Hello Gorgeous Woman,
I am so happy that you have taken that initial step to commission custom portraits for you. I know exactly how this feels - and I have helped many women, like you, through this experience. The results are ah-mazing portraits of you like you've never seen before. I understand if you're nervous, wondering what to wear or how to pose, or what your portraits will look like.
OK! Let's stop all that right there.
You've got this! And more importantly, I'VE GOT THIS!!
I want to make sure you're well prepared for this session and that is why I have put together this comprehensive guide. I know you have many questions about having a smooth portrait experience. If you have more questions than are addressed here, please feel free to contact me directly.
The women on your website all look like models. I am not "modelesque"...can I do this??
First of all, THANK YOU! I take that as a compliment of the highest degree...because...well....these women are not models. These women, just like you, at one point looked at the photos on the website and thought "Hmm..I know mine won't turn out THAT good since I don't look like a model, but I'm wondering how good she can make me look?" The answer is: Modelesque. Be rest assured that you will be fully guided throughout your session and we will create flattering portraits of you regardless of body shape or size. All you need to do is show up.
What's a style/design+planning appointment?
For most of my clients, it is our first in-person meeting. I want to learn all about you, your story and explore ways to let your personality shine in your portrait session. I like sharing Chocolates. Yes, it's my favourite treat to serve at every meeting and session held in the studio.
We will talk about Wardrobe It's not unusual to have boxes of clothes and accessories dragged into the studio for this meeting. Whether you choose to handpick the wardrobe options you think might fit or you simply throw everything into boxes, it's all fine. Together, we will sort through and find the perfect option for you...or maybe not. Sometimes, we don't and that means it's time to shop. How exciting! These portraits are going to be with you for a lifetime and passed on to your generations. You want to be proud of your wardrobe choices in 20...30 years. No matter the session type, I recommend going fancy for, at least, one of your wardrobe choices. So bring on the bling and all the glamour.
We will talk about how you will enjoy your portraits after your session. I want you to enjoy your portraits for a lifetime - together we will be creating art pieces to fit your home and decor and becomes part of your history - so you will feel and touch some of the best heirloom-quality products in the industry. These keepsake items will adorn the spaces in your home, or office and be treasured possessions. Whether you invest $1500 or $15000, you only invest in the portraits you love. Most of my clients love the flexibility of payments in investing towards their art pieces at the design consultation. Truth is you are going to love so many portraits that you probably will want them all. So by pre-investing in your portraits, you can plan your investments properly and be a part of our premier portrait club (with all the amazing benefits). I recommend a pre-investment in the smallest collection of your art pieces preference for your portraits.
Now let's get ready for your session... First thing’s first: START REFLECTING
Exactly what kind of images are you hoping to walk away from your session with? Do you find yourself drawn to anonymous images that show off the body? Portraits? Editorial style? Have absolutely no idea? It can be very difficult to articulate your own style, so we don’t ask you to. Instead, the first thing that I ask clients to do is to create a "secret" Pinterest board for their photo session. If you are not a Pinterest user, you can also just send me some photos, but I find that the secret board on Pinterest is the best way for you and I to get a good visual of the concept we're going for. I can help you with navigating Pinterest, if you need that.
What should I expect in my session?
What to expect will vary based on what the occasion is. However, be rest assured that I will work with you throughout the entire portrait experience. You will be with a passionate, patient, enthusiastic, and detailed photographer excited to invest time and resources to create wonderful heirloom items, customized for you. The design and planning consultation will guide you through the process and give you the chance to see and touch some exquisite art pieces as well as develop a visual plan that is ideal for you. All your portraits will be professionally enhanced to suit you (typically you will have up to 40 portraits to choose from). You will get a lot of help with selecting the ideal wardrobe for your custom portraits and even show you mock-ups of your portraits hanging on your wall before they are produced.
What should I wear?
This is one of the most common questions - Whatever you feel beautiful in. I want you to look effortlessly great! and that sometimes involves things you likely already have in your closet. Don't come with outfits you do not love! An evening dress. Sequins and glitter anything. A flowing dress. Form fitting dresses. Your super corporate CEO-type dress. A turtle neck top. That leather jacket and denim you've got. A bodysuit, an oversized sweater, cropped sweatshirt and high waist panties, a robe, sleep shirt...you get the drift. Some clients opt for lingerie. You will typically have time for up to 5 “looks” or outfits (yes, "nude" counts as an outfit)! Don't stress too much about wardrobe. I will sit with you during the style and design appointment to select your favourite outfits and what matches your dream session. You're welcome to use studio wardrobe pieces.
Some extra tips on selecting your wardrobe pieces:
Have yourself properly fitted for lingerie if you will be wearing it for your session. I recommend going to a local lingerie boutique to have yourself properly fitted. Avoid tiny busy patterns as well as neon colors. They are often harsh on-camera and a bit unflattering so try to avoid them. Have several outfits picked out and we can go through them together before your session to determine what will photograph best. Try to incorporate a variety of pieces into your wardrobe selections. Having 5 different bra and panty sets won't allow for a whole lot of variety in your photos. Rather, have something formal, something casual, something super textured and fun, something more modest, to something black and sleek...you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be complicated…in fact, we welcome simplicity! I love to work with pretty scarves, sheets, white button down shirts, jackets and coats, or anything you love.
I'd love to wear a nice statement piece, and I have none.
No worries. For most of the studio wardrobe pieces here are some good places to shop at, and you're welcome to take a look and shop for yourself. Online retail stores like EDRESSIT, Windsor Store, JJ'sHouse. You can also check out Brick and Mortar stores like Ross in Bellingham. If you choose to purchase outfits for your portrait session and you feel like you might not be wearing them again, keep the original receipt of purchase and you can trade your dresses for your portraits. You will receive 150% of the value of your dress in portraits.
Flattering all figures...
All women, I truly believe this, are beautiful!!!
Curves, no curves, all shapes, all sizes, are beautiful. I often get questions from clients saying "I'm curvy--so what should I wear?" or "I have no butt!". Here's a few tips based on the most common "complaints" I get from women and how to enhance those features with wardrobe.
*Curvy bodies- BRING ON THE FORM-FITTING ITEMS! I adore bodysuits, tight dresses, and nothing at all….especially for voluptuous bombshells. We often see curvy women trying to cover up more, but often that has the opposite effect they think it will. Allowing me to pose you so that we can see your figure and celebrate it is the way to go!
*Flat-butts- Thongs tend to make a butt look fuller than full-coverage bottoms or g-strings. Play around in the mirror with different styles to see what you like best. And don't worry, I'm a PRO at creating curves in posing where there aren't any otherwise! I can get a killer booty shot with any level of curve (or lack thereof).
*Shorter legs- High heels with a THIN heel rather than chunky! Avoid shoes with thick ankle straps or a square toe. Nude shoes naturally elongate the legs.
*Thin/no curves- That’s all in the posing-girl! Form fitting options and nothing at all work great as I pose the heck out of you to make you look and feel bodacious.
*Small chest- Underwires and balconettes are lovely, as well as NO BRA AT ALL (my personal favorite for small chested women!) And also, small boobs rock. So please don't feel the NEED to create extra "oomph" unless it's something that really concerns you.
*"Mom boobs"- If your breasts are a bit lower or “floppier” than you’d like them to be, just be sure to snag a bra with some support, or form fitting bodysuits that will keep them at bay. Posing will play a huge role here, and I’m really good at that. So…bring your mom boobs my way and we’ll embrace the hell out of them!
*Surgery scars and stretch marks- My personal belief is that scars tell a story. Sometimes clients wish they didn’t have to be permanently reminded of that story, and other times, clients embrace their scars and say they’re a part of them. For this reason, I will never edit out a scar or stretch mark unless a client specifically requests it….and if they do, in fact, request that retouching, I will happily do that at no additional charge. This is a VERY personal topic and it’s not my decision to make. I welcome scars and stretch marks, but I also support a woman’s decision to conceal them if they would like!
I'm really not comfortable with being photographed nearly nude, but I really want you to photograph me. Is that a possibility?
My aim is to show the beautiful and confident woman regardless of the level of dress or undress. I want to celebrate you and however you feel comfortable - from total dress up and glam to fabric draping or in your gorgeous lingerie. Women who shy away from being photographed nude, in lingerie, etc, might be more comfortable doing a studio portrait session with an off-shoulder blouse and jeans...that's totally fine!
When and how will I select my favorite images from my session?
Franctal Studio proudly offers in-person reveal and ordering appointments within 7-10 days of your session and sometimes, immediately after your session. We do this for a host of reasons::: First, for your convenience. We've gotten REALLY good at our little system for helping clients decide between images, showing similar images side by side for easy selection, and assisting clients with getting great variety for albums and the perfect wall art pieces. Because we do show a LOT of killer images, it can be overwhelming to navigate on your own and we don't want our customer service to stop at the photo shoot. The in-person photo reveal is much appreciated by our clients and is our favorite part of the whole process!
Second, for security. While doing some sort of online proofing gallery is industry standard for lots of different types of photography, beauty and intimate portraits can be more sensitive in nature. We don't want to store your images anywhere online, leaving them vulnerable to being hacked and exploited by anyone but you. We take your privacy seriously, so the in-person photo reveal takes care of this!
All art pieces and heirloom albums are produced within 6 weeks of ordering. You will be provided with an estimated delivery/pick-up date at your ordering appointment. If you'd rather have us install your art pieces for you, a date will be scheduled at your convenience.
What if I don't know what art pieces I need?
Our clients trust us to provide the quality of service and art pieces we have been known for. We delve into details about what your portrait needs are and the art pieces we would be creating for you. This informs the creative direction of your portrait session. However, if you have not experienced our portrait creation process before and you'd like to wait to see your portraits before deciding which art pieces to order, you are welcome to choose your portraits and art pieces at your ordering appointment. We want to make sure you are getting what you want and investing in the portraits you absolutely love.
Is there a perfect time of day for my session?
Yes! All beauty and intimate portrait sessions are held in my private residential studio in Fleetwood, Surrey - at 10am and 1pm Mondays through Fridays. So you are assured of privacy but not just that, you are saved from "Raincouver", so there are no weather issues - you can be sure your session will hold when you have scheduled.
So, one more time, louder for those in the back: YOU ARE AMAZING TODAY. NOT 15 LBS FROM NOW, NOT POST-PLASTIC SURGERY….You.are.amazing.TODAY and I can’t wait to show you!
Other things you might be worried about:
*STRESS ACNE. Yeah, it happens. Pimples suck. If you think for one second that every woman you see pictured on my website was magically pimple-free on the day of their session, you’re taking crazy pills. We retouch blemishes and bruises with ease on every photo you see. No problem. No stress. Let that pimple try it’s hardest to ruin your day, but your photos will not be a permanent reminder of it.
*BODY ISSUES. I long for the day that women are comfortable in their skin at all stages, for the day that women embrace their wobbly bits and beautiful side creases. That said, I know women well enough to be realistic and understand that many women struggle with self love and no matter how much I tell them they are beautiful, they wish they would have lost just a few more pounds before their session. If that is you, I can assure you, that this ain’t my first rodeo. The majority of the women that come in to see me are working on loving themselves, but struggle. They don’t approve of the size of their thighs, their belly pooch, their dimples. I take women’s feelings very seriously and never want to make anyone uncomfortable. While this is a body positive studio, I will also light and pose you in the most flattering possible way while I shoot you from the best possible angles.
*POSE ANXIETY. This one’s easy. You don’t have to know how to pose…not even a little bit. I will walk you through every step of the way. I will get into the poses myself and have you mirror me. If we didn’t get it right on the first try, I’ll gently redirect you. It’s not YOUR job to take amazing photos, it’s mine. And I’m pretty competitive about taking amazing photos.
*BEING ON YOUR PERIOD. Yep, it’s the worst. No, it will not affect your finished product. We run an all-female studio and we ALL understand the plight of menstruation on photo shoot day. We keep extra strength Advil and feminine hygiene products on hand, and we have zero qualms with 30 bathroom breaks. Start your morning with some fresh fruit and a heating pad and we’ll take it from there. No worries about bloat or blemishes.
*BEING THE ONE CLIENT THAT I AM UNABLE TO GET A GOOD PICTURE OF. If you’re thinking that all of the women featured on the pages of my website and social media are models, you’re sorely mistaken. You don’t have to love EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, but you will love most of them. And you will be shocked that you could love photos of yourself this much. I WILL rock out your portrait session and I WILL get a whole bunch of killer images of you. I always do. But if you come into the shoot with an open mind and with trust in me, we’ll get EXTRA. And extra is always good. I’ve never met a woman who I couldn’t capture beautifully. That includes you.
I have many more questions than what you have listed here…
Say no more…that’s exactly why we dedicate time to answer all your questions during your design and planning consultation.