Family & Kiddos
Senior Portraits
Info About Me Investment Contact FAQ Proofing


These are the most common questions I am asked about portrait sessions.  Of course, if I have not covered it, please do not hesitate to ask!


Photography Services available:

- Family Beach Photography

-Wedding Photography

- Engagement sessions

- Family portraits

- Beach vacation portraits

- Senior portraits

I work mostly in Panama City Beach, Panama City, Lynn Haven, Springfield, Callaway and the Tyndall area.  I do travel to Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe and the 30a corridor (Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Seaside, and Grayton Beach).


How many images do I get?

This is a tough question because every session is different.   I cannot give you a guaranteed number of images.  Sometimes, your kiddos are complete hams and I end up with 100 or more.  Sometimes, they have a bad day and we might only get 20.  On average, the typically family will have about 50 quality images during a 1-hr shoot.  I take hundreds during the session and edit each one I feel looks good. While I do not limit the number I edit, I don’t want to add filler images to hit a magic number.  I edit each image individually (no batch edits), remove people from the background, remove blemishes, smooth skin, brighten colors and provide you with a finished, professional product.


How long will it take to get my images?

I try very hard to get your images to you within a week. Large groups take quite a bit longer to edit and therefore may take me an extra day or two. 


Can I have a beach session at another time of the day?  

I’ve done it.  But I’ve been doing this long enough to have learned from my mistakes. These never go well.  It is impossible to keep from squinting on our white beaches.  You will squint, your eyes will water, and you will be dripping with sweat.  Squinting causes wrinkles and that’s not a good look for anyone. 

 I will do a sunrise session if that’s something you are interested in. 


Where do you shoot?

In Panama City Beach, I typically shoot at St. Andrews State Park.  This beach has far fewer people at sunset, no beach chairs, tents, and umbrellas, and the condos will not be directly behind you.  In addition, there's a pier, the jetties, and huge dunes for some variety in the shoot.  They do charge a parking fee per vehicle, but I feel this location makes the best possible beach portraits. You can visit their website at www.floridastateparks.org/standrews. If you have a big group or you just cannot make it to the state park, I can come to your condo. 

If you are staying in the Santa Rosa Beach area, I also love to shoot at Grayton Beach State Park. 


Do you require a deposit?

A $75 deposit is required to reserve your session time.  Because this time is reserved for you and you only, the deposit is nonrefundable EXCEPT for weather cancellations.   If your session must be cancelled due to rain and cannot be rescheduled, your deposit will be refunded in full.  Deposits can be made via PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.  The balance is due at your session and can be made using PayPal, credit cards, cash, or checks to Heather Walker. 


What should I wear?

The number one question I am asked about portrait sessions (well, after "can you make me look skinny and young?") is "what should we wear?" 

For beach portraits, the standard uniform that you see everywhere is khaki and white.  There are very good reasons behind this.  It's easy, classic, and timeless.  Your portraits will not look outdated because you picked trendy colors or styles.  It always looks good. 

That said, I'm all about color.  

Not everybody looks good in white.  There's no law that states you have to have your portraits done in khaki and white.  There are other combinations that work very well on the beach.  Khaki or jean bottoms with turquoise, navy, coral, or yellows also look beautiful against the water.  Now, this can be tricky, especially for large groups.  Trying to match shades of turquoise for ten people can be maddening.  When it's done right though - wow - it looks amazing.

Avoid big prints and logos.  They will date your pictures. 

This sounds obvious, but wear clothing that fits well.  If you have spaghetti straps, make sure they are snug and do not fall down constantly.  Very short, tight skirts or dresses will look great for standing poses, but are not practical for any sitting poses and will limit the session.  Consider this when picking your wardrobe. 

For children especially, avoid fussy clothing.  Dresses with tons of ruffles may be adorable, but they also may need to be straightened constantly when they blow up in the wind.

If your little girl is wearing a dress and still in diapers, pick up a pair of white bloomers to hide the diaper.  Then, when she stands in the water and lifts her dress up to her belly-button (like they all do) the shot is precious.

Check out Pinterest for ideas.   



Here's the thing: it's the beach.  There's going to be wind.  Sometimes it's just a light breeze and sometimes it's downright windy.  My suggestion is to plan accordingly.  If it's windy on the day of your shoot and you have long hair, you probably want to pull your sides back out of your face if you can.  Retouching can fix some stray hairs.  Use hairspray generously.  

For girls, headbands and ribbons may be very pretty, but can become too fussy if they do not stay on well.  Keep it simple.  

Above all, realize that this is not a studio setting and you can't expect your hair to be studio perfect. 



Women should wear make-up as you normally would.  You may want to do your eye make-up a little heavier than normal so they pop in the photos.  False eye-lashes photograph very well and can make a huge difference in your close-ups.  Use a powder to control the shine particularly on your forehead (above the bridge of your nose), your nose, and chin.  I recommend using a long-wearing liquid foundation (color stay) as it seems to hold up best when sweating.  If the weather is cooler, you might want to use an airbrush finish make-up.  In the summer months, however, it melts off. 


Tan lines and Raccoon Eyes

It doesn't take long to turn lobster red on our beaches.  A sun-kissed look is great, but you don't want to be red in your portraits.  Retouching can fix some of it, but not all.  Use sunscreen and be aware of tan lines. 

Glasses, Sunglasses, Wallets, and Phones

Transition lens glasses are very popular but do not photograph well.  It will appear as though you are wearing sunglasses instead of eyeglasses.  If you have other glasses, bring them for the portraits.  Preferably, do not wear glasses at all as the glass will reflect light and have a glare.  Of course, if you need them to see it isn't an option!

Unless you have a bag to carry them in, leave your sunglasses in your car.  We don't want them in your pocket or on your head and the sand will scratch the lenses.  Sometimes I get preoccupied with making the children smile and I won't realize you still have sunglasses on your head!

Phones and wallets need to either be left in your vehicle or in a bag.  We do not want to have them sticking out of your pockets. 



Because beach sessions are done in the late afternoon/early evening when the light is best, children are often already worn out by the time we start.  They are off their usual schedule while on vacation and overwhelmed with the daily sun and sand activities.  I highly recommend that you allow your child some downtime before your session.  A late nap is recommended for both children and adults!  

If you plan on eating dinner after your session, please feed your child a decent sized snack before the session so they are not hungry.  Bring a bottle and burp cloth for the baby.  If possible, try not to bring a toy that the child will not give up unless you want it in the picture with you.  An hour may not seem like a long session time, but for a hungry, tired child, it is an eternity. 


The Carrot or the Stick?

It doesn't matter what age your child is, he or she will need some encouragement to maintain a cheerful composure during the session.  Most children lose interest in the portrait session about halfway through and some are determined not to participate at all.  I have all kinds of silly tricks and I may say ridiculous things like reindeer poop to make them laugh.  Children find it quite amusing when an adult makes an idiot of themselves.  I am more than happy to oblige.

That said, the most effective tool is the BRIBE.  Whether this is your normal parenting technique or not, I highly recommend it for this one occasion.  You are spending a lot of money for these portraits and a happy child takes better pictures.  Ice cream, mini-golf, candy, whatever, it helps if you discuss the expectations and potential reward with your child before the session.  Red eyes and a running nose from a crying child isn't the look we are going for. 

I like to make the sessions fun and relaxed. I may jump around like a monkey.  I may ask your child to make funny faces because it will make them laugh naturally.  I may tickle their toes and chase them around or ask them to help me find the perfect shell for my little girl to get them relaxed.  I’m pretty patient with other people’s kids.

Set your expectations for them upfront, offer a reward for their cheerful participation, and relax yourself.  If you are uptight it will make your children uptight.  Enjoy your toes in the sand, the sea breeze in your face, and the lapping sounds of the waves behind you.  This is, after all, paradise.