Can I choose my own location?
Yes, you can choose your own location for an additional $50. When booking just choose custom location, and when you schedule your appointment tell us an address for a location within 15 miles from Mountain View. We do not personally recommend custom locations, but we are more than willing to come to your favorite park or house!
How to get to Cuesta Park?
Cuesta Park has two main parking lots, both of which are located on Cuesta Drive itself. One of the lots is an unprotected turn and the other is at a stoplight for Montalto Dr. You'll want the one with the stoplight. We generally meet people at the back of that lot, by the handicapped parking spots and the redwood trees, in view of the tennis courts. If you could give your photographer a call as you arrive, that should help us find each other.
How to get to Pearson-Arastadero Reserve?
Pearson-Arastadero Reserve address provided gives proper directions. Pull into the Park entrance were there is free parking, if the parking lot is full additional parking is found on the shoulder of the main road. Please give your photographer a call when you arrive 10-15 minutes early to your scheduled shoot time, that should help us find each other.
How to get to Oak Grove Park?
Oak Grove Park address provided gives proper directions. Parking is free and please give your photographer a call when you arrive 10-15 minutes early to your scheduled shoot time, that should help us find each other.
What to Bring?
Many of the best photos we take are seated portraits, but some areas are dusty and sometimes the morning dew can leave the ground wet, so we also suggest that you bring a small blanket or towel to place on the ground, of a dark or muted color that won't distract from the portraits.
We don't provide props, beyond what may be found naturally lying around the park. So if you want to have a prop(s) involved in your shoot, you'll want to prepare and bring it yourselves. As for what to use, that is entirely up to you. It depends, in part, on whether it's adults or kids, and how young the children might be. Fun ones have included balloons, baskets, tricycles, bikes. Larger props can limit shooting angles and become tougher the more people are involved.
We can make most things work if you have something in mind, but we can't make any guarantees, as I'm sure you can understand. Feel free to pitch us any ideas you have before your shoot if you'd like feedback. A fun search tool we suggest is Pinterest for fun photography shoot ideas and pose options.
What to Wear?
We generally suggest that you not wear much pure black, as that can disappear into the shadows of the backdrop. Strong patterns or very bright colors can be overwhelming, while solids and subtle patterns in more muted tones tend not to distract from the faces. Other than that, most colors, clothing styles and levels of formality can and do work well. It's all down to how you want your photos to be, However, we would advise color coordination between people, but not exact color matches, as masses of the same color can blend together. You can also bring hats, scarves or other accessories to switch in and out during the shoot if you'd like.
Again, these shoots occur outside, in natural settings, so the ground may be uneven, soft, wet, or dusty depending on recent weather conditions. As such, if a member of your party wants to wear very high heels, suede or fine leather, we recommend bringing a second pair of more rugged flats for traversing uneven or wet ground.
Formalwear has similar caveats. We've had great results with clients wearing ball gowns in the middle of the field, but you'll want to be prepared for the weather conditions
If you have multiple outfits or makeup styles you want to use for your shoot, there are public restrooms available for changing. However, please be aware that the time required for these changes must be taken out of the 30 minutes you have scheduled. You may purchase additional time if you'd really like to do a full outfit change. (See below.)
Do you have multiple outfits you want to wear? Have a very large family, multiple props or an unpredictable child? You may want to extend your shoot beyond 15 minutes. We strongly suggest 60 minute shoot if you want more than one outfit.
I have a particular thing I'm self conscious about…
We do everything we can to shoot in a way that flatters our clients every time. But if there is a specific concern you have, please don't hesitate to bring it up. We're professionals, and we will work with your requests and concerns to the best of our abilities.
How many photos do I get?
Typically, you will receive between 20-30 images per 15 minute shoot, 30-60 images per 30 minute shoot and 60-120 images per 60 minute shoot.
You get every photo from your shoot that isn't a test shot. We don't cut down the total number like some studios do, allowing you to choose, for example, the exact expression you want, even if the photo wasn't one our technical 'best'.
Are the files watermarked? Do they have your logo on them?
No, we don’t mark your standard images.
What about these "raw" photos I keep hearing about?
Admittedly, the terminology can get confusing. The word "raw", as commonly used, is typically a synonym for "full resolution", that is, the maximum size the camera can record at. Now, we can also give you what's called a RAW image in .CR2 format as opposed to or in addition to the normal jpegs, but .CR2 files are more difficult to use, are typically for more technical users and not everyone can even open them, so they're not a normal offering.
Do you do any touch-up work?
We perform white balance and color balance correction on all images, bringing the exposures in line with each other, bringing up deep shadows and adjusting contrast. Anything more intensive than that is not included.
We can do that additional work in photoshop, getting in there with a fine brush, removing blemishes and stray hairs, dodging, burning, jazzing up the sky. Whatever you'd like, but this an additional service performed on a per image basis. Current rates for our fine art edits are $49.99 per image.
What is a fine art edit?
A fine art edit is a hand manipulated image where our specialty artist gives your image and almost painterly effect, we pick out our top 3 favorites from each session and let you pick one to keep for yourself, if you'd like to keep additional fine art edits you can do so for 49.99 per file! Again, these are all done by graduate artists and made to shock and stun you with beauty! Please check out our portfolio for examples of fine art images!
How long are my files available?
We keep all files available online for 2 weeks. Please make sure you download all the files you want to keep to your own computer to avoid any inconveniences.