faq

Why Soben Studios? Experience matters. Whether you are considering a newborn photography session, or a portrait sitting for the entire family, rest assured that all of us at Soben Studios are trained and knowledgeable. We know how to create beautiful, flattering images. We are experts at using light and subtle poses that result in joyful, honest, and beautiful images you will cherish for a lifetime.


For All Sessions

WHEN DO WE GET TO SEE THE IMAGES? Images will be ready within 3 weeks of your session date. We will contact you to set up a convenient time for your ordering session and online preview. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD IS SICK THE DAY OF THE SESSION? Kids get sick, and the unforeseen happens. If you think your child is feeling under the weather, please let us know at the first signs of illness. We will likely reschedule - our sessions should be full of fun, and a sick child wont enjoy the session nor will we be able to capture their true spirit.

DOES THE CREATIVE FEE INCLUDE A DISC OF IMAGES? Creative fees cover the time, talent and vision of Soben Studios, beautiful editing of your images and a private online viewing gallery to share with family and friends. Your creative fee does not include any images, either digital or printed; these are purchased separately. The creative fee covers the countless hours of behind-the-scenes retouching all images undergo before you ever see them. Soben Studios' signature style is the product of an exacting, artistic editing process which optimizes the beauty of your images. 

WHAT IS AN ARCHIVAL GRADE HANDMADE ALBUM? Photographs are meant to be printed. There is nothing quite like an exquisitely designed, handcrafted photo album to display and preserve your images in a way that everyone can hold and enjoy. Although online galleries and digital image displays are becoming an increasingly popular, inexpensive way to display photographs, there is still nothing like a physical photo album. Albums aren’t just galleries either; they’re books which tell the story of you and your family. Well-designed albums inspire and elicit a wide range of emotions in incredible detail and brilliant color. Many photographers will spend hours or even days to craft a design that shows off your images as individual works of art. Albums are well worth the investment - they will last a lifetime and make your images accessible to anyone, anytime!

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND THAT I PRINT MY PORTRAIT ART THROUGH YOU RATHER THAN A CONSUMER LAB? The most important reason we recommend you do your printing with us is to be sure you print your images! Our surveys show that most clients never get around to printing their images, and the disc just lives in their desk drawer. We want you to enjoy your images daily. Beyond actually printing of the images, we want the images to be consist. Printing is an art in itself, and to be sure your images are accurately represented we strongly recommend our professional labs.  All of my equipment is carefully and regularly calibrated to my favorite labs to ensure the best color reproduction possible. Most consumer labs print in a hurry, with inaccurate or unexpected color results. They use inks that are not archival and will not last for generations. If you want prints, albums and art that you can pass down to your children, professional labs are the way to go. Most consumer print labs also do not offer the standards of color quality that professional labs do, and you may find yourself with prints that are muddy and awkwardly trimmed!

DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN? Laurie has both personal and professional experience working with children with special needs. Special needs photography takes a special person, one who understands how scary a camera can be, and how overstimulating studio lights are. Laurie knows how to capture your child's personality without begging them to look at the camera, and she appreciates the subtle nuance of an image in profile. When you book your session, please communicate any needs you or your family has, so that we can better prepare for our time together.

CAN I TAKE PICTURES WITH MY PHONE DURING THE SESSION? Maintaining a fluid and interactive connection with our subjects is critical. When other cameras are present - be it camera phones, still cameras or video recordings, the subject connection is lost. Subjects easily become confused as to where they should look. As much as we love our iPhones, all other cameras are forbidden at our sessions. Trust us, it is for the better. 

CAN WE SEE THE RAW, UNEDITED FILES? No, we do not ever provide our unedited or raw files, just as your favorite restaurant would not provide you the uncooked ingredients to your favorite dish. The raw captures are only one part of the magic that goes into your imagery, and we only present our the final art. 

DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?  Yes. We are also a members of several area Chambers of Commerce, the PPA, NAPCP, and other reputable Chicago area business groups. Further, we actively hold permits for all of our secured locations. 

WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE? I only use top of the line camera and computer equipment. My main camera is a Nikon d4. Lenses are situation dependent, but my most often used lenses are the Nikon 50 mm 1.4G, Nikon 105 mm f 2/8 (macro), Nikon 85 mm f 1.4G and the AF-Sf/2.8 70-200 mm ED VR II. Sometimes, I'll use my Lensbaby lenses. I've just begun to experiment with the Sigma ART series lenses as well. For underwater work, I use the EWA housing. I edit on an Apple MacPro using predominantly Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. All computer editing equipment is fully calibrated to our professional printing labs.

Just for Newborns

WHAT IS A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIALIST? As a mother of five, Laurie has extensive personal experience with newborns. As a newborn photographer, she not only has years of professional experience photographing newborns, but she has also trained with some of the nation’s most renowned newborn photography artists. We listen to baby’s cues, and we ALWAYS put safety first. We keep our studio very clean, and never schedule a session the day before a newborn session. This ensures that you are bringing your newborn to a germ free environment. We use hand sanitizer constantly, and most all of our fabrics are organic.  Laurie and Jennifer work together seamlessly during the session, and your baby is never left unattended. 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A TRAINED NEWBORN ASSISTANT DURING A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION, INSTEAD OF LETTING MOM OR DAD SPOT THE BABY? We believe that a trained assistant is an absolute must for safe newborn photography sessions. New parents are exhausted, and many brand new parents are still learning about their baby’s reflexes and flinches. A trained assistant understands the nuances of posing, and can anticipate when or how a baby may reposition herself.  When you come to our studio, we want you to relax and enjoy yourselves - let us do the work. 

HOW DO I SCHEDULE A NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION? We recommend booking your session at least 2-4 months in advance of your due date. Once your little bundle of joy arrives, please contact us and let us know the good news. We will work closely with you or a family member to find a day and time that works for everyone. Though we capture babies at any age, newborn images are best captured within the first two weeks of life. As newborn sessions are so very special to us, we do try to schedule last minute sessions when possible, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. 

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND NEWBORN SESSIONS WITHIN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS? Babies sleep very deeply, and retain their in utero flexibility, for their first two weeks out of the womb. After approximately 14 days young, newborn acne and cradle cap can begin to develop. At about three weeks of age, babies tend to be much more awake, and for some, colic begins. We find that 6-12 days old is the optimal timeframe for newborn portraits that reflect baby’s gentle transition into her new world. Most newborn images captured after the first three weeks feature awake babies in swaddles. This is for baby’s safety, as their movements become more unpredictable and their sleep patterns have changed. Safety is our number one priority. Every baby is unique, and we handle premies differently, so if you have any questions or concerns please ask us directly. 

DO I NEED TO SUPPLY PROPS FOR THE SESSION? Newborns are beautiful just as they are, and our baby photography sessions are very natural with a delicate use of props. The props and items we use for sessions are full of texture, but are also simple and elegant. That said, I have a bit of a prop addiction, and we’ve curated quite the collection from designers all over the world- from hats to wraps, blankets to headbands, baskets to stools and everything in between. I love to create new items for our sessions, and many of our items are hand made by me. I like to use organic fabrics and materials whenever possible. However, if you have something specific in mind you are always welcome topersonalize your images with your own items.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT THE SESSION? When you arrive at our studio, you enter a place of peace and tranquility. We will prepare you with plenty of information ahead of your session so that the day of your appointment YOU can relax. Upon your arrival we will take baby’s clothing off, leaving on only a loose diaper and swaddle, while you feed her. During the feeding Jennifer and I will show you the items we’ve selected for your session, and ask for your input. Once baby is well fed, we will bring her into our camera room. The camera room is toasty warm, and white noise plays along with our music.  Baby immediately feels womblike, and our session begins. 

CAN WE TAKE SIBLING OR FAMILY IMAGES AT OUR SESSION, TOO? Of course! However, please keep in mind that a calm atmosphere is optimal for your newborn photography session and we do not want to wake a sleeping newborn. Often it is helpful for Dad or grandma to take older siblings out after their camera moments.