THE PROCESS OF CREATING YOUR PHOTO OR VIDEO STORY

Storytelling Photography & Films

Long Island | New York City Documentary Photographer & Filmmaker

You have a story you are bursting to tell… what next?

Let’s talk a little bit about the process of how your story session will work so that you know what to expect.

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1. BOOKING

We discuss the story you want to document and decide if this would be more effectively captured through a Photo or Video Story (or both). You reserve your session date with a $300 retainer fee and a signed contract.
 

2. BRAINSTORMING AND PLANNING

I send you a detailed questionnaire to fill out to help me better understand your story and the characters in your photo or video story. This questionnaire is key to my story planning, so please think carefully and thoughtfully through your answers. We then brainstorm together and come up with a plan for structuring our time together to tell your story most effectively.

3. THE SESSION

On the day of your session, after arriving at your home (or another agreed upon location), we will take some time to get to know each other and go over our previously-discussed session plan, and then I will start taking photographs or video as you go about your activities. For the most part, I will be a fly on the wall, capturing the story as it unfolds.

Video sessions often include an interview component, which may take place on the same day as your main session or on a different date.

4. CURATION:

After the session, I go home and load all the images and footage from your session into my editing software and start crafting your story into a tangible piece of magic. A few weeks later, I will share with you the finished story that we created together.

TO SEE EXAMPLES FROM STORY SESSIONS, CLICK BELOW


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“Francesca is so calm, cool and relaxed all the time that you can’t help but feel the same when you are around her, which makes for some wonderful shots. We chatted comfortably while she did her work, and when she was done, I felt as though I had just had a nice visit with a friend. All you have to do is relax, and she will capture the magic.” - Carissa L.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You photograph and film with a “documentary approach”… what does that mean exactly?

Documentary photography and filmmaking is an unscripted, non-posed, candid approach to making images and video. It is embracing that REAL is so much better than perfect. I record your moments and interactions authentically and reflect your life back to you.

Who are these sessions for?

These sessions are for people who value life’s experiences and what they can teach us. They are for people who are proud of an accomplishment and want to share it with the world. For people who realize that time is fleeting and they desperately need their current experience recorded. These sessions are for people who want to have a tangible legacy to leave for their children. They are for people who need to get a message out about a challenge they are facing. They are for people who are willing to be vulnerable and real about their life in order to create an honest portrayal of the story they want to tell.

These sessions are NOT for those looking for a Christmas card photo, pretty family portraits in a field (unless we are documenting life on a farm - then we might get some of those!) or those who are uncomfortable with letting me in to the reality of your story. I’m happy to recommend another local photographer if you are looking for a different type of session than what I offer.

Why are the sessions 3+ hours long?

It takes a bit of time for us all to relax and get into a groove (remember your first date?). Longer sessions give us the luxury of taking our time, taking breaks and getting to know each other. The more relaxed and open we can all be with each other, the more natural your photos and video will be. It also takes some time to gather all the footage and images to create a complete story. I like for the process to feel low-key and steady rather than rushed and harried.

How long will it take you to edit my session?

Photo stories are ready 3 weeks after your session, and Video Stories in 6 weeks.

Do you charge a travel fee?

I charge a travel feel of $40/hour for travel to locations further than 20 miles from my home (zip code 11530).


Will there be any portraits included in our session?

I do include documentary portraits in my photo sessions and am happy to make one family portrait for you. You can see some examples of documentary portraits from client sessions in my portrait gallery here.

We are coming to NYC (or the Hamptons, or Fire Island, etc, etc) for a vacation…can you come and record our vacation story?

Yes! The Photo and Video package is a great choice for a vacation session. We can work together on an itinerary for your session that is manageable for the time frame allotted.


I want to have our Story Session at home, but our house is a mess!

The heart of a family is its home, and I want to capture that. If you don’t want me photographing your underwear on the floor, then by all means, put it away. But PLEASE do not feel like you have to call a cleaning crew in before I come over. Toys and guitars and computers and dishes and mail all tell a little bit about your story and where you are in your life right now. Don’t sanitize that! And I promise you, my camera is pretty awesome, but it is not SO awesome that the dog hairs on your couch will show up in pictures. They won't. So don't stress.

What happens if it rains?

If we specifically have outdoor activities planned that are meaningful to the session, we can discuss re-scheduling in the case of rain or snow. However it does not have to be sunny outside to still get some amazing images! And in-home sessions can happen rain or shine, snow or sleet.

If it is a vacation session, we will make an alternate plan for indoor locations in advance, just in case of inclement weather. Vacation sessions will not be re-scheduled or cancelled for weather.


What happens if I have to cancel?

I understand that life sometimes gets in the way of our plans-- kids get sick, unexpected things happen, and you may have to cancel our session. I just ask that you try to give me 24 hours notice if at all possible. We will then find a date to re-schedule.

What print products do you offer?

I offer a variety of prints products for sale in my storefront from my professional lab, which you will be connected to when you receive your gallery. Some of the products I have available are: layflat albums, prints, frames, and canvases. You can see examples of some of the products in this blog post here. I also have a number of samples I am happy to show you in person, at your request.

 

MORE INFORMATION FROM THE BLOG…

 
A mother and son embrace at Restoration Farm.

"She goes above and beyond her already outstanding creativity with her deep commitment to her clients.” - Lucia B.

Three generations of men talk to each other on a porch.
 

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