Don’t know where to begin? Don’t know how the process works? That’s ok, I’m here to help. Here I have compiled some of the more frequently asked questions people have before booking a shoot. However, if you have any questions at all that aren’t covered here, feel free to contact me.
Of course! 🙂 I shoot people from all walks of life, and I know what it’s like because I personally hate having my picture taken. (true story). The majority of my photoshoots are actually with people just like you and me who need a headshot or online dating photos. My goal is to just make everyone look their best! If you need updated photos for a professional use, social media, an online dating profile, or just want these images for yourself, that’s great! Or if you happen to be a model and need modeling digitals, updated portfolio shots, or any type of shots, my goal is always the same, to provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere while shooting which results in great shots. Let’s have fun and shoot!
My goal is to always provide a fun and relaxed environment in order to get the best shots possible. If clients are relaxed and having fun, we will get fantastic images. I’m not a stickler on going over on time, and even though I have provided general approximate time frames for the length of each shoot for each photo package I have available, these are not exact. It’s best if you anticipate some extra time, just in case, so that if we go over, we go over. I honestly enjoy shooting, and that means we will have a pre-shoot consultation to discuss your wardrobe items and objectives for the shoot, with the goal of getting stunning images. In other words, don’t worry, you won’t be rushed. 🙂
There is ample free street parking available all around my studio building. It’s probably the busiest around noon or so on weekdays, however, even at that time, there are typically spots available within the surrounding block(s). This area has meter-free parking spots, so you won’t have to worry about feeding the meter every 30 mins. Also, this area of West Berkeley is a safe upscale location.
The key is to bring lots of clothing options. Lots. I have never told a client “You brought too many clothes.” 🙂 For headshots, these are typically tops that have more solid colors and neutral tones (beiges, light blue, burgundy, purple, violet, gray, dark gray, white, etc.) However, variety is the key. It’s much better to bring far more outfits than you think even if you’re only booking a session for one look. Sometimes a particular top can really work better than others based on the background color, shooting location, and so on. Even for a standard single headshot shoot, I would suggest bringing a minimum of 3-5 different tops. Because after all, rules are meant to be broken. If your favorite top has a wild pattern and vivid/bright colors, feel free to bring it along with some other options. For non-headshot shoots (portraits, fitness, online-dating shoots, etc.) it’s essentially to bring a large variety of outfits even if you only book one look. And for fitness shoots, it’s always good to bring workout bring props like weights, headphones, a water bottle, etc. Again, the more options, and you can never bring too many clothing options.
Clients who did not book a Hair or Make-up artist will need to show up to their shoot with their hair and make-up camera-ready. For make-up colors, (especially for headshots,) it’s always best to go with neutral tones. Neutral color tones allow for more flexibility with styles and backdrop colors. Each shoot is different, and bold colors can work for more editorial looks, but for headshots and fashion it’s always best to select neutral make-up color palettes when in doubt. UPDATE: Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, I cannot offer add-on services like hair and makeup by an MUA or hair stylist at my studio at this time.
When you arrive, we can first hang your clothing options on the clothing rack to see what options we have. My process is that we will go over your clothing options together and build a game plan for the looks/outfits we will be using for the shoot. If we are shooting outdoors, we will essentially use my studio as the “home base” where I will lock up the studio to secure all of your belongings (and my gear). Then we can go outdoors to shoot at the various outdoor spots surrounding my studio. Whenever a wardrobe change is needed, we can just head back into my studio building to select the next look. Once inside the building, you can change outfits in the private single restroom right across the hallway from my studio, or I can leave the room and you can change inside the studio while I wait outside. Whatever works best for you. I also have a beauty mirror and full length mirror inside my studio so you can make a final check on how things are fitting before we move on to the next look.
All proofs are sent to you via a downloadable link after the photo shoot. This is where you can select your favorite images you would like to have professionally edited based on your package. If there are additional images you would like to receive, just email me the additional number of images you would like to have edited. You will then be sent a link via email to an invoice you can pay online via a secure web site with any major credit or debit card.
To confirm your shoot date, you must first put down a deposit for the photoshoot to lock in a shooting date. The deposit is typically $100, or up to 50% of the project if your project involves a makeup artist, hairstylist, additional models, etc. This deposit is non-refundable. However, if you have to change the date, and you do so with at least 72 hours notice, your deposit can be applied to another shoot date we can reschedule within thirty (30) days. The remaining balance of the shoot is due at the conclusion of the photoshoot.
Proofs are low-resolution images of the photos taken during our photoshoot. The images contain a light watermark to indicate that they are the unfinished product and not final. Proofs do not have any editing or touch-ups, and should be considered a “draft version” of the photo. They are submitted to you where you can review the images you would like to select for final editing. Since all final images are edited in one way or another, depending upon the proof, there may be elements of the lighting in the frame, color/contrast/brightness adjustments needed, and/or blemish retouching that would need to take place. These proofs should be considered “unfinished work” and are only supplied to you so you can select your favorite pose, style, or expression from our shoot. Below is an example of an unedited proof you would receive vs. the final edited shot you would receive in maximum resolution:
Proofs are sent to you via a Dropbox link in an email where you can download all proofs to review. You do not need a Dropbox account to download/view these proofs. You can also download all proofs to your computer with one click via the instructions in the email you will receive. If you do not have a computer, and only have a smartphone or tablet, these images can be viewed individually on these devices as well.
After downloading all proofs via the instructions outlined in the email you will receive, you simply email me the exact filenames of the images you would like to receive for final editing. (File names will start with “MMP” i.e. “MMP_1234.jpg”, “MMP_1235.jpg”, etc.) If you have any notes or special instructions to give me related to the editing process, simply let me know via email. I will confirm this via email, and begin editing.
Unless you are selecting the online dating portfolio package, then no. Unedited proofs should be considered a “draft version” of the photos, and proofs are submitted to you so you can review the images you would like to select for final editing. My goal is to provide the best final photos possible from your photoshoot, and the unedited proofs are unfinished work. Some photographers only provide password-protected locked contact sheet PDFs or online- galleries with extremely small thumbnails from the photoshoot for you to select your favorites, and I never liked this approach. I provide larger low-resolution proofs for each photo for you to review. This hopefully allows you to see your proofs more clearly in order to make the decision on exactly which photos you’d like to select for editing with your package. Since proofs are unfinished drafts, a light watermark must be applied to designate that this is unfinished work and not final. Your final edited shots are sent to you in maximum resolution and without watermarks, based on the photo package you select. If you have any questions or special requests, please feel free to contact me.
Because unlike all other styles of photography, the online dating portfolio packages are not shot to be edited. Online dating portfolio photos are supposed to be natural without editing, to show people the real you. Thus, since editing is not required, there is no “unfinished work” here, and the unedited online dating photos are commonly the exact shots one would use for their online dating profiles. Other styles of photography like headshots, hypercolor, fashion photography, product photography, and others often require editing to finalize the exact look and feel of the final shots. Therefore, those unedited images contain a watermark since they are merely the “draft version” provided to you for proofing and selection purposes.
The unedited JPG images provided for the online dating portfolio packages will be provided at a maximum of 1800px (max width or length) and saved in the JPG file format. These images are unedited JPG files. Note: the terms “unedited” and “RAW files” are different and not interchangeable, and it’s a common mistake to interchange them. RAW files aren’t common, are extremely large in file size, and require special software to view/edit. RAW files are never released, but your unedited JPGs are released and are in a file format that you can view and use on any computer or device, and are in file sizes perfect for online dating profiles.
Photo editing included with selected photo packages is typically considered editing done within Adobe Lightroom to adjust the photo’s colors, clarity, brightness. and so on. This includes editing the tones of the image, sharpness, saturation, etc. Editing includes removing skin blemishes, wrinkles, etc. based on the style you prefer. Editing also includes removing any lighting in the frame, etc. so that you get the optimal image. My goal is to get you the exact image you want. However, editing does not include major photo manipulation in Adobe Photoshop such as adding a tiger posing next to you, cutting you out and placing you on a beach in Hawaii, or photoshopping a different outfit onto your image, and so on. 🙂 For those types of major photo manipulations to the image, that is considered more “composite work” or “digital art” and exceeds the amount of standard “editing” and retouching included with my packages. I can definitely provide this service at an additional cost. Please see the sample proof above vs. final image above for a sample of the type of editing included with your final photos, and by all means, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
After editing, all files will be emailed to you in the maximum resolution possible, without any watermarks. These images will be professionally retouched, color-corrected, and finalized. They will be emailed to you via another Dropbox download link since these maximum resolution files are typically too large for email. These files will be removed from my Dropbox server after downloading.
My policy is to keep all proofs from our shoot in storage for a period of 90 days. Due to the number of shoots I do, and the amount of shots per shoot, I eventually need to purge proofs. However, baring a catastrophic hard drive failure or some other terrible event, I intend to keep all final edited images on-file indefinitely, just in case.
Absolutely! 🙂 For honest feedback from just some of my past clients, please visit my Testimonials page.
San Francisco Bay Area Portrait Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Headshot Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Beauty Headshot Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Hypercolor Creative Portrait Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Yoga & Fitness Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Photographer • San Francisco Online Dating Profile Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area High School Senior Portrait Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Personal branding Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Product Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Modeling Digitals & Polaroids Photographer • San Francisco Bay Area Natural Light Portrait Photographer