All successful businesses need policies. A small professional photography business is no exception. This page is not all-inclusive and you are encouraged to read your contract carefully, but if you’re wondering if I’m the right photographer for you this may answer some of your questions. I will do my utmost to respect you during your sessions and our communications afterward; I simply ask the same in return.
Can you explain what personal use only means?
Currently all sessions receive a complimentary low-resolution CD. The files on the disk are sized to print up to 5×7 and the limited copyright release allows you to use these images for personal use only. This means you can’t use them on a business blog or website. If your friend made an adorably cute bow for your daughter to wear during her session, your friend can NOT use the images to advertise her work. Commercial photo use requires commercial photo licenses. If this is something you (or your friend who made the bow, shirt, stuffed animal, etc) are interested in, please speak to me directly about it.
You can use your disk to order products for personal use and gifts at sites such as Snapfish as long as they do not exceed 5×7. If you look at my print prices it should be pretty clear that this restriction is not an effort to make tons of money on my prints. (My average profit per order is less than $4 and some photographers would have me tarred and feathered for this.) However, I want quality control over the finished product that is going to be “out there” in the world attached to my name and reputation and I really don’t want you to have sub-par products as a result of our session together.
Our session is tomorrow and my child fell and bumped his/her (insert body part here). What should we do?!
If this happens to you, please contact me. I will probably ask you to send me a picture of the injury so I can determine whether it is something easily edited or if we need to reschedule. Kids are kids. Things happen. Let’s talk about it.
I love the photo you shot of Little Jimmy! Can I enter it in XYZ photo contest?
You may NOT enter images taken by me into any photography contest without my written consent. If you wish to enter a contest, simply send me a link to the contest so I can review the terms and determine if a release would be appropriate. This measure is to protect both of us! I wrote about it in more detail HERE.
Do you sell canvas prints?
I sure do! Canvas prints are now available through your online gallery! I chose this lab for their exceptional quality canvas prints and so that you can see on the screen while you’re placing your order how much of the image will be wrapped around the frame. If too much of the image is wrapping around the frame, ask me if I have a wider cropped original file available. I just might!
I’m just gonna take a shot with my cell phone while you’re shooting so I can show Grandma in Ohio, mmk?
Sorry, but personal cameras, including cell phone cameras, are not allowed during sessions. I understand you may wish to take your own pictures while everyone is all dressed up and at a beautiful location to share with friends and family, but please do so before or after the session. Personal cameras can cause distraction (both of the participants and the photographer) and detract from the quality of your images. Eye contact is one of the most important factors in an image, and once again I am looking out for your best interest. I want you to have the best photos possible. This also means I need to be able to focus 100% and not worry about falling over someone who is shooting over my shoulder (true story, this happened). If you have your eye to the viewfinder, you can’t be aware of your surroundings or enjoy the moment. Please, please just trust me to do what you are paying me to do.
Your session prices are good, but… what are your average package prices?
I don’t do packages! All photos are priced per print and at very affordable rates. Honestly, I don’t see the point in shooting the photos if you can’t afford to purchase the prints afterward. This is my own philosophy and since I maintain full-time employment I am able to continue to provide prints at low prices.
Do you require a deposit?
A deposit is required to hold your session date and time. Deposits are non-refundable but are not lost if your session must be rescheduled due to inclement weather.
Will you edit out my tummy/arms/chin(s)/crows feet/stretch marks/etc?
In short, no. I have very strong opinions when it comes to editing of this nature. If something is temporary, such as acne or some injury that will heal then I have no problem removing it from an image as long as it’s in a location that makes it feasible for me to do so. But I feel very strongly against editing out characteristics that are permanent. (Sorry ladies, but this includes your best intentions to lose those last five pounds. Trust me, I’ve got extra pounds of my own, and I haven’t subjected them to PhotoShop’s liquefy features, either.) I do try my best to pose you in the most flattering positions during your session. If there is an area of your body that you are very sensitive about, please don’t hesitate to mention it to me. I have a few tricks up my sleeve! I’m not trying to be harsh, but I want my photographs to be an honest representation of the individuals being captured as they are at this point in their lives. You’re beautiful as you are now, and you don’t need PhotoShop to help.
I know you sent an email saying my gallery was going to be archived, but I didn’t order any photos before it was taken down. Can I still have access to those images?
Yes, I can reinstate a gallery after it has been archived as long as there have been no data failures. There is a gallery reinstatement fee of $15 per gallery.
I’m really pale. Should I get a spray tan?
Nooooo! Even if your spray tan looks natural to the naked eye, it will most likely be seen by the camera as very orange. I promise you’ll like this effect much less than you would pale skin. Please just be you and be natural! I’m so pale it’s almost blinding. Ain’t nothing wrong with pale! 😉
Can you make everything in this picture black and white except (insert whatever here)?
I can, but I probably won’t. Selective colorization editing is not consistent with my editing style, so unless there is some really significant circumstance behind your request I probably won’t perform this type of editing. You can ask, but be prepared for a no.
If I sound a little blunt in some of these responses, please don’t take it personally. I’m putting this information out there in the hopes that potential clients will know up front what I’m about and what they can expect of me. I really am a fun, goofy photographer who will do everything short of standing on my head (it’s really hard to shoot a camera like that) to get your children to laugh and smile for the shot. I’m patient. And I truly CARE about your final photo products. But I’m one of those people who also likes rules. If the answer to one of these questions isn’t something you can live with, then I’d rather you know in advance and I will be happy to provide some referrals to other photographers in the area. It is good for a photographer and a client to have compatible chemistry. I hope my honesty counts for something toward that.