FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY LOREI PORTRAITS?
Experience the artistry. Experience the journey. Experience the fun. Of course we create stunning and beautiful portraits that you'll hang on your walls and never take down. But it is so much more than that. From planning your session to presenting your images to displaying your portraits, we make the journey a delight. Welcome.
What goes into a Lorei Portrait?
Over thirty years of love, sweat and tears goes into every Lorei Portrait. They are beautifully composed, magnificently lit, and exude warmth and timelessness. Every image is enhanced by an artist, custom-printed, mounted, stretched, glazed, and (often) framed. Each image, large or small, is a work of art.
Why should I book now?
Children grow up. We all get a little older. There is no time like the present to create a beautiful portrait. If you can get your family in the same zip code, or there is a date when they will all be in town, schedule now. Create the portrait you've always dreamed of. And, if you want a session in the summer or fall, we recommend that you book as early as possible. Every available evening of the summer gets booked--often months in advance, so too, with fall portraits. Not to worry, our studio is available year round to create stunning and beautiful portraits of you and your family.
Do you have a studio?
Oh my goodness do we have a studio. It is spacious and magnificent, perfect for groups large and small. We can accommodate families of 15 - 20. The real wonderfulness of the studio, however, is that you never have to worry about weather or light. We have complete control of both. What's more, we offer an impressive array of backgrounds and looks.
Where are you located?
We are conveniently located near the Millcreek Mall, near Barnes & Noble, just west of MattressFirm. Lorei Portraits 5938A Spires Drive Erie, PA 16509
Are you open on evenings or weekends?
While our office is open Monday through Friday, 9-5, some evenings and Saturdays are available by appointment.
Sunset and Saturday sessions from May through October are considered Prime Time. They are very much in demand and get booked solid for location sessions. Because the evening light is so beautiful and the dates are so limited, we ask for an additional $100 to schedule a Prime Time session.
What are your most popular times?
The two popular times of the year are summer and fall. Families and high school seniors love the summer. The weather is great, the days are long, the beach is beautiful. The fall colors are also quite popular. The window of opportunity, however, is short, about 20 days, October 10-30. Since there are so few fall days and the weather is changeable, the dates go very quickly. Be sure to schedule early.
How can I get the best results?
We recommend that you come in for a Design Consultation. It is a great opportunity for you to visit our studio and ask questions. We’ll look at samples, talk about clothing, location, style of portrait, decorating with portraits, investment, and how to get the best results. We’ll answer all your questions. Besides that, we photograph friends better than strangers.
What is your session fee?
A typical one hour studio session is $200, location sessions range from $250 - $350 depending on date and time of day. (See Investment) Destination sessions are available. We will travel just about anywhere, schedule permitting--ask for a quote.
How much are your portraits?
Every portrait that we create is individually hand-finished, individually art-worked. Each one, large or small, is a work of art. When you come in for your presentation & order day, you get 20% off when you order a collection of three or more portraits of any size. In a collection, small portraits start at $99 and wall portraits start at $799 and include a complimentary frame. Retouching, mounting, glazing, and finishing are included. (See Investment)
What do most families spend?
You may purchase whatever you like. Most families invest north of $1000. A typical range is $1500 to $4000.
How do I get great portraits.
Begin with the end in mind. What kind of portraits are you imagining? Who will be in the portraits? Were will you hang them? You are invited to our studio for a complimentary Consultation to pore over the sample albums, to drink in the wall portraits, and to plan your session. Your Consultation ensures the best results. Bring your hopes and ideas. Then, at your photo session, we capture a variety of poses and expressions with your dreams in mind. More than anything, we want to create the portraits you love.
When will I be able to see and order my portraits?
About a week after your session, you're invited back to the studio for your View & Order. At your View & Order, we will be reviewing your images and finalizing your order. Be sure to schedule a time when all the decision makers are there. If a decision maker is unavailable, we may have to reschedule.
You'll see your images on the big screen and have an opportunity to select your favorites. With our amazing software, you'll see your images on your walls--not too big, not too small, just right. And, we can put multiple portraits together and create wall displays. Remember, you save 20% on your View & Order day when you order a collection. A collection includes a wall portrait (16x20 or larger) and two or more additional portraits of any size.
Presentations typically last an hour or so. Please allow up to 90 minutes on your schedule to comfortably make decisions. Remember, these portraits will be on your walls for 30 years and beyond.
Can I see my portraits on my walls before I order?
Yes. Seeing your portraits on your walls in the correct size removes all the guesswork. It is virtual decorating and everyone loves it. In addition to seeing your portrait in the appropriate size, this software allows us to create wall displays with multiple portraits in various sizes. You can even see your portraits as wrapped canvases or with a frame.
Take pictures of the wall(s) you are considering for your portrait art. To do this, place an ordinary 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper on your wall(s). With cell phone in hand, step back so you can see a little of the floor and ceiling. Make sure you are perpendicular to the wall and your camera is straight. Take a picture with your cell phone. Email the images to firstname.lastname@example.org It is very simple, and takes about two minutes. (Most clients will also receive an email from Time Exposure explaining this step-by-step process.)
Placing Your Order:
When you place your order, you have three options: pay in full, put down 50%, or set up a payment plan. We want you to have the portraits you want--for the best value.
It is not unusual to agonize a little about your order, but if you’re truly freaking out, you have 2 days to make changes to your order. After 2 days, the processing has started, frames have been ordered and the order cannot be changed. To ensure your portraits are amazing, each image is enhanced and embellished by an artist with our almost-famous eleven step retouching. We bring out the best in you. We custom-print in-house. Each portrait is then lacquer-coated to ensure quality for generations to come. Typical orders take 6-8 weeks to complete. You will be notified by phone when your order is ready for pick up. Everything comes with our 100% Happiness Guarantee.
How much retouching and artwork will you do?
Our almost-famous eleven-step retouching process will take care of things like shine on the face, lines under the eyes, enhance the eyes, brighten the teeth, smooth the skin, fix backgrounds, tweak and tuck, and (judiciously) slenderize. We can’t do everything, but our artists are able to do a remarkable number of things. Be sure to ask.
Do you offer digital files?
We create finished portraits for your walls. Each portrait is individually retouched, custom printed and hand-finished. Everything that goes into a Lorei Portrait is designed to create a tangible work of art that will last for 30 years and beyond. To maintain the integrity of that art, we do not offer digital files. However, we often include one or more low-res digital images for social media with your order.
Do you offer social media images?
If you are looking for social media images to share on the computer, web, phone, etc., we can provide them with your order. Depending on your order, some are complimentary.
Do you archive your images?
Every image that you order from is both retouched and archived. Should you decide you need something in the future, we can make it. Images that are not ordered, are held for several months, then purged.
Can you help me pick a frame?
Yes. We have an impressive variety of frames to choose from. When selecting a frame, it is best to consider both the mood and color of the piece and where you would like your portraits displayed. We will help you pick the frame that is just right for you.
What if I want an outdoor location?
Awesome. From beach to backyard, from park to private paradise, the outdoors offers spectacular scenery and a natural look. Location portraits have a spontaneity, naturalness and grandeur that comes from the great outdoors. We create a variety of images, some more posed, others more candid. Anytime we go on location, our goal is to create portraits that are more scenic, perfect for wall portraits. We have photographed about everywhere in the region. If you are in need of location suggestions, we have some great ones.
What if it rains or the weather looks bad?
Over the summer and early fall, the weather cooperates about 90% of the time, especially in the early morning and evening. We track the weather constantly. If it looks like rain, please do not assume your session is cancelled. Call the studio or the photographer if you have any questions. Do not change your schedule until you receive confirmation from the studio. Keep in mind summer and autumn showers come and go quickly, some of the most beautiful portraits are right after a storm has passed. If your session is cancelled, we will get you re-scheduled as soon as possible.
Cancellation/Change Session POLICIES
Please give us a three-week notice if you need to change or cancel your location/weekend session. As we have a limited number of location/weekend dates over the summer and fall, it is important that you guard the date just like you would a family vacation. Summer league sports, summer jobs or not-having-your-clothing-ready are not an excuse for cancelling. Tell everyone in the portrait to guard the date. If you cancel less than three weeks before the session date, and we are unable to fill your original date, you will forfeit your reservation deposit, the value of your session, or (in some cases) the entire value of a certificate. Please be considerate. We have other families that want the location/weekend dates. If you have a genuine emergency, and cannot be at your session, please call the studio as soon as possible.
What tips can you give me for my hair, glasses or makeup?
Hair: If you get your hair cut, do it at least a week or two before your session. This will give it a chance to fill in or relax. Please don’t try a radically different haircut or style too close to your session. What if you don’t like it?
Makeup: Before your session, stand two feet in front of the mirror and dab a small amount of cover-up over any noticeable blemishes. The less you see in the mirror, the easier it is to smooth your skin in the finished portraits.
Eyeglasses: Some eyeglasses reflect light and cover the eyes. This is not retouchable. Consider borrowing a similar pair of empty frames from your optometrist, or, going without glasses.
Clothing: Classic Look
Start with solid colors and limit your palette to two or three colors. The goal of the clothing is to harmonize, to create a color theme, and to put the emphasis on your family’s faces. You may want to add a subtle splash of color with the children's outfits. For the adults, accessories like scarves, hats, jewelry, necklaces, etc. are encouraged. A layered look is always nice. For families and couples, avoid bold patterns and stripes. (See Color Guide)
Dark clothing tends to slenderize. Longer sleeves also thin and flatter. Bare arms often compete with faces for attention. If one's arms are not tone, consider long sleeves. For ladies, it is better to have an outfit with a waist.
Clothing: Natural Look in Studio and Woods
Sweaters, sport coats and other long-sleeve clothes along with layered tops add depth and dimension. Jeans and casual slacks are great because they allow for the opportunity to create portraits of the family sitting on the ground. For outdoor portraits, medium to deeper colors or jewel tones work better than pastels. Avoid bold patterns and stripes.
Clothing: Natural Look at the Beach
Dresses or skirts for ladies are always lovely. Long-sleeve dress shirts and long or short pants are good for men. Whites, tans and blues look great at the beach. (Some families have added a splash of pink or periwinkle.) Limit your color palette to two or three colors. For families and couples, avoid bold patterns and stripes.
Clothing: Formal Portrait
Start with a blend of rich, understated colors. Add a little dark-on-dark with accessories. Don't be afraid to spice it up with a subtle color splash, jewelry and flattering necklines. For darker tones, try black, charcoal, burgundy, navy, or jewel tones. For lighter tones, try champagne or ivory. For families and couples, avoid bold patterns and stripes.
Clothing: A Modest Proposal
Lay out everyone's clothing in the room where your portrait will live. Replace outfits and add accessories until you achieve a complimentary and exciting look for your room. Also, after laying out your clothing, take a quick snapshot with your cell phone. If you like what you see, share this information with other family members and use as a reference when shopping for the rest of the family.
Clothing for High School Seniors
Bring more clothes than you plan on wearing. Together, we will choose the outfits that flatter you and coordinate with our backgrounds. Include something formal, some everyday clothes and anything else you might want. Above all, bring two long sleeved solid shirts or sweaters: dark colors create a richer look.
Guys: For a traditional portrait, bring a suit or sport coat. Medium and dark colored sweaters or shirts also photograph well. For casual and outdoor photos, dress comfortably with jeans, sweaters, shorts, casual shirts.
Girls: Bring the colors and clothes you look and feel best in. Bring formal dresses, sweaters, or lace for the more traditional look. For casual and outdoor photos, dress comfortably with jeans or khaki. If you have favorite outfits, bring them.
What else can I bring?
Let your personality shine. Bring your favorite accessories, hat, musical instrument, pet, sunglasses, hobby, letter jacket or sports activity. When you bring extras, it makes your session unique. Use your imagination. It’s fun. Whatever you come up with, we will create something great for you!