The Process

Digital Downloads

What’s included when I order digital files?

Your purchase of a digital download includes one link to download your images within 7 days. This is your only guaranteed opportunity to access your order and to do so without additional fees, so be sure you click the link and follow the instructions within 7 days.

Refer to your image license for usage information. Photographer retains all copyrights. Any third-party and/or commercial usage is not included and must be additionally negotiated.

Best Back-Up Practices

Back up your images in at least 2 places, like 2 computers, or a computer and a hard drive. There is no guarantee photographer will be able to retrieve your images after your initial order has been fulfilled. It is your responsibility to download and back up your photos promptly.

Can I get another link to download my photos?

Image retrieval is not guaranteed after your order has been fulfilled. If you have lost your images, failed to click the download link, or failed to back up images you downloaded, you can initiate a request to retrieve your images for a fee of $100. The fee covers archive expenses and labor costs. Please allow 30 business days for the completion of a retrieval attempt. If your photos are successfully recovered, you may then repurchase them at the photographer’s current rates.

Before initiating a request, try these steps to locate your photos:

  1. Check all the usual places you store family photos. If you use Google Photos or iPhoto, browse by date, and look for images a few weeks around the date of your photo shoot.
  2. Search for your family name and/or the photographer’s name in your computer’s download history.
  3. Do a hard drive search for the image file names delineated in your order confirmation.
  4. Search your entire computer by date and review all files dated within a few weeks of the date of your photo shoot.

If you have tried all of these steps, and cannot find your photos, click here to initiate a retrieval request.


Support Hours

I check email and text messages at least once a day, Tuesday-Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Due to the highly creative nature of my work, I reserve 40 hours maximum per week to be available for logistics. The remainder of my time is spent filling my creative well (see my blog!) and rejuvenating so that I am at my best when it comes time to perform at a photo shoot.

If you would like to discuss something, please drop me a line so we can set up an appointment that’s convenient for both of us. Please list 2-3 times you have available within the hours listed above.

If you have a shoot coming up, please be sure to send me any questions at least 48 hours in advance of your session. I do not check messages the evening before a shoot so that I am in the best mindset to create art.

My business is closed for all major U.S. holidays, and for two weeks at Christmas. Please be sure to check with me about the holiday gift delivery cutoff date – it usually falls on or before December 12.


Can I get more time to view my online gallery?

Your session price includes 7 days of online proofing.

If you know you will be traveling or need to schedule these 7 days of proofing for any reason, you may schedule the specific dates you’d like to proof in advance by sending me an email on or before your photo shoot date. Your gallery will then be online during the 7 days you specify at no additional charge.

If your proofing period ends and you need more time, you may purchase an additional 10 days of online gallery time for $35.00. Click here to request your extension.

What should I expect during the proofing process?

Your email notification will appear in your inbox approximately 7-10 business days after your photo shoot. The proofing gallery link in that email will be active for 7 days, so be sure to mark your calendars for this period of time.

During proofing, you’ll have the opportunity to order gorgeous custom prints for your walls, desks, and to give as gifts. I can help you select and organize a unique collection for an album or a matted print box. You’ll get to fully experience the fine art photography approach when you have these beautiful objects in your hands. Start picturing it! Then, we’ll get started on bringing it to life.

Your email notification will include lots of helpful details for the process of image selection and requesting a retouching estimate. It will also have an invitation to schedule a Skype call with me to finalize your order.

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.

What about social sharing?

When Client obtains prints or digital files, these items are for personal use only, and shall not sell said prints or authorize any reproductions thereof by parties other than the Photographer. Clients cannot crop, edit, or change images in any way. Digital images purchased without watermarks may be shared in personal public forms such as client’s self-owned social media channels ONLY when an adjacent photo credit to “Sarah Sloboda Photography” appears in the caption, and Sarah Sloboda’s corresponding social media account is tagged. Any image shared without proper photo credit is considered illegal usage, and is subject to damages and removal.

You do not have permission to save, use or share any unpurchased images, so be sure to order digitals all of the ones you would like.

Session packages reflect a discount for permitting Sarah Sloboda to use your images for promotional purposes. If you should wish to opt out of this usage, you can do so by paying an additional fee, thereby foregoing the discount. Please inquire about privacy needs as soon as you book your session.

How do we order Christmas / holiday cards?

I will provide you with a selection from my own lab (the richest, highest quality printing I can find!) to consider for your holiday card printing. You are also welcome to use your purchased high-res digital photos at the card service provider of your choice.*

Pro tip: 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.

*Each site will have its own system for uploading your photo(s) and designing cards. I am unable to offer tech support when using any outside card service. You will need to contact the service provider directly if you have any issues uploading your images or placing your order.

What are my options for prints?

Individual 5×7 prints start at $35.00.

Matted print boxes, custom wall art, and more are available. Click here to view the brochure.

Clients typically spend $750.00-$2,000.00 to complete their photography order.

Fun Facts

How do you pronounce SLOBODA?

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

Will the photos be perfect?

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

As a well-versed photojournalist-style photographer, I embrace 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.

My style embraces a bit of blur, a bit of grain — images that reflect the imperfect way our minds record memories. Many of my 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.

What makes working with me different from other photographers?

I trained in proper old school photography. In other words, I learned to shoot on film, and to develop and print in the darkroom. That is how I learned color balance and contrast. I don’t have a set of presets I apply after the fact to create my aesthetic, rather the vibe of my work has been honed through many years of practice. And, my images are edited in accordance with the way they were shot, to bring out the best nuances from their potential — just like when I would use a negative in the darkroom to best interpret a print.

Because of my background with analog photography, I want you to end up with tangible prints to hold in your hands. I hope you’ll be wowed when you see your proofs on screen, but I know you won’t truly feel the magic of what we created together until you see the manifest object. I wish I could be there when you open the package and behold your custom prints. That is by far my favorite part of the process. I hope you’ll take a picture or a video and send it to me.

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. I work 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. I’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, I 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.

My photos contain joy, humor, honesty, optimism and a hint of the unexpected. Like a good foreign film, my best images are little bit surreal. I have traveled the globe on assignment, shooting documentary-style and making human psychology my visual study. My acclaimed portraits have appeared in magazines like Rangefinder, Daily Candy Kids, Citibabes and Disney’s Wondertime, amongst others. My series “Happiest Day in a Girl’s Life” received the prestigious Prix de la Photographie, Paris; 2nd place for portraiture.

I believe my best asset for photographing kids is my personality. I take delight in working with them, and they take notice. This translates wonderfully into finding the sense of childlike wonder in adults, as well. We’re here to make art, after all, and you’ll need to let your playful side come to the show. I want to help you feel comfortable with that. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make it feel easier.

The Week of Your Shoot

Special Requests

The week of your photo shoot is a great time to share with me any ideas you have for how you would like to use your photos.

Do you have a favorite frame that needs an updated shot?

Grandparents have a big anniversary coming up?

Need a surprise for your spouse?

Notice an empty spot on your wall that could use an art piece?

Emailing me your ideas in advance of the shoot can help me get inspired to create shots specifically to suit. So please do share your thoughts, even if they’re just loose ideas at this point!

Allow 48 Hours for Replies to Your Questions

If you have any questions about wardrobe or location, please be sure to email me no less than 48 hours in advance of your session so that I have time to reply.

Unfortunately, I am not able to respond to messages the night before a shoot. So that I am rested and ready for sessions, my communications are unplugged at 7 p.m.


I will begin checking the hourly forecast 48 hours in advance of your shoot. If the weather is looking iffy during your time slot, I will contact you with 2 contingency plan options. Either we will change the location, or shift the slot to a different time window on the same day or within one day’s time.

Please note: Unless it is likely to be down-pouring during your session time window, your session time will remain as planned. Overcast days are spectacular for portraits and colors. The hourly forecast becomes fairly accurate within 24 hours, so if we need to make a change, we can decide on it the day before.


Choosing Your Package

If you and your family would like some help deciding on the best package, establishing an aesthetic that incorporates all of your tastes, choosing a location, and/or a wall assessment for the prints we’ll make, you’ll want to book a Personal Curator appointment.

Or, if you’re pretty sure you know what you’d like, have a look through the package options here, and book online. Remember, we want to get some artistic shots you’ll be proud to have on your wall, so choose the session that best suits your personalities.

You can always email me with any questions.

Booking Your Session

Use the handy buttons throughout the site to view your package options and book online. If you have any questions, or if you don’t see the package you would like available for the date and time you prefer, please email me.


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

Confirming Your Appointment

Please double-check that you have clicked the link in your confirmation email and signed the contract for each member of your family. Parents must sign one on behalf of each child under 18.

Terms & Conditions

By participating in the photo shoot, you agree to the following Terms and Conditions:

  • Payment. The Client shall pay an initial payment to the Photographer to perform the services specified herein. The Client shall make the payment upon booking a session. The initial payment reserves the photographer’s time, and it is non-refundable. Photographer agrees to not advertise availability of this same time slot to any other potential clients. If Client cancels this shoot for any reason, the inital payment will not be returned the the client. Any remaining balance is due the day of the scheduled session. Any additional purchases such as digital images, prints, retouching, or other add-ons must be paid in advance before production will begin.
  • Rescheduling. Bookings are non-refundable. Requests for rescheduling are granted only at the photographer’s discretion.
  • Exclusive Photographer. Please only bring the people that will be photographed during the session. Client is not permitted to use their cell phone or other camera to obtain images during the photo shoot. This slows down the photographer’s work and violates the photographer’s right to take pictures. Client agrees to take responsibility for insisting that no person(s) get in the way of the Photographer or take pictures during the scheduled session.
  • Permissions. Client will obtain all permissions necessary for Photographer to photograph at the shoot. Photographer has no duty to obtain permission of locations to operate thereon. Client understands and agrees that any failure to obtain these permissions resulting in fines to photographer, or which prevent photographer from photographing the session is not the fault, liability, or responsibility of photographer.
  • No Eating. Providing snacks and meals to children should be done before your photo shoot to ensure the best cooperation. Photographer is not responsible for visible chewed food in mouths or distorted expressions in images due to children eating during the photo shoot.
  • Limitations. Photographer and Client agree that Photographer is under no obligation to capture any specific moment or pose or person(s) during the shoot. Photographer will strive to present photos in a workmanlike manner but is not required to cater to specific aesthetic preferences of Client. Images presented to the Client are the only images available.
  • Waiver. By participating in this session, Client hereby releases and holds harmless Sarah Sloboda (“Photographer”) from any and all claims and causes of action which may arise due to our participation in the photo session. Client agrees to hold Photographer harmless for any personal injury which may occur as the Client or anyone in their party poses or works with Photographer.
  • Work Product. Photographer will deliver online proofs within 30 business days. Client understands and agrees that proofs are the exclusive property of Photographer and Client has no right to these photos except for a license to review them, but not store the proofs. All photographic materials, including but not limited to digital files, proofs and prints, shall be the exclusive property of the Photographer.
  • Digital Downloads. Client understands and agrees that Photographer is not required to maintain copies of the photos from this shoot 7 days after the photos have been delivered to Client. Client is responsible for downloading and backing up their digital photo order in a timely manner. Digital image orders will be delivered via a link through Client’s email inbox. Client is responsible for clicking this link, downloading, and opening the ZIP file within 7 days. Photographer is not responsible for individual computer tech support. Client must familiarize themselves with how their computer handles the download of images. Image downloads expire in 7 days. If Client fails to download files within 7 days, additional fees will be due to reissue the files, if they are still available. Photographer makes every effort to back up the current year’s images until the end of the calendar year (December 31st), but there is no guarantee of retrieval after initial delivery.
  • Copyright and Reproductions. The Photographer shall own the copyright on all images. The Photographer shall make reproductions for the Client or for the Photographer’s portfolio, samples, self-promotions, entry in photographic contests or art exhibitions, editorial use, or for display within or on the outside of the Photographer’s studio.
  • Client’s Usage. When Client obtains prints or digital files, these items are for personal use only, and shall not sell said prints or authorize any reproductions thereof by parties other than the Photographer. Clients cannot crop, edit, or change images in any way. Digital images purchased without watermarks may be shared in personal public forms such as client’s self-owned social media channels ONLY when an adjacent photo credit to “Sarah Sloboda Photography” appears in the caption, and Sarah Sloboda’s corresponding social media account is tagged. Any image shared without proper photo credit is considered illegal usage, and is subject to damages and removal.
  • Failure to Perform. Photographer may sub-contract or assign this contract to any second-shooter, Photographer may assign any associated photographer to perform its duties under this contract. All photographers must be capable and competent to perform the services in a workmanlike manner.
  • If the Photographer cannot perform this Agreement due to a fire or other casualty, strike, act of God, or other cause beyond the control of the parties, or due to the Photographer’s illness, then the Photographer shall return the retainer to the Client but shall have no further liability with respect to the Agreement. This limitation on liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing, lost through camera or computer malfunction, lost in the mail, or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. In the event the Photographer fails to perform for any other reason, the Photographer shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the retail value of the Client’s order. Client agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Photographer for any liability, damage, or loss related to technological failure, including data loss.
  • Model Release. Client grants permission to Photographer and its assigns, licensees, and sublicensees, permission to use Client’s image or likeness in any and all forms of media for commercial purposes, advertising, trade, personal use, or any and all other uses. Therefore, Photographer may use Client’s likeness and image on Photographer’s website or other advertising. [Package rates reflect a courtesy discount for signing the model release. Should you require privacy, please email the photographer to arrange a custom quote and contract.]
  • Liability. Any loss or damage to the Photographer’s equipment (camera, lenses, flashes, lights, computer, backdrops, props, etc.) caused by the negligence or intent of the Client or a member of the Client’s party will be billed to the Client. The Client is liable and shall pay the Photographer immediately in order to repair or replace the lost or damaged equipment.
  • Miscellany. This Agreement incorporates the entire understanding of the parties. Any modifications of this Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Any waiver of a breach or default hereunder shall not be deemed a waiver of a subsequent breach or default of either the same provision or any other provision of this Agreement.
  • Sales are Final. Due to the artistic nature of custom portrait photography, all sales are final.


What to Wear

As soon as you book your session, you’ll want to download my What to Wear Guide. It includes a process you can follow that helps especially with getting kids to cooperate with wardrobe selection.