About Me

I love beauty, fashion, hair, makeup, jewelry, and making my clients feel confident in front of the camera.  I work with all pageant systems and age groups.  I am a photographer and a retoucher.  I prioritize my art and people ahead of business and money.  I donate my time and services as needed but expect donees to cover operational expenses such as travel expenses, equipment rental fees, permits and other fees for the job.  I love people and animals.  I live in Jacksonville but I travel throughout Florida. 

My published photos can be found in pageant program books, pageant training books, pageant websites, and pageant magazines such as Crowns Magazine and Pageantry Magazine.  Some of it has also been used on billboard advertisements, 5 foot event posters, and local newspapers.

To create magazine publishable images, I use a 3 step process. In the pre-production step, we discuss what you want, who or what else we need, when, where, and how to prepare for your shoot. In the production step, we bring everyone and everything together to execute the shoot. In the post-production step, we review the images and decide which images to keep, what kind of retouching to apply if any, crop sizes, and delivery and publication deadline dates. That's the 3 step process in a nutshell.  I outline and expand on it below under prices and packages.

Text booking questions to 904-894-7686


Chris Seetaram

Owner/Photographer

Abiding Light Photography


Prices and Packages


Pageant Head-shots, Sponsor Ads, and Sash & Crown

90 minute indoor or outdoor location, home, office, etc.

Includes multiple headshots and head to knee sash and crown images

2 of your best images professionally retouched for free, $15 each additional image 

Photographer comes to you

Unless you make a special request (see below), this offer is limited to Jacksonville, FL and its surrounding counties.*                         

$200       

Special Requests -- Once a month or once every other month I travel to other cities across the state such as Miami, Tampa, and West Palm to meet and photograph pageant clients.  If you would like to get on my travel schedule, please contact me and I  will let you know when next I will be in your area.  Unfortunately, because this option includes travel expenses, the fee is $250 for a 90 minute headshot and sash and crown session.  

Group Head-shots for Pageant Directors, Pageant Sisters, or Sororities

Your home, office, cafeteria, church or conference room location

60 minutes of headshots and/or head to knee sash and crown images per model

Photographer comes to your Florida location

We recommend you hire and share professional hair and makeup

2 of each model's best images professionally retouched for free, $10 each additional image.  

Minimum 3 or 4 Models | Maximum 8 Models per event

Starts at $150 per model 

Group Sash and Crown Promo Shoot for Pageant Directors

Your home, office, cafeteria, church or conference room location

4 hours of head to knee sash and crown and full length group and individual images of state or national queens from different age groups.

Photographer comes to your Florida location

Professional hair and makeup recommended

10 of your groups best images professionally retouched for free, $25 each additional image.  

Minimum 3 or 4 queens | Maximum 8 queens per event

$500 for half a day.

Individual State Title-holder Promo

This is an intense 3 to 4 hour shoot and covers a mix of headshots and full length fashion shots.

It may include sash and crown shots, fashion length gown shots, pageant headshots, beauty headshots, professional or interview headshots, active wear or swimwear shots.

8 of your favorite images professionally retouched, $10 each additional image.

Studio rental fee not included, varies, and can be waived in certain circumstances like shooting outdoors or at an approved location.  

Professional Hair and Makeup highly recommended and can be arranged upon request.

Starts at $300 per model

Pageant System Promotional and Commercial Use for Pageant Directors

This is an intense one day or multi-day pageant promotional shoot.  Additional shoots throughout the year can be added from the list above at discounted rates!

*Multiple state champion titleholders from the same pageant system may shoot together or separately using a variety of looks to promote your pageant system.

It may include pageant headshots, beauty headshots, professional or interview headshots, sash and crown shots, active wear or swimwear shots, special themed shots, and more.

Advance planning and shot list required.

Professional Hair and Makeup required.  I suggest getting sponsors to co-promote.

First 20 images retouched for free.  Additional retouched images are just $10 each.

Professional retouching may be outsourced upon approval.

Studio rental fee not included, varies, and can be waived if shot at your location.

Fee includes production planning with your creative team ahead of the shoot and follow-up communications and tasking with your advertisement and promotional team after the shoot and throughout the promotional period.

$1,000 per 8 hour shooting day

Studio Fashion Event

Photographer comes to your location

Location must have a room with the following minimum dimensions - 30 x 20 x 10 foot (LxWxH) to setup our studio.

Minimum 4 Models | Max 8 Models per day

60 minute limit each model

Does not include headshots.  This option is better suited for Sash and Crown or  full length Fashion images.

You hire and share hair and makeup

$150 per model

Other Headshot, Pageant, or Fashion Themed Group Events

If you would like to schedule a custom package not described above,  such as corporate or professional business headshots, don't hesitate to reach out to me to discuss your needs.  I have covered several Stay Gorgeous Girls events across the state.  (Stay Gorgeous Girls is a separate entity and you can find more information about the organization and its mission, here.)  So, please contact me for more information regarding large group events.

Cancellation and Deposit Policy

A $50 non-refundable deposit is required for all bookings.  Group shoots require a $50 deposit for each member of the group.  Unlike other services, photoshoots often require advance preparation costs such as set design, travel costs, equipment rental, equipment setup, and equipment breakdown.  Therefore, deposits are non-refundable.  If you need to re-schedule, it must be done 72 hours before your scheduled shoot or you forfeit your deposit.

Glossary and Notes

*Prices subject to change

**Travel expenses and other fees may apply for out of town clients.

A regular headshot starts at the narrowest point of the waist and ends near the top of the  head or crown.  A tight headshot or beauty headshot starts below the clavicle and ends near  the top of the head.  Crowns are usually cropped off in tighter headshots.

You can use a headshot for your pageant advertisement but I recommend the knee to head sash and crown shot because pageant directors love to see their brand.  Plus, there is usually enough white space around the edges of the photo to include your name and sponsor information.

A typical knee to head sash and crown shot starts right above the knee and ends above the crown.  Variations of holding and wearing the sash and crown are usually included with sash and crown shots. 

A head to toe sash and crown or fashion shot includes the train of the gown, heels and so forth and ends above the head or crown.  It is considered fashion because the gown dominates the photo while the details of the models hair, makeup, eyes and other features grow smaller and less detailed in the image. 

Cropping a full length photo to make it a headshot is not recommended.  A proper headshot will set you apart from the competition, particularly when your photo is literally placed right next to the competition on a printed page, program book, or website.


PRE PRODUCTION


How To Book A Shoot

There are several easy ways to book a shoot with Abiding Light:

Send me a text @ 904-894-7686

Message me on Instagram or Facebook

Email me at abidinglightphotography@gmail.com


Visualize the end Result - Begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey)

It's important to get a good visual of what you want the end result to look like before you start!  Spend some time pre-visualizing your headshot.  To get started with this process, look at headshots from last years titleholders in your age group.  As you refine and finalize your vision, make notes of the details outlined below, talk to your pageant director, and collect and share images of your vision with your creative team -- hair, makeup, wardrobe stylist, and photographer.

Hair - How is your hair done?  Is your hair up or down?  If it's down, is it blowing in the wind with fly-away hairs on the edges or is it shaped with clean edges.  Is it straight and flat or lightly curled and bouncy?  Is your hair natural, colorized, or highlighted?

Makeup - How is your makeup?  Is it natural, glitzy, or somewhere in between natural and glitzy?  On a scale of 1 to 10, where is it?   Do you have lash extensions or natural lashes?  What color lipstick are you wearing?  Is it glossy or matte?  Does your foundation color match your neck and chest?

Neckline - What's the shape of your neckline?  Is it square, round, v-shaped, or off the shoulder?  How deep is the cut?  Does the neckline complement your face, neck and bust?  What's the color and tone of your decolletage?  Is it evenly toned or are there distracting tan-lines?

Jewelry -  What color jewelry are you wearing?  Do the colors and style complement your overall look or distract from it?   

Color - What color outfit are you wearing? Is it your favorite color?  Does it complement your skin and hair color?  Does your foundation match your neck and chest?

Mood - What's your mood?  Are you fussy and unsure about your self or confident and unstoppable?  Are you smiling or serious?  Does the overall mood of your image fit well into your pageant system and previous years' photos of other titleholders?


Top Hair, Skin, and Makeup Tips for Preparing for Pageant, Glam, and Beauty Head-shots

Start preparing your skin 3 to 5 days in advance.  You want to come to your shoot with an even skin tone.  To achieve that, avoid overexposure to the sun and tan lines. Wax facial hair 2-3 days in advance (side burns, upper lip, and around jawline) if needed.  Drink lots of water.  Avoid alcohol.  Get plenty of sleep.  Pluck eyebrows at least 24 hours in advance to avoid redness.  Exfoliate.  Moisturize.

Unless you have naturally long full eyelashes, purchase eyelashes.  Bring 2 to 3 pairs in case you drop or lose one. Apply mascara and liner before foundation just in case it falls and you need to wipe it off your face.

Do your makeup in natural light or daylight colored lights approximately 5000 to 5500 Kelvin if possible.  Avoid tungsten (2800 to 3200 Kelvin) or other colored lights.

Studio lights are really powerful lights and they will cut through normal makeup coverage like butter exposing the underlying skin.  So, use 25 percent more makeup than you normally would to adjust for the loss of coverage due to studio lights.  Take a selfie with flash to compare what you see in the mirror.

If you want your makeup to last all day without creasing, use a primer.  

Lighten under your eyes even if you think you don't need it.  Before you apply foundation, use a concealer and/or corrector 1 to 2 shades lighter than your foundation color to lighten and brighten under your eyes and the inner corner of your eyes.  Also, make sure the corner of your lips match the surrounding skin tone, not too dark or too light.  Get it even.  Lighten or darken accordingly.

Purchase the right type and color foundation.  Use full coverage matte foundation.  Matte foundation will also help with studio light coverage loss.  What's more, your foundation needs to cover any flaws and must accurately match the color of your underlying skin tone.  Get color matched at your local makeup store.  Foundation should match your neck and chest.  If you have mismatched skin tones, you may need more than one color foundation to even out your skin tone.  Professional makeup artists are usually able to this for you before the shoot.  So, if doing all of this preparation on your own seems to overwhelming, consider hiring a professional makeup artist.

Use a long lasting translucent setting powder to set your makeup.  Bring it to the shoot.  You will need it to refresh during your shoot.

Bring blotting paper or rice paper to your shoot.  Before you start shooting, blot then refresh with your translucent setting powder.   Depending on humidity and skin type, repeat as needed.

If you suffer with red eyes, bring Visine, Lumify, or similar product.

Bring medium and large earrings.  Avoid tiny studs.  Bring 4 to 5 pairs of earrings to match different outfits and looks.  Avoid wearing multiple earrings, however. 

Bring bracelets, and necklaces to accent your neckline and hands.  Necklaces and bracelets should unify the look.

Use glossy lipstick,  lip gloss, or lip balms to make lips look moist and full.   If you aren’t sure about color, go neutral.  If you have normally dry or cracked lips, try your best to use lip balms several days ahead of and during the shoot and avoid matte lipstick.

Whiten teeth if possible.

Nails should be neutral.  Neutral manicured nails are best.  Avoid colorful nails. 

Hair should be a unified color.  Apart from neutral highlights, avoid mismatched hair colors.  Address roots and ends if needed. 

If you have thin hair and want to curl it for extra body, its my experience that one big curl is better than multiple small curls.  Multiple curls tend to split apart, separate, and go their own way.  So, consider wearing your hair to one side using one big curling pattern.

To control frizzy hair, avoid products with alcohol.  Alcohol dries hair.  Hairspray has a lot of alcohol.  Frizzy hair is caused when dry hair interacts with moisture in the air.  Florida is very humid.  Consider trying a natural hair cream with beeswax and Argan oil to help control frizz.  If you have a few unruly hair ends, eyebrow gel will help tame them.

Additional Hair and Makeup Resources

Kandee Johnson: https://www.youtube.com/user/kandeejohnson

Lauren Curtis: https://www.youtube.com/user/laurenbeautyy

Michell Phan: https://www.youtube.com/user/MichellePhan

Contouring: https://youtu.be/5uSG7KT9zlE

5 Things you should bring to every shoot

Translucent setting powder and brush

Blotting paper

Clear eyebrow gel

Extra eyelashes

Extra earrings


Wardrobe and Jewelry Selection

It's important to consult your pageant handbook, research prior years queen's photos, and discuss with your pageant director what's recommended for each category of competition in your pageant system.

For headshots focus on the neckline.  Chose a neckline that complements your face, neck and bust.  Avoid sweaters and turtlenecks.

Unless you're a Mrs., avoid rings.  Instead chose bracelets to complement your overall look and invest in a manicure.  Remove scrunchies. 

Earrings are a must.  You can get by without bracelets and necklaces but you must have long earrings.  Avoid stud earrings.  Avoid multiple earrings.        

For fashion portfolios chose a variety of outfit shapes.  Here are the styles of outfits I recommend for a wide variety of fashion poses and looks.

- One fitted long outfit

- One flowing long outfit

- One fitted short outfit

- One flowing short outfit

Better Poses in 3 Simple Steps

Step One:  Feet

Start with your feet.  Move your feet to change your body angle.  Also, avoid flat feet.  Raise your heel on one foot.  Shift your weight from side to side.  Cross your legs.  Feet adjustments and weight shifts create curves.   

Step Two:  Hands

Use your hands to create triangles and negative space around your body.  Avoid hanging your arms straight down.  Put one hand on your hips and one behind your neck, then your shoulder, and above your head.  Go for asymmetry.  Switch sides.  Avoid clawing fingers. Go for soft hands.

Step Three:  Chest

Lift your chest up like when you take a deep breath.  Avoid slouching.  When you lift up with your chest, your shoulders roll back naturally, your lower back forms a small arch, and your torso elongates.

Use these 3 steps for all poses including sitting, laying, leaning, or standing poses.  If you're leaning on a wall, raise one foot, put one hand flat against the wall, and lift your chest.  If you're sitting for a headshot, align your feet, hips, and shoulders, then place your hands to create negative space from your face and upper body, and lastly breathe in to lift your chest and elongate your torso.


PRODUCTION


Day of Shoot Sample

Depending on your package selection, I will send you an itinerary for what you can expect on the day of your shoot or a reminder of when to expect me at your location.  Here is a sample Studio Shoot Itinerary:

Tentative Timeline

Headshot: First Outfit on White (15 mins)

Forward Leaning symmetrical and asymmetrical

Side Leaning w/Hair Over the Shoulder

Leaning Holding Crown Sash on Table

Retouch Hair and Makeup then repeat w/additional outfits

Full length: Long gown with crown (10-15 mins)

Forward facing 0 Degree to camera

35 Degree to camera

90 Degree to camera

115 Degree over the shoulder

Standing or Seated

Retouch Hair and Makeup then repeat w/additional outfits

Cocktail Dress/Active wear: Fun/Active Sash and Crown (15-30 mins)

Forward facing 0 Degree to camera 35 Degree to camera

90 Degree to camera

115 Degree over the shoulder

Retouch Hair and Makeup then repeat w/additional cocktail dresses and finish with Active wear or swimwear.


POST PRODUCTION


Photo Selection Process

After your shoot, I will send a link to the original digital copies of your images for review and selection.  Before you share any of these images, please read our Publication and Use statement below.

After you send me the file names of your selections, I will retouch your images. If you are struggling to make a selection, please let me know and I will help you make your selections.  If you allow me to choose your best images, you will likely get your retouched images sooner. 

The photos on the carousel at the top of this page includes retouched and straight out of camera images.


Retouching Process

I retouch images to your taste.  So, communication is important.  Tell me what you want or don't want to see in your images.  Print your selected image and mark it up.  Text it or email it to me with all the things you want and don't want to see.  Send me samples of other images you like or don't like. 

Do you want me to remove scars or leave them?  Do you want blemish free skin or faded blemishes?  Do you want flyaway hairs or keep them?  Do you want really smooth texture free skin or some texture.  Keep in mind I can always increase or decrease certain image elements to your taste until you are happy. 

If you're not sure about retouching.  Tell me where you are going to use the final image, it's purpose, and I will research it and retouch it for that purpose for you.

Warning

I do not recommend running your images through retouching apps.  Retouching apps pull out a lot of information from the underlying image file.  It may look good on a phone screen but terrible on a computer screen.  My retouched images are high resolution.  They look great printed, on billboards, and computer screens.  You can zoom in on the image and see details.  After you run and image through a retouching app, you will end up with a low resolution, low quality file that cannot be printed.  If you zoom in on the image, you will not be able to see details.  You will see pixel-mush where you should see details.  As a consequence, your image will be rejected by most magazines and pageant directors.


Image Resolution

Most magazine publications and pageant directors require high resolution image files with a minimum 300 pixels per inch for printing.  So, please read the following download instructions carefully.

Retouched images are going to be the highest resolution possible.  They are usually cropped 8x10, are over 5MB, and have a minimum 300 pixels per inch.

Gallery images for selection are not always cropped 8 x 10 but most are 8 x 10.  At this stage, I'm just trying to get you the images to review and make a couple selections.  The image is not final.  The image is not at the highest resolution either but it is not low resolution.  Because I'm usually uploading hundreds of images from which you make your selections, the images are medium resolution, around 2MB.

If you require all high resolution images in your galleries, I will produce them upon request.

Warning! 

Using your browser's copy or save function is not the same as downloading an image.  If you use your browser's copy or save function, you will end up with an inferior low resolution image not the actual underlying image file I produced for you.  You must use the Download Arrow ↓ on the image to receive the underlying high resolution file. 

How to download an individual image?

If using a computer or laptop, click or mouse over the image and look for the download arrow ↓ at the bottom right corner of the image.  Click on the download arrow to save the file to your computer. Do not right click on the image.  If you right click on the image, your browser's context menu will popup and you will be saving an inferior low resolution image not the actual high resolution image file I produced for you.

If using a phone or tablet device, tap on the image once and look for the download arrow ↓ at the bottom right corner of the image.  Tap on the download arrow.  (DO NOT tap and hold on the image.  If you tap and hold on the image, your browser's context menu will popup and you will not be downloading a high resolution image.  In fact, you will be copying a very low resolution internet browser image NOT the actual high resolution file that I produced for you.

If you do not see a download arrow ↓ on the image, please contact me ASAP!

How to download a gallery of images?

To download a gallery of images, open the gallery by clicking or tapping on it.  Look for the download all arrow ↓ at the top right corner of the gallery.  Click or tap on the download all arrow.  Enter your email address.  A SmugMug administrator will prepare a folder with all of your image files and send a download link to your email address within 10-15 minutes.  Click on that link and save the folder and files to your storage device.

If you have any difficulty downloading your images contact me ASAP!


Publication and Use

Its best to tell your photographer how you intend to use your photos during pre-production; so, that he or she can capture and deliver the best quality images for your intended purpose.  In other words, the resolution requirements of a photo for Instagram is completely different than a 6 foot tall poster, 8 x 10 magazine ad, or large billboard ad.  Details like these make a huge difference in the final quality of your photos.

Whenever you use a photographer's photo outside of personal use to promote yourself for a pageant or other event on social media, in a magazine spread, newspaper article, or pageant advertisement, it's polite to give the photographer photo credit for his or her work.

You can give Abiding Light photo credit by adding the following comments on social media or the copy of your advertisement, 'Photo by Abiding Light' or 'Photo by Chris Seetaram' or 'Photo by Chris Seetaram of Abiding Light.'

If your photographer normally retouches photos for his or her clients and the photo you use has not been retouched, you should also share that with your audience.

It's not polite to alter an artist's work without their prior approval; however, if you do, you should include any alterations you have made to the original work. 

Abiding Light wants you to enjoy and have fun with your original photos that have not been retouched.  At the same time, I don't want my work to be misrepresented in the marketplace for future clients.  So, if you crop, filter, or make other adjustments to Abiding Light's photos, you need to say, ' Original Photo by Abiding Light'  'Image has been cropped, filtered, or list any other adjustments by me.'

Photographers and professional retouchers spend additional time in post production removing blemishes, fly away hairs, enhancing makeup, adjusting color, adjusting tone, and smoothing skin to make you look your best in your final image.  So, you should never alter a photographer's retouched photo or let anyone else alter a photographer's retouched photo.  If you are not happy with a photographers retouching adjustments, most photographers and professional retouchers will and should make further adjustments for you.  Abiding Light charges $25 to retouch each additional photo outside its normal listed packages.  Professional retouching can sometimes cost in the hundreds of dollars per image.