Portrait FAQs - JL Johnson Photography

Portrait FAQs

As a photographer, I'm curious. That trait leads me to explore and experiment with my craft. I like curious clients as well who ask questions and want to know more, so ask away. Not everyone is used to being in front of a camera (or one that doesn't look like a cell phone), so investigate my gear, ask about poses and point out your good side :-). I'm always up for your feedback, ideas and suggestions too.

Here are a few FAQs. Once you schedule your portrait session, we'll talk more about your specific session and finalize details. 

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Q: What do you do if it is threatening rain or raining?

A: If we’ve already started shooting, we’ll reschedule for the balance of time left on the shoot. If rain is definitely coming and it would be silly to try and shoot, we can reschedule to the next available time on our schedules. If you like rain, we can definitely keep shooting (after I cover my camera, of course).

Q: What happens if it isn’t a bright sunny day with a cloudless blue sky for my shoot?

A: Actually, bright sun can make for some squinting eyes and dramatic shadows. I typically look for the soft light of morning or evening sun whenever possible. If we do shoot mid-day or early afternoon, we’ll look for some shade, diffused sun and some clouds to make for a nice natural diffuser. I'll also bring some additional lighting to balance out the scene.

Q: What do you mean by “finished” or “edited” image?

A: A “finished” image is a digital image that has been edited, converted and compressed into a standard file format (typically JPG) using software. It represents the final product. In the days of film, developing the film and printing images would typically be handled by a photo lab. With digital, I process and edit the images before sending to a professional lab for printing. I typically go through a process to color calibrate the images with printing settings supplied by the professional lab to ensure color accuracy.

Q: What goes into making a “finished” image?

A: I take "RAW" images, which means the camera does no automated developing of the images. Most point-and-shoot cameras, including your cell phone, make pre-programmed automated decisions about how the finished image will look. The resulting JPG file has data the camera’s software deems unnecessary stripped out and it is compressed to save space. A RAW file represents millions of different colors, the frequency those colors occur and how bright those colors are. As good as today's digital cameras and software are, they still are not as good as the human eye and can take creative decisions out of your hands. I "develop" each image by hand with software so I can make the developing decisions to match the scene, my creative vision and your vision. Each file is also compared to the printer settings the professional lab will use so I can ensure accurate colors from camera to computer and then to the printer. Each image you pick also gets retouching for the scene and facial features. This means smoothing of laugh lines (if you'd like), removing of blemishes, stray hairs and other touch ups.

Q: How do I pick my final images?

A: Every shoot yields a lot of pictures as I try to capture the right expression, pose and light. This means there will be more than 10 pictures taken during a 10-picture shoot, but not all of those will be “keepers”. I will review all pictures and select the best ones for you to further distill. The keepers you choose will be developed for a finished image. If there are additional images you would like developed, each additional image is $10 ($20 for headshots). This covers the time it takes to manually finish each image. Any additional images will be included in your digital download.

Q: I want a different look for a few pictures. Can you use a “filter”?

A: Definitely! I love giving photos a special treatment or “filter”. It’s best if we chat about this before taking the pictures as I may employ a few tricks at the shoot. When you choose your “keepers” for your package, you can select which images get the creative treatment. I can offer a wide variety of matte, vintage, film, black and white and other unique touches. If you have a sample of a look you want to capture, feel free to let me know so I can visualize what you want.

Q: Can I have all the images from the shoot even if they are "RAW"?

A: No, I do not provide any RAW images. RAW images are only part of my work and don't represent my finished product. I take pride in my work, the time, effort and quality standard I set for myself to provide the best finished images to my clients, so I do not release any unfinished images that do not meet that standard.

Q- Do you guarantee your work?

A- Yes, I guarantee what I can control in the portrait process and that includes capturing, editing and printing the photos. If there is a weather issue, location issue or you made silly faces (like I do), there’s not a lot I can do to fix that. If there’s a technology issue (camera, lens, computer) or a human issue (me), I’m more than happy to make it right. If you are unhappy with any of your images, please let me know and let’s discuss how best to fix them. Sometimes, it can be a simple re-edit, re-print or re-shoot to get things right. 

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