Frequently Asked Questions | Justine Webster Family Photography

Where are you located?

I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I book shoots primarily in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I am available to travel to other boroughs, upstate NY, or to New Jersey and Connecticut for an additional travel fee. I also frequently travel to Seattle, Portland (OR), and Los Angeles and am happy to make time for shoots when I'm not cuddling my nephew or playing with my friends's kids!  Please follow me on Instagram (@justine.webster) to get updates about my upcoming travels, and feel free to reach out to see if I might be in your area and available for a shoot in the future.

What's your style of photography? How do you approach family photo sessions?

My shoots are relaxed and intimate, and I make photos that showcase those feelings. I combine portraiture and documentary-style photography to capture your family at this moment in time. Here's what that means:

  • I will give your family some direction to help you feel comfortable and at ease, and to get beautiful shots. Every family is different and every shoot is unique, but my goal is to create the opportunity for a natural and relaxed session that yields beautiful, emotion-ful, organic photographs.

  • I will provide some guidance about where to stand to get the best light, or let you know if you're making a weird face, but I won't make you pose stiffly or stand in awkward poses.

  • I will also step back and capture you and your family interacting together -- think of this shoot as a chance to play with your kids, give all the hugs and cuddles and high fives, and enjoy your time together. 

  • I love to capture genuine emotions. This means that my photos may capture joy, adoration, thoughtfulness, silliness, curiosity, quietness, concentration, yawns, etc. I aim to capture real moments as they occur. 

  • I will interact with your kids so they're comfortable with me and relaxed in front of the camera, and I may do this by playing games, saying silly things, balancing toys on my head, etc. I will not tell them to sit still and smile for the camera. 

Where should we take photos?

We've got options! I love photographing families in the intimacy and comfort of their own homes, (this is particularly true for baby photos). We can also do the session around your neighborhood or at a park you frequently go to -- there's something really nice about kids feeling comfortable in and familiar with their surroundings, and having photos that capture what might be a typical day for your family. That said, I'm always up for an adventure! If you have somewhere you'd like to try in mind, I'm open to your to your ideas. I'll just want to make sure we'll have access to natural light, and a few other consideration, but please feel free to share your thoughts.

When should we take photos?

I am currently available for shoots on weekends or very early on weekday mornings. For outdoor shoots, I typically recommend that we shoot during the three hours after sunrise or the three hours before sunset to take advantage of that beautiful light. Indoor shoots take place any time during daylight hours.

How long are your sessions?

My sessions typically last around an hour, sometimes more and sometimes less. I like to keep the length of the shoot flexible -- I know that sometimes kids need a snack break, diaper change, or a couple minutes of quiet time. Depending on the situation, I do often continue shooting during these breaks (it is part of your family life, after all), so come prepared with snacks that are easy to eat. 

What should we wear?

I recommend that you wear whatever makes you feel great! We want the shoot to showcase who you are, so stick with pieces that reflect your style and personality. I recommend against everyone wearing the same thing (no matchy-matchy looks), but I do think coordinated looks come across nicely in photos (same color family / all earth tones or neutrals). I'd also stay away from big patterns, words, characters, or logos, as they can be distracting. Also, I suggest that everyone try on their outfits well before the shoot to make sure the clothing is comfortable and easy to move around in. Make sure your kids are happy with what they're wearing, too, if they are old enough or pay attention to their outfits!

How should we prepare for the session?

You don't have to do anything if you don't want to! That said, here are some suggestions I have to make the session run more smoothly.

Relax and go with the flow.

I know that prepping for and having photos taken can be stressful. Just remember, this is a chance for you and your family to spend an hour (or so) enjoying each others' company and having fun together. I'm there to capture these moments: your genuine interactions and emotions of all kinds. Sometimes kids are feeling quiet and shy, and that's OK! Go with it and we'll get these sweet, meaningful, intimate photos that are gorgeous in their own right.

Other tips:

In Home Shoots

Turn off all overhead lights -- depending on the amount of natural light your home gets, we'll likely spend most of our time near the windows. To help that natural light get in, open all shades or blinds as far as they'll open. If we're shooting baby photos in your bedroom, I'd recommend removing alarm clocks, lotions and potions, and anything you might not want in your photos from your bedside tables. Think about what you want to see when you look at these photos in one, five, ten years from now. Or, don't! It's totally fine to keep things as they are. Note that I do not remove items in photoshop as part of my editing process.

Outdoor Shoots

If we're going to a park or the beach, I'd recommend bringing a blanket to sit on (one that you'd like to see in photos for years to come), snacks and water / bottle for kiddos, diapers, a change of clothes, and perhaps a favorite toy. I don't shoot with props, but chasing a ball and blowing bubbles can be super fun activities that elicit lots of joy and are fun for parents and kids to do together.

What if it rains on the day of our shoot?

I keep a close eye on the weather and we will stay in touch if it does look like it's going to rain. Often we can move the shoot up or back (if available) or to an indoor spot on the same day, but sometimes we do need to reschedule for a different day. I require a non-refundable retainer fee up front when you book your session, and this fee will be applied towards the rescheduled shoot date. Unfortunately, I cannot provide a refund if you decide you need to cancel the shoot.

What about after the shoot? How soon will I get my photos?

My turnaround time for editing is about 3-4 weeks, though I often share photos sooner. Once I have edited the photos, I will send you a link to a password-protected online gallery. There, you can view and download the digital files. I am in the process of setting up an option to order prints through the gallery -- stay tuned for more info on prints!

What can I expect from my edited photos?

I select the best images from the bunch to edit and share with you. This means you receive a minimum of 40 photographs, but I often share many more. I provide a mix of color and black and white photos, depending on what I think is best for each particular image. I don't do heavy Photoshop work, meaning I don't whiten teeth, remove dirt from under fingernails, or take off fifteen pounds. I do remove small, impermanent blemishes (like that zit that appeared the day before the shoot). 

I love my photos! Can I share them online?

Of course! I do ask that you credit me (@justine.webster on Instagram, or reference my website, as referrals and word of mouth help me sustain and grow my business. And please review (and accept before booking) my Terms and Conditions to see how I share photos.