Scheduling Questions

Why Do I need a pre session Consultation?

This is where the excitement begins! This where we sit back and talk about what we can do to for you so we can create the ideal session. When you book your session, we want to know everything about you and your family. So we can better plan your portrait session, we will talk about clothes and your expectations. What you would like to do with the images and where in your home your thinking about using them. We would love snap shots of those areas in your home also. When your session day arrives, we will have a plan so everything goes smoothly which means less stress for you.

What is the difference between booking an  In Studio session and a Lifestyle session?

The two session offer different options depending on what your budget is, how customized you want yours session to be, and the style of the session are a little different.

Newborn portrait session: is fully customized with intricate attention to detail regarding the design and planning of your session. With this we bring in baby poser, blanket stand, blankets, fabrics, baskets, hats, head bands, wraps, really anything we need for your images we will have with us, you don’t need a thing.  Your session will last up to 2 hrs and when we are done we will have 25-30 images for you to review and purchase from. 

Life style session: is a shorter but still complete session that just doesn’t offer as much customization as a portrait session.  We will use your home as the backdrop for this type of session, and I will bring very limited amount of props with me, just a few hats and baby wraps. I will utilize areas in your home like your bedroom and the nursery. When we are done we will have 15-20 images for you to review and purchase from. 

When is the best time to book a Maternity and a Newborn Session?

As soon as possible! I only schedule 3 sessions per week and 4 weekend sessions per month so the schedule fills up quickly. All weekday sessions will take place in the morning, except in the summer when I can accommodate some late-evening sessions. Please include your due date when you contact me if you wish to schedule a newborn or maternity session. For the other type of sessions, you can book any time.

For Maternity is better to schedule between 28 and 34 weeks.

For newborns is better to schedule between 5 and 14 days, in general, babies are more sleepy and flexible during that time.

Would you take my baby is He/she is older than 2 weeks old?

Absolutely! All babies are welcome at our studio,   We know sleeping patterns are different for every baby. We will try the regular poses and go with the baby flow. Your baby will likely be awake for some/half/most of the session, so I prepare for that as well and consider it a bonus if your baby falls asleep.  If your baby is older than 4 weeks old, Your session will be priced as Family session.

Can I reschedule if it rains? What if I, or someone in my family, gets sick?

I do not charge a penalty for weather or illness-related rescheduling. Please do not bring a sick child to your session! On the other hand, do not reschedule if you or your child has acne, scratches or bruises. I can edit those out later.

I will suggest rescheduling outdoor sessions if the temperature will be less than 30 degrees or over 90 degrees, or if rain is imminent.

Do you photograph events like baby showers, christening and birthday parties?

Yes, I do,  one per month basis. I only schedule one session per weekend a month and I offer 1 weekend for events. The price and products for events are different than portrait sessions. Please contact me for more information.

Do you do cake-smash sessions for one-year-olds?

Yes! The optional cake smash is included in baby plan for your one-year-old baby  session at no additional charge (you would provide the cake).  You can also schedule individual one year old session for the same price of a newborn session.

Are parents/siblings included in newborn sessions?

We have two types of newborn sessions.  A mini Newborn session as part  of Our Baby Stages Plan where baby is photographed alone and our Simple Newborn session, where parents and siblings can be photographed with their new baby brother/sister . Keep in mind that toddlers (18 months to 3 years old) are often unpredictable and they are still figuring out this new little person in their lives, so it can be more challenging to capture them with a newborn.  Be sure to let me know ahead of time if you would like parent/sibling portraits so that I leave time at the end of the session. Spouses and big siblings are always welcome at maternity sessions, as well!

Preparing for your session

What should I wear for my or my family session?

Depending on the vision for your photos. If you want relaxed photos, come in your favorite everyday outfit. More formal? Go for a new dress or coordinating outfits. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you love wearing! When coordinating your outfits, I recommend not all wearing the same thing, but instead choosing like colors and mixing it up. Wondering what colors to choose? Here are some ideas –

  • Black is the most flattering color especially if you have a curvy shape body. 
  • Match your eye color. You’d be surprised how much this can do for your eyes!
  • Look around your house at where you would like to hang the photos, like your living room, and match the colors of your outfits to your decorations so that your photos will coordinate with your house.
  • When in doubt, neutral colors and earth tones always photograph well.

What do I need to bring to the  newborn session?  

All you need to bring is yourselves!  I have a  large amount of blankets, baskets, hats, headbands, diaper covers, backdrops, and other props in the studio for newborn and baby sessions!  If there is something specific that you would like to have photographed with your baby, please feel free to bring it along.  In the past, I have used Daddy’s firefighter gear, pilot’s helmet, and baseball glove as well as grandma’s blanket and family heirloom christening gown. If you have a specific wish for a prop that you’ve seen elsewhere, you are welcome to browse and bring along your own items – but know that I have plenty in my studio for you to choose from!

What should I bring to my family session? 

  • Snacks for young children
  • Your child’s lovey or favorite stuffed animals/toys (go with it… it is something you will want to remember later!)
  • If yours is an outdoor session, please use bug spray.  We may go into fields and areas that have ticks and mosquitos.

How can I help my baby to be relax for the session?

Try to keep your baby awake for at least 45 minutes prior to your session and feed your baby about 30 minutes prior to your session so that he/she is very sleepy. Give him/her a bath, arm and leg stretches, tickle their feet, even while they are sleeping to prevent them from getting too deep a sleep before we start.

If your baby takes a pacifier, please have one handy.

Dress your baby in clothes that do not need to go over his/her head. Something that snaps or zips up the front is best. Your baby will be nude or swaddled the entire session.

What can I do to ensure my session goes well?

  • The most important thing you can do is relax. Children will be stressed if you are stressed (even newborns can sense stress). We will have plenty of time to get great photos. Think of this as two hours you get to spend having fun family time.
  • Be prepared to be a goober. I love it when parents bring out their inner silly to help their children smile and laugh. Don’t be surprised to find that I am a total goober, too.
  • Avoid the “cheese” word. Saying “cheese” makes an unnatural smile. I want to capture smiles that come from their core and radiate into their eyes. We will get them.
  • Let me know what your children’s favorite things are – toys, tv shows, hobbies, etc. I love to talk about these things with them during the session.
  • Remember that our goal is not to capture perfection, but instead, a perfect representation of who your children are at this point in time. I want your photos to help you tell a story to your children years from now.

Price and Products

How much are your sessions?

Please review the investment  page for session packages. Please contact me for product pricing (prints, canvases, albums, etc.).

Why are your prices higher than other photographers in the area?

We all have different talent levels, equipment and experience and offer varying levels of quality in our work. We also take on different numbers of clients based on our business’ needs and capacities.

I work with only a few clients a week in order to give each person the best experience possible. For each session, I devote at least 12 hours of planning, preparation, shooting, editing and presentation.

In return for your investment, I will give you first, a fun experience to remember, and second, intricately-crafted pieces of art that will stand the test of time. You will look at your photos for years to come and smile because they so perfectly capture your beautiful self and family. You will use your photos to tell your story to your children and their children. You will know in your heart that your portraits are absolutely priceless.

I want to get all the digitals only. Why Do I have to buy printed piece if I want all digitals?

Digital files are the most valuable product I offer in my studio because when You buy them, They are yours to reprint anytime you want. My studio won’t have any extra income from them after that. In order to make it affordable to you I combine them with other products in order to still make my studio average sale. I also want you to be able to see and touch the  professional quality of the products I offer. It’s a a win win, You get all your digitals and a beautiful piece of art.

I’m not interested in purchasing the digital images, do you have other packages without those?

If you’re not interested  in having  any digital images, You can always buy products A la carte  pricing with a minimum of  $300 order, but You always get a better price buying collection and I offer nice incentives with it.

When I get the digitals, I am the owner of the pictures, right?

When a photographer creates an image, it is automatically copyrighted – giving the photographer or creator of the image the exclusive right to copy, edit, distribute, post on facebook, blog, etc. These rights, given to the photographer or creator of the image by The Copyright Act, make it illegal for anyone else (even if you are in the image) to copy, scan, edit, print, or distribute digital or printed versions of the image without the photographer’s permission. This is a Federal Law and can be prosecuted as such. Illegally downloading, screen-capturing, watermark-removing, or altering of images is strictly prohibited…not just by me, but by law!!  When you buy Our digital files, they come with a print release, not a copyright release. We still own the copyright to the images that you purchase, but you are free to take the images and get as many prints as you want, in any size, anywhere. (Now, I don’t recommend just anywhere – I’ll give you suggestions on the best place to make prints!) But, you can upload them to your favorite online lab and print to your heart’s content if you purchase images with print release from Joyful Photography by Liz! But you may not edit the images in any way, let others use them for advertising (such as children’s clothing boutiques) or enter them into contests (like for Parenting magazine covers) without permission. If in doubt, just email me! I  will usually grant permission with proper credit, of course. Please respect our work and livelihood. This is our business and the way we support our families and we ask that you take that into consideration.

When do I pay for my products ordered?

All products ordered at the Viewing session are paid the same day. You will sign the Product order and given a copy before you leave. There is VA sales taxes of 6% that applies to all product orders. If you buy digitals and they are given the same day, There is not refunds after digitals leave the studio.

How long will it take to receive my order?

Prints, cards, and announcements usually arrive within 5-7 days. Canvases and albums arrive in about 2 weeks. When  you buy a collection you get your usb with digital images the same day they are purchased.

After the session

How long will it take for my photos to be ready to view?

Typically around 2 weeks. If you need to see them sooner, please let me know when you schedule your session. After 2 week of your session, We will meet at my studio for the Viewing and Ordering appointment. I will prepare a slideshow for you and load your retouched images to my special software.We will review together and select your favorites. I will predesign templates and wall galleries for your to see your favorite images. I will request from you to take a pictures of your empty walls with your cell phone so we can project the images in it.

How much retouching I can get in my photos? If I want you to retouch my baby’s acne  or make me slimmer, do you do that?

I have  defined style in colors and mood in all my pictures. Basic retouching can be done easily and without incurring any extra expense. Often, I do soften the skin and  remove  the scratch or blemish on the faces.

As for more extensive retouching, we do offer the service for $25 per portrait.

As professional photographers, it is our job to pose pregnant women and new mommies in ways that flatter their figure and accentuate their curves in the best way. We would much rather you love the way you look in your portraits naturally than give you a ‘digital diet’!

Maternity: I may do a little bit of body-shaping to reduce the look of bloating, so that you look like yourself.

On newborns, I will lessen the appearance of stork bites, clean up goopy eyes, and remove peeling skin on the face.  I do not edit away:

  • Umbilical cords or scabs inside the belly button (please let me know before your session if you would like the belly button area hidden/covered),
  • Mongolian spots
  • Hemangiomas
  • Birth defects (Please discuss with me any concerns before your session).
  • Peeling/flaking hands and feet (I may remove some, but not all, per my discretion.  Please massage Aquaphor on your baby prior to your session if this is a concern).

Have more questions? Please email me directly. Thank you!

Are you ready to experience an awesome photoshoot?

Check our work

liz marie portraits children pictures


glamour photos of mom liz marie portraits


family picture liz marie portraits