Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the questions below to reveal the answeres.
Why choose a professional photographer?
Preserve your family history with professional photography
An investment in professional photography means an investment in value, artistry and quality that will last a lifetime.
In today's market, it's tempting to skimp on professional family and child portraits. After all, everyone has a friend or family member with a fancy new camera who will throw together a shoot for next to nothing. But consider what you're getting. Are you getting technically flawless works of art that you will be proud to display in your home? Or are you getting a handful of hurried digital images that barely warrant a spot on your Facebook page?
There are snapshots to document snippets of your daily life, and then there are artistic portraits fit to represent your family for generations. Both have their place, but when it comes time to create those works of art, it's best to trust your family history to a pro.
The photographs of your family, your wedding, your children, and other important events can be a treasure of intensely memorable feelings and a joy to revisit throughout your life - but only if your photographer has the talent and skill to focus, shoot and capture those defining moments. While many people immediately think of newborn babies and weddings, a professional photographer can preserve any memory that is important to you. Many parents have photographs created at different stages in their child’s development, creating a "portrait history." Graduation, religious ceremonies, family reunions, pet portraits, birthdays and anniversaries are some of the reasons people hire a professional photographer. Businesses, large and small, use professional images to advertise their products - whether in print, broadcast, catalogs or direct mail. Other business needs include executive portraits and press release photos. Membership in a professional association, certification or a photography degree shows a certain level of commitment to the profession. These types of credentials can help you determine which photographer is right for you. Every day professionals help record the most important moments in life. And while every situation brings new challenges - you can be assured that the professional has the creativity and skills to deliver the best possible images for you. The images created by professional photographers touch every aspect of your life and give you a beautiful way to preserve those memories.
What should we wear?
Knowing what to wear is one of the most important things about your portrait. Making the wrong decision can distract from looking at the faces and expressions and even make you appear larger than normal. After you reserve and pay for your session, we will help you decide on what looks best for you. Click here to BOOK NOW.
When and where do we see and order the images from the session?
As part of our continuing efforts to provide you with the very best in service and quality, we will help you select your images using our state-of-the-art digital projection system in our studio the following morning by appointment. Unlike old-fashioned proofs, you will see each image projected on a full size screen in the actual dimensions you desire with amazing detail and what looks best for you. This will also help us determine the best expressions for each pose and if we may choose to swap a head, face or eyes for a better one to make everyone look their best at the same time. We can also make notes of any touch ups or slimming that you think will improve your portrait. The photographer is also there to give suggestions and help with the possibilities. Orders are placed during the viewing session presentation at our (home theatre style) studio. Due to the custom nature of our work, payment is accepted at the time the order is placed. Please feel free to pay for your order with American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Cash, or by Check. Payment plans are also accepted so you can get everything on your wish list. Please send the designated decision makers from each individual family and come in together at your appointment time to help each other decide. Don’t forget Dad if he needs to be involved in any financial decisions. Most people spend about 1-2 hours viewing their portraits and deciding on their order. This can save hours, days or weeks of your time trying to figure out your order. While we can accommodate and occupy children in the studio, you will save time making your decisions without them if possible. Kids Cottage http://www.kidscottage.com/ is right up the street just one light north of Old Landing Rd on RT 1. 302-644-7690 Summer hours 7:30am-9pm Monday-Thursday, 7:30am-10pm Friday, 9am-10pm Saturday, Closed on Sunday. We can give you directions to the Rehoboth studio at your portrait session.
Why so many families choose us for beach portraits-
- With over 20 years experience of living and photographing at the beach, Certified Professional Photographer David Koster is an artist providing you with the skills, patience, knowledge, and training to create a custom photographic piece of art you will truly treasure.
- We create quality portraiture all year long, in color or black and white, from finished prints and cards, to fine-art canvas wall portraits.
- We use a Digital Portrait Artist to touch up your portraits so that everyone looks their best. We can use talent, skill and technology to help you look thinner, erase aging or blemishes, and correct any imperfections. Much more than just an "Edit". We’ll keep the changes subtle and natural.
- We offer a wide selection of popular contemporary, and traditional, products, displays, and framing.
- Families get the very best portrait session. Our approach helps you relax, and enjoy the experience.
- We work quickly to create a large variety of images for your selections.
- There are many options and locations for your portrait including the beach, golf course, home, backyard, porch, boat, studio or someplace special to you.
- We know the best areas for photography, and the best times of day for each area, orchestrating them under varying weather conditions.
- We use advanced satellite and radar monitoring of the weather to assure your window of opportunity for your best portrait session and pictures.
- We are licensed, and insured and have the required beach photography permits.
- We are members of many chambers of commerce, professional photography organizations and the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, where we are well known in the community with a good reputation.
- You will be able to preview, select and order your portraits the following morning in our state of the art studio.
- David Koster is schooled in photography, and the only experienced Certified Professional Photographer located at the Beach in Southern Delaware.
Certified Professional Photographer David Koster is the only photographer accredited by the Special Kids Photography of America, in Delaware, to photograph children with special needs.
- Mr. Koster's training and experience guarantees you will be satisfied, and you won't get better photography anywhere else.
- Your satisfaction with our work is fully guaranteed for memories that you will treasure for a lifetime.
How long will the session last?
Your session will usually take about 30-90 minutes, depending on everyone's cooperation, size of the group, and weather conditions. We may have to wait for the right light as the sun is setting, too. Make sure everyone (especially the children) has had a good nap and has eaten dinner or at least a good snack before the session. They will look much happier. You may save desert for a reward after the session. Also avoid the waterpark or any strenuous activity the day of your session when people just get too tired and cranky at the end of the day.
What is the best time of the day take portraits of people outdoors and on the beach?
We can photograph any time of day, but everyone will look better in the later part of the day. We usually start within two hours before sunset. This is the best light of the day. You will also squint less and reduce the shadows at this time. Each day and moment will have its own colors, lighting and shadows. The exact time will vary according to the time of year, weather, and clouds in the sky. We usually get in touch on the afternoon of your session to narrow down the time after we look at the current satellite and radar images to work around the weather. Cloudy and rainy days give nice, soft (studio) lighting and allow more time of the day to photograph. We will get out there before, after or in between showers. A light drizzle won’t even show up in your portrait. It rarely rains heavy all day. We will find our window of opportunity. Cloudy days are the best days to have portraits. Please keep your schedule open for time changes due to weather and lighting conditions.
What can we plan on spending?
That depends on how big and how many. We offer different finishes and sizes for different tastes and budgets. There are wallet sizes and holiday cards, wall portraits up to 100 inches wide on fine art canvas, and everything in between. 8”x10” and smaller prints start at $100 with small wall sizes starting at $500. That is $50 off each print while you are in the studio at your ordering appointment. Most families choose a larger wall portrait as a focal point in their living room area, accented with albums or smaller prints of different poses and groupings around the room and for other areas of their home and office. Average individual families usually invest a couple thousand dollars on their portrait collection. A fine portrait will also make a lasting and enduring gift for yourself, your family, and generations to come. Remember, there is no sales tax in Delaware yet. We have a menu of options in the studio with samples of each. The same size print can have 5 different prices depending on the finish you choose. Images are printed on the finest professional paper and canvases with a protective coating and mounted for proper display and longevity. Enhancements and toning are done to each of these custom prints along with extra touchups including blemishes, wrinkles, waistlines and necklines. We usually show you all the options the morning after your session in the studio by projecting your images on the wall in different sizes. We offer a satisfaction guarantee, backed up with the skills, knowledge, experience, reputation, and credentials to provide you with a portrait you will love. Please give us a call or schedule a visit to the studio to discuss more options and specifics of what you are looking for. 302-226-9226
Pre Pay Special: 10% Pre Pay Bonus means you receive an additional 10% bonus for prepayment of your portrait order when you schedule your session(Not applied to reservation fee). (Prepay $500 and receive $50 Bonus credit) or (Prepay $1000 and receive $100 Bonus credit) Or Pre Pay $2000 and get your session for FREE! 20% Pre Pay BONUS on prepayments over $2000!!! (Cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts.) If for some reason you don't use the full prepaid amount towards your order, we will refund the difference minus the session fee. Please call us for an estimate on your portrait possibilities.
When should we schedule our session?
Make your appointment for the first day that your entire group will be available. It is nice to have everyone's portrait taken before they get sun burned. This may also allow for backup days due to weather or other reasons, if the photographer is still available. Your portrait session may take up to an hour. Try to schedule your photo session during the beginning of your vacation so that we may view, select and order your images together before you leave town. Please click here to Request a Sesson Date, before your date is taken or call us for availability 302-226-9226.
What do I do with my hair?
It is usually breezy on the beach. Your hair most likely will not stay perfect. Hairspray can help some. You may also tie your hair back if it is too windy. Visit a local salon before your session. It is the beach look to have the wind flow in your hair. Make sure the guys have a recent shave and trim. A five o'clock shadow cannot be touched up.
Are there BUGS on the beach?
The flies, mosquitoes and gnats can be very bad sometimes. They bite hard too! Usually on a warm humid day with a westerly wind they are the worst. Wear some good insect repellent and long sleeves and pants will help also. They are also attracted to darker colors. We don’t want you running away from the beach in pain and giving bad expressions.
Why choose a certified professional?
PPA Certified: A Symbol You Can Trust When you hire a photographer, you want the best. Unfortunately, anyone can claim to be a professional photographer - so ensuring that you get the best photographer for the job can be a difficult task. To make it easier for you to find a truly professional photographer, Professional Photographers of America offers the PPA Certified program. As the leading certifying agency and association for imaging professionals, PPA’s Certification program is recognized throughout the industry as a sign of excellence. When you see a photographer displaying the PPA Certified seal, you can be assured that he or she is among the less than 3% of all imaging professionals who have successfully completed and maintained our requirements. What is PPA Certified? PPA Certified is a designation granted by Professional Photographers of America, the world’s leading certification agency of, and largest Association for, imaging professionals. Those who have earned PPA Certification have passed a comprehensive written examination measuring their technical expertise, and have successfully submitted their work to a panel of judges for review and approval. Every five years, a PPA Certified must renew his or her credentials by participating in continuing education programs and periodically submitting work for critical evaluation. This helps assure you that PPA Certified photographers maintain their level of expertise and continue to develop new skills and techniques. Your Assurance of Quality Every day PPA Certified professionals help record the most important moments in life. And while every situation brings new challenges - you can be assured that the PPA Certified professional has the creativity and skills to deliver the best possible images for you. Whether you’re looking for a wedding, portrait, commercial or electronic imager - or even someone to restore precious photographs to their original condition, there is a PPA Certified professional who can meet your needs. Be assured that whenever you enter a studio that displays the PPA Certified emblem, you will be dealing with a professional who is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of professionalism and expertise available.
What if we wear glasses, sun glasses, or jewelry?
These items can cause glare and distortion. If you prefer to have glasses in your portrait, have the lenses removed from them or from an extra pair. Touch ups will cost extra if there is too much glare. Your eyes may appear as big white spots. Remove your sunglasses over an hour before you head to the beach. Your eyes need time to adjust to minimize squinting. Transition darkening glasses always get too dark outside, hide your eyes and distract from the face. The eyes are the most important feature of a portrait. Try to keep your jewelry to a minimum but wear your special or family pieces. Pearls look great on the beach. A watch is fine too.
Can we go on the sand dunes?
We can only go by the sand dunes in designated areas. We never walk on the dunes or grass, we carefully pose in front of them. The State of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control have granted a special permit to Portraits In The Sand for our portraits. The dune line is very fragile and provides habitat for many species, including some that are endangered such as Seabeach Amaranth and the Piping Plover. Beach grass helps build and stabilize the dunes. Walking on or near beach grass can damage its brittle stalks and root system. We need the dunes for everyone to enjoy as their background. Also, without the dunes, the ocean would soon erode through many properties and even the highway. Sand dunes are essential for protection against damaging coastal storms. When sand dunes are destroyed, storm waves can rush inland, flood properties and put lives at risk. Stabilized dunes absorb wave energy and act as major sand storage areas which replenish sand to eroded beaches during a storm. Beach grass helps to build and stabilize dunes by trapping windblown sand. As the grass traps the sand, it builds the dune higher and wider, which makes it more protective of the structures behind it. If we use one of these locations for your portrait, there is a State Park entrance fee of $5.00 for vehicles with DE tags and $10.00 for out of state vehicles. Season passes are also available. Car pool if you can and please use the self pay envelope at the entrance booth if the attendant is not there. Rangers do check vehicles and will leave you a ticket if you don’t display your receipt. You might want to visit any of the seashore state park areas earlier in the day since you pass is good for the whole day at any of these park locations. The parks usually have the best background for your portraits.
Where do we meet?
We will usually discuss the location ahead of time but a staff member or I will call you on the afternoon of your session to discuss the time and meeting location. We usually use one of the state park beaches as a background and can meet in the parking lot next to a beach entrance. There is a State Park entrance fee of $5.00 for vehicles with DE tags and $10.00 for out of state vehicles. Car pool if you can and please use the self pay envelope at the entrance booth if the attendant is not there. Rangers do check vehicles and will leave you a ticket if you don’t display your receipt. You might want to visit any of the seashore state park areas earlier in the day since you pass is good for the whole day at any of these park locations. Season passes are also available. The parks usually have the best background for your portraits.The best spot may be determined by weather conditions, your location and the traffic that day. Or I can meet you at your favorite or convenient spot.
What is the deadline for holiday orders and gifts?
Orders should be placed by the end of October. It may take up to 60 days or so to complete your custom order. We can rush orders untill Christmas week, but it may require an additional fee. Most people order all their gifts and cards at the viewing session the morning after their portrait session while they have the today's special price.
Should we bring anything?
Bring your best smile:) Don't forget the insect repellant. . You could bring an extra friend or family member to get some extra nice expressions out of the kids. You may also bring your child's favorite toy or stuffed animal friend. You should even bring a toy and some treats for your pet too. If you are having a longer or individual session, you can bring props, a favorite item from a hobby, vehicle, sports equipment, boat, motorcycle, sand bucket , extra outfit, hat, shoes, or bathing suit…….. Some people may even need a drink to relax, but just one!
Why should I choose a photographer located at the beach?
A Local Photographer has more experience with the area including locations, conditions, traffic, weather, recommendations and other what if situations. His studio is also nearby for extra equipment and supplies. Viewing and ordering can be quick and easy while you are still in town. You won’t have to wonder how or if your portraits turned out. According to the Small Business, 60% of the profits from locally-owned businesses stay right here to help keep our beach communities strong. David Koster is the only Master and Certified Professional Photographer located at the beach in Delaware. His children go to school nearby and he has family at the beach too. He is also a member of all the area Chamber of Commerce’s with a good reputation in the community. Don’t worry, he is here to stay and help you all year long.
What if the weather is bad or it rains?
We use advanced satellite and radar monitoring of the weather to assure your window of opportunity. It rarely rains the whole day. It may be raining at one beach and not the next a few miles away. We get beautiful portraits on cloudy days when the lighting is very soft, similar to a studio setup. You will squint less and the shadows won’t be as harsh. Most people prefer their expressions on a cloudier day. We can still photograph in a light rain, drizzle, misty, and foggy conditions but can usually time it between showers. If you are real lucky, a rainbow may appear in your background. We usually photograph about an hour before sunset on sunny days. If it is cloudy or rainy, your session may be earlier depending on the weather. We are determined and experienced to give you the best portrait during the best conditions of the day. Please leave your day open for schedule changes if necessary. There are options. If we have the next day available, we will gladly reschedule or we may be able to photograph before an already scheduled session. There was RECORD Rainfall for the Summer of 2013 with about 30 inches! Despite the odds, we completed everyone's scheduled sessions except for one we switched to an earlier day before the rain came. It is a good idea to book your session early in your stay, just in case.
What if I have special needs?
Research shows that approximately 20 percent of the population has a disability of some kind. Understanding the challenges is fundamental to a successful portrait and with the education and skills it can be a positive experience for everyone involved. The key to success is to understand your subject along with experience, persistence, patience, talent and skills. There are also easier locations to photograph, along with wheel chair accessibility. Parents of children with special needs know that even day-to-day activities require effort that most people don't realize and often hesitate at the thought of a professional portrait session. David Koster CPP of Portraits In The Sand has recently achieved the SKPA full accreditation. Special Kids Photography of America is a program of compassion and excellence to benefit families of special children. We have taken steps to familiarize ourselves with the differing needs of people with special needs and their families. Please request a special needs form so that we may understand your situation. Portraits In The Sand is there to help them from the first step and honored to work with some very special people. 302-226-9226
How many pictures do you take and can we do different poses or separate family groups?
You usually have more than enough usable images to choose from. More often people don’t know what to do with all the good shots. Besides hanging them on your wall, albums and image box collections are a popular choice. Some people want the best expression of everyone at the exact same time. Our digital artist can switch eyes, heads or even bodies to help. You won’t even notice anything out of place. After photographing the whole family together, we usually break down into the individual families, original siblings, parents, couples, children, grandparents with the grand kids, individuals and a few senior poses all included during your session if time and light allow. If we are just photographing an individual family or children only, there will be more variety and selections to choose from. Poses may vary with different backgrounds, laying, sitting, kneeling, standing, walking and jumping. Make sure to view our gallery of ideas online and you can email them to us ahead of time. If you have any ideas or particular poses in mind, I will be more than happy to try.
What is so special about a canvas print?
Can we use our own camera?
Sorry, no other cameras are allowed to be used during the session. The photographer has spent many years of time and training in order to provide you with a great portrait. You will have plenty of great images to choose from. His camera and equipment are top of the line. The subjects also need to have their full attention on the photographer, not distracted by other snap shooters to have their head or eyes turned in the wrong direction. This can also waste a lot of time, which is limited, as the sun is setting. We do offer a session where you may use your own camera for an extra price.
Can we get wet?
The Masterpiece Canvas
Why should I display a large portrait on my wall?
Your family is the most important thing in the world according to Psychologists. This is your life's work. We should display them as the largest image in the room and home to show them their importance and your love, even larger than your television screen. This also builds self esteem for children as they grow up and helps to bond the family together. Your wall portrait reminds us daily of their importance. Another photographer was doing an informal survey of families and divorce rates. He discovered that families with their wall portrait displayed in a living area had the lowest amount of separation and divorce. A properly sized portrait can be most enjoyed where you can see everyone’s faces and expressions from anywhere in the room, just like we hang a clock on the wall and not a wrist watch to see the face. Also interior designers recommend 50% of your wall space to be filled for the best visual presentation and balance. We will show you how your portrait looks in different sizes at your ordering appointment in the studio so that you have a size you will really enjoy. You have also spent a lot of time, energy and money to organize your family and have them look their best, it’s almost a waste to have it too tiny that you can’t even see everyone enough in an 8x10. This most prized possession will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Can we have our portrait somewhere else besides the beach?
Many families choose to have their portrait taken in a more convenient or favorite location. There are many options and locations for your portrait including the Park, Resort, Play Ground, Trail, Field, Woods, Pool, River, Lake, Boat, Stream, Mountain, Golf Course, Home, Rental Property, Business, Backyard, Porch, Pier, Dock, Marina, Farm, Ranch, Event, Party, Celebration, Reunion, Studio or Anywhere you choose. We can help you select the destination for your photography too. Action and Extreme Sport Portraits are also Exciting! (Travel outside the beach area is extra. Usually $1 per mile plus meals and accommodations.) While we are on the road or out on location, take advantage of an awesome opportunity to have a professional portrait you will love. Reduced or no travel fees may apply. Just picture your portrait anywhere in the country or beyond! We can accommodate most reasonable requests.