Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. I mainly specialize in portraits of newborn babies, children and families. I commonly book newborns under 10 days old and do most of my location sessions of children and families.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Make sure you like their style. If you prefer traditional portraits use a traditional photographer. If you want unique and candid photos, make sure that's what you are searching for. There are tons of photographers out there, all unique and talented. Find what you like most.
Also keep in mind that portraits are priceless. These are something you cannot replace, that's why people take such care in hiring photographers for their weddings. Photographing your children and life are just as important. Trust me, you will wish you had special photos of you children long after your wedding date.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. What are the secrets to getting smiles and good photos?
Don't fuss at your kids or force a smile, making them laugh by being goofy or using potty humor or tickling is the best way to get a genuine smile.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Interview several photographers. They should be willing to take the time to listen to what you want and ask questions about you and/or your family. A photographer needs this information to create images that tell the story of who you are, or who you would like to be. Keep in mind that you are not hiring someone to simply take a picture, but to tell your story.
Do you have references?
Ask if the photographer edits the photos and if there is a fee for this service?
What type of camera does the photographer use?
Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?
How long after the session will the proofs be ready?
What styles do they specialize in?
Do they do any creative shoots?
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. These are not your typical traditional standard portraits.
Sessions are fun and casual instead of posed and stiff. Sessions last long enough for your child to relax and act naturally which means they have genuine smiles and laughter.
I use fun locations, colorful props/backgrounds and edit all pictures from your session. The session lasts at least an hour so you get lots of variety and images to choose from.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love working with families and children. It's a lot of fun for me to meet new people and have fun with the kiddos.
When I am not working on photos I am working with kids under 5 and my own two children. I've worked around kids in one way or another for 15 years. I'm also a people person so chatting with families and getting to know them is great.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How long have you been doing this or how did you get started?
I've been photographing professionally for about 7.5 years, but on my own as a hobby for over ten years. I started by working with kids and taking so many photos that eventually families started asking if I could do some individually. This eventually turned into a business as I did research, read books, attended workshops and googled everything to learn about photography! :)
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I really just love watching the children grow and making friends with my families. Its awesome to see return clients and how much their kiddos have changed or new additions to the family!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. How much worked is actually involved. It's not just sitting behind a camera and telling people to say cheese. You need to find what makes them happy. You have to be a patient entertainer to young children. Newborns require a lot of time and a gentle touch. You have to know how to communicate with families.
There is also a lot of behind the scenes work, including scheduling, emailing, website maintenance, editing, marketing, researching products-competition, etc..
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I have loved all kinds of art my whole life. Photography was just another medium for me. I started playing with light years ago and became more and more creative as I got older. Once I became a preschool teacher I fell in love with photographing the children in my classes. Shortly after I had my own kids and the two loves just paired together.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I self educate! I research my competition, new technological advancements in my field, photoshop and I am always updating my equipment.
I also join online forums and photography groups, learn from other photographers, and occasionally attend seminars, classes and workshops and read, read, read!
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. You can see all of my session pricing on my website at www.pitterpatterphotos.com.
Child and Family sessions are $175.
-includes photo retouching and 3 mini accordion albums-
Newborn packages for babies under 10 days old are $450
-includes a photo disk of fifteen digital files of your choice-
I also offer maternity/newborn and first year packages.