Frequently Asked (and not asked but you really want to know) Questions
Why should I hire Barnet Photography?
Because we do excellent work at a very competitive price, have a ton of experience, listen to our clients and believe that outstanding customer service is as important as excellent images.
Can I find a lower priced photographer?
Absolutely! But in our opinion, not a better value. Because we are a lean, small studio with lots of business experience in our field, we can be very cost effective and can generally work with most budgets, we do however believe that you can get too good a deal, especially when buying a service.
We would never quote a low price that would not allow us to deliver the best products and service, including spending enough time in post production to make every image look as great as possible.
Do you carry liability insurance?
YES! Most venues require it. We have our "liability certificate" on file with the venues that refer us or where we work often. If we don't have one with with your venue, our State Farm Business Insurance agent sends a certificate to a new venue as soon as requested. Many venues also require a signed "Vendor Code of Conduct".
Do I get the digital files and the "license" to use them?
In most cases the answer is YES. Our wedding clients always get their edited (color corrected) digital files, and if an album is part of the deal, they also get the retouched images that are included in the album. Always as full resolution JPEG's without watermarks.
Our Corporate and Commercial and Product clients also get their edited (color corrected) digital files. In most cases we license our clients to use the images we create for them for any use, in perpetuity. The only thing they can't do is sell the images to a third party without our approval and or remuneration.
Our family portrait clients may or may not receive the images from a session, depending on whether they paid a higher fee, that includes the edited images, or paid a lower session fee that allows them to choose individual images to be fully retouched and custom printed. Even in this category, the retouched digital file(s) can become the client's property with minimum purchases.
Business headshot sessions usually include at least one fully retouched digital file.
Our wedding, portraits and headshot clients can use their digital files in any way they like; they can make prints, share them with family and friends, etc. The only thing not "licensed" is the sale of digital files or products made from them to 3rd parties.
The same usually applies to corporate clients on PR and event coverage assignments. There may be licensing limitations on some product, commercial, editorial and sports assignments.
Whether digital files are included or not, and any licensing restrictions, is always stated upfront and outlined in writing on our proposals, contracts and invoices.
What happens if you're sick on the day of the event or for any reason can't be there?
We see being there as you do. It's our practice, on event or assignment days not to go anywhere before the event, we minimize risks as much as possible. We also have several vehicles we can use. There are two of us, so if something happens one of us would do our best to be there. Lastly, we have been in business for a long time, so we know, have worked with and refer many excellent photographers in our area. We have a larger pool than most photographers to reach out to in case of an emergency.
What type of photographic equipment do you use?
In the days of film cameras that question was like asking a fine art painter what brand of brushes they used... Now that we use digital gear, the question is actually a good one. Digital cameras continue to improve, especially in their low light capabilities and focus speed, so it's important that your photographer use good, high end gear for the best results. Yes, you can make a great photograph with an inexpensive camera or even a phone, but, when it comes to a wedding, a low light environmental portrait, or an automotive race, having good, state of the art, professional gear will give a photographer a great advantage over someone with less current cameras and lenses.
We have been using Nikon cameras and lenses for many years, and, partly because we teach several photography classes, Nikon is very good to us, so is Samy's Camera, the store where we get all our gear and where we teach classes on studio lighting, off camera flash and wedding photography. We teach at Samy's Camera stores in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Santa Ana, mainly to serious enthusiasts and starting professionals.
I currently use Nikon D5 cameras, the flagship of the Nikon line, for events editorial and sports, and D850's for portraits, studio and product photography (because of the very large file) Mirta likes her D750 for events because it's a lighter body that produces incredible images, even in low light, and focuses lightning fast; She also likes her Z6 mirrorless, very quiet (actually it can be completely silent) for church wedding ceremonies. We also use fast zoom lenses and a few even faster prime lenses. "Fast" lenses means that they have a very wide f. stop and can be used in very low light with great results. It also means that we can choose a "shallow" area of focus if we choose to in order to render the background out of focus helping the subject stand out.
We also use Nikon and Godox speedlights (flashes attached to the cameras) and much more powerful, AC or battery operated Godox and Profoto flash units, used off camera on location or in studio, these are usually used with umbrellas, for softer light and other modifiers.
We love natural light! But, when the natural light is not there, is not enough, or is coming from the wrong place, we make our own light with flash or reflectors. The artistry comes when the viewer can't "see" artificial light in the final image. A good natural light image sometimes can be made much better, and more dramatic with a little extra light.
Since we're talking about cameras... Our cameras accept 2 memory cards, XQD's, SD's and CF cards. We use large ones, always have lots of cards on hand, and record RAW images to both cards so we can have in-camera back up images from the instant we take a photo. Shooting RAW images takes more room in our cards, and takes more post production time, but gives us the best digital file with the widest latitude to work with.
OK, sorry about geeking out about gear... What can I say, we love what we do and I love my camera and lighting equipment. It's very important, especially at an assignment where things are happening quickly, and not always under the best conditions, for a photographer to be very familiar with his or her camera, and know lighting. This only comes with experience and a love of the craft that keeps us always wanting to know more and get better.
Can you write a shorter answer to my nest question?
Do you bring backup gear?
To the delight of the camera store we work with, and the manufacturers of the equipment we use, my middle name is "Backup" When it comes to camera gear, I don't think I own only one of anything. In some instances we bring backups for the backups.
Back up cameras and flash gear is a must, then, we bring lenses that complement and overlap each other, then, since there are always two photographers, especially at a wedding or other types of events, that doubles the backups.
Even when a camera, lens or lighting gear goes in for service, I don't like to rent the back up, so we own more that we take to any given assignment.
Do you work with an assistant or additional photographers?
We are very lucky to be a husband and wife team! We can anticipate what needs to be done and what each other needs at any given time. At most of our assignments Mirta and I both photograph equally, often assisting each other with a reflector, moving gear, etc. For some complicated, long or multiple day coverages we may bring an assistant and / or a third photographer.
For location portrait assignments, corporate assignments, location headshots, product, etc. usually the two of us are involved and rarely bring an assistant, unless there is a lot of gear to deal with, we have to move a lot, there are logistical issues to deal with, etc.
Are there travel fees?
Usually not. We normally don't charge for travel in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas for most assignments. There may be some exceptions, and we do pass along parking costs, permits if required, etc.
If we go out of town, we do charge for travel and accommodations if any. Sometimes our clients will arrange for accommodations and we bill for travel. These fees are nominal, and if a per diem fee is required it is also nominal. We always discuss all extra fees, if any, with our clients up front.
Do you accept requests or "shot lists"?
This is a very common question asked by our wedding clients. Corporate event clients also have special things or events that they need covered.
The answer is: Absolutely!! We consider ourselves artist craftsmen who work for you. Our job is to exceed your expectations every time, and that includes delivering the images that you want. In the case of a wedding, we usually will photograph 90% of the images requested on the couple's shot list as part of our normal coverage. Then we make sure we take care of all the special requests that a specific client may want.
That being said, there can be challenges if the requests are not possible because of weather, location, the requested people are not available, there is little time because things run late, etc. When we get a request list, specially one where we can see that we might have challenges, we have a conversation with our clients to make sure we are able to do as many of the images they want, without turning their wedding into a photo session.
Do you do video?
No, we stick to one thing, still photography. We also don't subcontract the video under our pricing. This would mean that during the event, we have to worry about video since we are responsible for it.
We are happy to refer our clients to great videographers we work with who would be suited for the assignment. We always like to recommend more than one videographer. In the case of weddings, if you have an event planner, she or he is also a good resource for videographers, and we are always happy to help you hire a videographer, if asked, by suggesting things to ask them during your search.
How do we see our wedding photos and how many do we get?
Our commercial clients receive a password protected, online gallery where they choose the images that are to be retouched if that's the plan; if not, they can download all the edited images in the gallery with a PIN number provided for greater security.
Our wedding clients will also receive a link to a password protected, online gallery with their images. If they have an album coming, we will also prepare a "proposed" album design to help you choose the images that are going to be in your album. We prefer that you come in to see your proposed album design with us so we can finalize your album at the same time. We will show you leather and fabric swatches, we can make notes of your retouching requests, get your input on design, etc. If you live out of town, or coming to see us is not convenient, we can do it all online. We would send you an online version of the album where you can make comments, add and delete images, etc.
The wedding images, always included, can be downloaded individually or all together from your online gallery by using your private PIN number. If an album is included, the images will be available for download when your album goes to be printed and bound, so we can include the final, retouched album images for you to download.
You, your family and friends can order fully retouched, custom printed photographs and other items through the web gallery's shopping cart. There is always a 20% discount for the first 2 weeks of gallery activation; this is to incentivize everyone to place their orders early so they can have their photographs sooner.
Between Mirta and I we take lots and lots of photos on your wedding day. in an 8 to 9 hour coverage we both take a total of about 2500 to 4000 images, depending on several factors, more with longer coverages. We then each look over our photos, do a "first pass" to eliminate the obvious, then merge our images and go through them one more time to finalize the images that you will see. We never exclude any images our clients might like, and, we never discard the "rejects" until we are completely finished with that event and have delivered everything to the client.
Who does your retouching and album design? Can I make retouching requests?
Great question! You're getting pretty good at this!
During our classes and workshops, Mirta teaches Lightroom and Photoshop, including retouching. She is in charge of our post production. We edit all of our images in house, and most of our retouching is also done by Mirta. When very specialized retouching is required or when we're working with a very large number of business headshots or product images that need to be "clipped" (removed from the background) we use highly skilled Photoshop artists who know exactly what we need.
We are very proud of our post production. All the digital files our clients receive are edited, full resolution JPEG's without watermarks. This means that we go through all the images, eliminated test shots, bad expressions, closed eyes, extreme duplication, etc. Then we correct all the remaining digital files individually for the right color, density (light or dark) and contrast.
All the images that are used in wedding albums receive normal retouching or enhancing; the skin is softened, blemishes removed, teeth and eyes brightened and unflattering shadows minimized when possible. It is very important to note that our retouching is always done in a very natural way, never, ever too much. We want your friends and family to tell you that you look great, relaxed and happy, as if you had just come back from a Spa and had the best professional makeup applied. Our wedding clients that purchase an album receive the retouched version of the images in their albums.
We do all our album design in house. We feel that it's very important that the photographer who photographed the wedding or event be the one to tell the story. Mirta is in charge of that, with lots of backseat driving from me. We are sponsored and work closely with the album design software company that we and many other studios and independent album designers use.
Who makes your wedding albums?
We believe that the beautiful wedding album we design and produce for you is the culmination of our work as your photographers. Your album will become a treasured family heirloom. We use primarily two album makers, one produces our more formal, traditional albums, covered in leathers or fine fabrics; they are located in Los Angeles. The other company makes our more contemporary lines with lots of cover, boxes and other choices, this company is in Italy. We work closely with our album manufacturers; after an album is ready to be printed and bound, we send the spreads and cover instructions to the makers, if they see anything wrong they call us right away, and always check everything before shipping the album. Every couple is different, and every wedding is different, so every wedding album should be a unique, one of a kind, work of art. You are only the first owner of your wedding album, in reality it belongs to many generations of your family to come.
Will you come with us on our Honeymoon?
We keep hoping someone will asks... You could be the first! 😎 ✈️ 📸