As I write this, we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: a worldwide phenomenon that has made many things impossible, including in-person photo shoots. Since not being able to shoot weddings or other sessions, I have truly missed photographing people! So I decided to start offering FaceTime photo sessions.

What Is a FaceTime Photo Shoot?

It is like a regular photo shoot – only virtual! The photographer is on one end of a FaceTime call, and the subject is on the other.

The photographer will give direction and provide prompts for the subject as normal, but the subject will also have to move their phone around as directed.

They are super beneficial for a few reasons:

  1. You can participate from anywhere in the world!
  2. These shoots give the subjects a feel for what it is like working with the photographer during a real session.
  3. There are very minimal requirements to participate – see below!

What are the Technical + Space Requirements?

First and foremost: a good internet connection is vital so we can communicate efficiently! The subject should have a newer iPhone – I usually recommend an iPhone 7 or later. Both parties will need to have iOS 11 or later with Live Photos enabled. This is because the photographer will be taking photos through the live photo feature, not screenshots! The space the subject will be photographed in will need to have a substantial amount of natural light coming from a window or other source. Finally, the subject should also have a set of books or other surface to prop the phone against. Another option is to secure the phone to the ceiling with duct tape or command strips to get that overhead shot!

How Do They Work and What’s the Image Quality?

When I do these sessions, I usually begin by chatting with the couple or person and getting to know them a bit! This is what I do before regular sessions too, just so the subjects can feel as comfortable as possible. Then I will usually ask them to set the phone up in front of a light source but facing the subject so that they are evenly lit. Then depending on the light, we might play around with having the light to the right or the left so we can experiment with shadows. I’ll give all the direction so the subject can just focus on having fun with the shoot! The shoot usually takes around 20-30 minutes. 

How Do the Photos Look So Good?

Then it’s editing time! This is where the magic really happens. Obviously the images won’t be high-resolution. They won’t look nice in print, but they do display well online and on mobile devices once all the editing is done! I bring the images into Adobe Lightroom and apply white balance and contrast adjustments, as well as some clarity and sharpening. Occasionally I’ll actually add more grain to the image to really embrace the low-fi feel. I would definitely say that this is the main reason to have a professional photographer conduct these sessions. Besides having the correct editing software, there’s also an in-depth knowledge of editing required.

I’ll also take some of the final edits and create some images of the photos in a scene of some sort! These are taken by displaying the edited image on my iPhone and putting the phone is a scene on surface like a table or blanket, with objects like flowers or puzzle pieces, then taking a picture with my actual camera. This results in fun and creative images at a much higher quality. I like to include a few of these in my gallery deliveries in addition to the original photos!

How Do I Set Up a FaceTime Photo Shoot?

Does this sound fun? Fun, but maybe you’re still a bit unsure? Shoot me a message! We’ll chat some more and set up a time. At this point in time, payment is optional for these sessions. I’m just happy to have a creative outlet, to connect with others and to provide some photos we might not otherwise have been able to capture together! They are open to couples, individuals, and people with their pets! Check out some of my recent FaceTime photo sessions below!

FaceTime Session Client Review:

“I recently did a FaceTime photo shoot with Nina and it was amazing. She was so easy to work with and was so patient with my dogs and I. I could not be more happy with how all the photos came out and she had them edited and sent back to me in just a few days! I highly recommend her!” -Kaylee Sanders

Interested in a FaceTime shoot – or booking for an in-person shoot or wedding?

Nina Weinstein is a Massachusetts wedding photographer serving all of New England. She specializes in bold, romantic wedding photography as well as engagement and family sessions. She is currently booking for 2020 and 2021.