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How • When • Where

How do I officially book a photography shoot with Fiander Foto?
Signed contracts/model releases are required to reserve a date and time for all photography packages. Down payments are also required along with a signed contract for clients to book any of the three "Wedding Genre Photography Packages" (listed above). Full payment along with the signed contracts is required for all other photo packages; "Lifestyle & Editorial Genres." Please scroll down to the "Legal Paperwork & Releases" section for more details regarding contracts, model, location, and vendor releases.

How far in advance should I book a wedding?
To provide my clients with the best photographic services, I shoot a limited amount of weddings during the height of the season (May - October). Please be sure to send in an inquiry and book your wedding date well in advance! Booking at least 6 months in advance is suggested, but not required.

What time of day will the shoot be?
Aside from the Wedding Genre Packages, the majority of my photo shoots start 60 - 90 minutes (give/take) before sunset and end shortly after twilight; during the Golden Hours. Shooting during this timeframe helps to ensure a nice soft lighting atmosphere.

Where will the photo shoot take place?
The location of a photo shoot is very important, and it's best to keep it simple. Depending on what type of photo shoot you are purchasing, I may suggest an urban, countryside, landscape, or studio setting. If you have a special location in mind - perhaps at your home, your favorite park, or where you met your honey - please be sure to tell me.

What happens if it rains?
In the event of rain or poor weather conditions, I will make a decision on if the photo shoot needs to be rescheduled. This will be at no additional cost to the client.


How should I prepare for the photo shoot?
Although you probably already do this: be sure to eat healthy meals a week leading up to your photo shoot and drinks a lot of water. This can help your skin look clear and fresh before your pictures are taken. Avoid alcohol and salty food 48 hours before a shoot to ensure your face does not appear "puffy." Last but not least, arrive at the shoot well rested and ready to have fun!

What should I (we) wear during the shoot?
Once you decide what type of photo shoot you'd like and where it will take place, you may want to "dress for the occasion, location, and season." I typically encourage my clients to wear solid colors or lightly patterned outfits; avoid clothing that is mismatched. Does that mean a family portrait should have everyone wearing white tops and khaki bottoms? Well, only if it's for a GAP commercial circa 2006. "Matchy Matchy" is not attractive although working with complimentary colors that match your skin tone will be stunning! When in doubt, consult "Google." Try a search phrase like "What to wear for family portrait shoots" or "What to wear for your engagement shoot."

Should I (we) get our hair, make-up, and nails done?
As a photographer, I'm a strong believer in professional hair, make-up, and nails! With that said, it's best to avoid "overdoing it" when it comes to these topics. Be sure to choose a hairdresser and a cosmetic artist who can accentuate your features yet still allow you to maintain a natural appearance. A nude color of nail polish or a french manicure typically goes well with all outfit choices.

What should I do to ensure my skin looks heathy for a photo shoot?
The first rule of thumb when it comes to skin looking heathy for a photo shoot is to stay out of the sun! Avoid getting burned before your shoot to avoid tan lines! Ensure that you drink plenty of water two weeks leading up to your shoot, which will help to make sure your skin complexion is clear. Avoid trying a new facial cleaning regime before your shoot; stick to what you know works well for your skin.

What is the difference between a maternity shoot and a babymoon shoot? How should I choose between the two to prepare?
These two concepts are very similar, although there are some subtle differences. A babymoon photo shoot occurs when a couple is on vacation while awaiting the arrival of their new baby or babies! The photographic focus for a babymoon shoot is typically on both parents-to-be, scenic views of their vacation spot, and a few baby bump shots. Older siblings are welcome to join the babymoon photo shoot! A maternity shoot focuses mainly on the mother, the baby bump, and a few shots with the father, partner, or older siblings. With this type of photo shoot, the mother may choose to enhance the belly with a particular outfit or props. If you're unsure which style of shoot you want, feel free to e-mail me to ask any questions!

What is the best time to schedule a maternity shoot?
I typically encourage "soon to be moms" to book their maternity shoots between the start of the 7th and the 8th months. The baby bump is pronounced at this time, and the mother's energy levels are still high. If this is not your first child or you're carrying twins (or more!), you may want to schedule your shoot a little sooner. Some women may experience swelling towards the very end of their pregnancy, which can be uncomfortable during a photo shoot. Not to mention, some women have their babies a few weeks early. With a non-refundable purchase, it's important to allow plenty of time for a fun and relaxing photo shoot!

Style of Shooting & Editing

How do you approach your subjects during a photo shoot?
I was trained as a documentary photographer and shoot my commercial clients in a similar manner. However, I also have a passion for traditional portraiture too! I will shoot "candid moments" as well as traditional poses during a photo shoot. I'm happy to offer guidance to my clients regarding how to pose or how to enact a specific expression. My favorite and most popular approach, however, is to allow my clients to "act natural" in front of the lens while I take photographs that capture their true emotions to tell the story of that moment.

Will the final photographs be color images or black and white?
Most of the images will be in color, and some will be in black and white. I use my artistic discretion to decide which photographs will be edited as color or black and white. Depending on my schedule, my clients may have the option to request a re-edit for no more than five images from a photo shoot at an additional one-time cost. Clients can order color prints as black and white from their online gallery, although not vice-versa.

How long does the editing take?
The saying "Rome wasn't built in a day" also applies to photography. After a photo shoot ends, the real fun begins! To help ensure that all of my clients receive a fabulous Fiander Foto product, I personally edit all of my photographs by hand verses outsourcing the editing to a separate company. This also helps to keep the Fiander Foto package prices reasonable. Editing may include adjusting the exposure, highlights/shadows, white balance, color correction, cropping, and removing distracting elements from the photo.

Depending on the type of photo shoot the client has purchased, I strives to deliver images within 10 to 12 weeks for weddings and events. For the shorter photo shoots, the editing process can take between 5 to 7 weeks. Please note: during the busy wedding season, the editing process may take longer. If a client is in a hurry, s/he can purchase a "rush order" on the editing process à la carte.

Please note: if the client has a wedding package with a payment plan, the images are not released until the final payment has been made successfully.

Delivery of Images, Albums & Items

How will the images be delivered?
High-resolution images are sent to the client(s) via an online gallery, where they can download the files straight to their computer. The online gallery will be available for at least one year. Once the client(s) has downloaded the images, it is strongly encouraged for clients to back-up their files to the cloud as well as to an external hard drive(s). If a client accidentally deletes or misplaces his/her files, it may be possible to purchase another set à la carte. Please note: As a professional photographer, I work with many large image files and it is not a guarantee that files are preserved over time.

What file types will be delivered? What can I do with these files?
High-resolution JPEG files are sent to the client(s). The JPEG files will be able to be opened on both Mac and PC computers. With these large high-resolution files, you'll be able to order prints, canvas wraps, metal prints, etc. - in a variety of sizes; from 4" x 6" to large 30" x 40". Assuming photo credit is given, you can also share your images on social media. Please refer to your contract for details regarding sharing and publishing images.

What are RAW files? Do you deliver the RAW files?
As a professional photographer, I shoot RAW files. These files can be opened in editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Capture One, etc. RAW files are the unedited and unfinished images. Unlike JPEG files, the camera does not make any adjustments to the exposure, colour, contrast, etc. As the photographer, I make these adjustments to the RAW files myself using different editing software programs. From there, the RAW files are converted to high-resolution JPEG images. Please note: clients do not receive the unedited RAW files; clients only receive the finished high-resolution JPEG files. These completed JPEG files are edited in accordance with my Fiander Foto branding.

Do you offer wedding albums and photo books?
Yes! Some of the wedding photography packages include an album: a 14" x 11" hard-covered album with an oatmeal fabric cover; a cotton fibre blend. This is handmade, hard-covered, and comes with hinged pages, allowing it to lay flat when opened, which adds an extra level of elegance. The paper in the album has a matte finish and is printed with six ink colours, rather than with toner, to produce the best quality imagery. The couple's names and wedding date are embossed on the cover of the album in gold. This package album also comes with a matching box to protect the album. Clients who purchase a photo package that does not come with an album can either add on a 14x11 or 10x10 album á la carte. Clients also have the option to upgrade their album in their photo package to a 12" x 12" real or vegan leather in black, brown, or white for an additional cost. This album is flush mounted in a traditional style: tucked corners, padded cover, with a library spine. Pages are printed on a Luster finish and the corners of the pages can either be rounded or square. Custom embossing is available to include the couples' names and wedding date on the cover in gold or silver. Both the real or vegan leather options come with a matching box. Matching "parent albums" can be purchased for all of the album and photo book options à la carte. Photo books are available for any type of photoshoot! This is a great gift option: a 10" x 10" hard-covered photo book with non-hinged matte finish pages and an oatmeal fabric cover. Custom embossing is also available.

How many images are included in the wedding album?
If you selected the "Hooked" photo package, your album will include 20-25 photographs. If you selected the "Wedding Day: Package B or C", your album will include 30-40 images. If you selected the "Wedding Day: Package D", your album will include 40-50 photos. If you selected a custom wedding package with coverage of 4-7 hours, your album will include between 25-35 photographs.

How are images chosen for the wedding albums or photo books? How long does this process take?
There are two options: the first is that I can hand select the best images for you. These photos will focus on "telling" the entire story of the your wedding day. Flattering images of you two and your guests are selected based on the colour, composition, and how the images may look side-by-side with each other. From there, I design the layout of the album and send you an online version for review. You're able to make one round of changes before the album is sent off to print. This process typically takes 3-4 weeks from start to finish. With the second option, you can choose your own images. After you receive your wedding photographs, you are given 3 weeks to choose which images you would like to be in your album. You may extend this time frame for an additional week, although the end of the 4th week is a firm deadline. If images are unselected by the 4th week, you can choose to revert back to Option 1 (noted above) or you can purchase additional time for me to stay on the project. This additional time is billed á la carte: $25/day or $175/week. Assuming the client does not require additional time and/or depending on how fast the client tells me which images s/he likes, this second option usually takes about 5-8 weeks from start to finish. It's important for me to deliver your wedding album as soon as possible in order to complete the "photo package delivery". It can sometimes be very time consuming for the client to go through their hundreds of photographs to try and narrow them down to a select few. Because I'm already very familiar with the images, some of my clients opt for the first option in order to receive their wedding album quicker. Although some clients prefer to have a more "hands-on" experience with picking their photos to create their album. Please note: because the albums are outsourced and created by a seperate pringint company, I - Melanie of Fiander Foto - do not have full control over when the printing of albums is complete. I greatly appreciate my clients' understanding on this matter.

How will the wedding album be delivered to me?
Once the printing of the album is complete, it's shipped to my family home in Virginia for "inspection". During this time, my assistants look over the album to check out the design layout, color, and overall quality of the album. In short - we want to make sure it looks perfect before it's mailed off to you! The album is then shipped to you either via USPS or FedEx. Tracking numbers are provided to help ensure the album is safely delivered and all packages are insured. With the package being insured, signatures may be required upon delivery. Clients are responsible for providing an updated home address during this time if needed. International shipping fees may apply. Please note: once the tracking number is provided,client(s) are responsible for keeping track of the album's location, delivery date and time, and for communicating with either USPS or FedEx.

Oops! I missed the delivery of my album. Now what?
If albums are not collected upon delivery (and/or upon re-delivery), USPS or FedEx might send the album back to Fiander Foto. If this occurs, you can order a "second delivery" of your album á la carte. With this á la carte order, you will be billed for the original shipment fee, the re-delivery shipping fee, and a fee for additional time. The additional time is calculated from the time stamp noted by either USPS or FedEx of "return to sender". If the album is not collected and it is not sent back to Fiander Foto - whether it's destroyed by eiter USPS or FedEx or is damaged during the return shipment - you may also need to order a second printed copy of your album á la carte plus the fees noted above. Please note: although great care is put into the packaging and shipping of the album, I - Melanie of Fiander Foto - am not responsible for either USPS' or FedEx's delivery time nor handling of the packages.

Gift Certificates

Can I purchase a gift certificate for someone?
Absolutely! Gift certificates are available for any of the packages mentioned above. Certificates can be purchased directly from me for a specific photo shoot; please e-mail me for details!

How long is the gift certificate good for?
Unless otherwise specified on the gift certificate, the receiver of the gift has one year from the purchase date to use the certificate. It is encouraged for receivers of the certificate to book shoots well in advance.

Can a gift certificate for one type of photo shoot be "traded in" for another?
Depending on the package price of the photo shoot that was purchased, it may be possible for the receiver of the gift to trade it in for a different type of shoot. For example, if the cost of one the "Lifestyle" genre photo shoots is the same as another, the receiver can ask for different photographs to be taken.

Can a gift certificate be used to put towards a larger package?
Sure! If you would like to buy a gift certificate to help a loved one pay for a photo shoot, go for it! For example, if you know someone who is getting married and would like to help them pay for their wedding package, purchase a gift certificate for them to put towards the wedding photo package.

Does the receiver of the gift certificate have to sign a contract / model release?
Yes. If someone is being photographed, a contract / model release is required to officially "seal the deal" and reserve the date. If the receiver of the gift certificate refuses to sign a contract / model release, unfortunately, I will not be able to move forward with the shoot. Please note: once certificates are purchased, they are non-refundable.

Legal Paperwork & Releases

May I review the contract / model release before agreeing to sign?
Of course! Please e-mail me directly to review the contract / model release. Please note: I use the same contract for all of my clients, most of whom require my photo services for wedding and large events. Some of the information that pertains to weddings and large events within the contract may not be relevant to smaller shoots.

Does you (Melanie of Fiander Foto) maintain copyright of your photos as the photographer?
As the creator of the images, I maintain the copyright to my photographs. Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are copyrighted from the moment the shutter is released. Images taken by my assistant are shot under a "work for hire" contract and are also protected under the Act. Clients are however granted a print release, which allows for personal use of the photographs: to print, to share on social media (with photo credits), to use on holiday cards, to keep the high-resolution files, etc. Further details are noted in the contract.

What is a model (or location) release and why am I signing one?
If you are interested in booking me as your photographer, chances are good that you have seen my photography work online or in print. As a published photographer, it's important for me to have written consent from clients to share images. Model releases are signed by clients who require photos taken of human subjects and location releases are signed by clients who need architectural structures or specific outdoor areas photographed. With the use of my photos being an essential element in promoting Fiander Foto (photos shared online, in social media, or by third party publications, etc.) it's important that my clients understand and agree to the model (or location) release terms noted in the contract prior to booking. Being able to share my images also allows me to maintain reasonable rates for my clients and to avoid additional fees for privacy purposes.

Does this mean that your photo will be on a billboard in Times Square? Probably not. What if my photo is unflattering; will it be published? No way! Beauty is subjective, although I use a critical eye when selecting photos to be shared. After all, publishing an unflattering photo of a client would not benefit anyone. Can I request not to have my name used online? Absolutely! If your photos are published, avoiding last names or using fake names are fine. Can I request to have the terms of the model or location release clause altered? Unfortunately, no; because I shoot a limited amount of clients per year, it's important that both myself, the photographer, and the client be "on the same page" regarding the model or location release.

Does the model release clause in the contract include minors?
If minors are being photographed, one parent's or legal guardian's signature is required for those under the age of 18. Ideally, both parents or legal guarians can sign.

I'm a client, and I would like to submit my photos to a third party publication. How do I proceed?
I'm excited to hear that you want to publish your photos! Let's start with the basics: all publications require the permission of the photographer to publish images as to not infringe on the copyright. Please e-mail me the name of the publication, the website, and the editor's name, and contact information. From there, I can get in touch with the publication to provide the needed permission and information for photo credits. The publication may also require a short essay to go along with the images.