Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Portrait Sessions

We’ve tried to answer all of your frequently asked questions below.
If you want to learn more about our services and products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

• Where is the studio located?

Our studio is in Manhattan in Flatiron / Chelsea neighborhoods at 28 West 27th Street, 2nd Floor (between Broadway and 6th Aves), conveniently located near the 1, 6, B, D, F, M, N, Q & R trains.  Click here for directions.  We also shoot on location.

• What are your hours?

All portrait sessions are by appointment.  We try to be flexible, so we schedule day and evening sessions during the week, as well as weekend days.

• What’s a portrait session with Gotham Family Photos like?

Relaxed, casual and fun.  We don't want you to pose like a statue for the camera; we’re about interaction.  Sometimes we’ll wander around a location and sometimes you’ll show off your magic in our studio.  But no matter the situation, our photographers observe and document the moments that matter.

In addition to authentic images that reveal real emotion and personality, we create aesthetically beautiful photographs that are engaging and interesting.  Our photographers shoot from the best angles, compose arresting images, and use expert studio lighting or beautiful natural light to create portraits you’ll treasure.

• Where do you shoot portraits?

The choice is yours.  We can work in your home, your favorite location (such as a park), or our studio.

• Which is better, a studio or location shoot?

We like both, so the choice is yours.  Some of our most memorable images have been created in our clients’ favorite spots where they felt most comfortable, whether at home or somewhere else.  Portraits placed in a context will be meaningful for years to come (for instance, at your home, a favorite park, or a similar locale).

But we also have a fantastic studio in which we love to shoot.  In the studio, we have complete control over the lighting, and we can use a simple backdrop that places all the emphasis on you and your family.  Plus, it’s private, it's always room temperature, and it never rains.

• Are there extra charges for home and location shoots?

Yes, for portrait sessions at your home, a park of your choice or any other one of your favorite spots, additional charges apply: Manhattan ($50); Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens ($75); Staten Island ($100). Prices upon request for shoots in Long Island, upstate New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey (or Paris, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, etc...)

• How should I prepare for the shoot?

a.  Give some thought to the types of images you want.  If you have specific ideas about what you want the portraits to look like, it’ll help us to ensure that you’re thrilled with the results. In fact, if you've seen sample shots that you love, email them to us so we can use them as references.

b.  For kids and adults both, make sure you get lots of sleep the night before.  Your skin will look its best, and everyone will bring their best energy to the shoot.

c.  For adults, starting about 72 hours before your shoot, make your skin and eyes look their best: drink lots of water; avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and salty foods; and stay out of the sun.  And don’t forget to moisturize.

d.  If you’re planning on using a makeup artist, come to the shoot with your face clean and product-free (except for moisturizer).

d.  Take care of all your beauty treatments (haircut & color, eyebrow shaping, tanning, etc.) in advance of the shoot (preferably about a week ahead) so the treatments are still fresh but look more natural.

• What clothes should we wear/bring?

It's really up to you.   Some families like to match outfits, some like to match color-schemes and tones.  Others just like to wear what each person feels and looks best in.  The most important thing is that your clothes reflect your personality and help you achieve your objectives for the photos.

That being said, we suggest you DO:

a)  Wear clothes you like and feel comfortable in.

b)  Wear solid colors or subtle prints/patterns.  Busy prints or clothes with big buttons or other features might take away attention from that beautiful mug of yours.  Feel free to wear nicely textured clothes and fine weaves; they often look good in photos.

c)  Choose clothes that complement your skin tone and eye color.  Fair skin and blue eyes?  Try blues, pinks and grays.  Green eyes?  Try browns, greens and oranges.  Medium or dark skin and brown eyes?  You can probably wear most colors.

d)  Remove the lenses from your glasses if possible.

And we suggest that you DON’T:

a)  Wear colors that closely match your skin tone (contrast will make your face stand out in the photograph).  In general, solid white shirts will wash out your skin if you’re Caucasian or light-skinned.

b)  Wear bright red.  It’s just too strong a color for almost anybody in photographs.

• What should I bring to the shoot?

  • Clothes (see above).
  • If we’re shooting at our studio, feel free to bring music that you or your children enjoy.  If you bring your iPod, we’ll plug it in.  And if you don’t have an iPod, no worries!  We have a pretty huge music collection available.
  • Hairbrush and any styling products you need.
  • For babies or young children, bring a couple of favorite toys to keep them smiling while being photographed.
  • For infants, bring blankets we can swaddle them in or place them on (we have some in the studio, but it's nicer if they're your own).

• When is the best time to schedule a newborn photo shoot?

Every moment is precious, of course.  In our "First Day" photos, taken as soon after your baby's birth as possible, your baby will still be small enough to curl into your hands.  Parents also love to get photos at 1-2 months, when the baby starts holding his or her head upright and taking notice of the world.  It's hard to say which time is best, to be honest.  That's why we ended up creating our "Year in the Life" sessions, which document that entire first year of change (see below).

• Do you shoot maternity portraits?

Yes.  Gotham Family Photos shoots beautiful and intimate maternity portraits.  Our talented and respectful photographers work with you to create lovely images of your changing body that you will treasure for a lifetime.

• When is the best time to schedule a maternity shoot?

Maternity sessions are usually scheduled around the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy.

• What is the “Year in the Life” Portrait Package?

We offer a comprehensive, stunning series of portrait sessions called a “Year in the Life.”  We will photograph your new baby 4 or 5 times throughout his or her first year, starting at the hospital (or as a maternity session before he or she is born).  Additional sessions are scheduled at approximately 1-2 months, 4 months, 8 months, and one year.  When the year is complete, you can memorialize this incredible and fleeting time with a beautiful custom-made book of photographs documenting your baby’s first year.

• Do you photograph "smash cake" sessions?

Yes!  We love them.  For those of you who don't know, "smash cake" sessions are pictures of babies eating their 1st birthday cakes.  Typically more cake and icing ends up on the baby than in the baby, and the results are fun and endearing.

• Do you photograph special events like parties, brises, christenings, bar/bat mitzvahs, sweet sixteens, etc.?

Yes. We love photographing special events; the interactions between families and friends are priceless.  Give us a call or shoot us an email to discuss.

• Do you photograph animals?

Absolutely! Whether you want portraits of your pets alone or with the rest of the family, we’re happy to photograph them.  Brett Deutsch, our owner and principal photographer, has SamTheDog, but cats and other animals love him too. Sadly, our landlord doesn't allow pets in the studio, however, so pet portraits can only be done on location.

• What happens after the shoot?

First we edit the pictures.  We delete the ones that aren't stellar, then crop and color/density-correct the rest.  The results are posted to an online gallery, usually within about 72 hours, and we mail you your DVD if you’ve purchased one.

After that, if you want to purchase prints, you'll select the final images, and we'll talk about crops and retouching in case there’s anything specific you want.  Then we retouch any images 8x10 or larger, and we mail your professional prints in a few days.

• Will the pictures be posted online?

Yes. We will post your photos to a password-protected online photo gallery so you can share them with your family and friends.

• Are digital images from the photo shoot available?

Yes. You can purchase complete sets of your digital images.  We offer two types of discs: a WebReady DVD and Digital Negatives.  For more information, see below.

• What's the difference between the WebReady DVD and the Digital Negatives?

Both DVDs include a complete set of your edited photos, but the image resolution is different.

The "WebReady" DVD includes proof resolution JPG files.  These files are perfect for viewing your pictures on your computer or in a digital photo frame, sharing your photographs by email, or posting them on your own website or Facebook or other social networking site.  However, WebReady images are not suitable for making photo-quality prints.

The “Digital Negative” DVD includes full-resolution (high resolution) JPG files.  These files are perfect for making your own high quality prints of the images on an inkjet printer or your choice of photo labs/kiosks or print shops.  We also include a set of WebReady images to make it easier to email or share online.

• Do you offer baby announcements, holiday cards or other photo products like t-shirts and coffee mugs?

Yes.  When you have a newborn baby, your time is precious.  We make it quick and easy for you to order baby announcements (or holiday cards or greeting cards). There are lots of options available: just choose your favorite card, add text and photographs, and they'll be shipped right to your door.

You can also order great gift items like t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, mouse pads, key tags, magnets, and more. And if we don’t offer something that you’re looking for, just contact us.  Perhaps we can special-order it for you.

• Are color and black & white photographs included or is there an extra fee for B&W?

We shoot digitally, which means it’s easy to convert your image into B&W (or sepia) at no extra charge.  Just ask and we’ll convert any image for you.

• Is retouching available?

Yes. At no additional cost to you, we tweak every single shot before you see the proofs.  We manually go through each image and adjust various qualities including color balance, exposure, shadows, sharpness, etc.  It’s time-consuming, but we want to ensure that all your final images are gorgeous.

We also do basic image retouching, such as clearing skin, brightening eyes, cleaning stray hairs, etc., for free on (a) up to 3 images in your Digital Negatives, (b) all albums, and (c) all custom prints 8x10 and larger ordered directly from the studio (this option is not available for those prints ordered online).

We also do some pretty extraordinary picture manipulations with Photoshop.  We charge extra for this service, but if you want a picture modified, just let us know so we can give you an estimate.  Modifications range from the simple (cleaning up stray hairs or getting rid of a bit of acne) to more complex (removing extraneous people, changing backgrounds, adding smiles, or even opening blinked eyes) to artistic (turning a photograph into a line drawing or cartoon or “hand-painting” colors into a B&W image).  Gotham Family Photos takes pride in its artistic and technical Photoshop abilities, and we’re happy to show you examples of our retouching upon request.

• Do you offer hair and makeup services?

Yes. Professional hair and makeup can be scheduled for all shoots: $100 (makeup only) or $150 (hair and makeup).

• Can my friends and family buy prints?

Anybody to whom you give the password can view and purchase pictures of your portraits from your online gallery.

• Is a deposit required for a portrait session?

Yes.  To reserve a portrait session, we require a 25% deposit, which can be paid by credit card via Paypal.

• How do I make a payment?

Deposits can be paid by any major credit card via Paypal.  We ask that you pay the balance of your portrait session by cash or check.  You can also purchase DVDs, prints, packages and gift items online with a credit card.

• What if we schedule an outdoor shoot and the weather doesn’t cooperate?

If bad weather forces us to cancel an outdoor shoot, we will either move the shoot indoors, or we will apply your deposit to a rescheduled shoot regardless of when we cancel.  It’s your choice.

• What if I need to cancel my scheduled portrait session?

Life is crazy, and cancellations are sometimes unavoidable.  If you cancel 10 or more days before the shoot and reschedule, we will apply your deposit to the new shoot.  If you cancel fewer than 10 days before the shoot and reschedule, we will apply half your deposit to the new shoot.  If you don’t reschedule, you forfeit the deposit.  However, if inclement weather forces us to cancel an outdoor shoot at last minute, we will apply your deposit to a rescheduled shoot.

• How long will you store the digital files?

We make our best efforts to store your files for at least one year from the time of your shoot.  We make multiple backup copies of all images, and store archived photos offsite to prevent loss in case of fire or other catastrophe.  Nobody can guarantee that digital files will never be lost or corrupted (just as nobody can guarantee that negatives will never be lost or damaged), but we do our best.  Plus, you always have the right to purchase the digital files and store them yourself.