The Experience….Peter & Michelle + 3

My clients have told me that they love the “tallulah lane experience”. This inspired me to use a recent session as an example of what to expect from your custom photography session. Michelle and I discussed what she was looking for in a photographer for her next family shoot, a couple of months before she booked the session. She liked my style and described it as free and full of emotion. She was ready to try something other than the standard studio or posed sessions. Those words are music to this photographer’s ears. I’m not sure I could sit here and tell you exactly what my style is and I don’t think I would want to. I think that is for my clients to decide. I know, I want them to feel comfortable and at ease. It is the only way to capture the essence of another person. I pay attention, close attention to the nuances of the interactions before, during and after the session. This close attention is an act of connection. It helps me to know exactly when to press that shutter, when a real moment has presented itself organically.

Ok, let’s get back to how the experience begins…A client calls to book the session. We chat about session date availability, who will be a part of the session, and what, if any, specific ideas they have for the shoot, i.e., location, indoor or outdoor, event or activity based. Next, the date is booked and we set up a second time to discuss wardrobe, if needed. I am totally open to letting the kids dress themselves, if that is the type of session the client is looking for. For Michelle, I sent a selection of screen shots for her to view and consider for her family. Then a few days prior to the shoot, I stopped by her home and together we laid out different outfits and let the boys chime in too. I absolutely want everyone to be comfortable, so if clothes are going to cause a big fuss, then move on. No one is genuinely at ease, if they are itching in a polyester shirt or gobs of lace and ruffles. So here we are, two days out from the session date. The session has been discussed, location scouted/selected, wardrobe chosen…now it’s time to hope for beautiful weather and make some timeless art! The weather was perfect and so were these boys….More discussion on post session follow up below.


The collection of images below are the screen shots that I sent Michelle prior to the shoot. These were just suggestions and guidance on complimenting colors. I sent several others, but this was a great representation of the session. Of course, Michelle and her family added their own personal touches/choices. It was a great start and perfect summer color for a beach shoot. More below…

Now it’s time to discuss the post shoot experience. I ┬áselect, develop, process, and artfully edit between 25-45 images (depending on how many people participated in the shoot). My clients view their fully edited session within two weeks via a personal slideshow to music. This session’s slideshow was to The Who’s, Baba O’Riley (it seemed like the perfect fit for this group of teens). The slideshow is typically viewed by appointment in my home office, unless it is a travel session outside of Chicago (travel sessions are viewed via a locked gallery on my website). My clients will usually view the slideshow several times, while using a star rating system on the iMac that allows the client to select their top rated images. This is the part where I feel like my clients can and have become overwhelmed. It can be daunting to decide what sizes, placement, and framed prints vs. canvases. That’s when I make an appointment, if needed, to come back to the clients home to look at wall space, measure, and discuss various options. I made two appointments with Michelle and brought along a few prints of my own to help with scale, etc. We sketched out several templates and decided on two different gallery walls, one statement piece, and several gift prints for tabletop frames. We also previewed holiday card options and selected those, as well. The prints are then ordered and delivered in boutique packaging, ready for framing or to be hung immediately for all to admire/adore!! When Michelle’s walls are complete, I am hoping to do a follow-up post on the final product. Below I included a few examples of how you can display your images in a pleasing and well balanced way. I always try to keep symmetry and balance in the gallery. Well, I think that about covers it! This is the “tallulah lane experience”….Booking October sessions now for the holiday season!