Here's a list of questons I'm often asked.
If you don't find an answer here, please call or email.
How much do you charge?
This is by far the most Frequently Asked Question and is impossible to answer unless I know exactly what you're asking for. Please refer to my rates page for further info, and don't hesitate to call or email with questions.
How long have you been doing this?
For about 12 years, since around 1993, for photography and approximately 7 years doing web page stuff.
I started all that during the time of Win 95 and learned from there.
Do you have any formal education in these areas?
Yes, I am a Certified Technical Writer, which qualifies me to write about and research just about anything. This covered layout and design, mostly for print, and Photoshop, report and proposal writing, etc. I learned HTML, Dreamweaver, and Flash on my own due to the need to get my portfolio online, and also to help my friends with their sites. I started learning about photography in the early 90's when I got my first 35mm SLR and worked with several photographers who were kind enough to guide me in the right direction. The rest was trial and error and extensive research. With the constant changes in web development and photography, it is an ongoing learning process.
What days and hours are you available?
I'm usually available Friday through Monday. Tuesday through Thursday I work for the best real estate appraisal office in Houston. I don't set any regular hours Fri. through Mon., although I most definitely prefer to work in the evening.
What kind of promo or portrait photography can you provide for us?
I can usually accommodate whatever you may need within reason. I have portable studio lighting and backdrops, so if you have an empty area or rehearsal room, we can set up there. I do prefer to work in my studio though and I've made room for shooting space at home in the west Houston area. Offsite location is up to the client, there are plenty of great places to shoot in Houston and the surrounding areas.
Will you do a portrait of my dog, cat, hamster, iguana, python, etc?
I will absolutely do shots for you of your pet. I love animals and love taking pictures of them. Except bugs though, I kind of draw the line there. But snakes are cool :)
Do you do weddings?
No, I don't do weddings. First, I have no experience in that area, and that is not something I would like to go into unprepared. There are plenty of great wedding photographers in Houston that have made this event their specialty. Be sure to ask to see a portfolio and check references beforehand if possible. The only way I have ever considered doing a wedding is if it's for a friend and they just want backup candid shots in addition to those of the official wedding photographer.
Do you do special events?
Yes, I have in the past. If it's a situation such as a family reunion, corporate party, birthday party, etc. In these cases, I'll usually just get the film processed or the digital shots on a CD and hand it over to the client. For the digital, I will crop and adjust color in Photoshop before handing it over. I don't normally use any of those in my portfolio. Cost for special events is usually on the lower end of the scale.
What kind of cameras, lenses, film, etc. do you use?
I primarily use the Canon digital cams for everything now. I still have the Nikon film camera as a backup. In the studio setting, I use Novatron strobes. Backgrounds can include whatever you'd like, I have on hand several large rolls of seamless backdrop paper and fabric. Which leads to the next question...
Do you do black and white photography?
Absolutely, I love b & w, and used to process my own film and prints before digital became so popular. I used TMAX 400 and TMAX 3200 extensively. I might still do it today if I had the time and space, but it has pretty much become impractical for myself and many others. I do like the Kodak b & w film that calls for C41 (color) processing, you can take it to any lab and have it developed for negatives which makes life alot easier sometimes. Most of the time now we can just convert to b & w in Photoshop.
Do you sell any of those band pictures on Ebay or to fans?
No, I will not sell on Ebay or to fans. Any shots of artists I have are strictly for their use or their management or label. My job is to provide someone with an image they can use at a reasonable rate, not to make money from selling someone's image without their written permission.
What kind of software do you use or recommend?
I use mainly Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Fireworks, and Flash now. I do know alot about MS Office, but really don't want to work with Front Page. There are also open source versions of these programs available. Gimp is the open source Photoshop application, and Open Office is the open source version of MS Office suite. They are absolutely free, all you have to do is download them from the sites. I use Open Office at home and find it to be just as good, if not better than MS Office. I've tried Gimp, but it is kind of "clunky". It gets good reviews though.
Do you have a portfolio I can look at?
Yes, I have a huge collection I've done over the years. Alot of my shots are available for viewing on this site also, although I still have a ton of work to do to get an example of everything I've done online. And there's just not time to upload everything I've done in the past 12 years. I do have a Myspace site as well, but I'm trying to avoid posting so much on there, something in their upload process it seems to degrade the image quality a bit, plus it's just alot of work to upload to many different locations. I'm considering Flickr as an alternative however.
Why should we hire you and not one of the thousands of others that do what you do?
First, I would ask that you consult with me to review exactly what you're needing to have done and I will tell you whether or not I think I can provide that service for you. For example, if you require a site with tons of java script and flashing blinking text all over the page and popup ads, then I cannot (will not) help you in the design of a tacky website. . If you want classy and tasteful design, with or without Flash, then I can probably help you. I can get your domain name for you, or assist you in doing that by steering you to the reputable registrars. If you'd like to host your site on my web space, I can set that up for you and admin it for you to an extent while I show you how to navigate your site's control panel for uploads, text changes, and so on. My main concern is that you as the client are satisfied with the service.
Who retains the rights to your photos?
I try to work in a situation where the client has rights of usage, but I retain the rights to use what I have in my portfolio, which is the standard arrangement. Of course, if one of my shots appears in a magazine, print ad, or in CD artwork, I will require compensation by the publisher. Most of what I do falls under the "work for hire" category. Generally, I'm fairly flexible regarding usage, just keep me informed of when and where my photography will be featured.
What new stuff are you learning at this time?
I'm trying to learn Adobe Premier, PHP, Linux and more about Flash Actionscript. However, there are only so many hours in the day....