FAQs

Planning

Will Sarah come to us?

Yes! Sarah’s appointments regularly take place in San Francisco and the Bay Area. She also travels to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, London and Paris. She is usually in New York and Cleveland at least twice per year. If you don’t see your city on the list, and would like to set up a session, email rsvp@sarahsloboda.com to discuss adding your city to her family photo tour.

What is a Mini Session?

A mini session is a brief photo shoot lasting approximately 12-15 minutes at a designated location on specially allocated dates. The session can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as 20, depending on everyone’s moods. Don’t let the short time span fool you — Sarah Sloboda’s mini sessions yield a high volume of keepers. They include online proofing of approximately 25 images for 7 days. Your package might also include a number of high-res digital files to download and keep; please review the package details to learn what is included. Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming mini session dates in your area.

When and how do we schedule a session?

Your child’s / family’s schedule is the first factor used to determine the time. Mornings are often the best time for a young child mood-wise. Luckily, they also provide excellent light. Ideally, you’ll have them fresh from a good night’s sleep or nap, fed, and ready to go.

Evening shoots are available to take advantage of “magic hour,” the filmmaking term for when the sun is going down. The lighting effects are simply spectacular. These sessions are great for older kids, and also work for younger kids when the right nap timing can be arranged. Moods are most important to the success of a shoot, so bear that in mind when requesting a time.

To book online, visit sarahsloboda.com/overview

What are some good ideas for a photo session?

Sarah’s love (and brief course of study) of architecture and space allows her to incorporate the environment of her subjects to deepen the composition and meaning of her photographs. She frequently works with the same family in numerous cities when their travel paths cross, creating a dynamic collection of images for their archives.

Great locations for a story-telling photo shoot include:

  • Your home
  •  A favorite park or nearby playground
  •  Local landmarks
  •  Architectural points of interest
  •  Museums, libraries, public spaces

And, because of her pure photojournalist-style background, Sarah is her clients’ favorite choice for documenting the occasions in their lives.

  • Pregnancy
  •  Newborns
  •  9 months (a sweet age for a baby portrait!)
  •  Starting to crawl, walk, and other baby milestones
  •  1st Birthday • Moving to a new home
  •  Starting a new school
  •  First Communion
  •  Bar/Bat Mitzvah
  •  Graduation
  •  Holidays

Sarah’s blog features kids fashion ideas, photo concepts, inspiration, and more. She’s connected to super savvy mom-bloggers and children’s boutique owners in New York, London, San Francisco, and worldwide, so you might also like to follow her in Instagram, Facebook, and/or twitter to get the latest scoop on what’s in before your photo session.

What do we wear?

When you book, you’ll get Sarah’s What to Wear Guide with her suggested process for selecting wardrobe and preparing for your photo shoot.

Logistics

Do we need to sign a waiver?

Yes, everyone being photographed needs to sign a waiver, and parents need to sign on behalf of any minor under the age of 18.

What is the refund policy?

Bookings are non-refundable. Please confirm availability of everyone in your party before booking.

How long is a shoot?

“Longer than the dentist, but shorter than the psychoanalyst.” –Henri Cartier-Bresson

Shoot duration varies depending on the scope of the package. Package options can be viewed here. Sarah recommends allowing yourself an hour before and after the shoot, so that you can be fully present for the shoot itself.

What happens if it rains?

The hourly weather forecast is checked 48 hours before and contingency plans will be made if necessary. Either Sarah can move the time, or move to an indoor/enclosed location. She aims to keep appointments at the same time if possible, but either way, you will get your family photos done the week/weekend you have booked.

How much does a session cost?

Visit sarahsloboda.com/overview to see current rates, mini session locations, and upcoming Photo Tour cities. Sarah can also help you custom-tailor a special package to tell your family’s story in a way that’s fun and convenient for you. Send an email to rsvp@sarahsloboda.com with your city / location of the photo shoot to request current pricing options and availability.

What should I expect during the proofing process?

You will have one week to proof your images, inclusive in your sitting fee. If you wish to extend the time, you may do so at $35/week during the calendar year of your photo shoot. After the calendar year, you may order a retrieval of the photos with one week of online proofing access for a fee of $100.00. While great care is taken to archive all images permanently, there is no guarantee you will be able to gain access to your photos after the initial proofing period. It is highly recommended you order everything you would like during your initial proofing period. You may simply order prints online or email a digital order with image numbers, sizes and quantities to rsvp@sarahsloboda.com

How much are prints and digital files?

Individual 5×7 prints start at $25.00. Individual high-res digital photos are $50.00 each. Current print and digital package specials will also be made available to you during your online proofing period. Clients typically spend $650.00-$2,000.00 to complete their photography order.

How do we order Christmas / holiday cards?

Sarah will provide you with a list of her recommended card printing services with available affiliate discounts to consider for your holiday card printing. You are welcome to use your purchased high-res digital photos at any of these websites, or one of your own choice. Each site will have its own system for uploading your photo(s) and designing cards. Be sure to download your photos as soon as they are available, and back them up in a place that is easy to find when it is time to order your cards.

Style

How do you pronounce SLOBODA?

It’s pronounced Sluh-BO-duh. Some people remember this by singing, “Slow Boat to China.”

Will my photos be perfect?

Absolutely not. Sarah loathes perfection. Families and individuals are flawed, free-spirited, and utterly unique by nature. What Sarah’s work encapsulates is the essence of a family or individual’s energy, even if this means hair is out of place or clothes are slightly disheveled. To her, squinting eyes mean genuine smile; a wrinkled nose means laughing with joy. The spirit captured in her work is of paramount importance, over all other details.

As a trained photojournalist-style photographer, she embraces the fact that moments spontaneously unfold, sometimes faster than the camera or the photographer can make adjustments. This is spontaneity is part of the beauty of life. Because of it, you may see a few images in your collection that have flaws in focus, clarity, and/or contrast.

Sarah’s style embraces a bit of blur, a bit of grain — images that reflect the imperfect way our minds record memories. Many of Sarah’s clients — both commercial and private — seek out this special ability to tune in to the moment, and welcome any technical “flaws” in capturing what otherwise wouldn’t have been captured at all. So, there might be something special in there, even if it causes you to stretch your aesthetic sense to find it.

What sets Sarah Sloboda apart?

With Sarah Sloboda Photography, every, single shoot is unique. From one day to the next, moods shift, people mature, the sun moves, the clouds move; literally nothing is exactly the same as the day before. Sarah works in tandem with the natural rhythms of life, so you can expect that your photos will be unique to the circumstances of your shoot day. She’ll take advantage of the best natural lighting options available, and work with the background as best is possible. No matter the moods of the day, Sarah will be alert to moments of authentic expression. When you see your proofs, you will see unique images that could have only been created at that exact point in your life — truly, something to cherish.

Sarah’s photos contain joy, humor, honesty, optimism and a hint of the unexpected. Like a good foreign film, her best photos are little bit surreal. Sarah has traveled the globe on assignment, shooting documentary-style, and making human psychology her visual study. Her acclaimed portraits have appeared in magazines like Rangefinder,Daily Candy Kids, Citibabes and Disney’s Wondertime, amongst others. Her series “Happiest Day in a Girl’s Life” received the prestigious Prix de la Photographie, Paris.

Her best asset for photographing kids is her personality. She takes delight in them, and they take notice.