Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear?

I think I hear this one the most. And I want to give you advice on what to wear – but first and foremost – I want you to wear what you will feel comfortable in. I want you to wear something that shows the “True You.”

Why did you name your business TruYou Photography and Design?

I had been advised to use my name in my business. No one could be an original Mariellen Youngdahl but me. But you see … I think Mariellen Youngdahl Photography is a mouthful. I was afraid people wouldn’t find me on the internet, etc. because they wouldn’t remember how to spell my name and they would just give up! I thought it might be kinda cool to combine portions of my name and that is how I came up with TruYou – Tru is the first 3 letters of my middle name and You is the first 3 letters of my last name. And HEY – it made TRU YOU – which says an awful lot about what I want my style of photography to be. A reflection of the true you.

I saw you take a gazillion photos but there are only (insert your number here) in my gallery. What happened to the shot of me and the (insert anything here that you remember from the photo session: red chair, blue ladder, green field, wooden bench, etc.)?

I have a confession to make. I am an over-shooter. I get so excited and am so thrilled to be shooting photos and loving what I do that I over-shoot. However, this is a win-win for you. I go through ALL of the shots I captured and narrow it down to the best of the best. Sometimes you blinked. Sometimes there was a hair in your face. Sometimes you just looked uncomfortable. As an artist I only show my clients what I think represents my art in the truest form. Trust me – you aren’t going to miss any of the ones that didn't make the cut. You’ll already have a difficult enough time deciding what to purchase from the ones that DID make the cut.

Why do I have to pay a non-refundable retainer fee?

A deposit upfront means you are serious and it holds your spot. This prevents you from cancelling just because your hair doesn’t look good or you didn’t lose that last 5 pounds. I only shoot a limited number of sessions a month. If you don’t show up for your session, I don’t shoot that day, and that’s bad for business and my artistic need to create. Enough said. (keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule – bad weather, sick child, etc. – and that your deposit will transfer to your rescheduled date if this happens).

Do you have a studio?

Most of TruYou photography sessions take place on location. I will meet you anywhere you’d like (within reason – I’m not keen on climbing a water tower or sneaking into a condemned building), and I know a ton of locations I already love to shoot at. Just ask me what will work best with your style/vision for your session and we’ll figure it out together. I prefer to photograph newborns and babies in my in-home studio in Marion (in the cold winter months especially!). I will travel to your home for a newborn session if you aren’t up to leaving the house quite yet. Just give me a call and we can chat about it. All TruBeauty and TruBeauty Boudoir sessions either take place in my in-home studio, your home, or a location we decide on together.

How long have you been in business?

I started TruYou Photography and Design in January of 2011. So yep - that's 10+ years!

What is your style of photography?

If you've taken a look at the portfolio you probably noticed that my images are soulful, dreamy and vibrant. I love a sweet close-up but also love images that contain a lot of background. I like my clients to have no problem seeing that they are the focus of the shot.

Can I post my photos on facebook/my personal blog, etc?

Once you have placed your order I will post a few of your photos on the TruYou facebook page. I would love for you to tag yourself, comment, love and then share them! Feel free to use one as your profile picture. I also sometimes post client’s photos on my blog. As long as you do not alter them in any way you are welcome to share them online via a link back to the original source (facebook, website, blog, etc.). Your photos are the copyrighted property of TruYou Photography and therefore cannot be printed, altered or copied or in any way.

Do you offer cards/albums/storyboards/invitations or other products?

Yes! I offer custom-designed cards, albums, mini accordion albums, and collages. There are a variety of styles/designs to choose from. Please contact me to hear more!

What is the best way to contact you to set up a session?

You will get your fastest response if you email You’re also welcome to call 319.210.5183 (Mon.-Thurs. will get the best response), but I am frequently out on a photo shoot so it’s best to call between 7-9 pm in the spring/summer/fall months. In the winter it is best to call between 5:30-8 pm.

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