This week, I am going to explain how to book your session, what types of sessions are available to you, and what happens after you book and confirm.
BOOKING YOUR SESSION
After your initial contact, receipt of your intake form, and our first, no-obligation consult meeting (covered in last week's blog post), the next step is to book a date and time for your photo session. There are several different types of sessions to choose from:
1) A Studio Portrait Session
2) An On-Location Session (your home, favorite pet place, or as part of an event you are attending)
3) A Photographer's Choice Location Session (I pick the place for outdoor portrait work or action shots)
4) A Loving Memories Session (for pets with illness or health problems that may be in supportive care)
A studio session can range anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes, depending on how many pets you would like photographed, if you would like a themed or seasonal session, and how easily your pet adapts to studio equipment and lighting. A good average is 45 minutes. I usually give your pet time to settle into the studio environment, relax, and to sniff/check out unfamiliar areas. Once I see a pet settle in, we can begin the session.
The form you filled out previously, has information that helps me design an appropriate session, because it asks about your pet's breed, coat coloring, and other items that familiarize me with your pet. That, plus our consult (where you can even bring your pet to the studio for a first look), gives me insight into getting acquainted with not only your pet, but with your likes and dislikes as well.
After a studio session, pets always receive a going home treat!
Cats, especially, prefer their own environment when it comes to photographs. They are more comfortable in their own spaces. That is not to say I haven't done photos of kitties in the studio. I have. But, you know your cat best, and if you feel HOME is the best place, know that we can get some ideal lifestyle photos of your cat on their own turf.
Or, you may be attending a local event revolving around fur kids, and perhaps you would like a photo of your pet taken in that environment. This also works very well to showcase your pet in the event surroundings, as in the photo below.
3) A Photographer's Location Choice Photo Session (Outdoors)
I spend quite a bit of time scouting out many park, city and other scenic locations where photos are optimal. I am an avid weather-watcher and leaf peeper, so I know where Endless Mountain sunsets and sunrises are best, when the Fall leaves will be at their peak, and where active pets can play on land or in water for photo opportunities.
4) A Loving Memories Session
One of the hardest things we, as pet owners, face is saying goodbye to our loving and faithful companions. Sometimes the news of unexpected illness comes fast, while other times we can provide palliative care for longer periods.
Loving Memories sessions are flexible, and geared toward the individual needs of each pet and family. Whether in your home, at the studio, or on location, sessions are 30 minutes, easy and quick to book (your session can even be the very next day, as time often matters), and will provide you with a lasting memory of the piece of your heart that moved to spirit.
I received a call last week asking if I did 15 minute mini sessions. Not really. There are times of the year where I hold seasonal events at the studio, such as Christmas Card sessions, Easter pet and family sessions, or mini sessions to benefit a local rescue. Of these, only the mini sessions for rescue fundraising are truly 15 minutes. They include one theme of my choice, are offered at a reduced rate, with a 5x7 print going to each participant and 75% of the proceeds going to the rescue.
Christmas Card and other seasonal sessions still run about 30-45 minutes, but are not offered at any other times during the year. I will often post on my website when special sessions will be held. You can find this on the Session Information page.
SOME ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
In the case of all sessions, you want your pet to look their best. Often clients will book during the same week as a grooming appointment.
Your session fee will include various print items as part of your package. These items are dependent upon the type of session you choose. More on this next week.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once your session is complete, your photographer will be busy processing your photos. I will cover more on this topic in Part Three next week, where I discuss what you should expect and different session packages available.
In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about what other professional photographers offer, check out the blog circle postings, starting with Jemma of JM Photography as she talks you through a photoshoot session with your dog, what to expect from the shoot, and what is expected of you and your pet.
By the way, today is Friday the 13th. Not that there's anything wrong with that. :) Enjoy!