Do you have questions?

I am always curious by nature. Who, what, when, where and why. Let me see if I can answer each of these for you in the following FAQs. If I miss something that you are dying to know, please contact me. If you are about to schedule a session, I don't want to leave any stone unturned.

My only goal is to make this the best possible session for you and your pet.

  1. How do I choose a location? I have a page with location ideas, but really, it is up to you where we go. I like to stay within a one hour drive of Salem, Oregon only because I try not to be gone from my own dogs for longer than 4–5 hours at a time. If there is a place that you really, really love, let's talk. I am always up for an adventure.
  2. Do you have a studio I can visit? I do, I call it my little rustic studio. It has samples of some of my work, I can set up a backdrop and lighting and we can view your final presentation of photos.
  3. What if my dog is shy, aggressive or has to remain on a leash? Then, we work through it slowly. Not all animals, or even humans were born to be models. But that doesn't mean they aren't beautiful and they should have their grace captured on film. I always carry a variety of toys and a few treats to earn your pets trust. Mostly, I'm patient. I never over book myself, so we will take as long as we need to get the portraits you desire from your pet.
  4. Do you photograph other animals besides dogs? Of course! I'm an animal lover through and through.
  5. Can my family be in the photos too? I believe that pets are family. So if your pet brings you along to the session and you would like to be in the photo, I am more than happy to do a family portrait with your pet.
  • What if the weather is bad? Ha. We live in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is almost always unpredictable. If the session can be moved indoors and indoor photos satisfy your hopes and dreams, then we're gold. If it's mildly drizzly outside, we might be OK, we'll play that by ear. If it's a torrential downpour, we'll find another day. Just as an aside, if you would like to go someplace that has snow, I'm a wimp, I don't like driving on icy, snow packed roads and I just might have to hitch a ride with you.
  • How long before my images are ready to view? I do my very best to have a preview ready in two to three weeks.
  • How much should I expect to spend on this investment? Most of my clients spend approximately $1,000. I do not have a minimum investment, but when we go out, I am looking for images that would look perfect in a large format on a wall.
  • What if I just want an 8 x 10 inch print? Like I said in the previous question, I don't have a minimum investment, but think about all of the planning, choosing a location and your time investment. Do you really want just an 8 x 10 inch print? I would like to think that we are embarking on this adventure to create a beautiful piece of art for your home. Something to hang over the fireplace or above the dining room table. A piece of art that the minute you look at it, you forget everything around you, your heart sings and you smile.
  • What types of payment do you accept? I accept cash, checks and credit.
  • Can I share my images on Facebook and other social media? One of the first things that happens after a session is that I race home and upload them to my computer. I'm always excited to see your new masterpieces. I will have a pretty good idea in my head which series worked and will scroll through to find a few favorites. Within a day or two, I will post my favorite photos to my blog and you can start sharing that. After the purchasing session and you have made your selections, I will provide you with the lo-res, watermarked images that you purchased to share where ever you would like.
  • Can I buy the digital files of the photos from my shoot? The short answer, no. That is not to say that I am not willing to talk about it. I realize we live in a digital age and I appreciate that. I also know the thrill of having a piece of art ready to hang on the wall. There is beauty in a 20 x 30 inch gallery wrapped canvas. There is pride in art that is proudly displayed in a prominent area when guests come over and oooo and aaaahh. There is instant gratification going home and grabbing a hammer and nail and hanging your art on the wall. There is comfort sitting down with cup of coffee and looking through a book of photos that tell a story and remembering the fun day of the session. None of these exist on a disk of digital images. Chances are, that disk may get tucked into a drawer and never see the light of day again.  If I hand you a disk, you don't have anything to run home and display.
  • Why do I need a "pet photographer”? Hiring a photographer that specializes is like going to a doctor. Your general practitioner isn't going to do open heart surgery, fix a broken bone or run through a series of tests to find out what you are allergic to. They are going to send you to a specialist. It's the same with photography. A wedding photographer knows to be there before "the moments" happen and a baby photographer knows how to swaddle a newborn. Pet photographers are the same with pets. We know the angles, we've worked with dozens of pets and we love animals. That's why we specialize in pets.
  • What if I need to reschedule? Kindly give as much notice as you possibly can. Life happens and evolves before us at break neck speed. I will do my best to work it out with you.
  • Do you do fundraisers for non-profit animal groups? Absolutely. I was involved in greyhound adoption for years and supporting adoption and rescue is at the very core of my soul. Talk to me and we can see if there is something I can do to help your group.
  • Do you donate to non-profit groups? I donate a portion of my Santa Paws sessions to non-profit.
  • Do you photograph your own dogs? All the time. Just ask them, they are frequent models for new techniques I want to try or if I just have an itchy trigger finger and want to go out do some photography.
  • Do you have a bucket list? OMG, if only you knew. Somedays my creative brain works over time and I want to do new and different projects. This is where you come in. Is there a project that you need a photographer to collaborate with? Call me, chances are I'm up for it.
  • Where are you on Social Media? Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest

Where to begin

I do try to keep the process as simple as possible and here's a list of things to think about.

  1. Yay! You've decided you want professional photos of your pet and even your family.
  2. Location is important. Think about where your pet is most comfortable. If they are world travelers and totally laid back, where ever we go, the photos will be amazing. If they are really shy, think about staying closer to home where they are most comfortable.
  3. Budget will set the stage. Think about how much you want to spend. Remember, at the end of the day, you will have portraits of your pets forever. I don't have a minimum purchase requirement because I believe everyone should have at least one portrait of their pet.
  4. Artwork is the ultimate goal. How much wall space do you have? Where do you want to display your artwork? I can certainly provide you with the digital images, but I'm not a fan. So often the images remain on a disk until the someday comes that you get them printed.
  5. I have a list of Frequently Asked Questions that might be able to answer your questions.

After you think about the goals of the session, shoot me an email, send me a text or call me and we can set up an appointment for your pets session.

  1. Who is going to be in the photo? Just your pet or pets?
  2. What about a family photo with your pets? Family photos with pets are just about one of my favorite things.

Preparing for the session.

  1. You want your pet to look their very best, a good brushing is always a good start
  2. I like to photograph pets naked (that is without their collar), but if you have a fancy collar just make sure it is clean.
  3. If we're on location and your pet has to be on leash, don't worry about that. We can hold that leash in a way that makes it easy for me to remove. A clean and untattered collar is important for these photos
  4. A thought about prong and shock collars. They really don't look good in photos, so I really hope that we can have those removed during our session.

After the session

  1. I will do my best to post a few photos from your session on social media. Might be FacebookPinterest or Instagram. Be sure to follow me.
  2. It will take 2–3 weeks for me to get through your session and edit down to about 35–40 images. 
  3. Depending on what you are hoping for at the end of the session, I will either post an online gallery for you to view or you will come back to the little rustic studio for a viewing session.
  4. Delivery of your product. Depending on what you order, this could take anywhere from 3–6 weeks. If you need something for a gift, let me know and I can sometimes get a print back to you within a week.

Still have questions? Ready to book a session?

Call or text me: 503-999-3047

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