What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I constantly read and study new techniques and new advancements. HDR is still a relatively new technique, but I use it now to give some pictures that added punch.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
Not really complicated, it just has a lot of variables. Things like dress or costume changes add time and cost. Additional people in the photo add a little. Travel costs a little because of gas prices today! Additional or special editing can add cost.
To give you a quick breakdown: If you come over to my location for some photos I will charge you $50. That will include one or two adults, or a parent and child. I will take the photos in several locations around my home and yard (weather permitting). I will shoot for 45 to 90 minutes, and you can change clothes during that time. I will give you all the photos on CD with permission to print them, and I will edit a few, as needed.
The same charge would apply to shooting at your home or favorite place, within about 10-15 miles. I do offer a discount if the photos are being sent to a loved one deployed with our military, or if you are in the military.
I am very flexible with my pricing, so feel free to make me an offer.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I have always taken photographs, for almost 50 years. I became serious about it 9 years ago when I bought a more semi professional camera. 7 years ago I started selling my Nature photography in Art Shows and Galleries.
I've taken courses in portrait work, and have been expanding that part of my photography business lately. I love taking "people" photos, almost as much as capturing wildlife.
What types of customers have you worked with?
The most common photos are women that want photos to give to their husband or boyfriend. I've also taken a lot of photos for women trying to break into modeling or acting.
I also take special photos for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or any special occasion. I have dozens of special custom treatments for holidays, and just for general wishes. I also specialize in taking portraits to send to loved ones deployed with our military, and offer discounts for that work.
A lot of the portrait work I've done is in my own back yard, among the trees, sitting on a park bench, or just playing in the yard. My yard is a partially wooded acre, and I've laid out a few good spots for photos. I also shoot some inside, using a fireplace as a background, or against a "Green Screen".
I love shooting families, especially when the kids can run and play, and I can catch "candid" shots. The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a good place for that.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I'm most proud of shooting a family in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Originally I was to shoot the mother, father, and 2 children (1.5 and 2.5 years old). The kids were too excited to just sit still, so I followed them as they explored the gardens and got many wonderful candid shots.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Ask for examples of their work. Compare the rates with other similar photographers. Ask about editing and followup work (such as printing photos months or years later). Ask if you have rights to get the prints made yourself, or if the photographer retains the rights. Make sure you get a signed release if you are given the rights.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
How many hours it takes to produce that special photograph. For every hour that is spent shooting, there is at least another 3 hours for setting up and editing.