Photography Studio Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the process of scheduling a portrait session?

First, you’ll want to send us an email (! You can also use the contact form on our website to get the ball rolling. We’ll talk about the type of session you’re looking for, solidify pricing, and suggest some possible dates and times. 

Once all that is decided, we’ll send you over a standard contract and model release to sign and an invoice for a non-refundable retainer. We’ll also send you a questionnaire to complete in advance of your session so we can learn a bit more about you and your style. 

The remainder of your session fee will be due a few days before your session. At that time, we’ll also send you over a welcome packet with some helpful information and directions to our studio (if applicable).

Do all of your portrait sessions take place in the studio?

Like many Rochester, NY portrait photographers, we love our studio space and many of our clients choose to have their sessions there. However, we also do plenty of portrait sessions outside of our studio! Our Rochester photo studio is ideal for professional and performer headshot sessions and boudoir sessions, in particular. But we’re more than happy to go elsewhere for your session. We can flesh out all of those details when we book your session and can provide you with suggestions if you’d like to go elsewhere.

Can you explain the difference between your headshot options? 

Sure! We wanted to differentiate between more corporate headshots (like what a business professional might use on their LinkedIn) and performer headshots (what an actor or singer might submit for a film or stage audition). 

Our professional headshot package is more along the lines of what you might use for a website bio, social media, or other business endeavors. Whether you’re a recent college graduate who is venturing into the professional world for the first time or your most recent professional photo is from a decade ago, this headshot package can allow you to make the right impression.

Sammi, our creative director, is a musical theatre performer -- so it was important to us that we also provide something special for Rochester’s community of talented performers. Our actor and performer headshot package is tailored specifically for those who are looking for dramatic, comedic, commercial, or artistic photos they can use for creative endeavors. This package also comes with physically printed headshots that clients can bring to their auditions.

We also have personal branding packages, which are a great option for independent creatives and small business owners. If you’re launching your own bakery, have your own public relations firm, or do a lot of work as a social media influencer, this might be what you’re looking for -- particularly if you want your session to take place at your home, your business, or your studio. These sessions essentially toe the line between lifestyle photos and headshots, giving you the best of both worlds.

Do you offer family or couples’ sessions?

As much as we would love to capture special moments between you and your loved ones, Dear Blossom is a portrait studio. All of our packages are geared towards single clients -- like senior portraits, headshots, branding photos, and boudoir sessions. If you enjoy the photographic style we offer at Dear Blossom Studios, Emma offers photo sessions for families, couples, weddings, and other groups through her own website. Please feel free to email her directly to book!

What if I don’t want my photos to be shared publicly?

That’s okay! We want to do everything possible to respect your privacy, particularly if you’re still in high school or you feel uneasy about any of your boudoir photos being viewed publicly. You’re under no obligation to sign your model release. However, we do love sharing amazing photos of our clients on social media and our website -- and allowing us to do that can help our studio to grow!

I’m interested in booking a boudoir session, but I’m nervous about it. Do you have any advice?

We completely understand -- and we’ve been there! We’ve gotten in front of the camera ourselves for this very reason. 

Here’s a secret: very few people feel truly comfortable right away during a boudoir session, even if it’s something they’ve wanted to do for a long time! We work really hard to ensure that our Rochester boudoir studio provides a welcoming, private, and safe environment for your session. We’ll blast some music and have lots of fun during your session. Our biggest piece of advice is to wear something that makes you feel confident (rather than something you feel pressured to wear). We promise we’ll make sure you look good and feel amazing! We believe in boudoir for everybody and every body and we’ve worked hard to make sure our studio is a welcoming, safe space for all.

Can I bring a parent or friend to my session?

It depends on the situation. For senior portrait sessions, our clients are usually more than welcome to bring a parent along. If you’re feeling nervous about boudoir and would like some extra support, we may allow you to bring a friend along (but please ask us first!). 

That said, we have found that even well-meaning significant others, family members, and friends can unintentionally disrupt a session or actually make clients feel more nervous. And since we all need to be extra careful these days, we will likely discourage you from bringing anyone else to your session for the foreseeable future. 

Send us a message with your specific situation and we can definitely talk about it. We just ask that you not bring anyone else along without discussing it with us beforehand. That way, we can prepare appropriately for your session and make sure you get the time you deserve.

How are you handling safe practices for reopening?

We were fortunate enough to be included in New York State’s “Phase 2” reopening stage! That means we can resume capturing your unique beauty in front of the camera.

For now, we will be conducting all of our sessions outside our studio for everyone’s ongoing health and safety. Once we resume in-studio bookings, we will be personally disinfecting all shared surfaces with CDC-recommended cleaning agents (including doorknobs in our building that clients may come into contact with). We will also ensure that hand sanitizer and/or soap are provided for all clients who have their sessions at our studio. We will also be staggering photo sessions within our studio to allow at least 48 hours between sessions. In addition, we will be asking our clients to sign a liability release form prior to their session.

Regardless of where your session takes place, we will be wearing face masks throughout the session. We also ask that you bring one along for yourself if your session is happening in a public place. Maintaining social distancing can be extremely difficult with portrait photography. We will make every effort to keep as much distance as possible between ourselves and our clients and we will refrain from any direct physical contact throughout your session (meaning no handshakes, hugs, or physical styling or posing adjustments). 

For the time being, we ask that you bring no guests with you to your session or that they remain in their vehicle while your session is taking place. We also ask that if you or anyone else in your household is experiencing any symptoms of illness that you reach out to us to reschedule. We reserve the right to postpone any session if we feel we would be putting ourselves or our clients at risk due to COVID-19.

I have a clear conceptual idea of what I’m looking for with my session. Can we collaborate on this?

Absolutely! We want you to feel excited about your session and we’d love nothing more than to bring your vision to life. We’ll do everything we possibly can to make it happen, from your ideal location to any props you might have in mind. Feel free to reach out to us about your idea, even if it doesn’t totally correspond to the packages we have on our site. Please note that while we are happy to create something unique for your session, pricing may differ for customized shoots (especially if we need to source props or create a “set”). 

I don’t feel especially comfortable in front of the camera. Can you help?

You’re definitely not alone -- and yes, we can absolutely help you! Emma is especially gifted at helping people feel confident in front of the camera. As long as you’re willing to play around a bit and have a good time, we’ll take care of making sure your photos look amazing.

Am I able to get assistance with styling, hair, and makeup on the day of my session?

We provide styling help for all of our clients! Even if your session comes with only two or three outfit changes, you can feel free to bring a bunch of options. We’ll help you decide what looks best on-camera and which choices will help you send the right message.

We know not everyone feels totally comfortable doing their own hair and makeup for professional photos. We do want to make sure that your photos actually look like you! Our style is all about natural beauty. If you feel you need a bit of extra help with your makeup or hair, we can discuss your needs when booking your session and can arrange this for an additional fee. 

After my session, how long will it be until the edited photos are sent to me? How much editing do you do?

Typically, the turnaround time from your session date to when you’ll receive your digital gallery is three weeks. You might receive them sooner, but we want to make sure that we give your session the editing time it deserves. The number of photos you’ll receive will depend on what’s stipulated in the individual package.

As far as editing style, we like to keep things as light and natural as possible. Of course, we’ll do heavier editing to correct any unforeseen issues with lighting, stray hairs, blemishes, etc. However, we try to fix those problems during the session to cut down on what needs to be edited. We encourage you to take a look at our website images to get a good idea of what you can expect with your final gallery. 

Do I own the final images? Can I buy physical prints? What do I need to know about sharing them online?

As part of your contract, your session photos are available for personal use (meaning you can hang them in your house, upload them to social media, etc.). And yes, you can absolutely buy physical prints from your session! It’s easy to do right through your digital gallery.

With virtually any kind of personal photo session, the photographer retains copyright -- meaning that we own the full rights to the photos. Clients are not permitted to use their images for commercial purposes (e.g., anything you or someone else could personally make money from) without explicit permission. Third parties are not permitted to share images from your session without permission from us, either.

When sharing images, we ask that you give us proper credit (by tagging Dear Blossom Studios) and to refrain from editing the photos yourself. Using an Instagram filter on your photos will degrade the quality and can reflect poorly on your photographer. Please contact us if you’re dissatisfied with the editing style of your photos. We want to make sure you love the final result!