It’s All in the Details | FAQ
I am frequently asked about other photographers and what I feel separates me from the crowd. I’ve gathered some of the questions I get the most here as well as some of the things I’ve observed over the years. If you are shopping for a great photographer to schedule with, you may want to ask some of these same questions and weigh their answers against mine….
First and foremost, chances are we will be shooting on the beach. I mean, that’s why you chose PCB, right?! They really are some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It’s likely that I will ask you to sit in the sand and stand in the water… (gasp!). I like to have fun at my sessions, and so will your children, I promise! So once we get those images where everyone is nice and clean, dry and sand free, (your Christmas card photo!) I will be directing you closer and closer towards the water. Don’t fight it, just step in and have some fun playing with your kids. Everyone looking at the camera is great, but it’s those smiles and the way your kiddos look up to you while you’re twirling them, laughing with them, snuggling them and tossing them in the air that you really want to remember forever.
* A note about my style… if you are looking for a photographer who will use the latest “gimmicks” in the photography or editing world, I am not the girl for you. When it comes to my work, I really try to take the long view and I want you to be able to look at these pictures 5, 10, 15 years from now and still be thrilled with them. As we all know, anything that might be “cool” right now almost certainly will not be 5 or 10 years in the future. For this reason, I will not shoot in the middle of the day, I try to avoid “sun flares” at all costs, and I will never ever use selective color editing techniques. In my opinion, these are hallmarks of flawed photography and used as an excuse to not continuously improve. If I give you family photos and there is a giant bright spot (sun flare) where someone’s face should be, it may be cool now but eventually… you’re going to want to see that face. Whether it’s the young face of your child who has grown so much or the last kiss you share as boyfriend and girlfriend before you become man and wife, you’re going to want those things clear and in focus because sometimes our memories aren’t. It may not matter so much now because it’s the “in” thing but believe me, in the future… it will matter.
Remember, the images you see on a photographer’s website or social media page should be their BEST work. The family or wedding photos you receive are going to be of the same quality as the rest of their portfolio, whoever your final choice may be.
Who will be taking my family’s photos?
When you choose to book with LJennings Photography, you are booking with ME, Laura Jennings! I will not sub-contract your session out to another photographer, where you don’t really know who’s photographing your session, what their work looks like, etc. Each and every image you see on my website is MY work and I will be the one photographing your family or special day.
Is this your full time job?
Yes! I am fortunate enough to have been able to make photography a full time career. It is my work, my livelihood, and my passion. This is also one of the first ways that you can separate the hobbyist photographer from the professional. Don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent hobbyist photographers out there and there are also some professionals that leave some things to be desired, but as I said, this is one of the first ways you can start separating the two groups. What this means for you is that I devote my heart, soul, and all my time into providing my customers with the best images and customer service I can possibly offer, since without my amazing clients, I wouldn’t have a job!
Do you edit or “retouch” the images you take?
The short answer is… Yes! Each image is edited one-by-one. I take pride in my work and in each image I give to you. I like clean edits, I like your photos to still look like you! I generally do not add any kind of effects or filters to your photos and I don’t smooth your skin out so much that you look like a doll! I want you to have great images from your time here, I do not want to give you images that are so over edited that they look fake! Clean edits are timeless and that’s what you want in high end photography. You don’t want to look back at your photos a few years from now and see the latest fad filter or newest editing “trick” applied. You want your photos to stand the test of time. I also do not and will not ever “batch-edit” your photos. Batch editing is when you edit the first image and then select the remainder of the photos, press a button and apply the same settings to the remainder of the images. Many times this is done to speed things up and (in my opinion) laziness!
With all of that being said, please know that I am not a photoshop wizard! The videos you see of the cover models before and after where they shape their bodies and make them look flawless…. I don’t do that. We are on the beach and it’s going to be windy so I can fix some fly away hair, but not all. If you are worried about wind and your hair, I highly recommend you put it up and back and spray like you’ve never sprayed before. I’m not going to make you skinnier or make you look like someone you’re not. You’re you, embrace it! 🙂
How soon will I have my pictures?
Your images will be complete within ONE WEEK from the date of our session! No waiting weeks or months! I, too, am also too impatient to wait that long!
What happens if it rains?
Probably one of the trickiest questions!! Florida weather is very fickle… if you’ve ever spent any amount of time here (or lived here for 20+ years, you get it). During the summer months, it WILL rain at least once per day. However, it’s usually a quick little thunderstorm or shower and then moves on. Don’t let a 50% or 70% chance of rain scare you. Most storms will move out of the area before sunset and even more so off the coast. I will, of course, touch base with you if I feel that we will get stormed out as I will be watching the weather and radars, but it is uncommon for me to make such a judgement call any earlier than the morning/ afternoon of your session date.
If we get completely stormed out, we will most likely meet the next am for sunrise, as my sunset sessions book several months in advance. I will, of course, be in touch if I think there will be any issues the evening of our scheduled session.
Can I have all the pictures you take?
This question has become so common that I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to it. Read Why Photographers Won’t Release All the Images from Your Session.
Can we reschedule or change the venue of our session?
This is a tricky question because there are so many factors that come into play. There is certainly flexibility to reschedule if weather is a factor but if a client just feels like rescheduling or wants to change the venue of the shoot after it is agreed upon, that is a much harder situation. During my busy season, I will usually schedule two sessions a day, an “early sunset” and a “sunset” session. Due to lighting, these sessions are very close together so when I schedule one, I schedule the next one based off the location that the first one was in. If we agree to shoot in Seaside, I then schedule my second session in Seaside or one of the other 30A beach towns very close by. If we agree on Seaside and then all the sudden you want to change the venue to Destin that is not going to work and is not fair to my second session that I scheduled based on where we originally agreed to meet. It is your responsibility to know the distance you are willing to go for a shoot with me in relation to where you are staying. I have had people drive all the way from Mississippi and Atlanta in one day just for a shoot with me so I have no way to gauge how far any one client is willing to go for a shoot. Also, I know weather can sometimes be a factor but I keep a VERY close eye on the radar and have literally shot sessions in “breaks” in storms and the images turn out beautifully! I am really asking for your understanding and your trust, more than anything… I’ve been at this for awhile so I have good idea of how things are going to go down (that’s not to say I don’t get a curve ball thrown at me every once and a while)!
How many Images will I receive?
There are a lot of photographers out there who will guarantee a certain “number” of images and I can not for the life of me, figure out why they do this. It is effectively painting yourself into a corner with a number. Photographers take hundreds of photos per session and the reality is that a vast majority of them do not turn out for one reason or the other. People look away, wind blows, clouds move in and lighting changes, etc. If someone promises “50 guaranteed photos” and only 41 turn out, you will then be left with at least 9 “filler” images to get to that guaranteed number. These images are afterthoughts and often times so over edited to make the cut that you wouldn’t be happy with them anyway! I’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of girl and I will not promise you a set number of images. What I will promise you is that you will receive every single top quality image from our session. If, in my opinion, you do not have enough high quality images, we will reshoot or I will refund you (this has never happened).
For those of you who still email and ask- a typical session averages about 35-45 images. The more fun you are willing to have, the better your final gallery will be, honestly.
Do you offer print products, is there a minimum print order or can I print my photos on my own?
I do not hold “proofing appointments” and I do not have minimum order requirements or require you to purchase any prints from me at all if you choose not to. However, I believe that everyone should be able to have at least one professionally printed image from their session so your package comes with a personal printing release up to 16X20 size as well as a print credit at my professional lab. I want you to be able to share your images with your family and friends and have something to immediately show from our time together! The personal release gives you “permission” to print and make duplicates of my work, your session, anywhere you like. I will never hold your photos hostage!
For larger sizes, I do offer prints and other wall art from the most respected professional labs in the business that are far superior in quality to what you will order on your own, however you will have the option to purchase the images in full resolution so you may have these larger prints made on your own. This option will be available at the time of booking at a steep discount, or at full price once your gallery has been delivered.
Why can’t I print larger than 16 X 20?
When you book with a photographer, it is important to know exactly what you are getting from their skill level, to their quality of work, to the package you are actually purchasing. My packages, contracts, and communications with clients, are all very straightforward so that clients are clear on what they are getting and I am clear on the services I am providing. However, this question does come up with some regular frequency so I figured it was time for another blog post! Why should You Order Professional Prints?
What are your rates?
I offer elopements starting at $1500, wedding collections starting at $3200 and family sessions begin at just $550. Please always feel free to contact me, while cancellations are very rare sometimes things do happen and you never know when a session might open up! You will be working with someone who does this, not for the money (although this is my job!), but because I truly, absolutely LOVE taking pictures, meeting all of you and creating memories and images of you and your loved ones.
Do you offer a guarantee?
Please be very careful with “guarantees” that people make to you. Often times there is such a way to word things that makes them sound excellent but in reality, is not what you thought at all. For example, I have heard of guarantees that say “if you don’t like your photos, you don’t pay me for them.” The general consumer might think that means that if they do not like their photos that they are refunded their money. What it really means is that the client doesn’t need to pay for the photo prints that the photographer wants them to buy. The client still pays the “sitting fee” that the photographer gets just for “showing up.” The second part of that guarantee is also misleading, where the photographer tells you if you aren’t happy, they will re-shoot. For a busy photographer and a family on vacation, the chances are slim to none that a reshoot can be lined up during the time that they are in town. So if you don’t like your photos… where does a guarantee like that really leave you? Having paid a sitting fee, with perhaps the opportunity to reshoot when you visit again next year, and ultimately no photos (because you don’t have to pay for them, remember?).
Here is my guarantee to you and all my clients, should you decide to hire me after viewing the style and scope of work on this website:
I will take beautiful photographs of you and your family and you will love them. You will pay me to do this. If you are unhappy with my work, I will do everything reasonably in my power to make sure you end up a satisfied customer.
(That is about as honest a guarantee as you will ever get from anyone) 🙂
Sound good? Ready to Book? Head on over to my Investment Page, review my pricing, and contact me!
I have learned a lot over the years while running this small business (So much so that I have written a short book on How To Start a Photography Business) and I think it is important to mention a few things so that things can be kept in perspective. In life (and in business), there are things that we can control and things that we can not. The things that I can control such as the quality of my images, my responsiveness to clients, and keeping my on-time appointments… I strive every day to keep these things running at the highest level possible.
Some of the things I can not control (among many others) are weather, if clients are on time to their appointment with me, what happens to print products during shipping and after in the handling of them, etc. Rest assured that there are policies in place to handle even the situations that I can not control but it takes everyone’s cooperation, understanding, and respect of the procedure to attempt to rectify things. I can not be held responsible for the things that are out of my control but I will work with you tirelessly because at the end of the day… I want all my clients to be happy!
If you are planning a wedding, sometimes the set of questions is a little different….
It’s important to ask questions before booking a photographer for your wedding! After all, it is one the biggest days of your life, and I want to make selecting your photographer as easy and straightforward as possible! I’ve collected some of my most frequently asked questions to do just that.
Where are you located? Do you travel?
I am located out of the Panhandle of Florida, but I have shot weddings all over the country and internationally and am passport ready to travel wherever your wedding takes me! Contact me about travel fees if you are interested!
What is your photographic style?
I consider my style to be a mix between modern and artistic. I love capturing the candid moments that unfold naturally throughout the day – but I also enjoy the more posed photographs that require a small bit of planning and creative thought. I know everyone is searching for The Perfect Wedding Photo but click the link and heed my advice to be very careful in who you choose to capture your special day.
What are your rates?
I offer weekday elopements starting at $1500 and full wedding collections begin at $3200. If you would like specific information on what I offer, please head over to my “Contact” page and send me an email. I’d be happy to help you find the perfect wedding photography collection! Also, check out my destination wedding site LJennings Weddings for plenty of high resolution images!
Are your wedding packages adjustable?
Yes! In fact, I encourage them! No two brides are alike, so to think that these collections will fit everyone is not true! I offer pre-established collections that aim to bundle the most popular services and products for a couple’s convenience. Clients are invited to express their personal style and desires to get the most out of their collection.
I love your work! How do I reserve you to photograph my wedding?
Once I receive a signed copy of your wedding contract and a 30% non-refundable retainer – the date is saved! Please note that email inquiries do not guarantee any client to a particular date. It is not unusual for me to receive four to five inquiries for most dates during wedding season, and therefore the date remains open until a contract is signed and retainer is paid!
Do you shoot more than one event on my wedding day?
When a couple reserves me for their wedding date, they are my only clients that day! I give my weddings the utmost priority and I do not book additional portrait sessions or other events on the same day as a couple’s wedding. For that entire day – my energy, heart and focus is yours.
How long does it take to receive my photos?
On average, weddings take 4 weeks for full completion. During the busiest parts of the wedding season, editing can take longer. I do my best to sneak peek a few of my personal favorites to the client from the session or wedding within a 10 to 14 days. This gives you a sneak peek to hold you over until the entire gallery is ready!
Do you offer products such as canvas prints, coffee table books, and albums?
Of course! I work with the best vendors in the industry to bring my clients products that show off their beautiful photos!
Do you have a list of preferred vendors for my big day?
Yes I do! Once we begin chatting about the details about your big day, I’ll be happy to send you my list of preferred vendors for every single thing you can think of! Some of the first items you’ll want to lock down are your 1.) Venue 2.) Your photographer (me, of course!) and 3.) Your Officiant (a Wonderful officiant is Marie Di Giovine of Wedding Ceremony by Marie)!
Serving all of Northwest Florida from Jacksonville to Tallahassee to Pensacola, including Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, South Walton, 30A and more. I am also available to travel!