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Top 12 FAQs About the Over 40 Portrait Experience

The thought of an upcoming photo session can be nerve-wracking and bring up a ton of questions. Here's a list of the top 12 questions I get asked so you can start dreaming about what your shoot will be like at the studio.


What is the 40 Over 40 Portrait Experience?

This specifically focused portrait experience celebrates the strength, wisdom, and beauty of women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and up. I wanted to start a conversation about the beauty of aging, shift societal norms, and help women celebrate and fall in love with themselves as they enter the second act of their lives. Click HERE for full information.


I don’t look like the women on your website, is that ok?

Everyone deserves a beautiful portrait of themselves. No one walks into the studio looking like a million dollars. Even models in magazines look like hell with a pimple on their face when they first arrive for a fashion spread - this is where the magic starts!

Our photo sessions are all about you – supporting you to see yourself in a new way and learning to love who you are right now, at this moment in your life.


I often say, “photography is smoke and mirrors,” because so much goes into creating a beautiful image: Hair and makeup are essential to bringing out your best features. Even if you want a natural look, the studio lights will wash you out, so you will still get the full-on “no-makeup” look from our professional artists. Lighting, posing, and wardrobe all play important roles in how we create a special session to bring out your natural beauty and personality.


More than anything, a beautiful portrait is about connecting with the camera (that’s me!). It’s a collaboration between you and me. I will do my best to put you at ease, make you laugh and keep you focused!



What will I wear? How will I be photographed?

A few weeks before your photo shoot we will have a design and planning session via video call. This is when we will design a photo shoot just for you! We will discuss how you want to be represented in your images and what you will wear. I even have a Studio Guide to help you plan! In the meantime, think about how you might want to be photographed. Casual and playful? Soulful and vulnerable? All glammed up as a model for the day? A little bit sexy? Bring out your inner warrior or goddess in costume? Photographed with props or items that represent your life/work life? What does your legacy look like? Take the time to look through magazines or art books for images that resonate with you. Create a mood board to share with me during our consult. That helps me create images that you will love!


Are hair and makeup included?

Your session fee includes hair and makeup application by our professional, on-site artists. We offer an indulgent and pampering experience that is all about you! Our team will work with you for the look you want, whether natural or full-on glam! We recommend you plan a night out afterward because you are going to look gorgeous!




How many outfits should I bring?

We'll have a consultation before the shoot so I will know how you would love to be photographed and what styles resonate with you. I encourage you to bring any clothing or jewelry items that are sentimental and I will help you style them. We have some limited wardrobe and costume options available at the studio, which you are welcome to wear.


I’m freaking out! How can I calm my nerves?

Being nervous or anxious is normal – everyone is nervous before their shoot. Breathe, remember all the reasons that you wanted to have a photoshoot, and know that your day at the studio will be fun! We’ll listen to music and play dress up! Once you are in the studio I promise you will loosen up in no time. And, as I always say, being out of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.


Do you photoshop my images?

We offer professional retouching, but the goal is to make sure you look and feel like "you." I don't remove lines, but soften the shadows next to them and even out your skin tone. We can discuss the level of retouching you would prefer and I can show you examples. Part of the process of learning to love yourself is self-acceptance and seeing how beautiful you are, just the way you are. This also means NOT using photoshop as plastic surgery! If there is something about yourself you don’t like, that is okay! We are skilled at posing and lighting to make you look your absolute best and bring out your beautiful essence.



How long is the session?

Studio sessions are typically 4 hours, which includes 1.5 hours for makeup and hairstyling. This allows for up to four (4) outfit changes for different looks and expressions – let’s capture all the sides of YOU!


Will I have to sign a model release?

I ask all my clients to sign a model release so that their images can be used for promotional purposes of the studio on our website/social media or in the annual gala exhibit I have for my clients at the end of the year. If you would prefer to keep your images private, that's okay too!


Do you offer digitals?

Every image you purchase comes in both print and digital form. If you prefer only digital images, the price is the same.


Do you have payment plans?

We offer several payment options. Your session fee is due at the time of booking to guarantee your spot on our busy calendar. At your Reveal of Images appointment, a week after our session, you can choose from several of our image packages, each of which comes with specific display options which we will discuss to find what you love the most.


If you would like a payment plan, we offer in-house interest-free financing for 3 or 6 months. You will receive your images and package upon the final payment. If you don’t want to wait to get your images, we also offer Paypal Credit. If these options interest you, let me know at your consultation.



Where is your studio located and will it be sanitized?

Our studio is located in Watsonville, part of Santa Cruz County. To best serve you during post=pandemic times and keep everyone safe, all consultations, reveals, and sales appointments will be via Zoom video call, to lessen F2F meetings. The strictest sanitation measures are engaged at the studio and our whole team has been vaccinated/boosted. The makeup artist will be masked upon request during your makeover. Please have practiced social distancing and take care of yourself the week before your session so you feel great!


Want More Information About Our

Portrait Sessions?


Join our Facebook Community

Join our "Over 40 VIP Lounge with Jana" Facebook Group. The private group is focused on empowering women. We post session tips, sneak peeks after shoots, behind the scenes, countdown the 40 women of the year, and more. It's a super supportive group and we take pride in lifting and celebrating one another.



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