The Process

Before your session

As a decorative focal point in your home or office, your portrait will be a reflection of your taste, and an expression of your style. Planning your portrait helps us to create an artwork of a personal nature and assure that you receive the results you desire. This is vital to the success of your portrait session. We will explore ideas, and discuss appropriate clothing, accessories, setting and mood to enhance your portrait. You are welcome to schedule a consultation to discuss your options and preview the studio.

Your Session

When preparing your children for their session, it is better to tell them about the fun time they will have playing at Colleen's, rather than talking about having their pictures taken, because very young children don't really understand what that means. We don't want them to equate this with going to their Doctor to get a shot! Please don't coach your children to smile as this often results in gritted teeth and squinted eyes. We prefer to achieve natural, relaxed expressions by engaging the child in conversation and play.

Make sure to bring everything needed for the session to go smoothly - your child's favorite toys to use as props, comfort items like a blankie, bottle to sooth infants, snacks or juice for children, makeup, comb and hairspray for touchups, etc.

If you selected a studio portrait session, the studio will be ready at the time you have reserved. Please do not show up early as the studio may not be ready yet, or we might not be finished with the prior appointment. This means you will have to wait until we finish preparing for your session. When young children are involved they will become bored and tired from the wait and we may end up having to reschedule the appointment. Also, if you are late, it may shorten the amount of time we have to create your images. Hair and makeup should be done so we can start right away. We have a bathroom and mirrors available for clothing changes and any last minute adjustments. After checking your hair and clothing to make sure everything is perfect, we will begin your photography. Sessions last from 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the subject. Newborns, maternity and multiple families require more time. I photograph a variety of poses and expressions so you will have plenty to choose from. Professional lighting and posing techniques are utilized to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing portrait. With children's sessions, it is best to have only one parent in the camera room, as too many people can be distracting and overwhelming for the child.

For location portrait sessions, we will arrive prior to the scheduled time in order to determine the best area in which to photograph and assist you in choosing the appropriate clothing for your session if necessary. We will also set up lighting and camera equipment and may need to move furniture within your home in order to accommodate all the subjects and achieve the best look for your portrait.

After your session

After your session, we'll schedule an appointment for you to view the photographs and place your order, usually one week post session. We present your session images in a fun slideshow at the studio, projected large, which allows you to see all the details, and makes selection and sizing easier. You will have plenty to select from, and we will help you choose the best portraits and print package to fit your needs. It's good to have an idea of where you plan to display your portraits and take some wall measurements prior to this appointment. Don't forget to bring your gift list too.

We schedule one presentation appointment per session to assist you in making selections. Orders are placed at this time, so please be prepared, be sure that all decision-makers attend, and timeliness is important because of the presentation format. We suggest a babysitter for children during your presentation as this meeting takes an hour or two and is not very interesting for them. The appointment is much more productive when you can concentrate on selection and ordering. Please bring only those people who will benefit your selecting process, this is normally just parents and immediate family members. People who come with you to your presentation should be helpful, not distracting. Please call us if you need to reschedule your appointment. Selected favorites are saved for 30 days after a session, then only images which are ordered are archived to CD or DVD.

Our Guarantee

We stand behind our work and guarantee that you will love your portraits! After your presentation, if there is not one image that you are thrilled with, we will schedule another session at no charge or refund your minimum order payment. We also guarantee that you will love the final portraits when you see them or we'll redo or replace them with another pose at no charge. As all products are custom made, there will be no refunds.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about our services. We look forward to a long lasting relationship with your family!