Frequently asked questions
What days are sessions?
~Photography sessions are flexible
~Cinematography, or Photography with Cinematography sessions are fairly flexible
~Photography sessions are flexible
~Cinematography or Cinematography combined with Photography are often planned for weekends
PROMOTIONAL FILMS schedules are part of the planning process
What time do you shoot?
INDOOR SESSIONS are scheduled in the morning or early afternoon...we're looking for the best light in your home.
OUTDOOR SESSIONS (exceptions are Promotional Films) are planned for 1.5 to 2.5 hours prior to sunset (collection dependent).
Where do sessions take place?
Local parks and downtown Annapolis are the most common places. After chatting with you, we’ll make the call.
For in-home sessions (Welcome Home Baby), we'll ask you to send us a few cell phone pics of the rooms we may use for your session (e.g.: nursery, master bedroom, family area).
Elopements + Promotional Films? Let's chat!
~Public places can mean sharing spaces
~Location+parking permits and/or fees a are the responsibility of the client and are not reflected in the price.
What to wear! Will you help me with my "look"?
Let me begin by saying when you see an image, especially of someone you don't know, what makes you pause and draws you in to the subject is most often the location and styling/clothing.
Now, this isn't about making a consistent, color-themed Instagram feed. After all, shooting both at my preferred locations and in your home or hospital room makes that impractical, if not impossible. My brand style carries a warmer edit and and clothing that is flowy, comfy, visually interesting (with texture and some color and pattern mixing). If you want the entire family or the kiddos matchy matchy; or if a bodcon or gala dress, stillettos and a suit is what you want to wear; or maybe your vibe is totally pastel preppy...I'm, unfortunately, not a fit for you.
During our consultation, we'll talk about possible locations and some basic concepts/colors, as well as "don't go theres" (e.g.: for me, I'll never wear a crew-neck shirt). After we have the contract and nonrefundable retainer tucked away, I'll put together an inspiration board based on our discussion to ensure everyone coordinates (not matches) and the *clothing is appropriate for the location and all the things we plan to do. If there's anything you don't like, we'll work together to get the look perfected.
I welcome photos when you're out shopping, or trying on items from your closet! I insist you send images of your entire wardrobe laid out together in natural light. Starting early gives us plenty of time to tweak without feeling rushed.
*Any clothing choices I recommend will come from a variety of referenced sources so not to break the bank (should you shop for your entire clan).
By hiring Thuis, you agree to work with me on your wardrobe. To give enough time to make tweaks, no later than 2 weeks prior to your session you'll send me photographs of your entire ensemble. Together we may make changes (if any) in plenty of time for your session. Am I a meanie? Certainly not. I just want you all to be the fabulous focal point of your images (no one should blend into the shadows or greenery because of color or pattern choices!)
How far will you travel?
As far as our passports will take us! On the local side, our fees cover from zip code 21403 or 21666 (depending on service/s hired)...
~All sessions at $325 and up include travel up to 25 round-trip miles
~All sessions at $275 include travel up to 15 round-trip miles
~Promotional Films: up to 120 round-trip miles
Travel beyond will incur additional reimbursements as the project dictates. Drop us a line and we'll be happy to answer your questions!
How soon should I contact you?
Right now, of course!!
For photography sessions we suggest minimally 3 weeks out, and that's if you're willing to REALLY hustle (so I'd say 5 or more weeks). We need to chat, cover the contract, location and, very importantly, give you time to coordinate your wardrobe. It’s also good to remember it’s not just one date for outdoor sessions. It’s selecting a date and then a back up in the event of adverse weather
For cinematography, 3 - 4 weeks and for personal requests that doesn’t fall on any of the previously mentioned days, and promotional films shoud be at least 6 weeks out...8 weeks is even better (because you may be surprised how much time it takes you to make decisions about your project)
Always fee free to get in touch!
How do I pay?
A retainer of $150 per service and a signed electronic contract are required to book your session. Retainers are non refundable. The remaining balance, along with any reimbursements, are due 7 days before your session. If you wish to provide the balance the day of, please make arrangements with us at the time of your contract.
With Promotional Films, a retainer of 50% of the service, along with a signed electronic contract are needed to get started! Retainers are non refundable. The remaining balance, along with any reimbursements, are due 14 days before the project begins.
Thuis Studios accepts personal checks or money orders made out to "Thuis Studios."
Will I get my photographs + film...tomorrow?
Whoaaaa, slow your roll! ;) We’ll generally have a video screenshot or teaser image for you, however:
All other genres of films+photography are delivered within 3 weeks
Promotional films are project dependent
How will I receive my photographs + film?
Your session will be loaded to a password protected gallery from which you’ll have 20 or 30 days to download (depending upon collection). You’ll retrieve original (high) resolution images for printing and web-ready, watermarked images for sharing online.
Your film will be available for download from Vimeo.
What about audio + music for my film?
Films are set to legally licensed music from our source libraries. Special music requests, if available, may be purchased at additional cost.
Proposals + Elopements will also have audio (yes, they are not part of our Collections...but feel free to ask!)
Promotional films have an audio option.
Where can I print my images?
We suggest Nations Photo Lab or Mpix. Of course, you can take them anywhere you like, but be aware cropping and color discrepancies may result.
I thought you photographed+filmed weddings
We used to. And while it's not part of our advertised collections, if you're considering a fun ELOPEMENT, give us a yell.
As a reminder, you can request our services independently. However, our cinematographers work exclusively with our photographer, or the team of Tara&Renata (www.taraandrenata.com).
Kindly note, due to the cinematographers' schedules, minimally 6 weeks' notice is necessary.
How long are your sessions?
~Independent photography priced at $325+, or cinematography sessions, are generally up to 90 minutes. Extended families' sessions are up to 2 hrs. Services hired together are generally in the up to 2-hour range (added time billed separately).
~Independent photography sessions priced at $275 are up to 60 minutes.
~Maternity, Pregnancy Announcement or First48 photography are up to 60 minutes. First48 photography+cinematography together runs approximately 90 minutes.
~Maternity or Pregnancy Announcement cinematography filming runs up to 2 hours. Maternity or Pregnancy Announcement photography+cinematography may run up to 2.5 hours.
~Promotional films are dictated by project requirements.
Of course, time may be added.
What's your style?
Seriously love lifestyle...real life as it happens. But we know it isn't easy for everyone to just be themselves when there's a camera pointed at them (or that we'll be there so long that things "just happen"). So we come with a plan and give you some pointers: help you figure out what to do with your hands and how to stand without looking like a soldier. We'll remind you to breathe and be snuggly. We'll help you get to that place where you can be you, and that's what we'll snap up! And if you push us to the edge, we'll tell really bad jokes and if necessary, pull out some decades old cheerleading moves (so no judging, k?)
We love details...so we'll get close.
Our videos are much the same altho for the sake of efficiency for some genres (e.g.: promo films) we have a scripted timeline. The captures are both real and assisted from close up to distant and from different perspectives.
Oh, and how do you say "Thuis"?
First the backstory: A lifetime ago, we lived in the Netherlands. Our Dutch friends always made us feel at home (or "thuis"). And we want everyone who works with us to experience the same.
Thuis is pronounced "t-ouse" (like "house" but replace the "h" with a "t"). We get it if at first you say "thew-is"! We've even had "This is Us," which is awesome, because we love the show (who doesn't?!)...and really, what we capture for you should have you saying, "Yes, this IS us!"
How many participants can I squeeze into a session?
Hello Baby! intentions are to focus on the parents and the new little one. Littles and furbabies are welcome during the session, but please ensure another adult is available to take care of them if you think any inevitable wiggles will cause you distraction. We need parents to relax and enjoy this time...not chase after or shoot looks at their darlings or worry about their fur kids. Up to 2 additional family members (humans and/or critters) may join in.
Family sessions are priced for up to 5 immediate family members (a single family unit). Additional participants, up to a total of 8 individuals, are $25 per person.
Just Because sessions are intended for 1 to 3 persons. Additional participants, up to a total of 5 individuals, are $25 per person.
Just for Fur Babies may be a combination of 2 fuzzies, or 1 human plus 1 fuzzy. Up to 2 additional partipants are welcome at $25 each.
Do you photograph extended families?
Lightly posed+lifestyle of:
~The entire family
~Immediate family units
~Additional groupings (e.g.: all children together, children with grandparents, etc.). Dependent upon number of individuals, cooperation and time.
(We can discuss which are most important to you during our consultation.)
Sessions begin 2 hours prior to sunset.
You will receive a 30-day password protected online of 30+ beautifully edited images.
As with all other sessions, we'll help you style your look.
Pricing begins at $675 (for up to 10 persons). $25 for each additional person.
Are my furkids welcome?
We love companion animals and welcome them to your session with the following musts:
~be well behaved and social
~on a lead (for outdoor sessions)
~have a responsible adult to safeguard him/her when he/she is not being photographed/filmed, or for at home sessions, placed in a room other than where we are photographing/filming
~have someone prepared to clean up any bathroom breaks
We will not have companion animals left unattended in cars. We will not have an animal on hot pavement (if it's too hot for us to keep our hand on it, it's too hot for the animal), or exposed to hot temperatures.
Are you able to provide aerial footage?
Absolutely! We have a UAV (aka drone) to add that special something to your films!
Tell me more about your Promo Film approach
While we have examples of a variety of promotional films, our passion is making personal, getting-to-know-you videos.
So the first thing to start your promo film is to fill out an inquiry form! Don't forget to tell us if you want:
1. music to underscore your video
2. narration to accompany your video
3. aerial footage for some epic location imagery
1. provide your website, email and phone number (and some good date/S and time/S you are available to chat)!
2. give us an idea of the story you wish to tell. Feel free to pour your heart out with all your ideas! Send a draft script or bullet points if you want!
3. if you have a sample video or two you enjoy, include the link/s
4. the location/s (addresses) where you wish to film
5. how long you wish your video to be
We'll look at everything you send and give you a ring to chat about it all. Once we have a feel for your vision, we'll send you a Quote.
If you think we have a good understanding of your vision as reflected in the Quote, sign off on it, and we'll create a Contract followed by an Invoice. (Any changes as the production may require will be made via a Contract Amendment.)
Once your Contract is signed and your non-refundable retainer is received, we set to work with you to refine your script (or help you develop one based on bullet points your provide), develop a story board and production schedule.
Then it's on to production, editing and delivery of your film!
Please give yourself enough time for the process (it can vary greatly depending on where you are in your planning/preparation when you contact us and what our schedule looks like...so minimally 6 weeks ). We find many people expect this process to happen rather quickly only to discover they have not really settled on the story they want to tell, or have locations or people on board. This is a multifaceted and communication intensive engagement, please don't cut your time short! And remember, we're here to help guide you. We want you to have the best experience and film!
Can I hire your services independently?
The answer is "yes, but."
Because of our storytelling style, our cinematographers chose to work exclusively with the *Thuis Studios photographer.
*Elopement exception. Thuis Studios' cinematographers will work with one other local photography team. Pricing and contracts are independent.
What about the weather?
Please ensure you have date flexibility before you book! For outdoor sessions, 2 consecutive days are reserved in order to have a back up in case of inclement weather. If both days are a wash, we'll work together to get our calendars to click!
Anyone who has ever tracked weather knows it can flip within hours or minutes of checking a forecast, so it's best not to squeeze in a session based on a prediction of a brief break between showers/storms or make hard-set appointments (e.g.: hair/makeup) that could be adversely affected if your session is moved.
Sessions will be rescheduled due to inclement weather (it's a matter of safety, especially when electrical storms and high winds are lurking). Unfavorable weather will not move sessions indoors and outside appointments will not impact the decision to reschedule.
What makes a beautiful photograph?
~Connection/emotions. Share the joy, the silliness, the love with the people your with! You may (or may not) remember the little song: This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine... Don't hold back, be a shiny, joyful, silly, lovey little light!
~~Always complementary with contrast and dashes of visual interest. You should never be (gasp) matchy matchy or blendy blendy! Clothing can help make the photo wowzer!
~~Comfy. Do a test for full movement and no wardrobe malfunctions. Clothes should allow you to sit without constant tugging and modest arm holes/necklines so you can twirl and bend without showing off your undergarments.
~~Works with the location. You need to stand out from the background. Greens and blacks in a forest, no no no. Mustards, creams, pinks...you get the idea (and we'll help).
~~Is this a session where you may print to hang in your home? Will your clothing choice complement your decor?
~Lighting. Which is why we shoot in places based on light location and when it's at its prettiest (near/during golden hour).
You have two different prices for several photography collections, what's the difference?
Thanks for asking!
Collections priced at $325 or more:
~ Receive the minimum number of images noted, plus every other image in the gallery all beautifully edited
~ A 30-day online gallery to download images and share with family+friends
~ Up to 90 minutes of session time
~ Assisting with styling and wardrobe
~ Print release included in contract
~Travel within 25 round-trip miles of 21403
Collections priced at $275 include:
~*A lightly edited gallery from which to select your favorite 20 images which will be further edited before delivery
~*Plus an option to select additional images at $10 **each
~ A 20-day online gallery to download your images and to share with family+friends
~ Assisting with styling and wardrobe
~ Up to 60 minutes of session time
~ Print release included in contract
~Travel within 15 round-trip miles of 21403
*All images are to be selected within 7 days of initial gallery delivery
**Payment for additional images must be received within 7 days of selection
Can I insist on my own shot list?
To provide you with a variety of photographs, I come with a fluid plan, which will flow based on the number of participants, their abilities/cooperation, and time. You are welcome to share with me up to three take-aways you'd like from a session (e.g. the kiddos together, mom+dad together, the kiddos with the dog). I shall not recreate a Pinterest list of poses. We'll definitely chat about this during our consultation :) .
How do you handle rambunctious kids and sullen spouses?
I'm no magician, but I come with a good attitude, pretty lame humor, and sometimes pull out my decrepit version of cheerleading jumps (like so decrepit you might want to have 911 on speed dial).
I'm going to do my best with the kiddos, but in the end, I won't sacrifice your session time because little Joey is not going to sit nicely with the family. As long as he's not an apparent danger to himself or others, I'll just include him as best I can. This also means mom and dad shouldn't be fussing about him. Just.carry.on. and have a good time (you can get after him when you get home).
Now to the sullen spouse. I'll engage, I'll tease, I'll cajole. And like with little Joey, I'll do the best I can and put it out to the universe that I hope he (sexist assumption....I apologize) will realize this time is to be enjoyed with his family!
How should I prepare?
Wardrobe is the biggest effort on your part...do NOT procrastinate. After you you sign on the dotted line, based on our chat, you'll receive a wardrobe inspiration board. Ready, set, go! Start assembling your look (don't worry, I'm here to help!) and try the clothes on! Make sure they fit. No straining buttons, or too long hems (just looks sloppy). Make sure everyone can move, bend, sit, lie down without wardrobe malfunctions.
For sessions with littles, have no-stain drinks and little snacks. A *rested, full-bellied and recently pottied kiddo is a happy kiddo. Small rewards are good, too. For sessions with big people, rested, full-bellied and recently pottied adults are happy adults. Don't forget to bring a drink (especially if it's hot). For everyone, if we are in a grassy area...bug deterrent. If we might end up in a little water play, have a change of clothes. I won't go on and on here...pop over to Info, Ready to Book and hit on the Incredibly Witty Notes document link!
*Sessions are 1.5 to 2 hrs prior to sunset. If this lands just before or during bedtime, work in a pre-session nap or consider scheduling during a season when the sun sets earlier than bedtime.
For an in-home session, we need you to send photos of the rooms we'll be using. You'll send them at different times of the day so we can do our best to determine when the light is best. Since most in-home sessions are Welcome Home Baby, at a minimum we're looking at your nursery and master bedroom (with neutral bedding and a mattress that doesn't eat you up!). Living room for extra points.
One other biggie for an in-home session. Even though we won't, just assume we will be shooting every room in your house. So tidy up. Clear clutter. Doesn't matter where you put it, just make sure it can't be seen (because we will, like a moth to a flame, move wherever the light is best.)
For new mommas looking at the Welcome Home Baby. Don't rush yourself. We want you to have time to heal and be able to move with comfort during the session. The last thing we want is for you to be hurting. Two weeks out, a month...it's all good.
What about Covid19?
Not to start off this FAQ page with....arrrrggghhhh, but it's important.
We, since the start of this craziness, have been well (no symptoms).
We always do and will continue to wear masks. Full stop.
We will do our best to distance ourselves (this is a weird one for us, simply because of the way we shoot. We ask you to help us toe that line).
We will consider indoor sessions based on the light (that's always the case) and space. Outdoor sessions, no problem.