You've visited and glanced through my pricing and galleries and have liked what you saw; now what's next. Yay, you've decided to hire Tamieka Smith Photography to photograph your family portraits, event, or military ceremony in Northern Virginia or surrounding area. So, what’s next; to secure your desired date? I’ll ask you to complete two things next; sign an agreement and pay a retainer. The retainer is paid at the time you decide to hire me to save your date. I’m unable to hold a date and time on the calendar until this payment is received. This is to ensure that you're as committed to your portrait session or event, since I will be turning away other work. I’m sure the next question is; how do you pay? You’ll receive an invoice by email or you may submit payment securely online in the online store or via the appointment page.
Here's the outline of scheduling Tamieka Smith as your NOVA family or military event photographer.
5 Tips For Finding A Photography Mentor
When I started my photography career, I looked for someone to help me answer questions. Someone I could call upon about photography. Unfortunately all the people I called or sent emails to wouldn't return my telephone calls or emails. It became extremely frustrating.
After conducting a search on Facebook, I came across a photographer in Destin, Florida. I call her and told her who I was and what I was trying to do. Thankfully she was extremely helpful and answer every question I had and even offered to help me with any additional questions I had in the future. After experiencing her helpfulness, I wondered why other photographers were so unhelpful. I couldn't understand. I also read countless books, attended photography conferences and workshops. Of course, I began putting in numerous hours practice with my camera and using Lightroom and Photoshop. It was my own journey of trial and error and the beautiful journey of learning the profession of photography.
Are you ready for enjoyable family pictures? | Northern Virginia Photographer | Woodbridge Family Photographer
Are you a parent with kids? Do you want a recent portrait of your family? Do you have a CD of your last portrait session, but never had the time to get them printed. If so, you probably want lots of pictures of your children, because they're only children for such a short period of time. But oh my gosh, will my children sit still for a professional photograph? Will they smile? Will they be fussy? Will they listen? Will the photographer be a good mesh with my family? These are just a few of the questions you may be asking yourself. As a Mom, these are some of the questions I ask myself as a mom when I go to have photographs taken of my children and my family. Even to the extent of attempting to coach my kids into doing right and treating them afterwards...please tell me I'm not the only one.
Last Updated: December 1, 2019
Top 10 Places to Take Family Portraits
Taking family photographs in a studio is a great way to capture memories. However, if you live in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C., better known as the DMV; there are many outdoor locations and famous sites where you can take photos of your family. Here are 10 of the best places for your next family portrait.
(Please Note: taking professional photographs in Washington D.C. requires a photography permit, which costs $150 per day for 2-10 people. You can read more about portrait session permits and guidelines here.)
Raise your hand if you've ever planned a kids' birthday party? Or perhaps a surprise party for someone? Bridal Shower? Baby Shower? Reunion? Bar/Bat Mitzvah? Shall I keep going? Planning a party is a lot of prep work and so often includes many details that we think of after the fact.
All too often I am asked, why hire an event planner? My answer is always the same; to be able to be a guest at your own event. Even when I got married, I still hired someone to take care of the details the week leading up so that I could sit back and relax!
So, really, why hire a professional event planner? Here are four reasons…
What's In Your Bag?
This post will introduce you to my equipment and subsequent posts will spotlight individual pieces of my equipment arsenal. Maybe you’re into photography, or maybe you’re just curious about what I photograph with.
As a professional photographer, I consistently hear this comment from my clients; "wow, thank you so much for taking the time to process and edit my images professionally". Do you have children in school? Have you every received their prints back and wondered "why didn't that take this spot off their shirt or their face"? I know I have! Especially if they have their school pictures taken after lunch. That was one of the major reasons I stop purchasing school portraits. The attention to detail was lacking.
If you've ever worked with me, you'll know I take special care in the final images for my clients. I want to ensure all of the lint, acne, scrapes on children knees and razor bumps are cleared up. These are temporary things and why should they become permanent in the most important things we value?
Once I finish photographing a family portrait session or an event, I head to my office and begin working on processing the images for delivery. On average, I spend approximately 30 to 45 minutes (per image) ensuring your portraits look their very best. I strive to present you - my client with the very best work and products you'll be proud to give to family members and have install and hanging in on the walls of your home.
The image below is an excellent example. When I begin the process of editing, I always look to see what I can remove and fix. How can I create something you will adore and want to pass on to your future generations?
Looking at the before and after example below, you can see the detail, I place in each image to ensure they look their best.
Professional Portrait Restrictions Guide
The portraits a professional photographer delivers to you are part of their life’s work. It has their name or branding so there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images you receive.
What constitutes altering?
So why do we have these as restrictions? Our portraits are a representation of our work so when a client alters an image it directly impacts our name and brand in the industry. When we present you with final images, they have already been through our editing process and don’t require further alterations. When images are altered, the results are not always reflective of our original work and can then be mistaken for ours. We greatly appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter.
We are happy to give a quote if you want images to be edited in a specific way or if you want further alterations made.
Northern Virginia Family Photographer | Woodbridge Family Photographer | When to Schedule Family Portraits
Are you confused as to when you should schedule your family's portraits? Children go through so many different stages in life, it's hard to determine the best time to photograph them professionally. Between work, school, after-school activities, church, and other functions, it's hard to chisel out time for family portraits. When I speak to clients about their last family portrait; on average it's been more than 5 to 10 years. So these are the most obvious questions.
Should I have family portraits done every three months? Once a year?
Are digital files included in the session fee? This seems to be one of the most popular questions many photographers receive in today's digital environment and that includes my studio.
Depending on the photographer they answer may "yes" or "no".
Why do many photographer's include the digital files with the session fee?
In many cases the simply answer is supply and demand. If many consumers are asking for the digital files, why not give it to them. That's what they want...right! Why pay a photographer to print a picture when many drug and big box stores offer one hour printing so prints are available for pickup within an hour. Also, it's easier to store the image on my computer or phone. In addition, we want to share our favorite image on social media.
These are the typical answers and responses a photographer hear from prospective clients.
According to a recent study, many people in the United States do not print their images and store them only in one location. Are you one?
Fifty years from now, will you be able to use the same computer as today, or will the CD/USB drive be around to view those digital images? Chances are...probably not! Ever three to four years, new technology is released. For example, when personal computers where introduced to the market, floppy disk were all the rage. I'm sure several people don't remember or have never heard of the floppy disk.
We have a different approach!
Hello, I'm Tamieka, the owner of and photographer behind Tamieka Smith Photography a Los Angeles family photographer and Northern Virginia/National Archives Promotion Ceremony photographer in Torrance, CA. I am happy you came to visit the blog! I hope you find inspiration and helpful tips. In addition, to a peek into my life as a family photographer.