Kelly Heck Photography | FAQ's - Photo Session Questions

Frequently Asked Questions




Why hire a professional photographer?

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

When words fail to tell your story, a professional can artistically compose a stunning image with intent, balance, and design in mind.

When the conditions are challenging, a professional has the technical ability, speed, and accuracy to light and time their compositions. 

To create a superb photograph, a professional photographer knows where to go for great backgrounds and what time of the day to go there for the most flattering light. A professional 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 professional must have the eye to compose and the quick reflexes to get the shot. A professional enhances the photographs 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... the stages before, during and after your photo shoot are all critical to the final product. 


Do you have insurance?

Yes, yes, yes!


How do I reserve a date for a photo session?

To book a date for your photo session, I require a signed contract and a non-refundable date reservation fee.


Why is my date reservation fee non-refundable?

When a session is cancelled because a client changed their mind, I likely do not have the time to book another session for your date+time. When a session is booked, I block off that date and time slot, often times the whole date is reserved just for that particular client. This means a cancellation results in a significant loss of income.

If you need to postpone or reschedule your session, please let me know as soon as possible and we will arrange alternative plans. Often times we can work it out without the need for an additional date reservation fee.

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


How can I submit payment?

After signing your contract, you can make a payment via check, credit card, or a secure EFT bank transfer via my CRM portal. Following your session, products can be purchased via credit card.


Do you require consultations?

YES. In most instances, a convenient phone consultation will suffice.


Do you travel?

Yes. Some base packages include a certain amount of travel. In cases where the distance exceeds the included travel, additional fees may apply.


Can I see a full photo shoot?

Absolutely! Most photographers, even myself, post our best work, our favorite work, and/or our most recent work. But I also understand that it's important for clients to see consistency. I would be happy to share full bodies of work so that you have a clear picture of what to expect. Just ask!





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, padding for traffic delays, and we can chat a little and lay out any wardrobe changes or props that you want to work with... all while getting to know each other. 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. And, you can mimic sunlight on cloudy days too so it's the ULTIMATE flexible lighting condition.

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 date reservation fee – it will be carried over to your rescheduled session date.


Do you offer the option to shoot in a studio?

At this time, most sessions are held on location. In my arsenal of gear, I have a pop-up studio / travel studio so that we can come to you.


The location I want to shoot in is very dark - how do you handle this?

First, it's important to discuss your location limitations with your photographer (especially if a permit will be required). A questionable location may warrant a pre-shoot site visit. If there isn't enough natural light, we will plan to bring studio gear. And if there is no electricity, we will plan to bring battery packs for the studio lights or we can use off-camera flash.


How should I prepare for my photo session? What should I wear? What should I do with my make-up and hair?

The main topic we will discuss after details such as date/time and location are selected will be what to wear. However, if  you would like to delve further into photo session prep, please browse through my article series "10 Tips To Look Your Best In Portraits", noted below!

Tip #10 - Let It Go
Tip #09 - Communicate Your Goals
Tip #08 - Prepare Your Body & Mind
Tip #07 - Camera-Ready Hair & Makeup Tips
Tip #06 - Positioning Between YOU & Camera
Tip #05 - Attire & Accessories
Tip #04 - Picking Your Perfect Color Pallet
Tip #03 - Finding Beautiful Light ANYWHERE
Tip #02 - Body Positioning
Tip #01 - The SMILE & Head Positioning


What gear do you use?

My main camera is a Canon 5D Mark IV, and I do carry a back-up. My favorite lenses to shoot with are my Canon 50mm F1.2, Canon 100mm F/2.8, and my Sigma Art 35mm F1.4. My lighting gear brand is Alienbee. And I keep a ba-zillion accessories and light modifiers to get your shots just right!





Are your photographs retouched?

Yes, and No. It depends on the genre and the need. All photo shoots are carefully culled, light balanced, color balanced, and enhanced where possible. Final portraits are always retouched. And other genres are retouched on an as-needed basis or by request. Select advanced retouching request may require additional fees.


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 online proofing gallery?

From end of shoot to proofing gallery reveal all depends on the type of photography and how heavy the current work load is. Often times, I tell most clients they should expect to see their photographs within 2-weeks of their photo session.


Do you ever deliver every image you shoot?

The simple answer is NO. I eliminate duplicate images, test shots, missfires, and any photographs that are bad angles or poor expressions. My ultimate goal is to deliver an exceptional final product to every client, and culling is a very important part of the process.


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!


After my photo shoot, how long can I access my photographs?

Contractually, photographs are available for viewing for 6-months. Even though all my client files are backed-up, this time-frame is just a safety precaution in case of extreme cases of data loss. I never intent to close client galleries, so you can rest assured that your images are available for viewing and purchasing in the near and distant future, well beyond 6-months.





Do you photograph any other genres outside of Commercial, Corporate, and Consumer?

Yes I do! In addition to Commercial, Corporate, and Consumer focused photographic work, I also service clients that need Product Photography, Food Photography, Real Estate Photography, Editorial Photography (magazines & other publications), and Event Photography. I also work as a 3rd party contractor for marketing & design firms. I also maintain a gallery of Carroll County, MD photographs from which local businesses are welcome to purchase for use in marketing and advertising.

Personally, I keep a portfolio of various bodies of work I have developed in the past. And I keep a gallery of my favorite nature / landscape / wildlife work. All are available for purchase. This is a great way to decorate your home or office!


Do you offer videography services?

Yes, and that is in development. Stay tuned for more details!


Do you shot in JPEG, Small Raw, or Large Raw?

I always shoot in the largest Raw available.


Want to learn more?