The Client Experience
before, during, and after your session
Welcome to Leigh Ann Pincus Photography
I am so pleased you have chosen Leigh Ann Pincus Photography to tell your story. I’m thrilled and honored to have you as a new client! I look forward to providing an amazing experience that produces custom images you’ll treasure for many years to come. Get ready to have the most fun you’ve ever had taking photos!
Below is everything you need to know in order to prepare for our session, including advice on how to be camera-ready so you’ll feel and look your best. I can’t wait to get to know you better!
First Things First!
There are a few things that we need to take care of before your session. Immediately after booking you received an email with instructions to set your client portal. You can find all of the details about your session, your session agreement, and the client questionnaire in your portal.
Your questionnaire is really important as it helps me get to know you and your family a little better. This allows me to customize your session and to document your family as authentically as possible.
The session agreement ensures that we are all on the same page about how the session works, timelines, copyright, rescheduling, and a model release so I have permission to share some of your images on my website and social media pages.
Get ready to have fun and make memories!
This isn’t going to be a boring, say cheese, kind of photography session. Your storytelling session is designed to capture your family in whatever phase of life you are in. Maybe you just added a new family member, or your kids are about to fly the coop. My goal is to capture the little moments that you don’t even realize you’re going to miss in a few years.
There won’t be fancy poses and I won’t expect everyone to look at the camera and smile. Just do you, and I’ll do the rest. Just do what makes your family unique.
Location, location, location!
The first step in choosing a location is to decide if you prefer a home session or outdoor session. Then, choose a location that speaks to you. You want your images to say “This is my family’s story”, so think of the location that will say that the best. You want the location to be meaningful and to convey the essence of who you are and what you love. Choosing a spot that is memorable to you can create great emotion in your images.
Your home is the place where you spend the most time, and home sessions can be very sentimental. After all, your home is such a big part of your story. You do not need a beautiful Instagrammable house by any means to have a shoot at home! Baking cookies, playing on the floor with the kids, and cuddling your newborn on the couch in your jammies are all great ideas for home session.
If you prefer an outdoor session, we have so many great places to choose from in the Bay Area. Get your feet wet at the beach, show off your favorite hiking trails, or just play with the kiddos in the park.
Oh No! What am I Going to Wear?
Often, one of the most stressful parts of a session is deciding what to wear. Not to worry, I’ve got you covered!
A storytelling session isn’t about what you’re wearing. It’s about what makes your family unique. So the most important thing is to feel beautiful and relaxed in your images. Be yourself. If that means showing up in jeans, a t-shirt, and no shoes, let’s do it!
But just in case you still need help, keep reading. 🙂
Color and Patterns
If bright colors are your thing, then, by all means, embrace them. However, I love more muted, neutral tones. You really want your wardrobe to reflect who you are. Otherwise, you may feel a disconnect when you look back at your photos.
Bright, bold colors can be cast onto your skin during the session. Browns, mustard, yellows, dusty pinks, grays, earthy greens, or creams work well and are flattering on almost everyone.
Busy patterns can also be distracting. I recommend choosing one patterned piece, perhaps a long flowy dress, and then using similar solid colors for the rest of the family.
Texture and Movement
Don’t be afraid to add layers and texture to outfits. Linen, lace, and knits work well. Choosing pieces that allow for movement adds dimension to your images. Think long flowy dresses or scarves.
Thoughtful accessories can enhance your session. I always bring blankets, but if you have a special blanket or throw, feel free to bring it along. If no one recognizes you without your signature hat, bring it on.
I LOVE cute shoes, and I love to photograph them. Bright-colored flats, leather boots, bright-colored flip-flops, and awesome converse are great if that’s your style! Don’t forget to check the bottom of your shoes for stickers. And guess what? No shoes also work great! Just don’t forget to choose shoes that will work with your location. Stilettoes won’t work well at the beach! Bare feet are great for in-home sessions.
If you normally wear glasses, I suggest wearing them for your session.
Hair and Makeup
If you don’t tend to wear makeup, consider leaving it off for your session. These images are for you and your loved ones, and they already love you, just as you are. And be sure to moisturize your lips well before your photoshoot. Dry, cracked lips are really hard to touch up later in the pictures.
If your hair is very long, you might want to bring some clips, bobby pins, hair bands, or cute headbands to pull your hair back if it starts bugging you or if you just want to change up your look. But don’t forget to remove hair ties from your wrist before the session! Avoid getting your haircut right before a session, just in case.
Things to Avoid
When choosing outfit pieces, think coordinating, not matching. Unless you routinely dress in matching outfits, it’s best to avoid this look. Try to avoid fads, such as jeans and white shirts. You want your images to be timeless and represent your authentic self.
I’m also available to help, either by phone, email, or even Facetime.
The Big Day is Finally Here!
First and foremost, take a deep breath and relax. We aren’t aiming for perfection; we are capturing your imperfectly, perfect family!
The kids aren’t going to cooperate every second. In fact, the husband might not either! That’s okay. Just let everyone be themselves. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed everyone else will be. I’m a mom and I know this from experience.
Plan 1-2 hours (2-3 for newborn sessions) for your session, though most typically take about 60-90 minutes (2 hours for newborn sessions).
When I arrive I’ll spend a few minutes getting acquainted with everyone, especially little ones. I will ask that you show me around so that I can evaluate the light.
We will be utilizing the rooms with the most light. This may be the living room but is often the master bedroom. Turn all of the lights off in the home and open all blinds and shades.
Think of the activities that you would like to do during your session. This can be playing games, baking, reading, or playing an instrument. Choose activities that reflect your family’s story.
Don’t feel like you need to spend hours cleaning before your session. Your images are reflective of your story, and your story may include a cluttered house. Embrace it! If you want to tidy up, remove items from tables and surfaces. I won’t judge if you hide everything in the closet before I arrive!
We will meet at a predetermined location. If you are running late, please call or text me. I recommend planning to arrive 15 minutes early to find parking.
I always spend a few minutes just chatting to allow everyone to get comfortable. I’ll spend some time with the little ones showing my camera and ensuring them that we are going to have fun.
You can lock your purse, cell phones, and wallets in the trunk of your car. I can carry around small items for you like car keys and lip gloss in my bag. I want your hands to be free during the session.
Go to the restroom right before you leave. Many places that we will go will not have restrooms nearby.
Have fun! I’ll realize most people are not used to being in front of a camera, but if you just focus on connecting with your family, you’ll forget I’m there! Outdoor sessions are great for playing in the park, tossing a football, hiking your favorite trail, or dipping your toes in the water.
And Now the Fun Begins!
After your session, I’m as eager to see your images as you are. Over the next 1-2 weeks, I will spend time choosing the very best (usually 50-75) images from your session that most represent your family and then editing those images in my signature editing style. When that’s done, it’s time to upload them to your private online gallery.
Once that’s done, I will send you a link to your slideshow gallery. Your link will be open for 48 hours to allow you to view your slideshow and images. I highly recommend hooking your laptop up to your TV or large computer monitor and gathering the whole family to view your images. The first time you see your images is always the best! During the time your slideshow gallery link is active, you will also choose your Collection.
Once you’ve chosen your Collection and completed your check-out, your full gallery will open. Your gallery will remain open for 30 days during which time you can choose the downloads that come with your Collection, and use your complimentary print credit on items in your store.
If you are a Book Club member, you will get a link to your gallery, which includes your slideshow. And as a member perk, your gallery never expires!
I’m just a phone call away if you need help. If you would like to see samples of products that are offered, I have samples and I’m more than happy to meet and show you.
Downloading Your Images
Once you’ve decided which images you’d like the process is simple: select the images and click the download icon. The images will download directly to your computer. I don’t recommend downloading to your mobile device due to the size of the files.
I suggest you make a second copy of the expanded files, then save the two copies to two different locations – I generally recommend that one copy be saved to an easily accessible drive (either on your computer or on an external hard drive) and that the other get saved to the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). I don’t recommend downloading to your phone due to the large file sizes.
Copyright (And Wrongs)!
Printing Your Images
Once you have your digital images in hand, you are free to print them when, where, and as often as you wish. You can share them on social media, make holiday cards, etc.
The only things you can’t do are re-edit them, or use them for commercial/business purposes. For instance, if you author a book, you would need permission to use an image on your book cover. You wouldn’t be able to enter an image in a contest without permission. Otherwise, you have free reign.
While everything that I offer in my store is printed in professional labs and guaranteed to be beautiful, I also recognize that you may want to print your images yourself, and thanks to those digital files, you absolutely can!
Be sure to de-select any color correction options, and be sure to upload the original files you downloaded, not copies.
I guarantee the quality of images printed through your gallery, however, I cannot guarantee the quality of images printed elsewhere.
Last But Not Least!
If you enjoy your session and love your images as much as I know you’re going to, consider referring me to your friends. For every booking that results in a referral, you’ll receive a $25 print credit to use in your online store.
What happens if it rains?
I always check the weather a few days ahead of sessions and will suggest alternatives if it looks like the weather is going to be bad. Alternatives include switching to an in-home session, switching to another location with shelter, or rescheduling.
How do I ensure that my kids cooperate?
You can’t! But the good news is, I don’t expect them to. There are a couple of things that help. Make sure they are aren’t “hangry”. They should be well-rested and well-fed. I suggest a meal or snack before leaving for your session, as well as bringing small snacks to the session. Sessions times should also be scheduled so as not to interfere with naps.
Can I include my pets?
Absolutely! I have fur-babies myself and love including them in sessions. Please have dogs on a leash and bring treats for them as well.
Do you offer payment plans?
I do! Just ask about spreading your payments out.
What if my toddler has a melt-down?
Have you heard the saying, “Keep calm and carry on”? That’s really all you can do. Kids pick up on parents’ stress so if you get anxious, it’s likely the melt-down will only get worse.
How long do sessions last?
I always say, “They last as long as they last!” I purposely don’t put time limits on sessions. I recognize that some people are not as comfortable in front of the camera, especially the little ones. I don’t want your session to be over right around the time that little Johnny finally warms up to me. That being said, most sessions take 1-1.5 hours.
What are your Covid precautions?
As a former pediatric nurse practitioner, safety and the health of my clients is key. For both in-home and outdoor sessions I wear a KN95 mask the entire time. I carry hand sanitizer and use it before and during the session. I maintain as much distance as possible and keep close interactions to very short time intervals. I will check in with you the day before your session to ensure that no one in your family is experiencing symptoms, and I will share the same information with you. If anyone is ill, please reschedule.
Wait, I still have questions……
That’s okay! I’ve got you covered. Check out my session guides for even more helpful tips.
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