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.

Included in the Price

Most sessions have only a single fee. This encompasses the creative, travel, gallery, and print release for your session. This usually also includes any props, outfits, wraps, headbands and maternity gowns that your session may include.

Location fees may be required for specific locations like Morton Arboretum, Cantigny Park, or the Garfield Park Conservatory.

The Print Release

Portrait sessions with Abigail Joyce Photography include a printing release allowing you to make personal prints of your session images.

Forms of Payment

Checks, cash, and most electronic payment services like Zelle® quickpay, Paypal, and Venmo are acceptable forms of payment for your session.

Holding Fees or Deposits

During peak seasons, a holding fee may be required for your booking, which is then applied to your session fee. This holding fee is non-refundable, but always applicable to any session you book at a later time, should an unforeseeable reschedule be needed.

Location Permits

Most of my locations are permit free. Some location like the Morton Arboretum or Garfield Park Conservatory will require a permit.  Fees range from $35-$150 depending on the venue and size of parties involved. I will process the applications and fees at no additional cost, but require that you pay the fees upfront.

Rescheduling or Canceling

There are no rescheduling penalties in the case of bad weather or a sickness. I may ask for a holding fee for the next rescheduled sessions however, especially during peak seasons.

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 would be meeting.

About the Online Gallery

Your private online gallery is accessible for 1 year. In this time you are responsible for downloading any images included with your package. If you haven't downloaded you gallery within this time, and your gallery expires, I can provide a new gallery at that time.


Your gallery will provide you with printing options provided through mPix, an affordable online service. Large gallery wraps and prints can also be purchased through your online gallery as well.

You are also free to use any 3rd party printing source with your released photos and gallery.

Provided Props

For outdoor sessions, I provide little props for children like boxes, chairs or step ladders and a blanket.

For newborn and children studio sessions, I provide all the props, wraps, boxes, buckets or headbands that may be associated with your session.

Personal or Client's Props

I do allow client's to bring props to their session. Make sure to run it by me first, so I can let you know if I'll be able to work it into our session, or if there may be any concerns about using it with our session.

Maternity Gowns

I offer a selection of handpicked gowns that are available for use with your session. These gowns can be made available to choose from at your session for your second outfit choice, or a seperate fitting can be scheduled ahead of your session date.


I have a set of locations that I provide that are qualified and provide the results that I know will work for the products I offer. I do allow suggestions, and am very willing to scout new locations based on these suggestions or ideas, however I will ultimately provide the location for our session date.

Additional Family Members

Grandparents are welcome to come to a session to help watch additional children, siblings, or pets. If you do want to include additional extended family members to your session, I do have an additional cost per person, with additional items included in your gallery.  Since each session is different, contact me about this directly so I can make sure you get exactly what you need.

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.

Events, birthday parties, and baptisms

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

Hair & Makeup

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


Family pets are welcome at outdoor family sessions. I 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 do allow pets to attend studio sessions as long as you feel they won't make noises that would disrupt the session. I don't permit pets on furniture or to roam the studio. Since the studio is located in the Oak Park neighborhoods, there is plenty of great sidewalks and streets available for exercising your pet during longer sessions.

Do I own the images in my gallery?

Clients of Abigail Joyce Photography are licensed to retain and use their gallery in a personal fashion.

The ownership of all images captured and produced by Abigail Joyce Photography Inc. remain the sole property of Abigail Joyce Photography Inc and its owners.

The Personal Use release of images to clients strictly prohibits the personal gain or profit from these images without written agreement by the owner of Abigail Joyce Photography Inc.

Mini Sessions

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.

Do you release the original files?

I do not release the original files. Clients receive edited images that are hand picked from their sessions.

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