For professional photos, some people enjoy the search for the perfect photographer, the creation of Pinterest mood boards, and the hunt for the ideal location. I, however, do not. Everything about booking photo shoots stresses me out, yet they are a necessary part of my existence as a small business owner and mom.
The taking-the-pictures session is not the hard part; my challenge is in sorting out pricing, finding the right fit, and nailing down a date and time. The logistics get tricky quickly: for example, if organizing a shoot for 20 people, but only 15 show up, does the price change? What if we take 200 photos and I don’t like a single one? What happens then???
I’ve often thought that if there was more of an a-la-carte photo service, I’d be game. Book a slot, whoever shows up gets some photos taken, and you pay for whatever photos you want to keep. Done.
Enter Shoott, a new-to-Portland photography service. Their system is simple:
- Book a 30-minute session. Plenty of dates and times are available at locations throughout the Portland area; Shoott sets you up with a photographer.
- Meet and take your photos. Shoott does essentially any style: maternity, business, family, you name it. If you need something other than the dates and locations offered, you can make a custom request which is charged at an hourly rate.
- Receive a link to an online gallery of 40+ photos within 3-5 business days.
- Pay only for the photos you love! Current pricing is $15 per photo, though discounted rates start kicking if you purchase ten or more.
30 Minutes in the Pearl
Intrigued, when Shoott reached out to see if Portland Mom Collective would like to try out their service, we booked a Sunday afternoon session at Tanner Springs Park in the Pearl.
Sign-up was simple; it took maaaaaybe three minutes. The online calendar displayed availability at seven different locations, from Lake Oswego to Camas, and a few central Portland options. Booking headshots for our group, Shoott said to plan on allowing 5 minutes per person.
The day before the session, Shoott sent a text message with details on meeting location (down the the specific corner) and the photographer’s name, with a reminder about the booked date and time.
Upon arrival, there was no question about where the meeting point was and our photographer, Fernando, was even a few minutes early. Enthusiastic and friendly, he introduced himself and got to work straight away.
Though Fernando had been told we were focused on headshots at the outset, contributor Karen brought her children along, and we had less people make it than expected to the shoot. This ended up being a happy accident, as it were. It gave us the opportunity to switch gears to a mini-family shoot partway through the session, since we had a bit of extra time and two willing models. Fernando effortlessly adapted to the modified shoot; he eventually had the kids doing superhero poses and demonstrating their incredible jump skills (see above!).
It’s worth noting that Shoott currently plans on having all sessions outdoors, rain or shine. Fernando wore a mask throughout the session, and removing masks for those getting photos was optional. Thanks to the magic of zoom lenses and typical photographer positioning in photo sessions anyway, maintaining COVID safety precautions was essentially built-in to the process, making it feel very safe to remove one’s mask for the limited window.
Pay for What You Like
A few days later, a link to the Shoott gallery arrived in my inbox. It was simple to forward onward to those photographed so that favorites could be selected, then added to the cart. From there, online payment is fast and the pictures arrive in a zip file (watermark removed) within minutes! Totally seamless.
It’s so simple, and a quick, cost-effective way to do a professional photos shoot without any hassle. In anticipation of fall photos, Shoott is offering a special promotion to Portland Mom Collective readers for 10% off a purchase of 5+ photos. Use code: PORTLANDMOM (easy, right??!) at sign-up!