Frequently Asked Questions

how would you define your "style"?

I look at a photographic style not as a classification, but more of what comes more naturally to a photographer. If I HAD to force myself into a crudely-defined box, I would say I'm drawn to a punchy, vivid color pops style, with an emphasis on a candid, documentary approach. That's just what comes most easily to me, which works out really well for covering weddings and events; I make every effort to ensure my clients FEEL their important day when they see their pictures, and relive those fleeting moments every time they view that photo afterwards!

 

However, like most successful people in the world, I realize that to continue to be successful, you have to always be learning, always challenge yourself, and constantly adapt and evolve. I love working outside of my photographic "comfort zone"; experimenting with vintage effects, black & white conversions, and whatever other tastes my clients throw at me! I have yet to miss the mark! If you have a particular style in mind, I'd love to hear about it, and I'm sure I can send you some sample photos of my own work to make sure I understand what you desire and can deliver it!

What kind of gear do you shoot with?

I'm a loyal Nikon guy, and shoot with several of their full-frame cameras, and a multitude of Nikon's top-of-the-line, professional-grade zoom and prime lenses. I have lenses that specialize in portraiture and detail shots, lenses that are specifically-designed for macro photography, as well as lenses that are perfect for capturing landscape-style/wide-angle content. I also own a couple of third-party lenses that work well for creative compositions. In addition, I use several innovative tools in conjunction with the aforementioned lenses, to bestow unique effects onto your images!

 

As far as external lighting, I am a huge fan of the Godox/Flashpoint system, and rock a mixture of their speedlight flashes and studio/travel strobe lights. I bring color-correcting filters with me to every event, to match the ambient lighting.

I've always heard "photography isn't about the gear"; is that true?

The short answer is yes, and no. A seasoned photographer can take decent images on just about any equipment. However, every shoot has special demands, and each client has their own unique desires and expectations as far as an artistic vision and final product, which means specialized equipment to make those visions a reality. Some of my stronger views on gear and professional photography as an industry, below, add more detail to my response to this question:

 

1. Digital photography and the affordability of entry-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras have given inexperienced beginners the illusion that their moderately-expensive camera and a couple of kit lenses makes them a professional photographer. This is no more true than owning a sports car makes somebody a professional NASCAR driver.

 

Make sure you ask for samples of a potential photographer's past work before considering hiring them. It's true that everybody has to start somewhere, but for a day so important as a wedding, a child's first birthday, a bridal or baby shower, and so forth, not understanding what gear is required and why is a dangerous approach; especially with a professional who just started taking pictures last week.

 

2. "Natural light photographer" - If you see this phrase, consider the following. These individuals know enough to get decent pictures when the lighting is just right. Any semi-experienced photographer will tell you that is HARDLY EVER the case when you arrive at a shoot; especially in Florida. Be wary that they may not be educated on external lighting or how to control light themselves, because they simply don't want to be; they're either  intimidated, unambitious, or typically just complacent in their craft.

 

Without knowing how to counteract harsh, unflattering mid-day lighting using external lighting gear or modifiers, without being able to color-match and provide well-distributed external flash in a dark reception venue, and without being able to add your own light to a sunrise or sunset scene to illuminate a couple or family gracefully, your creative options are very limited as a professional or fine art photographer.

 

3. "I only bring one lens because I only need one lens" - False. Every lens has its purpose. While it's true you can get away owning and bringing 3-4 for most situations, there isn't a single lens that exists that can acceptably cover a wide range, medium range, telephoto range, that can sufficiently isolate subjects from the background, and has macro-photography capability; It just doesn't exist.

 

This is why I say "the short answer is yes and no"; you don't NEED gear as nice as the gear I invest in, you don't NEED a backup camera for redundancy, you don't NEED an arsenal of specialized lenses, and you don't NEED an understanding of external lighting and modifiers to take a photograph. BUT, all of those things are absolutely necessary for adequately and artistically covering a wedding or event.

 

The bottom line, to me, is that investing in your craft and making sure you are bringing appropriate gear to a shoot is respectful of your client and their investment in you. If your attitude is "I'll bring this old camera and a lens or two, and the client will be none the wiser," that's the wrong approach, and you're not doing your due diligence or fulfilling your responsibility as a professional photographer. I make sure I'm geared-to-the-gills to capture everything my client could ever reasonably dream of.

YOU HAVE SOME OF THE LOWEST RATES AROUND. WHY? HOW?

You've done your research!

 

I embrace and practice all aspects of the art of photography and post-production; this means I don't merely show up to take your pictures, and outsource them to be edited. I do everything myself, because I enjoy it and can assure the quality of my final products, AND so I don't have to pay others to do it for me (including building this website). This is, of course, with the exception of second/third shooters at weddings or events, which I often recommend (because I can't literally be in two or three places at once).

 

An added bonus to my prices: I make every effort to limit my number of bookings, to give every client the focus and attention they deserve. I typically book only one wedding per month, and pepper in 2-3 smaller event/portrait shoots, so I can focus on getting my clients their pictures back quickly and beautifully!

 

Additionally, I don't trick customers into buying their digital photos or print releases separately from their "session fee," or force clients into ordering prints from me. I find these business practices to be senselessly restrictive and incredibly dishonest. The bottom line is I also really enjoy what I do, and I want to do it for as many people as possible; keeping my rates low helps my photography to be more about the art, attracts more business, comforts clients, and helps spread the word about my company!

speaking of pricing, why don't you have rates listed for events?

speaking of pricing, why don't you have rates listed for events?

It's nigh impossible to give a reliable quote to cover an event up-front without understanding the unique demands of the event. If I was to give a ball-park estimate for small family gatherings that last a couple hours or less, you can expect to pay a little bit more than a portrait session. However, I have also been asked to cover large corporate events that have been spread across several conference areas, with a dedicated studio setup and second shooter for headshots, and horrible lighting that required the rental of several expensive strobe lights. So the pricing is all relative!

 

In either case, rest assured I will provide a very reasonable invoice for review, prior to the event, that will detail all of my costs, including costs peculiar to a particular event. As I stated above, I enjoy what I do, and I want people to spread the word about how great their photos were, and what a reasonable price they got from their photographer!

It's nigh impossible to give a reliable quote to cover an event up-front without understanding the unique demands of the event. If I was to give a ball-park estimate for small family gatherings that last a couple hours or less, you can expect to pay a little bit more than a portrait session. However, I have also been asked to cover large corporate events that have been spread across several conference areas, with a dedicated studio setup and second shooter for headshots, and horrible lighting that required the rental of several expensive strobe lights. So the pricing is all relative!

 

In either case, rest assured I will provide a very reasonable invoice for review, prior to the event, that will detail all of my costs, including costs peculiar to a particular event. As I stated above, I enjoy what I do, and I want people to spread the word about how great their photos were, and what a reasonable price they got from their photographer!

you've been throwing this "second shooter" term around; what does that mean? AND COST?

A second (or third) shooter is another experienced photography professional that I will contract to help my company service an event or wedding that requires more coverage than I can reasonably provide on my own. They are always vetted individuals that own their own photography company, or are experienced in second-shooting for other photographers. Any second or third shooter I contract to help, I know their quality of work is astounding.

 

I recommend allowing me to contract at least a second shooter for large weddings or weddings with a busy time-line, or for large corporate/commercial events. Otherwise, if I feel there is a need, I will explain the logistics of why I believe a second (or third) shooter will be helpful. I never encourage a service for a client that I believe is unnecessary.

 

As each second shooter is a photography professional themselves, they each charge different hourly rates. I will share the rate of the second shooter I believe will be the best fit at the time of invoice delivery, so you will have no surprises as to what your total expected charge will be; I also do not place any kind of a markup on the rates I quote for second or third shooters, despite taking an increased workload to filter through and edit their photographs after the event has concluded.

What can i expect for my portrait session?

So basically, you just need to use the contact form on this website (or text, phone, or email) and we'll figure out a time and a location that works for all parties. Then, I will send you an invoice and a contract; I will need a deposit payment and signature(s), respectively. The contract protects the rights of both the client (you) and the photographer (me), in the case that something should go awry (it won't, but you can never be too safe).

 

I will bring my camera and a variety of lenses and other creative tools to capture amazing pictures of you, your friends, family, kids, pet parrot, whatever man! No judgment. After our time together has run out (I know, sad), I will race home to load the pictures onto my laptop and start the editing process. Depending on the number of pictures and how booked I am, you can generally expect to receive fully-edited images between a few days and a week. I have, on occasion, delivered pictures same-day or a day later, as my schedule has allowed.

What should i wear?

Everybody has their own taste in clothing and their own "look" they want to convey to the world. That said, I have some general concepts/guidelines/ideas to consider, leading up to your session:

 

1. Focus on subject: The general rule of thumb for pictures focused on individuals, couples, and families, is that you want people to focus on the people, and not particularly on their clothing or accessories. To accomplish this, I recommend wearing flat (pattern free), neutral color combinations. Also, consider the color wheel and complementary color theory (a quick Google search should suffice). For example, if taking pictures at a park with a lot of greenery, in the woods, etc., you might consider wearing a red tone that isn't too flashy or distracting, like a burgundy; since red and green are complementary colors, and look natural together. Head-shots and candid photos benefit from these guidelines; most senior picture sessions, engagement sessions, family portraits, and dating profile picture sessions feature a significant portion of the shoot styled this way. For couples and families, it would be best to get everybody wearing similar colors or tones.

 

2. High fashion: The goal of a fashion-oriented shoot is the opposite of the above description. You want to wear something that will pop when contrasted to the environment; for example, a bright, textured, lime-green sun dress against a city street backdrop. Or a tight, little red dress while standing on the beach or among a field of sunflowers. Generally, you want something that will catch the eye of the viewer immediately and have them go "wow, that outfit." This approach works well when thrown in for solo portraits (head-shots, senior pictures, dating profile pictures), and can also be incorporated easily into couples (engagement and otherwise) sessions.

 

3. Theming: You may want to consider bringing your own unique elements into your shoot. For example, I recently had a bride-to-be who incorporated a mermaid theme into her engagement shoot, set at a parent's riverfront back yard, mostly featuring a dock. She wore jewelry and a headdress that featured nautical-themed charms and elements, which really helped the shoot "pop."

 

Engagement clients, you may want to consider bringing props with you to your session, that can be as simple as a sign stating "Save our date XX-XX-XXXX," to something as elaborate as incorporating a central theme of your relationship into the props. For example, do you both spend a lot of time kayaking? Bring a paddle! OR THE KAYAK! PLEASE BRING THE KAYAK! But no, on a serious note, consider what activities you do with your partner, and see if there is anything simple you can bring along. Play tennis together? Why don't we get a picture of you two kissing with tennis rackets in your hands? That kind of thing.

 

Solo sessions, why not bring along some items that describe your interests? Enjoy playing guitar? Throw an acoustic in the car! Love your dog? Bring him/her along! Preferably with a caretaker who can tend to them while we take other pictures not involving the pup. For senior sessions, I recommend bringing as many things as possible that are relevant to the client's life at that moment, as senior pictures are a time stamp of the client's life at that exact moment in time.

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