Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if I'm running late or can't make it to my appointment?
Your time is important to us. We carefully set aside time for each client. In order to serve you better, please be advised that we have implemented a cancellation policy regarding portrait and ordering sessions. If you need to reschedule your portrait session, please call at least 24 hours in advance. Your non-refundable retainer will hold the new date and time. If a portrait session is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice, or you no-show, the retainer is forfeited. A new non-refundable retainer will be required to secure a new appointment.
Late Appointments: If you are going to be late for any appointment, please call to let us know. Understand we may be in session when you call, and unable to speak to you at that time. We can only hold your appointment time for 15 minutes. After that, you may need to reschedule to another date/time, so that we may serve our other clients.
For ordering sessions, cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice, and/or no-shows are subject to a $75 fee. Fees must be settled prior to rescheduling a new appointment. NOTE: It is important that all decision-makers be present at the ordering session. If you are unable to complete your order, and require a second ordering session, there is a $95 fee.
2. Why do I pay a retainer?
A retainer is taken upon booking, because we promise to be available to you, and reserve the date and time exclusively for you. That means no one else can be booked during that time. A retainer also shows that you are serious about following through with a session. The retainer is non-refundable, but can be rescheduled (refer to FAQ #8 above).
Your retainer is valid for 120 days from receipt. If you do not complete you session within that time, you risk losing your retainer, and any associated discounts or incentive offers that may have been associated with your original retainer. After the 120 days, a new retainer will be due, with current pricing, before you can schedule your session.
3. Do you include, or work with, a makeup artist?
Professional makeup for photography is considered a “must” for professional looking business headshots, personal branding, modeling headshots or portfolio work (adults), and boudoir/glamour. However, many of our moms also enjoy the pampering experience for family sessions, and maternity photography, too! Because you’re investing in beautiful artwork for your home and/or albums that will be in your family for years to come, you’ll want to look your best.
Some sessions/packages include professional makeup. Otherwise, makeup fees are separate, and referrals will be provided when you book your session.
4. What's the 20-lb Guarantee?
The 20-lb Guarantee is designed to overcome one of the biggest blocks, or concerns, people have - their weight. If the biggest block in booking a session, is concern about your weight, TRUE BLUE Portrait is pleased to offer the 20 lb guarantee! Between our skills in lighting and posing, working with a professional makeup artist, and finally, Photoshop – your best features will be enhanced, while minimizing "worrisome" features. In other words, you're going to look and feel great!
That being said, if you book your session, and then lose 20 lbs within 6 months from your photoshoot date – give us a call, and we’ll do another photoshoot on the house!!* We can even enjoy a celebratory cupcake if you like!
*Celebratory/complimentary photoshoot is limited to 60 minutes, at one location, and includes one desktop print. Makeup is not included. Other prints and products sold separately.
5. Can you fix blemishes, birthmarks, stretchmarks, or scratches?
Yes! Every single image that is ordered is retouched before it leaves the studio. There are no extra fees for basic edits to remove a blemish, stretchmarks, scratches, or mild-moderate acne. In most cases we can even nip/tuck a double chin, shrink a waistline, or slim other areas, if that’s a concern for you. TRUE BLUE Portrait does a brilliant job of softening lines and wrinkles, without over-doing it, and can brighten teeth, as well.
Extensive editing, such as removing glare from glasses, root touch-up, removing jewelry, and braces removal, etc.), are outsouced, and there are additional fees for extensive edits/retouching.
6. What should I/we wear?
For individuals, wear complete outfits – including accessories, and appropriate shoes. Even if it’s a headshot, and we’re not focused on the “bottom” of you, being in full outfit will carry across in your smile, just like a smile comes through in your voice over the phone. Deeper tones tend to photograph best (think navy vs. powder blue, maroon vs. pink, and plum purple vs. lilac). If you’re doing a headshot for a new website, try to incorporate your branded colors for a cohesive final result.
*Ladies – don’t forget to have your nails done, if you paint them. You won’t want chipped nail polish showing. And, if it’s time to touch up those roots, schedule accordingly.
Men - check those nose hairs, ear hairs, and neck scruff.
For couples and families, wear coordinating outfits. That does not mean everyone matching in jeans and matching white button-down shirts! That look has been done, and it dated. Coordinated outfits utilize 2- 3 colors, and make you look like a cohesive group or family, without being matchy-matchy. For best results, wear 1 neutral color (brown, gray, black, white, khaki) paired with 1 or 2 other colors.
Here are some recommended color combinations:
- Dark gray, teal blue, and deep purple
- Chocolate brown, orange and yellow
- Beige, dark brown, and blue
- Khaki/taupe, off-white, and sage green
- Espresso brown, off-white, and deep red
- Navy blue, light blue, and white (or yellow)
Pinstripes and plaids can sometimes “mess” with the camera. Some subtle patterns are okay, but we don’t want your clothing to be too busy, or it will distract from the person. Small children can usually pull off bolder colors and patterns, because they’re smaller in the image, compared to the other family members.
7. Can I do a consultation before my/our session?
You bet! We can arrange a virtual, phone, or in-person consultation about a week before your actual session. For personal branding headshot sessions, we will discuss your target client demographics, and how you plan to use your photos. For all other sessions we will also discuss what you'd like to do with your photos (e.g, hang large wall portraits in your home, or have a collection of your favorite images in an album). We also ask that you bring your outfits as we will also do provide a wardrobe consultation? Sound a little overwhelming? Don't worry. If it's more convenient for you, we can come to your closet to help with styling, for a nominal fee.
8. What happens after the photoshoot?
About 1-2 weeks after your session, we'll get together to view your mages (usually at your home or office), and you'll make your selections, and place your order. It’s important to have all decision makers present at this time (e.g., web designer, graphic artist, significant other, etc.). Your ordering session may take an hour or so, so consider a babysitter for the little ones. You’ll need your thinking caps on, as you’ll have many great images to select from.
9. Can I get a disc with all my images?
We provide complimentary web-res digital copies of each image ordered, which are delivered via Dropbox. These are perfect for sharing on social media, using on websites/blogs, emailing to relatives, using for a screen saver, sharing in a digital photo frame, etc.
We provide high-res, printable digital files as a bonus item, based on investment. It’s important that you have high-quality, professionally printed prints and products from us and our professional lab, rather than simply providing digital files that will be printed by a generic consumer lab – the difference will be striking!
Certain collections and headshots branding packages include a flash drive with all ordered images.
10. What happens to the rest of the images I didn’t order?
Images that do not get ordered are purged from our systems after about 6 weeks.
11. Do you offer payment plans?
Yes, we offer installment plans, with a major credit card on file. Some products may not be delivered until your payment plan is completed. In some cases, payments may be broken down into 2, 3, or 4 payments. Clients must complete the installment agreement, and provide a credit card for billing purposes. A back-up credit card is required in case payment fails to go through on the preferred card. Should a payment fail to authorize, as agreed upon, a service fee of $34.95 will be charged.
12. Can I see my pictures online?
We do not offer online ordering/viewing at this time. For those residing outside of San Diego County, we may set up a live screen-share for ordering sessions, but the images do not stay online.
13. How much is it for a family session?
It depends. Each session is tailored to fit your personality and style. An individual will be priced differently than a family of 5 on location. We recommend a complimentary consultation to design the perfect session that will reflect your family's style and personality, and to discuss what beautiful works of art you'd like for your home. For general reference, a typical family session is $250, but will vary based on the number of people and the location
14. When’s the best time to do maternity portraits?
We find the best time to do maternity portraits is between 32 and 38 weeks, with most scheduling around 34-36 weeks. Some of our moms feel “huge”, and rush to do the session, but when they lay down, the belly goes a little flat. Make sure you’re “bump” is nice, full, and round for your session. TIP: A few hours before your session, don't wear any restrictive clothing that can leave lines or marks on your skin.
15. When’s the best time to do newborn portraits?
We joke about meeting you at the door when you return from the hospital – but we’re only halfway joking. It’s really best to do your newborn baby portraits within the first week. They’re more curled up and “squishy” and tend to stay calm and sleep more. After 7 days, your baby is more curious and affected by the extra stimulation. These sessions take longer as baby will nurse more often for comfort, and will likely be more fussy. You’ll be tired those first few days, but it’s worth the effort to make it in right away. Make sure we know when you’re delivering so we can accommodate you in our schedule.
16. Will my boudoir photos be on your website?
Your privacy is very important. No boudoir images are ever posted without express written consent. That being said, many clients are very proud of their finished images, and are excited to have them featured on the website, blog, and in promotional materials.
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