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Why Hopscotch and Dandelions?

If you have arrived here, it is because you are looking for something that you can’t get in a department store. My approach to photography is to capture the story of the moment and the lifestyle of your family. It is through my intuitive eye that I capture the split seconds which become treasures. The story of the day. The story of your family. The story of the love you share. I delight in spending time with families and think of this as a great honor. Through humor and warmth, I set a tone for your session that will have you smiling even after your session is over.

My clients leave happy and utterly exhausted. It’s a fun filled, energy zapping day. But so worth it.

How Do I Book a Session?

When you contact me, we can discuss my availability as well as what i can offer you as your photographer. I will then email you a client agreement. You then read, sign, and return the agreement with your session payment.

Please keep in mind, I only shoot two weekends per month, and appointments often book weeks in advance.

What locations are available?

I typically prefer coming to clients’ homes, but I will travel anywhere within Monroe County and love exploring new places.  Rochester, NY is home to many beautiful parks, beaches, buildings, and more. You can choose an outdoor location, or I can suggest one based on your taste and preferences. We may be limited to certain locations if your session will incorporate an elaborate set with many props, due to the fact that we need easy access to roads and parking. Bear in mind I can also come to your home. For locations outside Monroe County I will charge a traveling fee which starts at $50.

How many pictures do you take?

Because this is my art, it is important to realize that I don’t get caught up on a specific number of shots. I thoughtfully compose my shots paying close attention to every last detail. The final gallery for each client for most sessions is 20 images. I do not edit or enhance every picture I take; I select only the best using my careful eye, and that is what I present to you when I am completely satisfied with it.

When and how do we get our pictures?

A sneak peak (if you have agreed to the model release in your client agreement) will be provided within a few days of your session via Facebook to my hopscotch and dandelions facebook page. Within 5-7 days of your session, you will receive 7 image “Infinite Gallery App” that you can view on a smart phone or iPad device. Within three weeks of your session, your full online 20 image private gallery will be finished which can be downloaded.

I use a premium online photography site for you to view and purchase your images. When I have finished editing, I will notify you via email that your online gallery is ready. For a seven day period you can have unlimited access to your password protected gallery and slideshow. You will need to download your images during this time and if you choose to order prints you may do so.

Prints must be ordered before the 7 day period expires. You can extend your gallery for a fee of $10 a day up to 30 days from your session, payable thru a paypal invoice I will send to you upon request. After thirty days your gallery is deleted to make room for new families’ pictures. I am not able to keep images indefinitely due to storage costs and limits.

Note about cropping: Due to the nature of photography, some images will need to be cropped  at the time of printing. Some portions at the edges of your images may be lost in this process, which is a result of aspect ratio. It is the client’s responsibility to crop the image to the size of the print being ordered. No refunds are given on prints due to dissatisfaction with your cropping. I will have a look when they come to me for approval, but I can’t guarantee I will catch every oops. Please crop carefully.

What are “Edited Photographs”?

Using advanced computer software and my creativity, I am able to artistically enhance images and provide higher quality photographs. I creatively crop images, and apply subtle light-handed editing to even-out skin tone, whiten teeth, and remove blemishes, thus truly bringing out the best in your photos. I also may add effects to your photos such as black and white, an aged/vintage look, and textures, as I see fit. Generally speaking if there is a permanent mark (scar, freckle, birthmark, etc. I leave it as is unless the client specifically requests it be removed.

Check my posted images for examples of my work. Due to the amount of time and effort spent on my images, it is not possible for you to request special editing after I have presented your gallery. “Can I see this in black and white?” Well, only if I’ve edited it and presented it to you that way. Each image is treated as an individual piece of art, and I may spend as long as 30-60 minutes or more editing a picture until I am satisfied with the results.

I do not provide unedited images to clients. Images that are not edited are discarded during the editing and culling process.

What is a “Limited Copyright Release”?

A limited copyright release is a legally binding statement that protects my work. If you purchase a photo CD or digital downloads from my Zenfolio store, you agree to follow the terms of the release. My clients can print unlimited quantities of pictures in unlimited sizes, at any printer they choose, and on any material (canvas, clothing, cake, etc. in addition to having regular prints made). What my clients can’t do is enter my photos in contests, pass work off as their own, or share digital images without my watermark.

What if it rains?

 We will reschedule for a better day. If we can’t agree on a new date within a reasonable time, a refund will be given.

What If We Have to Cancel? 

You can cancel and get a partial refund as long as I have 14 days notice. I will return 50% of your deposit with 14 days notice or more. Understand that while your session was being held, other were turned away. After you reserved your session, I would have already begun to invest time, effort and creativity before even picking up my camera. With less than 14 days notice, no refunds will be given. Being a mom I understand that sick kids and emergencies happen. We can reschedule with as little as 24 hours notice, but rescheduled sessions are typically held during the week and are subject to availability.

What If We’re Not Satisfied With the Pictures?

Honestly, that doesn’t happen with my clients. Please take your time to look through my photo galleries and make sure you like my style  before you even contact me. I am not able to refund based on “artistic differences”. If my camera malfunctions or I have a computer problem that prevents me from providing you with pictures, then a full refund will be issued or the shoot will be rescheduled. If you’re hiring me, you’re hiring my eye, my style, my creative vision, my silly personality, my bursts of brainstorming emails asking things like, “do you have access to worn out baseballs?”, and my excitement over your session to which I become very attached and invested.

What Else Do We Need to Consider?

I always suggest avoiding nap times to keep little ones happy, and bringing plenty of snack and drinks for the whole family. You will get thirsty, and there is a lot of down time when I’m taking the individual shots. If you suggest a location that I am not familiar with, I may need to visit to get a feel for the lighting. I  avoid the harsh light of midday sun, so finding ample shade or scheduling in the evening is necessary for the best photographs. I try to remember bug spray just in case, it tends to get buggy during the hours I shoot. And, if you have any allergies or objections to my use of certain foods or candy props, please let me know. I occasionally use fruit, snack items like cookies or lollipops during a shoot.

By the way, here’s a little hint: some of my best pictures of kids have been taken when the parents walked away and let us play for a bit. That also provides moms and dads with surprises when they see the gallery for the first time.

I’m not a “look at the camera and say cheese” photographer. In fact I say very little that has to do with posing at all. I make conversation, I call a child’s name, and I get into the most ridiculous and silly positions necessary to capture the moment. I run, crawl, stand on ladders, lay on the ground, peek around trees, and often…wait. While i’m looking through my view finder I’m thinking of a million different things all at once- light, exposure, composition, expression, mood, timing. I’m in no hurry to rush a shy reserved toddler into forced smiles. I will tell parents to relax, to hang back, to stay behind me, not to worry about smiles. I want the natural ones that come from inside.  I don’t rush my sessions, which is why they often run upwards of 3 hours long. Sometimes more!

How do you store and dispose of your image files?

Your online gallery is visible for 7 days from when the gallery is complete and you need to purchase during this time. I do not burn CD’s of my files. After 30 days all image files are deleted from my online store. While your photos are being edited and prior to uploading to my store, all photos are backed up to my external hard drive. After your gallery is online, all images not used are deleted. Edited images are kept for up to 30 days after gallery expiration on my external harddrive. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from ordering (serious illness, death in the family, urgent matters) please contact me and we will work something out. If you are going on vacation or will be otherwise away from a computer and prefer I wait to post your gallery, please let me know ahead of time. 

Last but not least…

Let’s have fun. Fun is the theme of your session. We won’t fuss over a stray hair or perfect smiles. We won’t fuss over sitting still or looking at the camera. Relax, and come to the session ready to have a good time. I’ll do all the work. you just enjoy your family.

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