Holiday Mini Sessions

Our Holiday Mini sessions are the perfect way to get a few updated family pictures for sending out to friends and family during the holiday season. These are fun but fast-paced days, so in order to make sure things run smoothly we have all the information you need on how the day goes right here!

For the first time we will be splitting our Holiday Mini Sessions to 2 different locations!

9:00am - 11:00am (9 available sessions) -- Skylands Manor, Ringwood, NJ

1:45pm - 3:15pm (7 available sessions) -- Wyckoff Tree Far, Belvidere, NJ

 

Please read all of the information below even if you have participated in our Holiday Mini Sessions previously as some things may have changed. Let us know if you have any questions! 

 

After you read all of the information, please process your quote that was attached in the confirmation email.

 

Location Information

 

 

Our morning Holiday Mini Sessions will be taking place at Skylands Manor at the New Jersey Botanical Gardens in Ringwood State Park (5 Morris Rd, Ringwood, NJ 07456). Please be aware that parking is limited at this location, and that this is Skylands Manor NOT Ringwood Manor.

 

Q: Will there be an entrance fee?
       A:  There is no entrance fee to the park between Labor Day and Memorial Day.

 

Q: Where in the park will you be?
       A:  Please meet us in front of Skylands Manor. If there is parking available, the closest lot to the manor is Parking lot A.

 

Q: If I get lost, can I call you?
       A:  Unfortunately we won't be available to answer text messages and phone calls while shooting other client's mini sessions.

 

Q: Can I bring props?
       A:  Of course! If there is something special you would like to include in your portraits, please feel free to bring it. We will have some prop choices available during the event, but they will be limited and will be shared among mini-sessions. We frequently try to incorporate some seated poses into your mini session, so if you will be wearing clothing that you are concerned will get dirty, we suggest you bring a blanket that matches your wardrobe color scheme.

Q: Can we bring pets?

       A:  Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at the Botanical Gardens.

Our afternoon Holiday Mini Sessions will be taking place at Wyckoff's Tree Farm (246 County Road 519, Belvidere, NJ 07823). Please note this location is in Belvidere, NJ and NOT Wyckoff, NJ.

 

Q: Will there be an entrance fee?
       A:  There is no entrance fee, but there is a permit fee built into the pricing for the afternoon mini-sessions.

 

Q: Where in the park will you be?
       A:  Please meet our assistants near the balloons.

 

Q: If I get lost, can I call you?
       A:  Unfortunately we won't be available to answer text messages and phone calls while shooting other client's mini sessions.

 

Q: Can I bring props?
       A:  Of course! If there is something special you would like to include in your portraits, please feel free to bring it. We will have some prop choices available during the event, but they will be limited and will be shared among mini-sessions. We frequently try to incorporate some seated poses into your mini session, so if you will be wearing clothing that you are concerned will get dirty, we suggest you bring a blanket that matches your wardrobe color scheme. The tree farm requests that any props involving their trees not be permanent -- no fake snow or any ornaments that will damage the trees. Ornaments that can be removed after the session are allowed.

Map of Botanical Gardens.jpg
 

Process Upon Arrival

 

 

When you arrive at the park/tree farm, you will find our volunteers who will check you in. They will welcome you to our event, help you choose one of the locations available, and pick out any props or blankets if desired. When it is time for your session, they may remain with us as our assistant. Because of this, we ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your time slot.

 

Please make sure you have processed the quote that was attached to your confirmation email or you will not be considered registered and your slot can be given away to those on the waiting list.

 

Late Arrivals

 

 

Due to the nature of the short 15-minute mini-sessions, we will not be able to accommodate extending sessions due to late arrival. If you arrive late, photos will only be taken for as long as is remaining in your time slot. Regardless of what time the session starts, there will be no refunds.

 

Payment Information

 

 

Payments must be made through your quote that was sent to you upon confirmation of your chosen timeslot by the expiration date to confirm your slot. We will not be receiving payments on the day of the Mini Sessions. 

 


Q: What is included in my session fee?
       A: Like other sessions and events, your mini-session includes an online gallery, post-processing, and a 10% off coupon. Depending on your package choice you will also either receive 3, 6, or all digital files.

 

Q: Why are the afternoon mini-sessions more expensive?

       A: The tree farm's requirement for allowing us to shoot there, was to charge us $25 per mini-session, which was added on to our regular pricing.

Q: Why does the payment need to be made by November 10th?
       A: We are setting the date as close to the main event date as possible to allow for your changing schedule, however, we need to know if we have slots to fill with people on our waiting list if you cannot attend at the last minute.

 

Q: My plans suddenly changed. Can I get my money back or re-schedule the mini-session?
       A: Unless we need to use the rain date, no other dates for the mini-sessions will be added due to this being our busiest time of the year. We hope that you understand! Deposits will not be refunded; full payments will be partially refunded.

 

Post-Portrait Process and Ordering Information

 

 

Once all the images are edited (approximately 2-4 weeks), they will be uploaded to an online gallery on our website and you will receive an email letting you know your photos are ready. An unlimited use coupon code for 10% off good for 1 month from the date the gallery is posted will be included in this email. In your "Gallery Ready" email, you will receive a coupon code and directions for downloading your included files.

 

Q: Can I buy the digital files?
       A: Yes! There are several options for purchasing files directly through your online gallery.


Q: What are the price ranges for purchasing prints?
       A:  Prints: 4x6 - $3; 5x7 - $5: 8x10 - $8; 11x14 - $25
These are just a small sample of print sizes and products available. Canvas prints, metal prints, and books are also available. Ask for more information!

 

Q: How many photos will we get?
       A:  It depends on the people in your session, but you could end up from anywhere between 15-100 photos. If your young ones are having a rough day and acting up, the number will be lower. If they're having a great day and are active and smiling, we may get a lot more shots out of them. If your group is small and is mostly adults, you will probably have a somewhat lower number (as we won't have to take 20 pictures per pose to make sure no one is making googly eyes or pouting).

 

Q: How long will it take for the pictures to be ready?
       A:  It depends on where you are in the day's schedule. Photos will be processed chronologically, so the 9 am slot will be the first to be processed and will most likely be done within a couple of days. The last slot may have to wait a couple of weeks. However, the Sneak Peek album will be up on Facebook within a day or two and will contain pictures from all sessions (unless otherwise specified in your social media preference).

 

Q: What does "Process" mean?

        A:  Processing or post-processing your images means we go through and fine-tune each image so it's the final work of art you would like hanging up in your home. It may include some light retouching (removal of temporary blemishes like scratched or acne), and sometimes conversion to black and white or other special color processing. This is what separates the art of photography from snapshots.

 

Q: How do I get my free digital file?
        A:  When you receive your "gallery is ready" email, the directions on how to select and download your chosen files will be included in that email.

 

What to Wear

 

 

Colors - Gone are the days of matching attire for family portraits! These photo sessions should be about expressing your personalities, not making you look like a sports team. Choose a few colors that work together and have everyone dress in those shades. When choosing colors, try to think about what the pictures will be used for. A print hanging on your living room wall? Make sure your wardrobe colors flow with the colors in your living room.

Clothes, Accessories and Shoes - Choose a top with sleeves at least down to your elbows. Exposed arms
create an uneven balance of skin compared to the face, and most people do not like the way their upper arms photograph. If you are looking to draw attention away from your hips, stay away from pockets and other details on hips. To give the illusion of a more defined waist, choose clothes with gathering at the waist or accessorize with a high-waist belt. If you want to include a "statement" piece to accessorize with, only choose one. Ladies if you have a killer pair of heels you want to show off, bring them! But remember our location is in an outdoor park, so bring a backup pair of shoes to change into between poses. Gents, make sure socks match pants and that your shoes are clean. Avoid white sneakers! They're incredibly distracting in a portrait. Kids should look like kids. Dress them in age appropriate clothes that match the color scheme and tone of the rest of the family. Make sure shoes are clean and if appropriate, shined. Accessories follow that of ladies and gents.

Jewelry - Like accessories, picking a statement piece is good, but don't go overboard. If you have wedding or engagement rings, make sure they're cleaned for any possible close-ups. For kids, keep accessories minimal and "real" as much as possible. If your little princess refuses to leave the house without her bright pink plastic pearls, go with the flow and limit any other accessories. It will be a precious reminder of this time in her childhood and will be better than a pouting princess!

Nails & Hands - Make sure nails are trimmed and clean, either entirely unpolished or freshly painted. Having problems with old polish staining your nails? Try a little whitening toothpaste to help remove stains.

Hair - Wear your hair the way you normally would with the clothes you picked out to wear. For kids, pick simple styles that will last through the kids playing. Avoid tight ponytails, which could create a "balding" effect in the images.

Makeup - It should be slightly bolder than your everyday look, with definition on the eyes, cheeks and lips. Stay away from the "smoky eye look" which can make eyes appear sunken. To prevent dark circles under your eyes, apply a small amount of concealer that matches your skin tone under your eyes.

 

Bad Weather

 

 

Bad weather happens unfortunately -- so we need to have plans in the off chance we might have an unfavorable day for taking pictures!

 

If we are forecast for a high percentage of steady rain or thunderstorms, we may postpone to the rain date and you will be notified within a couple of days of the event.

 

If we are forecast for "iffy" weather (scattered thunderstorms, low percentages of rain, misty/foggy weather) we will still try to run the event. We will not shoot if thunder is audible, however. If your session gets passed due to waiting out a scattered storm, then we will reschedule you for the rain date.

 

If we have to postpone to use the rain date you will be notified no later than the day before the event. If you do not receive an email from us, then we will still be running the event.

 

Hopefully, none of this will matter and we will have a bright sunny day! Everyone think good thoughts!