Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where are you located?
Tamieka Smith Photography is in Los Angeles, specifically Torrance and serves the entire Los Angeles (South Bay) metropolis. I frequently travel to visit other cities and states. In addition, I periodically travel to Northern Virginia to photograph military ceremonies at The National Archives museum and other military installations around the Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland (DMV) area.
How much do you charge?
All of the pricing for Tamieka Smith Photography can be found online. If you have a specific question about pricing, do not hesitate to call me at (213) 212-2251. I would be thrilled to speak with you.
You charge more than other photographers why hire you?
I pride myself in personal service for every client and providing a professionally finished product hand delivered! I begin with a complimentary, no obligation consultation with each client to determine your needs and wants. Getting to know about you (your likes and dislikes) and all the important things to you means more in our ability to capture the significant portraits. In addition, once your session is complete, we meet again to reveal your portraits. This is truly a luxurious and pampering experience.
I am a print artist! Which means photographing you and your family is only a portion of the job. The capture and retouch is half the job. Printing, framing, and installing your portraits are the completion of my work. When it comes to personal service, I find my clients are excited and refreshed through every step of the process.
You deserve to have someone take care of you from start-to-finish which means making sure you don't have anything else to do after your portrait session except admire your portraits. Excellent service is my gold standard!
Why should I hire you as my family photographer or National Archives Promotion photographer?
There are so many reasons why I believe you should hire Tamieka Smith Photography as your Los Angeles Family Photographer or National Archives promotion photographer. Here are a few of the best reasons:
Is there a minimum order requirement?
You only purchase what you love; there is no minimum order requirement or any obligation to buy. Clients typically invest upwards of $2,000 (some more, some less) on wall art, story boxes, digital images, and customized products such as heirloom albums. Payment plans are available.
Can you fill in missing teeth, remove braces, or remove severe acne?
Yes! Clients in Los Angeles or the DMV can be assured that you are photographs will be professionally retouched. Simple editing like skin smoothing and blemish removal are done free of charge, however, there is a minimal charge for significant image modifications. Please contact studio for more details.
What do most people purchase?
Depending on the type of session, the most popular items are wall art (canvas and framed portraits) and albums.
What should I wear for my portrait session?
Determining what to wear for your photographs is the hardest part after booking a portrait session. To my Los Angeles and Northern Virginia clients, I have created a quick styling tip guide to aid. It's not unusual to get emails and texts from clients with pictures of clothing ideas, looking for input. I'd be happy to play both photographer and stylist.
Should I practice posing before my portrait session?
There is no need to practice posing before your portrait session. Part of my job is to ensure you are posed properly and look your best.
Should we meet in person first?
Yes, I believe meeting in person before your family pictures help children to be a peace during the family pictures
When should I book or schedule my family pictures?
I encourage my clients to book your family pictures as soon as possible. However, it is recommended to schedule your pictures 4 to 6 weeks out from your desired date.
How long have you been in business?
As a young child I love and enjoyed photographing things around me and my family with a disposable Kodak camera. Then in 2014, I transition from being a hobbyist photographer to a professional photographer.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, Tamieka Smith Photography is registered with the states of Virginia and California. I'm registered to collect and remit Virginia and California Sales Tax. Tamieka Smith Photography also has a Los Angeles County Tax Certificate. I carry insurance; should your venue requires "Proof of Coverage", I am happy to provide certification
What if you have an equipment failure or computer malfunction?
I take every possible measure to ensure this is avoided. I bring two camera bodies with me with multiple lens to ensure your family photographs or headshots are completed without incident. I also have several hard drives to store family pictures. In addition, as soon as I upload pictures from family, headshot, and National Archives portrait sessions, those photographs are automatically sent to an off-site storage center. This is to ensure the safety of every photograph taken by Tamieka Smith Photography.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I use several types of equipment to produce a high-quality professional family picture.
How do you prepare yourself before a portrait session?
I review different poses I believe you and your family may like and gather my photographic equipment together to ensure I don’t leave anything behind.
Is your equipment expensive?
Yes, extremely expensive! Many clients aren’t aware of the cost and expenses professional photographer endure to ensure you have a beautiful family picture or business headshot. I want to ensure my Los Angeles and Northern Virginia portrait clients receive the best family pictures possible. Therefore, no expense is spared. For more information about what’s in my bag, visit this series “What’s In Your Bag” blogs
Do you have a list of possible photography locations?
I have a growing list of favorite locations Northern Virginia Locations (Los Angeles locations coming soon) and will work with you to find one that fits a look or theme you're going for. My studio loves to explore new locations if there is somewhere special or meaningful to you and your family.
Los Angeles locations coming soon.
Are you a member of any Professional Organizations?
Yes, I am a member of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, The National Professional Photographer Association, and The National Association of Professional Child Photographers.
What's your favorite lens?
My favorite lens is the Canon 24-70 f2.8. As a family photographer, this lens offers a lot of versatility. I’m able to have flexibility to photograph children running around having fun. As well as families posing.
Do we have to come back to the studio to view the photos?
Once your images are edited and complete, I will contact you to schedule an Order/View (Reveal) Appointment. This session will be used to view and order your favorite images. The Order/View appointment is allocated for 2 hours; however, many don't last that long. If additional time is needed, a subsequent appointment may be arranged for an additional $100. At the Order/View (Reveal) appointment it is expected that you will be placing your order. Credit cards, checks, and cash are accepted as a method of payment for your order.
When is the best time to schedule a portrait session?
You may schedule your portrait session as early as three months out. Complimentary consultations may be scheduled by calling (213) 212-2251, (571) 250-5073, or online. If you don't see a time or day available on the calendar to schedule your consultation, contact me directly to determine if something may be arranged.
When will we see our family pictures?
Approximately 10 to 14 days after your portrait session, you'll be called or emailed to schedule your Order/View (Reveal Appointment) to pick your favorite pictures.
What is your nickname?
I’ve had so many nicknames over my lifetime. As a young child, a neighbor used to call me “Legs”…I know it’s a horrible name. My close friends and family call me “Mieka or Miek”.
How many photographs will I see?
It depends on the type of session you are having photographed.
Headshot typically see 10 pictures
Family and Branding typically see 50 pictures
National Archives typically see 100 pictures
Do you provide digital image files?
Yes! I offer professionally retouched, high resolution digital files. They are purchased on a sliding scale, meaning that the more products that are purchased, the more economical the files become. Many clients receive their digital image files complimentary!
What if I lose my digital images?
Don’t worry! I keep all images on file of every family portrait session, National Archives ceremony, and headshot portrait I take. So, if you are experiencing a natural disaster or your house is destroyed because of fire don’t worry, I got you.
Do you sell RAW or unedited photos?
No. Under no circumstances with Tamieka Smith Photography sell or give for the client to review unedited or RAW photos. "Quality standards of images: Final images, which are chosen by Tamieka Smith Photography are edited and delivered to the client. All final images are professionally edited, which includes color correction, cropping, simple facial retouching, and artistic effects such as black/white. Extensive retouching such as, but not limited to, significant acne, tan lines, sunglass glare, removal of people or backgrounds, teeth whitening, slenderizing, eyeglass glare, or swapping of heads are significantly labor intensive and charged on a per image basis."
Will you hold my portrait date?
To book and schedule your family’s portraits or headshot/branding portraits, I’ll need a signed portrait agreement along with your paid retainer. I would love to hold the tentative portrait session date of everyone that calls or contact me regarding pictures, however, I have several people contacting for family pictures or pictures for their promotion ceremony at The National Archives. Therefore, I can not turn away someone else who are ready to book their portraits.
Do you offer a Sneak Peek?
I want you to be the first person to see your portraits. That’s why I don’t share sneak peek pictures on Social Media.
Do you offer discounts?
Periodically, the studio offers discounts off session fees or products. Join the community to receive the latest promotions, discounts, and giveaways.
Do you travel for portrait sessions?
Absolutely! I would love to photograph family pictures in Rome, Italy or wherever you would like to have your family pictures taken.
How long will my session take?
It depends on the sessions being requested. On average, portrait sessions last about an hour. For sessions with smaller children, I'm often able to wrap up a session in thirty to forty-five minutes. Sometimes, that's as long as the little ones will endure.
When will I see my retouched portraits?
After your session, my fun begins. I aim to present client proofs within 10 to 14 days from your session date. Why the wait? I hand edit each individual image to make sure it's perfect. If you're dying to see results ASAP, contact the studio and I can rush your images for a nominal fee. A week after your portrait session, I will be in contact to schedule an Order/View (Reveal) Appointment (you may schedule a session in advance).
Are your portrait prints better than Big Box stores (Walmart, Costco, Walgreens)?
The answer is YES! The portrait prints offered by this Los Angeles studio are produced at a professional photo lab that specially produces the best paper, the most consistent color and overall highest quality. In addition, the studio is color calibrated with the lab to ensure accurate colors.
Is an 8x10 portrait print a large size?
Honestly no! An 8x10 print is appropriate for a coffee table or nightstand, but not for a wall portrait.
Will you scout out venue/location before our portrait session?