Every mom’s dream is to have beautiful, brag-worthy pictures of their little ones, graduates, fur-babies, or extended families. Each precious season of life slips by so quickly, that we want something to hang on to—and something to hang on our wall. As we consider booking a session, several burning questions come to mind. We’re dying to know the REAL answers behind these questions-so we asked Jessica Montoya, Founder of Your Modern Story, a Colorado photographer, for the nitty-gritty.
1. Why the heck do you charge that much?
- Time. Providing high quality photographs is time consuming. Hours and hours of work goes into each and every session. A photographer’s work begins with the very 1st email, through setting up the shoot, taking the photos, editing for frame-worthy perfection, and getting the actual prints to your door.
- Talent. Photography magic does not just happen when you get a nice camera. There is a very precise skill needed to get the camera settings perfect. Pros have studied and mastered composition, angles, poses, lighting, wardrobe, how to get the grumpiest of participants to smile, how to get laser focused images of a subject that is still vs a subject that moves a lot. We have a mastery of computer hardware and software, plus, we have an intangible artistic “eye” for capturing that award-winning shot.
- Gear. A professional grade camera is only the start. We also use prime lenses that serve different functions based on lighting, locations and subject type. Other essential gear includes lighting and flashes, tripods, reflectors, batteries, specialized computers, external hard drives, memory cards, editing software, and the list goes on.
- Permits, Business Fees & Taxes. As a professional Colorado Photographer, I am required by law to purchase permits, and are responsible for paying taxes.
Clearly, Photography involves a lot of expenses. And in all honesty, I am not a cheap photographer. I don’t want my business or my clients to ever be associated with the word “cheap”. If you are looking for a bargain, try a department store photographer and use their cookie-cutter options. But if you are ready to invest in a one-of-a-kind, gorgeous heirloom photos to proudly display, let’s get booking!
2. When and where is the best time for photos?
- When: The BEST time is NOW. Seriously, any time of the year is perfect. Family chapters are constantly evolving and should be documented. Yes, there are certain weeks in the year for Fall photos, and cherry blossoms. But gorgeous opportunities exist throughout the year.
- Where: The best place is wherever the LIGHT is yummy and perfect. Great options are at home with plenty of natural light coming from windows, or outdoors during golden hours (just after sunrise or before sunset, when the sunlight is softer and more colorful). I’m a Colorado photographer- that means I have a plethora of fantastic locations!
3. What should I wear?
Relax, and dress for comfort—your wardrobe does not make or break your session. Here are some general do’s and don’ts.
- Look for earth tones for outdoor shoots. I’m obsessed with mustard yellow, olive green, cream, tans, rose gold for outdoor locations
- Take a look at these gorgeous options such as Jane and Janie and Jack.
- Wear black, white and red combos.
- Have matching white tops.
- Wear shoes for in-home sessions
I offer wardrobe guidance as a part of my service when you book with me. I’m happy to chat about ideas for your family. Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
4. Can you photoshop my ______?
The best portraits are emotional and honest. The point of these photos is to capture your life exactly as you are now: BEAUTIFUL. Your children and grandchildren will be enjoying these images for decades to come, and they want to remember everyone the way they truly are.
However, in the case of minor blemishes, I can edit some photos. Extensive retouching is an additional cost due to the time involved. I will not edit bellies, arms, etc., because I value photography that is authentic and true.
5. Do I get all of the digital files?
I am a full-service photographer. I save you the time and hassle of sorting through images, by pulling out the very best ones for you. Your session fee includes the experience leading up to your delivery of heirloom quality photos. Digital files can be purchased but are not included.
6.What gear do you use?
- Two Cannon bodies- 6D and Mkiii. They’re both my babies.
- Prime lenses for the best clarity and quality available. Prime lenses don’t zoom—they have fixed focal lengths so I’m constantly running around to get the exact shot that I want!
- 85 mm for portraits & the yummy blurred background.
- 28 mm for candid shots, indoors, and tight spaces.
- Flash systems only for weddings, and even then, I keep it super simple. I’m not one to complicate a situation. Trust that I know how to manipulate the light that I need.
7. Do you give discounts?
Sure do! I give discounts for
- Returning families
- Families that make referrals
- Families that book more than one session at a time
- Holiday mini-sessions throughout the year. These are always heavily discounted so jump on them when you can!
8. What if my family doesn’t cooperate?
It’s okay!It’s common to have individuals in the group who aren’t totally on board. I find that I can connect with the uncooperative ones pretty quickly and from there on, we are good to go. I let the kids lead the sessions if they’re feeling antsy, which leads to even better candid shots. Often, I’ll let the kids jump behind the camera and snap some of their own photos just so they can see how cool it really is. Parents always keep this shot. Also, bribing kiddos with ice cream for dinner never hurt anyone.
Now that you have the inside scoop, seize this chance to trap TIME in a bottle-or in this case, an album. Book your session today with this Colorado photographer, so that you can treasure this page of your family’s story forever.