Frequently Asked Questions


Why hire a pro?

Anyone can take a picture these days... everyone has a camera, or at the least, a camera phone. But there is a difference... let me tell you why.

I can create and capture a moment that you'll be able to cherish for years to come. To create a superb photograph, a pro knows where to go for great backgrounds and what time of the day to go there for the most flattering light. A pro understands complicated camera functions, exposure settings, and how to best use their camera accessories and off camera lighting. And in those fleeting moments when the light is just right, and the expression or pose is angled just perfectly, a pro must have the eye to compose and the quick reflexes to get the shot. Afterwards, a pro enhances the images using professional photo editing software. Often there is so much to this craft that is overlooked because our market has over-saturated in the digital age. But it's the details in photography that are truly important, and an equal understanding of technical and visual aspects. There are no shortcuts to understanding exposure, composition, and depth of field - this understanding comes with education and experience. 

I learned these skills and many more at the acclaimed Savannah College of Art and Design, and have honed my skills over 10 years of professional photography experience. I have invested myself and my resources in camera and studio equipment, software, and continued learning... all because of my love for photography. Click here to learn more about my experience...

How do I reserve a date for a photo session?
Send me an email or give me a call! I will get back to you ASAP, usually within 2 business days.

To assist with booking your session, let me know what type of session you are interested in, a target date and/or time-frame, a location if you have one in mind, and any other details that you feel may be of interest. Also, please let me know your contact information (full name, email, phone, and mailing address). We will settle on the details by phone and/or email and I will write up and deliver your contract for review. When I receive a signed copy of your contract and your non-refundable deposit, your date is saved!

Why is my deposit non-refundable?
Not only does planning go into your session, but in most instances I block off your scheduled date so that I can focus on you completely.  I also make a point of booking a maximum number of shoots in one week, one month, etc., to ensure good communication and quality customer service to each of my clients. If you cancel, I have often do not have the time to book another session for your date+time.

If you need to postpone or reschedule your session, please let me know as soon as possible and we will arrange alternative plans.

Due to the unpredictability of outdoor conditions, weather related cancellations are an exception. If your session is outdoors and we have to cancel due to bad weather, we will coordinate a new date for your session and your deposit will roll-over to the new date.

How can I submit payment?
All sessions come with a private gallery, which allows you to purchase prints and other products online via credit card payment.

Portrait Packages for individuals and families can be submitted directly to me so that I can make sure each one of your prints are cropped aesthetically for the various print-size-ratios (in fact, we can do this together if you wish!).

Deposits, session fees, and/or packages can be payed via personal check (made out to "Kelly Heck" - bounced checks are subject to a $35 processing fee) or  can be submitted conveniently via PayPal. Upon your request, I would be happy to generate a PayPal Invoice. PayPal accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card.

Do you offer consultations?
In some instances I will ask to have a consultation, but most often we can arrange your session together by phone and email. For weddings, I do request a consultation.


How early should I arrive for my session?
The last thing I want is for you to be stressed. We also don’t want to jump right in and get to work. Give yourself a little extra time – maybe 15 or 20 minutes, to make sure you are early and we can chat a little and lay out any wardrobe changes or props that you want to work with. If you anticipate being more than 15 minutes late, please call to ensure we will still have time for your full session. If you are late I cannot guarantee availability for the full session time.

What do we do if it’s a bad day outside for an outdoor session?
The only bad day to a photographer is a rainy day! Cloudy or overcast lighting is excellent for photography, so do not be dismayed if you wake up to a gray sky. Diffused light from gray and cloudy skies lays beautifully over the curvature of the face and body, reducing or eliminating harsh shadows. A beautiful sunny day has it's benefits too – warm sunlight on the right angles can create beautiful glowing effects, and it also heightens the vibrancy of colors. If we find the weather is bad or questionable, we will discuss rescheduling. And no worries about your deposit – it will be carried over to your re-booked session.

Do you have any tips for a portrait session?

  • (FOR HS SENIORS) Bring your class ring.
  • Eat before your session – not too much but to keep you energized.
  • Avoid Sun Burn!
  • GIRLS: Avoid tan lines over the summer, and bring your favorite lip gloss or Chap Stick to add a little glimmer to your lips.
  • BOYS: Do not wear a hat before your session – it will flatten your hair and leave indentations in your skin.

Tips for Children

  • Bring some toys they love, depending on their age. If they have a favorite stuffed animal that they can’t leave the house without, but you don’t want it in the pictures, bring them along anyway. It will help us avoid tears and we can find ways to hide them.
  • We’re looking for laughs, joy, and big smiles! I am not a traditional photographer – I will not tell your child to sit up straight and turn this way or that. We’re going to have fun!
  • It’s inevitable – children get upset and they cry. We’ll make the most of your photo shoot either way. Likely we will have plenty of time to turn that frown upside down, and you’ll leave with pictures of both tears and smiles! Just in case, bring some tissues to clean up.

What should I wear?
Plan to wear something timeless, avoiding logos or branded shirts. Simple outfits of medium and dark tones are best to highlight your face. Bright colors can be fun too, but consider your background when selecting colors. Make sure you bring some choices that mom and dad will approve of as well. Here are some tips:

  • Black is slimming.
  • Long sleeve and quarter sleeve shirts look best. Plain T's are also good.
  • Bring shoe choices. If we are outdoors, be cautious about heels and bring some walking shoes too.
  • GIRLS, wear flesh colored undergarments, and bring a strapless bra just in case we need it.

If you are worried about what to wear, bring a few options – I’m always happy to offer my input.

What should I AVOID wearing?

  • Avoid baggy clothes.
  • Avoid light colors, such as white or beige that wash out your face.
  • Strapless and spaghetti strapped shirts can add weight and take the eye away from the face.
  • Avoid stripes, plaids, and other bold prints that draw attention away from you.
  • Avoid seasonal attire.

What should I bring?
HS Seniors - don’t forget your class ring! Otherwise, you can bring whatever props you wish… an instrument, sporting equipment, uniforms, accessories, or anything else that shows off your interests and hobbies. Let me know about your props before your session!

What types of settings does Carroll County Maryland and surrounding communities have to offer?
Carroll County and the surrounding areas offer an abundance of natural settings that are vibrant and full of nature. There are also many quaint towns where it’s always easy to find a variety of interesting textures and backdrops…

  • Multiple Wineries
  • Barns + Farms + Fields
  • Creeks + Streams
  • Gettysburg Battlefield + Devil’s Den
  • Wooded Forests
  • Historical Main Streets

Should I get my hair cut?
You should avoid changing your hairstyle or having a hair cut done right before a shoot. If you want a fresh cut, schedule an appointment with your hair dresser at least one week before your photo session. A cut 1 or more weeks old looks more natural.  You may want to bring your hair products, such has hairspray, a brush, and a comb, for minor touch-ups. Men: come to your shoot with a fresh shave to make mom happy! And make sure your beard, mustache, and any other facial hair is trimmed to your liking. Men want to avoid fresh cuts too – buzzed hairlines can reveal tan lines.

Should girls and women do anything special with their makeup?
Sometimes a little extra makeup is good since makeup can be slightly washed out in photography. Just be careful not to overdo your makeup because we don’t want your skin to look unnatural. Please bring your makeup for touch-ups.

Should girls and women get their nails done?
NO POLISH is better than chipped finger nails and toe nails, so take it off or redo your paint job for your photo shoot please! It will make a big difference. I suggest you pick a more natural color or a fresh clear coat.


Ack, I have a zit! Do you retouch images?
It doesn’t matter what age you are, this happens to EVERYONE and it sucks. However, YOU don’t have to worry about this on your photo day. All shoots come with basic retouching. If you have an unfortunate instance of a zit or scratch or something else you are insecure about, I’ll be retouching your skin lightly.

If you think you will require more advanced retouching, please let me know about your needs. Braces, sun tan lines, and sun sensitive lenses, for example, would require advanced retouching.

What is the difference between "EDITING" and "RETOUCHING"?

Editing is the process of sorting through a set of images to pick out the best of the best. You will see at your shoot that in one pose, I take numerous pictures from different distances and angles, and sometimes with different lighting. Often this is experimentation to see which combination flatters the subject best. Editing images down to the best makes your final selection process much easier.

Retouching is the process of enhancing an image – light balance, color balance, and correcting skin imperfections, for example.

What is the difference between an E-Surface, Fuji Pearl, and Black & White print?

  • E-Surface Paper offers accurate color, life-like skin tones, archival quality, and a traditional photo finish.
  • Fuji Pearl Paper uses a patented combination of film and laminate layers resulting in a striking metallic shine. Its ultra-bright backgrounds and smooth photo finish will make your special moments last a lifetime.
  • Black & White allows you to convert any color image to black and white!

How large of a print can I purchase?
Pictures can be purchased in a variety of sizes! Your shopping options under CLIENT ACCESS will note whether your picture is large enough for specific prints. Often you should have no problem creating 11x14", 16x20", and other large format prints.

In my online gallery, the images have a watermark on them, will that be in my prints?
No, watermarks will not be included in your print and product orders.

How soon after the photography session can I expect to see my images?
Portrait session photographs will be ready for viewing 3-4 weeks following your session. Wedding photographs will be ready for viewing 6-8 weeks after your event date. Other types of event coverage will be ready 2-3 weeks following your event date. All sessions will be available for private viewing online, with optional purchasing of prints and many other fun products - so feel welcome to share your access code with friends and family too!

Are your photography packages customizable?
Yes. I offer pre-established photography packages for one-on-one sessions and family sessions that aim to bundle the most popular products, however, you are welcome to add to the packages via our a la carte pricing. And if you want to talk about a customizing a package, please let me know what what you wish to change so that I can provide you with custom pricing. Please contact me to request an estimate.

Who does your printing?
I use only professional vendors that provide high quality products made with archival materials. That means your final product will not only look amazing, but it will last a lifetime!

MINI Session FAQ's

What is a mini session?
A mini session is a compact photo session on a specific date and at a specific location. The biggest benefit of a mini session is a reduced cost. And since the setting is repeated among the group, you will also have a great selection of images to choose from because props, lighting, and poses have already been planned! Often a mini session is centered around a theme, like an upcoming holiday. Mini sessions are also a great way to give a photographer a try, to see if you like their style and flow and final product. Maybe you’ll decide to book a full session next time!

Should I consider a full session instead of a mini?
A full session offers more time, which gives you the opportunity for clothing changes to change your setting, sometimes even change your location. The full session is also at a location of your choosing, a date and time of your choosing. Full sessions also have the option to pair with a package for savings. Both Mini Session and Full Sessions have wonderful benefits. We love return clients, so please feel welcome to try both!

How do I book a mini session?
If you are available for the date, and want to reserve a session time, please contact me! I will send you details and let you know of the available session times. Please let me know your top three choice time slots. Session times will be arranged 1 to 2 weeks before the Mini Date, and you will be informed by email or phone of your time. I’ll remind you a couple days before the Mini Date too. Do keep in mind that a time slot will not be saved until your $125 session fee is paid in full. 

TIPS for your MINI Session

  • Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early for your session. Sessions are booked back to back – unfortunately if you are late, I may not be able to give you the full 20 minute session.
  • Plan to wear one clothing option. If you want different looks, bring different accessories!