What Kind of Photography do you Do?
In approximately 2011, I decided to cut back on wedding photography and put my focus into portraiture. I now specialize in newborn photography, maternity, child and family photography, business portraits (headshots) and branding. I also do residential and commercial real estate photography. If you need a wedding photographer or a photographer for a sports team or an event, I can provide some recommendations for you.
Do you Offer print packages or digital images with your session fees?
I am pleased to provide fully edited, high resolution digital files with my session fees. Each image is edited with great attention to detail, and in my own personal style. The number of digital images provided varies, as set out in the Investment page. I do not provide unfinished (raw) files from my sessions. I offer a wide variety of prints and products as well, which are produced at a lab specifically for photographers. You will be able to order the highest quality prints and products directly from my Client Area and they will be delivered to your door. I do not guarantee the quality, colour, exposure, longevity etc. of any prints done outside of my studio lab, nor will I reimburse you for anything you have paid for prints done outside of my studios that you are unhappy with.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
My home studio is located in Greystone Manor, Sturgeon County (2 minutes northeast of St. Albert, past The Elements). It was drawn and designed by me and custom built into my home with newborn and portrait photography in mind. It is 860 square feet of relaxing space, with a lot of variety for your sessions. If you put Claudine Lavoie Photography into Google Maps, it will take you to my door. Here is a drop pin to my are if you prefer, mine is the last two-story on the right near the end of the cul-de-sac, it is tan with white trim, and with #87 on the rock in front:
Directions: Travel north on St. Albert Trail into St. Albert. Turn right on Bellerose Drive (next to St. Albert Centre Shopping Mall). Take Bellerose Drive past The Brickyard Subdivision, which will be on your left hand side and is well marked). Turn left onto Coal Mine Road which will be your next left after The Brickyard. Follow Coal Mine Road past the Christ Community Church which will be on your right. Turn right to follow Coal Mine Road heading north. Turn right at the yield sign, there are three metal water towers at this intersection. You will come up to Greystone Manor on your left. Turn left into the subdivision. Turn right after the mailboxes, then your first left - this will curve left again. When you get to the t-intersection, turn left (Gladstone Court). Mine is last 2-story on the right, it is tan with white trim and #87 on the rock in front. Please feel free to park on the right side in the driveway, closest spot to the front door . Please call or text me at 780-974-1211 if you have any difficulties.
How much of a deposit is needed to book my session?
I require a $100.00 booking fee to hold your session date. The remainder of the fee is due at the session. The booking fee is non-refundable within 72 hours of your session. With newborn sessions, babies always come on their own time. If your session date needs to be moved, your deposit is transferred to the new date. GST is applicable to all sessions fees.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK MY SESSION?
I prefer to pre-book newborn sessions as far in advance as possible to secure a date with me. I only take a certain number of newborns per month to allow space to move my pre-booked clients if their babies arrive early or late. Maternity sessions and studio sessions should be booked at least three weeks in advance. Outdoor Fall Family Sessions should be booked by June of that year as they always fill up. These sessions are only done during the Golden Hour (the hour before sunset), which is the reason why I only book them in the Fall - I cannot expect you to keep little ones up in the late sunset hours of our Alberta Spring!
When Will my Images Be Ready?
I do not overcrowd my bookings, so I am able to spend the time required to work on your photographs and have them ready in a timely fashion. Under most circumstances, you can expect to have your finished product within three weeks of my being advised of your choice images. In some cases I may need additional time due to holidays or unforeseen circumstances, but I will let you know if this is the case.
What should I Bring to my Session?
NEWBORNS: I have a large number of props, outfits, headbands, wraps, etc. specifically made for newborn photography. I also have beautiful tops and dresses in my photography wardrobe for new moms to wear, should you wish to use them for your sessionDo do not need to bring anything with you at all, however if you wish to incorporate something from home into your newborn session, please let me know what you plan to bring so I can plan a set to include it. You may have seen a lot of cute baby knit hats and outfits online, however, most of them are sized 0-3 months and will be much too big for your newborn baby session. All of my outfits are handmade specifically for newborn photography. A guide with day-of-session advice will be given to you upon booking.
MATERNITY: I have a wardrobe with a variety of maternity photography dresses. You are welcome to come by before your session to try anything on. You are also welcome to bring ultrasound photos, baby shoes, a gender-reveal item, or anything else to personalize your session.
CHILD SESSIONS/MILESTONE: Sometimes documenting your child's favourite things is a wonderful way to look back at these moments and remember. A blanket, a stuffed animal, a favourite toy. It can also help your child warm up to the idea of taking photos if their special things are around. Bring a hairbrush or comb. For child sessions, please try to keep clothing choices to a maximum of two outfits, and make sure they are comfortable and not too restricting. Most children under the age of 5 have a maximum 30 minute attention span for photos, and it's best spending that time photographing them instead of changing outfits :) The more comfortable they are, the happier they will be!
BUSINESS PORTRAITS: A guide will be sent to you upon booking which contains information with images on what to wear, what not to wear, jewelry, makeup advice. etc.
What Should I Wear to My Photo Session?
I have prepared Pinterest boards with some great ideas which should help you decide what to wear, depending on your own personal taste, colour preference and style:
A) Child and Family:
The key to clothing for child, family and couple photography is coordinating without matching exactly. With the exception of children, I believe medium toned clothing works best, with pops of colour in accessories. Choose solids or large patterns, avoid smaller patterned clothing, decals and prints as they are too distracting and busy. If you are coming in a group, stay in the same colour tones. Please do not dress some in white, and some in black, it does not photograph well and the person or people wearing white will stand out and may appear larger. If you prefer to wear white or black, have everyone on white OR everyone in black. Denim is great. Avoid turtlenecks and large stripes. If coming to the studio, two or three outfits at most is best, any more can make the decision process hard. With children, too many clothing changes are not recommended. Children can be dressed in whatever you like. They will steal the show anyway so allow the clothing to express who they are. But keep in mind children become fussy when they are uncomfortable or if they are expected to change their clothes over and over again during a session. Try to keep the outfits to two options at the most.
I provide all of the blankets, headbands, hats, leggings, buckets, baskets, props, etc. With newborn sessions, I will provide you with extensive information on what to expect, what baby should wear, and how to help ensure the session runs smoothly. If you are having family photos at your newborn session, click on the Pinterest link above for inspiration on what to wear. Feel free to ask my opinion, send photos to me of what you are planning to wear if you would like my input and advice. I often use parents and siblings hands as "props" in the newborn baby photos, so keep the appearance of your fingernails in mind when preparing for your session.
I have beautiful photography gowns, outfits and fabric available to you in my studio. You are welcome to use any of my items during your photo session with me. Feel free to arrange a time to come by to try things on before your session. Click on the link above for inspiration as well, and ask for my opinion if you wish. Your hair should be soft and have movement. Do not neglect your fingernails and toenails as they may be showing in the images.
D) Business Portraits, Headshots and Branding:
I will send you detailed information once you are booked in with advice on what to wear, what not to wear, jewelry, makeup, etc.
I Am Worried my Child Will Not Cooperate. What Should I Do?
I am a mother myself, and I totally get it! I do not expect those highly-posed, smiling directly at the camera facing square-on photos. I do everything I can to get them engaged and excited. Sometimes the best photos are the ones when the child is peeking out shyly from behind their blanket or your legs, giving me a huge pout, or talking with me about their new puppy and hardly notice the camera. You are welcome to participate in the photo shoot with your child by making them giggle but please do not ask them to say CHEESE! The best smiles are natural. I chat with them, ask them questions, say silly things and make funny sounds, use puppets, etc. Be aware that not every session will go smoothly with everyone cooperating and sitting up straight. Try as hard as you can to let go of images you see on Pinterest, they are most often the exception, not the rule, of how children are during photo sessions. Kids may be shy at first. They may pull each other's hair. They may cry and not want to smile at all. They may run around the studio. When this happens, just relax and go with it. Your children will pick up on your anxiety and things will get worse before they get better. We can always take a break and try again.