FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY LOREI PORTRAITS?
We create stunning and beautiful portraits that you will have on your walls for thirty years and beyond. Each portrait, large or small is a work of art. (You’ll hand these on to your grandchildren.)
What goes into a Lorei Portrait?
Twenty-eight years of love goes into a 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, framed, and backed in-house. Each image, large or small, is made with love.
Why should I book now?
There is no time like the present to a create a beautiful portrait. Children grow. People move. Life happens. If you want to create a portrait in the summer or fall, we recommend that you book as early as possible. Every single available evening of the summer gets booked--often months in advance, so too, with fall portraits. However, our studio is available year round to create stunning and beautiful portraits of you and your family.
Do you have a studio?
Yes. We have a magnificent studio perfect for individuals or groups (up to 15 or 20 or more). Studio sessions have an elegance and artistry that is unmatched. No need to worry about the weather or light, as we have complete control indoors and an impressive array of beautiful, hand-painted backgrounds. Studio sessions are perfect for families and individuals wanting timeless beauty, fine-art black & white, or our Bistro art paintings.
Where are you located?
We are conveniently located near the Millcreek Mall, half a block from Barnes & Noble. 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. Sunsets and Saturdays are considered Prime Time. They are very much in demand and get booked solid over the summer and fall. 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 June – August when school is out, and October, for fall colors. Families and high school seniors love the summer. The weather is great, the days are long and there is no school or sports to complicate things. The fall colors are quite popular—especially with families and children. The window of opportunity, however, is short, about 10 to 20 days, between October 10th to 30th. Since there are so few days and the weather is a bit changeable, the dates go very quickly.
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, all the steps to make a portrait perfect for you. We’ll review prices and answer all your questions. Besides that, we photograph friends better than strangers.
What is your session fee?
Our portrait artists are guilty of taking lots of images in a variety of poses, some more casual some more posed. It is a lot of fun. Studio sessions range from $65 - $200, location sessions range from $250 - $350 depending on date and time of day. (We often run specials on our studio and location sessions, be sure to ask.)
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. With that offer, small portraits start at 99 and wall portraits, with a complimentary frame, start at only 699. Retouching, mounting, glazing, and finishing are included.
What is the FREE Family Portrait Session savings about?
Family is very important. When you do your senior portraits with us, you are eligible for a FREE Family Portrait Session (a $250 value). Ask us for more details.
How do I get the images I want?
We photograph friends better than strangers. We invite you to our amazing studio to pore over the sample albums, to drink in the wall portraits, to describe what you would like, in short, to plan your session. This no-obligation design consultation, ensures the best results. Bring your hopes and ideas. Then, at your photo session, we will capture a variety of expressions and a variety of looks and poses. The number of outfits and the location(s) depend on the kind of session you choose. Some choose studio, some choose outdoor, some choose both. Most portrait sessions take an hour or more. High school seniors often include their interests and activities from sports to pets to musical instruments. If you have specific ideas or wants, please share them with us. More than anything, we want to make sure you get portraits you love.
When will I be able to see and order my portraits?
We invite you to return to the studio about 5-10 days after the session. You’ll not only see your images in a variety of poses, but we’ll walk you through your many options so you can make a comfortable, educated decision. The View & Order day is so helpful. See an approximation of your finished portraits, before ordering—including size and color—just like they will look on your wall. We will help you sort out your favorites, listen to your wants, steer you clear of unnecessary items, and custom design a portrait package that saves you money. Remember, you save 20% on your order when you order a collection of three or more individual portraits of any size. This helpful process allows you to note all the pros and cons of each image and find the best possible price for the images you want. Be sure to have all the decision makers at the presentation because you’ll be placing your order at this time. If a decision maker is unavailable, we may have to reschedule. Because of our very full schedule, we cannot always accommodate a second View & Order appointment.
Presentation & Order Day:
Be sure all decision makers are present as we have special offers for you that day only. (Besides that, it’s a good idea to have spouses together when making decisions.) We’ve set aside this appointment especially for you. If a key person can’t attend, please call as soon as possible to reschedule.
Take pictures of the wall(s) you are considering for your portrait art. (You will receive an email from Time Exposure on how to photograph them and where to send them.) Every client who has ever sent us room images has been thrilled. It makes decisions so much easier. You will see your portraits on your walls to size. It’s like virtual decorating.
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.
Placing Your Order:
When you place and finalize your order, we ask 50% down to get things started. Ask about our payment plans. Agonizing about your order is normal, 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. We understand the importance of why you’ve chosen us for your portraits. To ensure your portraits are amazing, each image is hand retouched and enhanced in meticulous detail before being printed in-house. Each portrait is checked by an artist and 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 we occasionally 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. We do, however, often include one or more social media images with you.
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. Some come complimentary, depending on your order.
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.
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 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 and naturalness 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?
About 90% of the time the weather cooperates, especially in the 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 or the value of your session. 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.
For a 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.
Dark clothing tends to slenderize. Longer sleeves also thin and flatter. For ladies, it is better to have an outfit with a waist.
For a 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.
For a 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 a 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 champaign or ivory.
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.
What do I wear?
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!