New Photography Session Planning Services

We are always searching for ways to improve our services and session offerings. In response to changes in client desires for last minute session planning services we are introducing new options for session planning. 

For many clients who enjoy planning their session ahead of time and via email our services will stay the same. For clients who would like a more last minute session planning experience or a telephone consultation, we are happy to offer them two new session planning services.    

Please read on for all the details about what’s involved in planning a session, what has changed during Covid, and what your session planning options will be starting on September 1st.

What’s involved in planning photography sessions?

Preparing for photography sessions is a time intensive and collaborative process. In addition to helping clients choose the best session for their family we also:

  • Answer emails about wardrobe, poses, session style, session process, editing, and session locations.
  • Coordinate assistant and photographer schedules.
  • Set aside 2 blocks of editing time and 2-5 blocks of administrative time for each session.
  • Hold meetings between team members to prepare for upcoming sessions.
  • Update session notes and client details in our files.
  • Create a unique session plan for every single session that includes notes on wardrobe, likes and dislikes, inspiration photos, as well as client concerns.
  • Revise the studio and outdoor session schedule to accommodate client illness. Since early 2020, these last minute cancellations range from 15-60% depending on the illnesses circulating in the community.
  • Maintain equipment, prepare and clean the studio, repair and wash props, as well as set up and take down sets.
  • Regularly check locations to ensure they are safe, accessible, and that nothing has changed (e.g., construction, scheduled events).

How long does session planning take?

Depending on the length of the session (10 minutes to 90 minutes), session planning takes between 1.5 and 4 hours. This does not include travel time to and from sessions or editing.

Has session planning changed because of the pandemic?

Until March of 2020, our session planning processes ran like a well oiled machine. However, since the start of the pandemic we have:

  • Updated our website, client information packages, health and safety protocols, and session policies over 30 times to reflect public health policies, restrictions, and industry best practices.
  • Re-formatted and reduced the information we send to smaller amounts as well as numbered lists and bullet points, to reduce information overwhelm.
  • Introduced automated email and text reminders, in addition to our personalized email reminders.
  • Increased our administrative workload by 30% to accommodate session rescheduling, adapting session processes, and following up with clients.

Isn’t planning for sessions getting easier now that life is returning to “normal?”

Unfortunately it is not.  As we prepare to enter our third year of this ‘new normal’, we are no longer able to maintain the status quo. Despite our best efforts, we are overwhelmed trying to stay on top of session planning. At this time, we are working 7 days a week to respond to client requests and it is no longer sustainable.

In order to ensure our team can continue to offer the highest level of customer service, moving forward we are excited to offer clients three options for planning their sessions.

What options will we have for planning our session?

  1. Collaborative session planning (current process): Included in all session fees is collaborative planning, via email. There is no additional cost for this service. You will be provided with a planning deadline date for your contract, questionnaire, and session plan. You will receive email reminders to complete your documents and our team is available to answer your questions and help prepare a one of a kind plan for your session (wardrobe, backdrop, poses, etc.).
  2. Custom planning fee (new): When each planning deadline date passes, a $50 planning fee will be added on to your session. This fee covers the off-schedule and additional last minute planning time and coordination required by our team to prepare for your session.
  3. Planning consultation (new): For those who would prefer telephone support to plan their session, you can add on a half hour consultation for $75. This includes thirty minutes of one-on-one telephone support as well as an email summary of your session plan. This planning session will take place before your planning deadline.

What is the planning deadline?

When a session is booked, we provide clients with a deadline for their contract, questionnaire, and the session planning process. This is the session planning deadline.

The session planning date will be included in session listings so clients can add it to their calendar. For last minute session bookings, the session planning deadline is 24 hours after a session is booked.

Does this mean I now have to pay for help planning my session?

Absolutely not! As has always been the case, choosing your session type, session location, wardrobe, poses, and the style of your session, is a collaborative process between you and the team. The add-on services are only for clients who want additional support and options.

How will the planning process for my session change?

When it comes to sending out session documents, automated reminders, and personalized email reminders and follow up, everything will remain the same.

How will these new session planning services improve my session experience?

  • Advance planning gives our team time to collaborate to ensure we have the best session plan for your family and that we have answered all of your questions thoroughly.
  • Advance planning ensures our decisions are well thought out and not rushed.
  • More time to prepare allows for collaborative back-and-forth communication to ensure all your questions are answered and we haven’t missed any important details.
  • This will allow our team to allocate additional time in our schedule for location scouting and set design, to offer clients more options for their sessions.
  • Planning sessions farther in advance allows us to offer additional session dates and times, as we will no longer have to set aside extra half and full days for last minute session planning.
  • By offering custom add-on services, it allows us to keep current session prices ‘as is’ rather than raising the cost of all sessions to cover the additional planning time.

Does this mean I can’t ask questions after the deadline has passed?

You can always email questions to the team leading up to the day of your session. The add-on services are only for those clients who want more time to complete their session planning.

Why can’t you just set aside time in your schedule for last minute changes and planning?

We have time set aside in our schedule for schedule changes, changes to the session workflow, as well as blocks of time for assessing weather and travel plans. When over half of our sessions require last minute planning in the days leading up to the session, our ability to provide clients with the best possible experience is limited. It also means our team can no longer rely on time off work, as we receive emails 24 hours a day leading up to sessions that need to be actioned and followed through on. 

As always, we are grateful for your support. As local businesses continue to close their doors as a result of the strain of the past two and a half years, our goal is, as it has always been, to provide professional services and beautiful memories to all of our clients.

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to send us an email