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LOOKING FOR ADVICE FOR A SUCCESSFUL PORTRAIT SESSION IN PRAGUE?
Step 1 - book your Prague photo shoot as soon as possible
Booking your Prague photo shoot with us is simple.
- browse our different photo galleries to ensure you understand and love our style and have a good idea what you can expect.
- check our availability for your preferred date(s) and starting time. Our calendar does fill up quickly and we operate on a first-come-first-served basis.
- as we believe in transparency and your peace of mind (and ours too) we do require a contract and a 50% retainer to guarantee your date & time.
- connect with us to discuss your session, your style, tastes, wishes, the timeline(s), meeting points, starting time, hours of coverage and how we work with your files.
Step 2 - prepare for your Prague photo shoot like a Pro - 'Truly successful photo shoots are those that have been prepared for'
The amount of fun captured in our images is really dependent on several things: how well you click with your photographer and how well you communicate your ideas and styles before the shoot. When you work with an experienced pro, your expectations should be quite high - after all, anyone can take a picture but to capture what you experienced in a beautiful, artistically created way takes vision, dedication and a real love for what we do. And no worries, if you feel like you need a bit of encouragement or some guidance - we can do that too.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR A PORTRAIT SESSION IN PRAGUE?
For truly beautiful images with very little worries about the weather the period from late March (this is when the Cherry Blossom trees start to bloom) through the end of autumn in early October is best. I am personally a big fan of September to early October as it is the most visually stunning time of the year - the fall foliage is at its most spectacular and a visit to a garden is a must. The bonus: shorter days with its late sunrises and early sunsets make for easier & faster paced sessions. Please note we are also booking many elopement weddings where couples chose to have a pre sunrise session so those dates do book up fast as well.
Sunrise photo sessions are truly the best way to experience this city without the many tourists cluttering up the background of your images. For many of our couples from Asia we actually will start their pre-wedding sessions 1-2 hours before sunrise to capture night motifs, the magical Blue Hour, the incredible sunrise (either from the riverside of on the Charles Bridge) as well as stunning panoramic images of the city from up high.
This is the time where the sun starts to peak above the skyline in the morning dawn or daybreak. The fall months are especially breathtaking as the warmth of the sun hitting the Vltava sends up a gorgeous mist that creates ethereal streaks of lights that simply can not be replicated in photoshop.
The benefits of having a sunrise session (or pre sunrise)
- the only time of day you can get photos at your favorite Prague location without the distraction of many tourists
- gorgeous sunrises and gorgeous Golden Light Hour conditions
- wonderful opportunity for creative lighting and modern & creative portraits
- more intimacy
- the drawbacks: getting up early - though not a problem for our couples from Asia who are still on their home time zones
Evening (twilight) photo session - or the Blue Hour
The period when the day is ending and the night is beginning.
- magical, beautiful, romantic & incredible are how couples view their images captured during this time period.
- with the softness of the light their is no harsh lighting to cause unwanted and unflattering shadows. An ideal time for creating luxurious (and lit) portraits that will impress and amaze with their rich colors
- we do recommend a timeline that provides you with an opportunity to have both daylight and night time photos with a 120 minute period.
- the drawbacks: time frames fill up quickly and bookings are limited. As we work with a lighting crew these images are more art directed since we are setting up lights and the pace is slower than a natural light session.
Evening (night time) photo sessions
- the time of day where the city feels most alive and fun
- intimacy in beautiful historic locations such as Prague Castle at night is something our clients still rave about many years later
- the best time for us to create truly unique and creative artistic and art directed portraits
- the later start times means it is easier to commission hair & makeup services and lighting crews
- the drawbacks: these time frames fill up very quickly as we do many split sessions so our bookings are quite limited. As we work with a lighting crew these images are more art directed since we are setting up lights and the pace is slower than a natural light session.
LOCATIONS & TIMELINES
You can chose the locations or we can simply create a route that takes in the most beautiful locations in the time allotted with your input in mind. As Prague is very busy with tourists I am also very happy to show you locations that only those of us who have been living here for a long time know. These locations are also quite beautiful and are close enough for us to maximize the amount of locations visited. Please note that we do not pause the sessions for new hair & makeup styles or simply to take breaks.
DO WE NEED A CAR TO GET AROUND?
If you wish to pay extra for a van to drive us around we can arrange that. Truth be told, Prague is such a small and compact city that you actually see and experience more as opposed to sitting in traffic which is quite bad here. We do not recommend having a car. The only exception is during our long winter themed sessions.
DO WE NEED TO ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION IF WE WISH TO GO OUTSIDE OF PRAGUE?
Yes, and no worries we can help arrange this on your behalf. Most day sessions are roughly 200 EUR and with a driver.
WHEN TO BOOK YOUR SESSION?
As the summer months are always in demand it is best to book your session as much in advance as possible.
WINTER THEMED PORTRAIT OR LIFESTYLE SESSIONS
For those couples wishing to have a dreamy winter themed session – the best months are December – February. Though we can not guaranteed full cooperation with the weather. Be warned that though these sessions are quite beautiful, the cold weather does slow us down considerably.
WHAT TO WEAR
Dark clothes are always a bad idea for night time shooting. Loud patterns are also not a good idea as they distract. As fashion is truly subjective it is up to you. For our ladies wearing high heel shoes in Prague can also be quite demanding so please keep that in mind as the cobblestones of the Charles Bridge have happily eaten up a Manolo Blahniks and lesser priced shoes. For our larger sessions it is best to take a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I not only work with certified hair & makeup artists who speak English fluently, but those who are wonderful people who care about their clients needs.
Eliska - email@example.com
Linda - info@lindathemakeupartist.
Mili - firstname.lastname@example.org
How does it work with the hair & makeup artists? Once you have finalized your date, you should contact them to discuss your hair & makeup needs. Photos of your outfits, your chosen hair styles are always helpful to provide them with valuable insights in to your styles and wishes. For those ladies who have skin issues, please mention this to your hair & makeup artist before you meet up so that you have the right makeup for your session.
Having beautiful, flawless images is key to a successful session. As such we believe that having a full-time hair & makeup artist attend to your needs during the entire session is important - though not a necessity. I
At the end of the day, the only thing you will have left are your photos. This is why we encourage our couples to invest a little bit more for peace of mind - after all you deserve the best!
Please note for our pre wedding packages where the hair & makeup artists is included in the package - they may have already been selected as part of your package due to their availability.
Personalizing your session to your needs is something we recommend and encourage. For some of our couples creating a unique and special motif (upon request) can be arranged with certain props and themes. As such we may be able to provide you with candles, lamps, champagne flutes, champagne, parasols and etc. Generally speaking we always encourage our clients to personalize their portrait session to their taste and style – after all it is your session. If you wish to discuss options more in details please speak with our team member with your ideas.
FLOWERS, BALLOONS & MUSICIANS
Do you wish to have a beautiful bouquet, or perhaps a string quartet or a more editorialized styled session complete with champagne, candles and etc? No worries, we can recommend talented and creative vendors who can assist in any way or you can hire one of our assistants to make the arrangements and pick everything up for you.
Where to stay to ensure a stress free session? Ideally you will wish to stay in Mala Strana (and very close to the Charles Bridge) as it is the center of where we will focus on. Please note there are some dodgy hotels that call themselves 'XXX Mala Strana' such as our favorite IBIS Mala Strana. This hotel is actually located in Andel and is not at all in Mala Strana.
Boat rentals, horse and carriage rides, as well as Old Timers (vintage cars) rentals, are always billed at cost. Many gardens do charge ‘wedding photography’ or ‘commercial photography’ admittance fees. Fees are anywhere from 20 - 40 EUR. We do have a new location (a very run down palace that is perfect for portrait sessions - the fee is 100 EUR9. Sadly Churches in Prague are no longer allow interior shooting. Special interior locations such as Chateau’s and castles can be arranged but again any fees must be covered by the clients. Typically shooting on the castle grounds is free but interior shooting is an extra fee.
Due to the high costs of the staff and the likelihood of us being booked the next day or possibly flying out the next day, we cannot guarantee a cancellation of the session for bad weather until the next day. We may pause the session (at our discretion) but additional fees for the crew must be discussed in advance. Or we can simply take use of some of Prague's most interesting interior spaces.
We require a signed contract and a 50% retainer to guarantee your date with us. The remaining fee(s) are due on the day of our before the session starts. Also, as we are a registered and licensed business we must issue you an official receipt (after completion of all of the services).
Complimentary consultation prior to your session. Due to the high volume that we experience at certain times and or our travel needs, a complimentary consultation may not be possible. In this case, we can and will arrange a Skype chat (or WhatsAp) to discuss everything online before your session. As our goal is to ensure that you enjoy your time and not be stressed over the details, our staff (Martina & Dorota) will ensure that everything is arranged in advance before your arrival.
Do you work with a lighting crew or assistants? Creating flawless, beautiful images is my priority. Having the right people who can handle any lighting situation and weather changes is very important. This is why I usually work with a lighting technician (some sessions we do not though). For many couples these sessions are an investment in not only time but considerable expenses so having a team who can provide professional and 1st class results is extremely important. Photographers who shoot only ‘natural light’ are either very talented and truly understand how to maximize the lighting in any situation or are simply photographers who are taking a short cut to maximize their profit and at your expense. Truly talented natural light photographers are highly sought after and as such they are expensive but they are not capable of crafting night time portraits – something which we specialize in. As a professional who has many years of experience I can provide both styles, but at the end of the day having an assistant who can create ethereal, dreamy & magical night time portraits is something that is not possible with natural light shooters.
Sometimes we are asked if we can provide a personal assistant to aid you during your session. Truth is having a large crew really stands out and attracts large crowds. However, if you wish to have a personal assistant to carry your items we can arrange this for an additional fee of 50 EUR as our team is not responsible for carrying your items during the session.
For our VIP clients who wish to have a personal assistant who can take you shopping and etc, we work with several lovely ladies who either manage or run their own wedding agencies who can be of tremendous help.
WHAT IS OUR BASIC RETOUCHING?
We have transitioned to Capture One Pro and are running 5K resolution monitors across our work stations. Capture One Pro is recognized by professional and studio photographers worldwide as the best photo editing software. However for most people the term photoshop covers the retouching and creation of the images. Our standard image creation consists of: overall color balance, density, contrast. Our proofs can take up to 2-3 weeks (high season) to create as we wish to provide you with an image that is nearly finished and not simply proofs (images taken straight out of the camera without any adjustment). We also edit our images to present to you only the best images and not many similar images.
Upon receiving your list of selected files we will then proceed with creating a more finished look incorporating skin retouching (within reason) fixing and or removing blemishes (within reason) skin lightening (upon request) eyes and teeth brightening as well as remove any issues that we feel detract from the overall beauty of your images. These issues can be wrinkles under the armpits,strap and dress marks, wrinkles on the neck and shadows under the eyes. Our overall goal is to create a more natural look to your images and as such we do not do heavy glamour retouching. For our clients from Asia who wish to have a Glamour Glow filter - please contact us for rates on this extra procedure.
Please note that we do not slim thighs, shoulders, arms and etc, nor do we remove people, objects and cars as this is very time consuming and we would need to bill accordingly for our retouchers services. Though in certain situation our retouchers may remove any issues that they feel detract from the overall beauty of the image – again this is at our retouchers discretion. Special requests will be considered but again as our retouchers time is valuable certain fees may apply.
HOW LONG BEFORE WE GET OUR FILES?
How long before we receive our images? Typically we need 4-6 weeks to edit your session as well as create the look and style. Once we receive your list of selected images we will need another 3-4 weeks to finish them. For our couples who need express service we can provide this for an additional fee – please contact our team member for the rate and availability. Please note that as we only wish to create polished beautiful images this does take time.
Sorry we do not shoot RAW files.
HOW MANY IMAGES DO YOU SHOOT DURING EACH HOUR?
Truth be told I am not interested in shooting heavy volumes, I am more interested in quality first. This can be at times 30-50 images per hour depending on the situation and how outgoing each couple are.
CAN YOU SHOOT VIDE OF US DURING THE PHOTO SESSION?
I am only focused on shooting stills and I do not have the professional software to edit, color correct and upload video. If you wish to have a video during your session we can get you in contact with very talented and native English speaking crews.
BOOK DESIGN AND IMAGE SELECTION
We believe in the more personalized approach and as such when it comes to creating a designer book we feel that you should chose the images for your book. Based on your suggestions we will create the first layout and send it to you for review. If you wish to substitute other images and or change the page locations you can as you will have up to 3 free revisions before additional design fees will incur.
We believe that as your session is an investment having a beautiful, hard back, leather designer book that showcases your artwork is very important. Our basic books have environmentally conscious faux leather (though you can also chose a linen style), real archival photo paper available in lustre or semi-matte and lay flat pages. These books are lovingly created and have always wowed our couples.
For our VIP couples, we can upgrade your book using what we feel are the worlds best wedding books: www.Queensberry.com as well as RedTreeAlbums please note that these books start out at 1200 EUR and go up to as much as 5500 EUR for the Musee Collection from Queensberry – and yes they are truly art pieces that stand out.
Routes, itineraries and additional information about your hair & makeup artist are not given out until we have received a signed contract and your deposit.
All prices quoted include applicable tax
*additional shipping and handling fees apply / overnight delivery may not be possible
What is the difference between a Pre Wedding Portrait Session
and an Engagement / Love Story Session?
Engagement photo sessions or commonly called E-Sessions or 'Love Story Sessions' focus on capturing each couples personalities and those moments they share as they explore this city in a natural, non art directed / posed way. There is also very little retouching done to the images. As these sessions are usually the two of you and your photographer, they are fast paced with minimal equipment and posing and are priced considerably lower.
Pre Wedding Portrait Sessions is an Asian concept that tends to be completely art directed / mini fashion / editorial shoots that usually have a lighting crew of 1-2 assistants, lots of lighting gear (soft boxes, beauty dishes, gelled lighting), extra camera gear (2-3 bodies, 6-8 lenses: fisheye, macro, zooms, & specialized lenses such as tilt-shift and 'bokeh monsters') and a full hair & makeup crew. Obviously with a crew and more equipment the prices are considerably higher to cover their costs. The images are also more polished (retouched) to a very high standard suitable for magazines and large format printing. And for the very high end of the market lots of photoshop effects are being added. These sessions are slower paced with lots of art directing and posing and on-location lighting set ups. At one time the style of Asian pre weddings was very stiff, and the stand in front of a famous location and look in to the camera was quite common (and still is in some parts) but now these pre wedding Asian sessions have become increasingly artistic oriented and each year the styles, dresses and locations are becoming more grandiose. As these sessions become increasingly more popular the western world is taking note and we are now seeing many clients from North America and Western Europe wishing to have the same style.
Though many of the images in my Pre Wedding Portrait portfolio look and feel 'natural', these sessions are almost always art directed where everything, hands, body position, lighting and composition are controlled to create the most pleasing look. Additionally as these sessions take more time to create in post processing - they are priced considerably higher. For couples who wish to have a very stylized session wether it is a 'pre-wedding' or a post wedding session (with your wedding outfits) or simply a very stylish magazine styled & editorial session the pre-wedding sessions are ideal.
A short list of some of our favorite gardens in Prague picture perfect locations for your portrait session
For many couples visiting Prague the first question they ask is where to go? Obviously the historic Charles Bridge, Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Square, Prague Castle and many places in and around the riverside in Mala Strana are gorgeous. But Prague also has stunning gardens that should also be considered for your session.
Here is a short list of some of our favorites:
Offering many levels overlooking Prague and Mala Strana below. This garden also has a wide array of architectural elements, gardens, fountains as well as a few hidden surprises.
- Picture perfect for adventurous couples who are not afraid of heights and are willing to spend at the very least 1 hour here
- the downside - it is an uphill and a steep walk
- should only be captured early in the day due to it's location
- admittance fee of 1000 CZK (40 EUR)
- no parking
Vrtba Garden / Vrtbovska Zahrada
One of the most charming Baroque gardens in Prague offering 3 levels of incredible views. This garden is very popular as a wedding venue as such it can be quite busy with tourists and weddings. However the views from this garden under Prague Castle are not only impressive, but are a must have for couples who are investing in their Prague pre wedding photo session. You can realistically spend 1 hour here and have a collection of portraits that you will be quite proud of.
- Picture perfect for adventurous couples who are not afraid of heights and are willing to spend at the very least 1 hour here
- the downside - it is an uphill and a steep walk
- should only be captured late in the day due to it's location
- perfect for capturing dramatic skyline images of Prague Castle and St. Nicholas Church
- admittance fee of 500 CZK (20 EUR)
- no parking
Without a doubt the most popular (with free entry) garden in Prague. The Castle Gardens are quite special in the amount of wonderful locations it offers. As it sits under the castle it offers stunning views of the city down below and in addition to the castle grounds it is a venue not to be missed. You can easily spend several hours here..
- picture perfect for views overlooking Prague
- many unique locations for picture taking
- free admittance
- the downside - is very busy with tourists
- waiting times can be up to 45 minutes just to enter the garden
- to really capture the many wonderful locations you would need to spend at least 1-2 hours here
Wallenstejn Garden & Palace
Another wonderful garden that offers beautiful landscaped grounds with a small lake, a stunning view looking up towards Prague Castle, and interesting architectural elements. Plus the many peacocks who call it home are always a hit with couples
- picture perfect for stunning architectural views of Prague
- ideal times late afternoon when the sun is behind the castle above
- several unique locations for picture taking
- free admittance
- the downside - extremely busy with tourists and concerts
Pruhonice Botanical Gardens
First thing to note this garden is not in Prague it is 30 minutes south of the city. However this impressive Botanical Garden features a stunning castle and is a truly remarkable place for those couples who are having a large package and are willing to travel outside of the city centre.
- picture perfect for capturing lush greenery with the castle and a lake as a backdrop
- unique locations for picture taking
- the downside - paid admittance
- traveling to and from is on avg 60 minutes
- to really capture this location you would need to spend at least 1 hour here
Questions about your session such as timelines, hair & makeup, location and etc? Please click on our FAQ page here.