Click to return to the home page
Home
Galleries
Pricing
Upcoming Events
Contact Me

Here is a listing of frequently asked questions and additional info that should assist you with almost everything you may have a question about! It also explains my studio policies a bit too. If you have any questions, definitely shoot me an email at info@ascuteasitgets.com and I’ll answer you back as quickly as I can.

Q: How many people can be in a session? You don't mention anything about charging for extra people in the portrait like some photographers do.
A: Once you book me...I am yours. It is your time with me and you can spend it any way you wish! Larger groups require special planning, particularly for outdoor sessions where I often like to bring in an assistant for the session... but there isn’t an extra charge for more people. It just means less time in front of the camera for each participant if we are doing individual portraits or pairings, so you may want to book a longer session, or two smaller sessions, such as my Limited Edition Portrait Events, back to back.
Q: Your galleries are full of smiling children, do you do "unposed" photography like I see elsewhere?
A: Yes. I certainly do sessions that are more photojournalistic and spontaneous in feel, particularly my outdoor sessions... where after our core posed portraits, I capture your kids climbing trees, throwing leaves, or stomping around in a stream. For studio portraits, I just try to set the tone to achieve that particular look during our time right at the start of our session. If you are hoping for non-smiling, serious portraits then please let me know ahead of time, as I don't automatically do them. Once I get kids laughing... there is usually no going back. Some of my themes like Funny Faces or other themes that lend themselves to having a collage done therefore definitely need a few serious expressions, as well as a host of other expressions. Those sessions also require jumping or dancing... kids just being kids... the more varied images on a collage, the better!! For the majority of themed studio portraiture though, I go for the big grins, as that what this type of photography suggests... playful and fun! Being shamelessly silly with my own children has lent itself to me being able to totally amuse babies, make toddlers giggle and coax bigger kids to burst into hearty laughter. That is what I do best, and hence why the majority of portraits show children smiling. I believe with every ounce of my being that parents treasure their children's true smiles... I want to remember my own boys as having a childhood full of them! Nothing melts my own heart more that seeing their true smiles in the portraits that adorn my own walls... except for witnessing their giggles in person. Growing up seems to decrease the frequency of those all important giggles and wide smiles (can anyone tell my boys have hit the sullen teenage years?), so I say capture them while you can and often, and so you have them freeze framed forever to look back and cherish.
Q: My child just fell and ended up with quite the bruise...should I reschedule?
A: I do offer complimentary retouching on all ordered images...so unless the bruise has caused swelling that alters the shape of the eye, nose or mouth, I can definitely make it look like it was never there...free of charge!
Q: You ask for 48 hours notice to reschedule...what if my child becomes sick on the day of the session? Do I lose the money I paid you?
A: No....that would be messed up. As we all know too well, kids get sick without much notice! If you wake up the day of the session and find a sick little one, then call me as soon as you can to let me know. I definitely want your child to be at their happiest and full of energy! Your paid session fee will just be held as credit for when you reschedule, preferrably within 14 days. Bringing a sick little one and hoping for the best usually ends up in disappointment....think how yucky you feel when sick. :( Please note that just not showing up without calling results in me being angry with you and photoshopping boogers in your nose when we do do the session. Just kidding...that would be fun, but unprofessional. Your paid session fee will always be on file, but I will just subtract $100 for a complete no show if there aren't extenuating circumstances. :)
Q: Do you take a set number of portraits during your session?
A: No... but I take a lot. I will keep going til I know we have exactly what I am looking for. Throughout the session, you can see the images I take instantly on a hand held ipad exclusively for parents, so you are assured we captured several images that are well, "As Cute As It Gets". Sorry, couldn’t resist throwing that in.
Q: How long does it take to view my portraits? What about getting them back after ordering? Can I rush any of them?
A: Your online gallery is posted within a week of your session. Usually its just a few days, but I like to say a week in case your session falls during a busier than usual period. Before your proofs are posted online in your gallery, I like to tag you on social media with a preview, showcasing my favorite image or two! I try to do this the same day or the morning after the session.
 
The moment the portrait proofs have been officially posted, I will send you an email detailing the instructions for logging in and viewing your session in a password protected gallery.  Once your gallery opens, you will see two gallery sections. One gallery will showcase all my favorites from the session, and then the other  gallery will display every image from your session. This is for all the moms out there like me that want to see every single image shot of my children (pound. pound. represent!) 
 
Upon ordering, the turnaround for finished digital or printed portraits is two weeks. The majority of the portraits, especially themed portraits, require post production so I need a few late nights to prep them depending upon the size of your order. If your order contains cards, collages or editing work that requires proof approval, the two week period starts upon approval of the work. Don’t worry, it usually only takes a few days to receive post production proofs back…I jump on them as soon as the order comes in. The final finished portraits are often ready much sooner than two weeks... but I would rather surprise you than disappoint, so I say that long just to build in a cushion.
 
I am happy to rush a portion of your order, particularly if they are birth announcements, as they are the one thing families are super anxious to send out. During the busy holiday season, my husband and I drink massive amounts of coffee so we can handle the volume my popular holiday themes present me with, so holiday cards are always streamlined, coming back to you with a week of your proof approval. (Again, I say a week just for cushioning).
Q: Do you save my images forever?
A: Your ordered images are saved for sure. Cloud and external harddrive storage gets cheaper and cheaper by the year, so I have no plans to wait til a certain day of the year between 7pm & 7am to "purge" anyones images. If years go by after ordering and you decide you would like to see the gallery again, there will be a charge to pull the images from archive status and repost the images online for you. At the moment that charge is $50.
Q: I love your pregnancy sessions...when should I plan to book one?
A: As you never know when the big event might come in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, I suggest coming in sometime during your 34th to 36th week. You will likely be much more comfortable too! I do book out several weeks ahead during most of the year, particularly around any holiday, so I definitely suggest booking early as possible to ensure that you receive the ideal timing for your session. :)
Q: Can I video and snap pictures with my phone during the session?
A: No  b cuz its rude, dude. To further elaborate on my "honest to the bone" opinion, perhaps with more eloquence....you are coming to As Cute As It Gets because you were attracted by what I offer, and as an artist, I really want to ensure my work is professionally presented to the world exactly as I envision it. Plus, As Cute As It Gets is a business....even though your session packages come with a set amount of images, families regularly add extra portraits and products on and often upgrade their session, so it doesn't make business sense for me to allow it. I'm not a salesperson, so I don't pressure anyone to buy anything extra but it doesn't make sense to lessen any potential extra sales. I would like to think you like my work enough that you want me to stay in business and be there for your next session! I totally will tag you with previews of some of my favorites from the session on social media, sometimes the same day as the session, so you definitely will have portraits to show off as rapidly as I can get them to you. Anyone that books with me needs to agree that our session together will be a no phone zone, whether in the studio or on location. That also means not bringing in a proper camera. I have had pictures taken on the sly in the past more times than I can count, so please don't make it awkward by doing so. That all being said, there are some sessions I do allow you to video, such as the cake smashes, Fantastic Paintastic, and Easter because they are a hilarious and so filled with the unexpected that it would be a crying shame to not have it on video.  
Q: Why do I have to pay for my session in full up front at booking?
A: After 15 years of doing sessions, I have realized that this approach is the only business model that allows me to pay my studio rent on time. I used to just charge the session fee at booking and hope that the online order would come in shortly after the viewing gallery was uploaded online. Families are so busy that they often would put off their online ordering for weeks and months, even if there was a deadline. I then moved to doing scheduled studio viewing sessions, which often went for hours and hours for families with my bigger sessions.  I then tried to do viewing sessions directly after the session, and families were of course two pooped to go through hundreds of images. I still honestly have a handful of families from my 15 years in CA that still haven’t ordered, but they still email me once a year or so, saying they will soon. I don’t want to do the high pressure sales thing, threatening to delete images. So this way, I have been paid for the session and portraits, and you can take as long as you want to order. If you haven’t ordered within a couple months, I archive the session, and charge $50 to reload the session online for you.
Q: Why are you more expensive than mall and department store portrait studios? Also, there are people on Craiglist that give me the works for $99. Don’t you want to be competitive?
A: I have chosen my pricing with great care. I tried to think about what I have personally spent as a consumer with other photographers and studios prior to starting As Cute As it Gets, and assessed that a photography studio is truly one of those "you get what you pay for" scenarios. For lack of a better analogy, most private photographers like myself will offer the whole "it’s important to compare apples against apples" statement when advising you in your search for the right studio. I really urge families not to try to compare a proper professional photographer with a mall studio or super inexpensive photographer that offers specials that seem too good to be true. Business models like that aren’t based on quality at all... it is all about pressured selling techniques and/or the quantity of sessions that can be packed into a day. Again, apples versus apples, not apples versus oranges…think Mortons vs. McDonalds. Both serve hamburgers, but there are host of reasons you choose one over the other.
 
I feel my studio charges a completely fair amount for what you receive... I have in fact lowered my pricing considerably since moving here from super expensive Orange County in Southern California, as I know I am the new photographer here in town, and have to start building my clientele anew. I have extensive education and experience both behind the camera and in post-production, so I feel I have put forth the necessary effort to be considered a professional photographer. I have invested in my business …I have great top end Nikon equipment & back up equipment, and have purchased oodles of hardware and software. And then there are the themes and costumes which have taken great time, expense and love to create. Since I am on a roll and you are kindly reading it, please remember that as with any private professional photographer, the package covers more than studio time and digital files. Your package price includes the time spent prepping the studio with the themes/style of your choice, the time spent during the session itself, resetting the studio (cake smash frosting on the ceiling multiple times....I kid you not!),  the creation and time allotted to presenting your portraits for ordering, the retouching, perfecting of and sizing of your images during the preparation of your order, as well as sending your digital files to you. If you have ordered a print package add on, there is the forwarding of your print and product orders to the various vendors, and then the packaging of your order and then of course, letting you know that your order has arrived in and is ready for pick up. Then there is the overhead of running a nice temperature controlled location.... rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
 
I have a very solid reputation for doing what I say, and absolutely strive to offer exemplary customer service every step of the way. It is my goal that your experience is absolutely custom tailored to your specific requests & needs, resulting in your ultimate satisfaction. A giant chain store, a studio that is so inexpensive studio that you are straight out suspicious of it or a private photographer that shoots a session and then hands you a disc or thumbdrive of all the unretouched images and then walks away just isn’t out to do that for you. Not all studios or photographers do post production which is necessary for optimal images, whether digital or printed. My goal is hands down to provide you and your little ones with an amazing session that results in highly customized portrait design. I collaborate with you for the creation of gorgeous art to adorn your home with…and melt the heart of all who see it. I have a vested interest in making sure that you are delighted and return again and again…I hope that you excitedly recommend me to neighbors, friends and family! My prices are listed, and explained fully, so you know the exact investment will be to have such unique portraits. No surprises.
Q: If you give digital files with your packages, why are they only 8x10? Everyone knows digital files cost nothing to you, so you are automatically making more from the start.
A: Many photographers made the move from print only packages to print packages with optional digital files, and then finally decided to simply go with the public demand for all digital files. We kinda had no choice. Industries change. I have been doing this professionally since 2002, and have always adapted to the industry trends because I don’t have a business unless I have customers. The years where I was selling just prints, I found over and over again that because my 4x6 price was the least expensive on my pricing menu, that I was selling a lot of different 4x6s. The price of the 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 from my lab were not that big a spread from each other, but perfecting an image in post production takes the same amount of time for 4x6 as it does an 8x10 or 30x40. Yet, I still offered the 4x6 and 5x7 for less than an 8x10 assuming it was the way it was. Then one day years ago, a family ordered 20 different 4x6 mermaid images from a session, and the realization that each one certainly would take the normal hour or so to perfect left me feeling that my pricing lacked business common sense. The quick conclusion was that As Cute As It Gets was not long for this world unless I changed that one simple flaw. An image of any size or format takes the same amount of time and effort. Offering digital shouldn’t mean that photographers do the same work for less pay. In a way, we are making less than just a few years ago by the very nature of digital... remember, there was a time when if you wanted 3 5x7’s of an image, you had to pay the photographer for each. Digital affords you the luxury of making as many prints of an image as you want for ever more. Once we have presented you with the perfected digital file, you have no reason to order anything else associated with that file... ever. So that’s good for the consumer... no sales pressure what so ever. It is technically a bit less work for the photographer because there are no extra steps involved in fulfilling the print order. But photography is a business, and ideally a business where we hope to break even or even better, make a profit, so we have had to structure our new digital pricing in a way where we can still make a living.
 
So to finally get to the answer to that question....I didn't make sense to up my prices to accommodate the switch to digital files. That is not how it works... rather the opposite it seems. So I decided the best way to offer the digital files at a lower price was to offer two resolutions, something many other photographers are doing nowadays. Rather than charging everyone for digital files that will print up to 20x30 or 30x40, packages start out with the most commonly requested size I used to do prints in, 8x10. Just like ordering bigger prints a few years ago, you simply order bigger if you want bigger. This allows you to simply upgrade a single digital file of a favorite image if you truly have a need to have it bigger. I know there are other photographers that give all high resolution files, but their session packages are more expensive from the beginning because they have to factor that in. Either that, or they are cutting corners elsewhere to make up for it. Apples vs. apples. I promise you the old adage is true.
 
I try to break up my packages in an array of pricing, so that families on a budget aren’t scared away. But as with all things in life, if you pay more, you hopefully are getting more. And sometimes, you just don’t need more. When was the last time you printed bigger than 8x10? You might want bigger files in theory, yes, but everyone has a budget, and I like to think that my pricing shows that I am sensitive to that. I have a package for everyone, and families on a budget can be assured that I save the files, so that they can choose to order the higher res images later down the road when they have the extra funds for doing so. Those that want the bigger files and have the means simply order the full resolution version of the portraits they intend to enlarge beyond the 8x10. This way no one is forced to pay the higher price for something they don’t really need.
Q: Do you offer prints if we want them?
A: It is absolutely an option... yes. Some of my packages come with some prints, but to keep the price down, most are digital. With each package you receive a post production perfected 8x10 resolution file of your chosen images and a print release. You have the option of upgrading those files to higher resolution for a nominal fee. If you would like prints of the images you choose in your package, then I have various a la cart pricing from that is very low. I do this because I truly PROMISE you my lab is better than anywhere you can take them locally for printing, as they will absolutely be sharper and more vibrant than the big online places.
 
If you order prints and products through As Cute As It Gets, the digital files go to one of the industry’s largest and most loved professional labs,  where they are printed on the finest archival materials. This photographic paper, along with all my other lab products, such as my canvas and press printed cards, will last generations.
 
I calibrate my monitor weekly, so that the color on my screen will exactly match the color profile of the lab’s machines. The machines the lab uses are just huge, and cost tens of thousands of dollars... they are unlike the little machines you see at Costco and Target. My lab produces gorgeous and sharp images that I am elated to offer. I just don’t want you to send off images locally and wonder why they are murky and bleached out looking compared to the vibrant & crisp images on my studio walls.
 
When at the studio, please ask to see my prints of the same file from my lab vs. our local Target, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Shutterfly.
Q: Can you bring a theme to my child’s preschool or summer camp? How about school dances at my child’s middle or high school?
A: Yes, definitely please see the Schools/Camps/Dances section on my website.
Q: Do you do private parties at the studio?
A: Yes! I haven’t added details about it to the website yet, but I can do any theme you see on my website for parties, where every guest receives an individual digital portrait in the chosen theme’s costume and set, and a group photo against one of my corresponding backdrops. I suggest groups of 12 children or under for best results. Please email me with your party idea, and I will come up with an affordable plan. Parties will start in January 2018. For other themes, particularly for older kids, like tweens, I can create something a little more to their age specfic tastes, such as a model theme, complete with a runway or a glow in the dark theme, with black lights. I run the Ghoulish Mortals store at the corner, where the entire basement is dedicated to special events. The space is about 900 square feet and very versatile, so I can stage it to become any theme it needs to be, and this works great for photo parties because there is another entrance down to it from As Cute As It Gets so kiddos never have to venture up into Ghoulish Mortals to use the bathroom if they are too little.  Yay, old buildings! The basement has a great sound system as well as colorful club lights and black lights. We can schedule a full fledged hosted party or you can rent the room out to host your own party.
 
Ghoulish Mortals will offer its own parties that come with photography too, with creepy cool themes for older kids like zombie outbreak, alien attack, Monster High, haunted doll teaparty, mad scientist, etc. All parties feature transformation of the room into that theme, and include use of the costumes and props for the photoshoot part of the party. I also can do all sorts of hybrid parties, such as a zombie runway fashion show or a zombie pirate theme. For teens, you can book a party that has any theme if you can talk them into dressing up, and if you can, this type of party works best if they come from home prepped and dressed in the theme. Black light glow and zombie parties are popular themes for this age, and are simple for everyone to come prepped for. If you can’t talk them into dressing up... the space downstairs is awesome just to rent out for a generic party space because of the lights and sound system. We still can decorate it with or without a formal theme...just pick the color scheme.
 
Also, if you book a prepaid party at As Cute As It Gets or Ghoulish Mortals, it comes with complimentary invitations as well. We will schedule a time to have your child stop by the studio to have a quick mini-session to photograph them chest up in the chosen theme for the invitation. (Unless I happen to have that full set already up for a Limited Edition Portrait Event). The complimentary invites are individually designed 5x7 flat photograph cards. You also can upgrade to fold out and die cut press printed invitations. Here is an example:
 


 
Party pricing varies by theme, age, amount of guests, etc and will be posted on both As Cute As It Gets and Ghoulish Mortals website in late December and parties will begin in January. Until then, if you have a date you want me to pencil in or general questions, please email me at info@ascuteasitgets.com.
Q: I would prefer you to come to my home with several of your studio themes. What is the extra charge for that?
A: As the drive time and set up/break down for home visits takes away from time at the studio, I do have an additional fee. I charge a prepaid $1000 on top of your chosen studio session package for home visits in a 100 mile radius. It is not a very economical option for most families but for those that have the means and want it, it is available. I have to close my studio down for the day, so please make sure you request your dates as soon as you can I can work my visit to you into my schedule. I have had several celebrities during my years in California chose this option due to privacy issues. Good news is I can bring several themes along with me and we can make it a day of fun!