The Process


Generally, what you get to see is the final product, but what you don’t see is all of the hours that go into making a custom portrait session happen.

I am going to walk you through our process using Blair and Sarah Kate’s sessions as an example!

9/21/18: Ellen, Blair and Sarah Kate’s mom, reached out to me to book a session.

9/25/18: Ellen came in for the initial consult. She told me about Blair and Sarah Kate, what they were interested in, and I showed her the products we offer.

October is the beginning of the Family Portrait busy season, so the session date was set for November! It is always a good idea to go ahead and get a date on the calendar, even if you need additional time to prepare for your session! We generally book about two months out!

11/2/18: I met with the Southerlands at their home for the style & wardrobe consult! The four of us sat at their kitchen table and had a brainstorming session to determine what the shoots would look like. We decided to do two different dates so that Sarah Kate and Blair would both have adequate time during their photoshoot. I always say that the sky’s the limit- Blair was the first to put that to the test! I knew it was going to take some creativity to bring his ideas to life… Sarah Kate’s ideas were just as big, although maybe not as abstract. We wanted their sessions to be cohesive, yet represent who they are as individuals. Ellen was prepared to go big to give her kids the sessions of their dreams!

Sarah Kate and Blair Dance

Sarah Kate’s session was scheduled for 11/20 and Blair’s Session was scheduled for 11/30. We had less than a month to start pulling together the details of the shoot. During the next few weeks, we were in touch with Blair and Sarah Kate via Instagram sending them inspiration images and honing in on what their shoot would look like. Sometimes we would send them ideas and they would tell us “no” and we’d be back to the drawing board. I can’t tell you how many calls and texts were exchanged between Shea and I as we worked to bring their visions to life in the studio. Shea made a floral headpiece for Sarah Kate’s fairy concept, I painted Sarah Kate’s pointe shoes red, and we continued to discuss Blair’s high-fashion, all-white concept. We played with themes of darkness and light, of finding your voice, and breaking down stereotypes.

11/20/18- Sarah Kate’s session was a dream! Shea found the PERFECT spot for her outdoor portraits which included a tree in full bloom with pink flowers. I am clearly not a botanist, but it seemed like a rare find to me- it was such a beautiful backdrop!

11/30/18- Blair’s session was also a dream! All I can say is magic happened on this day- there was a moment in the studio when Shea and I just knew that what we were doing was bigger than portraits.

The high-fashion concept took a bit longer than we thought it would, so we decided to extend the session to a second day.


I have NEVER experienced so much rain in Savannah in “winter.” Between the constant rain, and Blair’s involvement in holiday shows for dance, it felt like we were never going to find a date to finish the session. We squeezed him in the last working week of 2018- and we just had to make do with the puddles!

Blair Dance

After the sessions, the selected images went out to our retoucher and the ordering appointment was scheduled. The creative process was finished with an album designed especially for the Southerlands. I know they will cherish those images for a lifetime!

The process is long, the hours are countless, but we give each session all we’ve got. I have to say that my favorite part is the friendships that we developed with our clients.! It’s amazing how it feels to become part of a community, and the Savannah dance community has welcomed us with open arms. This is just the beginning of our journey and we can’t wait to keep bringing you our best!

Whitney CollinsComment