Sue Choi Photography | FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What sets you apart from other photographers?

As a neuroscientist, I have years of experience photographing experiments using sophisticated microscope systems I helped build.  So I have a unique in-depth understanding of science of light & optics which is invaluable to me as a people photographer now.  I also developed an efficient techniques to get the shots that are accurate, beautiful & useful each time I'm behind a camera.  

As an on-location family & events photographer, I am versatile.  I can adapt to any setting and deliver a set of top notch photographs from a teeny condo, a sunny park during a heat wave, a basement party hall, a cheery children's play space, a museum, and so on.  I can do this from having experience shooting at different venues.  I have an arsenal of top quality camera gear that help me to capture the best of my clients during any photo shoot.  

As a classroom photographer in my children's preschool & elementary school for six years, I am great at navigating a room full of children and chaos to capture the special moments of the event.  I have a great eye for color, form, composition and overall harmony of a photograph from having painted watercolor all my life.  As a mom of two young children, I am warm, easy to connect and work with.  

 

 

What's your approach to an event photo shoot?

My clients hire me when they are celebrating something special.  I feel incredibly privileged to be invited to be part of that.  My job is to tell a story through photographs of that celebration so my clients can remember just how special it was.  Of course, I make sure to get all the important people, such as the birthday child, immediate family, best friends, the visiting grandparents and so on.  But I also capture the atmosphere of the party by getting candid shots throughout the event of the people interacting with one another & enjoying the party.  I LOVE all the thoughts and energy that goes into planning events!  So I always get shots of the details - themed decorations, the venue, THE cake, entertainment, the new pair of shoes... you get the idea.  For events, I learned to be visible to get the important shots and also be invisible to grab those precious candid moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's your approach to a family portrait photo shoot?

I carry the same attitude toward my family portraiture as I do celebrations.  I'm there to tell a story of your life in the moment.  I am incredibly lucky to be a on location photographer in the gorgeous San Francisco Bay Area.  I have a huge list of amazing photo shoot locations to share with my clients.  But the most important element of family portraits is the family!  The beautiful backdrop is there to get everyone excited and show a little bit more of who they are.  It is there to complement your family.  (Well, I guess this is why I'm not a landscape photographer, ha!)  The best family photos, especially with little ones, come out when everyone is in their elements, feel comfortable, happy, and relaxed.    For family portraits, I keep a balance between suggesting great poses to highlight each family member and catching the spontaneous moments of love between them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What should we wear?

I have to tell you I've read some really long and complicated rules about what to wear to a family portrait session from other photographers, anything from banning certain colors to suggesting certain retailers to shop from!  Well, you won't get those from me! How I think about it is, ask yourself, how would you like your family to look on your wall or on a holiday card?  Something a little formal, preppy, or casual?  My suggestion is to wear what makes you feel & look great but stay true to who you are.  Most families choose to wear outfits that complement or coordinate between members and that approach tends to work quite well.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you edit our photographs?

YES!  All photographs undergo basic touching up to make sure it looks the best it can when I present them to you in your online gallery.  All purchased photographs may undergo additional editing.  Here is one example where baby's drool was removed per client's request.  I personally love drooly baby photos but he does look quite handsome all cleaned up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do we get high resolution photographs?

YES!  I love saying "yes" to my clients!  All digital photographs you purchase, including the ones that come with your print purchase are full resolution.  I do not shrink file size to limit how big you can print your photograph.  You get the full resolution digital photographs!  In some cases I might crop the photograph resulting in a slightly smaller file size.  However, I am a firm believer in getting the composition right in camera in the first place.  Here is an example of how sharp my photographs are even when zoomed in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How far in advance should we book you?

Most clients book me 1-3 months prior to the session.  As a rule I only accept one photography session each weekend day to make sure I give my clients my full attention and energy.  So, please get in touch with me as soon as you know the date & time of your event to make sure I am available.  

 

Do you have back up gear?

Yes!  I usually use two cameras for the shoot plus a third one as a back up.  I might have 3-5 different lenses with me at a given event, giving me a variety of perspectives and feel & allowing me to realize my artistic vision during a photography session.  

 

Are you insured?

Yes!  I'm a professional photographer and as such I am licensed & fully insured for gear and liability.  If your organization or venue requires a Certificate of Insurance from me, please let me know I can provide one for our session.