FAQs - Scott Hallenberg - Full-time Photographer | Surf and Snow Country Images (Everyday)


What is the distinction between Commercial and Everyday “retail” photography?

Because of  my business background, Commercial photography has been my primary focus. This type of photography is used by businesses to help promote their brand, products, services and people. More extensive licensing for using the photographs is required for company websites, marketing collateral, and print media may be involved. More elaborate planning, often times involving teams of people, detailed execution, and comprehensive culling and retouching may be involved for a highly polished finished product. Photographs may undergo comprehensive reviews and revisions. With this level of investment in time and resources by all parties, precision, execution, a communications can’t be left to chance.

However, when I’m not shooting commercial photography and may take on some more personal or everyday assignments. I bring a lot of the same principals and best practices from my commercial photography practice and apply as appropriate. My clients benefit from these efficiencies and can be assured of receiving excellent results. By default usage of the photography is limited to personal use on social media like facebook, instagram, Linkedin or for prints.

Why should I select a Full time Professional photographer, I've seen lower prices and my (eg. family member) just got a nice new camera?

I know there are a lot of options ranging from a friend or family member, discount stores or even aspiring photographers who are willing to shoot “trade” for you. Choose a Full time Pro if the highest quality results, your time, safety, and customer service matter to you.   Choosing other options may expose you to unnecessary risks. Full time Professionals have registered businesses, established portfolio demonstrating their capabilities and delivered results, practice industry best practices, insurance, service reviews, and can work better with your schedule.  I spend time before, during, and especially after your shoot pouring over the details the matter to the finished images.  I have have over 10,000 of professional retouching experience with my photos as I see that as an important step for realizing the vision with your shoot.  Many other photographers skip this step or minimize the importance with disastrous overcooked results, they coin as "artistry."   With your satisfaction as my top priority, I even hold off on billing you until you have seen the finished images.   I'm confident in our collaboration and my process  that it will lead to years if not generations of enjoyment of your photographs.

Why Should I select you?

That’s a loaded question, but I’m happy to take it on. It’s because I’m the best photographer I know and only getting better everyday!  Most importantly, my customer service is the best in the business.

I’m genuinely interested in helping my clients have a very successful shoot and being delighted with their finished photos. I have over 25 years of SLR photography experience, a killer portfolio (all me..no staged group shoots where someone else developed the concepts and lighting where I just pressed the button). I invest heavily in continuing photography education and seek to understand your unique requirements and desires from the shoot.

I’ve been working under a renowned NYC Actor Headshot photographer and selectively apply proven techniques. I’m involved with several trade group discussion forums that keep me current with the important trends. I am extremely customer centric in my approach. I shoot in an amazing studio when not on location, giving you the best options. These elements and more truly distinguish me from many other professional photographers in the area. While I have an established portfolio, I also have the ability with your collaboration to create something very unique and special for you.

I have over 20 years of project management and business consulting experience that help me orchestrating complex shoots and it those experiences translate to the branding aspects of headshots.

Like most other serious professionals, I employ industry leading tools, techniques, and experience for every shoot. I have a business license in Summit County, Utah. I’m member of my the local Park City Chamber of Commerce, Professional Photographers of America, among other professional affiliations. I also carry insurance that protects you and me from potential financial risks. Where I differ, is that I have accomplished experience in other industries that I apply to my photography for your benefit.

Now that I know I have to work with you, how do get started?

First I encourage you to look around for a photographer that has examples and/or style that will work for your situation. Someone who is flexible and adaptable to your needs should be taken into account. Working with a professional is a must. Not only will you get better results, but you have assurances that they are operating legally, have insurance that protects you, and will be able to provide you a higher level of service.

By browsing my website and reading through these FAQs you have taken a step in the right direction. Now all you have to do contact me. Either use the email or phone number at the top of the page or select the contact menu item on the left side of the page.

Please note, I will return emails, voicemails, and texts as quickly as possible. As I am a small operation who delivers highly customized photo shoots, if I am on location or involved in a studio shoot I may be temporarily inaccessible. During shoots you can expect my undivided attention.

How does your 100% Satisfaction Guarantee actually work?

Providing exceptional Customer Service is essential and key component in doing that is my 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.   My 100% Satisfaction Guarantee allows you the assurance that if for some reason you don’t like your photos I will give you the option for a reshoot or a refund. I have found that having this peace of mind allows you to relax and feel more confident making for even better photos. You will have a chance to review the photos as we shoot and will see the unedited proofs and can let me know whether or not proceed. That way you know your money is being well spent and can simply relax. However, the guarantee does not apply for no shows or rescheduling, and it does not apply after you have selected photos which have then been edited or delivered. If you are unsatisfied with an actual print, I will help resolve that to your satisfaction on a case by case basis.

Help me understand photography pricing, there aren't any standards??!!

I agree photography pricing appears crazy and it can be hard to understand especially when doing comparison shopping. Lets face it, in the most extreme and luckiest example, it only takes fractions of second (1/60 to 1/250) to capture a usable photograph, so maybe you are thinking that a “selfie” or Uncle Joe can handle the task. With professional photography there are many variables that are managed and subsequently reflected in the price. While professionals make it look really easy, here are just a few behind the scenes pricing considerations : communications, estimating, contracts, session planning, coordinating logistics, shooting, editing and processing time, Proofing, Privacy & Security  Management, professional equipment (lights, cameras, lenses), experience and professionalism, proven track record, and peace of mind. If results matter, entrust your time and invest in a professional. Once I understand your basic requirements, I provide several pricing options so you can determine what will provide the most value to you.

What forms of payments do you accept?

I will provide you an invoice through PayPal which allows payment using major credit cards or a PayPal account if you have one. I don’t accept personal checks and prefer not to handle cash. You may also purchase prints and file downloads using Paypal or major credit cards. Please note, I never see your account information. Please note that purchases through the website are final but still guaranteed, so it there is a problem, I will work with you to resolve it to your satisfaction but cannot provide an actual refund.

Why is Professional Photography Gear important, affordable cameras are getting so good?

Knowing how to use gear is essential for consistently good photographs. Knowing how to use professional gear leads to consistently great photographs. Exceptional photographs come when there is a experience, knowledge, real passion, pro gear, and a willing subject. Here’s why. Looking at just the gear component, professional gear is made with higher quality optics, sensors, and durability. So it can be used in a wider range of circumstances and can achieve greater creative effects, such as the shallow depth of field with bokeh (i.e. blurry backgrounds) so appealing in portrait photography. Being able to focus and capture high quality images in low light circumstances is another area where professional gear is a must.     Because my reputation is dependent on exceptional results, I only shoot with pro gear. I use Nikon's top of the line camera bodies and lenses with equivalent backups. I have a variety of lighting and backup options to handle most every situation (heavy wind, rain and underwater excepted). So my results and your amazing photographs aren’t dependent on luck.

Headshots seem so simple, how are yours different?

I have seen several photographers claim to do headshots in only 15 minutes. While I know it is possible to even get one done in 1/60 of second or faster, I know this approach leaves many feeling like they did not reach their full potential. Of course a decent photograph can be made this way but I wanted to provide a method to help reach the fullest potential, especially for those who rely on their appearance for their business. I developed a specific approach for my headshots which is a set of techniques and goals I use to consistently meet the demanding market segments I serve.  As you can imagine, a business professional has different requirements than an Actor who has different requirements than a Model or an Athlete seeking sponsors. And, all have different needs those clients who need commercial, family, or other specialty genres of photography. With hands on experience, research, and interviews with Casting Directors and forum discussions, I have learned the finer points of headshot photography. Through AHP, I tactically apply these distinctions to directly benefit my headshot clients. AHP has allowed me to target my pricing, techniques, process, evident in the final images culminating in one core purpose, YOUR BRANDING. As I understand the headshot type you need, I will share relevant information to help both of us successfully prepare for your shoot. AHP helps you get just he right headshot that in turns helps you get more business.

What is considered a “look”?

A look is considered a wardrobe change, a hair style change and/or a setting change.  The more looks that are needed generally require more time during the session and can add more time to the editing a processing that occurs in post production.

Should I arrange a Hair and Make Up Artist (H/MUA)?

This is tricky and it really depends. In most cases you want your headshot to look just as you would if meeting your intended audience in person. In most cases, less is more when it comes to headshot style make up and hair. If you elect to use a H/MUA, I can help arrange one for you where payments will be made directly for their services (please tip them well if you are happy as they put their heart into every job). You may also bring one to your shoot, though I would like to coordinate with them so I know their style and products are compatible with the look you need from your headshot. One aspect that is also tricky is that if you have never used their products it’s difficult to know whether you may have some allergic reaction. While rare it has been known to happen, so it’s good to try or at least discuss these concerns in advance.

How much retouching do you do?

The photographs taken during the shoot have all the ingredients but are not the final versions as they exist in the camera. It’s kind of like making cookies where the dough tastes pretty good but you still need to bake them for their full potential. There are two steps for making finished photographs from the image in the camera. First, for your proofs, I provide a general overall edit for basic exposure and color balance so that you are better able to select the photos that are going to work best for you. Next, once you make your selection, I will perform the additional retouching as part of my process. I make refined exposure and color balance adjustments, remove blemishes, remove excessive fly away hairs, remove excessive clothing wrinkles, and cropping to desired dimensions.  This is done per image delivered to you.

If additional retouching is desired, additional charges may be required, though your options will be discussed so you can determine what’s best for you. I generally do not do “photoshop plastic surgery” that results making you taller, shorter, larger, smaller or years younger. I do want you to look your best and handle as much of that as possible during the capture process where styling, lighting, and posing are very important.

What are the differences in the style of headshots?

Headshots have become very specific so and indicator that you have found the the right photographer for you is that they recognize these distinctions. First, lets discuss their similarities. The headshot is about you branding yourself in a way that your audience can relate. In most cases you want to convey a confident and approachable demeanor. I employ some proven methods to help you with this aspect. I will give you some pre-read information and coach you through the process. However, an Actor may have a certain type cast for commercial or theatrical work where they need a different look that is more like the type of character they are likely to audition for. A model may need to convey more of a fashion, beauty, or fitness look depending on the type work they would like to book. An athlete may want something that conveys a competitive vibe more so than a happy go lucky look.

Should I select a studio or location shoot?

The studio I use is well equipped with the standard background, cool structural features, changing and make up area, and separate rest room.  With the studio everything is in a very controlled environment with very predictable results. This is a great option for time sensitive shoots for very busy people.

Outdoor location shoots result in more unique photographs. Every effort is made to achieve high end professional results regardless. Of course, there are more variables for which some simply cannot be controlled. Wind, rain, and time of day are the biggest considerations.

Indoor locations (non studio) are another good solution when a unique and sometimes more convenient location is desired. Since my studio lighting is highly portable, you will still get studio quality photography. The primary considerations include whether there is enough space and if special permission or property releases are necessary for your (legal) use of the images.

How do I get to the review the proofs?

I will set up a gallery for your review which you will be able to share with others you’d like in your decision making process. You’ll be able to mark your favorites which are organized into a dynamic gallery which helps narrow your choices. You will also be able to leave specific comments for your top choices. Your top choices are the ones that are edited and delivered as your finished images. I typically set up a review discussion to go through the photos, but recognize that with headshots the needs are a little different.

How do I get the finished photographs?

You may order prints directly from your finished gallery in a variety of sizes. For the electronic files, you will be able to download the file(s) from the gallery with the retouched photo(s). You can also share photos directly from the gallery. This approach allows you to get the pictures faster and is more secure. So it tends to work better for busy people. It also work well should additional edits be requested. For actors, models, and athletes who have unique print needs, I can post you photos on a lab hosted site where you will be able add you resume and make large print runs if desired, some additional charges may be required.

How do copyrights work, why do photographers keep them?

Photographer’s and other artists' livelihoods largely hinge copyright law. US Federal Copyright Law guaranties protections certain creative endeavors that apply to photography, music, motion pictures, magazines, books, choreography, sculptures and more. Infringements have driven up prices and hurt artist considerably over the years. Photographs are automatically copyrighted at the moment they are made by the photographer unless the photographer is in a work for hire arrangement “Copyrights gives the owner the right to copy, distribute, publicly display or create derivative works from the original work. A copyright gives the owner the right to license to others.”

Most photographs these days are used online and in the case of Actors, Models, and Athletes physical prints are still made. You will receive files optimized for your online use and up to 8x10 prints (please indicate any unique requirements you may have). You will have a Use license to use the photos for your personal and self-promotional use. The photos may not be subject to additional editing or licensed for commercial or third party use without explicit photographer’s written permission. As your photographer, I will retain the copyright, which is the standard practice across the industry.

Clients receive either a commercial use or a personal use license which governs how the photographs may be used. Essentially, commercial use allows the licensee to use the photographs to market, promote, communicate, etc. for a specified time period. Personal use usually allows more limited usage but without time restrictions. A personal license may be upgraded to a commercial license by contacting the photographer. Athletes, Actors, Entertainers, and models tend to do this when they pick up a sponsor, promoter, or other third party who wants to use the photograph for promotional purposes.

Why can't I get all the photographs from the shoot?

While this is certainly a possibility, In my experience this is not very cost effective for my clients who value quality over quantity. I want you to have the highest quality photographs that reflect you at your best, so the processing and quality checking adds to the cost.  However, and most importantly identifying a smaller set of "hero" shots that are then used tends to make the  most impact.   I do keep the Proof galleries active for you so you can go back at a later date and select additional photos if you'd like.  This way you have the benefit of access to all photos without the costs.

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