frequently asked questions

Q: “I love the style of photography that you capture - is there a name for that?”

A: I certainly have a style that is mine. I blend elements of candid, lifestyle, environmental and vintage photography. You may often hear the combination of these styles referred to as photojournalistic or documentary. When shooting, my goal is to tell a story through an image, an honest one. The story of you, not as an orchestrated and posed event. So you’ll see lots of images of folks acting natural and being themselves. My portraits are simple and void of heavy posing and props. Each photo should remind you of what happened in that moment, evoke a feeling or even reveal something you missed at first glance.

Zackariah Cole Photography

Q: "What is a typical portrait session like? What can I expect?"

A: I keep my portrait sessions laid back and as simple as possible. Approximately one hour before the session, I will scout the location. This includes scoping out places where we'll have good light, an interesting setting, easy access and creative angles.

Once you arrive, I like to take a few minutes to chat, answer any questions that may have popped up, and get to know you better.

I keep posing very simple and never ask you to smile. I aim for genuine and authentic expression. No need to worry about how to act or where to place your hands. Just be yourself.

Generally speaking, most folks are good with about 45 minutes of photographing and so that is typically what I plan for. We may run a little longer, but I like to play that by ear and judge how you are feeling.

Q: “I am extremely uncomfortable in front of the camera. Can you help?”

A: I completely appreciate being uncomfortable in front of the camera. Catering to this personality trait happens to be my forte. I am a grade A introvert with a keen sense of personal space and comfort zones. I have years of experience working with those who do not necessarily love the limelight. I am a quiet person myself with wallflower tendencies, but am very capable of finding beautiful, emotional, and authentic moments despite the uncertainty of the camera shy. You're in good hands.

Q: "Can I change my outfit during the session?"

A: Certainly. You may change as many times as you'd like. Please just plan ahead for a space to change and be mindful of your session time. Outfit changes break up the flow and cut into your limelight time, so consider keeping things simple like swapping accessories and tops or introducing a jacket.

Q: "Considering the sunlight, what time of day do you recommend that I have my photo taken?"

A: I can shoot at any time, so long as the sun is still above the horizon. The time of day that I would recommend for photographing a portrait widely depends on what type of photo we're taking, and what the desired look and feel is.

During sunrise and sunset, the light is generally warmer and diffuse. This works well for outdoor photos and can create a very soft and emotional look. Ideal sunrise/sunset light is not when the sun is on the horizon, but 1 - 2 hours beforehand. (check times here) This allows for a build up of warmer colored light and gives some wiggle room in case of weather and clouds.

During midday, the lightus generally cooler and hard-edged (contrasty). This works great for shooting indoors or in urban settings where the light can bounce off of buildings or the landscape to fill a room with light.

Typically, shoot time is determined by your schedule. And so it's often times best to choose a time of day first, and a location second. I'm more than happy to help you with this.

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Q: "In what location do you recommend that I have my portrait taken?"

A: Some folks have specific locations in mind, which is great, however, certain locales may offer more unique lighting, angles, or opportunities for creativity and so it is for this reason that we always recommend allowing for us to help you in choosing the best location. Public outdoor spaces work great, however, another unique option is to shoot in your home or work space. In this instance, we would plan for a time to photograph you doing what you do best - being you and doing the kind of things you enjoy doing. This could mean anything from making breakfast, to building a couch-fort, to simply lounging on the porch. Either way, I keep it simple and aim for authentic and real imagery. So long as there is a good natural light source (windows) I can make it happen.

Q: "Can we shoot in more than one location?"

A: I aim to keep my shoots as low-key and comfortable as possible so that they are as simple and enjoyable as a walk in the park - sometimes, quite literally. To do this, I include only one location in a simple portrait session. A single location helps create a more relaxed and natural shooting experience by not breaking the momentum to relocate or creating a strict schedule. A single location also allows me to use pre-shoot scout time most efficiently for a seamless shoot. If you'd like to add multiple locations, I can certainly customize your shoot to include the locations you have in mind. Let me know if you'd like to chat more about this.

Q: “It looks like it’s going to rain/snow/hail/flying-pigs during my portrait shoot. Should we reschedule my outdoor shoot?

A: Thanks so much for staying on top of the weather. Due to inconsistent and wildly inaccurate weather reports, I prefer to wait until the night before the shoot to make the final call on whether or not we need to reschedule. I am rarely scared off by light rain and snow unless it's a steady one. Overcast and/or dramatic skies actually add a lot of character to a photo.

If, by the night before our shoot, it looks like there is a 25% or more chance of rain or heavy snow during our scheduled timeframe, then we'd like to reschedule for a dryer, more sun-shiny, day. In the instance of inclement weather, rescheduling is free of charge.

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Q: “Can I bring props for my portrait session?”

A: It's great that you have ideas for your shoot and I do appreciate your desire for adding props. When it comes to bringing items along to an on-location photo session, I recommend keeping props to a select few that have the most meaning to you. This will ensure a nice blend of candid, natural style portraits as well as propped images.

Props that have to be carried around during a shoot can sometimes become a bit bulky and cumbersome. We recommend that if you do want to bring something, think small and portable so that it can be placed in a bag and carried with you. Accessories such as hats, scarves, and jackets do wonders.

Ultimately, I want to make sure that we get a good photo of you, just as you are, without any added prop-age. After all, you are the most important part of your photograph.

Q: “How long before I can see my photos?”

A: A large part of what makes my work unique is in how I process my images. I am a skilled retoucher and spend a considerable amount of time carefully processing and editing my images. My goal is to release your images into a private online gallery for personal viewing, no later than 1 week from your shoot date.

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Q: “Will I receive digital files? How will I receive them?”

A: Yes, you will. Once your images are ready for viewing, you'll be able to download all of your high resolution images right from within your gallery. The images will be zipped up into a single downloadable folder. Once downloaded and unzipped, your folder will hold all of your high resolution, watermark-free, digital JPEG image files.

Q: “How many (what number of) photos do I get?”

A: That number is very unpredictable. I do not limit how many photos I take nor do I limit how many I deliver. The number of photographs that I take depends on two major factors; How much time I am hired to be there (a simple portrait session is 1 hour), and how much freedom I'm given to explore creative opportunities. The more freedom I have and the more time I'm given, the higher the frequency and quality of images. I do not try to reach a certain number of photos, it's quality that I strive for rather than quantity. Typically, a "headshot" shoot produces 3 - 5 images, "simple artful portrait" shoot produces 10 - 12 images, and a "light & magic portraiture" shoot produces 30 - 35 images.  

Q: “What is the size of the digital files? How large of a picture can I print?”

A: Via my photo lab (which is also your online gallery), folks can order up to a 30 x 60 inch print. The files you receive will be the same high-resolution size made available to our print lab. So you're good to go for that big wall hanger. For best results, we recommend printing your files as you receive them in their full resolution size. If you need a print that is larger than 30x60, for a small fee, I have sophisticated software than can render images to billboard sizes.

Zackariah Cole Photography

Q: “What sort of touch-ups do you do? Tell me about your editing/color correcting/retouching process.”

A: Each and every one of your final images is processed and color corrected by hand to match my unique look and style. I believe in keeping my images as true and natural to life as possible and so I avoid making my images look overly retouched and photoshopped. Specific retouching requests (removal of distracting elements, enhancements, etc.) as well as my own special black and white film emulation is available upon request and charged per an hourly rate. Let me know if you have any questions or would like a quote.

Q: “Can I purchase prints from you? Are they included? What is the quality like?”

A: Yes! You may purchase prints. I do not include prints as part of my packages as I aim to keep prints completely a la carte. Once your session is complete, I deliver your images directly to you via a digital gallery where you may view, share, and even order prints directly from within the gallery. Here are just a few of the print sizes that I offer and their pricing. Tax and shipping are extra.

   4x6 // $4.49

   8x12 // $8.25

   12x18 // $11.95

   20x30 // $32.24

   30x40 // $51.50

   Wallets (x8) // $6.99

Q: "Am I required to print through you?"

A: Nope. The gallery service I provide can be used to view, share, and also print your images, however, you are not limited to using my printing service. You may download your images files and print them wherever you'd like.

Q: “Do you offer online proofing so that my friends and family may buy prints without going through me?”

A: Yes. I do. Once images are completed, they are uploaded to your very own personal online gallery. We then email you your own personal link where you can view, share, mark your favorites, and even order prints directly from the website. You will also receive a guest gallery link to hand out to friends and family. They may view, share and order prints through the very same gallery. Prints may be purchased via credit card and are shipped right to your door.

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Q: “What is your travel policy?”

A: I very much so love to travel. It's in my blood and whenever possible I enjoy seeing more of the world. It's for this reason that we try our best to make travel as simple as possible. My local travel policy is this: There is a 25 mile radius base fee built into the simple portrait session package. Beyond that, I calculate a fee per your location.

Q: “Do you offer a payment plan?”

A: I don’t offer a payment plan per se. I aim to keep payments as simple as possible. I do this by requiring ⅓ of your total package at the time of booking plus the cost of any travel. From the time of booking, you may make additional payments at any time, and for any amount that you would like. Your remaining balance just needs to be paid in full 48 hours before the day of your session. Easy peasy.

Q: “Do you deliver every image you shoot?”

A: No, I do not. I eliminate duplicate images, test shots, missed focused shots, shots with bad expressions and other images that may dilute the overall product delivery. For example, because I shoot with low apertures (soft focus), sometimes I take a few extra shots to make sure I have the perfect focus. I don’t expect you to have the expertise or time to zoom into each image to select the one with the sharpest focus or best composition, so I spend hours doing that on my end. In another example, candid laughs and emotional tears make for some great images. Unfortunately, they can also yield some unflattering facial expressions. I might snap a few extras of any of these moments to make sure we have a great shot with the ideal expression for the moment. With my experience in processing thousands of images, each year, I may eliminate ones that I feel are duplicates and only deliver the best one.

Q: “I need to cancel/reschedule. Is there a cancellation policy?”



   - If you should need to reschedule 72 hours (or more) before the shoot,  there is no fee.

   - If you should need to reschedule 72 hours (or less) before the shoot,  there is a $50 rescheduling fee to cover my time, travel arrangements, and rescheduling.


   - If you should need to cancel 72 hours (or more) before the shoot,  the session fee will be refunded, minus a $50 fee to cover my time, and travel arrangements. 

   - If you should need to cancel 72 hours (or less) before the shoot,  50% of the session fee will be refunded.

* If rescheduling or canceling, you must notify us in writing (via email).

Let's talk.


Text/Phone: 347.860.9225

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