FAQs

Where are you located?


I am in the east metro area of the Twin Cities, MN, serving Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and surrounding suburbs.




How much do you charge?


For pricing, please check out my investment page on the website! Payment plans can be set up if needed. Just reach out and we’ll chat!




How/when do I get to see my photos?


Proofs will be delivered to you via an online gallery 10-14 days after your shoot. This gallery is where you will make your selections for the digitals/prints/wall art you want to order. Galleries are live for 60 days.




Why do you want me to print through your professional lab?


I care about how your prints look. I pour my heart into editing each session and your photos deserve to be printed by a professional photo lab, by calibrated printers, on professional grade archival photo. I want them to look beautiful for you, and I cannot guarantee that they will if they are printed at Walmart, Costco, or other online print labs.




How do I book a shoot?


So easy! Simply contact me via the contact page on my website or shoot me an email at melissa@melissakayphotography.net. After we decide on a date, I’ll send you the link for the booking form and contract to fill out and return to hold your spot. A $100 retainer will also be due at that time. Your remaining balance will be due at your session.




What time of day do you shoot?


For outdoor shoots, sessions will be scheduled in the hour or so before sunset. This is known as the “golden hour”, when we get that soft, flattering light. Shooting in the middle of the day or the morning? Not ideal. I know keeping little kiddos up until golden hour can be challenging, especially in summer when we won’t want to start shooting until about 7:00, but please try to adjust their nap time accordingly. Rest assured that staying up late one night isn't the end of the world, especially when we’re having fun!

In studio shoots are available at any time of day.

Senior shoots are longer in length, so will start a bit earlier, and we will just hang out in the shadier spots until the sun is a bit lower in the sky.




How do you normally work?


I think that every single moment of our shoot has the potential to be the “perfect” picture. I love the candid, happy, in-between moments. While we always get some “everyone look at the camera and smile” shots, what I really strive for is capturing the true essence of your family. Be ready to tickle, hug, laugh, chuck your kid up in the air, play ring around the rosie, twirl, etc. The joy is in the everyday moments, and those moments are what I strive to capture for you. Life is not always perfect, but it's perfectly you at that moment.




How long are your shoots?


Family shoots are approximately an hour in length. With small kids involved, many times it doesn’t go that long, which is ok. Kids get bored and restless. If we make it 45-50 minutes and I wrap it up, you’ll still get as many photos in your gallery to choose from as you would from a 60 minute shoot. I work quickly with little ones and just trust in me that I know when I’ve captured all the shots that I need.

Senior shoots are up to two hours in length and up to two locations. Bring as many outfits as you want! We have a blast and time will fly! This is your time to have fun and let your true self shine through.




What do we wear?


It can be SO overwhelming to coordinate 3 or 4 or 7 outfits. A couple rules of thumb: Pick one or two main colors and two or three accent colors. Whomever is hardest to find clothes for has their outfit finalized first, then build from there. Keep it simple! Jeans, sundresses, boots, etc are easy and photograph well. Comfort is key! Can you sit on the ground in your skirt? (Especially important for little girls who have yet to grasp the concept of modesty ;)) Are the kids able to run around easily in their shoes? Avoid shirts with writing or large graphics, and extremely bright or neon colors close to the face as they can cause color casting which can be difficult to remove in post processing. Remember to dress from head to feet! No scuffed tennis shoes, Crocs, etc.

For senior shoots, same rules apply. Remember to plan your outfit from head to toe, but there will be many times if we’re shooting out in a field I’ll just have you go barefoot for a few shots as well. Girls, if you’re wearing a skirt or dress, make sure you can comfortably sit in it. Plan on nude colored undergarments and try them on with the outfit beforehand to make sure nothing shows through. Want to wear your prom dress one more time? Now’s your chance to do it.




I am SO worried my kid won’t cooperate. What do we do to get them to do what they’re supposed to?


The number one rule? Make sure the kids are having fun! Prepare them beforehand so they know what’s up. Please try not to threaten them to be on their best behavior (I’m a parent, I understand how easy that can be to do), as that can just cause stress and uncertainty. Bribery is great! However, please refrain from bringing any sweets to the shoot that are A) sticky or B) colorful. Cheerios, Kix, puffs, etc, work great. Moms! Need to have a glass of wine before the shoot to get a little less stressed? DO IT.

And the best part? You don't need to bother saying “That’s not your real smile! Show us your real smile!!” I know when I’m getting a fake, cheesy grin, and although I may be snapping away, I’m just trying to loosen up your kiddo. On that note, every time you instruct your child to say “CHEEEEEESE!!”, you owe me a dollar (Kidding!…..Maybe). Trust me on this. Sometimes it takes awhile for kids to give me real, genuine expressions. I’m patient.




How much fun will we have?


So. Much. Fun.