Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of Photo Guy in San Diego. Please feel free to click the orange links below to jump to the answers. Select RETURN TO THE TOP when ready to select another FAQ in the top menu.
HEADSHOTS & PORTRAITS
AERIAL DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY
REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY
PRINTS, WALL ART & GIFTS
- INDIVIDUAL HEADSHOTS
- $150 (allows for 1 hour for a single client, then $100 if you need an extra hour)
- GROUP 2+ HEADSHOTS
- $250 (allows for 1.5 hours total for two clients, then this can be scaled up from here at $50/person (allowing 30 minutes for each additional client). You can schedule an extra hour of shooting during any session should you need it for $100)
- INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS
- $200 (allows for 1 hour for a single client, then $100 if you need an extra hour)
- GROUP 2+ PORTRAITS
- $300 (allows for 1 hour total for two or more clients, then $100 if you need an extra hour)
- RETOUCHING PHOTOS
- $30 Per Photo (1-9 Images)
- RETOUCHING PHOTOS
- $200 Per Group Of 10 Photos (Bulk)
- WHAT IS INCLUDED? WHAT ISN'T?
- PRINTS & DOWNLOADS: For prints sized at 5"x7" or less, I provide the digital JPEG images via download so that you can print them at the lab of your choice, or upload them to the internet as you see fit. For prints larger than 5"x7" (requires high-resolution files), I provide my experience and expertise to work with my top labs and produce the perfect Wall Art for you. Or you can purchase a Full-Buyout of the high-resolution files for $200 and goto your lab of choice to do it yourself.
- TURN-AROUND TIME: 3-day turn-around is included in the base rate. If you need a rush, I charge $150 for images to be ready within 24-hours.
- PHOTO EDITING: Selection & Correction are included in the base rates. For an additional fee, I will provide some "Visual Voodoo" to your photos...with the magic of Photo Retouching.
- 25% DISCOUNT?!
- A discount coupon of 25% off the session fee is offered to all returning clients, and for kids 18 and under. Contact me after you have paid & booked your session. I will need to know your full name and your previous session date if you are a returning client, and I will also need to verify your birthdate prior to your session if you are a kid under 18 years old. Once I have verified your information, I will provide an email with the one-time discount coupon code. This 25% discount code will need to be entered when you make your payment on the remaining balance owed prior to your session. This 25% discount applies to your total session fee and will be deducted from your remaining balance that you owe. Awesome, huh?!
SCHEDULING & PAYMENTS?
I am available for shooting 7 days a week and I usually begin our sessions around 11am. I do tweak the times depending upon the schedule each particular day, so I ask people to be a bit flexible. Be aware that the sessions overlap for women getting makeup. Women are in makeup for approximately an hour, so I am usually finishing off the first session while the makeup artist is preparing the next client to shoot. I ask that you don't have anything else scheduled close to the end of your session in case I need a little more time with you.
To make a reservation, I require a 50% deposit which goes towards the total session fee. Upon receipt of this deposit, I will ensure and guarantee my availability for your specific booking date. For that reason, the retainer is non-refundable and non-transferable. The remaining balance is due no later than 24-hours prior to the scheduled photo session.
I accept cash, checks, as well as Visa, Mastercard and American Express. I also accept payment via Apple Pay. The remaining balance plus any sales tax is due the day of the session.
I work with freelance makeup artists and you will be paying them directly, they require cash on the day of the shoot.
All deposit checks can be made payable to: "Photo Guy, LLC" and mailed to the studio address: 301 West G Street #431, San Diego, CA 92101
PORTRAITS VS HEADSHOTS?
What is the difference between a portrait and headshot? Portraits are artistic and experimental. Headshots are all business.
Headshots are shot fairly close in...think head and shoulders. Essentially, these are business shots with high-key lighting (bright white background). Typically headshots will be in color, however every once in a while you'll see them in black and white. However, no special effects are added to the shots. Most headshots use very soft lighting that covers the entire face and doesn't make any harsh shadows. Additionally, most headshots have a relaxed and realistic expression. You usually don't want a crazy expression in a headshot because it will look fake or forced.
Portraits, on the other hand, are different in all aspects. First of all, they can be shot very close in or very far out and they can be shot from low or high angles. The framing of portraits can be however you want because there are no rules. Typically, portraits will use many more Photoshop effects in them, and although they might be black and white, the contrast might be extremely strong, or they might have an advanced color effect. With portraits, you are trying to convey a mood or a feeling with lighting and expressions. Backgrounds for portraits can be high-key (bright white), low-key (black) and any color in the spectrum of options. For portraits, you can use soft lighting or you can use hard lighting, it really depends.
So what's the difference between a portrait and a headshot? Portraits are artistic and experimental. Headshots are all business.
THE SESSION PROCESS?
Portraits and Headshots sessions are shot at the studio on G Street in Downtown San Diego and last approximately an hour in length depending on the service. Shooting a range of looks over the course of the hour allows us to get a variety of shots for whatever marketing purposes you choose.
Part of the process is to edit the photos with you as we go. Each shot will be inspected one-by-one with you to determine whether or not you will potentially use an image or not. By shooting and editing in this manner you and I can adjust the focus of the shots during the session to account for anything that we feel we may have missed along the way. You'll leave knowing exactly what you will be working with when you walk out of the studio by having gone through the entire session and kept only the images that have met your approval along the way.
The approved shots will be made available on your own password protected proofing website (link is provided below labeled, "Client Login"). Once the images are posted, I will send you an email with a link to let you know. You will be able to give the password to anyone who might help you choose the shots you decide to use.
Once we are done, it is your responsibility to work with the images that you decided to keep during the session. Should you decide to return and cover anything you feel we may have missed, then you can take advantage of our returning client discount of 25% off.
HAIR & MAKEUP?
Makeup for the session is highly recommended for all women. If you’d rather do your own makeup, please don't wear excessive makeup as we want the photos to look like the real you.
I work with freelance makeup artists and you will be paying them on the day of the shoot with cash. The cost is $150 for makeup for the session and includes hair help. The makeup is applied specifically for the lighting I use and we usually start very naturally to give you a very clean simple look. We do touch ups and will add subtle changes to the makeup as the shoot progresses.
I ask that everyone come in with their hair ready the way you would like to present yourself. We want your hair in your pictures to be as close as possible to the way you look on a fantastic hair day. Of course our makeup artists are there to make sure your hair is camera-ready and we will discuss what you’d like to do with it and make a gameplan for the shoot.
If you need a major overhaul hair wise or you are naturally curly and want to go straight there may be an extra $50 charge for our makeup artist to blow it out for you. Make sure you discuss this with us prior to your session, so we are all on the same page.
We don't recommend makeup on men, but my makeup artist can provide light grooming on the shoot for $150 if you like. All our work is retouched afterwards, so any blemishes will be taken care of during that process.
Shave a few hours before the portrait session. Facial hair can be visible, even within a few hours of shaving. If you’d like to shoot with facial hair we’d be happy for you to come in with whatever level of growth you’d like and you can shave or trim it down once we’ve gotten it covered. Remove stray hairs from noses, ears, and brow lines. Tweezers are your friend. Bring whatever grooming products you’ll need with you to get it done.
WHAT TO WEAR?
Feel free to bring a range of different options for clothing. #1 rule for me is that you have to love it! If you don’t feel comfortable in it, you won’t shoot well while wearing it.
I suggest you bring a range of different colors and necklines. If you have any doubt about whether something will work or not just bring it along. Don't be seasonal; everything from t-shirts, tank tops to sweaters and light jackets can work. I love textures and layers as well and try to keep it minimal on the jewelry. Studs or small earrings work and simple necklaces, anything hanging or chunky will usually draw too much attention in a headshot.
Have some fun with this, if you feel your wardrobe is missing something then go shopping and we’ll keep the tags on it in case you’d like to return the items after the shoot. Here are some other suggestions:
- Avoid white or light colored clothing except when worn with business attire under jackets or sweaters.
- For couples or groups, avoid wearing exactly the same color. The same shade of red looks "matchy" instead of coordinated.
- Don't choose outfits featuring strong patterns or logos. Solid colors are safest.
- Avoid wrinkles. Hang your outfit in your car and dress when you arrive.
- Stay away from layered outfits as they can appear bulky in photographs.
- Make sure that undergarments and straps aren't visible.
- Bare arms compete for attention in photos. Unless you're very thin, consider avoiding sleeveless outfits.
- Fabrics fade fast. Consider a fresh, new outfit for your session.
- For portraits of couples, choose an outfit suitable for a fancy cocktail party. For men, I recommend a collared, button-down shirt with a well-fitting sports jacket and slacks or dark jeans and closed-toe leather dress shoes or deck shoes. For women, I recommend sundresses, cocktail dresses, or a skirt with blouse. And fancy shoes. Avoid baggy clothing, shorts, cargo pants, khaki pants, t-shirts, polo shirts, sweats, jogging suits, leggings, athletic shoes, flip-flops, or men's sandals.
- For outdoor portraits, having a backup outfit is great, but we'll often move quite far from our starting point. That means we typically won't have time to return and change clothes. If you need to change, you'll probably want to extend your session by 30 minutes.
- If we're in a garden setting, high heels will sink into the grass, so consider wedges. We'll also be walking quite a bit, so keep that in mind when you're making shoe choices if comfort is important.
- To reduce signs of sweating, guys should wear an undershirt. Make sure that it isn't visible at your open neckline. Consider a v-neck or deep neck undershirt.
- Light or neutral fingernail polish is best. Bright, distinctive colors are distracting. Manicures are recommended.
- Avoid alcohol and get a good night's sleep. Bags under your eyes detract from photos.
- Remove items from pockets including keys, phones, wallets, and makeup. Those items can be visible in photos. Leave them behind when appropriate.
SELECTION & CORRECTION / RETOUCHING?
Once you've chosen the shots you'd like to work with, Selection & Correction may be all you need done to your photos; and it's included in the base rate. If you require extra work (a.k.a. Photo Retouching or "Visual Voodoo"), I offer this work as an add-on service. Below I will define the terms used.
MY APPROACH TO PHOTOSHOP
My approach to retouching is simple; I want you to look like the best you possible. An important caveat of that is to make sure your image is still a representation of you, and not airbrushed into a cartoon or scary wax figure. Here are a few steps I take to ensure you look your best:
- I like a NATURAL look. I still want to see pores and such. You have skin. I like skin.
- Blemish control is a must. Adult acne is a real thing but you would never know it looking at our photos. But we do limit our cloning. Your Marilyn Monroe-esque beauty mark will be unscathed.
- Last night’s activities will not be apparent in your face or smile! I get rid of sleep deprivation and hangovers by lightening whites of the eyes, teeth brightening, and minor under eye wrinkles/bags reduction.
- Bad hair day? I help. 12 Cats? That’s cool. Obvious stray hairs and lint on clothes will be addressed. But your blue shirt will still be blue, and your curly hair will still be curly.
Now that you are familiar with my approach to photo retouching, let me explain what I do, and how I do it.
RATE: No charge. Included in the base rate.
Selected photographs include images that reflect our best quality of work and represent the most important moments from your portrait session. Rejected images may include duplicate or near-duplicate photographs, unflattering images, closed-eye photos, out-of-focus photos, images that reflect negatively on individuals, or photographs that don't meet my minimum standard of quality.
RATE: No charge. Included in the base rate.
Corrections include adjusting the color, modifying the exposure, adjusting contrast, and cropping images. This kind of correction provides you with great-looking images. If you need more from your photography, then you might also consider moving forward with retouching. All photographs that we deliver include a basic correction. On request, we are happy to provide a duplicate set of globally adjusted black and white photos.
PHOTO RETOUCHING (a.k.a. "Visual Voodoo")
RATES: $30 Per Photo (1-9 Images). $200 Per Group Of 10 Photos (Bulk)
The sections below detail common considerations that are typically employed when retouching most portrait photography. These descriptions are provided for informational purposes only and shouldn't be considered a guarantee of service. Not all of these adjustments are applied to every photograph.
- Highlight details are recovered. Examples include a white shirt or shiny patch of skin.
- Overly bright areas of the image are darkened to make them consistent with the rest of image. Examples might include bright flowers or leaves that are not central to the subject in the photograph.
- Shadow details are enhanced. Examples include dark clothing and background objects.
- Overall image color is fine-tuned for optimal accuracy.
- Conversion to black & white or other tones.
- Distracting objects behind a subject's head are removed. Examples include poles, wires, and tree branches in outdoor portrait photography.
- Sensor dust spots are removed.
- Skin blemishes are lightened or removed. This includes small moles, pimples, dry skin flakes, sun damage, minor scarring, discoloration, large pores, and small groups of freckles.
- Prominent birthmarks, scars, or moles are not removed or reduced in prominence.
- Unintentional shine or highlights on nose, cheek, and forehead areas are reduced or removed.
- Wrinkles are lightened but are not removed. Wrinkle retouching is typically more aggressive on photographs of female subjects.
- Bags under the eyes are lightened.
- Prominent veins are lightened.
- Nostrils and lips are selectively sharpened.
- Eyelashes and pupils are selectively sharpened.
- Iris color and contrast are enhanced.
- Eyes are whitened and brightened.
- Prominent blood vessels are lightened or removed.
- Scalp areas visible at the hair part are darkened.
- Scalp areas slightly visible due to male pattern baldness are darkened.
- Errant nose, ear, or facial hairs are removed.
- Minor flyway hairs are removed.
- Discolored teeth are whitened.
PRINTING & WALL ART?
PRINTS & DOWNLOADS
For prints sized at 5"x7" or less, I provide the digital JPEG images via download so that you can print them at the lab of your choice, or upload them to the internet as you see fit. For prints larger than 5"x7" (requires high-resolution files), I provide my experience and expertise to work with my top labs and produce the perfect Wall Art for you. Or you can purchase a Full-Buyout of the high-resolution files for $200 and goto your lab of choice to do it yourself.
I will add more details here soon...
AGREEMENTS & RELEASES?
Here are copies of our agreements and releases with a brief explanation for each. Please note that these agreements need to be returned back to us prior to your photo session. Click on each of the links below to download the individual PDF documents:
Portrait and Event Agreement: These forms always need to be signed for any type of portrait or event photography. It says you are familiar with our policies, fees, and expectations of conduct of both parties.
Property Release: A property release may be required. It says that the owner of a certain property, such as a pet or a private building, has given us consent to take and use images of their property.
Model Release: A signed model release is needed any time that photos contain recognizable images of people. It says the person being photographed has given consent and understands their rights as a model.