Boudoir and Beauty FAQ’s

This FAQ has been created to help you through the whole boudoir process. It is always my intention to provide nothing but the best service. If there are any other questions that I haven’t answered here, don’t hesitate to contact me at judy@elementzoffoto.com.

Q. How much are your boudoir sessions?

A.  Sessions start at $500 plus HST.  Full details and collections are available in my custom pricing booklet.  Simply e-mail me and I’ll be happy to send you a copy.  I also offer specials that run randomly throughout the year.  The best way to stay up to date on those specials is to join my Facebook Boudoir Group!!!

Q.  What does my session fee include?

A.  Session fees, for LIGHT, DARK, WHITE SHEET, NUDE OR BEAUTY. Some of the styles offer 3 outfit changes. If you would like to combine styles we can do that, but keep in mind that usually keeping things cohesive, especially if you’re doing an album, usually makes for a nicer flow.  For variation, a dark and a light session combined can look good, but what you want to be careful of is to much variation and not enough flow with your images.  Along with an amazing photo shoot, beforehand enjoy a wonderful beauty makeover from my professional hair and makeup stylist.  She will prep you perfectly for your session at our location. You will also receive a $250 product credit which can be used towards a collection, album or full digital file purchase, and if you pre-commit to a collection you can receive 10% off that collection along with anything else you add onto it at your Image Premiere, which takes place the same day as your shoot. All of this is included with your $500 reservation fee.

Q. Where do the sessions take place?

A. You can have your session either at my studio in Hamilton or at your own location, within one hour of Hamilton (further distances will incur an additional small fee).

Q. What is the advantage of using your studio?

A. My space is very controlled.  The environment and lighting is specifically setup to provide the best outcome for your images.  I also have a wardrobe of clothing, lingerie pieces and stiletto heels for your use.  And sometimes, it’s difficult to use your own space, especially when this is a gift for your significant someone and you need to work around them.

Q. What is the advantage of using my location?

A. While I have no control over your environment and lighting, I love being thrown into something that provides me with a fresh perspective. I will bring lighting, in case I need it and based on our discussions leading up to your session. Your space is very personal to you, and to him, so seeing you in that environment in the photos has more meaning.  The other huge plus is that you have all of your things at your fingertips.  You don’t have to try and remember or decide what to bring with you.

Q.  How do I schedule a session?

A.  When you are ready to book, a non-refundable minimum retainer is required of $500 plus HST.  If you choose to pre-purchase a collection to receive the 10% off, then 30% of the collection package combined with the booking fee (less the 10% and $250 Product Credit) will be due upon booking.  The balance is due at your Image Premiere the same day as your session.

Q.  Do we meet beforehand?

A.  I do not typically meet you beforehand, however I do like to have several telephone conversations and various email discussions with you to customize your session. If you have any questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to email me at judy@elementzoffoto.com

Q.  What is the difference between a “Light” and a “Dark” session?

A.  LIGHT SESSIONS:  Shot during the daylight for beautiful natural light imagery. They are very light and soft, and very forgiving.  Light images are appropriate for any style of lingerie and for any age.  They are very complimentary images to any skin type as well.  Because of how I process and expose these images, they tend to produce gorgeous skin results, which I know everyone wants.  There is a lot of direct eye connection with the camera and very few “anonymous” style images. The final images you choose will receive basic retouching and are artistically finished.  They are delivered in both colour and black & white.

DARK SESSIONS: Also shot during the day with strobe lighting to simulate darkness.  These images are VERY DARK.  Most are shot in silhouette with a lot of back or side lighting.  The lighting used for these can be very harsh and is much harder a light on the skin.  Many of the images have a very anonymous feel to them and very few images even show you looking at the camera. I’ve addressed in another article on the blog what is appropriate to wear for these … sometimes your birthday suit is best!!:)Lingerie that shows and hugs the body is best for this session.  Nothing pastel in colour and boned corsets because they limit movement, are not a good choice.  Deep, dark colours work best.  The final images you choose will receive basic retouching and are artistically finished.  They are delivered in both colour and black & white.

Q.  Is there a difference between “White Sheet” and “Nude” sessions?

A.  Yes, and very similar to the difference between light and dark.

WHITE SHEET SESSIONS:  Shot with all natural light in a very crisp, clean and monochrome environment.  While you are nude, the sheet is used to cover areas and make the visual “nudity” of the shoot very subtle.  It’s designed for the client that would love to do nudity but feels being fully nude a bit intimidating.  It’s a great option also, for the person that isn’t a lingerie wearer and feels this reflects their personality better.

NUDE SESSIONS:  This is beautifully shot full nudes in a studio type environment.  The shots tend to have a darker feel with lots of accenting shadows.  Emphasis is perhaps more on the body, then the face.

Q.  What is a “Beauty” session?

A.  Beauty sessions are basic portrait portrait sessions, shot in your favourite outfits. A great way to document this time in your life, not only for yourself, but also for the people that mean the most to you.

Q.  Which session is the best choice for me?

A.  I actually get this question quite a bit.  There is no right or wrong answer that I can give you.  All sessions can be a bit nerve wracking if you’ve never done this before.  The big difference that might impact your choice is based on the type of light used in each session as described above.  Ask yourself what results you want.  Do you want anonymous, sexy, almost voyeuristic style images that focus more on the body then your face … then you’d go dark.  Do you want pretty, beautiful and softer images … then you’d go light.  Are you concerned about how your skin will look … then go light because it’s more complimentary to the skin?  Do you have a strong toned body … then a dark session will show off that tone.  If you wish to discuss the choices with me I can certainly give you my opinion on what I think will best suit your needs.  And lastly, if you can’t decide … DO BOTH!!!:)

Q.  How and when will I get to see my images?

A.  The Image Premier is the same day as your session, unless you’d prefer a different day.  You can let me know when which you prefer when you book your session.  Even if you choose your session to be at your location, I will bring my laptop and present to you there.  I typically only need an hour after your session to prep the images for viewing.

Q. What days are available to book a session?

A.  I photograph a maximum of 2 sessions a week, 6 a month.  Saturdays are available, however, can be limiting during summer months due to my wedding photography schedule.  I shoot one session a day beginning at 10 a.m. for hair and makeup to start.

Q. If I do need this for a special occasion, how far in advance should I book?

A. If you’re looking to book this for a special occasion here is the timeline on product to better help you decide on when you should do your shoot.  All of these timelines begin from the date when you first see your finished images at the Image Premier appointment.  Delivery is then as follows:

1.  Digital files only – 2 weeks from receipt of your order
2.  Wall Art – 2 weeks from receipt of your order
3.  Albums – 4-6 weeks from receipt of your order and dependent on your response time for design approvals

Q. Who will be present during my session?

A. Well there is me and you.  Sometimes the stylist will stay if you are getting a change of looks (a female), and sometimes a female assistant is present.

Q.  Can I bring a friend to the session?

A. If it will make you feel more comfortable to have a friend with you, then we have no problem with that.  However, during the shoot portion, they will be asked to sit in the prep room and not be present during that process.

Q. Is hair and makeup included?

A. Professional styling of hair and makeup is included with every session.  If you are doing a longer session with added outfits and would like a second look that would be $125 for the stylist to stay and do this at the half way point.  No matter what location you choose, the stylist will come to you.  You do not need to leave the comfort of your home or my studio, and you can just let yourself be pampered by us.

Q. Do I need hair and makeup?

A. Yes absolutely.  It can make or break your images.  I do not give credit if you wish to forego the styling portion of the fee.

Q. Are digital files included?

A. I do not include digital files with your purchase, but they can be purchased separately and are included in some of the Collections.

Q. I understand that Elementz retains the copyright, do I have to allow my images to be used for your portfolio?

A. No, you do not. We have carefully worded the contract in such a way that you have the final say as to whether or not we use your images. We understand and respect that many of our clients do not want their images online.  Copyright remains with the studio so that creative use of the images, over and above for yourself, remains in our control.  We don’t want the images getting into the wrong hands.

Q. If I send you sample images I found online, can you copy them?

A. I won’t copy, but I can certainly be inspired. I feel very strongly that copying another photographer’s art is unethical.  I will certainly use the images for inspiration, but you need to be sure that you have realistic expectations.  Many images that I am sent are shot with professional models, or even are shot with women that have different body structures.  The environment they are shot in is usually nothing like mine or even lit similar.  And then not all poses are easy to recreate.  The reason models are tall and lanky is because they can typically move their bodies into unusual shapes.  The average woman cannot do this, thereby, making those “model” poses almost impossible to recreate.  So what I’m asking is that you leave the creative part to me.  Send me shots you like for general inspiration.  Create a Pinterest board especially for it and invite me to join.  My Pinterest ID is http://pinterest.com/elementzoffoto.  I would love to see what you like … just don’t expect me to copy it! And more importantly, add images you find on MY WEBSITE to your Pinterest board.  It is super duper helpful to see what you like from my site and for your style of session. Again, while I don’t always copy and use the exact same poses, I will know what style you really love.

Q. What do I need for my session?

A. It depends on what package you are going with, so I always suggest that you bring a few extra outfits, over and above what you know can be shot.  That way I can select the best combination to give you the most variety in your images.  For a list of places to shop go to my “Lingerie Shopping” page.  I have also done a very thorough breakdown of what are the best options for each type of session HERE.

Q. Do I have to have my images retouched?

A. I only release beautifully finished images.  I do not provide them without some sort of processing because I take pride in the finished product I provide my clients.  Therefore, raw, unprocessed images are NOT available. However, the level of retouching applied can be directed by you.  I’m happy to accommodate those requests.

Q. If I want my product for a special occasion, how far in advance should I book my session?

A. We ask that you give us a minimum of 8 weeks to complete your order factoring in the time frames I’ve provided above and dependent on what you think you might order, and to always add a little buffer time is never a bad idea.

Q. Do I have any input into the fine art album design?

A. You choose the images that go in the album.  You choose the size and orientation of the album.  I design it within 7 days of your session, and send it to you to approve. One round of design ONLY changes will be provided.  Any additional changes will incur a fee of $15 per spread.  Further retouching changes requested will also incur a fee of $5 per image.

Q.  I would like an album, do I have to pay for that upfront as well?

A.  All product must be fully paid to proceed with your order.  For your convenience, I take credit card online or you can use email money transfer.  Whatever method is best for you.

Q. Do I have any protection that I will receive my product?

A. Yes.  Besides the original contract you signed to book your session, which holds me to delivery, you also sign a custom order when you place it.  That provides proof that your ordered. Payment is also logged and signed by me.  Everything is very secure and your order is in process as soon as I receive it, the goal of which is to get you beautiful finished products as quickly as possible.

Q. What happens if I want to re-schedule my appointment? What if I don’t show up?

A. If the client cancels their session within 72 hours of the scheduled appointment, they will receive ONE complimentary re-booking, as long as that booking occurs within 90 days of the original booked date.  Further additional cancellations for the same client will result in an administration fee of $150 per re-booking.  No-shows or cancellations after the 72 hour period will result in forfeiture of the session and any fees paid up to that point.

Q. After my session, do I have to come to the studio to pickup my files, albums or prints?

A. Typically your order will be shipped to you.  Albums are shipped complimentary.  Files are delivered typically through Dropbox for convenience purposes.  Print orders over $250 are shipped complimentary.  Oversized prints do incur an additional charge due to their size. Shipping is only for Southern Ontario.  Any other areas will incur an additional shipping fee that is calculated at the time of your order.

Q. Are there any other things I should know to make my session go smoother?

A. We would like you to please arrive on time for your session so that we can sort through your attire first. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Be sure to wear lose clothing that does not cause marks on the skin. Example would be tight bra straps, or creases from tight jeans. I would suggest that you wear loose sweat type clothing to the session if possible!! And any tight jewellery that you normally wear like watches, etc. should be removed well in advance.  We suggest you may want to also get a pedicure and manicure because your hands and feet are in many of the images.  Just keep in mind that nail colour should be neutral. We would discourage self-tanning products because they can appear quite orange in the photos, plus if you are tanning, be aware of strap marks.  Retouching tan marks will incur additional charges when ordering your product.