faq / by Ashley Brown

There are many things that I get asked on a regular basis. To make it easier, here's a list of my most frequently asked questions!

What is custom photography?

Many of my clients have never used a custom photographer before, are rightfully so are confused about the difference between a photographer like myself and a chain store studio. Custom photographers are highly trained and skilled professionals who provide a unique and customized experience for their clients. Whether it be in studio or on location (at the client's home or another spot), custom photographers spend an extensive amount of time with their clients from start to finish... from the initial consultation, to the session, to the careful processing of images, to the order and delivery. The time and personalized nature is not the only benefit of using a custom photographer... top notch products and customer service are so important as well. I spend many hours with each and every client insuring that their session fits their vision, and that they are absolutely thrilled with the end products.

How do I choose the right photographer for my family?

Photography is an unregulated industry (in comparison with say, plumbing, teaching or jobs in the medical field). Due to the fact that great digital equipment is fairly affordable and easy to use, there is an ever increasing number of people who will buy a camera and immediately hang their shingle as a photographer. It is up to you, the client, to do your homework to weed out the professionals from the amateurs.

Professional photographers spend countless hours and thousands of dollars on equipment, education, insurance, taxes... trust me, the list goes on and on! A professional photographer knows the technical side of photography inside and out, and has the ability to go into any situation or session (whether it be a super dark home, or a cranky baby!) and leave with some fantastic images. Most professional custom photographers, like myself, have a niche. I firmly believe in the benefits of working with a photographer who has a narrow speciality field. This especially rings true with children! An experienced children's photographer not only has a mastery of their craft, but the ability to relate to and work with children... even on the difficult days!

The wonderful thing is that there are so many talented professional photographers out there who suit every style and budget. When researching a photographer for your child or family, first make sure that their style fits you and your vision. Do you want studio portraits, with dramatic lighting? Do you prefer a natural, outdoorsy approach? Are your tastes more contemporary, or traditional? It's important to view a photographer's portfolio to make sure that their style fits yours. In addition, quality, price, and policies are things to take into consideration.

Why does custom photography cost what it does?

The age old question! Memories are priceless, but let's face it... no one has a limitless supply of money! I couldn't say it better than Maryanne Drenthe, from professionalchildphotographer.com. Click here for a wonderfully written, in depth look at the investment behind custom photography. 

What kind of equipment to you use?

I use all Canon equipment, including Canon 5d and 40d bodies and L glass lenses. 

Is ABP a one-woman show?

For the most part! I prefer to be the face and contact for all of my clients. However, I do have two wonderful assistants who help me with a lot of the behind the scenes work. 

What do you charge, how does a session with ABP work, etc.?

I pride myself in offering a fantastic experience for my clients. Custom photography may be a luxury, but capturing your pregnancy, your child or your family is a MUST. That's why I try to make it as a fun, stress-free and simple as possible. I recommend using the "all about abp" link to the left to get a general idea on the process. Once you get in touch with me, we'll chat further about exactly what you are looking to do, and I'll provide with you with answers to your questions and some more in depth information. 

My baby/toddler/child is SO unpredictable. How can I be sure that our session will be successful?

90% of my clients have children under the age of 5. I typically photograph 2-6 families per week. Needless to say, I spend a LOT of time with little ones, and have many hours of experience, tips and tricks to help our session go smoothly. I am silly at my sessions. Really silly. Not to toot my own horn, but I consider myself a master newborn soother, chunky baby leg tickler and toddler negotiator. I LOVE my job, and kiddos (and parents!) can see that reflected in my work.

I'm not unrealistic, though. I know that kids have off days. I try to avoid this by scheduling sessions during the "prime" times of the day, rescheduling when little ones are sick, etc., but sometimes, a session just isn't working. It happens. And when it does, I simply come back. It's happened many times and it will happen many times in the future. My #1 priority is providing a stress-free experience that results in beautiful images that capture your children as they really are. And I promise, we will make it happen! I haven't failed yet.

Ok, I get all of that. But tell me, what are some of the other benefits of using you as our family photographer?

I love my job, and I love my clients. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being able to watch a little one grow, and to get to know them in the meantime. The relationships I build are the absolute best part. On top of that, I'm always finding ways to thank my clients for the honor of being their photographer. ABP has a fantastic referral program to reward clients for gossiping about us! I keep in close touch with my clients about casting calls, promotions and new products.

But I want to hear it straight from them!

Understandable! Here's what some of my clients have said about ABP.

M., Big Indian, NY

Your talent is in a league all by itself... the way that you capture a child's personality in such a beautiful, natural way is beyond compare. My family is so happy to have found you!

D., Troy, NY

I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to work with you and look forward to continuing our business relationship for many more years. During each of our sessions, you were on time, friendly, extremely professional and most importantly, my family and I felt very comfortable. You listened to our ideas and accommodated us, and had amazing ideas of your own. I treasure the remarkable photos!

E., Coxsackie, NY

It is wonderful that you come to our house. With small children, it is so nice to not have to get them dressed up and then travel. They are much more comfortable at home.

B., Delmar, NY

I loved my session- so easy and productive. The kids enjoyed it and it wasn't like pulling teeth to get incredible shots. Worth the money spent!

C., Clifton Park, NY

Absolutely fantastic service and quality. The quality and professionalism is worth every penny.

P., Saratoga Springs, NY

You were wonderful! You had a special way with A. which made our session smooth and enjoyable. Each image captured the personality and beauty of our daughter perfectly. We are so lucky to have these moments to look back on in the years to come... truly pieces of art!

I am an amateur/hobbyist/aspiring professional photographer. Can you answer my questions, or do you offer mentoring or internship programs?

I try my best to respond to questions fielded by photography enthusiasts. However, please understand that my clients are my #1 priority and this isn't always possible... it's nothing personal! At this time, I am not offering mentoring programs or taking on interns, but this certainly is a possibility for the future.