Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I view sample galleries?

A:  Absolutely! Just email me at carlymcclurephotography@gmail.com or fill out an inquiry form and mention that you’d like to see a sample gallery. I have birth & newborn, family lifestyle, & engagement sample galleries available for you to view.

Q: What camera & lenses do you use?

A: I use a digital SLR Canon 5D Mark II camera and  Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM & Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art DG HSM lenses.

Q: How long does it take you to edit sessions?

A: Typically anywhere from 30 minutes- a few hours, depending on the session.

Q: What photo editing software do you use?

A: I use both Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop.

Q: How do you choose which pictures become the final photos?

A: First off, I shoot lots of pictures during our session together. Afterwards, I sit down and cull out (delete) any photos with unfavorable light, composition, body positioning, facial expressions (blinking, looking away, scowls, etc.) and any duplicates. After that I choose and edit photos which represent my style as an artist. Depending on the package you choose from me, you’ll either be provided with a download link to download your entire gallery or you’ll be provided with a code to download a specified number of photos (as is the case in mini-sessions) and you’ll be able to choose which photos you’d like to download.

For example: Mini-sessions include 8 digital downloads, but I usually upload anywhere from 10-30 photos for mini-sessions. This way you’ll be able to go into your gallery and choose your favorite 8. All extra files will be available for purchase.

Q: When and how will I get my pictures?

A: Depending on which session you choose from me, delivery time for photos vary. Consult your contract to see the delivery time. When your photos are done, you will receive an email from me with a link to your personal and private online gallery. Once you’ve viewed your gallery you will be given the option to choose which photos are your favorite and download them.

Q: What is an online gallery?

A: I use a service called Pixieset to deliver all files to my clients. It’s an online gallery hosting site that allows you to view, share, download, and buy your photos. If you would like to view a sample gallery, please email me at: carlymcclurephotography@gmail.com

Q: How do I book a session?

A: First, you can fill out an inquiry form here. After that, I’ll contact you and we can discuss what type of session you’re interested in and narrow down a few dates that work best for you. If you’re inquiring about birth photography, then we just need to confirm that I have no other births around your due date. After that, all sessions are based on a first-come-first-serve basis. I require a $150.00 retainer to book your session and reserve your date. This is required for ALL sessions, including mini-sessions. Mini-sessions tend to fill up very quickly, so if you’re eyeing a particular date and time, it is advised to book immediately.

Q: Why Birth Photography?

A: I know from experience how precious the birth of your child is. There’s absolutely nothing like it in this whole world. The anticipation is unreal. You spend months waiting for the day of your baby’s arrival and then suddenly–labor is happening! The ticking tape of your almost-born baby’s heartbeat. Nurses running around prepping the delivery room. Dad pacing the floors. You breathing, counting, breathing, counting… looking down to realize it is the very last day of your baby belly. And then, suddenly, it’s time to deliver. It’s a breathtaking, wonderfully overwhelming, and exceedingly joyous time. And the moment your sweet baby is born… everything falls into place.

Before you know it, everything after that begins to move very quickly.

My goal is to be there to catch all the moments so that you can look back on the birth of your child without ever forgetting. Cutting the cord. Your first embrace.Your first feed. Dad’s first glimpse. Being weighed and the first bath. Newborns tend to be very alert right after their birth—you can catch some amazing and precious moments of their first few hours. With me there, you don’t need to worry about trying to remember it all. We’ll capture it together.
If you’re interested in capturing this experience, please inquire here. I’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible, and help answer any questions you may have.

Q: Newborn Photography—what is it all about?

A: As we’ve all heard, babies tend to grow up.
FAST.
A newborn session is a great way to capture them while they’re still new: in all their sweet, tiny cuteness. Since I do not shoot in a studio, I will come to you—either in the hospital or at your home. This way, I can get the freshness of a brand-new baby at the hospital or I can capture your newborn in his natural habitat: your home, surrounded by the things and people you love. For more information about this type of shoot, please visit my session information page.

 Q: Why is birth photography so expensive?

A: The total cost of a birth package has a number of things factored into it:

  • An in-person consult at your home or other location to get to know one another, show you a portfolio of my work, talk about your hopes and desires for labor, and just generally get comfortable with one another before your delivery. I do my very best to tailor each birth experience to each mom. This consult will help me to get to know you so that I can give you the very best product!
  • I will be on-call, 24/7 for up to 3 weeks: 3 full weeks are booked JUST FOR YOU. Based on your previous pregnancies or if you’re a first-time mom, we sit down and discuss which weeks you would like to reserve for your labor. For first-time moms I usually recommend securing the dates between 38 and 41 weeks pregnant. This means that I DO NOT book any other births or out-of-town sessions. I am ON CALL 24/7 for those 3 weeks and I do not do any other business during this time. My prices have been carefully selected to reflect this commitment to my clients.
  • I spend the entirety of your labor with you.I ask that you or your partner text me when you’re on the way to the hospital or birth center, to give me a heads up that you may be in labor. Once progressing labor is confirmed, I pack up and arrive at the hospital or birth center. Whether 2 hours or 11 hours, I stay with you until your baby is born. Depending on your package, I stick around for up to 1-2 hours after birth to take photos of you and your new addition as you’re settling in together. Again, this is my commitment to you when you select a package from me. The last thing you need to worry about is whether or not your photographer is going to stick around long enough to see your baby born. This is another detail I’ve carefully added into my pricing. With 3 kids at home, there is extensive pre-planning and scheduling done on my behalf in order to make sure my family is taken care of while I’m at the hospital with you.
  • Quick turn-around for photos.Once you’ve had your baby, I go to great lengths to get your photos to you as soon as possible. Depending on my current workload, I work hard to get them to you, sometimes within 48 hours. I know how exciting it is to have your baby and I try to deliver your images to you while the experience is still fresh!
  • Both black & white and color photos for every single photo.Because I know that labor happens quickly and with great intensity (and can also be a bit messy!), I provide both black & white and color photos for almost every single photo. If composition for one photo only allows for black & white, that may be an exception, but that happens very rarely. This is double the work but also double the reward, and my clients LOVE that I offer this service for their birth photos.

These are just a few of the major elements included in a birth package. There are many other details that I offer such as personal communication throughout your pregnancy, an online gallery, album and printing services, a loyalty program, and repeat client deals and exclusive packages. For example, all repeat clients receive 15% off my packages FOR LIFE. Also, any repeat client has access to Exclusive Packages, for example: A Milestone Package for your baby (newborn, 6 months, and 1 year photo shoots) or year-round Mini-Sessions.

Birth photography is my passion. I’ve had three children of my own and know how amazing the birth experience is. There is nothing more incredible than bringing your child into this world. I can assure you that the investment is worth it– and I will do everything in my power to document your experience to the best of my ability.

Q: What is Lifestyle photography?

A: Where do you and your family often go? To the park? To your favorite restaurant? Do you stay at home and bake cookies? A lifestyle shoot is a an hour or two where I (the photographer) get to act like a fly on the wall while you and your family do all your favorite things in your everyday setting & I capture you in all your un-styled, crazy, average-day glory. Dog stealing your kids’ ice cream at the park? Snap. Tickle monster coming around the corner? Snap. Baby’s first week home and sleeping in their new crib? Snap. I can be there to get those moments while you just do you. Most people prefer their home (comfort and ease, all in one), but I’m willing to meet just about anywhere in the Northern Virginia area.

Q: What is a Family Session?

A: Do you have that one picture that’s been sitting on your mantle for about… eight years? I mean the one picture where you’re all actually looking at the camera AND smiling. A family session will update that picture for you, as well as give you a few candid shots of the many personalities in your family. We can get just the siblings. Or just the parents. One of each or only full family pictures. It’s totally up to you! The goal is for you to leave feeling like everything was unique to YOU–simply the essence of who you are as a family—translated in a few photos.

Q: Engagement Photography… is that a thing?

A: In short: absolutely. My personal engagement photos are among my most cherished photos. They embody a time in my life that was fleeting, but powerful. Our engagement only lasted for 5 months and it was such a fun, exciting time. The pictures I have from our shoot are framed everywhere in our house–even two children, a move and many years later. Wedding pictures are different from engagement photos. There is a vibe of newness, excitement, and genuine ease captured in an engagement session that a wedding event can’t quite muster. Don’t get me wrong—weddings are a personal favorite to shoot as well—but the engagement is where it all begins! Invest in your future and grab your fiancé for a fun day or evening toasting to your love for one another.

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