Session Q&As

Photography Questions and Answers

As a busy Chicago Photographer, I see hundreds of clients each year! There will be many questions you will start asking if you haven’t had a professional photography session completed before.

This may be your first portrait session, or it may be the first portrait session with your family in quite some time. Either way you will inevitably have lots of questions!

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have very specific questions, or want to understand more than can be answered in this page.

However, this page would be a great way to start learning about the process of my professional photography and portrait work. The photography questions provided below range from pre-session to post-session information. These questions have been asked by clients looking for anything from Maternity to Family sessions, and every stage between.

How to book

You request a session by contact form or email. I guide you through my available options and the availability in the timeframe you are looking to schedule in. We decide if your availability allows meeting during weekdays or weekends and what location is close to you, or fits your need. I will hold one time frame at a time for you, for up to 48 hours, so we can confirm your session. I provide location and outfit guides for your session before our session date.

A Session Overview

Most of my children, maternity, and family sessions never take more than an hour to complete. This is because I know my locations, I have practiced the poses that I will guide you through, and I know when to capture and when to wait for the best moments. We meet at the designated location or my studio, depending on the session. We'll photograph throughout the hour, taking breaks for designated outfit changes for the little ones (if included with your session).

For outdoor session: There will most always involve some walking in our session. Many of the locations I choose will include at least 5 or 10 minutes of walking per session.

Sessions with children: Children are typically photographed right away, as they are most happy and excited during the first half of our session! We'll capture the most important photos first, then move on to lifestyle or candid photos to complement your gallery.

What is included in your fee?

All of my Maternity, Children, and Family sessions are a single fee session. There are not sitting or additional purchase fees, or anything hidden. These fees do not include any special location permit fees however.

Do you charge printing or release fees?

All of my current photography sessions include the final digital edits, released for personal use and print. There are no additional fees required for you to download, share with family and friends, or even print at your own printing source.

Do you cover location and permits?

My session fee does not include any location permit or application fees. Some of the locations I photograph in, do require an additional photography permit and/or application fee. I will make you aware of this before we decide on the location. Fees range from $35-$150 depending on the venue and size of parties involved. I can process the applications and fees at no additional cost, but require that you pay the fees upfront!

What if I've paid already, and my permit gets rejected? In the case that your permit has been rejected some or all of your permit fees have not been accepted by the location issuing the permit. In this case, any funds that haven't been accepted by these locations will be used towards the remainder of your session fee.

Do you offer Prints?

At this time I outsource much of my printing and design work to reputable printing houses in the mid-west. These printing sources allow for lower overhead costs and savings passed on to the client.

Although this may seem more of a bargain, this method does not allow for in-studio proofs and adjustments to be made. This upcoming year I will be working on expanding into in-house printing so I can not only provide immediate results and prints, but I can provide competitively priced prints that I know are of the best quality and workmanship.

Thank you for being apart of my growing business! I can't wait to start offering this in 2018:)

Down Payments or Deposits

At this time there are no down payments for a la carte sessions. Payment is due in full at the time of your session.

Rescheduling or Canceling

There are no rescheduling fees, and I don't penalize you for rescheduling if weather or a sickness happens. If bad weather looks predictable, I'll start the rescheduling process a few days before our session. If the weather is sparse and unpredictable, I'll alert you of the possibility of rescheduling, but won't make that decision until an hour or two before we will meet. Sometimes we just need to chase that perfect window of time!

Mini sessions

I typically do not offer mini sessions regularly. On an occasion, I will release a mini session date and time! If you are interested in mini sessions throughout the year, please email me directly about this and I'll add you to my mini session email list!

How do I pay you

I accept electronic payments through Zelle® quickpay, Paypal, and Venmo. You can make a check out to Abigail Joyce Photography in the amount due at the time of your session. I also accept cash.

Do you provide props

Maternity Sessions: I provide gowns and wreaths. I have discount codes you can use at specific suppliers when shopping for custom gowns.

Newborn Sessions: I provide all wraps, hats, headbands, and posing props. I have a large selection of beds, boxes, and buckets that are always available for my newborn sessions!

Children Sessions: I provide little beds, buckets, and boxes for children from the age of 3 months to 18 months. I also have little chairs, boxes, and step ladders that I provide for toddlers!

Family Sessions: I provide blankets, boxes, and chairs for your children and specific poses. A lot of family sessions are completed outdoors and on our feet, so there are less props that are needed for this session.

Can I bring props to our session?

If at any time you have a specific prop you'd like to bring, I encourage you to contact me about this directly and make sure I can work this into a session! I am completely open to this, but want to make sure I point us in the best direct for optimal results.

Do you offer Maternity gowns?

I do offer both a small selection of handpicked gowns that are available to use for your session. I have also partnered with several manufacturers to bring you a discount on their maternity products.

What if my children's session isn't going well?

In the rare case that I am sensing it would be best to reschedule, I will bring this up and let you know if we should stop the session short and reschedule for another time. I don't penalize you for needing to reschedule and we will be very careful to schedule the next session in a way to avoid the same issue or problem.

Can I choose the location?

I provide the locations that I know will have the best results for that time of year. I am always open to hear your suggestions, or if you want to meet at a very specific location. Because I try to provide a high level of consistency, I will suggest first, the locations that I know will work with your desired style, and we can branch off from there.

In the case that I am meeting with back to back clients, I do provide a single location for that day since my availability will be limited. If this is not a location that fits your need or style, I may suggest a different day and location.

Can I bring Grandparents

My sessions are designed for immediate family members. I do charge an additional fee per grandparent that covers the additional photos in your gallery, and the time it takes to edit them. Please email me directly to request these details!

Do you offer gift certificates?

I do offer gift certificates. The amount that you gift someone will be applied to any session they ultimately decide to schedule with me. If they decide to upgrade or change their package, they are responsible for any differences. If they downgrade or change their package, any left over funds will held towards the next session they schedule.

Do you do events?

At this time, I do not personally provide event or party coverage.

Do you provide hair or makeup?

I do not provide Hair and Makeup at this time. Most of my clients will schedule their hair and makeup around our session or do this themselves.

Can my dog come to the session?

Family pets are welcome to all outdoor family sessions. I typically suggest leaving pets behind if they are not well trained, or get very excitable. There will be a lot of new sounds, sights, and scents that may become distracting for most pets.

I typically do not allow pets in the studio. If you think your pet is an acception, is hypoallergenic, under 20 pounds, and don't believe it will cause distractions for your newborns session, please reach out about this immediately so I can walk you through the steps on deciding if this is a good decision.

Can I change my newborn session type last minute?

In rare occasions, I may be able to last minute change where our newborn session takes place.

If you have already scheduled to meet in your home, but wish to meet at my home studio, this is very easy to accommodate. My studio lighting gives us the flexibility to shoot at any time of day, in any weather, without seeing different results.

If you have scheduled a studio session but last minute want to change to meet in your home, we can discuss my availability for this, but it is very unlikely that the original timeframe will still be possible to work for your newborn session.

Do I own the prints after the session?

I own all the images and the rights to these images and the art I am producing. I retain the unlimited ability to use these images for private education, competitions, and marketing for my business. I am a provider of customer service, and am not out to defame my clients, regardless of the outcome of our session or experiences. I therefore am completely committed to your privacy and will never share or use your images if you ask me not to. If an image of you has been used publically on my social media, website, or ads, and you feel uncomfortable with this, I will be happy to remove this as quickly as possible to respect your privacy.

While I own the unlimited complete rights to the digital images, by downloading the digital gallery, you are licensed to use the images in a personal capacity. You may download, share, and print as you wish, as long as it's not for business or competition purposes.

How long do you hold onto the pictures for?

Your online gallery will be removed within 90 days of it being sent to you. Please let me know if you need this gallery made available after this point.

Your final gallery archived and kept for ever.

The gallery's raw files are archived for 1 year.

Do you release the Raw images ever? What if I paid you for them?

Selling the RAW images is the equivalent to signing over the artistic control of my work and is never included in my session fee. I do allow a complete buyout of the session photos at $200 a digital negative. A minimum of 35 digital negatives are required for this buyout.

You can read more about my work and follow along a Chicago newborn Photographer at my blog!