FAQs: Everything you wanted to know, and had time to read when you were bored! 

 

I. ARTISTIC STYLE
1)  What is your style?
2)  Are you a natural light photographer?  Or do you use strobes/flash? Because I prefer natural light…
3)  Do you edit pictures in Photoshop? Why/why not? 

II. PACKAGES, PRICE, & PRINTS
1)  Why do you include prints with all of your packages?
2) Can you explain your pricing?  X photographer gives X images for $XX.00. 
3) How many final images do I get to choose from?
4) What if I don't want prints? Can I print the pictures myself?
5) I’m really good at editing pictures – can you just give me all the pictures from the shoot and I’ll edit the pictures we didn’t select for our final images myself?

III. SHOOT INFORMATION
1) What is the basic process for a shoot, and how long does it take from the time of booking until I have incredible images in my hot little hands?
2) How many locations can we go to in one shoot? 
3) How are locations selected?
4) 
What should I/we wear for a photoshoot?
5) Should we bring anything else? Plan on anything else?

 

I. ARTISTIC STYLE


1) What is your style?

 

Photography is, by nature, art.  I am fortunate enough to have inherited a wide exposure to (and love for) the arts from my family – whether it be literature, poetry, opera, musical theatre, ballet, painting, drawing or photography. Art is a unique expression of human creation, although for me it is also an expression of the divine through human creation.

 

Photography is unique as an art form because unlike other artistic attempts to recreate something of the human experience, it seeks to capture objective reality – but while doing so, it allows endless possibilities for individual artistic interpretation and expression.  In its most basic form, photography simply records light – its presence, and its absence. But it is also so, so much more than that.

 

I believe that like all art, interpretation of style is uniquely experienced by the beholder – and as such, I think it is silly to try to tell you what defines my style.  That being said, I tend to see the world cinematically – in a way that both captures the reality of what is, but that does so in a way that draws attention to what is present beyond the image itself - the music, and emotion, and meaning that surrounds us.  The human eye is a miracle, and the best camera you or I will ever have; it sees both what is, and what lies beneath. And that camera is also connected to another miracle… the brain… which is connected to another miracle… the heart. See where I'm going with this?  I try to use all three to capture my own experience of the world around me in a full expression artistically – whether it is in the genuine emotion of a portrait, or an image of food that makes your mouth water just looking at it.

 

As with all art, I encourage you to think deeply about what elements of artistic style in photography resonate with you – and to choose a photographer whose artistic and creative vision aligns with yours (though to be honest, I hope mine does resonate with you).  It is a highly personal, subjective choice – and that is a beautiful thing. BACK TO TOP.

 

 

2)  Are you a natural light photographer?  Or do you use strobes/flash? Because I prefer natural light…

Yes – I am a natural light photographer! And yes! I also use flash, or strobes, or reflections, or whatever else I need to in creating the image I am envisioning.  There is nothing wrong with photographing with natural light only, and there is nothing wrong with using other sources of man-made light.  Many “natural light photographers” (read: I’m scared to death of flash because I don't know how to use it) are missing out.  Light is light.  What is important is that you understand it, and know how to use it to create the image you envision. BACK TO TOP.


3) Do you edit pictures in Photoshop? Why/why not? 
 

Yes.  I believe in Photoshop and other editing tools.  That being said, I use them in an effort to create an image that accurately depicts what my eyes see.  As mentioned previously, the human eye is a miracle – truly!  If you have a giant pimple on your eyelid, it can (quite literally) become a giant eyesore in a photograph.  But it’s not you – it’s just you in that unfortunate moment on the day you spent good money for a photoshoot.  It deserves to die in Photoshop. 

 

That being said, I have worked hard to hone my editing skills to balance what looks both best, and what looks natural.  I don’t want my pictures to look like they were vomited on by an angry Instagram troll.  And if I shoot Mikhail Gorbachev someday, I won’t Photoshop out his iconic forehead-birthmark… because that is him.  Wrinkles, pimples, stubborn stray hairs, (among other things) are delicate to balance – some deserve to die, while others are so deserving of being left in (or merely toned-down if they distract) because they create character.  It really does depend. 

 

People who claim to be purists and only shoot the world ‘as it is,’ or who long for the glory days of film and no Photoshop are usually full of it, or simply technophobes.  It’s safe to say all film properly developed in a darkroom is edited (just by different means).  Wearing make-up is editing.  Your own memory of what you saw is edited all over the place. Heck, using a camera in the first place is editing (you get to choose where your lens crops the image).  So, embrace the convenience and beauty of Photoshop – it is merely an extension of artistic expression in this particular art form, in this day and age. BACK TO TOP.

 

II. Packages & Price
 

1) Why do you include prints with all of your packages?

 

[Steps on a small pedestal]: I truly, deeply believe that Photography, as a medium, is best expressed in its original intent and form: the art print.  It is best viewed with the eyes, on printed surface.  Every shoot that I do, I want at least ONE image to be in print – because as an artist, I believe that is how it is best viewed.  I want you to have that as a part of the experience you get when I create an image for you - and with you.

 

That being said, computers and screens are wonderful also – they have their place, and that place is mainly as an incredible vehicle for conveniently organizing and storing images.  I still remember all of the old family photos, taking up shoebox after shoebox in a cupboard – usually only looked at when we were moving and were trying to find a way to get out of packing another box, and then getting lost in nostalgia.  I think we look back on more images, and share more images, because of computers.  They are good.  I am a fan (and also somewhat of a techie at heart).

 

But – seeing a beautiful print on a wall, or in an album… that is right there to see and reach and somehow touch with your eyes… that is so very important also.  I want to share that gift with you. 
BACK TO TOP.

 

2) Can you explain your pricing?  X photographer gives X images for $XX.00.

 

It’s true – and without being dispassionate – I don’t really care if I am more or less expensive than Joe or Josephina down the road.  I still remember a certain picture my mother has of me on the mantle at home – I think it’s in preschool, and I’m wearing a horrendous 70’s striped shirt, and looking up with my finger in the air like I’ve just had a profound revelation about how delicious glue paste tastes… but in my house, that is probably the most ‘classic’ image of me as a child.  It was taken by some photographer (who knows who), who just came to our school and shot pictures of all the kids candidly.  Parents could buy them if they wanted, or not. I am quite sure it is the only copy of that particular picture still in existence.  Were it destroyed, or lost, it would be irreplaceable.  And I have no idea what my parents paid for it – but I’m sure, even if they got it at a bargain rate back then, they would pay 100 times more for it now, having had it all these years.  It captures a single moment so perfectly that has come to represent “Chris as a young boy.” It is priceless.

 

Art is subjective – quality is subjective – style is subjective.  Digital photography is wonderful – but a big DSLR doesn’t make a photographer, or set apart ‘pros’ from ‘amateurs.’  Being a professional photographer simply means that someone is able to do this as their profession – or at least, a profession.  That someone sees value in their work and time, and what you get to keep (for a lifetime) because of it.  I also have pictures that are technically horrendous but that have deep meaning for me because of some other quality.  Capturing images for someone is a deep and sacred privilege to me.  I work very hard (and happily, I may add) because I want you to have images that become those classic, treasured moments you will have with you for a lifetime.  I encourage everyone to find a photographer whose style and work are able to do that as best as possible for you.  I believe that is tremendously valuable… and as such, if you find a photographer whose style resonates with you, and gives you an image that you look back on in 50 years with emotion and meaning – it is a bargain at any price.

 

And if that is too wishy-washy for you, or you still are inclined to say, “yeah, but… can I get a discount?” – then I humbly would refer you to the graphic below, which may shed some light on the investment of time and resources that go into a single shoot directly, and the time and resources that come LONG before that in order to make it possible in the first place! 

BACK TO TOP.

 

3) How many final images do I get to choose from?

 

It depends on the package you choose by nature of how long I’m shooting – but what I can promise is, “more than enough.” Most people find it hard to limit their selection – that’s a good thing.  But the final number of edited images are meant to allow you to be sure that you have the best from any given shoot – and not simply 20 slight variations of the same pose.  [Hint hint: photographers that give you 100 images from a 1 hour photoshoot are really giving you about 3 images, shot in 33.333 slightly different ways]. BACK TO TOP.

 

4) What if I don't want prints? Can I print the pictures myself?

 

There’s good news, and good news here: you GET prints!  If you don’t want it, Grandma, or Grandpa, or Mom, or Dad, or even slightly awkward Auntie Mrytle would probably love the gift.  Can you print pictures yourself!  Absolutely!  Please do!  You get final, edited images in the hope that you will do just that.

 

HOWEVER – the reason you can include additional prints/enlargements with your shooting packages is specifically because not all printers are the same, and the process of printing is very important also.  Fortunately, Shanghai has some excellent services available – and the images I print for you are done with a specific printer I have a long relationship with, and whose quality I am confident in.   Just as importantly, their printing facilities are calibrated with my monitors so that you’re getting a fantastic result.  You’re welcome to print on your own – but if you choose to get a few extras from me directly, I put in the extra work to make sure they’re the best (and save you the regret of not having gotten around to printing those pictures that you love so much, and then accidentally get deleted when your hard drive crashes!). BACK TO TOP.

 

5) I’m really good at editing pictures – can you just give me all the pictures from the shoot and I’ll edit the pictures we didn’t select for our final images myself?


This is a delicate one – but let me be straightforward and say… no.  The reason?  The images I make are highly personal to me.  They represent something of me.  Lots of things can be done to images after they are taken that can change the creative vision tremendously.  I deliver final, edited (and might I say, gorgeous) images to you as part of what you pay me for.  I take great pride in that.  And if you want more images, I’m happy to edit them for you – I just don’t have the resources to do it for every single one unless compensation is adjusted. 
BACK TO TOP.

 

 
III. Shoot Information
 
1) What is the basic process for a shoot, and how long does it take from the time of booking until I have incredible images in my hot little hands?

 

The basic process is:

  • You contact me, we arrange on a date for booking

  • We do the shoot

  • 5-7 days after the shoot, you get a large selection of images to choose from, via a private link to an online gallery here on the website. You can send that link to friends/family if you'd like to share images with them.

  • After choosing the images you want edited (and made into a print/prints) according to your package, I usually take about another 7 days to edit them.  I work very hard to get them back to you as soon as possible!

  • I work with the printer to print your images to perfection – this normally takes about 5 days

  • I give you the final, edited images on DVD or USB drive, along with your print.


In summary, from the day of the shoot, it usually takes about 3 weeks to get your final, edited images and prints from a shoot. Longer if you take a long time to choose the images in the first place! BACK TO TOP.

 

 

2) How many locations can go to in one shoot?


It completely depends on how much time I’m shooting based on the package you select, and how far apart locations are.  Once we book, we’ll also discuss the best arrangement for this and what is realistic/achievable.
BACK TO TOP.

 

3) How are locations selected?

 

Easy – it’s your choice! That being said, I have excellent suggestions depending on what your needs/preferences are.  It may be at home.  It may be in a studio.  It may be somewhere else on location.  I’ve lived in Shanghai for 8 years, so I know a wide range of spots that are great for our shoot. BACK TO TOP.

 

4) What should I/we wear for a photoshoot?

 

Generally speaking, nothing to crazy in terms of colors or patterns, especially if it is a family/group. White, shirts (I prefer collars) and jeans are always good staple selections, but many things can work equally well.  We’ll discuss this some when we do the booking alsoBACK TO TOP.

 

5) Should we bring anything else? Plan on anything else?

Absolutely – if you want to!  Again, we’ll discuss this when we do a booking, and as part of the consultation leading up to the shoot.  BACK TO TOP.

 

 

 

 

.

| FAQs |

frequently asked questions
(and far more than you probably wanted to know!)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shanghai Family Photographer

Family & Baby 

Shanghai Family Photographer

Food & Beverage

Shanghai Family Photographer

Blog: Fall Shoots Sampler!

all site images © 2019 by CHRISTOPHER VAN VELZER.

V2 Photography is a top Shanghai, China Photographer on MarketingTool.com!