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Q & A

Where is your photo studio located?

My studio is located in New Hyde Park, New York (Nassau, Long Island). I'm 30 minutes outside of New York City & Brooklyn and on the border of Queens. I offer location shoots as well.

What type of photography services do you offer?

I specialize in studio portraiture and create beauty/fashion inspired portraits, personal branding images for professionals, business owners, musicians/artists, as well as family photography. Additional styles include vintage glamour, boudoir, pin-up, burlesque, mother/daughter, sisters, generations, babies, tweens, teens, couples, maternity, engagement/weddings and live music. I also offer retouching, graphic design and website design/programming services.

Experience a magazine-style photoshoot and market yourself with images that you're proud of! Why should only models & actors see themselves in their best light?!

My beauty photo sessions are for everyday women of all ages and sizes, no experience necessary! Beautiful professional hair & makeup is included in the photo session fee and you will love my creative team and how gorgeous you will look! A pre-shoot style consultation is also included so we can design your personalized photoshoot that's customized for you and go over wardrobe options. You can also look through the studio wardrobe & accessories and borrow anything you like for your shoot!

Beauty photoshoots are also for models, hair & makeup artists, stylists & designers who need professional images to build their portfolio and showcase their talents, skills & work. Even if you've never done a professional photoshoot before, no worries! I guarantee you will have a positive & fun experience!

My personal branding sessions are great for men and women wanting to promote and market themselves, their business and services. From entrepreneurs, business owners, athletes, musicians, creative artists, coaches, real estate agents, doctors; everyone needs professional images that powerfully represent themselves and their brand. YOU are your brand!

Allow me to take professional and powerful images that capture your essence and personality. Use them for your business, website, social media, online profiles and share them with your loved ones! I invite you to a complimentary consultation so we can connect & chat! We'll discuss creative direction & styling, as well as my process, product options and pricing. Contact me for more details and to schedule our phone or in-person meeting.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I'm very passionate about my craft and creating a luxurious, positive experience for all my clients. I've always been a creative & out-going type and love collaborating with others. I've been told that my enthusiasm is contagious; I love sharing my energy & passion for photography. For me it's all about getting to know my client, establishing a comfortable connection and making it a fun experience! Making people look and feel beautiful is very rewarding. I feel honored and blessed to work with many wonderful people, it's very inspiring!

It took me a long time to build my photography business and I always held on to my vision. I believe it's so important to do work in life that you're passionate about. Living a life with purpose and meaning makes the journey so much richer and more enjoyable! I love creating images for people also because I believe portraits are priceless; especially to you and your family one day when looking back at your life or when losing a loved one. Capturing a moment in time and having images that show the inner & outer beauty of a person is truly something special.

What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

It usually starts with an email and then we schedule a complimentary consultation so we can connect and talk. This can be done in-person, on the phone or via Skype. I always enjoy getting to know people and finding out what kinds of images they're looking for. Each photo session is customized to my client and together we design their personalized unique photoshoot. We also look at inspirational images so I can get a clear sense of what styles my clients are most drawn to. From there, I create a vision board for the shoot I'll be producing so I can properly plan all details. After discussing creative direction and styling, we go over my production process, the session details, as well as the products I offer and my pricing information. I believe it's important to educate new customers from the start. Time is extremely valuable to me so we must go over everything to see if we are a good match. Establishing a comfortable connection is also very important, it makes the whole experience positive from start to finish which is always my goal.

I guide my clients throughout the photoshoot and give lots of direction. No experience is required, all you need to do is be yourself and trust me... I know what beautiful looks like and I can find it in you! I will unravel your layers and capture your inner & outer beauty and personality. I've been told that I have a natural ability to make people feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera which helps people during the session.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I started doing photography when I was 18 years old and it's been a long road of learning and growing since then. I've been working in the creative industry for 20 years and graduated in 1999 with a BA in Contemporary Arts/Communications and an AAS in Graphic Arts/Advertising. Since then, I've worked for many top companies while pursuing my own photography business on the side. I gained most of my related experience while working for top advertising/portrait photographers as a Studio Manager/Producer. I learned all aspects of running a professional photography studio, how to coordinate photoshoots for very large productions, how to work with creative teams and with lots of equipment, and what it takes to do a successful shoot. I've also taken numerous CreativeLive online classes and workshops throughout the years about photography, retouching, graphic design, sales and marketing. I'm also a member of Sue Bryce Education which teaches portrait photography and the business of photography. Sue Bryce is an industry leader in the portrait photography field and her business model is studied by thousands of photographers all over the world.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your service?

My session fee is $200 and covers beautiful makeup & hair styling done at the studio by my incredibly talented, professional hair & makeup artist. We usually start with a natural, soft, pretty look and then change the look to a more dramatic style to give you variety during the shoot as you change into different outfits. You will love getting pampered and will look absolutely gorgeous! The session fee also covers all pre-shoot prep time. Images are sold separately. Your image reveal/ordering appointment is 2-4 weeks after your session. Portrait pricing includes studio photoshoot with wardrobe & set changes, digital post-production, high-end retouching, printing & product costs. You will receive the high resolution digital files of the images you purchase. There is no hard sell and no minimum order requirement. Only buy the portraits you love! Payment plans available. I offer 11x14 folio boxes with 10, 20 or 30 matted prints, as well as matted albums, fine art prints and framed canvas wall art. My images start at $125. Collections start at $500 and go up from there. Please get in touch to see product samples and for further pricing details. If you refer someone to me and they book a session, you will receive a $100 gift voucher that you can use towards a collection!

How did you get started doing this type of work?

My father was a photographer in his early days and I started practicing with his old camera when I was a teenager. I've always been a very visual person. In college I took a photography class and fell in love with taking pictures of people and the art of image making. I used to develop film and print my photos in the darkroom and was just fascinated! My passion for photography continued to grow and it still excites me today. I'm inspired by many amazing photographers & artists and love collaborating with people. There's always something new to discover and learn. I'm proud to be part of the incredible photography and portraiture community.

What types of photoshoots have you done?

I've worked with a wide range of clients; business owners & entrepreneurs, models, actors, musicians, families, couples, maternity, babies/tweens/teens, engagement/weddings, hair & makeup artists, stylists, live music venues, art galleries, hair salons, products, real estate and various types of event coverage.

Describe a recent photoshoot you are fond of.

A recent photoshoot I enjoyed a lot was working with a lovely woman who wanted to shoot 4 different looks. I planned the session and we went over her wardrobe, hair & makeup and set changes. We did a professional look for her business, a soft, pretty beauty look, a more dramatic, bold look, followed by some sexy, playful images to give as a gift to her husband. When she came back to my studio after the shoot for her image reveal & ordering session, she loved them and was so happy with the final products I delivered!

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a Photographer and what are professional photography industry standard rates?

I think it's important to look at different photographers work to see if they fit the style and experience you're looking for. Does the lighting look professional? Do they have a strong portfolio on their website? Many artists work with various budgets; they usually charge a session fee and then sell packages that include different amounts of images and various types of products.

I believe that high quality photography is well worth the investment. For example, if you need a headshot for your business, that photo on your website and LinkedIn profile will speak a thousand words! You are your brand so make sure the photos are professional and that they reflect your best self. You may not always want to go with the most affordable option because it can be risky; the image quality and experience may suffer. I love creating a luxurious high-end experience which is one that is personal and customized based on my client's needs, combined with my vision. I work with people who appreciate my photography work and value my talents, the experience and my time. I know they will treasure their beautiful images forever.

What questions should customers think through before talking to a Photographer?

Customers should think about what style of photography they love and how many different looks they would like to do during their shoot. I suggest looking at images on Pinterest to get ideas! You can visit my Pinterest page and browse through the mood boards I've put together there for lots of inspiration: www.pinterest.com/nicole_vision

Also, beautiful hair & makeup is very important when doing a photoshoot, you want to look your best! My session fee covers professional hair & makeup. Others may charge for this separately so I would ask about that. I would also find out pricing information for the shoot and learn about the product & package options they offer to make sure you're the right fit.

Common concerns: What if I have no experience? What if I'm nervous? I usually look horrible in photos, should I still do a photoshoot? I want to lose weight first, should I wait to book my shoot? My skin broke out, can I reschedule?

This is your time to relax, have fun and shine! No need to be nervous! You are in professional hands, I will make you feel super comfortable and I will be giving you lots of direction throughout the shoot. By the time we've captured your first look; you'll be a pro and will have forgotten any nerves you had. Everyone is beautiful in my eyes. All women want to look and feel their best. All women should and can experience a magazine style shoot! It's fun, creative, glamorous and artistic... Best part, you'll see yourself like never before. It will change the way you see yourself. It's uplifting and you reconnect with yourself in a new way. Every woman who walks into my studio has an incredible experience and gets a folio of the best photographs she's ever seen of herself. Don't wait to lose weight first, accept and embrace yourself just the way you are in this very moment. I'm big on living for today, being in the now and making each day count because tomorrow is never promised. Don't keep putting off your life and live fully today! I will be posing you to flatter your body and capture all the right angles. If you're skin breaks out before the shoot, no worries! All final images are professionally retouched, your skin will look flawless and your images will look beautiful and natural.

I have another question you didn't answer, what do I do?

Please email me at nicole@nicoledewaal.com and I will get back to you within 1-3 days. We can schedule a call from there or you can come to my studio for your complimentary consultation!