Summer Brader Photography FAQ's

To help you best prepare before, during and after your session, I have compiled my most frequently asked questions here.


How do I reserve you for a session?

Contact me through my contact page to select the session that fits your needs best. As soon as we have decided on a date and time for your event you can pay the required session retainer and you will be officially booked!

Do you have a session retainer? How much is it and why do you require one?

For my sessions I do require a 50% retainer to hold your preferred time and date. The session retainer is due at the time of your booking. The remainder is due by two days before we meet. This way we don’t have to think about the remainder anymore and can fully concentrate on your session. The session retainer ensures that you are purchasing our time together and no one else can book me at for your session date/time.

What forms of payment do you accept?

For easy payment of your deposit and package I offer a comfortable online payment option. All major credit and debit cards are accepted.

If I cancel my session do I get my retainer back?
In case you cancel you will not receive your retainer back. This covers any loss in the form of lost bookings and eventual cost already arisen before the actual session. However, I understand that unforeseen events can happen, so I do try to work on alternatives if possible – e.g. find a new date for a session.

Do you charge for travel?

I want to keep it simple for you, so for most sessions there are no travel fees. A travel fee of $35 is required for anything more than a 15 mile radius outside the zip code of 60516, up to 30 miles. Anything over 31 miles is the mileage times 1.3 for travel fee. I will make sure that in case there would be costs due to traveling, that I point it out right away so you consider it in your budgeting.

Do you travel to clients' location?

I do! I normally hold my sessions outdoors at a mutually agreed upon location, my studio in Downers Grove or your home. See travel fees above for more information.

Are there any additional costs that might occur?

My packages come with digital files in your gallery via digital download, so in this case there is no additional cost after the payment of the package. If you choose you can select a la cart or print collections afterward and the final cost will depend on your selection.

Do you have liability insurance?

OF COURSE! Yes I do! If your location requires special permits I am happy to provide any details they need to them. Just let me know.


How do you describe your shooting style?

I love candid moments and real emotions between the wonderful people I get to photograph. In my sessions I focus on your interactions and try to give you as much space as possible, but of course also guide you if necessary. Standing in front of the camera is not an everyday occurrence, so I want you to be as comfortable as possible.

What type of equipment do you use and what if you have tech difficulties at time of my session?

I shoot with all professional grade Canon equipment, including full frame cameras, prime lenses as well as external lighting {if needed, I much prefer natural light}. I always make sure to bring backup equipment in case something should not work as expected. If you are interested in more details let me know, but I recommend that you look at my work and see if you like the results.

Do you provide RAW files after the session?

You will be provided with edited images only. Each picture is carefully handled and will be a representation of my work. Be sure to look at my portfolio and that my work and style is a good match for you. It’s so important to me that you only receive beautifully-toned, print-ready photographs! For this reason, I never release my RAW files. Every photograph you receive is a finished product, ready for display!

Do I get all the images you take?

I go thoroughly through all the images I take during a session and will take out the obviously unusable ones in a first step. I also reduce the amount of duplicates so you can enjoy only the best of the best images. With each package I guarantee a certain amount of images, but in the end you will get all the images which make it into the final collection.

What rights do I have to the digital files from my session?

Your selected package includes digital files sent to you via digital download from your gallery, so you will receive reproduction rights to all your images. This gives you the right to reproduce the images for personal use, so you can use them for prints, sharing them on your social media, making canvases, etc. Commercial use is not allowed if not separately agreed on. The copyright of the images will stay with the photographer.


What locations do you shoot at?

I do outdoor photography sessions, indoor sessions, I love to explore cities, go on hikes with you and can shoot (almost) everywhere you might come up with. The best places are where you feel most comfortable so you enjoy the session as much as possible. I love to talk about your ideas so just shoot me a message and we can get into the details for the perfect location for your style.

What do I need to do to prepare for the session?

Good mood is the most important thing! Make sure you have enough time to prepare beforehand so you are not stressed, comfortable clothing fitting the season and be open to venture out, {maybe even a LITTLE dirty!} We can go through specific questions before your shoot so we can ensure you are well prepared.

Can you recreate this photo I found on Pinterest?

I would never try to copy another artist’s work, but thank you so much for sharing your inspiration! I’ll take all of your input into account as I approach your session!

My kids are insane and they won’t sit still for photos!

It’s okay if your kiddos are wiggly and wild! Laugh and smile and snuggle them close! Your favorite photographs will always be moments of joy and connection. No one likes photos of themselves scolding their kids, so just forget about making everything ‘perfect’, and enjoy the experience!

What happens if I am running late or vice versa? Does our shooting time get extended?

It is my practice to arrive early to my shoots, as I like to scope out the surroundings and get my creative mind going. If for some reason I am late I will do my best to extend the time or if the time is substantial and the shoot is unsuccessful I will refund part of the money if image count is not met. If a client is late I will do my best in the time that is remaining to get everything we need, but I do not extend the session time. My portrait sessions are long enough in duration with cushion to get the appropriate amount of images in the time frame available. I do this so people can be relaxed and happy during the session and don’t need to be stressed about the time.

What if it is raining during our outdoor session or there is no sunset or sun due to it being overcast?

In the case of rain or bad weather we will try to improvise! Sometimes that means finding shelter or finding another creative way to capture the moment. If the weather is potentially damaging to my equipment or very bad we will try our best to find alternative arrangement – e.g. reschedule your session to a mutually agreed upon date. Please note, that there are no refunds due to weather.

You’ll just Photoshop me, right?

My standard post-production can be seen on the images in my portfolio – beautiful skin tones and print-ready exposures! If you’d like more extensive retouching (for scars, more extreme skin blemishes, body reshaping, or adding/removing people/objects from a photograph), this can be discussed on a per-image basis, and is billed at rates beginning at $25 per image.


How soon after the session will my gallery be ready to view?

All sessions will be available within 5 days of your session, unless otherwise specified.

Do you offer online viewing?

Yes, all my packages come with an easy to access online gallery so you can view and share your images with friends and family. The gallery will be available for a two weeks after publication.

Do you backup my images? How can I be sure my images will not be lost?

In my editing process I ensure that I have multiple copies of your images at all times. I also store your images for a minimum of one year, but please make sure you store them in a safe place as well so you don’t lose them. Printing the final images is of course the best way to preserve them, but I also recommend multiple copies in safe places.

What if I lose my digital files, can I contact you to gain access to them again?

In the case that your digital files become damaged or lost, they can be restored after the initial two weeks at a $25 charge. However, I highly recommend that you make backups of your images so you preserve them.

What if I don’t like my pictures?

The photographs you see in my portfolio and in my sample galleries are indicative of the photographs you can expect from your own session. If you like what you’ve seen, I think you’ll be very happy with your pictures! However, if you’re feeling worried that we may not be a good fit, I certainly respect that! I’ll be happy to refer you to some other photographers if my work isn’t resonating with you the way I’d hoped it would. My number one goal is for you to be happy!

If you have any other questions or are not finding something you are looking for, feel free to contact me! I would love to help.