Custom portraiture is a first time experience for many people, which raises a lot of questions. We feel that once clients take the leap and seek out a professional photographer to create custom portraits for them, they will be thrilled that they did and notice the substantial improvement in quality from what they would receive from the in & out department store studios. But, as mentioned, it is a new experience and therefore comes with many questions. And of course, photographers all vary in how they conduct their individual businesses. So, this page is here to help answer many of the questions that we get, specific to Mandy Kay Photography and how we go about doing what we do best! If we missed anything, or you still have questions, you can contact us at:

How long is a newborn session?

Newborn sessions range from 2-4 hours long. You will notice that they run much longer than our standard sessions, and that is for many reasons. Newborns run the show, plain and simple. Some are better sleepers than others, some want to eat every 30 minutes, while others are content with going 3-4 hrs between feedings. Also, all of those beautiful, tender, curly little baby poses take time and patience. Time that is well worth it to keep baby happy, safe, and comfortable throughout the session. We will send parents specific prep instructions the evening before the session to help prepare baby for the session, and with that and some soothing techniques Mandy implements, those things will usually keep things tipped in our favor to create a beautiful newborn session that your family can cherish forever.

How long is a standard session?

A standard session is about one hour long, very much give or take. It really depends on how many people are involved in the session.

When and How do I pay?

You can pay with a card, cash, check, or paypal. The first money due is the session deposit. This is due at the time of booking, to confirm your date on our schedule. Deposits are non refundable should you chose to cancel, but are transferrable to a future date/session if a reschedule is necessary. The remainder of your session fee (minus the deposit) is due on, or before your session…but no later than the date of your session. Nothing more is paid until you see your gallery online (approx. 4 weeks post session date), and chose your digital collection. Please note that there is a minimum order requirement of $225 in digitals.

Can you remove scratches and blemishes?

Yes! Children gets bumps and bruises all of the time, adults have breakouts or coldsores, and newborns have a tendency as well to scratch themselves in their sleep, or have some of that lovely baby acne, jaundice, redness, etc.  We do take care of all of that in processing. But just to be extra sure, please let me know ahead of time if you would like something corrected so I am sure not to miss it. As far as the “can you make me skinnier?” question…..I will gently answer you with a, No. BUT, as your photographer it is my job to make sure we shoot at angles that best flatter your body and accentuate your curves. I would much rather pose you in the most naturally flattering way, than to give you a digital diet 😉

Are parents/siblings included in newborn sessions?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it. I’ve had many new Mom’s opt out of photos with their newborn because they didn’t love their post-baby body. But, I gently encouraged them to get in the photos, because the day will come (it will!) where they will be thankful they have those photos. And every single time, Mom’s have thanked me for giving them that little extra push to do it. It is such a precious time, and it is just as important to document your new baby, as it is to document them with you, and their siblings as well. So, yes…we would love to throw in some parent/sibling/family shots, but the majority of the session is usually focused on the new baby. We will strive to create a good variety and balance of overall portraits for you and your family.

What do I need to bring to my session? Do you offer all of the cute hats, and props…or do I need to bring them?

As far as props, 99.9% of everything you see in my photos, are things I have on hand in the studio! From blankets, to headbands and hats, buckets, baskets, furs, wraps, etc…I have it all! And I will carefully chose items specific to the look I am trying to achieve with your session. That’s all on me, baby! But, if you do have something you wish to have incorporated into your session, that has some sentimental meaning, or that you just love the look of….absolutely bring it! Just let me know ahead of time so that I can plan it into session. As far as particulars to your specific session, I will email you those details as your session draws nearer.

Can I snap photos on my cell phone, iPad, or my own personal camera?

We ask that you leave the picture taking to the professional. It helps both myself, and the subjects to stay focused and avoids any mixed signals. Since you are making the investment into a professional, custom photographer….we want to make sure you get 100% of the quality and attention you are paying for. There are no exceptions on this one. Thank You, for understanding.

Can I bring family and friends to our session to watch?

We ask that only your very immediate family comes with you, if anyone, and no more than 2 additional adults. It allows us to stay focused and have your undivided attention with the posing coaching. It also ensures that we maintain the ideal environment to create our best work for you.

Do you always post previews, or do I get an option? What if I want to keep my photos private?

A lot of my work, particularly my specialties, involves intimate maternity sessions, or birth photography, where there often are photos that you may prefer stay confidential. So, I absolutely would not post those publicly. Every client gets the option of having  a preview or not. If you do chose to have a preview,  the photos chosen would be at my discretion, and I would make sure they were appropriate to show publicly. If you want a preview, but don’t want it to be visible publicly, I can post a preview for you that is password protected. At that point, you would be the only one  who has the password, and you could share it with whoever you would like to.

When can I expect my preview?

This does slightly depend on business and how busy I am at the time, but generally I will post one photo on the facebook fan page within 24 hours.

When will my gallery be ready to view?

This too, varies quite a bit on business at the time. BUT, usually they will be all edited and prepared within 4 weeks after your session. And weddings are 90 days.

Why does it take so long to “edit” my photos. What do you do that takes that long?

Every photo that makes it through my final selection gets processed. It makes an enormous difference in your final results. Another common misconception is that black and white photos take either more, or less time in editing. Here’s the answer to that: They take the exact same amount of time to process. And we offer a combonation of both black and white, and color portraits in your final viewing gallery. We have a professional standard with every photo that makes the cut, and that means we do not simply click a button that says “convert to black and white”. Every photo has a custom edit that takes approximately the same amount of time as the next one.

I don’t see all of the photos that were taken at my session in the final gallery…where are they?

Yes, it is true. Some photos just don’t make the cut. It means that for one reason or another, something was a little off with the photo and it didn’t pass my professional criteria. Did you know that on average, there is ONE keeper photo per every 5-10 or so that are taken? That’s average, so some ratios are higher and some are lower. So yes, you may remember me snapping a particular photo and wonder why it isn’t in the gallery. From time to time, I will sacrifice a bit of technical quality if I feel like the emotional content and quality is greater, and a photo like that will make the cut. But typically, if a photo doesn’t meet my standards I will not put it out there. Its a reflection of me and my work, and I don’t want anything out there that is less than the quality I know I can offer.

Will I be able to share my photos on social media? Can I print & download them from facebook?

You may feel free to tag yourself in the photos of you and your family, or use them for your profile picture, or “share” them with your friends and family. But in these cases, we ask that you do not remove our watermark/logo from the photos. They are on there to protect my work, as well as your family from having the images stolen and used for other purposes. As far as downloading and/or printing, that is not allowable, and is a violation of the copyright law, per USC title 17. If you chose one of our digital collections, contained on your disk will be  full resolution, non-logo’d versions of the photos, as well as a low-resolution, logo-d versions of them as well. The logo’d images are ok to be uploaded to facebook, Instagram, or shared online via blogs, email, etc. But that is the limitation on the use of those images. The high resolution images are for personal printing purposes only (all of this will be in your paperwork as well with your digital files). Also, you are not permitted to use one of the oh-so-tempting Instagram or other misc free filters on any of my images. I spent a lot of time creating that piece or work between shooting and editing, for it to look an exact certain way. Although it is tempting, its technically also violating the copyright law. So, just don’t. Please 🙂

Copyright vs Print Release? What is involved in the copyright?

When a photographer creates an image, it is automatically copyrighted and protected per The Copyright Law – USC Title 17. This gives the photographer (creator of the image) exclusive right to copy, edit, print, distibute, post on social media, blog, etc. These rights make it illegal for anyone else (even if you are in the image) to copy, scan, edit, print, or distribute any versions of the images (printed or digital) without the photographer’s permission. This is a Federal Law and can be prosecuted as such. Illegally downloading, screen capturing, watermark removing, or altering the images in ANY way is strictly prohibited. When you purchase any digital collection from me, you are getting a print release, not a copyright release. I still own the photos and the copyright, but you are free to take the images and get as many prints as you would like, in any size, from an exclusive source (that info will be in your print release).  You may not edit the images in any way (this even means ordering a black & white print of an image that is on your disk in color only or opting for an Instagram filter), let others use them for advertising, or enter them into contests without my permission. And you may not make copies of the disk to share with family and friends. If in doubt, just email me and ask! I tend to be a yes person, and I really am nice 🙂 I will usually grant permission on most things, with proper credit given to my business. Please respect my business and my work. This is my “job” and how I help to support my family.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes we do! They can be purchased in any dollar amount, and expire 1 year from the date of purchase. Please contact us at to inquire.