I can understand why you feel that way. There are so many photographers out there today, many of whom are really good.
The difference our very best clients have consistently shared with us is how wonderful it was to work with a studio that strived to create images that fit their family….we didn’t try and make them fit our photography.
So many other photography studios seem intent on plugging every client into their way of making images: the poses, locations, the look and feel are all the same from client to client. What happens is the images may very well look nice but they don’t convey that unique spark about you as a family or people.
This is why we developed our Stress-Free 1-2-3 Portraits system– to help build a start-to-finish family photography experience for each client that molded the photography to fit their story and unique personality as a family and as individuals.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Tell me more about the stress-free 123 portraits?”] Absolutely. The Stress-Free 1-2-3 Portrait experience is our way of challenging the business as usual approach to family portraits.
In a nutshell Stress-Free 1-2-3 Portraits is a simple three-step system we use to help your photography fit you and your family rather than us trying to make your family fit our photography.
One of the most important steps is the first step and it doesn’t involve a camera at all. We will sit down with you and your husband or partner to ask you some key questions about what you want. We will also begin to get a sense of who you are as a family by asking you some seemingly off-the-wall questions about what you do together as a family, what are some of your children’s interests.
We are careful to listen. What you have to say at this point is much more important than what we have to say. From there we will begin to collaborate together to form a photography plan. We love the back and forth creativity that takes place during these chats because that almost always means we are building to something even more special and unique to you and your family.
This conversation results in answers to the who, what, where, when, how and why of your photography session. This includes clothing and any special arrangements we need to consider.
Everything about how we make the photography fit you starts from this conversation. Most photographers are content to not speak with you over the phone, email you a bunch of locations, times and clothing recommendations and charge you extra per person over a certain number. They show up shoot, hurry you and send you a disc.
For a lot of people that approach is fine, but for nearly all of our best clients they are searching for something more.
The next step is the photography. This is where we draw upon our decades of study and professional experience to help your family be itself, relax and have fun. Be it a small family of grown children or a large one with four generations. We carefully work to make sure that each member from the smallest to the oldest is accommodated and looking their best.
The third step is the in-person ordering session. This is where we make sure that the finished portraits fit your sense of decor in your home, your budget and the story you are most excited to tell from the variety of images we created in step two. We are there as trusted advisors to help you feel comfortable and confident that your selections are the right ones and done with the right finishes and sizes.
You can read more about our Stress-Free 1-2-3 Portraits here.[/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”How much do you charge?” state=”open”] Without knowing exactly what it is you have in mind or what you want to do, it is next to impossible for us to give you an accurate number for our portrait sessions.
Much like a doctor, we feel it is more beneficial to you to diagnose your situation before we advise any sort of treatment plan. With a short, no-pressure chat over the phone we can give you and accurate and honest understanding of price and your options without any confusion or guesswork.
We can tell you our orders span a pretty wide range of budgets. Some people want to go first-class and invest $3500 or more, other people are not comfortable spending any more than $600.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Do you sell the disc of images from the session?”] We can do that if you feel that would make the most sense for you.
For some folks they know beyond a shadow of a doubt a disc and only a disc is the direction they want to go. Sometimes people ask because they feel like overwhelmed with the idea of having to choose between so many images.
Can we share with you something we have noticed? What a lot of people are finding is that they insisted on a disc from their photographers but later realized they didn’t need them or didn’t do anything with the images on the disc. They just put them on a dusty shelf.
While for some people it definitely is the only way to go, other people forego the disc because they hate the time and hassle of doing it themselves and would much rather their photographer’s use their time, expertise and knowledge to print a finished image that we guarantee will look its best.
We should prepare you, our discs are pricey when sold as a stand-alone item. For folks that are very determined to go this route it often makes more sense to hire a family member, friend or less experienced photographer to photograph the session. Many of these folks who go this route are comfortable learning free-online photo retouching software to do the touch ups needed to make a good quality print after they get the disc from this kind of photographer. Don’t worry, the software is easy to learn. [/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Can you put our session images on Facebook and Instagram?” state=”open”] Yes. We are happy to put digital copies of ordered images on Facebook, Instagram or other social media free of charge. Each image will have a small watermark on the bottom of the image. We only post the images with your permission of course.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Do you have a studio?” state=”open”] Yes, we have two. Our main studio is located in south Kansas City or other studio is at 819 Walnut St. #308. Our hours are by appointment only.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Do you keep the images after the ordering session? In other words can we come back and order more images later?” state=”open”] For the most part, yes.
Exceptions are sessions in our baby club, sessions that are for winning bidders of our charity certificates and some of our other discounted offers. With these folks we only hold onto the ordered images. We do discard unordered images from these sort of sessions.
We’re nice. In some cases we can be convinced to hold onto the images after your ordering session.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Price is going to be the primary consideration for us, what can you do for us?” state=”open”] We understand, it can be very challenging to find the right photographer at a great price. Without knowing specifics of your situation, needs and budget it can be tough to say how we match up. At the risk of sounding a little snooty, we have never been the choice of a client who was looking for the lowest price. We would still love to chat with you and you can decide if it makes sense to keep talking. If you decide we are not what you are looking for we’ll be happy to point you to some folks that may be a better fit for you.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”How long does it take for you to get the prints to us?” state=”open”] Finished prints typically take about 10 business days from the ordering session. Some of our coffee table books, discs and other items take three to four weeks.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=” Who do you have your liability insurance with?” state=”open”] This is a great question no ever asks but they really should. We have our liability insurance with Firemans’ Fund Insurance Group. [/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”My children are handful what can you do to help us during the portrait session keep them interested?” state=”open”] We love kids and our chief photographer Chris Cummins is a father to a little one too. We make it fun.
We have an assortment of high action games we like to play that are fun for the kids and keep them from growing bored and tired with stuffy, unnatural poses. We don’t stay in one location or situation for long. This also helps them from growing restless.
Chris will put a shoe on his head and sing Old McDonald if it makes your little girl happy. Were not kidding. We will act like idiots to help your children have fun.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”What do we do if there’s bad weather during a portrait session?” state=”open”] We should talk it over and you can decide what we can do.
No creation fees are lost if we need to reschedule. We will simply move the date and try again.
Of course, it may depend on what kind of session we are going for. If during our planning conversation we have determined that an outdoors location is going to be really important to communicating that special something about your family (for example: your hunters, outdoorsy folks, hikers or athletes) it’s probably going to be best that we find a time to reschedule to get that outdoors portrait.
If you are comfortable moving into our studio space and keeping the scheduled time, that is an option too. We just want to make sure don’t lose that chance to make a portrait that is unmistakably “you.”[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”With the in-person ordering session is that something that we can do at our home? The distance is a challenge for us.” state=”open”] Yes. In fact, we prefer it over doing it in our studio![/learn_more]
[learn_more caption=”Can you post the session’s images online?” state=”open”] We are limited to posting only images that were ordered during the in-person ordering sessions. No originals leave the studio otherwise.
We have found that online ordering formats complicate the ordering process and prevent our clients from feeling comfortable and confident with their choices. This is a considerable investment of your time and money as well as a potential item that adorns your home for many years. We want to serve you as best we can to make sure your decisions are right for you and too often online ordering falls short of that goal.
We also feel that as hard as we worked on the images a computer screen just doesn’t do the images justice.
In rare cases we can schedule a one-on-one with distant relatives to help them select their images via a Skype format. But generally that is only if an important decision maker has no possible way of making it to the in-person ordering session. That means the in-person ordering session. [/learn_more][learn_more caption=”What should we wear at our portrait?” state=”open”] We will cover that in detail during your portrait chat as the first step of the Stress Free 1-2-3 Portrait process we take each of our clients through. Some body styles and sessions require a little more customized suggestions.
Remember the objective of this portrait… a beautiful, sensitive portrait which shows the relationships and personalities of each person in the portrait. For this reason, keep the clothing very subtle — but be careful not to dress anyone in an outfit that doesn’t accurately express their personality, or that they do not want to wear. What you want to avoid is having any one person “jump” out of the portrait because he or she is dressed in a lighter or brighter outfit than everyone else. Work for balance harmony and color coordination.
Generally speaking, solid color clothing without contrasting designs, patterns or writing is the way to go. We want your eye to go to your family’s faces in the split second you first see the portrait. We don’t want it to go to your sons’ striped shirt.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”We are wary of all the inexperienced amateurs posing as professional photographers everywhere we look. What can you tell us about your experience and background?” state=”open”] Our chief photographer, who will be your personal photographer should we be the right fit for you, first picked up a camera in 1991 while he was a high school student.
It has been a non-stop passion ever since.
Chris graduated with a college degree in photography from the University of Missouri in 1996. He learned how to photograph a wide range of subjects and styles as a newspaper photojournalist from 1997 until 2003. This background was instrumental in being able to adapt his work to help tell the unique story of each client and their family.
Upon moving back to Kansas City from North Carolina, Chris started Glow Imagery in 2003. Despite some ups and downs and growing pains that are the truth of starting any business he has had a blast every single day. He has been a full-time professional photographer for nearly 20 years now.
Chris is a member in good standing of the Professional Photographers of America.[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Do you work with an assistant?” state=”open”] On certain sessions we do. Typically these are with larger groups or with families that have many generations and people with some special needs.
For the most part the less fussy and complicated we keep things the better it is for families, especially those with small children. This usually means an assistant is not necessary or even sometimes a distraction for your children.[/learn_more]