Our mini session days are our chance to give you and your family lasting memories when time is limited. 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!
Please read all of the information below, and let us know if you have any questions. After you read all of the information, please fill out the online registration questionnaire and online contract that was attached in your confirmation email.
Our Mini Sessions will be taking place near Ringwood Manor at Ringwood State Park in Ringwood, NJ. For directions to the state park, please visit www.ringwoodmanor.org. Please be sure you are checking directions and information for Ringwood Manor, and NOT Skylands Manor (where weddings are held). They are both part of the Ringwood State Park so it can get tricky!
Q: Will there be an entrance fee for the State Park?
A: The entrance fee is only in effect from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Q: Where in the park will you be?
A: We will be meeting in the main parking lot directly next to the manor house itself.
Q: If I get lost, can I call you?
A: Unfortunately due to the fast pace of the day and the fact that we will only have breaks during lunch and briefly in the afternoon, we will not be able to answer phone calls and text messages.
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.
When you arrive to the park, you’ll be greeted by some friends of ours and possibly a couple of high school students interested in photography who are volunteering their time. They will welcome you to our event, and help you choose one of the many locations we will have available to us at the park. When it is time for your session, they may remain with us as my assistant. Because of this, we ask that you arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior to your time slot.
All forms are to be filled out online prior to the mini session date to eliminate waste material as much as possible. This way when you arrive, you only have to pick your location!
Please make sure you fill out the online registration and contract that were 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.
Due to the nature of the short 15 minute mini-sessions, we will not be able to accommodate extending sessions due to late arrival. In the event of a late arrival, 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 on donations.
In order to follow park regulations, we cannot allow money to exchange hands on park grounds. An online invoice will be sent to you a few days before the mini sessions for you to pay online. Payments must be made by the day before the mini sessions in order to participate.
Q: What is included in my session fee?
A: Like other sessions and events, your mini-session includes Facebook images, and online gallery, post-processing, and a 10% off coupon, and one digital file of your choice from your online gallery!
Q: Why do the donations need to be made by the day before the mini sessions?
A: Payments cannot be accepted on State Park property, and with the low service nature of the park we won't be able to find out if payments were made the day of.
Q: My plans suddenly changed. Can I get my money back or re-schedule the mini-session?
A: Payments cannot be refunded. Unless we need to use the rain date (October 21st), no other mini session dates will be added.
After the event, we will go through and edit a few select images from each session and post to our Facebook page (depending on information in your questionnaire) in a Sneak Peek album.
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. After the gallery is uploaded, you can email us with your photo choice for the free digital file.
Q: Can I buy the digital files?
A: Yes! Single files are $20 each, 50 files are $200 and 150 are $500. Purchases of 50 or more files will arrive on a custom designed USB drive and a matching storage box. We also offer a special for our Portraits in the Park clients: 20 files for $100. These do not come on a USB drive but will be emailed to you using WeTransfer.
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 30-100 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 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 9am 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 24 sessions (unless otherwise specified in the model release form). We understand that many of the holiday mini sessions are for use for Holiday cards, so we will do our best to get you your pictures as soon as possible!
Q: What is a Sneak Peek album?
A: We get just as excited as you do about pictures! This means we can hardly wait to get back to our computers to see how they turned out. Within a day or two of the event, we go through ALL the pictures quickly to pick out a couple of favorites from each session, process them and post them on Facebook (depending on your model release form) with watermarks for you to view and share while you wait for the rest to be done.
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: After you get your email that your online gallery is ready, simply email us which number picture you want and we will email it over to you!
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 more bold 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 happens unfortunately -- so we need to have plans in the off chance we might have an unfavorable day for taking pictures! Please keep an eye on your email account in the days leading up to the event.
If we are forecast for a high percentage of 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 or rain) 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.
Hopefully none of this will matter and we will have a bright sunny day! Everyone think good thoughts!