1HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR OUR FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSION?
Coordinating outfits can be a real challenge. Colors that you love and that look good on everyone work best when you can pair those with neutral colors. Try to steer clear of bright “highlighter” colors; white, bright red, bright yellow should be avoided because they are distracting and rarely photograph well, especially in natural light. Finding a color palette and choosing from those colors works best. You can check out my recommended color palettes here
. Accessorize, but don’t go overboard. Small jewelry looks great, but bulky and dangling jewelry can quickly become a distraction. Also, make sure everyone is in the same style of outfit. For example, if one family member is in shorts and flip flops, everyone should dress alike. Wouldn’t it look silly to have one family member dressed for a formal dinner while another is ready for a day at the beach? Small patterns and logos can be difficult to photograph, so try to avoid designs that are “busy”. If you need to tweeze or wax your eyebrows, try to do it at least a day before your session to make sure any redness has time to go away. Don’t forget to wash your hands and clean under your nails too, and while that Chinese food sounds like a great idea, feeling bloated is a major confidence killer. If you need to iron your clothes, go ahead and get that done the night before our session and keep everything hanging nicely in the closet until its time to get ready. If you feel the need to use concealer, remember less is more! Its very easy to fix blemishes in post processing but removing a ton of caked on makeup is much more difficult. Ladies don’t forget to bring makeup for last minute touchups but leave that frosty eyeliner at home! We don’t want your face to reflect flash like a mirror, so try to keep it looking natural. Taking photos on the beach, especially during the summer is almost always accompanied by a breeze, so make sure you have a hairstyle that can hold up to a windy day. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring along a few extra hair ties just in case. For the men of the group, you will want to get a clean shave with a new blade, and don’t forget the aftershave to reduce redness and bumps. You may think a little 5 o’clock shadow won’t show up, but you would be surprised what the camera can capture.
2WHAT SHOULD I DO TO GET READY FOR MY HEADSHOTS?
Drink water. These are photos of your face and we want your skin to be nicely hydrated, so you have that healthy glow. If you plan to change your hairstyle for your photo, get it done about a week before your session. While a fresh cut feels amazing, it looks very unnatural when photographed. Trim your beard the day ahead of your session, or if you prefer the clean-cut look, make sure you have a brand-new blade on your razor. Dress like a professional, whatever that means to you. If you are an office executive, most likely you will want to wear your finest suit. Keep accessories to a minimum and limit or eliminate bold and distracting colors and patterns. A pop of color is always nice, like a nice tie, just make sure it matches your desired look, and keep it simple. No ties with the Tasmanian devil on it, please. Don’t wear a plain white shirt, unless it can be layered underneath a jacket or a sweater (not a turtleneck!) Try to steer clear of short sleeves or showing off too much cleavage. When you do your makeup, just do it as you would on any other day at the office. Too much makeup is easily visible in photos and is much more difficult to correct in post processing. Blemishes can easily be removed, so don’t worry about that.
3HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MY PROPERTY FOR A LISTING SESSION?
Ok, so you have decided to list your property, now what? Follow the simple steps in this section and we can visually take your property to the next level. First, think about the curb appeal. Clean up around the outside of the house, take away dirty trash cans, move cars down the street, and try to remove major stains from the driveway and walkway, use a pressure washer if necessary. IF the property has a lawn, try to get it mowed about 3 days before the shoot, this will give the grass a chance to begin to even out, and loose clippings to disappear. Please clean up after your pets. There is nothing worse than being focused on a shot, taking a step back and looking down to realize I just stepped in a little gift from Fido. Set up your patio furniture, remove the grill cover, and if it happens to be close to a holiday, think about taking down your decorations until after your shoot is over. Check all your lightbulbs and make sure that they are all working, replace burned out bulbs being sure to match them to the other lights on that side of the house. Warm lights with lower luminosity are great for real estate photos, so consider changing them out altogether if need be. Inside the property, clean clutter from counters and children’s rooms, tidy up the bathroom with fresh hand towels a small vase of fresh flowers. Just before your session, turn on all the lights in the house. All of them. Turn off overhead ceiling fans, and if you have pets, please secure them out of the areas being photographed. Also, consider removing valuables and heirlooms before your photos are taken. While most people are honest, remember that these photos will likely be posted on the internet along with your address, so having that 10-carat diamond ring in the jewelry box may not be the best idea. A little bit of effort goes a long way. While every photographer strives to really deliver the most amazing images in every session, this can be difficult if a listing is not properly prepared. It is the discretion of the photographer to reschedule or move forward with an unprepared listing, but keep in mind that extra charges may be incurred. Also, we are photographers, not housekeepers! It is not our job to clean and stage the property for you. I don’t mind moving a rug, or wiping a smudge from a window, but full-scale clean-up is not a service we offer. If a property is not suitable to be photographed, a rescheduling fee will be charged, and we can return at a time when the property is ready.
4YOU CAN JUST PHOTOSHOP THAT OUT, RIGHT?
This is one of my most often asked questions. While editing platforms have advanced considerably over the past few years, there is no magical photoshop action that can fix everything. In reality, making corrective edits is incredibly time consuming and requires the full time and attention of the artist, who can easily spend 3 hours fixing one photo. Due to this fact, we like our customers to know that while we do offer minor retouching to our photos included in all our editing, major corrective actions will be discussed and charged on a case by case basis. Things like making you look skinnier, or changing backgrounds are considered major corrective actions. With regards to editing real estate photos, due to legal and ethical reasons, very minimal retouching is done to property listing photos. Unfortunately, there is no way we can remove unwanted features or damage from photos, as this could lead to perspective buyers seeing a photo that does not accurately depict the property.
5HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY PHOTOS?
We have multiple delivery options for your photos, by far the most popular is digital delivery through our private online gallery. We will send you a link once your gallery is live, and you are taken directly to a private, password protected gallery. From here you can view and order prints, invite others to view your gallery, and more. We can send you a Dropbox upload if you prefer, either of these options are included in your session price. If you would like a customized USB or photo CD, they can be ordered for $20.
6WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
I use professional grade full frame Nikon DSLR cameras and lenses, DJI Mavic drones, and lots of other high-quality lighting and support equipment. When we create video, cameras are mounted on the Zhiyun Crane handheld 3 axis gimbal system, and we capture crystal clear audio with Rode microphones.
7DO YOU HAVE A DRONE LICENSE?
Yes. I have a current Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA under Part 107. Wandering Surfer Studios is fully licensed and insured to conduct drone operations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
8WILL OUR PHOTOS BE WATERMARKED?
No. Once you purchase your photos, they are yours. The only time you will see a watermark on your photos is when you are previewing your gallery online. This is to protect our hard work against illegal downloads. Once you as the client download or purchase your photos, all watermarks are removed, and you are left with beautiful, high resolution images that you can post or print over and over for years to come!
9WHAT METHODS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
We gladly accept cash, credit card, and Venmo payments. Please remember that your balance must be paid in full at the time of your photo session. At this time, we are not able to offer a “buy now, pay later” option.
10CAN WE HAVE THE RAW FILES?
Unfortunately, no. We do not release any raw files to clients. Only the best images are selected from your session and hand edited to create your final gallery. You wouldn’t ask your chef to bring out a plate of raw ingredients to your table, so why ask your photographer to part with his raw photos?
11CAN I EDIT THE PHOTOS MYSELF?
Sorry, but no you may not. This may seem a bit confusing, but even though you have paid for these photos, Wandering Surfer Studios still owns the copyright to the final images. We have spent years developing a particular style, which is the reason you hired us in the first place. Changing the image or adding filters is a violation of copyright regulations. Please feel free to share your photos across all social media platforms and with all your family and friends but remember that these images reflect our brand and style as artists, and preset filters may seem cool, but they destroy all the hard work that went into perfecting your photos.
12WHAT IF I NEED TO RESCHEDULE?
We understand that life gets in the way sometimes. If you need to reschedule your session, just give us a call at least 48 hours ahead of your scheduled session at (843) 303-3883 and we will move your session for you at no charge. If you decide to cancel your session for any reason, please keep in mind that your deposit is non-refundable. The only exception to this would be a weather-related cancellation, in which case we will refund your deposit of there is no way to complete or reschedule your session due to inclement weather.