Virtual FaceTime Shoots? Yes Please!

I am baffled by the creativity that has come out during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dance instructors are teaching live virtual classes, teachers are teaching online, you can shop without ever setting foot in a store, and photographers are creating images without ever seeing their subject in person.


I did a remote shoot in Sweden with Anna (check it out here!) and so many people were in love with the idea of shooting from home. The problem was that Anna had a pro camera and pro equipment that I was able to 'hack' into for a high-quality session - and not everyone has that. But, almost everyone does have a smart phone with a more than decent camera.


When I saw the first few FaceTime shoots go up on Instagram, I'll admit, I was skeptical. I thought that the quality would be so compromised that there would be no point in ever trying to advertise and sell sessions with quality so low that people couldn't even print their images. From there, a few photographers started trying new things with FaceTime shoots, like photographing the phone itself and therefore creating a higher-quality image. I started to see sessions edited with a grainy film-like aesthetic, and I began to see the beauty behind these one-of-a-kind images.


There is light at the end of the tunnel for us photographers. As businesses start to reopen, I am hopeful that I will be allowed to start photographing clients again soon. Until then, I've decided to offer a new type of session: the virtual photoshoot. No contact, complete social distancing (ie you never actually leave your house, and I never leave mine), and Insta-worthy images to capture a piece of history for your kids and grandkids to see what you did during the pandemic (besides binge Netflix and grow your TikTok followers).



I'm sure you've got questions and I want to cover all the answers. Keep reading for more on these one-of-a-kind sessions!


How does the session work?

It's actually way less complicated on your end than it sounds. You FaceTime me (or Zoom call) with any smartphone that has a decent camera. You'll give me a little tour of your house, and we'll decide what works best for the location. You throw on a few outfits and bam! It's a full on photoshoot in your house. I'll guide you through different poses and images that you want, and once we stop "shooting", I'll start editing, and you'll get your gallery within a few days!


What do I need for the session?

When I did my trial shoot with Veronica, we used FaceTime inside the house and Zoom calls outside the house to see what would work best. Zoom ended up being much clearer than FaceTime when shooting outside, but FaceTime was super easy to use inside. If you don't have an iPhone for FaceTime, don't worry - we can default on Zoom and go from there!


It also helps to have a cameraman. I was so thankful to Veronica's sister, Julia - she was the perfect tripod! She held the phone and I was able to direct her where to stand, angles, etc. Really, you could do it yourself and lean your phone up against walls, objects, etc - but it's much more time consuming.


Where can we shoot?


Anywhere, really! You definitely want to make sure that wherever you decide to shoot, you have great internet connection. I find that shoots in the house work best, as the outdoor shots tend to get more pixelated, depending on your network. If you want a shoot outdoors, we can totally try it - but it's best to have a backup plan as well.


I don't have a cute house though!


First of all, all houses are 'cute'. They reflect you and your family - you've grown up there, danced, laughed, cried - and I think it's the perfect background for a memorable shoot like this one. When you give me your house tour, we'll look at the best places for light, and we'll talk about moving around some furniture if needed. Don't worry about if your house is cute or not - you are the subject of the photos, and your house only adds a special element to the images.


How many images do I get?


For these sessions, I'm not putting an image count - you'll get all the images that we take in the 40 minutes. Veronica's session below had about 25 images between both locations, but this was also over two sessions: an outdoor and an indoor. You'll get a gallery of all your images within a few days of your session, and you can bet that I'll be sending you a sneak peek that day!


What is the image quality like?


Straight up, the quality is not comparable to an in-person shoot taken on my professional camera. But, the quality has definitely exceeded my expectations of what the quality would be. The quality depends on your internet connectivity, the type of phone and phone camera you have, and the lighting of your location (more light = less grainy images). They are perfect for Instagram and posting, and you'll even be able to print the photos up to an 8x10 without sacrificing too much quality. The images with the actual phone in the background are higher quality has I do take those ones with my camera, and in your gallery you'll get a little bit of both.



How do I book?


I'm only taking on a limited amount of these shoots before I open up for regular sessions, so be sure to book quickly if you are interested! You can contact me here, or click on this link to book your session:


https://calendly.com/ashleyciona/facetime-sessions


PS - gift cards can totally be used for this session! I currently have a promo where you can get a free sweater with any $75.00 gift card purchase. Contact me for details!


I can't wait to create with you and more importantly, just see some beautiful faces! These sessions seriously boosted my happiness when I needed it most. Cheers to Veronica for being such a perfect test model while we figured out all the quirks to these sessions! Check out her full session below:






Email: ashleyciona@gmail.com

Phone: 905-745-3414

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