Session information

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Introductionmylife2011 blog (8 of 12)

To gain a better understanding of what will happen before, during and after your session please review the topics below. Booking a session is a quick and simple process. You can contact us here or use the Contact menu at the top or bottom of every page.

My recommendation is to have a few dates in mind when booking your session. Space becomes very limited on certain days and time of year.

Again, thank you for visiting today and providing me the opportunity to create your special memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Blessed Indeed,

Jim Servies


session day: What to expect

The first thing I do upon arrival on-location is to take a few minutes to just talk and get to know everyone – we’ll discuss topics like the inverse square law, nuclear fusion… I’m only kidding, I don’t know the first thing about nuclear fusion. Smile.

Seriously, at this point my camera is still in the bag and just small talk about the session and an exchange of ideas takes place.

Once everyone is more relaxed, I will ease into the shoot, capturing some candid moments and adjusting my camera, lighting, etc. If your shoot involves small children, I normally use this time to get to know them better.  As a Dad with two toddlers, I’m familiar with “shyness” around someone new and especially a camera.

Once the session is underway, I will gently direct the action to capture those spontaneous expressions and interactions. The fun begins.  Keep in mind, natural pauses and breaks just happen and oftentimes it’s during these casual and relaxed moments the best opportunities present themselves  – kids being kids, a couple’s intimate discussion, a family being family.  I love these moments and will be sure to capture them for you.

As your session winds down, I will insure we have the necessary shots for your session.  I look forward to our time together and promise we’ll capture some wonderful memories.  It’s what I love to do!  If you’re ready to book a session please use the contact menu at the top and bottom of this page or click the link below.


How To Book A Session

To book your session please use the contact menu located at the top or bottom of every page or click the link below.  Please insert “Book A Session” as your subject line.

Contact Jim


What To Wear

What to wear is the number one question and for good reason – we all want to look our best.  Since most sessions are outdoor, comfortable shoes is a must.  If you want to have a shot of those Stilettos’ that’s great but pack them in the car and put them on at the time of the photo.  Follow the basics below and you’ll look fantastic!

NOTE: Please do not go out and spend a lot of money purchasing new clothes for your session as it’s not necessary. Clean and stain-free is all that’s required.  For children, if you have different outfits and coordinating accessories and just can’t decide, why not bring them all and we’ll be happy to help coordinate.

During your pre-session consultation we’ll discuss clothing and any other questions you may have.  As always, please feel free to contact us.


Coordinate everyone’s clothing but it’s not recommended to match exactly. Keeping items of clothing similar in color and style works well. Avoid plaids, large logos and bold stripe patterns as they create distractions. Jeans, Khakis, solid colors and simple works best.  Clean shoes unless we’re having some fun and going barefoot.


Jeans, Khakis, solid colors and simple sundresses always work well for kids too.  Please keep “comfortable” at the top of the list.  Also, bring an extra change of clothes for outdoor sessions as kids will be kids.  Finally, I know this is the “what to wear” section but it’s worth repeating – Please follow your normal schedule the day before and day of your session. If naps are part of your child’s routine please follow it.  We want everyone well fed and rested.   


Bare skin works best to capture a newborn’s innocence and create priceless portraits. I am discreet and will never photograph parts of the body that will embarrass them when grown up … unless bribed of course. Just kidding. Diaper covers and onesies are always an option but cute outfits are better left for older babies and children. 

NEWBORN TIPS: Keep loose clothing on your newborn before hand so when removed no indentation marks are revealed.  Also, the first ten days is the perfect time for newborn sessions as newborns change quickly and they love to sleep. Being flexible and supple is a plus too, especially for snuggling them in close.

Accessories & Props:

Large hats, scarves, large flowers, fun sunglasses, baskets, chairs, couches, just about anything you can imagine will definitely add some interest to your portraits. We probably won’t use them in all shots but they are fun to have around.  Also, if this is a child session and he/ she has a special teddy bear, baby doll, big truck or item they cherish please bring it along, you never know how we may use it?  Think outside the box.

What to Avoid:

Old tennis shoes, badly scuffed or marked dress shoes, busy clothing, bold patterns or stripes, large logos – any items you feel will distract from the subject (you). Jewelry and accessories are better left conservative unless you’re going for a certain look.



On-location: Outdoors

With the exception of newborn sessions, Jim’s preferred method for full or mini portrait sessions is outdoors for several reasons:

  1. Natural morning and late afternoon light provides flattering – warm photographs.
  2. By choosing outdoor locations we vary the perspective and background which makes your session creatively unique and beautiful.
  3. When kids or teens are involved it’s just a lot more fun outdoors. Kids like to run, jump, swing, dance, play ball and just have a good time. It’s during those spontaneous moments Jim captures “you” which translates into beautifully un-posed and unscripted photographs.

The next important question is “where” outdoors?

To help jump-start the “where” process begin thinking about your lifestyle. Is your family active and the outdoor type? Are sports part of your life? Golf, basketball, baseball, soccer? Do you enjoy nature walks or being out in the open, isolated from the daily grind?  If you’re not an outdoors type that’s absolutely fine.  With Jim’s knowledge and experience working with all lifestyles, together you’ll find the perfect location.  He will discuss this in more detail during your pre-session discussions.

For more ideas and information, please see “Location Ideas: Knoxville” below.



Location Ideas: Knoxville

Born and raised in Knoxville, TN, Jim is very familiar with some of the best locations for portrait photography. Below are just a few location ideas to help the thought process.  If you have a location in mind, please let us know as Jim is always looking for a new locations.

  • Downtown Knoxville
  • Market Square
  • Worlds Fair Park
  • Fountain City Park
  • Fountain City Duck Pond
  • Various City Recreation Parks
  • University of Tennessee Gardens
  • Knoxville Zoo
  • Norris Dam State Park Area (travel charges apply)

Due to space constraints this is just a partial list of wonderful locations around the Knoxville area.  Location ideas will be discussed in your pre-session conversations.

Session Tips

Many people have bad memories of past portrait sessions from studios-in-the-mall (JCPenny, Sears, etc.).  A session with Jim is the total opposite – relaxed, enjoyable and fun.  No stiff – posing, forced smiles or gaudy backgrounds here. Never!  A custom tailored session by Jim is designed especially for you – to bring out the “real” you!

For the best session experience, it’s important to keep the mood light and fun before and during the session.  As a parent of two toddlers, I understand that discipline is important, however, on the day of your session please consider pausing for a minute or two before scolding. A well rested, happy child will go a long way.

Demanding a “smile on command” rarely ever works. Relax and let the session progress normally and we’ll get “the shot”. I am an extremely patient photographer and love kids.  I may ask Mom or Dad to give us a little space to let me work with the child one on one. Often times this does the trick. Remember, we’re in no rush.

Running five minutes late, baby crying, hair just not right …Take a deep breath and relax …  it truly is fine, I understand. Remember, I don’t need perfection to create perfect photos.  I’m very good working through whatever situation arises to capture those special moments. No worries.

Engagement & Couple Sessions

I enjoy nothing more than capturing a happy couple and the love they radiate.  Engagement and Couple sessions are fun, exciting and sometimes a little goofy. If you want all out serious “love only” photographs – I can do it.  If you want ‘”pie-in-your-face” fun, I can handle that as well. Just no pie on me please.

In all seriousness, capturing the love, happiness and joy of you and your future spouse is very important to me and one of my specialties.  To learn more about my couple sessions or book a session please see “Session Prices”.

To see a sample couple session see this gallery.

Client Galleries & full-screen Slideshows

Every session comes with a secure password-protected client gallery which can be shared with family and friends.  Full screen slideshows which can be shared on social networks (Facebook, twitter, etc.) are also included within your gallery.

Galleries remain active for three months from the date of your session. Additional orders for reprints, enlargements, etc. are securely transacted from within your private gallery by choosing the “Add to Cart” option.  See Prints And Licenses for more details.  If you prefer to order direct please contact us.

Contact Jim



In the event someone becomes sick the day of your session, please contact us at the first signs of illness (if applicable).  Jim will work with you to reschedule. Our only request is that your rescheduled session be completed within 30 days of illness.  Sickness is discussed on a case by case basis and we’ll work with you any way we can.


A $150 deposit is required the day you schedule your session.  Session balance is due the day of your session.

We accept cash, checks, Visa & MasterCard.


Studio photography is an art unto itself and one Jim finds enjoyable.  The use of the studio is on a case by case basis and mainly utilized for certain portrait situations and commercial product photography.

Sometimes it’s necessary for Jim to shoot portraits in a studio setting. As an example, Jim will use certain lighting techniques both indoors and out to produce outstanding portraits when the weather’s not cooperating outside.  Jim’s extensive knowledge of studio and controlled lighting provides him the opportunity to produce highly – polished  professional portraits of magazine quality.  Studio settings can be created either on-location at your home, office or his location.

Keep in mind, when we mention studio portraits we’re not talking about JCPenny’s  stiff, posed , gaudy – background studio shots.  Cookie-cutter, studio-in-the-mall portraits are just not our style. 


All session packages include a coverage area within 20 miles of Knoxville, TN.  Extended travel outside the Knoxville area is welcomed as I love to travel and photograph new locations.  Charges for extended travel include normal travel expenses – meals, mileage and lodging (where applicable).  Please contact us for additional information.



Unfortunately, even with the best laid plans a session may have to be rescheduled due to weather.  If weather is a concern Jim will contact you the night before your session to discuss options.  The misconception is that bright, sunny weather is ideal for portrait sessions.  A photographer’s best friend is overcast days as clouds provide a perfect soft light that’s ideal for portraits.  If your session is cancelled due to inclement weather it will be rescheduled at the earliest possible time.


First, congratulations on your engagement and soon to be wedding day!  I am so happy for you.

The Good News: Weddings are so beautiful and when captured by the right photographer will be memories you’ll cherish forever.

The Not So Good News: Unfortunately, I do not provide wedding photography services at this time (January 2011) only engagement or couples sessions. I am more than happy to provide recommendations for reputable photographers in your area by email.  Please use the contact us form with “Request for Wedding Photographer” in the subject line and I will send a list of my recommended photographers.  Please check back or inquire by email as I may offer this service in the future?


How To Book Your Session with Jim

To book your session please use the contact menu located at the top or bottom of every page or click the link below.  Please insert “Book A Session” as your subject line.

Contact Jim


Session Pricing

Please see the INFO menu at the top of every page.  Under the heading “INFO” select “Session Pricing or click the link below.

Session Pricing