Philosophy and FAQs

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You may have noticed that my website and online materials often mention the words “organic” or “authentic”, or perhaps “lifestyle.” This is because I truly value real life, and all things that are honest and genuine about people and their partners, their children, and their unique stories.

I hope to portray you and others around you in their natural state; to evoke and capture emotion. I’m going to chat and ask you questions, and the whole experience will be one great, warm conversation that will leave you feeling thoughtful and appreciative about who you are, and how you are loved!

I believe that your photo session should make you feel relaxed, and confident, from the inside out. I believe that children are born to run, laugh, and wipe their hands on their jeans. I don’t expect them to sit still, behave perfectly or smile all the time. Heck, I don’t expect that of adults! I anticipate that you and others in the photos will have fears about their images being taken—sensitivities, insecurities and quirks. I’m open to hearing all about who you are, so that I can make sure your images line up with that person.

There’s no need for you to worry about delivery or quantity of images during our time together. I believe in delivering a generous amount of images to my clients, and I pride myself on delivering as quickly as I possibly can. Why? Because I don’t like to wait for things myself, and your time is valuable to me. So is your excitement over seeing what your life—and your love—looks like. I can’t wait to show you.

  • Where will our photos be taken?

    A great question because I don’t work out of a studio space! Of course, our photo session is defined by your preferences—what you like to do, the parts of your life and personality you’d like to highlight, or a favorite outdoor location. However, I have many beautiful locations I enjoy shooting at, and I’ll have lots of great ideas as your booking grows nearer. I should let you know that my favorite location of all to work in is your home.

  • But my house isn’t perfect…

    And whose house is? 😉 Many folks are afraid to have lifestyle sessions done because they “haven’t finished redoing the kitchen yet” or “the dogs are shedding.” Trust me, I understand. There are always details that seems unfinished in our day to day living. I could tell you that one day, you’ll look back on that old kitchen table with a lump in your throat, thinking about the grilled cheese sandwiches you made your children for lunch so many afternoons. Or smile as you recall the old bathtub where your baby took their first dip. Perhaps it’s a favorite old chair that you and your loved one would snuggle in at the end of the day. Your energy is generously distributed throughout your home, and that makes it the absolute perfect spot for photos. Especially for children, who feel inherently comfortable and happy in their element! But, if that doesn’t convince you, know that only the details I choose to be sharp are in focus. That spot in the rug? We literally won’t see it. It will become indistinguishable as the background blurs around the moment.

  • What should we wear?

    Be you! And be comfortable! But there are a few good guidelines to consider before the day of your shoot: make sure clothes are wrinkle-free (it’s near impossible to “edit” out wrinkled or soiled clothes in every picture), steer away from character clothes (Disney characters, cartoons, etc.) and err on the side of plain colors, patterns or prints instead. Flowing garments are always an epic choice and flatter everyone! Having a malfunction or concern during the shoot with your clothes or some other part of your ensemble? Let me know. 😉 PS—watch out for sunburn or tan lines leading up to your session if you plan on wearing strapless items or clothes that will highlight uneven tan lines! Still feeling unsure? Text/email me! I’d be happy to provide input on your choices or guide any purchases you are looking to make if you’d like my thoughts!

  • Do we get all of the images?

    Part of my artistic process is something that we refer to in the photography business as “culling.” This means that select images are chosen—the best of the best. Beautiful emotion, clarity and quality are all a part of my selection process. If images aren’t chosen, it’s because I didn’t consider them to be of the right caliber. Perhaps someone’s eyes were closed, the framing wasn’t just so, or someone popped into the background. There are many reasons why I may not deliver an image or set of poses from a particular shoot, but the aforementioned explanations are most typical! I don’t release my RAW, unedited images. The images you receive are not only carefully selected by me but then also edited individually with my artistic style. They are then delivered to you in a private viewing gallery, where you are able to download them in full resolution.  You will receive a nice variety of portrait and landscape, color and black and white!  You can choose any favorite images for the purchase of an album or other beautiful print products from me, or print on your own and share to social networks. I have questionnaires for wedding parties to fill out regarding shot requests to assure you get the photos you want, but don’t be afraid to tell me what is important to you as we are shooting, whether it is a family session or your bridal images.

  • How do we get the images?

    I deliver your photos digitally using a service called “Pixieset” and your pictures are available via download link. Your gallery is private, and contains a download code for additional security. You then have 3 weeks to download your images (per our contract.) After that time, I cannot guarantee that images will still be available due to limited space. For individuals who prefer it, a CD can be requested. USBs may also be requested for wedding clients.

  • When do we get the images and products?

    For wedding clients and those who add-on Fujifilm, you’ll take home a set of instant film minis on the day of our shoot together! SO FUN! And your entire digital gallery will be right behind it. I do have time outlines in my contract for a maximum wait time in case things are extremely busy, but I pride myself on quick–super quick–delivery for clients. Take a look through my reviews and read just how fast! 😉 It isn’t uncommon for me to deliver a family gallery within a few days, and I almost always post previews the night of a shoot! In my contract, I’ve stated that wedding images will be delivered within 6 weeks. Never once in my career has it taken me that long. 😉 Your print products should take 2-3 weeks to arrive after you’ve made your image selects, depending on what you’ve chosen!

  • Who do you suggest for printing?

    You can purchase canvases, framed posters, memory boxes and beautifully designed albums directly through me! I’ll be bringing along samples for you to touch and see during our time together. For general 4X6 or 5X7 prints and such, you can also order through me or feel free to use your digital printing rights! I always suggest a professional printer, if possible.  Radium in Muskegon is an excellent choice. As I often tell clients, “drugstore” developers like Walgreens or CVS are notorious for destroying images by distorting the colors and oversaturating them with contrast. However, if a company like Radium won’t be your choice, and online company like Mpix.com or even Shutterfly.com is a better option. Prints are important–real, tangible artifacts of the love in your life are worth investing in!

  • When and how do we pay for our session?

    There are several ways to pay*, but first and foremost, there is a retainer fee to secure your booking. For regular sessions this is $20, applied to your overall balance at the time of service, or $200 if securing a wedding (also applied to your balance later on.) Retainers can be made through Paypal on my website, or sent by check. In addition, full payment for weddings or regular sessions can be made through my website, or checks may be made out to:

Chantal Elise Photography OR Chantal Roeske

*Payment is required the day that services are provided. If you are getting married, you may want to assign someone other than yourself to help out with this detail, or plan on paying just before to make it easier on yourself.

  • Do you edit blemishes and/or photoshop images?

    My philosophy is that whatever is not naturally a part of who YOU are may be distracting to the image, and I will carefully remove it most of the time without mentioning it or charging for extra edits. Had a little blemish on your nose during your engagement shoots? If it’s noticeable, I’ll probably take care of it discreetly without needing to be asked! Mustard on your shirt? Same idea. If you do, however, have a particular issue or request heavy skin editing, there may be an additional fee. Again, my goal is to highlight the natural and beautiful person you are in an authentic way. I want to make you feel wonderful during our time together! It’s going to show. 😉

  • Do you use props or popular ideas from networks like Pinterest?

    If it’s important to you, I want to capture it! I don’t generally use too many “props” but instead love including artifacts from your life or the environment surrounding us (a home-made afghan for a baby, special jewelry, a sentimental location or item.) When it comes to things like set-up poses or ideas (like those you might find on Pinterest) my thought is that your natural essence is much more interesting! Capturing the moments as they unfold—authentically—will create beautiful and timeless photos that you can treasure forever. I’d love to document the candid wonder of your life, and those you love!

  • Can you work with our budget?

    I’m always willing to talk about your needs and see if I can accommodate them!

  • How do you handle dark spaces?

    Depending on the situation (for example, a church that doesn’t allow flash photography) I will either work creatively with ambient light, use additional fill lighting or flash/triggered speedlites for additional drama (such as during a wedding reception.) Natural light—even when it’s dark—can be wonderful and dramatic. You may find that you don’t want the disruption of flash during your event, particularly a wedding ceremony, and that capturing the feeling and authenticity of the environment is more important to you. We’ll figure this out together, and I will research/preview your location to the best of my ability to provide the best results for you that I can.

  • Will you have a second shooter with you for my wedding?

    Some of my wedding packages include second shooting perspectives. Often, my husband and second shooter will assist me on photoshoots and those incidences where a package includes his expertise. However, I am capable of covering events with large bridal parties or guests on my own! I’d be happy to provide you with galleries of images where I was working alone. I’ve got an eye for what’s important and an intuition that leads me there!

I’m looking forward to working with you!