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What is Lenswork Studio?

For over 15 years, Lenswork Studio Winnetka has served Chicago’s North Shore as trusted specialists in high-end family portraiture. Chief photographer Tao Zhang is known for effortlessly capturing natural beauty and emotion through candid imagery. Rooted in storytelling, his work brings a distinct stylistic quality through vivid expressions, energy and authenticity.

WHAT’S THE PROCESS & TIMING?

Photo sessions usually take about an hour, but it's a good idea to put two hours on your calendar to allow for occasional overtime, location change, travel, etc.

Image editing begins right after the photo session and takes approximately 1 week.

Next, we’ll meet on Zoom for your order session. Typically it takes an hour and a half to select your favorite images and finalize your order, although it often feels much shorter!

From there we’ll put the finishing touches on your photos. For digital orders, you’ll have access to your online gallery after just a couple of days. You can download images from there and order professional-quality prints and cards if you like.

Non-digital orders are typically finished delivered within 2-4 weeks.

WHERE WILL WE SHOOT?

Based on Chicago's North Shore, I shoot most sessions anywhere from Evanston to Lake Forest. My favorite locations include parks and beaches in Wilmette and Winnetka. I do occasionally shoot in clients' homes for photo sessions, especially during inclement weather.

I’m open to other locations in the Chicago area as well as overseas destinations. A travel fee may apply.

WHEN SHOULD I BOOK?

The busiest time for the studio is September through Thanksgiving. Most photo sessions take place on weekends. We limit sessions to four families per weekend, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. Sessions usually take place in the afternoon.

HOW MANY photos do you shoot?

A photo session is typically designed for one family. By the way, pets join for free! If you would like to include loved ones from your extended family, just let me know in advance so that I can plan your session accordingly. No additional fees.

We shoot as many photos as needed during the photo session, no limit on number of shots. During editing, the best images are selected for presentation; usually about 30-40 images. We can expect to narrow it down to 10-20 unique favorites. Sometimes a few more.

How should i prepare?

A little prep work always helps, so talk to your family about the portrait and make sure everyone is on the same page about expectations and logistics.

If a haircut is necessary, schedule the appointment a week before our session to avoid that "new haircut" look. I recommend you dress comfortably and similarly in style to others being photographed. Casual is good; too casual can alter the aesthetic. This, of course, depends on your personal taste.

Before you arrive for the photo session, make sure everyone, especially the little ones, are well-fed and hydrated. It can be helpful to pack treats or snacks!

Can we bring pets?

Absolutely, just make sure you’re able to manage them. A runaway dog is a potential mood-killer. :)

How much do you charge?

Our portrait sessions aren’t exactly traditional — and they're fun! The session fee is $400, which comes with a complimentary $100 print credit for your order. It covers your photo session with the chief photographer Tao, his professional image editing, and portrait display consultation service.

Studio-quality prints start from $18 with digital orders. Framed portraits start from $124. Canvas, metal prints, photo albums and more are available.

For additional pricing information, please contact the studio.

CAN I ORDER DIGITAL VERSIONS OF THE PHOTOS?

Yes. In fact, most families opt for digital orders. All digital portrait images are professionally captured and edited to achieve optimal visual and technical standards. Delivered in high-resolution JPEG format, each image is capable of producing a large-size professional print.

How long will you save our image files?

All image files in your order are kept for one month. I strongly recommend that you save your files in at least a few different locations for maximum protection.

How will I receive my digital order?

Digital images in your order are downloadable from your private photo gallery. You will receive a link and password to access the gallery.

Non-digital orders will be delivered to your home from our lab, usually within 2-4 weeks.

Do I own the copyrights to the digital images in my order?

Copyrights belong to the photographer who captured the images. However, when you purchase an image file from the studio, you're granted usage rights to handle the image for personal use. For example, you can make prints for your home but may not sell those prints or the digital files to others.

Can I share my digital images with on social media?

Yes! Sharing is caring. Please credit Lenswork Studio on Facebook, etc. and tag @lensworkstudio on Instagram.

I'D LIKE TO CREATE A PHOTO COLLAGE ON MY WALL. CAN YOU HELP?

Yes! I’m happy to explore options together and offer advice on how to display your portraits at their best.

What else do you shoot?

I often shoot headshots for professionals and creatives. I’ve shot over 300 weddings in the past; I still accept wedding bookings on occasions. Additionally I shoot a limited number of fine art commissions for corporate clients. Other recent projects include "North Shore Nostalgia," a personal fine art photography series.