FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Where is your studio?

I am located in Bentonville Arkansas, and I am an on-location natural light photographer, so I do not have a studio.  I am willing to travel! 

 

How can I contact you to book a session?

You may call me at 870-688-1829 or email me at melmurray0920@yahoo.com. Or you can message me on the Ooh La Posy Facebook page. 

 

Can you hold a specific date for me?

You can reserve a specific date and time by reading, signing, and returning my Client Form and paying the non-refundable (but transferrable within 6 months) session deposit, which is half the fee of your session. 

 

What is included in the session fee?

The session fee reserves your session date.  It also pays for my time, talent, and travel for the session.  It includes your consultation, site scouting, and artistic hand-editing of your portraits. It also includes your high-resolution digital files for printing and online sharing.

 

Why is the session fee non-refundable?

I generally only schedule 1-2 sessions per week.  This means that if you reserve a session date, I do not schedule any others that day so that I can concentrate on planning, executing, then editing your portrait session without being distracted by other work and still attend to my family.  That also means that I turn down most other requests for that week.  If you cancel, I do not get paid that week.  So, to be able to continue to give all my clients the attention they deserve, I cannot refund the session fee, should you cancel.  However, I will be happy to transfer your session fee to another date and time within 6 months of the originally scheduled session date.

 

How many photos do we receive?

Your edited portrait count will depend on the package you choose.  I generally will include a selection of unedited outtakes with your edited files.  I will be happy to edit more photos, at your request, for an additional $20 per file. 

 

Some photographers offer more photos.  Why do you provide less?

I feel that part of what you are hiring me for is to make most of the artistic decisions about what is truly “wall-worthy” and what isn’t.  I find that being given too many choices is overwhelming and redundant. (Do you really want to wallow through 100 photos to figure out what to print?  That’s MY job!)  I find that a client is much more likely to print their files and put them on their wall, if I do most of the work for them. When they are provided with too many options, they tend to become overwhelmed and the photos remain unprinted, so they aren't really getting what they paid for. I believe that while I provide less files, you end up getting more value.

Also, I spend a great deal of time editing your photos to be sure they are perfect. You can take snapshots yourself.  Besides the photography skill itself, it’s the artistic selection and custom editing that turns photographs into portraits – and that’s really what you are paying me to do!

 

Do you take editing requests?

Depending on the session you select, you can expect to receive a mixture of both color and black and white images.  All editing decisions are based on my personal artistic choice.  I do not take requests to change images into black and white or back into color. By hiring me, you are allowing me artistic license. It try to cover all the traditional bases with groupings (family, each child, siblings, parent with children, couple, etc), when possible. When you pick a session with a larger edited file count, it allows me to hit those traditional shots and also provide you with more artistic lifestyle shots you see on my website. If you are hoping for something in particular, please let me know, and I will do my best to make it happen. 

 

What do you retouch?

Most retouching is complimentary.  My general rule of thumb for retouching is that I will fix anything that will/could be gone in a month.  So, blemishes, scratches, and bruises will be retouched without being asked.  If you have a concern over something more permanent (moles, scars, tattoos, etc.)  Please let me know during our consultation. 

 

When will we receive our photos?

Generally I will post a sneak-peek of your portraits within 3-7 days of our session. You can expect your completed portraits to arrive via email with 2-4 weeks of your session date, or sooner.

 

Will we receive the copyrights when we purchase the high-resolution digital files?

People often confuse copyrights with the print release.  The copyrights to the photos will remain mine forever.  You will receive a Print Release form to reproduce the images in order to make prints, albums, or even coffee mugs or bumpers stickers.  Whatever floats your boat.  The printing permission is for personal use only.  You cannot use the images for commercial use.  In addition, you cannot change or manipulate the images in any way, including cropping.  I do ask that you use a quality lab to maintain the integrity of my work.  I can recommend www.Mpix.com as a quality consumer lab. If you are interested in professional lab prints, let me know, and I'll be happy to provide a price list. 

 

What should we wear to our photo session?

Well, I do have a few suggestions:

1.   Be comfortable – wear something that makes you feel good and that you can comfortably move around in.  When you feel good, you look good.

2.   Be appropriate – if we are doing the photos at a park, wear what you would wear to a park- but kicked up a notch. 

3.   Be individuals – if we are doing family pictures, think outside the box of white shirts and jeans or khakis.   Try to have everyone wearing something different, but within the same color family (such as jewel tones, primary colors, harvest colors, etc).  Coordinate.  Don’t match.  LAYER (if weather appropriate.)

4.   Be your BEST self – Avoid looking too casual. So, that generally means no ball caps (makes shadows over your eyes), tank tops, wife-beaters, torn or baggy t-shirts, or sports sandals/shoes. No sweats or other workout gear. 

5.   Be accessorized (if you’re into that kind of thing) – bright colors are fun, statement jewelry, scarfs, interesting hats or shoes, headbands, etc. can add a lot of interest to a photo.

6.   Be flattered by your choices:  Don’t wear clothes that are too tight or too baggy, too short or too long.  Ladies:  While ponytails and otherwise pulled-back hair are trendy and can look really nice in person, those hair-do’s do not always photograph well.  So, if at all possible, wear your hair loose.

 

Obviously, these are only suggestions based on my experience.  Like all advice, feel free to take it or leave it!  Still unsure?  I will be happy to discuss clothing options during our consultation.

 

Why is professional custom photography so expensive?

Custom, quality, artistic photography is expensive in comparison to what you might receive at Sears or JCP. I can't change that fact. However, even the cookie-cutter studios can charge $100-$300 for the cd of UNEDITED files.  Plus this is CUSTOM photography.  To me, that means that I will try to capture the personality of your unique family, in a setting of your choosing.  Unlike the generic photo studios in the mall, I will never set you in front of a tired back-drop and force you into an awkward pose, and I will strive to make sure that your portraits could never end up on one of those “Awkward Family Photo” sites. My photography is about highlighting your emotional connections and authentic personalities. I am hoping to create a work of art out of a moment of time in your life. I spend time with and take care of your images. Besides the time I take to consult with my clients before the shoot and the actual reserved time of the session, I have to factor in the time after the session spent importing the images, backing up the images, the hours culling through and hand editing your photos, and then uploading and blogging your images.  Oh, and I have to add in a little extra for profit for little luxuries like gallons and gallons of milk for my little girls, ballet lessons, gas for my vehicle, electric, lip balm, and treats for Havoc the Cat.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

I prefer PayPal (you can pay with your check card or credit card) and cash.

 

Do you offer discounts?

I offer a referral and loyalty program for my Facebook fans.  So be sure to "like" the Facebook page.  I also offer mini-session periodically.  

 

 

Do you have more questions?  Feel free to email me at melmurray0920@yahoo.com