I LOVE taking photographs of people! I'm a people person and extremely laid back and perhaps quite talkative. This means I can usually get anyone to relax for a photo. Yes, even the husband who begrudgingly agrees to a family portrait when the big game is on. I try to make it fun, quick and painless. As I know there are questions to be answered, here are the most common. Get COMFY, you might be here a minute.
I'M BOOKED, NOW WHAT?:
I just paid my deposit, what's next? Double check that you have the correct date, time and location of your shoot. I've had a few people over the years show up on the wrong date because of vacation brain. No matter what time it is, make sure no one is hungry before the shoot. Even if it's just a snack. Bring water, but leave in the car for after. If you have a toddler, go ahead and bring snacks or gummies to the shoot, just don't tell them. If you have a husband, boyfriend, grandfather, dad... bring them a beer, or have one in the cooler in the vehicle for after. They like treats too. Please DON'T bring chocolate as the treats for little ones. Unless you want them to look like they just played with poop. Yes, it's happened. Please review the "what should I wear" section for things to NOT wear. Ladies, if you wear foundation, make sure you have bronzer or a darker shade after being on the beach a few days. Just a tip. PLEASE, PLEASE, don't let everyone in the group bring their phone unless you bring one bag to put them all in. They show up in pockets the whole time. They are definitely not needed during the session. And finally, get excited! You will probably sweat, but I promise it won't be as bad as you think. AND you'll end up with priceless memories!
WILL YOU PHOTOSHOP ME?
Ahhh the most often asked question! Photoshop extras are not included in the session fee. Included in the fee is general color correction/brightness. If you have a wee one and they have a LITTLE booboo, I'll try to edit that out of the close-up photos. (below have ALL been asked of me at a shoot)
*I do NOT photoshop your hair in every photo to make it look like you are not on the beach. There is wind sometimes... and I do my best to position you in the best possible way to avoid crazy hair.
*I will NOT add hair to your husband's head. Genetics win.
*I don't switch heads or eyeballs.
*I won't make you look 25 if you are 55.
*I won't make your husband look like Brad Pitt.
*I won't use the 'skinny' lens and make you 5 sizes smaller.
*I don't add a sunset sky if it happens to be overcast/gray on the day of your shoot.
*I don't take out tan lines. If you know you are having photos made, please try to pick out a shirt or dress that doesn't show the tan lines or try to find a strapless bathing suit. Please and thank you.
I CAN add weight and disproportionate body parts to anyone who is overly annoying or rude during the session. haha
All this being said, for a fee of $300 I WILL photoshop (or attempt to) up to 20 images however you wish. I can smooth wrinkles and shave off a FEW inches in certain places. Want a more defined waist, thinner arms and fewer crows feet? I got you. Just let me know your request and I can let you know if it is feasible.
HOW DO I FIX MY HAIR?
If you have naturally curly hair... I would not straighten it and expect it to stay that way for a photo session. Unless it's November - March and the humidity level is really really LOW. I know, everyone has the best products. I've tried almost all of them because my hair is not straight. The humidity is a bitch and it wins. ALSO if you have board straight hair... curling it is usually futile. But if you have lots of spare time on your hands..then feel free. At least with straight hair, the curl will fall and your hair will look like it did before you started. NOT the case when your hair is curly and you straighten it. If your hair is like mine, you'll look like a cross between a stressed-out scientist and/or homeless. shrug.
TO WEAR AND NOT TO WEAR:
That is a personal preference. It is NOT a requirement to wear khaki and white although it is popular because it's the most easily matched color ensemble for groups. Look around on my website and Facebook page for ideas. I say to coordinate like you would your living room. Neutrals with a pop of color. or Neutrals with a pop of print.
- Let's talk about ruffles. I'd suggest NOT wearing dresses that have ruffles around the neck and shoulders as on windy days...that's a problem. Those off-the-shoulder dresses for women that have a 4-8 inch ruffled flap...oy. The wind flaps that bad boy up onto your neck. If you get lucky enough to have no wind, cool. If you want to check the weather and see if the wind is 5mph or less, then you can wear it. Otherwise the wind will have a field day with that flap. Ruffles at the bottom of the dress, below the waist, are lovely. Short wrap skirts are also difficult on a windy day. Long skirts are amazing on the beach. Long dresses, that are fitted at the waist, are amazing. Long dresses with no shape (no defined waist) that spread out to double the dress size ...well, not so great in the wind. No matter your size, the wind will blow it out as wide as there is material. IF a waist band or belt...then it just looks flowy. If that makes sense.
- Silky dresses that are very thin with no waist... just flowy ones. If it's a windy day, 2 words. Camel Toe. ALL of your bits are visible. ALLLLLL of them. Those flowy silky dresses are popular at parties when they can hang nicely with cute shoes. But not so cute when the wind plasters it back to reveal if you are wearing underwear and if you have had a brazilian.... or not.
- For babies and toddlers- those one piece outfits with the big square collar that is embroidered? That big square collar will flip UP in their face on a windy day. One piece outfits for babies and toddlers are the best if you intend to hold them. They won't ride up. If a dress for a walking little one, then maybe bloomers to hide any diaper. Oh yeah, and those really pretty long WHITE frilly dresses for girls? They are GREAT...just remember to pack neutral underwear. You can almost ALWAYS see through those dresses in the sun. White underwear shows through as well as colors and prints. I've seen it all. I know it's not popular to find beige underwear for little ones...if you don't remember to pack any...then let them go commando. :).
-Accessories - Hats are fun. Sunglasses are fun. If you want to bring Christmas hats...then even more fun.
Also, keep it simple stupid. KISS. Don't try to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow. Pick 2 and pair with neutrals. Check out my "Colors" page for sample photos of color schemes. Also, feel free to text me a pic of your photo color ideas!
WILL YOU COME TO MY LOCATION?
Yes, for sunset shoots I prefer to come to your location. Traffic isn't fun and it's less of a hassle for you guys especially if you have a big group. You let me know where you are staying and I can let you know if that beach is a good location. If you are staying on Highway 30a... I will always come to you for sunset as the beaches are all the same and not too busy. If you are staying on Scenic 98 in Destin...it depends on where you are. I'll suggest a location that's best...not to worry.
WHAT IF IT RAINS?
Shhhh that's a bad word in beach photography. Believe me, I wish I could control the weather! I've become quite the experienced weather predictor after 20 years. I do NOT cancel early though. It might be raining at my house but a mile down 30a...be fine. So, it's location dependent. I can say, that I rarely have rain outs...which is great. We will start a little early if necessary to beat the rain. I don't even consider cancelling until after 3pm. Even then, unless it's 100% chance, I usually just show up to see what happens. In the past, I would cancel at 3 and then at sunset it would be amazing. The best sunset colors are after a rain. Just saying. There are two types of people, those that want the memories no matter what the sky/beach look like and those that ONLY want the pretty colors. It's fine either way, but on the day of the shoot, at 3pm, let me know which category you are in. If you'd rather not shoot because of less than perfect conditions, I'll refund your deposit that day. If it DOES rain during your session time, I will attempt to reschedule for another day. Usually, I will not have another sunset timeslot open. Sunrise will usually be available or an early morning shoot. We just play it all by ear. If it just doesn't work out, then I'll refund your deposit. :)
WHAT HAPPENS AT A FAMILY SHOOT:
First thing to remember is that you are at the beach! On vacation! I prefer a relaxed and laid back photo session. We don't want stiff, posed, fake-smiling and constipated looking people in all matching clothes. If that means that you need a cocktail before the session then have two. That doesn't mean have 8 margaritas before arriving, however. And if you have 8 margaritas laying around, bring one for me.
Husbands, dads, boyfriends...I know that you endure this process. I know that you have already protested and know that most of the time you will attempt to not smile. I promise to make it as painless as possible if you will behave. Plus, we get finished faster when all parties behave. If you need a treat to endure this process...send me an email and I'll bring you a beer. Seriously. If you can guess which bourbon I use to make my old fashioned at home then I'll bring some bourbon and shot glasses. (ok, shot SOLO cups...cuz glass isn't allowed on the beach.)
I always start by taking the family group shots first. If it's a large group, we start with the whole group. Then break it down by families. I start with the family units that have the youngest or LEAST user-friendly children. We will take couples shots, grandparents with grandkids, siblings, individuals of the kids. Whatever is important to you.
CAN WE TAKE PICS AT 10:30 AM OR NOON.... IT'S BETTER FOR MY KIDS.
I actually get this question more often than I'd like to admit. The answer is no. If you want park ONLY then we could do 9amish... and even 3pmish. But it'll be HOT if in the summer. We cannot do pics at that time on the beach, the harsh lighting is literally terrible. Unless you just enjoy having bags under your eyes from overhead light and having all of your wrinkles on clear display? I know I don't. For more info on times of day for pics and why, see below. I promise you, after 23 years taking pics, I know the best time of day for photos to happen.
DO YOU TAKE SUNRISE PICS?
Not very often. I'm just not a morning person. However, if you can convince me that you are a FUN and HAPPY (SMALL) group, then yes. I'd be glad to get up for you. Ok, glad is pushing it but I'll get up because you are paying me to. But you might have to bring me bacon or coffee as a treat. No one has ever brought me bacon yet. Sad. I like it crispy. I have people tell me that their kids are happier in the morning. Lies. All lies. EVERY time someone has told me that their kids are happy in the morning...it has been very much untrue. lol Sunrise means getting up BEFORE the sun rises and getting ready and being on the beach JUST as it is rising. Which is 5:45am most of the summer. Terrible awful time of day. Most kids and especially partners, are NOT thrilled at this time of day. Trust me. I have ONE family that begs for sunrise when they are here. And they are great and happy. They are the exception to all of the ones I've ever done. Just being real.
WHAT IF I WANT PICS IN THE MORNING BUT NOT AT SUNRISE?
I hear this a lot. Well, the beach chairs go up on the beaches by 7am I believe. Trust me, it CAN be amazingly beautiful out there in the morning. White white sand. Blue, blue water. But if it's a sunny day it will also be bright, bright. And then you'll sweat, sweat. haha I find that the late afternoon is a little bit better as the temps usually cool off a tiny bit, the sun is not AS bright. ALL that being said, I have done pictures at Seaside and Rosemary Beach and Watercolor early in the morning because we can start around the town, where there is shade and then finish on the beach. Plus, around town is usually less wind, if there is wind...so, better hair. Another con....to the morning is if it's going to rain. In the afternoon we can watch the rain and chance of rain and plan accordingly or change the time accordingly. We can't really do that in the early morning because you have to start getting ready right away. On the LOCATIONS page, I have a link to show you a few images taken in the morning to give you an idea. It's at the very bottom of the page. haha Called "Times of Day"
WHAT IF I WANT LATE AFTERNOON PICS BUT NOT SUNSET BECAUSE OF BEDTIMES?
VERY popular question. Lucky for you, I have a couple of locations that are great options for this. We would start around 5pm and start in a park. Again, Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary Beach (if you are staying there). Get half of the session at the park (out of the wind and sun) and finish on the beach. It's usually a win/win situation. Yes, it's earlier and will most likely be hotter and squintier. But the sand looks whiter and the water more vibrant in the photos. SO, it depends on what look you are going for? The brighter the sun, the more contrasty and vibrant the water and sand. Also, the more squinty, so portraits work well in the shade first. Don't worry, I've done this a long, long time and can get some great candid shots at the beach while it's earlier. But if you are really wanting those golden hues and amazing sunset....then this is not for you. Don't misunderstand...sunset is considered the 'golden hour' and the light is the favorite of almost all photographers. It's just not as harsh. On the LOCATIONS page, I have a link to show you a few images taken in the afternoon to give you an idea. Obviously, no two days are alike around here. The link is at the bottom of the page "Times of Day".
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY PICS?
Your beach session photos should be online to view in 2-3 weeks. You will receive an email from me with a link to your gallery and all the details on downloading and such. Wedding photos take 4-5 weeks to be online. And emailing to "just check on your pics" will not make me go any faster. I might move you behind a session. Ha kidding. Or am I? I promise I pretty much have no life in the summer. I shoot, edit, shoot, edit, sleep, and repeat. I shower occasionally as well.
DO I GET THE DIGITAL IMAGES?
Yep, the number that is included in whatever package you select. After you receive your gallery, you can mark your favorites and once you are done, just email me and I'll send you the link to download them all. Of course, you have the option to purchase the entire gallery as well, for an additional $360.
WHAT CITIES DO YOU SERVE?
For beach photography, I serve the following areas: Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach, Sandestin Beach Resort, all of Hwy30a (Dune Allen Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Seaside, Watercolor, Seagrove, Seacrest, Watersound, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach), Santa Rosa Beach, Inlet Beach, Panama City Beach). For Navarre or Pensacola Beach, there is an additional $100 travel fee. Who am I kidding... in the summer I'm not willing to fight traffic for the 2 hour drive. Sorry. Hit me up in the fall/winter months. I got you.
For Weddings- I'll go anywhere. No, really. And if it's somewhere I've never been, there won't be a travel fee. Try me.
REVIEWS: Still not convinced to hire me? See what others have said about me. :) Link at bottom of page.
Ok, did you seriously read it all? Message me that you did and I'll bring you beer or wine to your session! Also, let me know if you noticed any typos.