How Your Portrait Session Works

This should explain everything about your portrait session from start to finish. 


Planning What to Wear And Bring For Your Session:

We often recommend white or blue shirts with khaki pants or blue jeans. Feel free to bring props to make your images even more fun! Consider props such as signs, hats, sunglasses, and toys for kids such as buckets and shovels, etc…)

Always consider bringing the following items to your session:

  • Water for everyone
  • Towels to dry off your skin if people are sweating
  • Hair clips and or hairspray if it’s windy

Securing Your Date

  • To reserve your date you will need to contact us first, to check for availability.
  • In all cases we will need to know what state you live in so we know if we need to add NC state sales tax. We only are required to charge NC state sales tax if you are an NC resident.
  • If we are available, you will need to choose either our Silver or Gold package. In order to charge you the correct rate, we will need to know the number of people in your group (Kids count as people)
  • We will also need to know what town you are staying in, along with your email address and billing address.
  • Please also make sure to tell us if you are staying in a beachfront home or not. If you would like us to choose a location near you, make sure to let us know that also.
  • To pay your retainer, we can either send you an online invoice via PayPal or take your credit card information over the phone. Anyone can pay the retainer via PayPal even if you don’t have a PayPal account. You simply need to check out as a guest.
  • We will then process your retainer payment and send you our online contract via email within approximately 1 to 2 days.
  • Please make sure to fill out the online contract within 24 hours or as soon as possible. If your session is within a few days, please email us your location, so we know where to show up. When you fill out the online contract, you will need your OBX house address.
  • The online contract takes about 2 minutes to complete and should be filled out on a desktop computer and not a mobile device, if possible. Make sure every line has something filled in or it may not submit.
  • When you are finished filling out the contract, you will need to press the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page. You must get a message stating that we have successfully received the contract. If not, press the back button, correct any errors and make sure every line is filled in. If you are not sure about something on the contract form, just type something such as, “Not sure” so the contract form will submit. We can then contact you later to fill in the missing information.
  • If you are not able to fill out the online contract, we can bring one for you to fill out before we start.

That’s it. Your date is now secured. The only thing you need to do at this point is to text us when you arrive at the Outer Banks to let us know you arrived safely and confirm the following:

  • Your name.
  • Your OBX address and or the location of your session.
  • Your session date.
  • Your session time.
  • The number of people in your party.

Check-in is now complete. Hey, that was easy!


The Day of Your Session:

On the day of your session, we will call you if there are any weather issues between 12:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. that day unless there is a major weather event that needs to be addressed earlier in the week. 99% of all sessions each season usually work out. Sometimes we may call and ask to shoot the session a little earlier if possible in order to beat the rain.

Outer Banks Productions will arrive in your location a few minutes early and set up our gear in the parking area. We will then come to your door and go to the beach to check out your location. Sometimes we will also meet you on the beach if we have disused that previously. This is usually when we shoot your session at a public beach access such as Coquina Beach in Nags Head.

All sessions are either 1 hour or 1 & 1/2 hours. The number of people in the group and our package times work very well and have been adjusted over the years so don’t worry about time.

Your session will the typically start off with shots of your group along the dune line so the sun is behind you. Throughout the session we will take the following shots:

  • Shots of the whole group.
  • Shots of the smaller groups or families.
  • Shots of individuals and mixed groups such as grandparents with children, just the grandparents, just the parents, just the children etc.
  • Shots with the ocean in the background. As time allows, we will shoot as much of this again with the ocean in the background including the large group shot.
  • Candid shots and any requests for the remaining time.
  • Please note that we may choose to shoot everything in a different order depending on the weather, the lighting, and the location. 

In all cases, your final payment will be due after your session and before we leave. We will generally have an automatic emailed invoice sent to you the morning of your session but you can make your final payment by cash, check or a credit card form.


After the Session:

  • After your session, we will then go back to our office and backup your images
  • We will then start working on any previous clients images either later that evening or the next business day.
  • Please note that we edit everyone’s images in the order they are shot. Also, realize that we shoot over 100 sessions per year so we are always editing either family portraits or weddings up until the 2nd or third week of January.
  • When it’s time to edit your session, your images will be edited with great care, put online and shipped as soon as possible.
  • We will then email you a link to the online viewing within minutes of your images being put online. You can then share the link to whoever you wish. You may need to enter an email address to view your photos, for security reasons.
  • The disks or USB’s will then be sent in the mail within two days and the prints, if you purchased them, will be shipped directly to you from our lab.
  • Please only contact us to check your images if it’s been over 12 weeks, as this can slow down the whole process.
  • All images will be edited and posted as soon as possible.

That’s it! Your session with us will now be complete. We ask that you contact us for enlargements, albums and holiday cards as soon as possible. If you have any special needs for images by a certain date, please contact us through our contact form.

*Don’t forget we give our returning customers 10% off for life since our rates tend to go up each season and also run huge sales in December and February! We look forward to working with you and “Capturing the moments forever!


Tips for your family portrait session

Click here to contact us and book your date!