Please read the following before requesting an appointment! This information is applicable to all session types: , engagement, family, lifestyle portraits, maternity, newborn, elopement and mini weddings, environmental portraits, etc, to be scheduled at the end of March or early April.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled during a three week time frame, from March 20th - April 15th, 2018, with the hope that the blossoms will bloom at that time.
The blooming period lasts 1-2 weeks. That means that you can get beautiful photos at (3) times:
- as the blossoms are preparing to bloom (a few days before peak bloom)
- peak bloom
- a few days after peak bloom when the petals turn to pastel pink and white.
Option 1: Premium Dates (best blossom dates) & Rates
Lincoln Photography is setting aside (4) days as Premium Dates (peak bloom date, one day prior, and two days after) which is when 70% of the blossoms are open.
To reserve one of the 8 premium hour-long sessions --4 Golden Hour & 4 Sunrise-- you must book now and then once the peak dates are known Lincoln Photography will contact you in the order of who booked first to choose the specific date.
Golden Hour, $435 (4 available)
Sunrise Session, $435 (4 available)
Option 2: Priority Dates (second best dates) & Rates
Trees are starting to bloom but not reached peak bloom. The first choice and second choice options gives you the opportunity to schedule your 1-hour session as close to the peak bloom period as possible for the best blossom photos before or after the peak bloom.
First Choice Sunset - $410
First Choice Sunrise - 410
Second Choice Sunset - $385
Second Choice sunrise - $385
Option 3: Standard Booking
Any time from 8am - 5pm during the festival (3/20 - 4/15) carry my Standard rates (view "Rates" in the top menu). After the peak bloom dates are announced, if your session does not fall on one of those dates, I will move your session to the "golden hour" for ideal lighting at no charge.
**Note: If you are not able to be flexible as the above requires and need to reserve a specific date, you have to either book that date now at the premium rate to guarantee it, OR wait and book later, after the premium dates are filled.
Contact me at RL@RLincoln.com or at 202.821.6072.
From the National Cherry Blossom Festival website:
Average Peak Bloom Date: April 4
Exactly when the buds will open is not easy to predict and it is extremely difficult to give an accurate forecast much more than 10 days before peak bloom. http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/about/bloom-watch
Check out this blog for up-to-date information on peak bloom dates: http://cherryblossomwatch.com/peak-bloom-forecast/
What is included in the Premium or Priority session rates?
All sessions include all of the best images as high res jpegs in an online gallery (link + password will be emailed). You can download and print on your own. Sharing on social media is also allowed with standard tag or photo credit. You will end up with at least (but not limited to) 50-60 photos per hour booked.
How do we book a session during the cherry blossom season?
Email me and let me know which booking tier you would like. Once I confirm that the spot is available, all you need to do to secure your booking is send the deposit. The deposit is 100% of your session fee, and may be paid via check or PayPal.
Please view the above information on booking tiers and how to schedule a session specifically during the peak blossom period.
Can we book more than one hour?
Yes, you may book two or three hours, and the pricing is the hourly rate listed for each type of booking tier (ie if you select 1.5 hours, you only pay for an additional half hour, not a full extra hour. We will start about an hour and 15 minutes before sunset, and continue the session for 15 minutes after sunset (some great night time photos with the monuments lit up!).
Sessions lasting 1.5 hours can be scheduled either (1) during the Golden Hour and extend 30 minutes after sunset (for some great night time photos with the monuments lit up), or (2) start slightly earlier than the Golden Hour (still good lighting) and extend 15 minutes after sunset (great post-sunset monument photos).
Can we book a night time session?
Yes, night time sessions start 10 minutes after sunset and are booked at the standard rate (see "Rates" in top menu).
Please note that night time sessions are not included as part of the tier system. Rescheduling is subject to availability and a $65 fee. You may book a night time session for any date during the cherry blossom season. Please note that the flowers are less visible at night. Please view sample images in the cherry blossom gallery.
How do we reschedule a standard daytime session?
Once you have selected your date and time, rescheduling is subject to availability and a $65 fee.
Can we upgrade our booking tier?
You may upgrade if (spots are available) until February 15th. After that, you may only upgrade two days before your session.
Can we downgrade our booking tier?
Since your deposit guarantees your session and makes your booking tier slot unavailable to all other clients, it is non-refundable.
What if there is bad weather during our session?
1. If it begins raining in the middle of your session, we will take cover and see if it passes quickly. If possible, we will continue photos inside one of the monuments. If that is not possible and it does not pass quickly, 25% of your session fee will be refunded, and you will receive the photos we have taken.
You will also be able to reschedule during the cherry blossom season (according to availability) at the standard rate and no rescheduling fee.
2. If it begins raining as your session starts, we will take cover and see if it passes quickly. If possible, we will continue photos inside one of the monuments. If that is not possible, you may reschedule your session according to availability (rescheduling fee will be waived). If you are from out of town cannot reschedule, and we are unable to hold the session due to weather, 50% of your fee will be refunded.
3. If the forecast 24 hours before your scheduled session shows more than a 30% chance of rain and/or extremely bad weather, we will wait as long as possible before canceling or rescheduling. In previous years, bad weather during this time has only lasted a few minutes, even if it is predicted to last all evening. I recommend preparing to hold your session, and we will both check the actual weather and sky and make a decision 1.5 hours prior to the start of your session.