Frequently Asked Questions

What is it about you that sets you apart from other photographers?

There are many talented and not-so-talented photographers out there.  Social-media is filled with portrait sessions from friends and businesses.  Obviously, you want to pick someone whose work inspires you, and fits within your budget. Naturally, you hope that you are hiring a real professional.  Therein lies the kicker; any photographer who charges money for a service is technically a professional.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean they know what they’re doing.  There are always hobby photographers that blow me away with their skills, but generally speaking, experience and education are critical to the final product.  Photography was always a passion of mine, and I knew from a fairly young age that this is what I wanted to do as a profession.  I was very specific in picking out my college education, and picked a school that was considered to be in the top five for photography in the entire US.  And while I specialize in portraiture, weddings, and birth photography, I was actually trained as a commercial photographer (with an emphasis on jewelry).  We shot with film on our 4×5 large format cameras, and studied studio lighting, portraiture, photojournalism, ad campaigns, annual reports, catalog spreads, fashion shoots, product photography, Photoshop technique, proper color correction….and…yes…DARK ROOM!  Our professors were world renowned photographers themselves, and for two years I practically lived in our photo department at school.What does all this mean?It means that I can gauge a situation and determine if studio, natural, or combination light is the best approach for a photo. You will always have well-lit photographs, because I was taught by experts, and not by a Pinterest tutorial.  It means that aside from the hair and clothing styles in the image, your pictures will be as timeless as possible, and not just a bunch of trendy filters that makes them look outdated and “so 2012!”  It means that if I shoot your wedding, I’ll photograph all your details and jewelry in a way that could be in a magazine, without missing a tender moment between you and loved one.  It means that your portrait session will have the appeal of a gallery art piece or fashion spread.  It means that I will photograph your birth with the quiet observation of a photojournalist coupled with my personal knowledge of the birth process (see below).    It means I can photograph the products of your business to the skilled degree of an annual report or ad campaign without missing the human element in both the images and our working relationship.  And no matter the project, it also means you may end up with one more friend.

What is a typical portrait shoot like?  

I come to the location of your choice, where we spend 1-2 hours (portrait session) shooting in a variety of settings with a variety of lighting scenarios.  I will loosely direct you by placing you in a particular spot, or asking you to turn a certain way, or holding a certain position, but then I observe and wait for natural expressions and real moments.

What is the differences between edited, color corrected, and retouched images?  

Once your session is complete, I take all the images and do an initial edit, where I weed out any bad images.  Then I go through and do my color correction on the images.  Once that is complete, you get to view the lot and choose your images for your personal package.  I then take those images and do any further retouching and fine tuning that they may need.  This might include blemishes that showed up at an inopportune time, stray hairs, anything that distracts from the beauty or story of the photograph(s).  I will use my discretion as far as how much or how little I retouch.  If there is anything you don’t want me to remove, let me know (if I don’t ask first).  If there is something extra you want removed that wouldn’t normally fall in my normal retouching workflow, and assuming it is possible to do so, you may incur an additional fee that is agreed upon by both parties.

What should we wear?  

Family portraits look great in coordinating colors, whether neutral or bold, but try to avoid very busy patterns that can compete too much with the setting and faces.  For outdoor photography, try avoiding light-pinks and yellows as they can end up over-exposed in images.

How should I do my make up?  

Generally speaking, you do want to wear more makeup than you would on a regular day.  For ladies, extra mascara is always helpful to draw more attention to the eyes, and curling lashes open them up as well.  Here is a site from another blogger and photographer has great tips that you can check out.

When is the best time to schedule a newborn session?

A newborn session is best held within 10 days of birth, so we can get those little wrinkled hands, feet, umbilical stump, and the tenderness of those first few days.  With any luck, I will get a mixture of sleeping photos and awake photos, but try to make sure baby is fed and rested before your session if possible.  Of course, babies kind of do their own thing most of the time so I work with the situation as best as possible.

What should I expect for wedding photo scheduling?  

Oh weddings.  So much to do.  Such a long day, yet still so little time.  Your photographer is probably one of the only people who will be with you from start to finish on your big day.   I have photographed so many weddings, and generally speaking there is a loose schedule that seems to work for the majority of them.  While I obviously allow adjustments for each wedding, I follow that schedule so that it allows the bride, groom, their family, bridal party, and guests the most enjoyment and experience out of their day, but also the ability for me as your HIRED photographer to photograph all the important moments and details you have painstakingly dreamed about, created, and purchased.  It is no surprise how much of yourselves you pour into your wedding, yet, at the end of the day it is all a blur.  Those wedding photos allow you to go back and relive it all, every day from that point forward.

So here is what I recommend–I usually arrive about an hour prior to scope out locations, etc.  If everything is already set up, I may grab some detail images of the location.  I then take about 1/2 hour to an hour of the “getting ready” images, one to two hours of bride and groom portraits (this includes the “first look,”) one to two hours for bridal party and family portraits, (and try to fit in a half-hour break prior to ceremony), the length of ceremony, and about 2-3 hours for the reception.  This generally allows for a good flow for all involved without seeming too rushed.  In fact, sometimes photographing the bridal portraits is a nice break to just get away with your spouse-to-be and enjoy some fun and flirtatious moments (only I’m tagging along with my camera, haha!)  If your wedding day is more or less involved than what is described above, let me know.  I can create a custom package that better suits you!

Do you sell prints?

No.  And for a variety of reasons.  Here’s a story — my husband finds a baby photograph of himself cut into the shape of a heart.  He looks at me and says, how many original photographs have been cut and destroyed in the name of a senior photo collage.  He struck the nail on the head (which is funny because he builds houses, but I digress.)  When you buy a photography package from me, you are paying me to create that image(s).  You are paying for my knowledge, skill, professionalism, and time to create that photograph, and you are also paying me for the rights to print it. And you SHOULD print it.   When you receive your digital files, do five things: 1. love them, 2. upload them, 3. copy/store them, 4. share them and 5. PRINT THEM!

Print a photo album, print 4×6’s, print enlargements, make a canvas.  Make sure that when you kids look at your pictures 40 years from now, they can actually hold them, touch them and frame them.  Let them be your family treasure.  Don’t just keep them in digital purgatory.  That being said, I would want the ability to print whatever I want, when I want, and not have to stress about picking a printed package up front and worrying if I made the right combination.  Nor should you.  You have all the images you want at anytime, so that if you need a gift for Grandma?  Done.  Want a photo book for your coffee table?  Great.  Redecorated your house and need to create a gorgeous photo wall that greets your friends and family?  TA-DA!  Finally got that promotion that comes with its own office and you want to frame photos to place on your desk?  Granted.  Has your once 6 month old graduated high school and you are creating the previously mentioned photo collage and you want to cut photos into shapes of hearts?  No problem.  You have access to all your images for what you want, when you need them.

Can you recommend who to use for printing?  

There are a variety of pro labs you can send your files to and have beautiful prints, canvasses, and books sent straight to your door, and I am happy to recommend local and online options to you after your session.

Will I receive all images from the session?

Once I do an initial color correction on the best images, you will get to view those files online.  You pick which images you want to have included in your digital package, and then those images get my final razzle-dazzle!  While I have created basic package options for you to choose from, you can certainly buy as many as you would like to have.

Do you come with props?

Generally, no.  I do come with a white or dark back drop for some sessions, but I generally don’t shoot as a prop photographer. It’s not really my style of photography.  That being said, if there are items or furnishings in your home or in the area where we are photographing, I may include those into the setting. And of course, if you have a request for using something in a portrait I will gladly and certainly oblige.

Can I make photo requests?

YES!  I will try my best to honor your requests.  But I also love to let a shoot take on it’s own personality as well.  Sometimes the best images are the unexpected ones you don’t plan for.

Why do you suggest that other people not take pictures during wedding portrait sessions?

For a variety of reasons.  When I am photographing a group of people,  or even just the bridal couple, they can often times be distracted when there are several people behind me wanting to take pictures.  I either have to wait until I have their attention back at me (which wastes a lot of time) or, I end up having a ton of images where there is inevitably someone looking away.  Not only this, but when I take the time to set up a beautiful image, with lighting, etc…extra flashes can affect my own exposure, and sometimes I miss the natural light that has now moved behind the tree while I was waiting.

Can I share my photos online?

Yes.  I will generally give you low resolution watermarked images for you to share online.  If you share the printable high resolution image, I ask that you give photo credit back to LCS Photography along with a link to my site.  In fact, I offer referral advantages to any booking that came via you!

How long will I have to wait to see my images?

A wedding takes approximately 6-8 weeks for completion.  A portrait session varies depending on how fast it takes you to choose your images and how many you purchase.  Generally speaking, I try to have your initial edit completed within a week, and your final images sent to you a week to two weeks after that.

Do you help in picking final portrait session choices?

If you want me to.  I always have my own personal favorites, but on top of that, if you are having a hard time narrowing them down, I will gladly offer my professional advice.  This can even extend to how big to print them, and where to hang to best showcase them.

Why are you interested in birth photography?

It is a bit of an obsession.  My dad is a retired OBGYN, and my life growing up has always been a childbirth class.  I was born at home, in Sweden, and of course there were photos documenting that special day.  The process is so surreal, and no other event shows such a transformation for the mother and father.  It is photographic gold, and it is such an honor to be able to give parents a tangible piece of artwork that documents and celebrates the hard work they did bringing life into the world.  If you chose me to be part of your child’s birth, know that I will be a silent observer and respectful in every way, as to not distract or take away from that moment.

How do you schedule for a birth?

Births are the great unknown.  Generally speaking, a mother can go into labor two weeks prior and after her due date. When I take on a birth, I will loosely be on call during that time, but I will block out one week prior and after your due date, during which time I will take no other jobs (unless already scheduled).  Because of this, I only take one birth a month.

Do you travel?

I am situated in Olympia, WA and easily travel within Thurston County, and within an hour of the surrounding areas.  There are always exceptions to the rules, of course, but being a mother of two small boys, I try to keep my sessions fairly close to home.

Do you offer other services and/or products? 

Yes. I am available for doing restoration of your old family photos.