Portraits in the Park for Operation Smile
October 1, 2023
(Rain Date October 8, 2023)
Our Portraits in the Park for Operation Smile fundraiser is our chance to give you and your family lasting memories when the time is limited, all while helping to save the life of a child in need. 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 even if you have participated in Portraits in the Park 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.
Our Fall 2023 Mini Sessions will take place at Pascack Brook County Park in Westwood, NJ (150 Emerson Rd, Westwood, NJ 07675). This is a new location for us to use for Portraits in the Park, and we're so excited!
PLEASE NOTE: Your GPS will take you to the parking lot near the baseball field. Instead of turning into this lot, continue on the road and enter the main entrance near the park sign. See the image below.
Q: Can we bring our pets?
A: Yes, pets are allowed at this property, but they must remain on their leash.
Q: Will there be an entrance fee?
A: There is no entrance fee to the park.
Q: Where in the park will you be?
A: We will be in the parking lot near the tennis courts/bathroom. The road that loops around the pond is one way, so continue around the pond counter-clockwise to get to that parking area:
Q: If I get lost, can I call you?
A: Unfortunately, we won't be available to answer text messages, phone calls, or emails while shooting other clients' 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. Some prop choices are available during the event, but they will be limited and shared among mini-sessions. We frequently try to incorporate some seated poses into your mini-session, so if you are wearing clothing you are concerned will get dirty, we suggest you bring a blanket that matches your wardrobe color scheme.
Process Upon Arrival
When you arrive at the park, you will find our volunteers camped out by the open trunk of one of our vehicles. They will check you in and make sure everyone is ready for your session. They will welcome you to our event, help you choose one of the locations available, and pick out any props or blankets if desired. Please keep in mind that certain areas of the park may not be ideal lighting-wise during your session. We ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your time slot.
Please make sure you have made your donation by September 27th or you will not be considered registered and your slot will be given away.
Please see Payment Information for how to make your donation.
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.
Donations must be made through our Operation Smile OneSmile Donation page for this event so that we can keep track of donations. This way, you don't have to worry about sending us proof of your donation. Donations must be made by September 27, 2023, to participate in the fundraiser. Donating online will allow your donation to be tax-deductible. Click here to visit our OneSmile Donation page.
Q: Why is the session fee a “suggested donation of at least $30”?
A: Each operation costs $240, so by offering 15-minute mini-sessions for at least $30, we can raise enough money to pay for an operation every two hours per photographer! What you decide to donate is up to you, but we ask that it be at least $30 so we can reach our goal. Please note if you book more than one slot, you need to make a minimum donation of $30 per slot.
Q: What is included in my session fee?
A: Like other sessions and events, your mini-session includes Facebook images (depending on your social media preference), an online gallery, post-processing, and a 10% off coupon. As a special thank you, you’ll also get one free digital file of your choice from your online gallery!
Q: Why do the donations need to be in by September 27th?
A: We are setting the due date as close to the 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 last minute.
Q: My plans suddenly changed. Can I get my money back or re-schedule the mini-session?
A: Because the online donations are made directly to Operation Smile, they cannot be refunded. Unless we need to use the rain date, no other dates for the fundraiser will be added. We love the ability to donate our time to Operation Smile twice a year, but as business owners, we cannot afford to take additional paying work days away from our business and our other clients. We hope that you understand!
Post-Portrait Process and Ordering Information
After the event, we will go through and edit a few select images from each session and post to our Facebook page (depending on your social media preferences) in a Sneak Peek album. Please note that we will only be providing Sneak Peeks to Social Media approved sessions.
Once all the images are edited (approximately 4-6 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. That email will also include an unlimited use coupon code for 10% off, good for 1 month from the date the gallery is posted, and the code and directions for downloading your included file. Do not lose that email.
Q: Can I buy additional 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 - $5; 5x7 - $7: 8x10 - $10; 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 with 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. However, the Sneak Peek album will be on Facebook within a day or two and contain pictures from all sessions that allow Social Media use.
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 few days of the event, we go through all the pictures quickly to pick out a couple of favorites from each (social media approved) session, process them and post them on Facebook with watermarks for you to view and share while you wait for the rest to be done. Clients who prefer their photos be kept off Social Media will have to wait for their full album to be ready.
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 to hang up in your home. It may include some light retouching (removal of temporary blemishes like scratches 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: The day after your mini-session, you will receive a "thank you" email with your personal code and directions on how to download your included file.
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 happens, unfortunately -- so we need to have plans on 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 the day before the event. If you do not receive an email from us, then we will still be running the event. If the rain date is used, the gallery due date will be adjusted accordingly as well. For more information, please read your contract thoroughly.
Hopefully, none of this will matter, and we will have a bright sunny day! Everyone think good thoughts!