Hopefully this answers most of your questions. If not, please don’t hesitate to email me, and I’m thrilled to help.
Family Portrait Questions
1. Do you do this all times of year or only when it’s nice outside?
Family portraits can be done any time of year in my indoor studio, with a variety of nice backgrounds. During the warm months, I set up a controlled outdoor studio where can get great shots. We can also do them on-site if you have a particular place that holds a special place in your life.
2. What should we wear?
There are different viewpoints on this. I have always been a fan of those family shots where everyone matched, ie. jeans and blue tops, khaki’s with white shirts etc. At the same time, however, some of my favorite portraits that other photographers have done had everyone wearing something completely different, and they looked fantastic. Those showed so much individuality. It’s really totally up to you. The only cautionary note is that if we are doing an in-studio shot, and you specifically want it done with a “green screen” background so that we can digitally add scenery, you can’t wear anything that is any shade of green, including earrings, jewelry, etc.
3. Can we do only one full family shot, or can we do individual groupings?
We will take about an hour to do the full shoot. Within that time, we can do all sorts of groupings. You’d be very bored to sit in the same pose for an hour taking the same shot. We can do the full family, mom and dad, brothers and sisters, kids with grandparents etc.
4. What size prints are available and in what formats?
My photo lab will produce your color corrected images, in a variety of sizes, shapes and amazing formats. Simple prints can run from 8x 10 to 30 x 40. We can do them on ready to hang “gallery wrapped” canvas, high gloss or matte papers, and the new aluminum prints that are very cool and ready to hang. They can put together true wall art, with four photos in a collage, and really almost anything you can dream of. I use them because they are high quality, and very affordable.
5. Do you provide us with proofs of our images?
Yes, I will provide you with watermarked proofs to select from.
6. Can we order multiple sizes or different prints of alternate poses?
Absolutely. It’s common for folks to get a large family print, along with smaller prints to give to family.
7. Do you provide us with digital copies of all of our files?
No we don’t give out the digital files. This enables us to control the output of the final product that will bear out name. There are a few exceptions to that, however, so if you have a specific request, just ask.
8. Do you frame our portraits for us?
I don’t but I highly recommend Gaston Art on Route 9. They handle all my framing needs.
Student Portrait Questions
1. Should we shoot inside the studio or out on site?
I have done both, and they are much different. Certainly in the studio we have full control of lighting, weather, and background. We can do green screen shots, which will enable us to have an infinite array of different backgrounds.
2. I keep hearing the term “green screen” but I don’t know what it means.
Green screen photography has been around forever, and you see it everyday without even knowing it. When you watch the weather, for example, the weatherperson is standing in front of a green screen, and the map is projected on it. In the studio, what this means is that you post in the scene with a green colored fabric on the wall behind you. Then we digitally remove the green, and electronically add in any background you like. It takes a bit more time for me in the processing end, but I have a lot of fun doing it.
3. If we do on-site shoots, where would we go for the best pictures?
Every photographer in the area has their favorite spots. Among them, the stone church in Boylston, Dean Park, Elm Park, Moore State Park in Paxton, Tower Hill in Boylston, and a host of others.
4. Can we go any time of day?
For outdoor photos, the best time of day is called the “magic hour” which start right as the sun is low on the horizon. We can shoot at other times, we just have to work together to find the best lighting. You don’t want to shoot squinting into the sun or in harsh shadows.
5. Does a parent need to be there for the session?
Absolutely. They need to sign the photography contract, bring you to the site, and stay with us for the entire shoot, which takes about an hour. Unfortunately I won’t do any shoots with anyone under 18 without them there, and honestly would ask them to be there even for people over 18 but under 21. Hopefully they can play an active role by holding the light reflectors and even providing input on what poses they prefer. I find that having parents there at all time provides a level of comfort for everyone involved, and makes for a fun session.
6. Can I get copies of my photos to post on line?
I will provide you with proof marked copies of your favorite three pictures that you can post online. For folks that will allow us to use their photos on our company website, and who place a print order for a minimum 16 x 20 print, we will trade with you for permission to use it in our marketing, and give you a copy of it in digital format.
7. Can I bring a friend and get two people for the same price?
If you want to bring a friend to an on-site shoot, we will do the second person at half the regular sitting fee. We still would need each student to bring a parent to the shoot.
8. Can you give me a photo to submit for the school yearbook?
Yes, we can submit that electronically. Just get us the email address to send it to, and we will do that at no charge.
9. Do you retouch the photos, and is there a charge?
I do retouch the photos using a professional software package. I try not to go too crazy, and change your hair to red and your eyes to yellow, but just clean it up a bit to make it look great. I will typically do that to up to 10 shots for you. It’s really quite amazing what you can do with this software.
10. How many outfits should I plan on?
For an in-studio shoot, you can easily bring 3 or 4 completely different outfits, or perhaps just stick with jeans and swap shirts or accessories. For on-site shoots, usually 2 or 3 is about all you can do in that hour because you need to keep running back to the restrooms to change. One of these days, I’ll invest in one of those pop up changing rooms that they use but there’s just so much equipment to carry around.
11. What should I wear?
That’s up to you. What best expresses your individuality? Some of my favorite shots were just very simple outfits. It’s not about the clothes, it’s about you. One of the best images I’ve seen, and unfortunately I didn’t take it, was done by one of my mentors, and had a soccer player, in uniform, cleats hanging over their shoulder, and looking off into the distance. Another was done outside on the grass, but in a suit and tie.
Corporate Photo Questions
1. How far are you willing to drive for an on-site shoot at my business.
About 30 minutes max., unless someone is willing to pay for drive time.
2. Can you take photos of our executive team while you are here?
Absolutely. We just have to allow time to do all of that and make sure that everyone is available and ready.
3. Do we have the right to use those photos in our marketing?
Yes, for corporate photographs, you will get a full release to use them.
4. Are there any royalties owed if we use them on line or in brochures?
No, those are royalty free.
5. Will you provide us with digital copies of our images?
Yes, I’ll provide you with a CD or flash drive.
1. Can I get prints to use in my portfolio book?
Yes, we’ll provide you with a set of 8 x 10′s for your book.
2. Can you prepare a comp card for me?
Yes. I have a comp card template, or you can supply your own. I will generate a high quality PDF ready for the printer, and give that to you to have printed wherever you choose.
3. Do I need a parents permission if I’m under 18?
You not only need permission, but they need to sign all of the paperwork and attend the photo shoot. No shoots are done without a parent present for anyone under 18, and prefer a parent present for anyone under 21.
4. Will I get copies of the digital images?
Not typically, although exceptions are sometimes made, in exchange for permission to use the photo for our portfolio.
5. Do you do TFP shoots?
For certain people, I am accepting and in fact actively looking for a limited number of TFP shoots, which means “time for prints,” to those not in the industry. This means that the model donates their time to the photographer, and the photographer donates their time to the model. The studio gets a release to use the photos for their marketing efforts, and the model gets free prints of those same images. This doesn’t have to be for someone stunning in appearance, just someone with a unique look or hook of some kind that will add to the portfolio of work. I’m doing one today with a guy who’s a great skateboarder, and I really wanted some action shots for my portfolio.
6. Does this mean a modeling agency won’t try to charge me a fee for photos?
Hopefully, if you show up with a nice portfolio and a professional comp card, they will accept what you have. Some want to have new photos taken anyway, which in some cases is a portion of their revenue. It’s all a case by case thing.
Sports Photography Questions
1. Will you take the photos on-site at my child’s game?
If they are local to Shrewsbury, then yes, but only on a nice day please. I have stood at enough of my kids games in a parka to last me my whole life!
2. What if he has a bad game or doesn’t get to go in?
I’m happy to attend a different game, but will need to be paid to do so.
3. Can we use the photos on a recruiting website?
Yes, I will give you a disc with web quality sized images.
4. Can we order prints of a shot that we like?
Absolutely. You can go all the way up to poster size.
5. Will you provide digital copies of prints?
I will provide a disc with web sized digitals that you can use for your recruiting website, but not the full size raw files.