The portrait industry has become an interesting market. You will encounter photographers who are up and coming who will give you everything at bargain basement prices while struggling to produce quality work. You'll also encounter photographers who price themselves so high that only the very elite and priveleged can afford them.
At Michael James Photography we strive to ensure that no one is priced out of a beautiful photo session. With affordable prices, and great ala-carte options our customers can get the photos they want for the needs they want without paying for things they don't need. Only you know what you want to do with your photos and we are not here to sell you anything you don't need or want. We also offer you a convenient payment plan that will help you afford the photo session and products that you desire.
It was a really awful photo experience that brought Michael to the photography industry, he strives to offer a professional product at a reasonable price without a lot of hidden charges or surprises. However, due to the diversity of his clients needs, he offers a variety of services and products. There are savings in the fine print in your booking process, Michael would like to encourage you to read carefully as you set up your booking.
This page is intended to outline the details of the images you get to help you understand the digital products you will receive.
A staple to the photographers income, is the product he or she sells. As Michael began putting his pricing together he realized that in order to sell smaller prints and be in any way profitable, he had to sell them at such high prices compared to retail vendors it almost made it cost prohibitive for his customers. A compromise was needed. Lets face it.... that 4x6 print does not need to be printed on the highest quality acid free archival quality paper... as such the justification of a lab quality print simply isn't there... nor is the price tag that goes with it. As a compromise to his customers, Michael allows you to get your digital images printed at any retail vendor in sizes up to and including 8x10 and at retail pricing. This compromise alone will save you the customer, hundreds of dollars on print sizes that are most commonly desired by his customers.
Michael feels that print and paper quality become more important as the size of the image gets larger. As such, and as a part of his Compromise.. he requires that all prints larger than 8x10 must be purchased directly from the clients web album and processed through our lab (Bay Photo) to ensure the best possible quality for his clients.
Of course, due to the nature of printing, and the variance in calibration from print vendor to print vendor, as well as the many different applicable and possible print settings possible, Michael cannot guarantee the quality of images printed anywhere except through his own lab. If you are unsatisfied with your prints from outside retail vendors, it is recommended that you purchase prints directly from your web album.
Proofing and Image Sizes
Michael will select the best images from your session (how many images will be dependent upon the session package you have selected), and then will apply basic retouching (color and exposure correction only) and load them into a web album for delivery. You have the option of getting ALL of the images from your session for a nominal fee if you desire. The photos in your album can be saved to your computer but will retain our watermark... these photos are great for sharing with your friends on social networks. Should you desire photos that are printable, and without the watermark you will need to purchase a download. Images downloads can be purchased in a variety of sizes and either individually or the entire album at once. You will also have the option during the booking process to pre-purchase an album download at considerable savings... we highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity because once your album is created and delivered, the download must be purchased directly from your web album. Alternatively during the booking process you can opt to purchase your album on thumbdrive or CD. Note that while many photographers charge exorbitant rates for all of the images from your session, here again, Michael strives to provide a product that is affordable and not intended to drain your bank account.
Your proofs are simply intended to be the samples from which you pick the images you want us to retouch a little more closely. Those images are what we call "Selects". While not all packages include Selects, they can be added to your package during the booking process as well as during your image review. "Selects" by default come with Portrait Retouching. With Portrait Retouching we do a bit more to make you look your best. We will do mild blemish removal, and some light skin smoothing as well as some mild touchups around the face to make you look your absolute best. We'll also crop and remove any small artifacts we can from your portrait to ensure the best quality portrait possible. Selects are the images we expect you'll want to get printed and displayed so we make sure they are the absolute best they can be. We'd love to put this degree of editing on all of your images but that would be cost prohibitive with the amount of time required. Most sessions won't require more than a couple of Selects but if you want more higher quality images from your session, we'd recommend adding a couple of selects during your booking process to ensure the best savings. Selects also come in a higher resolution (approx 6 megapixels) This larger size ensures the absolute best quality at the 8x10 print size our print licensing allows. (Remember, larger prints must be ordered directly from us)
Here is a sample image of a "Portrait Select" image.
Some portraits need a bit more. We have a Glamour Retouch option which is basically our "Portrait Select" with a bit more work, when possible we can use photoshop to slim, and remove undesirable traits. We also have an option for Artistic Retouching as well, where we may apply creative filters and artistic effects to create something more artistic for hanging on your wall. These options are not available during your booking process and will be discussed if necessary during your image review.