F A Q

Have a question? I have an answer! 

G E N E R A L  Q U E S T I O N S

Where are you located? Will you travel?

I'm located in Charlottesville, Virginia. I offer portrait sessions in my studio in Charlottesville and outdoors in the greater Central Virginia area. I am available for worldwide travel for weddings and elopements. Travel fees apply.

We are so awkward in front of the camera. Can you help us? 

Absolutely! That's my job! Honestly, everyone says this and I have yet for anyone to really be that awkward. My goal is to always make sessions fun - especially for husbands and kiddos! Once we loosen you up and get you interacting, it will be easy. I promise! 

We have no idea what to wear. Can you help?

Yes! Wardrobe is a big part of achieving beautiful photos. I send a personalized style guide to all of my clients to help you select the best options. I also have a client closet of dress available for newborn and maternity sessions. 

How do you deliver photos? 

All photos from your session are delivered in a private personalized online gallery. This gallery is available for 30 days from the time of delivery with an unlimited number of downloads. You can share it with friends and family too. You will need a working computer to download your photos. 

Should you need other means to receive your photos, flash drives can be made available for $25. 

How did you learn photography? 

I'm a self-taught photographer. I got my first DSLR in 2014 and started practicing on my daughter. I have spent countless hours learning about the art of photography, editing, and business. 

Can you describe your style of photography?

I consider myself a lifestyle photographer. While some posed "smile and look at the camera" images may happen, I prefer photos that spark emotion, have interaction, and truly represent who you are.

 

My editing style is true-to-life colors, vibrant, bold, with crisp attention to details. I favor shadows and am not afraid of a bit of a darker look. All my images are rich in color. My goal is to represent life as it truly happened in an artful, creative way.

Do we get all the images or RAW images?

I hand select only the best images. You will be shown a gallery of soft proofed images to choose your favorites from. You will receive the number of images that your package specifies. RAW or unedited images are never released to the client, as they are a complete representation of my work. 

Do you use flash?

In my studio for newborns, cake smashes, or head shot sessions, flash is a must. I do use an on camera flash for some portrait sessions depending on the lighting but typically do not use flash for outdoor sessions.

Do we get a print release or copyright?

What payments do you accept and do you offer payment plans? 

I accept personal checks, cash, PayPal, & all major credit cards. Payment plans are available and encouraged for all packages.

I only need a few images. Do you offer mini sessions?

I believe that photography should not be a rushed experience - I want you to truly enjoy our time together and leave with some amazing memories. The difference in expressions between the beginning and end of the session is truly remarkable. I find that when parents and babies have time to settle into the session and get used to the camera and me, we’re able to create more authentic portraits. For these reasons, I don’t offer mini-sessions regularly.

However, I do offer special events from time to time, and the best way to find out about those is by signing up for my newsletter.

We don't want our images posted online. Can we still work with you?

Absolutely! If you would prefer to keep your images private, you may indicate your request before your contract is signed.  I respect your decision and will keep your images on lock down.

What gear do you use?

All sessions include your choice of a number of full-resolution digital files with a print release, which allows you to reproduce images for personal use as many times as needed. Copyright of the photos always remains with me, the photographer.

Can we print our images through you?

Yes, and I highly recommend printing through me for best results. I use a professional photo lab for prints, albums and other products. A copy of my print products and pricing will be made available to you after your session. 

You're a bit outside of our price range. Can you give us a discount? 

While I understand everyone has a budget, the short answer is no. My photography services are priced according to their value, my level of experience, quality of work, cost of running a legal business, and is considered a luxury experience. I do offer discounts for multiple sessions being booked together at once (like newborn and maternity booked together). Ask for details.

How far in advance should we book you?

I take a limited number of sessions each month (about 6) to best serve my clients, return galleries in a timely manner, and take care of my own family. During the fall in Virginia, I sell out every September, October, & November. I take most of the month of December off. Booking in advance is recommended. Although last minute bookings sometimes open, so checking my availability never hurts!

I shoot Sony and use the A7riii and A7ii with prime lenses (35 mm / 85 mm) and several flashes. 

W E D D I N G S

Why should we choose you?

Great question! Out of all the many, many wedding photographers in the area, why me?

My best advice to any bride is to hire someone whose work speaks to you. Do you see my work and think "wow, it's the exact style I love!" ? Then I'm your girl! You will have these photos for the rest of your life. You need to be completely in love with the style of them, because that won't ever change after the photos are taken. 

Besides loving my style, I only take a select number of weddings each year. Not because I don't want to work more, but because I create a personalized wedding experience for each couple I take on. I want to show up to your wedding day not just as a hired vendor but as a friend who has gotten to know you and your story. I care about my couples, their unique love stories, and document their days in a way that is perfect just for THEM. I am 110% committed to my work and completely believe in what I do. I'd be so honored to document your day!

How far in advance should we book you?

It depends on the length of  your engagement and wedding planning, since each couple has a different timeline. I have had couples book as far as a year+ in advance to only a few months. It never hurts to ask if I have your date available! 

We're getting married somewhere far away. Will you travel with us?

I'd love to! I've traveled for several of my couples before and it was always an amazing experience. I am available for travel worldwide.

Do you use a second photographer? 

Most my wedding collections included a 2nd shooter. If you're having a very small event or want to reduce the price of your wedding collection, a 2nd shooter is optional too. It just depends on your specific days' needs, which I'd love to discuss! 

We're having a small wedding or elopement. Do you photograph those?

Anywhere and any way you're getting married - I can be there! I love small, intimate gatherings. Contact me for a customized package. 

Do you shoot  - large, small, Indian, Persian, Jewish, Christian, Gay, Non-traditional - weddings?

Yes, of course!  It would be my pleasure to document your celebration of any faith, non-faith, or orientation.

How many weddings do you shoot a year?

I take 8-10 weddings per year to best serve my couples. I find taking more weddings than this detracts from my individual time with each couple, so I like to keep weddings to a minimum so I can best serve each couple.

How long will it take to receive our photos? 

I offer a sneak peek on my Facebook page within 48 hours of your wedding day, a highlights blog post within 2 weeks, and the entire gallery of images within 6-8 weeks.  

Can we get a wedding album or prints through you?

You're the one. How do we book you?

Great!  The next step is to contact me to let me know your date so I can check my availability.  Once we select the best package for you, I will send you a contract to sign and instructions on how to pay the retainer.  I cannot hold any date for either a portrait or a wedding without both the retainer and contract completed.  I can't wait to work with you!

Yes! Most my wedding packages include an album, or at least a print credit so you are walking into your new marriage with photos ready to admire! If you need additional albums for parents/family, you may purchase one through me. I offer lab quality print products for purchase as well. 

based in

CHARLOTTESVILLE

VIRGINIA

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MELISSA SHERIDAN PHOTOGRAPHY © 2020

CHARLOTTESVILLE VIRGINIA WEDDING, NEWBORN & FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER