Frequently Asked Questions

If, after reading this page, you still haven’t gotten your questions answered,
just shoot me an email and we can chat some more!


What should we wear?
For portrait sessions, think how your clothing reflects your style and how you’ll display your photos in your home. Start by choosing complementing colors and subtle patterns. Pick two or three colors in the same color scheme and mix in neutrals like khaki, black, white, gray, or denim for a nice balance for each outfit. Avoid wearing identical clothing, big logos, writing, pictures, or characters – these are distracting and take focus away from your face.

Accessories, such as shoes & socks, hats, hair bows & headbands, scarves, belts, sunglasses, and jewelry are a great way to add punch to the photos. They should add interest to the outfit but not be distracting.

Layering clothing, accessories, and wearing well-placed patterns help camouflage body parts you are sensitive to, smooth bumps from bra straps, waistbands from pants, etc., change the feel of your outfit, and add balance to the overall look. You want to be mindful of wearing solid-colored pieces and clothing with stretchy materials that show bumps and bulges.

I advise groups to let the person who will have the toughest time feeling comfortable in the photos select their outfit first, and then build everyone’s outfit around their choices.

The most important thing is to choose clothing that matches your family’s style and that everyone is happy to wear. If you need help, just let me know and I’ll talk about your options. Or, if you are unsure about what to wear, just have a few options ready and when we meet for our session and I can help you pick.


What about glasses and contacts?
You should look like YOU in your portraits. If you’re concerned about the glare on your lenses, consider borrowing a pair of lens-free frames from your optician or wearing contacts. If you wear Transitions® lenses, the lenses will turn dark if we are shooting outside and your eyes won’t be visible in the photographs. I urge you to borrow a pair of lens-free frames, wear contacts. or just remove your glasses for the session.


What is a typical session like?
A typical session lasts about an hour, maybe less or maybe more. I try to make it relaxed and fun, and while some of the portraits will be posed, I also try to capture the natural moments in between. Please let me know if there are poses or groupings of family members you want included. I’m always willing to incorporate your ideas, so please don’t be shy if you have suggestions.


What should we bring?
Children and adults are always in better moods if they have full bellies and had a good night’s sleep. You may want to bring a bag with snacks and juice (avoid sugar or anything that can stain clothing), especially if you have small children in your group. Feel free to bring along toys your child loves and you don’t mind them holding while being photographed.

If we discussed a change of clothing, bring that as well. Keep in mind that some locations do not having changing areas


What happens if it rains?
Overcast days are fine, but if it rains, we’ll either move to an indoor location with a lot of natural light or reschedule the session for a time it’s not raining. Weather changes quickly, so it’s sometimes possible to reschedule for an earlier or later time on the same day.


What happens if I have to cancel?
I understand sometimes life gets in the way of our plans. When a session needs to be rescheduled due to weather, illness, or extenuating circumstances, the retainer fee and session fees are carried forward to the new date.

However if the client chooses to cancel a session, the non-refundable retainer is forfeited. Client will be refunded all their session fees (less a cancellation fee when the cancellation happens with less than 14 days before a portrait session/30 days before a wedding.)


When will I see my images?
Approximately two weeks after your session, I will give you a link and a password for your private online gallery of your session images. You will see a minimum of 50 images from your session, but oftentimes many more. All images will have a watermark covering the image, which will be removed for all purchased images.

I will bring samples of my professional products to your session, so that you may see and feel the quality of products I sell. This may help you envision what you’d like to do with your images in your gallery.

As you browse through your images, I encourage you to mark your favorites! I am happy to offer suggestions about wall displays, albums, prints, and other products, based on your budget and your vision of how to display your photos. You may place a photo order online or through a phone consultation with me. I can also sit down with you in person to place your order.

Your online gallery will remain active online for 7 days.


What if I need you to do some additional editing to the photos?
I will help you look your finest the day of the photo shoot; however, some things, like closed eyes, clothing mishaps, and awkward expressions, are beyond my control. I want you happy with your images and feeling confident to hang them in your home. I edit all images before I present them to you, making adjustments and enhancements to turn a nice photograph into a beautiful portrait. Small cosmetic corrections are included at no charge (such as: removal of pimples, lipstick on teeth, stray hairs, small stain on clothing, etc.) I prepare images to flatter the clients and represent them, but sometimes clients want additional extensive editing done to their images. For this reason, I perform additional editing at the client’s request for a $25-per-image fee. This would include: merging two photos together, braces removal, tattoo covering, etc. If you are unsure about an edit I might do, just ask me. I preserve all the original images so any edits I do can easily be undone.


Where are the rest of my images? I know you took a LOT…
During your session, I do my best to get the most flattering poses of everyone. I try to get eye contact and capture special moments. However, there are those times when someone blinks, or slouches, or moves and is out of focus. I choose the best images for your gallery and I omit the outtakes and doubles. In a typical session, I shoot 150 or more frames to ensure you have a full gallery that you will love. If there’s a specific photo you want but it’s not included in your gallery, I’m happy to show it to you. Your gallery has a minimum of 50 fully-edited images for you to view.


What can I do with my photos?
When you purchase digital files from Gretchen Willis Photography, you will receive a print release for your personal use. That means you have the right to print your images from those digital files at any retailer, in any quantity and any size, forever. You will receive a digital print release letter, which you should share with your retailer when you order prints.

When you purchase physical products from Gretchen Willis Photography (such as prints, wall art, or albums), I hope you enjoy them and display them, but please do not photograph them, copy or scan them, upload them online, or create other physical products from them.

Who has permission and rights to the photos?

Gretchen Willis Photography retains all copyrights on photos. Any images you receive, whether print or digital, are yours for personal use and enjoyment. Please do not copy or alter the photos or distribute the photos for profit.

You are asked to sign a release (included in your client written agreement), which allows me to use the images from your session for marketing purposes. I never sell your images to a third party without your prior written consent, I protect your personal information at all times, and every step is taken to ensure all distinguishing information is kept private.