Preparing for Your Viewing and Ordering Appointment – St Louis Missouri

by | Mar 15, 2020 | Information

If you’re reading this, it means you have already had your portrait session and are anxiously awaiting to hear about an appointment time so you can see your finished portraits.  I can assure you, I am just as excited for you to see your final images as you are!  I appreciate your patience as I have been artistically editing your final gallery!

When everything is complete, you and I will set up a time to go over all your images together.  I have written this particular post so you can plan accordingly for this appointment.  If I had to estimate a timeframe for the appointment, it could be anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour.  It may not take that long, or you may need a bit longer. This is the time to make your image selections and purchasing decisions, so I don’t want you to feel rushed into decisions because you had to race out the door.  Also, please have everyone who needs to be a part of the decision-making process with you at this appointment.  If a spouse or someone else needs to weigh in on the final image selections or financial decisions, we need to schedule at a time so they can attend with you.

One post I highly encourage you to read before you come to your viewing and ordering appointment is an article I wrote on choosing artwork for your home.  Click HERE to see that article.

To go review the pricing for the different products and digital collections in my Welcome & Pricing Guide, please click HERE.


And the appointment begins!

At the beginning of your appointment, you will see a slideshow of all final edited images.  (I think this might just be my favorite part!)


Why is it important to meet in person?

After the slideshow, you will view each final image–one by one–on the very computer screen that I used to edit them.  Seeing your pictures on this particular screen is one of the keys to WHY I want to view your images with you.  It turns out, having a calibrated computer screen is crucial to knowing what your portraits are supposed to look like.  If I show you a picture on my calibrated screen, then show you that same picture on an uncalibrated screen, there could be a vast difference in the colors of the picture.  So for you to see each picture as it truly is, the way I edited it and the way it should print through my professional lab, you need to see it on a calibrated screen.

Most of my galleries are pretty large because I like to include a variety of images.  Here is what you can expect to see from a family session:


The pictures where everyone is looking at the camera and usually smiling.  These often are your Christmas card images, the ones Grandma wants, and many times the canvas that is hung over the fireplace.


family portrait


Storytelling Images

These pictures are the ones where your family is interacting with each other and not looking at the camera.  Often you will be seeing profiles of faces, but sometimes you may not see every face.  I like to include close-ups of details–mom’s hand holding her baby, your teen smiling at the camera while the rest of you are huddled together, a close up of someone laughing as you are walking together.  Many times, I happen to get candid moments as well.  If they are memorable, I’ll include them.  If you have little ones, I can just about guarantee you will have candid pictures!  And it’s happened on more than one occasion that the candid made it on the family room wall!



If you are only wanting to print portraits, storytelling images are still fun to have as extras, even if it is only in digital form.  Many families like to use storytelling images in combination with a family portrait to make a collage of canvases or metals on their wall.  And if you’d like to have something tangible of several of your session images, my albums are the perfect way to display the variety we captured in your session.  (I used to think albums were more for seniors and weddings, but I have started making them for my own family since we always have more pictures that I love that can’t all hang on our walls!)  I believe these storytelling images tell of your connection with each other, and they will become the treasured pictures your family members value as the years go by.  So enjoy them!  I hope they make you smile as much as I think they will!


storytelling image


storytelling image


Professional prints vs. consumer prints, is there really a difference?

Yes, actually there is.  In fact, I’m adding this section well after I wrote the original post because I’m hearing from a few clients lately that only purchased digitals from me, but then were disappointed with the prints they had printed themselves through consumer labs, either online or in box stores.  Consumer labs don’t have the same abilities as professional labs, and so I cannot guarantee the quality of prints that are not ordered through me.  Does that mean you should print every single image professionally?  No, not at all. But I would urge you to consider professionally printing those things you’d like displayed on your walls.  Some people also love to have their smaller prints professionally printed, but if you had to choose between one or the other, get those larger pieces done through me if you can.  We can talk about print quality differences in more detail at your appointment.  I am not one to want to push anything on you that you don’t want to purchase, so we can figure out the best combination that will take into account your needs, wants, and budget. I have samples of everything I offer, as I have put a lot of time and energy into finding just the right professional labs to give you beautiful and quality artwork.  I photograph and edit each image in your gallery as if it might be beautifully displayed in your home, and I make sure the products I offer deliver just that!


family portrait st. louis photographer


And how about those digital images?

When you purchase the digital gallery, you will receive a link to an online gallery to download the fully edited, high resolution files with printing rights.  It allows you to use and enjoy every gallery image now, as well as have them on hand for all those times you’d like to pull them out in the future…you child’s graduation, your grandchild’s wedding, or simply to reminisce about days gone by.


farm engagement session


How can I know exactly what to order for my walls?

One of the services I offer during this appointment if you are wanting to purchase professionally finished prints is the ability to see what your portraits will look like on your own walls before you make any purchase decisions.  This has been AMAZING in taking the confusion out of the ordering process.  Custom photography is an effort and an investment all the way around.  And many times, after all the work, people never actually get their portraits on their walls because of all the decisions left in making selections and determining appropriate sizes. It can easily get overwhelming.  That is the reason why I decided to invest in this software and walk through the process with you. Let me tell you, having this resource has turned what was once confusion into excitement.


wall portrait sizes st louis photographer

Let me show you how it works so you can take advantage everything I offer:

BEFORE the Appointment

Before your ordering appointment, I would like you to take a cell-phone picture of any walls that could be possibilities for displaying your beautiful portraits.  (It is better to send me more walls than less–don’t worry, you are not required to make a purchase for any of the walls you send me!)  Before you take the picture, tape or attach a ruler or piece of paper on the wall.  Then step back, make sure you are facing the wall straight on (not at an angle), get as much of the wall from top to bottom as possible, and take the picture.  You can text or email these pictures to me (I would love to have them at least 2 hours before your appointment time if possible if we are meeting at my home office.  If we are meeting at your house, I can take the wall pictures when I am there.), and I can run them through my program and have them ready to go for your appointment.

Here is an example of a wall picture that has a piece of paper attached for measurement:

ordering appointment

See the paper?  See how the picture is taken straight on, not at an angle?

Now that I had the picture of the wall, I was able to show what their portraits would look like at different sizes and combinations.  In this case, we could quickly see which of the portraits matched well on this wall.  Then we tried different sizes to see what size looked best.

Here is what it looked like when the portrait was too small:

ordering appointment

Now it might be TOO big:

ordering appointment

So we tried this:

ordering appointment

Ahhhh…just right!  Now this family knows exactly which sizes to order and how those portraits will look!

Before Closing:

A couple of final things need to be explained before closing this post.  I want you to leave this appointment thrilled with whatever decisions you have made.  I am here to help you with guiding you through those decisions and answering any questions you have.  I LOVE getting to help you cross the finish line of having BEAUTIFUL portraits! But I do need to add that due to the custom nature of creating portraits of your loved ones, all purchases are final.  You are welcome to pay by cash, check, or credit card.  Once that payment has cleared, I will submit any print orders, as well as give you access to any purchased digital files.  After orders are made, I cannot subtract from the order.  Of course, you are welcome to add to the order, but I cannot delete or change items already purchased.

If for some reason you are unable to schedule a viewing and ordering appointment within 3 to 8 weeks of your session, I will archive the master files from your session for up to 12 months, unless other arrangements are agreed upon.  When you initially booked your session, I locked in the prices at the time of your booking.  That way, if there is a price increase sometime after you booked, you will not incur those increases for that session. However, because of the ongoing changes in the costs of running my business, I cannot guarantee these prices if the viewing and ordering appointment takes place outside a normally scheduled timeframe, which is usually about 3 to 4 weeks after your session.  Therefore, if the viewing and ordering appointment takes place outside a 2-month window after your session, all orders will then be billed at the prices that are current during the time the order is made.

Once orders are placed, I usually have most items back in 10 days to 2 weeks.  If a particular item takes longer (wedding albums, for example), I will let you know.

Thank you for reading through all these details!  Please let me know if you have any questions as we prepare for your appointment.

See you soon!


choosing artwork for your home

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