Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Who exactly is behind Stein Photography?

We’re Adam and Devon Stein, a husband and wife photography team. Adam works full-time in Northern Virginia as a web developer and Devon is a stay-at-home mom to our two young children. Adam takes the majority of the photos and Devon handles the rest – editing, correspondence, etc. Visit our ‘about us’ page learn more.

Why can’t you schedule any sessions on weekdays?

Due to Adam’s full-time job, he is not available to shoot during the week. 

Where is your studio located?

Anywhere you want it to be! We are natural light photographers and do not have a studio. All photos are taken on location, mostly outdoors. 

Are you insured?

Yes, we are a fully insured business.

Why are your sessions always in the mornings or late afternoons/evenings? What if I want a session in the middle of the day?

To provide the best possible lighting conditions for your session, we always schedule for the early or late part of the day when harsh shadows won’t be an issue in your photos. Our favorite time of day to shoot is about an hour before sunset. Nothing beats the golden, buttery glow of the sun at that hour! 

What if I need to reschedule?

We understand that life happens and things come up that you can’t control. However, we have two children that we make childcare arrangements for during our sessions, so we do require notice if you need to reschedule. For non-emergency situations, we require 7 days notice or a rescheduling fee is applied. This also gives us time to try to fill the empty session spot that we are left with. For emergencies and illnesses, we will waive any rescheduling fee if you can give us 24 hours notice.

What if the weather is bad?

We set aside many inclement weather dates seasonally on our calendar. If the weather calls for us to need to reschedule your session (rain, high winds, hazardous road conditions during/after snow, extreme temperature conditions), we will provide you with a rain date and no additional fees will apply. We typically do not reschedule due to seasonal temperatures. Late fall, winter, and early springs are cold! Summers are hot! These are expected conditions and should be kept in mind when you choose your session date. 

Why are your prints more expensive than Walmart, Shutterfly, etc?

Our prints are printed through a professional photo lab used ONLY by approved photographers. Our lab uses professional printers and software that chain labs simply do not offer. They are printed on professional Kodak Endura paper that prevents fading for 100+ years. Chain labs do not provide the type of ink and machines that professional photo labs have, so your photos will not reflect what you see on your computer screen. Cheap photo prints have a place in our opinion: perhaps for school projects, a brag book, or something along those lines. However, if you choose to display your photos in your home, please invest in a professional print. You’ll be glad you did!

Do you offer any kind of discounts?

All returning clients will receive a $10 discount on each session fee after their first full-price session. These discounts do not apply to any mini-sessions.

When are you doing mini-sessions?

We are only able to offer seasonal mini-sessions based on our availability. We hope to always be able to offer Mother’s Day mini-sessions since those have become very popular and are a great way to provide a nice gift for mom! We occasionally are able to offer fall and/or holiday mini-sessions and usually announce these on our Facebook page. 

Session FAQ

What is the best time of day to schedule a session?

For outdoor portraits, very early morning (starting no later than 9:00 a.m.) and late afternoon/early evening (up to an hour before sunset) provide the most flattering light. 

How far in advance do we need to book?

We schedule sessions on a first-come, first-served basis. Fall and spring sessions are the most popular and book months in advance. Winter and summer are a bit more flexible. Once you’re ready to schedule your shoot, please contact us and we will send you a list of available dates and times for the season you're desiring. 

Where will my session be?

That is up to you! Some clients have specific locations in mind like a favorite park or a family farm. If you’re not sure where you’d like to go, we are happy to suggest a location that we think will work for your family. We have many favorite locations in the area and take into consideration the family that we are shooting when deciding on a location. 

How long will our session last?

Most sessions last around one hour. Sometimes if you have a larger family (more than 6 family members), we may request a little more time from you in order to get all of the pictures we need to complete your gallery.

When is our session fee due and what methods of payments do you take?

After you've paid your deposit, your session fee balance is due on or before your session date. We can accept cash or check when we meet you for your session, or we can accept credit cards via PayPal before your session start time. If you’d like to pay with a credit card, please be sure to contact us prior to your session so we can bill you via PayPal. We cannot accept credit cards in person or over the phone. 

What should I wear for our family session?

The most important thing is that you are comfortable during your session! We sometimes do a lot of walking from location to location at the different venues we shoot at, so make sure everyone is wearing something they’re comfortable walking in. We do standing poses, sitting poses, and sometimes we even get you to lay down in the grass, so short dresses and skirts or tight clothing is not usually ideal. As far as colors go, we recommend you consider the location we’ve selected for your session and try to wear something that will stand out against the background. For example, in the spring and summer, we strongly suggest not wearing green if your photos are going to take place in a location with lots of grass and trees. Color really does make a difference in your photos, so select a color palette and coordinate your family without being too matchy-matchy. Also, be mindful of patterns and do not select anything too loud or busy as it distracts from the faces in the photo. Pinterest has some great ideas!

What should I have on hand for the shoot?

We prefer not to use many, if any props during your shoot. We find props make the photos feel cluttered and that is not our personal style of photography. If you have a baby or toddler, bring along whatever you need to keep your child clean and happy: diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. Please do NOT bring lollipops, candy, or anything that will discolor the mouth, teeth, or hands of small children to use during a session. If a child needs coaxing, we always bring Smarties candy with us. Smarties are safe candies for children with peanut and other allergies, and do not discolor the mouth during photos.  

Can you remove my wrinkles, acne, scars, etc?

We do minor retouches if you have a crazy pimple that popped up the night before your shoot, or if you’d like your teeth to be just a tad whiter in your photos. However, we strive to make our photos look as natural as possible and we believe all of our clients are beautiful, so we will not do any major editing unless requested specifically. Anything beyond minor blemish removal will require an additional fee that can be discussed prior to your session.

How many pictures will we receive from our session?

This varies greatly depending on several things: the age of the children and how cooperative they are during a session, how many family members are being photographed, and the lighting conditions on any specific day. You can expect to receive anywhere from 30 to upwards of 50 final images depending on all of these scenarios.

Can we purchase the digital negatives?

Each session includes a download of the digital files in .zip format. If you would prefer to have the DVD, that can be purchased for $50. You will be able to use these images for personal use only(prints/social media). If you would like to use any photo in a professional publication, please contact us for details on how to get our copyright release on a per image basis.

Our session is complete, now what?

After your session, we look at each and every photograph taken to narrow down your gallery to just the very best images. Once these images are selected, they are edited and uploaded to a private gallery for your viewing. We also provide a preview of some of the images on Facebook so your family and friends can see them. The editing process takes a minimum of 10 hours for each one hour session we do, but we pride ourselves in usually being able to provide a fast turnaround time. You can usually expect to receive your gallery and and download file about a week after your session.