FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:


GENERAL:

What is your pricing? »

I understand the ease of shopping that comes with seeing a price when you go to a store or open a webpage but with photography each clients’ needs are different. Therefore, pricing is based on the collection or package that is the best fit for you. In order to receive collection and package details send me an email and I will provide you my pricelist.

Online Gallery. »

The online gallery is a custom gallery set up just for you and is private so no one else can view your images unless you share your login information with them. Your gallery is where you view and select your images for final edit and is also where you will download your images. You can even order prints through the gallery, if you choose to, or I can recommend other options upon request. I have found that this is the most reliable way to deliver images and allows you to share your images with friends and family in a no hassle way.

Do you edit my image(s)? »

Yes, I edit every image that goes into your gallery.
Today’s technology is awesome, but images still require editing to produce the best picture possible. Photographers in previous generations spent hours in the darkroom perfecting images for their clients just as professional photographers of today spend a lot of time perfecting images in editing programs (digital darkroom).
Allow me to tell you a little about my editing. I have two editing processes, basic and full. The basic edit process, applied to all images, is a series of adjustments that I make to light values (brightness/contrast and white balance) and color values in my editing suite. The full edit, applied to portrait session images, is a time intensive, hand editing process that utilizes one or more editing programs. This process involves removing small artifacts/blemishes from the image, smoothing the skin, retouching the eyes, and whitening the teeth, among other things.
The difference between a decent or good image and a great image is in the editing process. I want you to be your best you in your pictures and dedicate considerable time during the editing process to ensure that this is the case.



PORTRAIT (Boudoir, Maternity, Newborn, Family and Individual):

What is Custom Photography? »

Custom photography is much more than just clicking the shutter and giving the client a picture, it is the art of capturing moments in time, telling a story visually and producing images that will be passed down through generations. Custom photography sessions are artistic, creative and tailored for you, the client, to ensure that you receive the high quality images that you expect and deserve. Box stores and chain studios and do not provide the same level of quality and individual service. This is not because the people are bad or incompetent; rather it is a matter of economics. They cannot afford the investment of time required to create the final product at their price point.

Why is custom photography more expensive (why I charge what I charge)? »

Well, it’s because of the amount of time professional photographers spend on each session; planning, shooting, editing images and perfecting the images for each client. Chain studios focus on the volume of clients to create their profit margin while custom photographers rely on the quality of their work and investment of their time to stay in business. Additionally, there is the expense of camera and lighting equipment, gallery hosting, computers, editing software, photo props and training that every photographer must calculate as business cost.
The truth is, all photographers charge for their time, talent, knowledge and costs of running their business, whether they charge it upfront in a lump sum, or they shift the charge to the cost of prints. After all, it is a business and businesses exist for one reason; to make a profit for the owner and employees by providing an excellent product or service, at a reasonable cost, that customers are willing to pay for.
When you hire any photographer, you are NOT just paying for paper the images are printed on or the hour or two they spend with you at your session, you are paying for the photographer themselves; what they know, how they work, the time they spend on your session from beginning to end, the business expenses they must pay, and the images that they are able to produce for you.
There are many “hobby” photographers out there who include 100 digital files with a low or no session fee. Much like the chain studios, they rely on volume of clients and do not invest much time in the editing process. Unfortunately, most of these hobbyists have little to no training or experience and it shows in their work. The old adage of, “you get what you pay for”, applies.
Yes, there are photographers who are priced lower than me. They calculate what their work is worth. I charge what I calculate to be fair recompense for the time that I dedicate to each client, their session and the final images. If you have seen my work and inquired about a session, I think it’s safe to assume that you recognize and appreciate top-tier work. If you don’t see the difference between my work and the work of someone else that is charging $100 or $200 for a 100 plus images then you probably don’t need to spend what I charge for my work.


WEDDING:

Do you have a second photographer? »

I am a one photographer small business and provide full coverage for your ceremony along with my assistant. My assistant helps with gear, lighting, managing the shoot list, managing groups for shots and ensuring that we stay on schedule, but he will not shoot photographs. If you have concerns or questions please contact me, I am happy to discuss with you how I fully cover the entire day on my own.

Do you also provide videography? »

As one person I cannot provide videography in addition to giving full attention to capturing your special day in still photographs. If you determine that you want a videographer it is not a problem, but as a courtesy to both professionals I ask that you provide contact information to each of us at least two weeks prior to your ceremony so that we can coordinate how we are going to cover your ceremony.

How far do you travel to cover weddings? »

I cover northern Virginia (Prince William, Fairfax, Louden, Fauquir and Stafford counties) and the greater Washington D.C. metro area. Locations farther away , but within five hours of driving distance, will be charged a fee to cover fuel costs (based on current fuel prices). You will pay for airfare, overnight lodging, rental car & fuel and a daily per diem rate (varies by location) for locations that require long distance travel and overnight stays.

How do I reserve a date and when do I pay? »

In order to reserve a date let me know when your ceremony will be, determine the package that you want and pay the $500 booking fee when you return the signed contract. This is the only way to lock in your date on my shoot schedule. I will not hold a date without a signed contract and paid booking fee, as I am not scheduling alternate events for that date, it is set-aside only for you to ensure the best service possible. The remaining balance is due one week prior to your ceremony. If the remaining balance is not paid on time I reserve the right to cancel the shoot. The booking fee, once paid, is non-refundable. Life happens, so in the event of an emergency I will work with you to change your date to another opening on my schedule. I accept cash, cashier’s checks and personal checks but not credit cards.

Do you attend the rehearsal? »

Rehearsal attendance is not included in any package but can be added and will be charged the same rate for additional coverage, $400 per hour.

Do we need to feed you at the reception? »

No, you do not have to provide a meal for me at the reception but it would be nice. : ) Most caterers and locations offer vendor meals when coordinated prior to the reception. Just let me know so I can plan accordingly. Whether you provide a meal or not I will eat something while you and your guests are eating. This keeps my tummy happy and keeps me fueled to continue providing awesome coverage of your wedding day.

What if we need/want more time on our wedding day? »

Not a problem. If you determine that you want additional coverage on the day of your wedding I can accommodate your request. We will agree to how much time you want and you will be charged for the additional shoot time and can pay the amount billed within two weeks after the ceremony. Each additional hour of coverage time is $400.

Do you shoot engagement sessions? »

I shoot engagement sessions and offer two options. Option one is a separate engagement session. Option two includes an engagement session with your package.

Do you have an assistant? »

Yes, I have an assistant that will help out the day of your wedding. He is a personable, witty, skilled professional that performs many functions in support of capturing your wedding day in beautiful images.

How long does it take before we will receive our photographs and products? »

Online galleries are posted within six weeks of the wedding date and the digital files are available for download. Most albums are ready for delivery within twelve weeks once you have approved the final design for the album.

How many images will we receive? »

The total number of images provided will depend on many variables; number of guests, hours of coverage, number of locations and types of events. Typically you can expect 80 images per hour of coverage.

Black and White. »

I select a number of images (~10%) to render as black and white during the editing process. These images are only available as black and white. If you are opposed to having any black and white images please let me know when we are discussing the details for your session.

Do we get to keep the negatives? »

I provide edited, high-resolution digital files (digital equivalent of negatives) for you. When the files are released you can download them as well as print them via the gallery page or I can provide you with a list of recommended photo labs from which to order quality prints and a written release that will allow you to make unlimited personal prints for your friends and family. Mila Jackson Photography LLC retains the copyright along with the right to use them for promotional purposes, competition, professional review and so on.

Do we receive the raw, unedited files? »

Raw, unedited files are not available for purchase or viewing. I select the images for editing and final delivery based on my professional standards for quality. Images not selected for editing are deleted and not archived in the studio.