What is a studio session? 


A studio session takes place inside in a controlled environment. I host all of my studio portrait sessions at the Windsor Ballroom in Helena, MT. A studio is basically a space that is dedicated for the sole purpose of photography. Think of an empty room that I am able to decorate with props and backdrops to create a countless number of scenes for my clients. A studio session is much different than an in-home or lifestyle session.   


In the studio I am able to control the light, the temperature and all of the surroundings that are visible or not visible in the final images. With in-home and lifestyle sessions I am unable to or am limited in my control of the lighting, temperature and surroundings. I would never arrive at a client’s home and strip their rooms clean and set up my own scene. I work with what is there. 


Lifestyle sessions are similar but can take place in other indoor, public or private, locations, not just my client's home. For example, fresh 48 sessions can take place in a hospital or at home.  


During a studio portrait session, I use natural light (the sun), which I cannot control however, I can control how much light comes into the windows and where I place my clients. I turn all artificial light off so it is not competing with the natural light to avoid color casts. I make sure that the temperature in the room is comfortable for the type of portrait session I am doing. I always make it warmer for babies and young children, such as newborns, cake smashes, milk baths and so on. In the studio, I have 100% control on everything that is visible in the final images and everything that is not visible as well. By controlling the environment, I am able to create clean, non-distracting images that are consistent, bright, colorful and curated to make my clients the stars of their photos.  

What kind of portrait sessions can be done in the studio? 

The type of portrait sessions that I can do inside the studio is limitless. Everything from teeny babies to family reunion sessions. Some very common sessions that take place in the studio are newborn sessions, cake smashes and birthday sessions, milestone sessions, themed mini sessions (Mother's Day minis, flour minis, paint party minis, Christmas minis and more), childhood sessions, back to school sessions, headshots and the list goes on.  


During the winter the most common sessions that take place in the studio are newborn sessions, family sessions with families that have small children (because it's too cold out there), family reunion sessions with families that have senior family members (because it's too cold out there), cake smashes and birthday sessions, childhood and milestone sessions, maternity sessions, couple’s sessions and more.  


I can do just about any type of portrait session in the studio. Senior (high school) portraits, engagement sessions, sports team portraits (group and individual). The only limitation I have is space. So, if your session requires a hot air balloon, a classic car or something that is big with a wow factor, we would have to opt for an outdoor session. Other than that, I am able to accommodate families and teams of all sizes.  

What are the benefits of a studio portrait session? 

Studio portrait sessions offer a variety of priceless benefits. As I mentioned earlier, I am able to control the environment at about 98% which is a huge advantage. Lighting is one of the, if not the, most important aspects of how I get my bright, clean, colorful and non-distracting images. Being able to photograph my clients in natural light while avoiding direct, harsh light from the sun, I am able to avoid so many dark and distracting shadows that would take the quality of my images from 20 all the way down to around 9.  


Studio’s offer me the control of temperature. So, if I have a client who needs updated family portraits because they just welcomed a sweet baby into their family but its winter, I am able to provide a warm place to capture their family portraits where everyone is comfortable and warm. We get to skip the runny noses, red cheeks, unhappy kiddos (because no one wants to be outside in 10-degree weather to get their picture taken), rushed sessions, frozen body parts and so much more.   


Every studio session comes with a backdrop. Now this can be one from my current collection or one that I help you select. Either way, there is no fee. The backdrop of your choice is included with your session no matter what, even if I have to spend a day sending you options and fine tuning them until you find the one and then order it, there will never be a fee associated with your backdrop. There are limitless options when it comes to backdrops. Sound a little scary but I know how to minimize your options so they are not overwhelming while still providing you with a variety of options to choose from. If you love the outdoor vibe but need your session to take place inside, then I will help you find the perfect outdoor backdrop. Do you have an inspiration photo for your baby's cake smash? I will do my best to find that one or something very similar. 


I am also able to control the floor. Sounds a little weird but hear me out. Not every backdrop is going to look good or natural with a white floor. For example, if you're like me and you love the outdoors and decide to opt for an outdoor backdrop, carpet and hardwood floors just are not going to look natural. So instead, we would opt for something that you would find outside such as artificial grass. Or more simply, if you just don’t want a solid white floor for your session, I am able to offer different types of flooring looks until you find the one for your session.  


Combining a backdrop with the perfect floor allows me to create a seamless, clean, bright and beautiful scene for whatever type of session you are booked for. It also allows us to get creative with props; from benches to blankets, fresh flowers to balloons and so much more! 

What is included with a studio portrait session? 

My studio sessions include the backdrop of your choice paired with an all-white floor (shiny or matte), your choice of any props in my collection and of course the portrait session itself. 


The session investment includes everything that I mentioned above as well as a copy of my style guide, 1 on 1 outfit coordination and color pallet selection, 1 on 1 backdrop and flooring selection, a complimentary digital gallery (10 images for 30-minute sessions and 20 images for 60-minute sessions), unlimited downloads, a mobile gallery app for your phone, full printing rights and access to my professional print lab (linked directly to your gallery so no need to download then upload to another website like Costco or Walgreens). 

What do you need to bring to your studio portrait session? 

In most cases you will not need to bring anything, besides you and your session participants and lots of love. If you have any unique requests for props that I don’t have access to then you would be responsible for acquiring those and bringing them with you. If you have sentimental items, such as blankets, heirlooms, etc.) that you would like to include in your session, please bring them. If you would like to incorporate some fresh flowers or any wardrobe accessories or props, please bring those as well.  

I will provide almost everything you will need for your studio portrait session. Some things I do not provide include: 

Fresh flowers 

 wardrobe items 

furniture, flooring and props that are not already in my professional collection.  

Balloon arrangements such as arches and large bouquets (I do provide up to 10 balloons) 

How much does a studio session cost? 

I have two studio portrait session investments.  

My 30-minute studio portrait session investment starts at $166.00 

My 60-minute studio portrait session investment starts at $331.00 


I require a 50% non-refundable retainer that is due upon receipt of the contract and invoice. All final payments are due the day before your session but can be paid anytime between signing the contract and the actual due date. 


All of this is done digitally! There is no need to print, sign and upload the contract. My software allows you to simply click a button and sign the contract then it is automatically submitted back to me. It also allows you to pay with any major credit card securely. 

How do I book a studio portrait session? 

Booking your studio portrait session couldn’t be easier! All you have to do is fill out and submit the contact form at the bottom of this blog and I will get back to you as soon as I can with a questionnaire where you will be able to tell me all about your hopes and goals for your studio session, preferred dates and more. Once I receive the completed questionnaire, I will send you an email where we will discuss dates and times for your session. Once we select the date and start time of your session, I will email you a contract and non-refundable retainer invoice. As soon as both of those are sent back to me, your session will officially be booked!

When should you book your studio portrait session? 

I recommend booking your studio portrait session as soon as you can. Backdrops can take up to a month to arrive due to the care and detail my supplier puts into every order. Scheduling as soon as you can is the best advice I can give you even if you select a backdrop from my current collection. The earlier you book the more time you have to order outfits and props while giving yourself plenty of time to return/exchange anything that you need to.