Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
Kimberlin Gray Photography has a storefront studio location in the East Beach neighborhood of Norfolk (near Oceanview). Our address is 4500 Pretty Lake Ave and there is on-street parking on both sides in front of our studio. We do on-location maternity sessions and twice a year hold outdoor family minisessions. However, most of our sessions are held in the studio, including all newborn sessions and birthday cake smash sessions!
Who is on staff?
Amanda is the owner and photographer of Kimberlin Gray Photography and shoots all of our maternity, birth, newborn and studio baby sessions. Elizabeth is our associate photographer who photographs outdoor baby sessions, family sessions, seniors, and boudoir. Each photographer edits every image they take individually, taking care to use just the right techniques to enhance the image from the camera to it’s final print or digital form. Our Office Manager, Abby, is our customer liaison who returns emails and phone calls and coordinates order packaging and pickups.
Are parents/siblings included in newborn sessions?
All of our newborn sessions include at least a few beautiful portraits of parents and siblings with their newest family member if desired. Keep in mind that toddlers (15 months to 3 years old) are often unpredictable and they are still figuring out this new little person in their lives, so it can be more challenging to capture them with a newborn. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve and years of experience with kids of all ages and personalities! Be sure to let me know ahead of time if you would like parent/sibling portraits so that we can plan the best strategy for your family!
What do I need to bring to the session? Do you have all those cute hats and props?
All you need to bring is yourselves! I have a crazy large amount of blankets, baskets, hats, headbands, diaper covers, backdrops, and other props in the studio for newborn and baby sessions! If there is something specific that you would like to have photographed with your baby, please feel free to bring it along. In the past, I have used Daddy’s firefighter gear, pilot’s helmet, and baseball glove as well as grandma’s blanket and family heirloom christening gown. If you have a specific wish for a prop that you've seen elsewhere, you are welcome to browse etsy.com and bring along your own items - but know that I have plenty in my studio for you to choose from!
How early should I book my session?
We prefer to book child and family sessions at least 2-3 weeks in advance. If you are interested in maternity and newborn sessions, it is best to contact me when you are in your 5th-6th month of pregnancy. The best time for maternity portraits is when you are between 32-36 weeks, and I typically book up a few weeks in advance and only have one Saturday per month available. If you choose to book a maternity session with your newborn session, we put both sessions on the calendar when you reserve the package. If you are wanting a newborn session only, it is best to reserve your session about 6 weeks before your expected due date to ensure availability. Please do not wait until your baby is born because during busy times, cannot always ‘squeeze in’ additional sessions. If you hadn't heard of us until your baby has arrived, just email and we will do our best to fit you in! Many newborn photographers say that they will not photograph babies over 12 days old, but we are skilled and experienced enough to ensure you will have beautiful images even if your baby is a bit older.
Why are you so expensive? I see other photographers charging half as much!
Our prices are based on many factors, but rest assured we have thought long and hard about pricing. We realize that custom photography is not for everyone and it's not in every family's budget. We have a large retail studio location and there are many costs associated with that. We are also fully licensed and insured and pay taxes to both the state and federal government. That means that over 25% of everything we charge goes to the government and that is before our expenses (equipment, lighting, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.). Our studio is fully stocked with all the beautiful items you see in the portfolio images. All those different blankets, baskets, backdrops, cute hats and headbands, wraps, and unique props are all in the storage room waiting for your baby! Many times you can see the difference between photographers in the lighting, posing, and quality of the images on our websites. We pride ourselves in being able to do more than just take a picture - we capture emotion in our photographs and create timeless keepsakes of your family. Our goal for clients is that you leave not just with a CD of images that sit in a drawer, but beautiful artwork for your walls that will last generations.
We strive to show the beauty that is pregnancy, the precious itty bitty newborn, and the relationship between a mommy and baby or a family with that new little member. We strive to capture genuine smiles and the happiness of families. We take the time to edit each image individually and offer products to you that stand the test of time. When you choose Kimberlin Gray Photography, you are choosing experienced photographers and you will not be sorry you invested in this experience and the quality of our work. Be sure to read reviews from past clients! To read more about why custom photography costs more than retail/chain studios, please click here: Custom Portrait Photography.
When and how do I pay?
Kimberlin Gray Photography is proud to offer multiple payment options. You are welcome to send a check to our studio or pay your retainer online in our secure marketplace. We also accept credit cards both in person and over the phone. The first payment you make is the session fee, which is due to reserve your session. About two weeks after your session, you'll return to our studio for the Big Reveal of your images. At that time, we will show you all of the retouched images and you will choose a Collection and apply your print credit toward whatever items you love - we have albums, frames, canvases, and many specialty products. We accept all forms of payment and work with families on payment plans if requested. Please note: images and products are not delivered until the last payment is made on a payment plan.
What should we wear?
We will have a pre-session consultation (usually over the phone) to discuss specific wardrobe ideas about a week or two before your session. Maternity wardrobe is quite fun - we have an entire rack of beautiful gowns that you can use! If you want to wear your own outfits, it's quite simple - whatever you are comfortable in is best! You want your outfit to be snug on your belly (to show the outline and roundness) but you want to be comfortable and stylish. Under-the-belly waistbands are always best so that there are no visible lines on your skin - and I always suggest two outfits, one skirt/dress and a gown or two from our maternity closet! I love color - there is no need for boring black or white - and don’t be afraid of patterns. When in doubt, check out the gallery of images on my website for inspiration! We have an online gallery of the gowns for you to select in advance of your session.
Newborns generally wear nothing at all. Clothing is often too big for those itty bitty babes and they get lost in all that fabric! So, we do most of our newborn session poses with your baby (tastefully!) in the buff. If you prefer your baby to be covered, please let us know. We have quite a few wraps, diaper covers, and rompers in our studio.
For baby sessions, less is more! Two outfits is usually the most that a baby will tolerate, so I ask that you bring your baby in the outfit that you most want photographed and then we will strip down to just a diaper or even bare bottom for some more ‘organic’ portraits. Then, if baby tolerates it, we’ll put on the second outfit and take some more beautiful portraits! Specific suggestions will be given for each stage when you book those sessions on the calendar!
Families should strive to coordinate without being 'matchy-matchy'. We have many examples of clothing choices and will help you decide what to wear so that your family looks like a million bucks! Choosing a color palette you love or selecting one dress or piece of clothing and matching around it is usually the best approach.
What time of day will my session be held?
Most maternity sessions are held on-location, in the evening, right before sunset. This is often called ‘the golden hour’ by photographers and it is when the sun casts a warm, beautiful glow on your skin. Middle of the day is the worst time for portraits, as it is too bright, casts harsh shadows on faces, and creates squinty eyes. If you request an in-studio 'glamour' maternity session, our options for timing are more flexible since we utilize studio lighting techniques.
Newborn sessions are held at our studio where we have all the items needed and can control the temperature and environment. We schedule these studio sessions within the first 10 days if at all possible as this is when newborns are bendy and curly and allow us to pose them in all of those sweet ways!
Baby sessions (Milestones Plan babies) have their choice of outdoor or indoor sessions based on the weather and preferences. Outdoor sessions are generally held in the evening and indoor studio sessions during the day. If you require a weekend, please let me know up front as those dates book up much faster!
Family sessions are usually scheduled for evening when the light is perfect and beautiful. We have locations all around the Hampton Roads area - beaches, gardens, parks, etc. Our beach sessions are ALWAYS booked in the evening just before sunset. If you have toddlers or your children aren't happy in the evenings, we can definitely look at another time & location that works better for your family - just ask!
Can you take out the scratch on my baby’s face or make me look skinnier?
Basic retouching can be done easily and without incurring any extra expense. If your child has a scratch or blemish on their face that you want me to remove, please let me know at the time of your session and we would be happy to digitally remove it from each of your portraits before proofing them to you.
As for more extensive retouching, we do offer the service for $25 per portrait. As professional photographers, it is our job to pose pregnant women and new mommies in ways that flatter their figure and accentuate their curves in the best way. We would much rather you love the way you look in your portraits naturally than give you a ‘digital diet’!
What happens if we need to reschedule?
Sickness happens, and rain does too. If it happens to rain on the day of your outdoor session, we will reschedule to the first mutually available date possible. No worries! For newborns, if your baby is born premature and needs to stay in the hospital for a little while, we will hold our session the week that he/she comes home. Chances are, we will still be able to get those sleepy baby photos!
When will I see my photos?
If you agree, we will post a sneak peek of your session on Facebook and/or my blog within a day or two of your session. The full gallery of images will be presented to you approximately two weeks following your session at the Big Reveal!
Why can’t I just get the digital images by themselves? Do I have to have to buy your full package?
Custom photography is an investment - each image is hand-edited to print beautifully. If we only sold CD’s of images, how many of those pictures would actually get printed? I actually know the answer to this because I used to sell ‘just CD’s’. And more and more of my clients were telling me that they never got around to actually ordering pictures from their CD. And I am guilty of this myself! I keep meaning to print photos of my kids, but another day goes by and I get so busy that I forget. Have you done that??? I bet the answer is yes.
These portraits are precious memories that you have invested in...and we want you to look at them every day. We want you to at least see what the images look like when printed from a professional source, so even my digital collections come with printed proofs. We do archive images and am more than willing to work with you on a payment plan if custom photography is something that you value and are committed to investing in. Just ask!
We do offer digital files in each of our Collections because we feel strongly that you should be able to have, share, and print your favorite images from our session together if you wish. But we include a credit in all of our Collections so that you can apply it toward whatever prints or products you love & see what these images look like printed and display them in your home forever. Choosing your favorites is hard, but it is an important step in printing those pictures so that they don’t sit in a drawer and fade away like old memories.
Will I be able to share my pictures on Facebook? Can my family print from Facebook?
All of our collections include two versions of each image, the high resolution printable files and a websized, watermarked version of each photo for sharing online. These images are sized and sharpened perfectly for screen resolution and will display beautifully for your friends and family to see. However, they are NOT printable images and include a watermark to protect my work and your family’s image from being misused or stolen. You'll want to use the non-watermarked image for any printing or project!
Copyright vs. Print Release: What’s the difference?
When a photographer creates an image, it is automatically copyrighted - giving the photographer or creator of the image the exclusive right to copy, edit, distribute, post on facebook, blog, etc. These rights, given to the photographer or creator of the image by The Copyright Act, make it illegal for anyone else (even if you are in the image) to copy, scan, edit, print, or distribute digital or printed versions of the image without the photographer’s permission. This is a Federal Law and can be prosecuted as such. Illegally downloading, screen-capturing, watermark-removing, or altering of images is strictly prohibited...not just by me, but by law!! Our digital files come with a print release, not a copyright release. We still own the copyright to the images that you purchase, but you are free to take the images and get as many prints as you want, in any size, anywhere. (Now, I don’t recommend just anywhere - I’ll give you suggestions on the best place to make prints!) But, you can upload them to your favorite online lab and print to your heart’s content if you purchase images with print release from Kimberlin Gray Photography! But you may not edit the images in any way, let others use them for advertising (such as children’s clothing boutiques) or enter them into contests (like for Parenting magazine covers) without permission. If in doubt, just email me! I am very nice (really!) and will usually grant permission (with proper credit, of course). Please respect our work and livelihood. This is our business and the way we support our families and we ask that you take that into consideration.
How long do you store images after our session?
All ordered images are stored for at least one year - we try to keep all images for as long as possible in case your order becomes damaged. We recommend that you back up your digital files in two places to be certain you have them for years to come. Unordered images are purged after 30 days in order to leave room for new session images.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes! Gifting a friend or family member with a session is a wonderfully thoughtful idea. You can purchase a gift certificate for someone who has already booked with me in any denomination or you can purchase the Creative Fee for them so that they can have beautiful portraits taken of their special time!
Can I register with you for an upcoming baby shower?
Anyone who has booked a newborn session with Kimberlin Gray Photography can sign up for a baby registry! I will provide you with cards to include in your baby shower invitations which give instructions on how your guests can purchase certificates toward your portrait order. Just ask for details!
Have other questions?