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 mid-to-lateish morning or early afternoon...we're looking for the best light in your home.
OUTDOOR SESSIONS (exceptions are Promotional Films) are generally planned for 1.5 to 2 hours prior to sunset (collection dependent).
Where do sessions take place?
Parks local to Annapolis, as well as on Kent Island and a private family farm 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) during different times of the day so we can assess the best lighting conditions.
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, as well as travel beyond the included mileage 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 slightly warmer edit and and clothing that is comfy, down to earth, and 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. Send me updates as you pull it together, which must be done NO LATER THAN 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR SESSION. This coordination allows us time to make tweaks (and there is almost always some tweaking). You must make sure your entire ensemble actually fits and alows for movement. Am I a meanie? Certainly not. I've just been there, done that, far too many times, and I KNOW how long this can take. So.Trust.Me.
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)...
~45 round-trip miles are included in the collection fee
~Promotional Films: up to 120 round-trip miles
There is a $30 fee for every additional 50 round-trip miles, or portion thereof. For promotional films, 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 book 5 weeks out. We need to chat, cover the contract, location and, very importantly, give you time to coordinate your wardrobe, along with selecting a date and back up
For cinematography, 5 weeks for personal requests, and promotional films should be at least 12 weeks out...longer 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. (For anyone considering an Elopement, a retainer of 50% of the service, along with a signed electronic contract are required. The balance and any reimbursements are due 7 days prior to the wedding, or the day of, before we start doing our thing!)
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're pretty quick, but just in case "life gets in the way" we have a "no later than 3 weeks" promise to have your films+photographs delivered to you.
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 5 days to make your selections and an additional 5 days to download once your final gallery is delivered. You will receive original (high) resolution images.
Your film will be available for download from Vimeo.
Should you wish to share them online, please tag @thuisstudios.
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 one other local photography team.
Kindly note, due to the cinematographers' schedules, minimally 8 weeks' notice is necessary.
How long are your sessions?
~Independent photography or cinematography sessions are generally up to 90 minutes.
Services hired together are generally in the up to 90-minutes to 2-hour range.
~Photography of extended families are up to 2 hrs.
~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 at $150 per team member per hour.
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 and prompts: 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 are $35 per person.
Just Because sessions are intended for up to 5 individuals.
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 10-day, password-protected online gallery to select 25 beautifully edited images (5 days to select, 5 days to download final gallery).
As with all other sessions, we'll help you style your look.
Pricing begins at $350 (for up to 5 persons). $35 for each additional person.
If you'd like more of the photographs you see in your gallery, please hop to "Can I purchase additional gallery images?" for prices.
Are my furkids welcome?
We love companion animals and welcome them to your session with the following "they must"s:
~be well behaved and social (We suggest if you pup has the wiggles, be sure to take him or her for a good walk or take some time to play to expend some of the energy prior to the session.)
~be managed on leads as the situation requires (rules of the location, safety for the dog and/or public, etc.). The lead, collar and/or harness should be in good repair and ideally coordinate with your wardrobe
~have a responsible adult to safeguard him/her when he/she is not being photographed/filmed, or for in-home sessions, placed in a room other than where we are photographing/filming
~have someone prepared to clean up any bathroom breaks
~have water available
We take their safety seriously. We will not have animals left out of sight in 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.
Cats are very welcome during in-home sessions. Felines shall not be brought to an unfamiliar outdoor location.
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 and additional Invoice.)
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 12 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! It's the same for indoor sessions since we are using natural window light. We'll grab a couple of dates in the event mother nature thinks about throwing some serious shade.
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.
Clients are expected to hold both days open. Should the client make plans on one of the two reserved dates and the session must be rescheduled for other-than-weather-related or contract-releasing reasons, the client will be charged an full session fee for the new dates.
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, burnt oranges and heathery 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, for indoor sessions, we'll ask you to send us pics of your rooms at different times of the day, AND for outdoor sessions, we shoot in places based on light location and when it's at its prettiest (near/during golden hour).
Can I purchase additional gallery images?
$60 for 5 (1 free)
$120 for 10 (2 free)
$165 for 15 (4 free)
$225 for 20 (5 free)
$300 for entire gallery
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 four take-aways you'd like from a session (e.g. everyone together, the kiddos together, mom+dad together, the kiddos with the dog). In case you're wondering, no, I shall not recreate a Pinterest list of poses.
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 refuses to engage 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...do NOT expect it to come together in a few days. 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 so IT'S READY 2 WEEKS PRIOR to our session date (I'm not kidding, but don't worry, I'm here to help!) and try the clothes on! Make sure they fit! We don't want straining buttons, too-long hems on dresses or trousers, or stretched out shirt necklines and sleeves (just looks sloppy). Make sure everyone can move, bend, stretch, sit, lie down without wardrobe malfunctions or unintended exposure of body bits.
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.
It's also a good idea to practice canoodling, holding and dancing with your littles (and your big persons, too). Always let it be fun and light so the activities bring out genuine smiles!
Posture is a big deal. We know we don't have the best (especially when we're sitting!). If you're like us, start now being mindful of how you stand and sit. Straighten up your spine and roll back those shoulders! Do some stretches, too! (Come on, all of this is just plain good for you!)
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.
There's one other biggie for an in-home session. Even though we don't plan on it, 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 symptons. And no, we have no plans to repeatedly test without symptoms as that will only add to the workload of our healthcare system. (Side note: Pam had a mandatory travel-related Covid test on 11 Oct 20...negative).
We always do and will continue to wear masks until which time it is truly deemed safe to do otherwise. 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 and with the assurance you've been behaving yourself. Outdoor sessions, no problem.
*1 March 2021: We continue to monitor the Covid news and will consider indoor sessions as vaccination rates increase and Covid case rate decreases.
We expect clients to share the same concern and not engage in activities or practices that may unduly expose themselves to Covid19. (Saying it: anti-maskers need not inquire.)
Should any client, or one of us, suspect exposure to or have symptoms of Covid19, rescheduling shall be mandatory.
What drives us a little crazy? (so please don't...):
~tell us you don't want us to share your images or film on social media...that's how you found us
~pressure us to twist our brand into something it isn't. If you don't love what you see here, or on social media, by all means, find the someone just right for you. We know we're not always going to be a fit, and that's ok
~tell us you have your wardrobe in mind, yet it's completely the opposite of what is reflected in our work. We want you to feel good about what you're wearing, but we also will remain true to our brand
~not follow the contract parameters to which you agreed. Just as you expect us to be true to our commitment, we expect the same from you. If, as you review our agreement, you can't, or won't respect the responsibilities therein, kindly don't engage our services
~tell us how much time and how we need to create your films
~expect us to do hours of pre-production so you can decide if you want to hire us or not. That can be anything from reviewing the wardrobe you have in mind, or trying to figure out a story you want to tell. We're so happy to have a lengthy consultation, but we shall not exchange multiple communications until you trust and commit to us
~ask us to waive or discount our prices or any applicable fees. Please don't undervalue what we do and the amount of work and time that goes into making your photographs and films, or think that we can offer X price for a distance that is beyond what is included
We do what we do because we enjoy it! Whether we're working independently, and especially together, we love the interaction and the Thuis "feeling at home" vibes we have with you.
Our happy place involves engaging only a few photography sessions every month, along with one, maybe two video gigs. Sounds counter intuitive in a business? Yeah, sure, but we feel this way for ardent and practical reasons:
~We want you to feel at home with us. And that means giving you and your session the time and attention you deserve. A former bride (from our wedding past) said we made her feel as if she and her wedding were the only things that mattered...and isn't it nice to feel that way?!
~We always want to feel excited about engaging with new families and old friends!
~We have other things going on. From our animals to our full- (and part-) time jobs to just doing life...you get it, right?