Here are a few tips and frequently asked questions we get. These can help you prepare for your session with us.
How long will the session be?
Plan for about an hour. If young children are involved, you can expect to be finished with the portrait within half an hour, as that’s usually the maximum time they’ll give. Sometimes they’ll surprise us and go longer, which is fine. Sessions with older kids and adults can go longer, with changes of backdrops and clothes, if necessary.
After the images are captured, we will go over the necessary paperwork and make an appointment for you to come back to view them, so bring your calendar. Once you have viewed your portraits and your order has been placed, you can expect to see your finished portraits (typically) within three weeks. However, some products take a bit longer to produce.
After your ordering session, we can have your portraits available online for you to share with friends and family. This is a great way to show people who live elsewhere your portraits. The portraits may be ordered online, as well.
What should I wear?
A portrait is a very personal image. Your clothing should reflect your style but should not be distracting. With that in mind, we have some suggestions to make your portrait memorable. Long sleeves look better than short sleeves. Pants or skirts rather than shorts. Solids instead of patterns. Dark colors have more of a slimming effect.
Shoes are often shown in the images and the soles show up, too. Check to see that they’re clean.
Make sure (women) your makeup is applied well and that your hair is as you want it. Bring a mirror, hairbrush, and a small makeup kit for touch-ups.
Men, if you’re planning to get your hair cut, do it a week or so before your appointment. Also, if your appointment is in the late afternoon or evening, you should shave (very carefully) an hour or so beforehand.
Children do better if they’re not tired, hungry, or cranky (you don’t need us to tell you this!). Have some snacks ready if a “bribe” is needed. If you need to take a break during the session, we can wait.
How should I prepare for my portraits?
If the portrait is to be made in your home, think about whether you want to use a studio backdrop (notify us and allow an additional 1/2 hour) or some spot in your home like the fireplace, stairs, entryway, back yard, patio, or deck. Tidy up the area so there aren’t distracting elements in the background.
If we are meeting you at another location (such as a park), please be specific about the exact spot so we can be sure to meet you on time. It’s frustrating for both parties when people are rushed.
Don’t bring your child for a portrait if it’s her “bad” time of the day. We have many options for appointments. I’m sure we’ll be able to accommodate you.
Brush your teeth. Yes, it shows, and yes, I know that’s kind of gross.
Don’t chew gum. Again, it shows, and is very difficult to retouch out. And in this case, “difficult” means “expensive.”
Don’t use glitter moisturizer. It looks like white dots all over your face/hair. It looks fun and sparkly in person, as you move, but it doesn’t work for photographs.
Parents, have a good attitude. I know you might have to fake it, but your kids’ (and your) portraits will look much better if you’re happy.
Should I wear my glasses for my portrait?
Yes, if you normally wear glasses, wear them. A portrait without your glasses wouldn’t “portray” you if you always wear them.
I have Transitions lenses in my glasses. Is that a problem?
Yes, it’s an issue for outdoor sessions. Unless you want to look like you wore sunglasses for your portrait, it’s best to either remove the lenses from the frames or remove your glasses altogether. If you have a pair of glasses with normal lenses, that would be perfect. Sometimes you can borrow a pair of “dummy” frames from your optometrist. It’s worth a shot.
What about this huge zit on my nose?
Don’t worry about one or two blemishes. This includes small scratches. Most ordered images are retouched and we’ll take care of them. Our rule of thumb is if it’s temporary, we’ll remove it. If it’s permanent (like a mole or freckles), we’ll leave it. Scars are tricky. Some people want them removed, and many others don’t. Be sure to let us know if you have scars and if you’d like them taken out. Note that proofs (images before they’re ordered) are not retouched.
Do I need to pre-pay for my session?
Maybe. If it’s a busy time of year or a weekend appointment, we might ask for pre-payment and we call it a reservation fee — you’re reserving our time for your session. We often have to turn people away for weekend and evening appointments because our schedule is full. If you must change your appointment time, please give us enough time to adjust our schedules.
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. We also accept cash and checks, but we ask that if you pay with cash, understand that we don’t keep much change around.
Can you come and do the portraits at my house?
Yes, we can come to you. There may be a travel fee for on-location work, depending on the distance. I can bring my backdrops and lights, go on your property, or we can do a lifestyle session. A lifestyle session captures your “everyday” life playing with your child, putting him down for a nap, feeding, or whatever you want to remember. These sessions are very personal and treasured for years.
Can you post our pictures online?
Yes, we have an online shopping cart system that’s very easy to use. Once you’ve had your proofing session and a minimum order has been made, we can put all of your images into an online gallery. This way all your friends and family can see your portraits. They can order from there, too.
If you only want to order online and not come in to see your proofs (we don’t recommend this), you may order a $200 certificate that can be used on the online gallery. Some exceptions can be made to this policy for our “Baby’s First Year” plan customers.
Why does my voucher expire?
Occasionally we will offer fundraising opportunities to groups. One of these is the sale of portrait session vouchers. These portraits sessions are usually a little shorter, are usually less expensive than our regular sessions, and usually include a free print. Voucher details (including expiration times) are determined by communication between the person in charge of the fundraiser and us. Most of cost of the vouchers goes directly to the group.
Because it is a fundraising effort paid directly to the group (not to Squier Photography), we limit the time (and the number of vouchers) so they do not interfere with our other customers.
What about gift certificates? Do they expire?
In general, gift certificates do not expire. Gift certificates are purchased for a dollar amount. If the intent is for a specific product (for example, a Baby’s First Year plan), and the price increases by the time the certificate is redeemed, you will be responsible for the remainder. You can always apply the amount of the certificate to any of our products and services.
Why do I have to pay sales tax on the session fee? Isn’t that a service?
In addition to tangible products, the state of Ohio requires us to collect sales tax on any service that ultimately results in a product. Since there is no reason to have a photograph made except to receive it in some way, it must be taxed. We don’t make the rules, nor do we charge the tax — we just collect it for the state.
Will you frame my portrait for me?
Absolutely! Most of our frames are custom-built for you once they’re ordered. We have a variety of frame moulding and mat samples to complement your portrait. Our custom framing includes glass that blocks UV light to guard against fading and acid-free mats and backings to protect against discoloration. Mats are either hand-cut by Adam or outsourced to our frame supplier. Frames are always assembled by Adam. Comparing our frame prices to other framing sources usually comes out in our favor. And, by having us do your framing, you don’t need to go someplace else with your portraits.
Do I have to pay extra for special effects such as black and white, fun effects, etc?
No, we do not charge extra for special effects. We do have an additional fee for designing collage prints with multiple photos on them.
What’s a Canvas Gallery Wrap?
A Canvas Gallery Wrap is a portrait printed on canvas and then wrapped around artists’ stretcher bars. These prints do not need to be framed (but certainly can be). Without frames, they offer a modern, sleek appearance. With frames, they take on a more classic look. You can see what they look like in our post about Gallery Wraps on our Senior Portraits site.
Can I get one of my portraits on a disc?
We do offer digital images for printing up to 5×7 inches and for social networking sites. Only images that have been ordered are offered, as they have been retouched.
Can I get my wedding images on CD?
Yes, your wedding images are available on CD for archival purposes. They’re offered at an additional charge and delivered with your album. Limited duplication rights are included.
Do you do corporate work?
Yes. If you would like to talk about our commercial rates and policies, please give us a call or send an e-mail. We’d be glad to help you out. We have full liability coverage and can name your company on our insurance policy, if necessary.
Most of all, have fun having your portrait made. We enjoy what we do and we want you to enjoy it, too.