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This FAQ will answer some common questions about my services.  Click on the question to see the answer.  Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

What is your photographic philosophy?
        My goal is to create images that will draw the viewer's eye for more than just a few seconds.   I strive to make people look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, & 10 hours better-rested.  I enjoy creating edgy, personalized portraits, but can do standard portraits as well.   My passion is for high-color, directionally-lighted portraits, but I also do black & white, toning (such as sepia or any shade of pastel), & hand-coloring (where the image is black & white except for an object of focus, which is still in color).

Do you do composite images & Photoshop work?
        Yes.  Minor retouching is included in the session price, but for an additional fee, I can do a “Glamour Retouch” which includes:  
  • Removal or softening of wrinkles, blemishes, & imperfections
  • Whitening of eyes & teeth
  • Minor facial sculpting
        Also for an additional fee, I do digital backdrops, where I photograph you in front of a one-color backdrop & later substitute any photograph into the background.

I do the following work on an hourly rate*:
  • Photo composites
  • Environmental manipulations
  • Digital special effects
  • Body sculpting
*The number of hours needed to do a job will vary depending on what is to be done.   I can give you a rough estimate when we are reviewing your photos on the day of your shoot.   If you are not happy with the quality of my Photoshop work, I will waive my Photoshop fee & include the original photo on your CD in its place if you like the original.

Do you do outdoor portraits?
        Yes.  My initial artistic passion was scenic photography.   Combining this with portraiture can yield some amazing results.  

        Many outdoor portrait artists use only natural lighting, which usually results in an image that contains either too much or too little contrast.   Even using an on-camera flash to obtain proper contrast, the resulting image is many times a one-note creation that, sadly, is all too common.  

        I take the time to use off-camera flash, counterbalanced by the sun, to produce spectacular outdoor portraits where the subject “pops” right out of the background.   I also use off-camera flash to enhance outdoor shaded portraits, sunset portraits, & indoor environmental portraits.

Do you photograph weddings?
        No.  I would, however, be happy to do your engagement photos.

        My experience is with studio & environmental portraiture.   I have no experience so far photographing weddings.   If I failed to capture a moment at your wedding, both you & I would be disappointed.   Portraiture is more forgiving.   If I see on the camera's preview screen that someone blinked or that something else was wrong with the shot, I can redo it.   It's slighly more difficult to redo a wedding.

Is your studio wheelchair accessible?
        I am sorry to say that it is not.   My studio is on the second floor of my home.   I will, however, waive my on-location fee to do a local location shoot for anyone who is physically incapable of climbing stairs.

How does your print quality compare to big studio prints?
        I offer the same high-quality, professional prints that big studios offer, but at a fraction of the cost.  The quality is superior to the quality offered by big chain photo labs, & you won't need to worry about resizing, cropping, or any of the other hassles of having prints made on your own.  
        In addition to prints on high-quality photo paper, I offer large wall art prints on fine art paper, canvas, metal, & acrylic that are suitable for display in a museum.  Print wraps & gallery wraps come ready-to-hang.
        Hard- or soft-cover photo books & albums can be designed with your own images or mine to reflect a senior's 4 years in high school or for any other special occasion.  
        I also offer custom greeting cards, announcements, invitations, & thank you cards as well as statuettes, dry erase boards, stand-outs, banners, calendars, posters, & other items.
        Samples are available in the studio & prices can be found here.

Am I able to get digital copies of my portraits on CD?
        Yes.  I offer 2 options for receiving digital images on CD:
  1. Social Media CD – Screen-resolution images to post on social media sites or use on your home computer.   These images are embedded with copyright protection & cannot be printed, sold, traded, or edited in any way without further written permission.   Price

  2. Print Release CD – Full-resolution images to print, post on social media sites, or use on your home computer.   These images are embedded with copyright protection; however, you will receive a license allowing you to make prints for personal use.   You still may not sell, trade, or edit the images in any way without further written permission.  Price
        In all cases, Portraits à la Carte remains the copyright owner.  To use an image in any way other than what is allowed by the option you choose, please inquire.

What forms of payment do you accept?
        I accept cash, check, & money order.  Please make checks out to “Portraits la Carte.”  Payment is expected when you approve your proofs & order prints.

        Credit card companies & PayPal charge around 3% on every transaction.  By not accepting those forms of payment, I can avoid passing those costs on to you … helping to keep your costs down.

What is Lustre coating?
        Lustre coating is a clear, protective coat that is rolled onto prints to protect them from fingerprints & from being faded by UV light exposure.  It also visually enhances a print by adding a luster to it.   It's highly recommended for photos that will be handled a lot or photos that will be on display.  Photos that you'll place in an album generally do not need this treatment unless you like the glossy look.

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