Your Portrait Experience
I want you to have a fantastic experience when you choose Copperlight Studio for your family's films or portraits. To me, that means going beyond showing up the day of your session and just emailing you the digital files when it's over.
I strive to provide a full-service experience throughout the time we work together. I want you feel at ease in preparing for our session together. I want the actual session to run smoothly and be enjoyable (or as close as we can get for dads). And I want you to conclude with beautiful images, not only for you to share with friends and family online, but also to fill the walls of your home. I want your children to walk by their portraits on your wall, or sit on the couch with you and flip through the album from last year.
Or, if you choose to go the film route instead (which I wish everyone would, they are my favorite thing), I hope you will watch that short film from time to time, and come to see how valuable that investment has come to be once time has passed.
Here is an overview of the whole process:
Scoping out your Options
Let's be realistic, everyone is a "photographer" these days. There are all kinds of options. It's overwhelming, to say the least. You're considering so many factors at this step.
Does this person have ample experience? Will they know how to deal with my crazy kid(s), or grumpy husband? Do they know how to pose us in a flattering way? Do they have high technical skill, to ensure our photos are sharp, colored correctly, edited flawlessly, and delivered simply?
These are all important considerations in order to ensure you are completely happy with the outcome of your family's portraits.
Okay, so you did some research, and you're happy with what you see here at Copperlight Studio. After all, Chelsy has been a photographer for over 10 years. She has crazy kids and a grumpy husband to drag to their own photo sessions, so she is no stranger to the photo-day stress that can happen. Plus, she's a little chunky, and therefore understands the importance of flattering poses. She has continually invested her photography education, so she is constantly improving her craft. And, she loves getting to make memories for families.
Great! So, you email her at email@example.com, or call (she has little ones, so it might be loud), or text her at 765-716-0390. You guys go over the basics: What kind of film or portraits you want, when you need them by, and any other primary considerations.
Chelsy will collect your info and create a custom quote with package options for your session. You can accept the quote, sign the contract, and pay the invoice online to book your session. If you would prefer to pay with cash or check instead, that's fine too! Just let her know.
Planning your Session
Now that you've booked your session, the planning begins. Chelsy will schedule the day and time of your shoot with you, which is usually 1-2 hours prior to sunset. This is referred to as the “golden hour” because of the great backlighting on the subject (that’s you!), and the warm, buttery tones that sunset brings. Sometimes, especially in the summer, it can be a little late, cutting into bedtime for little ones. But, it’s so worth it.
This is also the time for Chelsy to get a more specific idea of what you are looking to get out of your session together. She will send you a questionnaire asking things like: What is your favorite feature of your child(ren)? What are some fun traditions your family does together? Do you need photos for grandma? Are you hoping to fill the blank spot above your fireplace with a new picture of the family? Do you want an album to show guests and grandkids?
Choosing your Outfits
This is probably the hardest part. You want something that looks nice, but still has a casual feel to it. But, you don't live in a magazine. What if you don't know what looks good in pictures?
Worry not. Copperlight Studio offers wardrobe styling, if you're looking to get some assistance. This is a complementary service, to help ease the stress of buying and choosing clothing for your family. You likely have a lot of great pieces already, and just need a few things to tie it all together.
You can also check out What to Wear for fantastic tips on styling your family outfits for your session. Plus, you can always shoot Chelsy a text with some pictures of your outfits, and get some input from your photographer. After all, you're in this process together!
The day has finally come, and your family is ready for the session. The weather is looking great, and your kids have been bribed. It's go time!
Maybe things aren't going perfectly to plan though. Dad might be a little grumpy, or your little one might have fallen asleep off-schedule on the day you needed naptime most. Of course!
It's all gonna be okay. Once you arrive at your session, Chelsy will do a quick chat to iron out last-minute details. Little ones often need time to warm up to a stranger with a big camera, and dads sometimes need to hear, "I know this isn't you favorite day, but it's worth it in the end. Thanks for doing this for your family."
The goal is gorgeous portraits, but you should also cherish the time together with your family. Try to relax and enjoy each other. Don't worry if little ones aren't doing exactly what you think they're supposed to. You aren't in a magazine, remember? Chelsy wants to capture your unique family, which means letting go. So, let your family breathe and unfold into what life really looks like. This often leads to the best images, because it accurately portrays your family right now.
Enjoying the Break
You did it! The hardest part is finished and now, you get to relax! Right now, Chelsy is sorting through all of your images, taking out the blinky eyes and needless duplicates, and compiling a cohesive gallery for you to choose your products and images from.
This part usually takes about a week. When Chelsy is finished, she will contact you and schedule your ordering session. You can't wait to see them, because you don't know what those pictures look like yet. The anticipation is high, but you might be a little worried they aren't as great as you have been hoping. No worries, Chelsy wants you to have gorgeous images that you are thrilled with. Your satisfaction is her ultimate goal.
Ordering your Art
All that anticipation is finally over. You get to see your images! There are beautiful images of your family together, and also individual portraits of your sweet babies, maybe even a shot of you and your man (when was the last time that happened?). This can be a little overwhelming. How are you going to choose?
Copperlight offers a number of ways to enjoy your portraits. For example:
Wall art to hang in your home - These come in canvas, metal, or wood prints, and really make your home feel cozy and full of love.
Albums to flip through together - Theses are a client favorite, especially with a mini companion album, great for grandparents or kids leaving home.
Digital images - Obviously everyone loves these, because they can be shared with so many over social media and with people far away. But, you don't want to solely rely on Facebook to keep your images safe, so Copperlight encourages clients to backup digital files in multiple places, because technology changes rapidly and digital copies can be lost so easily.
Family film to share - This is Chelsy's personal favorite. What better way to remember your family than your own personal movie?
That is why Copperlight offers the Create Your Own Collection, to give you a variety of ways to enjoy your portraits for years to come.
Waiting on the Magic
You've ordered your products, and are so excited to see the finished product. You're almost to the end of the journey, and your part is done. Chelsy is putting the final touches on all of your portraits, retouching them and polishing them to perfection.
This usually takes about 2 weeks, and when everything is ready, Chelsy will email you with a link to your digital images. Your products will then be ordered, and will be delivered to you. If you need help installing wall art in your home, Copperlight has partnered with a local installer, Ray Design Co., to provide that service.
Enjoying your Memories
Hooray! Your beautiful family portraits are complete! You have those new canvases up in your living room, and you can't stop looking at them. Or maybe you just gave your mom that mini album that matches yours. Your kids keep asking to watch your family film.
You posted the pictures on Facebook/ Instagram too. Everybody keeps gushing over your beautiful family. They can't believe how quickly your kids are growing. Honestly, you can't either. That's why you chose to capture this time before it's too late. Good thinking.
Sharing the Love
Hopefully, you loved your images so much, you want to share with your friends and family the awesome photographer you used. Did you know Copperlight Studio has a referral program?
That means, for every friend you refer (that books a session), you get $50 towards your next session. Hooray!