What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I'll have the client contact me through my official email with their information. I'll send a list of available days and times as well give them a little background on me. Once the client chooses a date, we'll chat about what to wear, how many people will be attending the shoot, where it will be, and more. I'll send a contract as well.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
In 2005 I founded the Long Island Photography Meetup. Under my leadership, we started at 5 photographers and grew to over 350. During that time we hosted many professionally-lead workshops that educated all photography members on tricks of the trade.
Since leaving the group, I maintain a stead intake of information from the internet, including webinars and endless articles on equipment and updates. But getting in touch with other photographers in person is one of the greatest sources of education, so I've been considering starting another - more intimate - group of professional photographers for the same reason.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
$200 -- Full Session (2 Hours. Approximately 20 photos)
$50 -- Mini Session (20-30 Minutes. Approximately 5 photos)
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I've been involved in photography since high school. It's inspiring to catch moments in time that would otherwise be lost forever.
Now when I photograph people, I'm very critical of my own work but still often amazed at how good some of the photos are -- and my clients are thrilled.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I've been involved in a lot of outdoor family portraits, and am having a blast! Children's portraits are the most fun -- since getting the children comfortable with the camera is my specialty -- I worked in day care centers for years when I was younger, and it provides me with the experience to connect with children.
What I like about my service is that I provide an online gallery where the clients may download or share their files however they'd like. I don't have limits on usage.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I photographed Walk to Defeat ALS at Eisenhower Park in New York and contributed the images to the ALS Foundation in New York City. They were grateful, and I was honored to have them ask me to do so!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
For most people, contacting a photographer is scary. But it is necessary! Be prompt and courteous with all contact, describe as fully and accurately what service you'd like -- if the photographer is good, if they're honest -- they'll let you know if they provide the services that you're seeking. If they don't, they should pass you on to another photographer who does specialize in that type of photography, or decline your event.
Try to be as flexible with scheduling as possible. Events are a little more difficult, so take into consideration that whatever photographer you choose must deal with weather and personality differences as well.
Basically it boils down to: give the photographer as much information as possible. If the photographer dismisses your information, they may not be the photographer for you.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
AFTER THE SHOOT: POST-PROCESSING IS TIME-CONSUMING
Photographers don't simply go back to the office and immediately upload images. Review, retouching and backup procedures are performed as well.
I charge $200 for portrait sessions, and $200 per hour for events. Portrait sessions are typically 2 hours, events can be anywhere from 2-6 hours.
With all the color variations and special "washes" or "finishes" that can be applied to great photos today to make them look like Pastel Photography, it would be great if clients realized that it can take days to go through all the photos and custom apply these finishes to images.
Not a lot of folks know what retouching is. Retouching is when a professional image manipulator looks at your photo and adjusts it for color, brightness and shadows and removes or fixes anything strange in the photo - like a pole that may be behind your head.
I do light retouching, but for the heavy retouching like replacing a sneezing eye with an open eye, I have an outside provider. (*I never, never do heavy retouching without getting approval from my client first.)