Thursday, May 1, 2008


Is a professional photographer really any better than the chain photography studios?

The short answer is "yes". But when it comes to your family's photos, it really depends what you're looking for.

If you simply want one posed picture each year for your child's baby book and birthday party invitations, then I recommend going with a chain studio. Your time with the photographer will likely be rushed and there will be no editing done to make your pictures look as good as they possibly can, but it will be fine for a simple reminder of what your child looked like at that age.

However, if you want a flexible photographer who can fit into your schedule, follow your child around while they play and capture many of those expressions and moments that you cherish each day, then a professional photographer is for you.

I will meet with you and your family at a location and time that is convenient for you. We will meet, discuss your expectations and get to know each other for a few moments before the actual session begins. My sessions are very relaxed - never rushed - as I schedule 1-2 hours per session.

Why do professional photographers charge so much?

Some people are turned off by the high prices a professional photographer charges. They don't understand why the prints are so expensive or the session fee is so high. So let me share with you a few reasons why professional photographers have to charge as much as they do.

Photographers are business owners. Just like any other business owner, photographers have to pay taxes and website fees, order business cards and ads, purchase photo editing programs and CDs and keep liability insurance.

Photographers spend many hours editing and retouching photos after a session is complete in order to give you the high quality photos you're looking for. Depending on the number of images your photographer took during your session, this could take up to 12 hours or more.

Photographers have very expensive equipment that needs regularly serviced and upgraded in order to give you the best possible images. There are many items in addition to a camera and tripod that photographers purchase but that many people may be unaware of. These items include but are not limited to: external hard drive, laptop, memory cards, batteries, flash diffuser, lenses and lens filters, props, and studio lights.

Photographers do a lot of traveling. In most instances, my rates include travel time and costs. We all know what the price of gas is right now and that is definitely something that affects photographers directly. In addition to gas, constant use of a vehicle requires more oil changes and more tune-ups.

The prints you receive from a professional photographer are not your average run-of-the-mill photo prints. They are high quality prints from a professional photo lab. Their prices are higher than those you would find at a drug store and it shows in the quality of the photos.

Beyond all of this (as I mentioned before) a photography business is a business just like any other business. Photographers don't want to just make ends meet; they want to come out ahead!

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, but only for weddings and events. Portrait session payments are due in full at the beginning of the portrait session. Weddings and events require a 50% deposit at the time of booking in order to secure the date. The remaining 50% is due 2 weeks before the date of service.

How far in advance should I book my session?

I recommend booking your portrait session at least 2-4 weeks in advance and your wedding at least 6 months in advance. However, if your event is sooner don't hesitate to contact me, and I will see what I have available. :)

Do you have experience with children?

Yes! I am the mother of three beautiful children so you need not be concerned that I will mishandle your newborn or be unable to interact with your child. I love children and enjoy each one's unique personality. I can't wait to capture your child's personal style!

What time of day should I schedule my photo session?

I am available most evenings and weekends. The soft, natural light of early morning or late evening hours yields outstanding photos!

If you are scheduling a family or child session, be sure to take into consideration your child's sleeping and eating schedule before making your appointment. A well rested child who has recently eaten is much more content and smiley than a hungry, tired child.

What should I wear to my photo session?

Maternity sessions are all about the beauty of the baby belly. Many expectant mothers love to have pictures taken of their bare belly while others prefer to keep in covered. Either way is fine with me (although I do love the bare pregnant bellies!)

Newborns are always beautiful regardless of whether they are naked or fully clothed. Newborn sessions can take place at the hospital, in your home, or at another location of your choice. You are welcome to bring (or have available) any baby items that are special to you (blankets or outfits you made, toys from a grandparent, special shoes or booties, etc.) Please consider a diaper cover if you plan to keep your newborn in their diaper. While diapers these days are cute, Winnie the Pooh and Elmo won't look so great in a photo when you're trying to focus on your sweet baby!

Children should be dressed in somewhat normal attire (although I don't encourage sweatpants and t-shirts). Don't dress them in something they would not typically wear as the pictures will seem a bit foreign to you when you see them. In warm weather, boys look nice in polos or collared shirts and jeans or khakis and girls look nice in sundresses or a skirt and shirt. For cooler weather, bold colors and textures look great! Knit sweaters and deep hues of color make for some excellent photos! Multiples changes of clothes are accepted and encouraged! We can even have some fun with a costume if you'd like! (Who can resist a 2-year old lion?)

Families should wear similar tones, but not necessarily similar colors. For example, dress everyone in natural earthy toned shirts and jeans. Patterned clothing is not suggested.

Couples should have fun with their wardrobe. I encourage the ladies to wear bold colors and textures and the gents to wear a solid color that coordinates with his bride-to-be. Multiple clothing changes are also acceptable for these sessions. I love one dressy outfit and one fun outfit, but of course it's ultimately your decision what you'd like to wear!

Seniors should bring a few changes of clothing and shoes. I suggest at least one dressy outfit (to please your parents) and at least one casual outfit (to please you).

My session is scheduled outdoors. What if it rains?

If it rains, you have two options:

1. I will gladly reschedule.
2. Get out those boots and umbrellas and get ready to splash! Okay, so there is one small important detail. We must be meeting somewhere that has a gazebo or other roof-like object for the sake of my camera! :)

Please note: Only the fun and adventurous crowd will choose the second option.

I can't decide on a location. Can you help?

Yes, I have several locations where I love to shoot! Please contact me if you're having trouble deciding and we can discuss some options.

Do you have a studio?

Yes! As of May 2009, Indy Photography is now available for studio sessions!

I am also available for on-location photography.

If you choose to schedule an indoor session at your own home, I encourage the use of more natural settings instead of a backdrop (such as children playing with their toys, jumping on beds, snuggling with Mom and Dad, etc.)

Have other questions??
Leave me a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP! :)


Anonymous said...

What makes you a professional photographer? Why should I hire you?

Heidi Stone said...


What makes me a professional photographer?

While I have not had formal training in photography, I have learned a great deal about photography, lighting, cameras, exposure, etc. from doing lots of reading and learning from other photographers. I shoot fully in manual mode, which means that I control all aspects of the camera at all times. I do not claim to be at the same caliber as some of the renowned photographers of today, but I do promise to make your images beautiful, eloquent, and creative.

Why should you hire me?

I am outgoing, flexible, and personable. I seek to draw out the individual characteristics of each of my clients in every image I capture. As opposed to unnatural poses and what I call "Smile and Look Pretty" images, I strive to maintain a photojournalistic approach to my photos which results in natural, priceless images. All of my photos are edited and/or retouched to the satisfaction of my clients. My prices are reasonable. I have never had an unhappy client.

Anonymous said...

What camera do you shoot with?

Heidi Stone said...


I shoot mainly with a Nikon D80 and a variety of lenses.