Our Process

Always with your Marketing Goals in Mind

The process we use to deliver to you images which meet your marketing goals start with a conversation. We want to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve to offer recommendations to make that as successful as possible with as little wasted time and money as is reasonable.

A shot list with notes how each image is to be used is a good start.
From this we can determine a priority of images based on their final size, placement and use.
We can determine the equipment required and the time to prep, shoot and finish each image file for your use.

Scouting

In some cases it is a great help to see the products or locations to be photographed. Sometimes this can be done on a map, other times a visit is preferred. For on-site portraits a space needs to be available large enough for the background, lighting and some distance between the background and subject and the subject and camera. For industrial shoots equipment and inventory may have to be moved in advance of the shoot. We can help you evaluate these requirements by reviewing the shooting area ahead of the shoot.

The Quote

Once we have a thorough understanding of what is needed we can provide you with a written quote.
This allows you to set you budget as well as a time frame for the shoot.
If prep work or scheduling are required then we can be sure everything has been attended to before the shoot and no time is wasted.

A deposit may be required to book a shoot so we can reserve time on our schedule for you. The balance is typically due upon delivery on the finished files. 30day net terms may be arranged for regular clients once established. We accept payments by corporate check, PayPal or major credit cards.

The Shoot

The shoot includes arriving on site and unloading any equipment we are using. A staging area may be required to organize our equipment before moving it from setup to setup.
We review the shots as they are created in full resolution on a powerful laptop computer to be sure all of the details are correct. In the case of executive portraits we can bring a flat-screen television so the subject or the art director can evaluate and select photos as we shoot them. This process avoids reshoots or surprises.

For Architectural Shoots:
Exteriors:
Properties should be prepare prior to the shoot for lawn mowing (1-2 days prior), landscaping (1 week prior) and general removal of debris, ashtrays, excess signage or vehicles.
Window treatments such as drapes or blinds should be set consistently or opened entirely. Interior lights may also need to be coordinated.
In post production we may be able to darken asphalt pavements, repair concrete pavements, green browning or patchy lawns and remove or reduce wires, signs and the like. However you should be aware that generally we cannot remove cars, add leaves to bare trees or fix some surfaces.
Interiors:
Areas to be photographed should be free of clutter and look safe and tidy.
In post production we may be able to fix stains on walls, ceilings and flooring, balance or enhance existing lighting or cutout products from the background to remove or reduce distracting elements. However please note that we generally cannot remove items from desks, reposition chairs nor open or close doors so those things should be attended to prior to shooting where ever possible.

Model releases can be provided for all staff members included in the photos.
A model release will protect your company and allow you to use the images for your marketing without concern to the status of an one employee.
We can provide you with a PDF of all of the model releases with the image files at time of delivery.

For Executive Portraits:
Subjects should be notified a few days ahead so they can get a haircut if they want and select clothing for the shoot.
Most any color combos are fine so long as extremely fair skinned folks don’t wear super dark clothing and particularly dark skinned people don’t wear very light clothing as in either case the contrast can be difficult to light for.
Men should be asked to shave carefully to remove stubble and avoid nicks. Nose hair, eye “sand”, hair around ears and such should be attended to before the shoot. We will be lightly retouching shots to slightly lighten eyes and teeth as well as remove any blemishes, soften some lines and generally make everyone look their best without appearing to be retouched.

For Product or Industrial Shoots on-site:
Products selected should be “product-correct” and selected for their appearance. Products should be clean and free of finger prints, stickers or markings that cannot be removed easily in retouching. Space around the products should accommodate lighting equipment, backdrops, reflector cards and the like so space may need to be cleared or a space provided that the products can be moved to.

For Product Shoots in-studio:
Products selected should be “product-correct” and selected for their appearance. Products should be clean and free of finger prints, stickers or markings that cannot be removed easily in retouching. Any packaging should be included only if the items need to be repacked before return. Please let us know in advance if products need to be returned so we can be sure that they are organized for efficient return without missing components or packaging.

For Construction Shoots:
We bring proper safety gear such as a safety vest, hard hard and other proper clothing. Those to be included in shots should be instructed to be outfitted “OSHA correct”, we cannot be responsible for instructing or mandating that hard hats be fitted properly. If we are working for a subcontractor we need contact information for the site manager and/or project manager and/or the general contractor or owner.

Any shoots on Third Party Property:
When shooting for a supplier we want to be sure to look out for everyone’s interest, both for Safety as well as Security. We will do our best to not interfere with the operation of business but may require the cooperation of managers on site to achieve our goals in an orderly fashion. In some cases security concerns related to proprietary processes may be a factor. In those cases we are happy to review the content of all images we’ve made before leaving the site. When requested we can alter or withhold images for distribution or public release if they contain sensitive information. We’ve done this for manufacturers, casinos and high profile public figures. We are happy to do it for you as well.

Post Production

Typically after the shoot we will prep the images by applying basic corrections to color, contrast, perspective and the like. We may create a private webpage for the client to select images to be retouched further so they can be used. Retouching may include enhancements which were not practical at the time of shooting but our philosophy is that you should never notice the retouching. It should look as natural and honest as is possible.

Delivery

Files can be delivered as downloads from our dedicated webserver or on media such as a CD, DVD or Thumbdrive.
Delivered files are generally made as both web ready JPeg format files and also larger  print publish ready Tiff format files.

Let us know if you have specific requirements per size (pixel dimensions are best), file format and color space.

Post Delivery

You may like to have the option to order quality prints.
We currently offer museum quality archival large format prints up to 44″x120″ which we produce in-house on our 12 ink printer. Smaller affordable prints are available though our on-line print service at Zenfolio.com (8003171026.zenfolio.com). Let us know if you require either of these services for more information.

All files we shoot are archived for both long and short term storage.
Once a project is complete we burn it to Blu-ray disc and storage is fire proof file cabinets.
We also transfer the files to our on-site network which is currently over 30,000GB. This is a RAID based system so an single drive failure will not risk loss of data. In the case of a major disaster we also have the Blu-ray backups. However be aware that we currently cannot guarantee the long term archival and recovery of your job files, but we do make every reasonable effort. We are looking into practical and affordable off site storage as an additional level of protection. We currently have digital backups of our shoots dating back as far as 1997. We have analog backups (film & negatives) as far back as 1980!