images + Gallery

Styling Your Images
Choosing a Look
All photographers have a style.  My primary style is true color.  I choose to use light to achieve different looks based on the vision I create with my clients instead of every image having one look, "preset," or "filter" that is adjusted to each image.  I am not about self-expression as much as I am about serving you.  When you are looking for a photographer, it is important to look at their photos to ensure their style is the look you are going for.  

I need to know your preference BEFORE your session, and you can have more than one!  This will help me make important decisions before and during your session. 
"Light and Airy" are images that are more pastel in tone.  This is achieved with light-colored backgrounds or ones that are lit well by the sun.
"Bold and Beautiful" are images that are more true color.  This is achieved with darker or more colorful backgrounds or ones that are shaded from the sun.  Flash is sometimes required to preserve the colors of a scene.  If this is the case, sometimes galleries are more limited or maybe a mix of images with "Light and Airy."
"Dark and Dramatic" are images that have more contrast between the light and dark areas of an image.  This will take more intentional planning and will not have as many images in your preview gallery, but it can be so worth it!
If you know the location you want to hold your session, great!  If you are not sure, I can help you decide after I get to know your style.  First, I recommend thinking of descriptive words.  Urban... Country... Mountain-Views... Water-Views... Meadows... Orchards... Woods... Valleys... etc.  
Permissions + Permits.  Some locations are free, but others will charge a permit fee or barter in some way to hold professional photo sessions on their property.  I run an honest business and will uphold the rules of locations and respect their property, so please don't ask me to go anyway because you see others do it.  I will follow the rules every time.  I am happy to make the arrangements for you and check if permits are required.  Sometimes the equipment used will determine if a permit fee is needed.  I will keep you informed so that you can make a decision that is right for you.  Any permit fees required will be due at the time of booking in addition to the retainer.  If you are willing to consider a location that uses bartering, we can discuss what you are comfortable with.  If you are unsure, there are some creative ways to possibly please all parties involved and not need to pay for a permit.  For me, your preferences will always come first! ​​​​​​​
➤ Fee Required Locations. Some permit fee locations include Lewis-Ginter Botanical Gardens, Kings Family Vineyard, Chisholm Vineyards, Ellwood Manor, Fredericksburg + Spotsylvania Battleground, The Paramount, etc.  ​​​​​​​
➤ Bartering Locations.  Some locations will let us use their property for free if you are willing to allow them to use photos for advertising including Chilie's Peach Orchard, The Market at Grelen, etc. ​​​​​​​
➤ Free Locations.  Some free locations include Penn Park, the Monticello Trail, UVA Grounds, etc.
➤ Unavailable Locations.  It is also important to know that there are some locations locally, like Monticello, that will not allow professional photo sessions. 
This is all part of my job as your professional photographer.
Posing Combinations
This is an important consideration when it comes to the images you want to have in your gallery.  For family sessions, I highly recommend group, couple-only, kids-only, and individual kid photos at a minimum.  If you do a full session or longer, I encourage you to bring things that are important to each person during this season to remember.  Do be careful when making your choices because you will need to decide if it could get lost or broken.  What you bring will be at your own risk.

It is important to note that I am a more modest photographer.  I enjoy the beauty of each person and prefer to pose in flattering ways that you would love to share with a grandmother.  If you are looking for something else, I will not be a good fit for you and that is okay!  There are several local photographers that would be a great fit!  Everyone has their specialties and you need to find someone that is good at and comfortable with your goals.  Otherwise, you may not be happy with the results and waste your money.  I always encourage prospective clients to look at the past work of a photographer before investing in their experience.

I am also sensitive to a couple's preference for public displays of affection.  I want to do what is tasteful and we would all feel comfortable with!  I will always encourage parents to have pictures together alone because you are the heart of your family and that needs to be remembered and honestly... it needs to be an intentional focus and, in some cases, fought for!

I recommend people to go on Pinterest and look for ideas of images they may want.  I do it all the time!  As a photographer, I cannot copy the work of another, but I can use it as inspiration.  I want to know your opinions and ideas... and visuals can really help with that!  Create a board and send me a link to check out!
Outfit Choices
Outfit choices can make a big difference in the look of your images, but it doesn't have to be that hard or challenging.  You don't need to go out any buy everyone new clothes.  I always recommend picking three or four colors as your theme.  People can wear a combination of a couple of colors without everyone matching.  If you need more help, here are some ideas.  I recommend keeping in mind the location as well as the look of the images you want.  For example, a great combination would be a light and airy look with pastel outfits at a pond with the sun behind you in the evening.
Editing Your Images
I offer four (4) levels of editing.  It depends on how you want to use your images as well as your personal preferences.
Documentary Style
This is for the purest.  I will not do any retouching or balancing light by hand.  The way you, the lighting, and the environment are during the session is what you will get.  All files require editing before becoming an image, but the goal will be to make the image look the way it was when we were there.
Basic Retouching - Recommended!
The basic level of retouching will include balancing lighting for a more polished look, but still natural.  Some OPTIONAL basic retouching I offer includes:​​​​​​​

➤ Removing temporary things like blemishes (not moles or permanent features unless requested)
➤ Even tones or reduce the redness of the skin
➤ Balancing the lighting details on the skin while preserving normal texture
➤ Softening the shadows of wrinkles and under the eyes
Brighten eyes, enhance the natural color, or reduce the veins
➤ Whiten teeth
Reducing mild hair flyaways
➤ Softening hair
Three of these options are included with the cost of your Image Collection.  If you have other adjustments, feel free to make a request and I will let you know if it is included with Basic Retouching or if there is an extra fee with Advanced Retouching.
Advanced Retouching
I can make additional adjustments like:
➤ Remove other distracting items like trash cans, extra people, etc. 
➤ Add makeup 
➤ Adjust or swap colors
➤ Enhancing eyelashes or eyebrows
➤ Reducing wrinkles in clothing (Ironing clothing is MUCH better!)
➤ Removing flyaways
➤ Fix wardrobe malfunctions
➤ Change or dramatically enhance eye color
➤ Removing or replacing the background
➤ Reducing eyeglass glares
➤ Correcting smiles, opening eyes, and face swapping
➤ And more...
I prefer not to do this since we are now closer to artwork than documenting memories accurately, but it is a service I offer my clients.  These services are an additional charge and will depend on the image and how much work it will take.
Enhanced Fine Art
I love to offer Enhanced Fine Art images.  It is usually only needed for one to three images from your whole Image Collection, particularly for the photos you want to print and hang on your wall.  I take what is there and artistically enhance it.  I can even make dramatic changes to an image like transforming a boring, dull winter photo to a beautiful snowy scene.  I also offer a painterly look.  If you have an idea, let me know before your session so that we can plan for the result you want from the beginning.  You will receive the original and the enhanced versions.  This is an additional service and the price will depend on the work involved.
When I saw the sunglow on the ground, I wanted to enhance it, so I added golden hour coloring, darkened the background, and brightened where the sunlight naturally was.  I also added the sunlight to emphasize the glow.
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