frequently asked questions
Click a button below to view the corresponding questions and answers.
Before the Session
Where are you located and will you travel?
- My home studio and office is located in Venice, CA a few miles from the beach, though I mostly shoot on-location.
- Local Los Angeles favorite locations include: Venice Beach, Venice Canals, Manhattan Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, and several local parks and hiking areas, to name a few.
- I will travel, however, this is Los Angeles, so if I have to sit in traffic for 2 hours round trip (or whatever) that needs to be factored into my session fee :) Tell me your desired location and time and I can estimate my time and fee. I’ll travel anywhere for the right price… even out of the country :)
- Payment is due to reserve your date. As of now I am taking checks or ACH bank transfers. If you'd like to pay by credit card, there is a transaction fee.
- There is no sales tax for the Portrait Session because I deliver digital files via download link. You will pay sales tax on printed products.
Do you sell gift certificates?
Where should we do our session?
- For Outdoor Lifestyle Portraits I have a variety of favorite locations that include beaches, parks, playgrounds, urban areas, or your own backyard around the Los Angeles area.
- For Indoor Studio or Studio-like Portraits, I set up lights and backdrops at any location. Boudoir Sessions, Studio Head Shots and Maternity and Newborn Sessions are done at your home or office.
- When choosing a location for your Photo Session, keep in mind the dynamics of your family/self along with settings and activities that bring out your individual personalities; this will result in fun, unique and truthful Photos.
- Before your session we'll spend a little time on the phone going over your expectations. We'll discuss what concepts and locations you have in mind: If you have more structured and specific ideas about what you want, feel free to search for some photo examples online and email me ahead of the shoot.
- We'll also talk about what you think you might do with the final photos: Do you want large Gallery Prints for your wall? A Custom Designed Photo Album to showcase your photos? Framed Prints that will sit on a shelf at home or your desk at the office? Web-resolution Digital Negatives to share via Facebook or email? By addressing these details early, we can ensure that the photos you receive will best suit what you have in mind. Please see the PRODUCTS page for Photo Print and Digital Products available.
Can our session be rescheduled? What if it rains?
- Photo Session retainers and/or fees are non-refundable should you cancel, but are transferable (one rescheduled date is allowed; $50 fee for any schedule changes after that) to another date in the event you wish to amend your booking with at least 48 hours notice.
- Submitting your Photo Session fee guarantees current rates for the Photo Session only. Rescheduled Photo Sessions are subject to the prices current at the time of rescheduling.
- I will ask you in advance for a contact phone # to reach you around 15 minutes before the session time to let you know exactly where I am waiting for you. If you are running late, please send me a text so I know when to expect you. Most days I have back to back sessions scheduled, so I cannot go over our agreed time. Because of this, plan on arriving a few minutes early so that everyone is relaxed and ready for pictures! If you have not arrived or contacted me within 15 minutes of our scheduled start time, I reserve the right to leave the session location and your session may be cut short or cancelled.
- Even LA has a few bad weather days a year. If it’s a little rainy, that can actually make for a fun shoot. Occasionally it might be too windy at the beach with sand blowing everywhere. If it looks like the weather is going to be a problem, we will reschedule.
How long does a session last and how many photos do you take?
- Generally a session runs anywhere from 1 hour to 2 1/2 hours, largely depending on the number of subjects involved, the location, the number of outfit changes and breaks required. Maternity, Newborn and Boudoir sessions may last longer. There may be time limits on special deals.
- Typically, I can take 100 to 350 shots in one session, depending on how much walking we do and the number of subjects and their activity level.
When is the best time of day to shoot?
- The best time of day for beautiful, rich and flattering light is both an hour after sunrise and two hours before sunset for outdoor photos. That does not mean we can't get beautiful photos at other times of the day.
- Contrary to popular belief, shooting on a cloudy day is MUCH better than a sunny day. Photographing in bright sunlight is NOT ideal and I will find shade to compensate that.
- While indoor sessions can be held at most any time, this can be determined by the available light in your home or other location.
What happens at the Session?
- If you are meeting me in a place other than your home, please plan to arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. We all know how unpredictable LA traffic is :) If you are late, you are reducing the time we have scheduled for your Portrait Session. I do not want to make you wait for your scheduled time, as I have set it aside just for you, and likewise for those scheduled after you. Please bring something to drink and make sure you are not hungry during the shoot. Be prepared for the possibility of having to use a public bathroom or find your own option!
- LIFESTYLE SESSION: Lifestyle photography focuses on natural locations, natural situations and natural light. I strive for emotion rather than perfection. I do use some flash fill light when necessary.
- STUDIO SESSION: Indoor lighting setups with backdrops or using an indoor natural environment. Usually for Headshots, Boudoir, or Newborns.
- Have a look through my PHOTO GALLERIES—this is what I do. I am always working on updating my BLOG, which will show you some sample Portrait Sessions.
- Please see specific SERVICES pages for more detailed information.
What should I/we wear?
- Think about the Session location. If we're on the beach, shoes come off, so you wouldn't wear dressy shoes or short skirts that you can't sit down in. We want to keep the focus on YOU, not your clothing. I recommend choosing one or two solid colors and adding a fun texture or pattern to spruce things up. Avoid logos (GAP, Old Navy, etc.), large writing and busy patterns. For group photos, siblings and families should try to wear coordinating clothing, but not necessarily matching. Keep the tonal range of clothing in the same group; don't mix lights & darks in the same outfit.
- If you have any questions on wardrobe, you can email me snapshots of what you think you might wear.
Can we bring our dog to the session?
- Los Angeles has laws about where dogs can go. If you choose a location that allows dogs, I am fine with that :)
Are props allowed?
- Absolutely! If you can carry it, you can bring it! Keep in mind that we might be doing some walking around to different areas at our location. I usually pose people sitting on grass, sand, rocks, tables so if you think you might want to sit on a blanket make sure you bring one.
- For a child’s photo session please bring any toys, stuffed animals, snacks, or drinks that will help make your child comfortable and happy. However, do NOT bring toys that will distract or keep them from having photos taken. If you have infants, you may want to bring a blanket to do pictures if they aren't normally comfortable on grass. Keep in mind that we will be doing a lot of moving and walking around to different areas at our location.
Do you offer hair and make-up?
- I work with several talented and skilled hair and makeup artists. For head shots, boudoir, modeling, high school senior, engagement, bridal or maternity Photo Sessions I recommend that you hire a professional for your photos. The pros know how to get your look "just right" for the camera. Makeup for photography is slightly different and requires more perfection than everyday makeup. The cost is generally around $100 - $300 per look per person for this service.
- If you'd like to hire a hair and makeup artist, please allow me a few weeks to coordinate the dates and make sure we can have someone available for you. For this, please show up with clean hair and no makeup on.
After the Session
When can we see our digital proofs?
- My job is not done after the Portrait Session. In fact, I spend more time Post Session than the Portrait Session itself.
- I will edit your photos down to the best of the shoot. The number of photos you will get in your Proofing Gallery depends on how many I shoot. For example, if I shoot 75 photos, you may see 30 in the gallery. If I shoot 500, you may see 200 in the gallery.
- 1-2 weeks after the Session (6-8 weeks for weddings and larger events) I will visit your home to show you your photos and my products. After that, I upload your proofs to my website in a password-protected Proofing Gallery. I will email you instructions with a link to access your gallery. You can share with family and friends, while keeping in mind that other than some basic color and exposure corrections, the photos have yet to receive my full detailed processing and retouching. The files in your Proofing Gallery are watermarked low resolution jpegs and are not available for download at this time. Take the time to browse through your gallery and pick the images that you wish to purchase. It's best to base your decisions on general expressions in the image. There is a lot of detail that gets fixed in post processing.
- You will get 4 weeks of access to your online gallery for Portrait Sessions, 8 weeks for small events and 6 months for Weddings, Bar-Mitzvahs and other larger events. As I will need to make room for new client's photos and your gallery is removed at the time of expiration, there is a $25 per week/$50 per month fee to extend or reinstate an expired gallery.
- During that time, you can share your gallery with family and friends, while keeping in mind that the photos have yet to receive my full detailed processing and retouching. I will edit some of them in my style for cropping, color and contrast; the others I will leave alone until you make your selections for purchase.
- Before your gallery expires, you will place your order through me.
- Once your order is placed, I will fully process and retouch (at my discretion) your purchased images and approve your order to go to my professional lab for printing. If you are interested in retouching beyond my general edits (RETOUCHING EXAMPLES), please contact me before placing your order. Depending on the size of your order, it may take up to 2-4 weeks to receive them at your home.
What happens if I haven’t placed my order by the time my gallery expires?
- Photos take up a lot of hard drive space. Please understand I need to make room for new client galleries. This is something that happens automatically.
- If you need more time you may extend your gallery access for a $25/week or $50/month fee.
What's the difference between high-resolution and web-resolution digital files?
- High-resolution digital files are printable put to 8x12 (depending on cropping) and come with a print release. Please keep in mind that I cannot guarantee the quality or color of your prints if you do not purchase though me. You also get a complimentary set of web-resolution files, perfect for sharing on Social Media.
- If you order printed products through your online photo gallery, I specifically retouch, color correct and sharpen each photo for the specific size and media it is to be printed on. Photos are printed on high quality professional grade photographic papers. Black and white photos are specifically adjusted and converted before printing and printed on special black and white paper.
- Web-resolution files are for sharing on Facebook and other social media websites. They are NOT large enough to print, do NOT come with a print release and have with my logo in the corner.
Why are your Printed Products more expensive than Walmart, CVS, CostCo etc?
- I understand that places like Costco and Walmart offer Prints at reduced rates, I guarantee you their Prints will not be as beautiful as my finished Printed Products.
- I work with print labs used by thousands of professional photographers around the country. I want to ensure the quality and longevity of Printed Products that are created with my Photos. Your prints are printed on special professional paper.
- If you order printed products through me, I specifically retouch, color correct and sharpen each photo for the specific size and media it is to be printed on. Photos are printed on high quality professional grade photographic papers. Black and white photos are specifically adjusted and converted before printing and printed on special black and white paper.
- Please see my PROFESSIONAL vs CONSUMER PRINTS blog page for visual samples of the difference in quality and contrast.
How do you process the Photos? Can prints be purchased in either color or black and white?
- My processing techniques are an integral part of my creative workflow and vision for the final pieces. I approach each photo as an independent work of art. It’s hard to put into words but, essentially, I let the photo tell me how it should be processed. That may mean it will have bold, striking colors, or perhaps a softer feel, or it may even end up with the timeless quality of black and white.
- If you wish to have a photo specifically in black and white or color to accommodate your needs, in most cases I’ll be happy to do so. If you would like black and white it is as simple as choosing the option for the photo when purchasing.
- It is important to note that color photos not only need to be converted to black and white but also specifically adjusted depending on the image or it will look what we photographers call “muddy.”
- Please see my blog on CONVERTING TO BLACK and WHITE.
How long does it take for my order to be delivered?
- When a purchase order comes in, I retouch and process those Photos. Depending on how many products purchased and the retouching required, it can take 2 days to 6 weeks. Each photo takes 5 - 45 minutes to edit/retouch.
PRINTS:Printed products are fulfilled by my professional printing companies, so I will try to get those files done as soon as possible so they can print and ship.
- Each file is specifically edited and sharpened for the size and product it is being printed on. Prints, canvas gallery wraps and other products all require different resolutions and sharpening. Before I approve the order to be printed, the high-resolution, retouched photo files are uploaded in place of the proofs.
- Shipping time does not include processing time.
DIGITAL NEGATIVES:High-resolution Digital files have a more general processing method as I cannot predict at what size or on what medium they will be printed. I make no guarantees as to how they will look when viewed on other monitors, or printed using home, office, non-professional printers such as CostCo, Walmart and other online printing services.
- If you purchase High-Resolution digital files, you get both high-resolution jpegs as well as a smaller sized set for you to share with friends and family on Social Media
- Digital files are delivered via email with a download link. Please be aware that there is a time limit of (1) week to download your purchases photos once I send you a link. There is a $25 per week fee to extend and/or reupload and reinstate an expired download link.
- NOTE: Due to the nature of digital downloads, no refunds are possible once download access is granted.
How long do you keep client Digital Photo Files?
- I will keep your Digital Photo proofs for at least 1 year.
- I will keep all Purchased/Retouched Photo files, however, periodically I will have a "Last Chance" Sale and offer reduced prices before doing a "Spring Cleaning." During "Spring Cleaning" (which may be any time of year) I may delete a good portion of your unpurchased Photo files to make room for new client's Photos.
Who owns the rights to the Photos?
- In plain English, you do NOT own or have the right to copy any Photos displayed in your online proofing gallery unless you purchase them.
- Purchased high-resolution digital files come with a print release for personal use only. Purchased web-resolution digital files do NOT come with a print release, have my logo in the corner and must NOT be cropped when posting to Facebook or other personal online websites.
- You do NOT have the right to modify photos in any way, purchased or not. Why all the legal mumbo-jumbo and watermarks? These photos are representative of my work and my experience and skill goes into them. Unfortunately, I have also had people steal, modify and use photos without permission.
- Please see WEBSITE TERMS + CONDITIONS.
- All Sessions require a signed contract.
What if I’m not happy with the Photos?
- It is understood that you are hiring me for my technical and artistic expertise and style shown in the images on my website. Therefore, I will photograph and edit as such.
- If you are not happy with the results from your shoot I will be more than happy to discuss why you are dissatisfied. I want both our expectations to be met.
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