PLEASE NOTE: I have a 7th grader at home who has asthma and getting sick can cause serious complications for him, so if you or anyone in your group has a cold/flu or even just light symptoms, please let me know in advance so I can wear a mask while we shoot. We appreciate it!
Can I see your full portfolio before I book?
Absolument. You can see full galleries here: namu.smugmug.com – if there’s a password-protected gallery you’d like to view, let me know and I’ll give you the password.
How far in advance should I book with you?
Any time is a good time, but I definitely recommend booking earlier rather than later. Here’s a good frame of reference:
- Weddings – at least 6 months out (1 year is recommended)
- Event coverage – 2 to 3 months out
- Portrait sessions – 2 to 3 weeks out
Of course, I’m happy to have last-minute inquiries, even for weddings – there’s always a chance I’ll have your date open!
How many people can be in my session?
Family portrait sessions are for 2 adults and unlimited children. Each additional adult booked in advance is $50 per person. For all other session types, it depends on the requirements of the shoot. Certain sessions like corporate employee head shots and team portraits sessions are exempt from the maximums.
*If more people show up to your shoot than you originally indicated when booking, they’re welcome to participate! But each additional person will be charged $75 cash or Venmo, at the session.
Do you share our photos online?
I always share my favorite images from your session on my website and social media – it’s how I advertise! Your gallery can be password-protected, though.
Here’s an important note related to a photographer’s use of the images they create: as the creator of the art, photographers automatically own the copyright to every image we create, by federal and state law, which means that we have the legal right to use any of those images for self-promotion, even without your permission. It’s an industry-standard practice, but please know that I value your happiness as a client and a human over my ability to share images, so if you really prefer that none of your images be shown, then I’m happy to do that. Sharing my favorite images on social media is pretty much the only marketing I do though, so if you’re open to me sharing some images, but keeping your gallery private, then that’s a win for both of us!
What if I need to reschedule or cancel?
Rescheduling is definitely allowed, and the process is a breeze, but please keep in mind that I need to have your future date open on my calendar. If I do, I’ll just switch your session to that new date. Unfortunately, if we can’t find an open date on my calendar that works for both of us, we’ll have to treat your session as a cancellation.
If you need to cancel – no problem, things come up! But it’s important to understand that regardless of your session type, your 50% prepayment is not a deposit or retainer, but a fee paid for work I do in advance of your session (like prepping, research, location scouting, etc), and as such, that fee is non-refundable. The fee can, however, be applied to any future session!
Also, even though the initial payment isn’t refundable, if you’ve already paid in full and you cancel at least 14 days in advance, I’m happy to refund the second 50% of your payment. If you cancel within 14 days of your session, your full fee will be forfeit. Why is your entire fee non-refundable at that point? Because the likelihood of me being able to book a new client on your date is very small – by you canceling so close to the date, it’s likely that I’ve lost the ability to earn money on that date.
If I’m the one who has to cancel your date and we can’t reschedule it, then I will absolutely refund 100% of what you’ve paid up to that point.
What if I’m running late?
Life sometimes gets in the way and I get it! Just text or call me as soon as you can. There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to be late:
It’s possible I have another session booked directly after yours, so if you’re late, you might end up with less session time, because I’ll have to leave on-time to make it to my next session. When you contact me to let me know you’ll be late, I can tell you whether I have another session or not, but please be aware: there are no refunds or discounts for lost session time due to arriving late.
It’s a good idea to plan to arrive to your session location a little early, this way you don’t start off the shoot feeling rushed. And don’t forget that traffic and parking can be hectic sometimes, so throw a little extra time in for that.
If you know you’re going to be late and would like to schedule some extra time with me at your session (assuming I don’t have another session directly after yours), the rate is $100 per hour (even if you only want 15 minutes, you’d still pay the one hour rate), That fee is payable at the session, by cash or cash app.
What happens if there’s bad weather during our session?
If there’s just a little rain, it’s windy or skies are gray, we’re going to shoot! Sometimes those can result in some of the best, most unique images. If it’s a real storm, we’ll likely need to reschedule to another open date on my calendar. Please note: there are no refunds for weather or natural disasters, but you can always reschedule at no extra cost.
I had a great time shooting with you. Can I tip you after the shoot?
You are an awesome person just for asking! It may seem to the average person that professional photographers earn a LOT of money because of their high fees, but when you factor in the fact that we don’t always have a steady income like those who work 9-5, and the fact that we spend a ton of travel time to and from sessions, devote a lot of time to researching locations, practicing and communicating with clients, not to mention all the hours at the sessions themselves and the hours of editing that come after the session…photographers really do earn a lot less per hour than you might think. Did you know that the average professional photographer in America only earns about $60,000 a year? And on top of all of that, we have to pay for our own insurance, medical coverage and other costs that are traditionally covered by an employer…we ARE the employer, lol. So can you tip me? I’ll never expect it, but I’ll always appreciate it.
When will I see the photos?
Most smaller sessions are delivered same or next day! Larger sessions like high capacity events are delivered on a slower schedule but still arrive very quickly. Once your images are ready, I’ll email you a link to your gallery. There will also be a link in that email to leave feedback or a testimonial – I’d love to hear what you thought of your session and images!
What size are the photos?
I deliver full resolution images! These are huge file sizes, so keep that in mind – you’ll want to use a laptop or PC when downloading. I’m happy to provide a second gallery, on request, with 1920×1080 web-resolution images for a $20 fee.
How are my files delivered?
Your images are delivered in JPEG format and are always watermarked with my company logo placed unobtrusively in the bottom right corner. RAW files are never delivered as part of any session fee. If you absolutely need the raw files, the copyright of any gallery can be purchased in a “buy out” price negotiated at contract signing. There are two types of buyout fees – the first fee is $500 per gallery and gives you permanent ownership of the images and rights, leaving me only with the right to use the images for self-promotion. The second buyout fee is $1500 per gallery, and gives you complete ownership and all rights, and I will no longer have the right to use the images in any way.
Wait a second, as the client, don’t I own the photos?
As the creator of the art, I’m the copyright holder and therefore the owner of the images, and I assign you the right to use the images any way you see fit as long as it’s for personal use (not commercial – that means you can’t sell the images or transfer/assign rights to them, without my permission – for example, you can’t give a news agency or magazine the right to print the images in their publications without first getting permission from me). This is both California and United States law, and it’s also standard in the photography industry.
Never fear! This is very normal – you can do practically anything you want with the images. You can download them anywhere, share them online, hang them on your walls, text them to your grandmother! The only limits I put on your personal use is that you don’t obscure or remove my logo from the images (except where it would be impossible not to, like with Instagram’s square-cropped images), and that you don’t edit the images yourself. This includes using filters in apps like Instagram or stand-alone editing apps on your phone. Also, wedding clients will be provided with unwatermarked images for printing but any images shared on social media must include my logo.
How many photos will I get? Will I get all the images you shot?
You will get a TON of photos, especially compared to how many most photographers deliver. For portrait sessions, it’s around 30-45 images per session, often more – many photographers only deliver 5 or 6 images, and charge you for any others. For events it’s around 50 images delivered per hour, on average, which is also higher than the norm. You don’t have to worry at all about getting “enough” images – you’ll get every single image I shoot that I think is amazing and matches my brand and these days (humble brag), that’s pretty much most of the images I shoot, lol. You won’t get every photo I took because some photos end up blurry or just terrible in general (even I take some terrible shots sometimes!), but you’re hiring me because I’m an expert photographer with more than a decade of experience and that means you can trust me to deliver every single shot that’s worth delivering.
Which kind of shots do I not deliver? I don’t deliver “repeats” (shots that are just slightly different versions of the same shot), blurry shots or accidentally inappropriate shots (like when the wind blows a dress up or someone is grimacing in the shot and it’s very unflattering). Everything else gets included, as long as it’s a great shot! Due to the candid nature of my photography style, not every shot is going to turn out the way we want or expect, but don’t worry, the best shots will always end up in your gallery. Which leads me to another common question…
Can I buy the shots that you took but didn’t include in the gallery?
Nope. Not even if you say “pretty please, with a cherry on top!”
If I think an image isn’t suitable for including in your gallery, then it gets deleted. I only keep, deliver or share work that is representative of my brand and my personal style of photography and that means any shots shared with clients must be the best of the best. Think of the shots that get deleted as the early sketches of an artist – you would never ask a painter to share those with you, right?
What kind of photo editing is included?
My style is very candid, using both natural and off-camera lighting. Many of my shots look pretty good right out of the camera and don’t need much editing, so I generally just crop, color-correct and adjust light/shadows. Photoshopping fly-away hair, blemishes, closed eyes or other extensive editing is not included, but can be added to any session for $150 per 30 images (or fraction thereof).
Can I book a photo session for someone else?
Definitely! I’m happy to have you pay for a session for someone else, but please understand that because photography can be a very personal thing for different people, I’ll still need to coordinate the details of the shoot with them, and though you’re paying for their session, they will be my client. This is especially true with wedding clients, where parents will sometimes pay for a wedding as a gift, but regardless of who pays, the Bride and Groom are always the client – I’m happy to hear suggestions or input from the people who pay for the wedding, but at the end of the day, the final call will go to the Bride and Groom.
Are you available for commercial photography projects?
Absolutely, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510.679.4158 to discuss the details.