Pittsburgh Family Photography Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What can you expect from a family photo session with Matthew Blassey Photography?

A. When I capture images of people, my aim is to preserve the authenticity of the moment. I hope that when you revisit my photos in the years to come, you won’t merely think, ‘That’s how we appeared,’ but rather, ‘That’s how we truly were.’ My approach revolves around maintaining a natural ambiance. If children want to be active, I encourage them to do so. However, I do guide everyone toward optimal lighting. Additionally, I like to blend posed shots with candid ones. I hope my Pittsburgh Family Photography FAQs section below helps to answer any questions you have about preparing for your family session. If you still have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me here.

Q. What is the difference between a mini-session and a full session?

A. Full photoshoots typically span around 1.5 to 2 hours, and there’s usually no rush. If you desire more photos, we can certainly capture more moments. During a full photoshoot, the atmosphere tends to be more relaxed as I have the chance in getting to know your family.

Mini photoshoots primarily focus on posed photos at a specific location, although I do my best to include candid shots whenever possible. These sessions are suitable if you’re seeking a few family portraits, but they generally have a less relaxed vibe and do not provide a comprehensive portrayal of your family’s life together. Mini shoots are shorter in duration, lasting between 30 to 45 minutes, with no exceptions.

pittsburgh family photos

Q. What should we wear?

A. Feel free to wear what you like and, more importantly, what makes you comfortable. If you’d like more specific guidance, here are some additional tips:

While black is generally fine for adults, it’s a good idea to avoid dressing children entirely in black as it can be overpowering. If you still prefer black for children, we can find ways to balance it, perhaps with accessories. Navy, on the other hand, works well for children. Bright pink, although lovely in person, doesn’t always translate well in photographs. Patterns that include pink are acceptable as long as there are other colors involved. Similarly, it’s advisable to steer clear of bright red.

For group photos, consider dressing younger children in brighter colors; this helps them stand out despite their smaller size. It’s generally best to avoid dressing one child in a bright color and another in a pale color unless there is a significant size difference between them. The concern here is that one child may dominate the photo while the other recedes.

Ultimately, the key is to choose clothing that makes everyone feel comfortable and confident while keeping these color tips in mind for the best photographic results. Dressing up is not necessary at all, really.

For women, I often capture action shots, so it’s more practical to wear flats instead of heels. If you have your heart set on wearing heels, you might want to bring a second pair of shoes along. Avoid hats with brims as they can cast shadows on your face.

I take photos from various angles, so if you’re feeling self-conscious about your body, opting for slightly looser-fitting clothing can be a comfortable choice.

Q. How many photos do we get?

A. You will receive approximately 150 photos for a mini session. And approximately 250-300 for a full session.

All photos will be delivered in color. black and white versions are also available per individual photo request.

pittsburgh family photos

Pittsburgh Family Photography FAQs | Matthew Blassey

Q. What is the estimated time frame to receive the photos?

A. My usual processing time is 3-4 weeks. If you require a few photos immediately though for a holiday card etc… don’t hesitate to let me know at the end of our session.

Q. What should we do if my child refuses to cooperate during the session?

A. Even though we all put in our best effort, there are occasions when this can happen. However, based on my experience, a typical photoshoot lasts for about 1.5 hours, and unless a child is exceptionally tired or unwell, they typically can’t sustain their frustration for that extended period. They almost always come around eventually. The challenge often lies in keeping the parents engaged throughout the process.

There’s nothing worse than capturing a group photo with cheerful children but sullen parents. So be patient, silly, and don’t get discouraged.In most cases, when adults share laughter, it tends to encourage children to join in the fun. However, if the situation takes a drastic turn for the worse, let’s have a conversation. We can always schedule a complimentary makeup session for a later date if things truly aren’t going as planned.

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Q. what time of day do sessions occur?

A. The ideal lighting for outdoor photos usually happens approximately two hours before sunset. As the sun descends lower in the sky during the early evening, it casts a softer, more diffused, and golden light, which is perfect for capturing flattering skin tones.

Q. Would you recommend having the photoshoot at our home or outdoors?

A. The choice between having the photoshoot at your home or at a specific location depends on your preferences.

Opting for an at-home photoshoot tends to create a more informal and authentic atmosphere. Kids often become more relaxed when they can show me their room or engage in activities like riding their bike, resulting in more natural photos that reflect their true selves. This approach helps me capture their genuine smiles and provides insights into their personalities.

Conversely, photos taken at parks or outdoor locations tend to have a slightly more formal tone and may include fewer candid moments, although I still encourage some playfulness.

In either scenario, I guarantee some posed group shots, so the decision ultimately boils down to your comfort level and the ambiance you’d like to create for your photos.

Q. If we opt for a home photoshoot, what level of cleanliness is recommended?

A. Think about a friend or relative is coming over, so it’s a good idea to tidy up by clearing excess clutter. However, there’s no need to go as far as hiring a cleaning service or making your home spotless.

I believe that the presence of everyday items like toys and books can add character and authenticity to the photos, keeping them genuine. That being said, if there are any toys or books that you strongly dislike, it’s a good practice to put them away or hide them during the shoot.

Regarding your Pinterest find, I’d be happy to use it as inspiration to create the look and feel you desire for your photos. Please feel free to share it with me, and we can work together to achieve that vision.

Q. Can you photoshop out acne, wrinkles, stray hairs, etc.?

A. I provide basic digital enhancement to your session photos. I do offer advanced retouching services which is done on a case by case basis. I work with a retouching team who can (for a fee) help with more advanced edit requests. Advanced retouching typically is $10 per image.

pittsburgh family photos

Q. I want to look good; are there any helpful tips or techniques?

A. Regardless of how attractive/skinny/young you are, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the potential for a double chin. To mitigate this, slightly extend your neck more than usual (I’ll make you aware if it appears unnatural).

Keep in mind that the camera can’t distinguish between a genuine laugh and a forced one, so don’t hold back. Laugh genuinely and frequently during the session.

When taking group photos, make an effort to direct your gaze toward the camera rather than focusing on the kids (unless I specifically ask you to engage with them or it’s a candid shot). It’s often the case that when reviewing group photos, the adults are the ones inadvertently wearing serious expressions.

Q. What kind of camera do you use?

A. I shoot with professional Nikon DSLR & Full Frame Mirrorless cameras. I use fixed focal length lenses (non-zoom).

Every image undergoes editing in Adobe Lightroom, with more advanced adjustments made using Photoshop CC.

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Q. What to do if it rains?

Option 1: We can proceed with the photo session up until it starts raining. Then we can reschedule the remaining amount of time for another day.

Option 2: We can cut our losses and just reschedule for another available date. Please note that while I do maintain some availability in my schedule for rescheduling purposes, it may not always be possible to accommodate your preferred date and time due to my busy schedule.

Q. What is your cancellation policy?

Life can be unpredictable with children falling ill or bad weather, among other things. I get it! I have 3 kids of my own. Please feel free to reach out if such a worst-case scenario arises, and we can certainly discuss potential solutions or alternatives.

Want to see my Pittsburgh Family Photography Guide?

Have a question or want to book a session? Contact me here.


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