Q. How will you get my pet to cooperate?
A. Your dog (kid?) is a spazz, huh? Well, I have some unique abilities. I can communicate with animals in a way most people can't fathom. I work in the language of energy which is how animals communicate with each other. I'm exceedingly patient. I give your pet extra time to get comfortable with me and my camera gear. I used to be a professional dog trainer (I've even trained cats) and that skill is very helpful. I figure out your pet's motivation to perform the behavior I'm requesting and then offer that in small doses in return for the cooperation I'm seeking. Pets really enjoy their time with me. You'll enjoy how sound they sleep afterward. Thinking hard is exhausting and I'll require it of your pet.
Q. Do you photograph people?
A. Of course! I do this more and more often now. Lately I've been enjoying executive portraiture for busy professionals. We also offer event coverage, product photography and architectural photography. Feel free to ask for samples of anything else and check out my Other Projects gallery.
Q. What equipment do you use?
A. While this list is subject to changes, here's the current arsenal, ya gearhead:
Cameras: Canon 7D (3 batteries), Canon 20D (2 batteries, gripped). Lenses: Bower 8mm f3.5 fisheye, Sigma 10-20mm, Canon 35mm f2, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 85mm f1.8, Canon 24-105mm f4, Canon 100-400mm, and a Rokinon 650-1300mm (with 2x extender). Speedlight flashes: YN560-III (x2), YN5653X (x1). Triggers: YongNuo Digital RF-603CII (x4). Studio Strobes: PCB White Lightening 1600 (x1), Alien Bees B800 (x2). Light Meter: Gossen Digipro F, Vivitar Flash Meter. Tripods: Slik Pro 700dx w/ tilt/pan, Manfrotto 3021 Pro w/ tilt/pan. Accessories: a Quantaray 2x extender, various light stands & umbrellas up to 6' parabolic, one 4' Octabox, one gridded softbox (3x2), one Turfstand, several adapter brackets, brass monkeys, lens hoods & filters, gels, clips, squeaky toys, a rape whistle, a Leatherman utility tool, a flashlight, a headlamp, lens cloths, cords & cables, rechargeable batteries, contracts, model releases, and a whole bunch of other stuff you'll see at your photo session.
Q. This seems so expensive?!
A. True, hiring a skilled artist/technician with professional equipment to create something unique to your specifications does have a pricetag. As a professional photographer, I operate like a business and have processes and procedures in place to ensure your total satisfaction. I've done this before. I do it every day. Since 2009!
I set prices carefully, and believe I do a great job because I'm not the most expensive studio out there, not even close. My clients feel I offer an excellent value! Check me out on Yelp!
Further support... It is expensive to be in business. Consider the fixed costs... my salary, a space to operate in, marketing and advertising, utilities, insurance, continuing education, association dues, outside services like accounting & legal, web hosting, photo equipment, computer, software, data storage and much more. Then, your individual job has costs... lab fees to print/produce your products, outsourced services like editing or retouching, travel time and wear & tear on my car and photo equipment, credit card processing fees, shipping, tax and more. You're right! Providing a great professional photography service is not cheap!
Q. Should I just have my friend with an expensive camera do it?
A. You can, but there are many reasons to hire a professional. For starters, consistency of results and receiving the work in a timely fashion might matter to you. I have a repeatable process and well-defined artistic style. That's why you've read this far! I also have top of the line photographic equipment AND know how to use it both skillfully and artfully. I have taken the time to research the available printed product options and do all the legwork of ordering fine products for you. My livelihood is predicated on your satisfaction. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a sob story about how the friend failed and now the pet is gone... (I could buy a pack of gum).
Q. Can I get ALL the images after the session?
A. Part of the value of a professional photographer's service is preparing and offering a curated collection of quality images from your session. To that end, I perform a rigorous culling process so anything not representative of my best work (blinks, unflattering expressions, camera misfires, out of focus shots, test exposures, duplicates and such) is purged. This way you only spend your time evaluating the very best options. Further, I know from years of experience that presenting too many images creates analysis paralysis. In short, I value your time and mine too much to do that to you.
That said, I do have a few clients that pay a $300 hourly rate for me to shoot on their memory cards. They get it all... exposure tests, focus tests, camera misfires, duplicates, blinks, unflattering expressions and have to sort through all that to find the good stuff. They are accomplished photographers in their own right and fully capable of professional postprocessing and creating quality art with my raw data. Without completing my processes, including postproduction work, I am unable to attach my name or signature to the work.
Q. What kind of pets do you have, Dave?
A. Sadly, I don't have a dog or cat at the moment. Just a garden full of happy wildlife including "Stumpy" the blue bellied fence lizard who's missing a foot, "Croc" the shy alligator lizard and "Sunny" the humming bird who hovers by the compost plucking bugs out of the air.
In the past I've had a great many pets. Sam, the Welsh Corgi was my first. A nameless box turtle came next. He lived in a pyrex baking tray full of mud for awhile. I also had several sleepy-eyed hamsters, hundreds of fish, a few very vocal guinea pigs including Cobalt & Mr. Brown. Melissa was my first kitty. Daily care of PJ, a coonhound mix was my first part-time job. German Shepherds, Jenny and Boris, were constant companions through my teen years. A pair of feisty farm cats, Ralph and Mr. Leonard, kept Jenny and Boris on their best behavior. I know I'm missing a few small pets (Like "Jim", my Kingsnake during college) here and there and these are just a few pets that I've considered mine over the years. I become pretty attached to my friends pets also, but they're too numerous to list.
Q. Pets are great, but have you ever photographed a ______with a ______ and a ______?
A. Maybe, maybe not. Let's talk about the job. I'll tell you honestly if I'm confident taking it on or not. If not, I can likely refer you to another professional who can do a good job for you.
Q. Why didn't you answer my question?
A. Um... good question! Please ask it in a message through my Contact page. If it's a good one, I'll put it on here too.