You've gotta question? We've gotta answer!
With lots of "photographers" on the market, I can't stress enough how important it is to find somone who really knows what they are doing. It's a lot more than having a great camera. What looks good to you may not really be that good at all. I've broken down areas that should be considered in choosing a photographer:
1. How long have they been photographing professionally?
2. What do they photograph (i.e. maternity, newborns, babies, families, weddings etc.). How comfortable are they working with your needs?
3. What is their level of competency in using a fill flash. While I love natural lighting it is extremely important to be able to master the use of fill flash.
4. Do they use Photoshop? If so, how long and what is their experience level.
5. What other tools do they use along with Photoshop?
6. What kind of equipment do they use? Professional grade or pro-sumer grade?
Remember...you can never go back and recapture specific times and places; so make sure you find the right photographer the first time. The only reason I bring all this up is I hear so many times from my clients that they inadvertently choose the wrong photographer and ended up regretting their decision.
Please check my referrals tab inside each tab. There are many links there to services I recommend. One of the most important is a resource called "Rethink Group". Not only are they responsible for the music on my website...they have many other resources for children, kids and families.
The information below contains guidelines and suggestions that should help answer the most commonly asked questions. Please feel free to contact us if your specific question is not covered below, as we are always delighted to hear from you!
If you've made it this far, possibly you've noticed that our images project a certain level of uniquiness. After being in the business over 14 years, I've come to find out that God has just blessed me with the ability to make humans feel themselves....that is the only way I can explain it. From a pregnant mother and her newborn child to a stuff shirted executive who iniatially didn't want to come to the appointment in the first place. We just end up having fun. Babies and children of all ages are the easiest. I guess I'm just a big kid myself and enjoy making them smile or capturing the innocence about them.
Once the image has been captured the work as an artist takes over. What comes out of the camera is definately not what gets printed. I'm not taking about plastic surgery, however that is joked about from time to time, I'm talking about making it a piece of art. This is done using several techniques and a lot of time. I will show you some of them after taking the images. It's a great time to get an idea of how your images turned out and wondering when you can show them off to the family;o)
"Where does the session take place?"
Sessions are either held at the studio in Alpharetta, on-location at a picturesque outdoor setting, at the Chattahoochee River, Centenial Park, Peidmont Park or in the comfort of your very own home. We give you the flexibility to choose your own element, as well as your artist.
"How long will my session last?"
Although sessions may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, the typical session lasts about an hour. In-home maternity and newborn sessions tend to take about an hour and half to two hours. We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.
"How many pictures do you take?"
Lots! Honestly, we never really keep count, but there will be a number of different poses and looks taken. We will select the very best of the images to show you at your design session. Most clients express delight at having so many beautiful images to choose from. The comment we hear most is "...Gosh, how will I ever choose?!?!?"
Also, we suggest that you try an assortment of settings, from the studio, to an outdoor location, to your own home. We hope you'll take advantage of our flexibility and diversity, which will bring the most life and the widest array of emotion to your final collection.
"My child just got a bump, bruise, or scratch and her session is tomorrow! Do I have to reschedule?"
Most likely this will not be necessary. It is very common for babies and children to have "boo-boos" and we are prepared for this. Retouching of all your finished portraits is part of our commitment to excellence. Please do not put make-up or cover-up on your child as this only makes retouching more difficult. We are always available to discuss any of your concerns prior to your session.
"I really want to have maternity pictures taken, but I have some not-so-pretty stretch marks? Can you fix these?"
Although it's time extensive, yes, we are absolutely able to eliminate your "badges of courage" or that dark line, if you find it unsightly for photographs.
"My child woke up ill on the day of his session. Now what?"
Although we normally require 48 hours notice to reschedule a session, we realize that
children do get sick at inopportune times! If your child is ill on the day of his or her session, please call us to discuss the specifics and we will do our best to reschedule your session and accommodate your needs.
"Are the props and fabrics I see in the sample photos yours? I'd like to recreate the exact same look."
All of the backdrops, fabric maternity wraps, fabric newborn wraps, and props ("Miracle" blocks, pink and blue ribbons, Angel Wings, etc.) our mine. The white drape skirt used in Paul's maternity Gallery and some of the "Rag" blankets, quilts, and sheep skin throws are Paul's which he has available in-studio. Feel free to bring with you any props or items that you would like to incorporate in a photo as well.
"When should I plan on arriving for my session?"
All sessions are by appointment only. We recommend arriving on time. Early arrivals will likely experience a wait while another session is wrapping up. We do finish all sessions on time, so arriving late will only result in a shorter time for your own session. If you anticipate being more than 15 minutes late, it is likely you will need to be rescheduled for another date. Please note that there may be a rebooking fee of $50 if this occurs.
"Can I have both black & white and color?"
Absolutely! I photograph the entire session in color and will select the best poses for viewing in black & white, sepia, or selective color. It is important though to determine before hand what the main goal for the session is as this will be important when making clothing selections. We recommend, but are not limited to, selecting one outfit for your child to wear, as they typically do not like having their clothes changed.
"When is the best time to schedule Maternity Session?"
Most expectant families book their session between 32-36 weeks. The goal is to have a nice size belly, but to still be comfortable enough to try different poses and positions; and we don't want to wait too close to the due date incase the little one decides to arrive early.
"When is the best time to schedule Newborn Session?"
We have found that if you want to capture the true newborn-ness of your infant, it's best to book between day 6-21, two weeks is optimal. This way they are such sleepy heads that they don't mind being undressed (usually!) and you are able to capture them in their most innocent and pure of forms. Some babies get cradle cap or baby acne usually around week three or four, so it's usually best to book your appointment when their complexion is still clear. However, no need to fret if he/she has some "blemishes", we will be able to correct that in post editing.
Our goal is to keep the subject the main area of visual interest. This means that the clothing must be kept as simple as possible for a clean and classic look. Please do not bring clothes with bold primary colors, or clothing with large logos or wording. A natural look is best achieved with simple, casual clothing paired with bare feet. Be sure your selected attire fits properly and is nicely pressed. Just think... classic and simple. You want your look to be timeless, not dated. However, exceptions are always made and welcomed as long as we talk about a look we are going for.
"Can you recommend suggestions for what my family should wear?"
- Be sure everyone in the group coordinates or matches
- Jeans paired with earth tones for outdoor photos work best. K
- Khaki pants paired with black or chocolate brown shirts
- Brown, khaki, white and denim look well in combination together all year round
- For the spring and summer, light pastels and white
- Long sleeved tops usually look best on adults
- Be sure your outfit fits the season
- It's best to keep jewelry to a minimum (for ladies, one ring, a simple necklace &/or a pair of small earrings is plenty)
- Please be sure to TAKE OFF YOUR WATCH before your session begins
"Can you recommend suggestions for what my child(ren) should wear?"
- For newborn portraits... we recommend just their birthday suit!
- For babies and children, feel free to bring a couple of outfits and we will help you decide what will photograph best
- It's most important that the child feel comfortable in what he/she is wearing
- If the outfit is a little too snug or too large, please select something that fits just right
- Pastels, earth tones, neutrals, and white are your best options. It's best to avoid bold primary colors like red.
- Other no-no's include Crocs & large hair bows (small sized bows are great!)
- For little girls, A classic, simple, solid white sundress looks amazing for outdoor spring/summer photos (a straw hat is also a nice accessory paired with bare feet)
- Whimsical ideas like a large pink tutu, denim overalls with a cowboy hat, or even a bright colored rain coat with boots and matching umbrella are fun secondary options
- Above all else, the most important thing is that your child be dressed according to his/her own style and personality. When you look back at their photos 20 years down the road, what outfit best sums up your child or baby? How do you want to remember this chapter in their life?
"What should I wear for my maternity session?"
- A black button down sweater or shirt with black pants (good for mom & dad)
- A white or cream button down sweater or shirt with jeans
- Non-maternity jeans or maternity jeans without the large elastic band photograph best (they don't have to zip up or button)
- White or black fitted tank top, camisole, or tube top/bra paired with white or black casual pants or lounge pants
- You can bring one of your husband's pressed, white button down dress shirts
- Minimal jewelry, no watches, and clear or french manicured nails are recommended over bright polish
"What should we wear for our newborn session?"
- Mom and Dad look best in all black (black long sleeve tops or sweaters with black pants). It's best to avoid turtle necks, bulky sweaters or tops that are too low cut.
- Minimal jewelry, no watches and clear or french manicured nails are recommended. You want the focus to be all about the baby.
"Do you have clothing or props available in-studio?"
Yes, we have several beautiful outfits and accessories for your child to wear, from pink tutus to cowboy hats!
"We are interested in booking an in-home maternity and newborn session, but we don't think our house will work."
Almost every house has at least one room with adequate natural sunlight coming through the window.
"Do I need to make any preparations in my home ahead of time for your arrival?"
Please do not worry about cleaning your house, first and foremost! Just try to de-clutter some of the main areas, like the living room, foyer and the baby's nursery. We ask that you have all of your windows, shutters, curtains opened completely before we arrive so that we can take a quick walk around your house when we arrive to select the best spots. If you have any items, props, pets, clothing, furniture that you would like to incorporate into your photos, please have everything out and ready. We can give you a list of suggestions and ideas, and we will also come with several props and fabrics of our own. Most people like to have their favorite music playing so that you can really relax and enjoy this experience in the comfort of your own home.
"Any tips for in-home Newborn Session?"
Sure! If it's cold out, be sure to have the temperature up warm so that baby won't be chilly in his/her birthday suit. Most babies find comfort from either a sound machine or soft music. Newborns are most ready for their close up when they have a full belly and a clean diaper. It matters not if they are awake or asleep, as we will try to get some of both. Also, it's helpful to have the following items out and available, if you have them: a heating pad plugged in on low, several different blankets (a variety of colors, patterns and textures), wipes and diapers, a pacifier (if baby takes one), a stack of 5-6 clean white or off-white towels. We will also bring some fun surprises with us!
Portrait Selection and Post Session
"What are your fees?"
Please click "FEES" for an outline of our products and pricing.
"When will my proofs be ready?"
Within 24-48 hours of the completion of your session.
"What is a Design Session and is it neccessary?"
Paul offers each client a complementary Design Session after the session is complete. You have the opportunity to meet with him one-on-one, view your photos, and sample all of the different one-of-a-kind products we offer to best showcase your new art. We don't want you to simply have a stack of prints collecting dust in a drawer because you don't know how to properly display them. We take the time to help you customize your art, from leather albums, framed prints, canvases, designer hand bags, personalized wooden photo boxes and much much more. This is also a great time for Paul to show you all of the different packages we offer and also customize a package just for you, based on your own personal photography desires and budgets.
"How long will my Design Session last?"
Most last 1 to 2 hours. If you feel you will need more time than this please let Paul know in advance. It's best to look through all of your images at home online and make a list of your favorite photos prior to your appointment.
"Do I make my selections at the Design Session?"
Yes. This time is set aside especially for you to decide which poses, sizes, and finishes you want for your finished pieces. Paul will be there to assist you every step of the way!
"Can I bring family members with me?"
Of course you can! Anyone who will be significant in making purchase decisions should come with you as you will be placing your order at this meeting. Although we do welcome children at this appointment they often become bored and restless. You may find your visit to be more relaxed if you make other arrangements for them.
"I have out-of-town family members who want to purchase portraits from my session. How can they make their selections?"
In general we find that other family members are very happy with selections you make on their behalf. As an additional service, you may choose to have a private web gallery published on our website AFTER you make your selections. This service is available for free on initial orders of $500 or more. Please contact the studio for additional information on this service.
"How long are my images archived?"
Images selected at the presentation appointment for finished portraits are archived indefinitely (that is if we don't experience technology issues).
"What forms of payment do you accept?"
We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard. Please make checks payable to Paul Wendl.
"When is full payment due?"
Due to the custom nature of the prints and frames, payment in full is required at the time your order is placed.
"Is there sales tax on my order?"
Yes, Georgia sales tax of 7% is charged on all orders.
"When will I receive my finished portraits?"
Good things take time! :) Please allow 3 to 4 weeks for completion of your portrait order. Depending on the complexity and framing some orders may take longer. We view your portraits as an important investment in heirloom quality pieces that we do not want to rush.