There are just certain moments that change your life forever in ways you never even knew were possible.  We believe that our clients deserve to not only document these moments, but also have them preserved as photographic heirloom pieces of art for their homes.  Blackburn Portrait Design offers personalized Portrait Sessions and Wedding coverage with unparalleled service, a wide range of portrait products, and 20 years of experience in the Saratoga, Albany, Lake George and Adirondack areas, as well as serving clients nationwide.  In addition, we offer Executive Portraits, Head Shots and Personal Branding Photography services.

People ask us all the time, “What is the big deal about custom photography?”  First off, let’s just say that custom photography is not for everyone.  It can seem a little intimidating and maybe seems expensive to some people.  But if you are looking for something that is beautiful, unique and will be proudly displayed in your home for a long time, then custom photography can be perfect.

We do not believe in a cookie cutter approach, which is why we do not offer “Mini Sessions” or factory assembly line photos or fully retouched high resolution photos on disk for a $200 session fee. We do not want to photograph ten families in one day against the same set like chain photographers.  What we want to provide is an experience unique to you.  We want to get to know you.  We want to provide your family with products you will cherish 20 years from now and that you will be proud to display in your home.  We want to help you choose the product that is right for your family and your lifestyle.  We want your kids to fight over who inherits the family portraits.  That will probably not happen if you only allot 15 minutes of time and effort for your family portraits.  And a disk or flash drive will not only become obsolete, it will also never be proudly displayed in your home.

Below are some questions people typically ask when considering having “real” portraits created of themselves and their family.  You can also check out this Blog post on Planning Your Portraits.

Saratoga Photographer

Where do you photograph?

We offer the flexibility of both an indoor studio with traditional studio set ups as well as the option to go on location.  We love doing both and feel you should have a choice!  We are comfortable with both traditional lighting set ups as well as available natural light photography.  This gives you a wide range of options to truly customize the look of your portraits.

Why is Blackburn Portrait Design worth the investment?

We invest over 40 hours of time per Wedding client from the initial booking appointment through the wedding day and final album delivery.  For Portrait Sessions, we typically invest 10-12 hours from the initial consultation to the delivery of your finished portraits.  There is quite a bit of behind the scenes work going on both before and after the initial photography of your event or portraits to ensure the highest quality product we can deliver.  All of these elements combine to provide you with a unique custom experience!

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What is included in the Portrait Session Fee?

The Portrait Session Fee includes a consultation before the session, the time and talent of Susan Blackburn photographing your images and editing them after the session.  These images are then presented to you during your Viewing and Ordering Appointment.  The Session Fee does not include the purchase of any Wall Decor, Desk Portraits or Albums.

How can I retain your services?

Portrait Photography Clients:  A retainer of $125 is payable upon booking your session.  Appointments will not be held without a paid retainer.  We accept checks, credit cards and cash payment.

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What if I need to reschedule my Portrait Session?

Things come up, kids get sick, life gets crazy. . . we understand!  And trust us, pictures of sick kids are not so great:)  However, we do ask that you try to give 24 hours notice.  Your session fee, while non-refundable, can be transferred to another date.

Do you provide assistance with portrait display in my home?

Absolutely!  Simply take some pictures and provide measurements of the spaces you are considering, and we will recommend sizes and/or layouts that would be appropriate.  We can also come to your home to determine the best way to display the portraits from your session–an additional fee may apply.

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Are digital files available for purchase?

Short answer–yes.  However, we are a full service studio, which means we believe in giving our clients tangible products that they can display in their homes.  While we do not give our clients all the edited session images as digital files for a ridiculously cheap price, for Portrait clients we do offer the option to either purchase files individually or to purchase files of the entire session.  We  also offer files for Social Media purposes only.  Pricing depends upon whether or not certain minimum orders have been met.  However, please be aware that we cannot and do not warrant the printing of digital files by labs other than our own and cannot be responsible for the quality of prints made anywhere else.

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How long before I see my images?

Your images will be ready to view within two weeks of your Portrait Session.  Wedding clients typically see their images within three weeks of their event.  At your Viewing and Ordering Appointment, you will be guided personally through the selection process and shown options for display and albums.  For Portrait clients, if you have relatives out of town, we can provide a temporary online gallery with a select few images for them to review once your order has been placed.

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What can I expect at the Viewing and Ordering Appointment?

We ask that you come ready to place your order at the time of your Viewing and Ordering Appointment. It will take approximately one hour. Prior to this appointment, we have culled and color corrected your images. At this appointment, you will see a slide show then view each image individually. We will help you choose appropriate sizes and products. We ask that you come to this appointment ready to make your selections–this means you should have an idea of who you would like to purchase prints for and approximately what sizes you would need for each person. We love kids, but we also ask that you leave them with a babysitter or relative for this appointment–they tend to get bored and fidgety, which can make you a little distracted in turn.

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When will my portraits be ready?

Providing the quality our clients have come to expect takes a little bit of time. Please allow between three to six weeks to receive your finished products, depending on what you have selected.

How long will you keep the images from my session or wedding?

Portrait images that you have placed orders of will be archived indefinitely. The remaining unordered images will be discarded after six months. Edited Wedding images are all kept until the album and other products are ordered. After the initial order, all ordered images are archived indefinitely and any images that have not been ordered will be discarded after six months after final order placement.

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How does Copyright law apply to the images from my session?

All images created by Susan Blackburn of Blackburn Portrait Design are copyright protected. It is illegal and unlawful to copy, scan or reproduce in any way any portraits without prior written consent. As noted above, digital files are available for purchase. In the event you choose to purchase digital files, please be aware that you are only purchasing the right to reproduce copies of the files for personal use. Blackburn Portrait Design retains the right to use images for advertising, competition, and any other purpose we deem appropriate. Due to the great variance between labs, we cannot guarantee the longevity of prints or the quality of printing by labs other than our own.

Also, please note that by creating a copy or scan of the original image, the quality and beauty of your finished images will be greatly diminished. And again, we are not responsible for images created by labs or printers other than our own. We are always happy to order finished prints for you that will meet our high standards of excellence.

Interested in retaining Blackburn Portrait Design for your Wedding or Portrait Session? Please click here or call 518.584.4237 for a consultation. You can also e-mail us at

Saratoga Springs Photographer Susan Blackburn is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer offering Photography services in Saratoga Springs, Lake George, the Adirondack Region and destinations worldwide.