Q: What kinds of portraits do you do? A: All kinds! I photograph families, generational portraits, children, newborns, pets, maternity, professional headshots, modeling headshots, senior and grad portraits, artist portraits, large groups, solo portraits, and more.
Q: Do you help with posing? A: Always! Regardless of what kind of portrait session you're looking to do, I will chat with you in advance about what kind of look you're hoping to achieve, whether you want more action shots, posed portraits, or "moment" shots; and during the shoot I'll prompt and pose you as needed to help create that vision. If you're worried or uncertain about where to put your hands or how to angle your head, worry not! I've got you covered.
Q: How do I book you for a session? A: Over on the Booking page! There you'll find a quick run-down of how to book, what to expect at your session, and links to the online booking calendars I currently have open. Standard sessions are available year round, but I rotate through various seasonal specials as well which have their own dedicated booking pages. Be sure to check out the Photo Session Specials tag on my blog to see what discounts I'm currently running. And as always, if you have any questions--feel free to reach out the old fashioned way: through my contact page!
Q: Do you do product photography? A: You bet! I do both small and large items: jewelry, food, clothing, furniture, cars, etc. I also do product staging, soft boxing, and modeled products (such as with clothing or handbags). Given that my current volume of product photography shoots is relatively low, I do not have pre-set package prices listed on my website. Please inquire directly for a quote.
Q: Help! I'm not good at pictures--how do I get the most out of my session? A: I've got several articles on my blog to help you get the most out of your photo session, be it prepping your pet, your toddler, or dressing your best. Check out some of the articles here.
Editing & Style FAQ's
Q: What is your editing style? A: I edit light. I aim to create images with a wide tonal range, balanced contrast, bright (but not over-saturated) colors, and a touch of warmth. I don't use generic filters or AI--I edit each image by hand individually to ensure consistency across a set, address individual issues in an image's exposure, and better meet my editing goals. You can see an example of a RAW vs. Edited image below. For specific types of sessions, or at the request of the client, I am happy to edit more dramatically--such as for artist, branding, or modeling portraits. I may do split-toning, add or alter grain or vignetting, adjust blacks and whites, or change the tonal map of the image.
Q: What is the difference between 'editing' and 'retouching'? A: 'Editing' is when I take a raw photo (unaltered, straight from the camera), and make basic adjustments to the image to give it a clean, professional look. These adjustments include color balance, exposure, contrast, sharpness, cropping, and lens correction, among others. 'Retouching' is taking an edited photo and making further adjustments, usually in relation to the subjects within the photograph: smoothing blemishes, removing flyaway hairs and small background distractions, or compensating for unsightly shadows.
Q: Do I need retouching on my photos? A: Retouching is ideal for certain types of limited-subject portraits, like professional headshots, engagement photos, or when there is a particular known issue you would like addressed in your photograph such as an acne flare up or a recent cat scratch. For example, I once did a fall senior portrait where the young man had spent the summer caddying on a golf course and got a distinctive hat tan line on his forehead. In his portraits, the client paid to have this removed. In another instance, I photographed an outdoor wedding which suffered unexpectedly high winds. Many of the wedding portrait subjects had flyaway hairs which the client paid to remove. Barring the instances described above, in most circumstances basic editing alone is more than sufficient to achieve a stylish, professional look to your session photographs.
Q: How would you describe your photography style? A: My photography roots are in photojournalism, so I tend towards the candid, documentary, and editorial. You may see my shooting and editing style sometimes referred to as "lifestyle" photography. It emphasizes the natural and steers away from the openly posed and artificial--capturing people as they are in real life, artistically. A large part of what I incorporate into my work is getting to know my clients--their personality, interests, and life experiences--so that I can capture and convey those things about them in a natural and aesthetically pleasing way. Now that doesn't mean there is no posing involved! I always make sure to take a few classic, posed shots in every portrait session, and I often guide or prompt my clients to help them achieve a clean, comfortable look in their pictures. I may show them where best to place their hands, I may use supplemental lighting sources, tell jokes, or stage important moments in a wedding or event if the moment didn't naturally pan out "picture-perfect".
Q: How many weddings have you photographed? A: To be honest, I lost track after around 100. About 70 of those weddings were as the lead photographer, and the rest as a second shooter. What's the difference you ask? A lead photographer is doing a lot of the directing, coordinating, communication with the client, shot planning, time management, that sort of thing. A second or associate photographer is a photographer the lead brings on to help capture supplemental shots such as detail shots, wedding guest/table portraits, or shots from a second angle during important moments. While the lead role is certainly more responsibility-heavy, each role is uniquely important, and demands a slightly different skill set and perspective.
Q: What kinds of weddings do you have experience with? A: I've been really lucky to shoot a very wide array of weddings during different times of year, varied weather, and even in different states! I've photographed in rain, snow, heavy fog, hot summer sun, and high winds. I even once did a wedding which took place as a blizzard was getting started along the Massachusetts Cape. Driving home that night was sure something! I've photographed a (shortened) Cambodian ceremony, traditional Indian ceremonies, several Catholic weddings with full Mass, Jewish ceremonies, and plenty of secular ones. I've photographed weddings as large as 400 and as small as 10. I've photographed in large historic churches and small community ones, on beaches and in forests; in backyards, barns, restaurants, country clubs, and event halls of all sorts.
Q: What is working with you like? What can I expect? A: Prior to your big day we will discuss at length the outline of events, location, and guest list. I take meticulous notes and will have plenty of questions for you during our meetings and research the venue ahead of time so as to be as prepared as possible for the shooting conditions on the day of your wedding. Throughout most of the event day I shoot with one camera, though I use a two-camera setup during the ceremony. The specific equipment I use varies depending on space, lighting conditions, need, and client preference; though I bring with me 4 off-camera flashes and stands, flash umbrellas and reflectors for portraits (if needed), as well as a variety of lenses. My goal is to be as unobtrusive as possible throughout your day, and I adjust my shooting strategies accordingly as I go. I aim to capture largely candid, natural moments when and where I can, though I will step in to pose or stage shots when natural moments don't pan out quite "picture perfect".
Q: What do you recommend as essential inclusions in a wedding photography package? A: For a typical 6-8 hour wedding, I recommend getting at least 300 JPEG's with editing, a flash drive, and a 50+ page photo book. In my experience, that is the bare minimum a client will still be really happy with years down the road. However, if photography is a big component of how you plan to remember your day in the future, or is important to you generally as a medium, I would recommend instead opting for the full day's photos with editing, a flash drive, a 100+ page photo book, and at least 1 medium-large sized framed print or wall canvas. This is a big topic though, and I go into it in greater depth in this blog post. Be sure to give it a read!
Q: I'm on a really tight budget. Where can I cut costs without losing out too much? A: This may seem contrary to my answer above, but hear me out. Generally, I would recommend cutting out the photo book, and trimming down on the number of images included in your package. What I would not recommend is whittling down your coverage hours. While this isn't true for all photographers, it is true for me: I hold on to client photos for a minimum of 1 year after the shoot date (though in all honesty, I'm still maintaining my archive all the way back to 2012). If finances change down the road, you can always come back to me and purchase editing, licensing to more photos, or a photo book. What you can't do is go back in time and have a photographer cover the hours you originally opted out of on your wedding day.
Q: How long have you been doing photography? A: Professionally, since 2012! So, over a decade, now. I transitioned to being a full-time professional in January of that year, though I had been doing photography semi-professionally during college as well, from roughly 2008 through 2011.
Q: What do you like taking pictures of the most? A: Well... that's a tough question! If you read my About Page, you'll know I enjoy quite a lot of things! Narrowing down my favorite subject to just one is tough. But I suppose, if I had to, I'd say I love taking photos of California. Having been born and raised in the Sacramento valley, I love the agriculture, the native plant life, the geography and the history. These things are frequent topics in my personal works.
Davis-based, Northern California wedding, event, portrait, and commercial photographer. Copyright Kirstin Adams, all rights reserved.