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1. PICK A FEW DATES - Monday - Thursday Only. I know, I know. You'd rather have a weekend. I know. But I shoot weddings almost every weekend and many weddings are on Fridays and Sundays too and weekends are reserved for shooting weddings. I also have lightning quick turn around times for getting your photos back to you and so I am processing photos on weekends too. In season (May - December) I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's not that I'm trying to be difficult, but there isn't enough time in a day to add in extra hours.
2. PICK A TIME - 3:00, 4:15, 5:30 or if there is still daylight; 6:30. Afternoon light is flattering and it usually starts to cool down as well. As the days get shorter, I might adjust the times a bit and drop that 6:30 time slot off the schedule.
3. SET YOUR LOCATION - The first person to book a time slot for the day also sets the location. Please check out samples from various locations I like to shoot at from this list of really photogenic places. These locations are chosen because I can shoot a wide variety of images with an hour's time, we are welcome to shoot there with no permits (and little to no fees involved), they are safe, the light is fantastic and most of these have bathroom or private areas to change in. Most clients are unaware that many "public" parks no longer allow photographers on their grounds and/or require permits to shoot. For examples of just SENIORS in these locations, I've got plenty of examples here as well.
4. WANT A UNIQUE LOCATION? Those require two hour session appointments. If you have your heart set on a unique location (within 20 miles from Troy please), that's fine by me, but you will need to book a two hour time slot since I will not be able to shoot other clients that afternoon. Also, securing permissions (and permits) are totally up to you. Getting kicked out of places isn't fun and it eats up a lot of time trying to find a new spot.
5. ARE YOU FLEXIBLE? Let me tell you what's available! If you have flexibility in your schedule or don't really care where you go, let me fit you into my schedule. Some photography clients tell me they need a certain date and I tell them where I'll be on that date. Others want a specific spot and then I tell them which date I'll be there.
6. RAIN DATES - Are actually super rare! If it looks like it's going to rain with no breaks in the schedule and I know it's going to be awful nonstop, we will reschedule for another day. More often, the weather looks awful, but overcast is actually much, much better conditions for photographing portraits. If the weather looks iffy, we usually stay in touch and I will see if we can pull an appointment forward or push them back a bit to avoid actual raindrops. If it only looks tragic, that's photographic gold, baby!
7. BABY PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS - Are almost always done at my home studio in Troy. Babies can't regulate their body temperatures, so I can control that in my studio and keep them happy and comfortable. I usually photograph babies in the mornings when they are typically happiest.
8. Boudoir Shoots - Your home or a hotel? I try to do these either in the mornings if they are in your home or mid day if we are at the hotel. They are indoors (usually) and I bring my lights to create a studio for you.
I am always on the hunt for beautiful, safe outdoor locations for my portrait photography clients. Whenever I find one where we are welcome to come shoot, I add it to my list. These days many, many public parks no longer allow photographers on their grounds for photographs. These places include Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, Heritage Park in Farmington Hills, Belle Isle in Detroit, Race Mills in Northville and many other great spots. Why? Photographers abuse the places, encourage clients to climb into flower beds, leave trash, but mainly, parks feel that if we are making a buck off their public land, they want in on the action. Some of the above require permits. Some are reasonable, but most are not feasible and actually finding someone to issue one can be an exercise in futility.
I know it perturbs some of the session and engagement clients that I don't have more flexibility in my schedule to accommodate their schedules. I often get requests to shoot in Ann Arbor and Lansing where clients met and fell in love. It's a great idea! I totally get it. But the reality is that I do not have the ability to block off an entire afternoon for a one hour shoot. I almost always have multiple clients each day (hence that is why the first client to book me for the day sets the location). I know that's not a bad problem to have (too many clients, right?!), but I do understand the frustration. I loathe saying no to anyone, but I also need to set and keep a schedule that keeps me almost sane. Almost!
|Michigan Wedding Photojournalist with tips to help you schedule your photography portrait sessions!|