Portrait Process


Jennifer’s goal, as both an on-location and in-studio photographer, is to create beautiful portraits in a comfortable, relaxed environment that you can treasure forever. She hopes to make each photographic experience easy by offering the option of coming to you at a location of your choosing, or by you coming to her at her studio in Holly, Michigan.

The process starts before your session with a phone, e-mail or in-person consultation, with sessions typically lasting between a half hour and three hours, depending on the type. Jennifer would like to find out from you what your expectations are, if you have any specific images in mind and whether you are looking for family or individual portraits.

Sessions with newborns and young babies usually take the longest, since they often need to be changed, soothed and nursed.

While indoor studio sessions can be scheduled for any time, outdoor or on-location sessions are typically scheduled for early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of the most flattering light.

Before Your Session

Jennifer will schedule your session based on your convenience and our availability. Jennifer encourages those who wished to be photographed to schedule in advance, since she can be often booked up to several months in advance.

While she offers in-studio appointments, Jennifer also can provide recommendations for picturesque locations around town. Downtown Fenton and Holly, local parks and lake shores are often great locations for any session. Sessions can even be held at a playground or while taking a hike.

Often times it’s nice to be photographed in your home or backyard, where children feel at ease in their own element, and new parents don’t have to worry about traveling with a newborn.

Jennifer recommends that children have meals before their sessions so they are content and happy. However, during the session she is more than willing to allow time for snack breaks if they are needed.

Studio Policies

After booking your session, you will receive a Welcome Packet of information through email that will outline general expectations, recommendations for clothing and business policies as well as pricing. There will also be a contract that details the agreement and a modeling release that will allow Jennifer to photograph and retain all copyrights of the resulting images. These forms must be completed prior to your session and will be picked up by Jennifer the day of your session. Federal Copyright laws remain with McDonald Photography and photos may not be reproduced, altered, re-printed, scanned or copied without express written permission from Jennifer McDonald.


Clothing is very important to the overall result of creating beautiful, lasting portraits. It’s often best to avoid logos, busy prints, stripes, or distracting color combinations. Often times it’s best to wear clothing of a neutral color that usually create a timeless feel. If more than one person will be in the photograph, clothing tones and styles should match. The main focus of the photograph should be the person and not the clothes they are wearing.

Newborns and Babies

Newborns are often best photographed from 5-10 days after birth, usually in their own skin. Newborn babies are usually more sleepy and pliable during the first few weeks, which can help result in some amazing poses.

If that natural “curled” look is how you’d like your newborn to be remembered, be sure and contact Jennifer before giving birth, to make sure dates are available. While no woman’s due date is exact, Jennifer will be sure to block off a significant amount of time to be sure your session will take place.


For maternity photography, anything goes! Jennifer’s clients have come to her to be photographed fully clothed, to tastefully nude, and everything in between. Some customers wear open button-down shirts, a pair of jeans and a tank top, a robe, or a special dress. Jennifer even has several different types and lengths of fabric, which can be used to wrap around a client, goddess-style. The options are really endless.

It’s important though to make sure and wear loose clothing an hour or two before your session to minimize marks that clothing can leave on the skin.


While Jennifer can accommodate up to six people in her studio, it is recommended for families larger than six to schedule an on-location portrait session due to limited space. A favorite park or backyard makes the perfect background.

Keep in mind that outdoor sessions are typically scheduled in the early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of the best light.


In terms of high school senior photography, the first thing to think about is what you want – do you have a pet or vehicle you’d like to show off? How about trophies, jerseys, uniforms, or instruments?

Next, it’s best to think about what kind of session you’d like – indoor or outdoor? In the spring, summer, winter or fall?

Also, be sure to know when your school’s yearbook deadline is, so we can be sure and have your yearbook portrait ready in time for inclusion.

After Your Session

About two to four weeks later, after your session, photographs will be placed on your own personal Web gallery that will be active for 30 days, so you view them at your convenience and share them with family and friends. Once it expires, there is a fee of $25 per month if extended viewing is necessary. Jennifer will send you an e-mail letting you know when it’s ready.

Each gallery will include both color and black and white portraits. While all packages include the jpeg files, you can also order any additional prints or products you’d like. Jennifer also offers custom-made photo books, cards, collags and calendars. Ask her for more information or to see samples.


Orders can be e-mailed or phoned to Jennifer when you are ready. You are more than welcome to come to Jennifer’s studio to view the photographs to order as well. Depending on the type of products you order, items may take as long as six weeks before they’re ready for pick-up. As our electronic storage space is limited, all photos will be archived for one year and may be purged pass the one-year mark.


A retainer of $150 is due when you reserve your session and the balance is due the day of the session. If you need to reschedule your session, that’s not a problem, however the retainer is non-refundable.


All prints are produced at the finest professional labs, using the highest quality products, so your images will last for years to come. Each image is individually enhanced and artistically edited which result in amazing clarity and vivid color as well as rich black and white tones.

All wall prints that are sized 8×10 and larger, including gallery images, are spray coated and mounted for extra protection and durability and to protect against fading, discoloration and deterioration.

Mounting board provides an extra durable backing and is moisture resistance to prevent warping. The luster coating provides protection so they are not required to be behind glass. The coating also does not show fingerprints or sheen.


Generally it may take between two and four weeks for prints and longer for any custom products, such as gallery wrap portraits, cards, calendars or photo books. Special arrangements may be made to have the order shipped to an address of your choosing.

  • PLEASE NOTE: During holiday times, including November and December, please add an additional one to two weeks to delivery, due to high order volumes.

Gift certificates are available starting at $50.

All prices are subject to change without notice. Prices are locked when you sign your paperwork and stand for 30 days after your images are placed in your Web gallery. Rates are subject to sales tax. While Jennifer will make every effort to ensure each customer’s complete satisfaction, due to the nature of custom portraiture, all sales are final.

For more information, please contact Jennifer at Jennifer@photosbymcdonald.com or at (248) 760-7959.

McDonald Photography - Holly, Michigan - 248-760-7959