How long is a typical Family Session?
A typical session generally lasts 45-60 minutes and largely depends on everyone’s energy level and attention span. It’s also important that we’ve captured those treasured poses. I really try to keep sessions around 45 minutes, unless otherwise noted for a different type of session (i.e., mini-sessions, birth or newborn photography).

Do you offer Mini Sessions?
I am open to doing Family Mini Sessions occasionally, but these are not available on a regular basis. As I would like to get to know my clients and continue working with them for their photographic needs, it helps me to have more than the average 10-15 minute minis. However, I am open to these for seasonal photo sessions and will announce them in advance either on my site or via Facebook. Some Seasonal Mini Sessions offered in the past include: Christmas, Valentine’s, Spring, and Fall. 

What should I wear?
Build your color choices, accessories, etc. around the theme of your session. Will your session be casual, lively, documenting the everyday, or representing a special occasion? For example, if you have a vintage dress for your daughter, you’ll likely consider having everyone dress up to suit that occasion. I personally like to start with how I envision the theme, and then see what I have available to wear (or make a couple new purchases!), as I’m often the hardest one to coordinate with the others. However, start with the family member you are sure of, and work your way out to the others with what best coordinates with the other members of your family. Think theme, then color palette, and then accessories. Do not forget the shoes! From your head to your toes, you want a clean, polished, professional look for these images, no matter how casual they may seem right now. When you have professional images done, you want to keep these memories. You want them to be timeless! 

In general, select solid colors and minimal patterns. Use accessories for that “pop” of color as well as to add texture to your look. Use small patterns as accents only as they have a tendency to distract the eye and ultimately, take away from you and your family as the focal point. At the end of the day, be you. You will be the ones looking at your pictures for years to come! If you have additional questions selecting a specific color or pattern, please email me.

*What Not To Wear: neon or bright/fluorescent colors, large print or image logos, anything overly trendy that isn’t “your style.” Also, remove hair ties and other distractions if you do not want them in the image. 

What location do you recommend?
There are various locations that we can go to in the Northern Virginia and surrounding areas, including the DC Metro. During your consultation, we will discuss your options and determine the location that best suits your particular needs. Additional mileage, over 15 miles, will incur a fee.

Can we change clothes during the session?
Of course! Please feel free to bring an extra outfit or two, being mindful of our time constraints. In fact, for small children, an extra set of clothes may come in handy — you never know when there might be a diaper accident or a toddler trip into dirt. 

What if I don’t want my photos to be used in social media or advertising?
Please let me know in advance of our session in writing if you do not wish for your photos to be used for publicity, illustration, advertising and/or Web content. While I enjoy showcasing my work, as well as my amazing clients, I also respect your privacy. Without written notice, permission to use photographs/digital images is assumed and may be used in: photography contests, my portfolio, online or in print!

Will you have props for me to use?
Depending on the session, I have some available props, including holiday props. Please feel free to ask if you have something specific in mind. I would love for you to make this session your own.

If you have special items that you would like to include that tell the story of you and your family, please bring it with you and if we can, we’ll incorporate it! Some fun ideas are: blankets, toys for the little ones, flowers, large frames, vintage chairs, even a special picture. There are tons of fun ideas. So, let me know your thoughts and we can come up with something together!

What happens if I don’t like my pictures?
First, if you are unhappy with your images, please let me know immediately. If you’d like a different type of edit on a photo, we can discuss options together and I will edit the designated image(s). However, the time spent on each session and the processing of images is subject to only the photographer’s style. In booking with Shelby Leigh Photography, LLC, it is hopefully because you enjoy my style and vision as an artist. 

*As a reminder, all photographs/digital prints are copyrighted and the images are not to be altered in any way.

How long will you store my images?
While I do store the digital prints, and hope to for years to come, the reality is that we move frequently and that technology is not always reliable. After your session, I strongly advise that you back up your photos as necessary and keep them in a safe place. If for some reason, something happens to your digital content, please email me directly and I will attempt to restore the image(s). Images that have been lost and that need to be unarchived will be subject to an image retrieval fee.