How did you get into photography?
As a young girl, I loved to look through my grandmother's printed photo albums while visiting her, documenting the family shenanigans throughout the ages. I started shooting on my own Canon 35mm film camera when I was 12, and started keeping albums of my own. This was before the days of cell phones (I had my first cell phone as a freshman in college, but we didn't yet have camera phones still for awhile) or Facebook.
Later, in college, I studied digital photography. In 2014, I knew I wanted to be a professional photographer and started my photography business. But, my husband of ten years was diagnosed with cirrhosis and congestive heart failure, and I put things on hold.
After he passed away, I knew more than ever before that I had to dedicate my life to capturing and preserving life's most precious moments for people. I do it as naturally yet in as beautiful a way as possible, so they can not only remember these milestones in their lives and who they are as people in these moments, remembering and passing down memories to their loved ones for the ages, but, I also want my clients to be proud to hang these moments in their home as works of art.
Other than raising my two children, nothing is more fulfilling and rewarding to me than being a photojournalistic wedding photographer and candid engagement and family photographer, capturing real memories for people and their loved ones to be able to cherish for their lifetimes and beyond.
Where are you located? How far do you travel? Is there a travel fee?
Though I grew up in San Diego county, after my husband passed I moved to be closer to my sister and her family, to the town of Pollock Pines in the beautiful California Sierras, in El Dorado County. I'm located close to highway 50, about half-way between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. Since I've only lived here in Northern California since 2016 after spending all my life in SoCal, one of my favorite things to do is travel all over this northern half of our state, as well as western Nevada. This is one of the great joys of being a professional photographer - I get to shoot in Yosemite, on the coast of the Bay Area and the Redwoods, up near Mt Shasta, over the hill at Lake Tahoe - anywhere that I can go to see more of this beautiful state, I'm absolutely thrilled.
Up to 150 miles round-trip from my studio in Pollock Pines, CA, is included in the price of my services, and from there I charge $.65 per mile round-trip for the cost of travel and the additional childcare required for travelling, plus I ask that clients reimburse any parking, location permit and toll bridge fees that will be charged, as those are not calculated into the pricing of my packages.
What do you charge?
My base rate begins at $250 per hour of shooting, starting with one hour minimum, but every package of over an hour of shooting contains discounts, and I have wedding collections that contain even greater discounts. I do also offer mini sessions from 15 to 30 minutes at various times of the year, usually around holidays. You can join my mailing list on my CONTACT / INVEST page to be notified by email about upcoming mini sessions and other special promotions.
What is included in the price?
I shoot continuously as a photojournalist, documenting all of your natural and candid moments, capturing an average 1,000 images per hour in burst mode (although for mini sessions that are 15 to 30 minutes, I still capture an average of 1,000 images in that short time). I also guide clients in candid portraits, also known as "lifestyle photography," and I always capture details as art pieces to compliment your natural moments and portraits to tell even more of your beautiful story.
I don't "limit" the amount of images I provide, nor do I charge extra for digital downloads of the images. My team culls through your thousands of images to get to the best hundreds, which are then edited for exposure and color correction and uploaded in high resolution to your shareable online gallery for .jpg download. You and your guests are welcome to download all of your images from there, free of charge. You and your guests can also purchase a wide variety of prints (premium luster, matte, canvas, metal, mounted and more in all sizes) and stationery (holiday cards, invitations, and more) directly from your online gallery, fulfilled by Pixieset. You have the opportunity to mark any photos private that you don't want to be seen by the public or your guests, and you also can create favorites lists to decide which photos you would like to purchase as prints.
Do you offer extensive retouching?
Yes. Extensive retouching is not done on images automatically, but clients can order extensive retouching on any image for $30 per image.
What equipment do you use?
After 25 years of being a photographer, I've used a multitude of camera bodies, lenses, lighting and other equipment over the years, but as a photojournalist, I've honed in what's necessary for me to be able to capture the action quickly and efficiently, and leaving the smallest foot print possible so that I can blend in unseen and not be a part of the show. So, today, I shoot on two bodies at all times, which are currently two Canon 5D Mark III's. I use as much natural light as possible, but I use two on-camera Canon 600 EX-RT Speedlites and a MagMod diffuser system for fill and bounce light when needed. My lenses are the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L for portraits, ceremonies and receptions; the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L for wedding prep, ceremonies, larger group portraits and receptions; and the Canon 100mm macro f/2.8L for details, wedding prep, and portraits.
Although I don't currently have a prime lens wider than 2.8, as a seasoned photographer, I use light, composition, and bokeh to create the most stunning photographs telling your true story that I can.
How many sessions and weddings have you photographed?
As of April 2020, since starting my full-time business officially in October 2017, I've shot 153 sessions / events and 85 weddings. All of my weddings and sessions can be viewed by clicking through my GALLERIES. I have about 30 weddings coming up still for 2020, and 2021 is booking now!
What is your turnaround time for images?
My team offers a turnaround of 3 business days for culling and editing images, but I go through each gallery myself as well for any fine touches and to make sure my team doesn't miss any important images, which takes another business day. Due to my schedule as a single-mom-business owner working an average of 3 business days a week other than shoots, and with a busy shooting season, I do ask that clients allow up to four weeks for session gallery delivery and up to eight weeks for wedding gallery delivery. This is also due to fulfilling many other items such as slideshows, photobooks, and more. However, I do my best to deliver galleries as quickly as possible, and I do offer rush options that can be purchased (see your contract for details).
You use a contract?
Yes; I use a secure online Adobe e-sign contract. I keep my contract updated regularly, but you are welcome to request a sample contract prior to booking; just be sure to check your official contract for any changes once you receive it after booking officially by paying your deposit or session fee using my CONTACT / INVEST page.
I can book online?
Yes; I use an online booking system for all bookings, so that once a client pays their wedding deposit or session fee, choosing their date and time on my booking calendar, that date and time is immediately blocked and no other client can book it.
How much is the wedding deposit to secure our wedding date with you?
If you are eloping, elopements are reserved with payment in full up front for $600 for 3 hours of elopement coverage. For weddings of 6 hours or more, you can reserve an à la carte coverage option (6-8-10 hours) for $250, which is a portion of the overall price, with your remaining balance, along with any package add-ons, due 30 days prior to your wedding date. You can reserve a complete Wedding Collection (Silver - 6 hours, Gold - 8 hours, or Diamond - 10 hours), which save you a great deal on a bundle of items and services, for $500. Please visit my CONTACT / INVEST page to click or tap each coverage or Collection option to read the full description of what is included. Deposits can be paid by clicking or tapping your desired coverage or Collection option, choosing your date and start time (the start time for weddings can change at a later date if needed), and paying your deposit securely via PayPal.
You can also join my mailing list on my CONTACT / INVEST page and watch out for promotions for an even bigger discount!
You have so much experience and your images are amazing - why are you so much cheaper than other photographers?
I love answering this question. There are two main reasons why my prices are so competitive: (1.) Higher quality and lower prices means more bookings with less advertising / marketing costs, and (2.) I'm a faith-based photographer who loves to serve those in need in the community. My clients are real, down-to-earth folks who can't or even who simply just don't want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on their wedding - but their wedding should still be amazing and captured beautifully nonetheless.
Do you have any "hidden fees"?
I do want clients to be aware that a print release is not included in their low package price; my prices are low upfront, but I offer a wide variety of print options that can then be purchased from your online gallery (and my Wedding Collections do also include print credits). You can preview the cost and styles of prints by visiting my GALLERIES page and choosing any gallery you see; once you are inside a gallery as a Guest, simply click or tap the shopping cart icon at the top right of any photo to check out the online print store.
If you will wanting to be purchasing your prints at an outside print lab, you can purchase a separate session print release for $75 and/or a wedding/event print release for $150. Some photographers offer print releases "free of charge" within their packages, but they then add the cost of prints to your package price to offset their loss of profits from you purchasing your prints elsewhere.
I would love to chat with you! Do you offer free consultations?
I do. Right now, because of the stay-at-home mandate due to COVID-19, I'm conducting consultations via phone, or preferably, via FaceTime, Skype, or Messenger video call.
I can't wait to chat with you about your special day!
I'd like to book a photography session for family photos - can I just do that now online?
Yep! Sessions are easy to book. Simply go to my CONTACT / INVEST page, click on the session option, choose your desired start time and date on my calendar (an hour before sunset is best), and you're booked! I'll send a simple session contract to the email address you provide on your booking form within three business days to complete your booking.
Need a session immediately? That's fine, too! Sessions can be booked as late as 24 hours in advance.
Note: During the stay-at-home mandate due to COVID-19, however, all sessions have been cancelled until further notice. Sessions will resume when the stay-at-home mandate is lifted. If your session was cancelled due to COVID-19, please contact me when the mandate is lifted to reschedule your session.
Thanks and stay safe!