How do I reserve a portrait Session?

Please call the studio at 703.963.9136 or fill out the contact information button and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible. If we are with a client, noone will answer the phone. Newborn sessions require a $50 deposit as we have to turn people away.

How much does a portrait session or wedding cost?

Please fill out the contact us form to see if your date is available. We only schedule two weddings per month. You can learn a little more about cost under wedding sessions, but it is best to talk about the details after we check availability.

When should I book my session?

As soon as possible. We only accept a certian number of sessions to keep life manageable. We only book 2 wedding per month, 3 newborn sessions per week, and the Fall gets downright crazy.

What are the prices of your prints?

Your personal website will be connected to a professional photo lab. As of August 2014, the prices for the prints are:

4x6 5.75

5x7 14.25

8x10 25.00

11x14 38.00

12x18 50.00

16x20 65.00

You are not obligated to order any prints and prints are not included in your session fee. Medium resolution images will be uploaded to a dropbos link where you can download and print up to 4x6 at any lab you choose. These low resolution images are great for announcements or sharing digitally.

How does a Publicity, Executive or Headshot session work?

You can come to us or we can come to you for an extra cost if our schedule allows. We decide on a location and have a phone or e-mail consultation to discuss details. We shoot the photos and then upload to a gallery. You pick 3-5 of your favorite shots and we manipulate in photo shop. We then e-mail you the full resolution images for immediate use. You own the copyright and we appreciate a byline if using in publications - photos by Nadya Lutz Photography.

How does a Beach Portrait Session work?

Our studio is in Sunset Beach, NC for 2-4 weeks in the summer. We do mini-portrait sessions 2 days per week and accept 2 full portrait sessions per week. Sorry, no exceptions....it is our vacation also! Since the island has limited phone coverage ,we will meet at 40th street walkway on the benches. Unless it is drizzly, then we will meet under the pier. If it is rainy we will try and reschedule. Once you express an interest in a certain week of August we will ask for a $50 deposit, we will send out an e-mail once we check the weather and tide schedules to confirm an exact date. Please make sure to fill out cell, e-mail, and house location on the island in the Contact form.

Do you shoot weddings at Sunset Beach, NC in August?

We will be thrilled to shoot your low key beach wedding, but will not be able to shoot at your reception. We LOVE rock the dress and trash the dress sessions at the beach.

How much do the actual photos cost?

We roll the price of the portrait session and the cost of the photos into one convenient price for you. You own the rights to the photos and also will have access to the low resolution images so you tcan use for holiday cards, announcements, and/or social networking.

Do you charge tax?

We do not charge sales tax on our packages because you are purchasing a service, which is tax free. When you order your prints from the lab, you will be charged taxes. If you purchase individual prints which are available only from a photo party, smile booth or mini portrait session, then taxes will be charged. If you purchase poetry frames, jewlery, or albums, tax will be charged.

What happens after the photo session?

We take the photos and spend way too much time with them on the computer, ask our chiropractor! We edit, cut, crop, change the wow images to BW and/or sepia tinting. We keep going back over them until we are happy with the session. Depending on the type of session you purchase we then upload to a gallery for your viewing and/or sharing. Some packages come with a link of edited medium resolution images. Some sessions come with a HD video of all the 'wow' images. Our goal is to get everything you purchased to you within two weeks. This does not always happen in the Fall when photos rock our world creating all your beautiful images for your cards and gifts.

How long does the average portrait session last?

Depending on the session you choose. A mini-portrait session only offered on certain dates is 20minutes, a weekday special portrait session usually last 1 hour, a newborn and weekend session are 1-2 hours. Our goal is to get amazing photos so we shoot all variations and poses. When young children are involved, we recommend taking the pose you definitely want at the beginning. We take breaks if necessary to keep everyone happy except the mini-portrait session. Our objective is to keep it fun in order to get the natural expression.

Where do you shoot the session?

In short, almost any place you'd like! We can shoot at your house, agreed upon outdoor location, or in my North Arlington studio. In the Fall season, I primarily shoot in my studio and the park next door due to time constraints.

Will you travel outside of Arlington, VA?

Yes, my bags are packed and my passport is readyto travel meet you in some warm tropical location.

What if I need to cancel my session?

It's no problem to reschedule for another date but would ask that you let us know at least one week in advance if possible. If it is due to an unforseen circumstance such as a skinned nose, black eye and/or sickness of course you can reschedule, but keep in mind that we often times turn people away due to lack of availability. In the fall we have a waiting list and we can usually fill in the gaps so we appreciate as much notice as you can give us.

What if I don't like my portraits?

If you're truly not satisfied with the portraits then we're not satisfied. We'll gladly meet with you and reshoot the session again at no charge. Please remember that we take a lot of variety and all poses simply do not work with all subjects. We do delete the not so great shots, so you may remeber taking certain poses and they might not show up in your gallery. We will ask you to choose a backdrop of black, white or grey for inside shots. You can easily take some on one and then change colors. We cannot change a backdrop in post processing, so make your decisions ahead of time please.

What should we wear?

It is up to you to decide if you would like a formal or casual look. Regardless of the look, keep it simple. Avoid plaids, stripes, and/or writing on shirts. If you are taking a group photo, the colors should be harmonious so the viewer is drawn to the faces of the photo. Avoid bright white shirts for group photos as this will trick the camera and lead to a washed out look. Don’t stress about the shoes, most of our work is close up so often times the shoes are not even seen. The most important thing is for everyone to arrive happy and relaxed. If that means leaving the Sunday best at home, fine with us. If you cannot get someone out of a tu tu or cape feel free to bring it. That being said, if you will be unhappy if most of the photos are in the tu tu or cape, take it off well before the session so we do not have all pouty lips! When in doubt you cannot go wrong with some variation of black, grey and denim. If you still have questions, make sure to ask! Please watch the baggy clothing as it tends to add weight in the photos. If you have a Pinterest account, I have a board titled Photography/clothing for some ideas.

How do you get great shots of toddlers and kids?

I have a bag of tricks that can be pulled out if needed. Often times I just try to talk to children to produce a natural look. Please reassure your 1-4 year old that you are just in the studio to play for a bit and take photos. Often times they are anxious because they think they are being dropped off with a stranger. Please read below about smiling tips.

What is the best way to get a smile?

Did you know that if you ask someone to smile, they wil use far fewer muscles in their face to smile than a genuine smile. It is called the social or fake smile. Often times it is best to have people think about their favorite vacation or someone they truly love to activate the genuine smile. Research varies on the number of muscle it takes to produce each smile. One study suggests it can take 6-8 muscles for a social smile and 17-24 muscles for a genuine smile. One thing most researchers believe in is the muscles around the eyes and corners of the mouth are activated during a genuine smile.

How does this smile research translate to kids?

Please do not ask someone to smile in front of a camera. Generally you will not be happy with the result. If they are young, do something unexpected or goofy. Dance, sing, pretend you are going to tickle the photographer, but make sure the photographer is ready to take the photo. If they are older or adults, ask them about hobbies, sports they play, favorite vacation or experience. This will elicit a genuine smile.

Will you retouch my portraits in Photoshop?

We review the images from the session and eliminate the duds, edit and manipulate the ‘wow’ photos. After you get your link to your images, if you have 3-5 additional images that you would like additional touch ups that have not been done, you can send them via e-mail with the request. If it is a reasonable request there is usually not a charge. If , however, it is an extensive edit the cost is $25 per 15 minutes. We will try to give you an estimate once you put in a request. We will not be able to change the color of a sweater in every one of your images without additional cost.

Do you do hand coloring of portraits?

Yes, this can be done digitally or manually. If you want it done digitally simply e-mail back the image and instructions as to what you would like to be black and white, sepia, and colored. We can discuss this via e-mail or on the phone and I can give you a quote.

What should I bring for teens and/or preteens?

The most important thing is to bring your family relaxed and rested. We understand that this is easier said than done, however it does make a big difference! Sometimes power struggles happen before you even arrive at the studio and you can definitely tell in the photos. If you cannot get someone to wear a certain something, simply bring it along. We can often times make a simple suggestion and it will not turn into a battle. Also, we have gotten some GREAT shots of the kids when we kick the parents out of the studio. We don’t mean to be rude, but we can usually get them to cooperate if they think it is a surprise for you. They also think it is fun for their parents to be kicked out. Please don’t be offended.

What should I bring for young children and/or babies?

Bring changes of clothes, favorite neutral color blanket, some small, dissolvable snacks such as Cherrios. Lollipops and chocolate are the worst in our experience due to the mess factor. If your child has a favorite toy that makes them laugh or giggle, please bring it. Keep in mind that it may end up in the photo for a couple of shots. Once you book your session, we will send you a newborn, 6 month and/or 1 year tip sheet depending on your session. We also have a breast feeding tip sheet for newborn photos and nursing mothers. What you eat 48 hours before the session can really make a difference.

What milestones do you recommend taking?

That is a tough one. If I had to pick one in the first year it would be Newborn. You cannot ever really remember how small they are unless you have these special photos. Trust me when they hit the challenging years you will want to remember how vulnerable, innocent, and cute they were. If I were to pick two the first year it would be Newborn and 6-9 months. Before they start walking! The next big one is 1 or 2, they will still have their baby face but we can capture their personality. Of course we love to have clients come back every year so we can see how they change. Last year I took my first yearly clients wedding! So much fun, we really did know the family and it showed in the photos.

Can I have a few pictures with my children?

Absolutely! In fact, we insist that you hop in for at least a few photos. Typically we take photos of each child individually, kids together, family together, and any other grouping you would like. Many adults are reluctant to hop in front of the camera. One thing we can guarantee, you won’t regret it. You may not like the way you look when you view the portrait, but ten years from now you will appreciate it and even think you look good! Please come prepared to hop in front of the camera and don’t bother waiting until you ose that 10 pounds!

What about Maternity session?

Love taking bump pictures. The big question is how much skin are you going to show? Some people like their bump covered, some like a hint showing and some like to bare all while covering the necessary parts. That is up to you to decide what type of image you are looking for. We have photos to give you an idea of all the types of shots. There is no need to worry about stretch marks thanks to photoshop. We prefer to take this session at 6-7 months. Please make sure your nails are clean if not manicured. If you are bringing children to include in some of the shots, same goes for them. It is actually fairly difficult to photoshop someone's nails.

Tell me about the newborn sessions?

We love to photograph Newborns and find that we get best results on days 4-8. We heat up our studio and get some lovely sleeping shots. We take them early because they sleep a lot so we can repostion easily, they are use to being 'crunched' up from the womb, and they do not have baby acne or colic yet. We cab travel or bring a studio to your home for an extra cost if our schedule allows.

How do I book a newborn session?

We only book three per week although sometimes we end up taking 6 in one week. We put your name down on your due date. If it is a scheduled c-section we can book a tenative date for 4-5 days out. Once your baby is born we ask that you put us on the list to e-mail the news. We will look at the schedule and give you some options. We will need an e-mail to communicate with someone that will be checking their e-mail regularly. We prefer to do most of our newborn sessions during the weekdaybetween 10-2. Once you schedule your session we will send you a newborn tip sheet as well as a breastfeeding tip sheet to ensure the success of your shoot.

Why do you only accept 3 newborn sessions per week?

We love taking newborn sessions and want to continue loving the work. Same goes for weddings. We find that it loses a certain amount of magic if that is all we are doing. We still gasp every time a newborn is unwrapped...just amazing. Also, large storms tend to push babies out at one time. Hurricaine Sandy at the end of Oct 2012 pushed 12 of my Oct/Nov babies out during one weekend. Since newborn sessions are longer in length, we need to limit the number of sessions so we can fit everyone into the studio schedule.

What should I bring to my newborn shoot?

We love baby skin so most of the shots will be naked, unless of course you do not want that look. If you have an heirloom, hat, and/or something special in the shot please bring it. Definitely bring extra change of clothes for everyone including adults who may be holding your bundle. Wipes, breast of bottle, and/or siblings if you want them in the shot. Also, if we are taking the shots after day 7, you might want to bring a book. Often times it takes patience to get them to sleep after day 7. Please take care to clean and/or manicure your nails. Your hands will definitely be prominent in some of the shots. We will also ask you or someone to hold your baby in some of the shots, so bring a shirt that you would like to have in the photos. When you book your newborn session, we will send you a newborn tip sheet via email.

How on earth do you suspend the babies and is it safe?

We always test and make sure the suspensions can hold our body weight. The babies are typically inches away from a bean bag, it just appears in the photo that they are elevated. Please let us know in advance if you would like to do a suspension shot. This takes a bit of time to find the right branch and set up the shot. We like to do these first and then move on to the other shots. We have a white, pink with orange balls and blue with green balls, greay and blue suspension wraps. You will be standing right next to your bundle and we will not do it unless you feel it is safe and your newborn is sound asleep. Many times the baby is actually resting on the bean bag. It takes a lot of patience.

Do you have the hats in your pictures?

We have quite an assortment of hats, flowers, and different backdrops for newborns. If you have something please bring it! Take a look at the blog and there is a tag with props.

What is a Smash the cake session?

FUN...You bring a cake or cupcate. We put down a paper backdrop, put the cake in the middle. Strip your one year old down to their diaper, put a cover on the diaper and put them in front of this masterpiece. You cannot imagine how big their eyes get!

Do you ever donate portrait sessions?

Yes, last year we donated 20 portrait packages to various organizations to help them with their fundraisers. All were local, non-profit organizations or schools. We are happy to give back to the community when we can. Please fill out the contact sheet and put the necessary information including the dates.

Where are you located?

The address is 4646 North 13th Street, Arlington, VA 22207. We are very close to 66 and Glebe Road and on two dead end streets - 13th and Abingdon Streets. Since we are 4 blocks to Ballston Metro please read the signs when parking M-F 8-5. During these times you need to park on the dead end portion of 13th Street. After you park, walk to the BACK of the house, through a stone garden and up a small flight of wooden stairs. The door to the studio is on the right, someone will meet you at the door and take you up to the studio. We operate by appointment only so please do not show up and excpect to have your portrait taken on the spot.

How long have you been taking photos?

Nadya Lutz has been taking photos since 1995 professionally. She has taken classes at NOVA, Washington School of Photography, Corcoran School of Art and continues to take and teach workshops all over the country. She shoots mostly with her Nikon digital cameras now, but if she had more time you would find her in the darkroom. She is the mother of three children 14, 18 and 20 years old and also owns and operates a small pilates/yoga studio. She enjoys capturing fleeting moments of time!

What is the BUMP special or 3 shoots within one year special?

The milestones are maternity, newborn, 3 months, 6-8 months and one year. You can choose 3 separate shoots within one year and the price is $750. The first two shoots are $300 each and the third shoot is $150. You pay as you go so there is not need to worry about moving or other things. This is not valid with other offers and is only valid within one year. For example, you could not use your third shoot for your second baby.