What to Expect During Your Session

What to Expect During Your Session

After nearly 10 years of capturing families, children, babies and even pets, I’ve embraced methods and practices that make for a relaxed, fun, modern, yet classic gallery of portraits! I love collaborating with clients, so that together, we achieve a successful session, with images you are your family are going to love for generations to come! So here is a breakdown of all you need to know about your upcoming session!

Before Your Session

  • To book your session, a signed contract, and retainer payment will be required to reserve your date and time. I accept Paypal, checks, and good ol’ cash. Checks can be made to Stacey M. Carter Photography, please contact me for mailing address 🙂
  • Please give a minimum of 48 hours notice if you need to reschedule or cancel your session. Retainer payments will not be returned for cancelations made less than 48 hours from your session date.
  • Sessions will be rescheduled due to weather at discretion of photographer. I will touch base with you on the morning of our session if I feel weather may be an issue.
  • I’d love to work with you even if you are outside of Sonoma or Marin Counties! Please note that I have a travel fee of $5o that will be added to your total session amount if I’m traveling to you.
  • Feel free to contact me for ideas on what to wear for your session, or click here!

The Session

  • Primarily, I’m a natural light photographer who shoots outdoors at a variety of locations! The best time to schedule our session is about 1.5 hours before the sun sets, that is what is called the “Golden Hour”.  I realize that this time of day may not always work best for everyone so I’m flexible and open to other times of day. But, I just love the soft, hazy, rich images the light at that time of day produces. Another option is right after the sun rises if you are game!
  • I have a several locations within Sonoma and Marin County that are fun to shoot at, mostly parks, urban areas, schools, and fields. I’m always open to shoot at a new location you may suggest, or even your home!
  • Sessions generally last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  This give us plenty of time to walk to different locations on a property, take breaks for snacks or feedings for the kiddos, and change outfits! I actually recommend around 45 minutes of shooting time for the younger kiddos as they often have a short attention span in front of a camera! But don’t worry, I can get a full gallery, if not more within 45 minutes!
  • While we are shooting I may ask you to do something that sounds funny, like gaze into each other’s eyes, dance, or tickle the little ones! I do this for a couple of reasons, one is to help you relax in front of the camera, and second, I shoot away during that tickle fest so that I get some really fun, cute images of everyone having fun and smiling!
  • My style, or approach to your session is to provide a variety of candid, fun images in addition to more posed, traditional shots. My goal is for your gallery to have a nice variety of both types of images! So while we will have fun taking pictures of those tickle sessions, I will also be helping you into more traditional poses throughout our shoot.
  • I have a variety of props that I bring to the session based on the ages of the kiddos! I also bring a blanket to protect your clothing from the ground. Please feel free to bring any props you may want to incorporate. Sometimes children’s books, or their favorite stuffed animal makes a good prop; helps them feel more comfortable, and creates a sweet photo of them with their favorite, cherished childhood toy 🙂
  • Please bring the remainder of your payment to the session. I collect it at the end of our session by either check or cash. You may also pre-pay the remainder by Paypal prior to our session.

After the Session

  • About 1-2 days after your session I will post a sneak peek of one of my favorite images from your session on-line for you to see!
  • 2-3 weeks after your session, I will email your entire, fully edited gallery of final images to you! This gives you the opportunity to see your entire gallery, and download your favorite images included with your session directly to your computer or phone (20 images for an All Inclusive Session, and 5 with a Mini Session). You also will now have the option to purchase additional images from your session in excess of the quoted amount of digital files included in your session fee!
  • I carefully select the final images I provide you. I choose the best of the best, even some of the outtakes! Each image is corrected for color, skin tones, contrast and clarity. I also go through and remove any blemishes, cuts, bruises, stray hairs or other things I find distracting from the image. In addition, I run a skin smoothing program on each image to make everyone look their very best!
  • Please back-up your digital files. You can do this by saving your digital files to your hard drive on your computer, saving the images to a USB drive, or using an online data saving site. (If you are an Amazon Prime member, you have unlimited data storage available to you through their site!) Due to the size of each image I take, and the amount of weddings and sessions I shoot each year, I cannot save all sessions. I understand things happen! If you do loose your images, please contact me. There’s a good chance I still have your session, I just cannot guarantee that I do 😉

Making Prints from your Digital Files

  • Your digital files are sized to a crop ratio of 4X6 inches. (Note that you can enlarge these files to 30X40 inches if you want, you’re not limited to 4X6) Also note, that if you choose to print an 8X10, you will see some cropping. Make sure to control the cropping of this image so that you do not loose valuable aspects of the image. Many online labs offer the option to set the crop yourself.
  • When making prints, always choose the option to NOT color correct image. The entire process of editing your images, is to provide images that have the correct white balance, skin tones and overall color. Often times, non-professional labs will automatically “color correct” your images, the results I’ve seen are not good!
  • Make sure to upload the entire file when making prints from an online lab. If you choose the option to upload at a faster speed, or a lower resolution, you are throwing away data from each file. This “data” is what sets your images apart from ones you could take with your cell phone. That data is the information that produces sharp, clear, color correct images that retain all the detail from the image.
  • Not all commercial grade labs are created equal! I suggest to not use Walmart, Walgreens, Target, CVS or Shutterfly for your prints. Even your home printer will not produce prints you would be proud to hang on your walls! I feel that Costco and the local Shutterbug labs found in Petaluma and Santa Rosa produce OK prints. Online, I would recommend going through Mpix.com.
  • Ideally, a professional lab will render the best, high quality, archival prints that will not fade over time. I’m more than happy to provide prints for you! To do so, please email me a list of the image number with the corresponding size and quantity of prints you would like. Please allow a 2 week turn-around time to receive your print order once payment has been made. Your order will be shipped directly to your home. Pricing can be found here.



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