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Portrait Photoshoot FAQ

In this portrait photoshoot FAQ, all your questions about costs, wardrobe choices, and what to expect during the photoshoot will be answered. If you don’t see an answer to your question, you can contact me here.

Explore each topic using this table of contents:

  • What does a photoshoot look like from start to finish?
  • Where Are you located?
  • How much do portraits cost?
  • What should I wear to my portrait session?
  • Will you show me how to pose for my pictures?
  • What camera do you use?
  • How many outfit changes are allowed?
  • Do you use natural light or strobes for your photos?
  • Do you take shot requests
  • Can I bring people with me to my photoshoot?
  • How long does a portrait session take?

What does a photoshoot look like from start to finish?

To get started with your portrait session, contact me here and tell me a little bit about your intended session. I’ll respond to your email within 24hrs to set up a style consultation so we can talk details about your intended session. 

Style consultation: This phone or video call helps me better understand your intended session so I can plan accordingly and offer suggestions on how to make things better. 

Booking your session: At the end of your style consultation if you’re ready to book your session, you can submit your session deposit to reserve your photoshoot date with me.

Photographing your portrait session: This is the day where you will be made over by my hair and makeup artist and I will capture your portraits. Most sessions with me take up a good part of the day so prepare accordingly.

Image Reveal: Roughly 2-3 weeks after your portrait session is when we’ll schedule a time for your photo reveal. This is when you’ll see all of your images for the first time and purchase only the images you absolutely love from your photoshoot.

For more information you can check out this overview to learn more details about a portrait session with me.

Where Are You Located?

I am located in Sonoma, California. I offer my services anywhere in the northern bay area at no additional charge so long as it’s within 1 hour of my location. For photoshoots that require me to set up, I’ll also need parking provided for me that’s reasonably close to the photoshoot location.

Areas I accommodate at no additional charge include but are not limited to:

Belvedere, Benicia, Bodega, Calistoga, Cloverdale, Concord, Cotati, Fairfax, Forestville, Glen Ellen, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Hercules, Inverness, Jenner, Kenwood, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Napa, Nicks Cove, Novato, Oakmont, Occidental, Penngrove, Petaluma, Point Reyes Station, Rohnert Park, Saint Helena, San Anselmo, San Pablo, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Sausalito, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Suisun City, Vallejo, Walnut Creek, Windsor, Yountville.

Sessions further away can be accommodated for an additional fee TBD when I learn more details about your intended session.

For photoshoots outside of this location I’ll generally need: airfare / travel expenses, lodging for one night and a rental car.

If you need a quote for me to travel to your location, you can contact me here with details about your intended session.

How Much Do Portraits Cost?

A session with me starts at $1,770 and includes your photoshoot, hair and makeup for your session and 6 images. These images are delivered digitally and physically as prints or in an album.

To provide you with a realistic range, my typical client spends between $2k and $6k on their final collection. Some people spend significantly more, while others spend less, but this is a reasonable range of what you can anticipate.

For a complete A La Carte breakdown of my pricing, you can check out my portrait price menu here.

How much you spend on your final images is entirely up to you but we won’t know the exact total until you see how many images you’ll want to take home from your image reveal.

What Should I Wear To My Portrait Session?

For best results, dress for the intended purpose of your portraits. Choose clothes that complement your figure and the location you’ll be photographed. Solid colors are the safest option, while anything with designs should be thoroughly evaluated.

At the initial consultation I’ll help give you ideas about what to wear for your intended portraits. For my favorite outfit tips and places to rent from online you can check out this post.

Will You Show Me How To Pose For My Pictures?

Absolutely, I’ll guide you into poses that best suit your body type and the environment. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, best angles for photographs or anything like that, don’t worry! If you like the photos on this site you’ll likely love the images I’ll produce for you!

What Camera Do You Use?

My main workhorse right now is the Canon R5 mirror-less system. I also use all professional lenses to make sure the hardware I use is capturing the highest quality files for you.

How Many Outfit Changes Are Allowed?

I do not charge you for how long your session is or how many outfits you change into. The price I charge will be based on how good of a job I do, and the number of photos you choose to take home. Most people only get to about 2-3 outfits for their session, but still make sure to bring more than you think you’ll need in case something doesn’t work out!

Do You Use Natural Light Or Strobes For Your Photos?

I use both and sometimes neither. I use everything I have around me like if MacGyver was a photographer.

Do You Take Shot Requests?

In general, I don’t accept shot requests of other peoples work. If you book me for your photoshoot, I hope it’s because you love the pictures I show on this site. Not a single images in my portfolio was inspired by a shot request.

Part of what you see in my portfolio is spontaneity as I interact with the person I’m photographing. It’s also reading a space in real time and directing people into great light as I see it which can also be happenstance.

It’s for these among other reasons I try to keep shot requests to a minimum as I think it leads to superior final images you’ll ultimately be happier with.

Can I Bring People With Me To My Photoshoot?

Of course! But please make sure to only invite people who will be super positive contributors! Although the right people can definitely make your session better, poor choices can literally compromise the quality of your final photos. Choose the people you bring to your session wisely!!!

How Long Does A Portrait Session Take?

The straightforward answer is that it depends on factors like how far away the photo location is from my car, the type of portraits you want, weather or not you’ll need hair and makeup services etc. Depending on these factors, a session with me will generally take anywhere from 4 to 7 hours from the time I arrive until I depart.

As an example, for studio portraits, I usually set up the area while women have their hair and makeup done. This means women likely won’t even notice the set up because hair and makeup generally takes at least an hour and a half. Guys on the other hand should anticipate the set up time to put everything together after I show up.

If you’re looking for just a headshot, plan on at least an hour in front of the camera. A headshot and additional portraits might require significantly more time to capture.

Jason Guy

I am a portrait photographer based out of Sonoma, California. I create portraits for people of all ages with the goal of making images that are timeless. Portraits you will look back on decades from now, and still love them just as much then as you do today. While flattering lighting and pose are important, capturing how others see you is what I ultimately strive for.

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