Cozy sweaters, falling leaves, and crisp mornings are coming! The Fall in Ottawa is one of the most popular and gorgeous times of year for family photographs and I can’t wait for the start of my 2019 outdoor Fall Sessions.

With Fall Session booking starting soon we’re starting to get a lot of questions and wanted to answer a few of my most commonly received questions surrounding my Fall Sessions so that when booking opens up on August 27th you’re ready to select your session.

Do you want all the session details? Click here

brothers holding hands on a path of leaves

How do I book my session?

Booking your session can all be done online in my boutique starting on August 27th. I know you’re busy so we make it as easy as possible to choose and book your session date and time. You don’t have to wait to see if you got the date and time you wanted and there is no back and forth emails and delays. Sign up to my VIP List and the booking links to all my sessions will be sent straight to your inbox.

Do I have to pay for my session fee in full?

You can pay a deposit for your session in the boutique with your credit card or you can pay your session fee in full: the choice is yours! 

mom and dad holding toddler in front of red tree

Why aren’t there more weekend sessions available?

I am always striving to provide the best possible session experience for my clients. Last year I wrote a blog post about my availability and weekend sessions that answers this common question.

Is a Fall Session the right session for my family?

Fall is a gorgeous (and popular!) time of year for family photos. If you’re not sure if a Fall Session is the best session for your family don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! I wrote a blog post about choosing your session here. If you’re still not sure if a Fall Session is right for your family, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to make a session suggestion!

parents tossing leaves in the air in front of their child

What are the session options?

There is one session option: a 15 minute Memories Session.

Why can’t I book a longer session?

Because of the narrow window for light and beautiful leaves during September and October, 20 to 30 minute sessions are offered only during the Spring and Summer months when more daylight hours are available.

I went to your website as soon as I received the newsletter but over half of the sessions were already sold out.  How did they book so quickly?

Over half of my Fall sessions are typically pre-booked by Front of the Lens clients, who purchase packages for several sessions throughout the year.   Front of the Lens clients get first access and guaranteed space in my booking calendar for my sessions throughout the year.  Packages go on sale again in January.

young boy sitting in red leaves

Is 15 minutes really enough time?

Absolutely.  I have photographed over 3500 sessions and families return to me again and again because I work quickly, I make the process fun and enjoyable, and I know how to create beautiful artistic memories in a short period of time.  Little ones don’t have long attention spans and my goal is to make the session as fun and stress-free as possible. I also work with an assistant and having an extra set of hands during my sessions is invaluable.

What types of photos do you take during our session?

Posed, candid, both…it’s up to you!  My clients fill out a detailed questionnaire before our time together so I know what photos and poses are most important to you and your family.

Can grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles come to the session?

Fall sessions are for immediate family members only (parents and their children).  At this time I do not photograph events or offer sessions for large family gatherings.

family snuggling outside in fall leaves

How do I change my session date and time?

Please make sure to choose your session date and time carefully as sessions cannot be rescheduled.

Where will the sessions take place?

All sessions take place in the east end of Ottawa (in the Orleans area).   Clients are provided with the specific meeting place the day before the session.

What if I want to pick the location of my session?

I am currently fully booked for outdoor family sessions this Fall.  If you’d like your session at a specific location, I would encourage you to contact me in the Spring when my calendar opens up again.

father and daughter in front of red tree

Will you offer sessions in the west end of Ottawa?

While there are many beautiful locations all across the city of Ottawa, Fall is a difficult time for me to expand my session locations due to the time of day the sessions take place at as well as the constantly changing colours.  Once the colours change there is a short window that they remain on the trees and a few hours of intense rain or wind are enough to knock all the leaves off of a beautiful tree. If there is a storm the day before (or morning of) my sessions, I always drive out to check the location to ensure the leaves are still there and that our planned meeting place isn’t too muddy.   During Fall I spend approximately 2-3 hours every week driving and walking around different locations checking the light as well as the colour of the leaves.  

Last year I looked at the feasibility of offering sessions in the west end but when I factored in driving across the city during rush hour 2 days a week to check on locations, I would have to reduce the number of sessions I offered in order to accommodate the travel time.  Rather than increasing the cost of my Fall sessions to accommodate west end locations I will choose beautiful locations in the Orleans / Gloucester area.

Why don’t you ever photograph your weekend sessions in Gatineau Park?

While the leaves in Gatineau Park are known for their beauty, the traffic and crowds make it a less than ideal location for weekend sessions when there can be delays getting into the park and limited available parking.

Some other locations that are known for being beautiful in the Fall (e.g. Mer Bleue) are also not ideal for sessions as parking can be limited and there are few locations for photos because of the crowds that flock there to admire the beautiful leaves. Other locations that are ideal sometimes have to be ‘put on hold’ so to speak due to construction or environmental factors.  For example, the proliferation of giant hogweed three years ago knocked several locations off of my list.

sisters holdings hands on a path with fall leaves

Why are sessions available only in the afternoon and evening?

Over the years I’ve learned that the most beautiful leaves are found in areas that are in the sun all day long, which makes them less than ideal for morning sessions.  In order to take advantage of the most beautiful colours sessions are scheduled in the afternoon and evening instead of the morning. This also gives us time to make alternative arrangements in the early afternoon for inclement weather rather than scrambling first thing in the morning should there be rain.

What happens if it’s raining on the day of our session?

One of the reasons I offer only a limited number of sessions each month is because of unpredictable weather.  For each block of sessions I schedule I also have to schedule a backup date, in case of inclement weather, as well as at least 1-2 days per month in case Mother Nature is especially uncooperative.  Because I know my clients are busy, your backup session date and time is included in the session listing. This is to ensure that even if it does rain, your rescheduled session won’t interfere with your plans because you already know when it will take place!

I make the decision to postpone sessions based on satellite images and whether it will be actively raining at the time of our session.  This decision is made 90 minutes before the session. Sessions are not rescheduled due to temperature, wet ground, overcast sky etc.

The following cancellation policy is in effect for Fall sessions. If sessions are postponed due to rain your session will take place at the same time it was originally scheduled on the date listed in your session description. If there is inclement weather anticipated on your rain date / time you will be offered one alternate session date / time.  There are no exceptions to this policy. If you cannot be present at the listed rain date and someone cannot be found to take your place your session fee will not be refunded nor can it be applied to a future session.

family of four snuggled up together in front of trees

Why can’t we know where the location will be further in advance?

The leaves change quickly and I choose my locations the day before the session to ensure we have low lying colour for our session.  Safety, parking, accessibility, and light are also important factors. If you’d like to know more about how I choose my locations, please feel free to check out this post I wrote about location scouting.

What do we wear?

I provide my clients with detailed suggestions on what to wear and how to prepare for their sessions. In the lead up to your session we’re happy to consult with you about your clothing so that you can feel confident and prepared for your session long before the day of your session with me.