COVID-19 Policies


As a result of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, I follow certain key precautions to insure not only my clients' safety, but also my own.  My studio is in the City of Milwaukee, where there is currently a Mask Ordinance in place, requiring the use of a mask in any indoor setting in which a group of people will meet without social distancing.  There is an exception for professional services, to the extent that the service itself requires the customer to not wear a mask (dentistry for example).  Portrait photography would fall under this exception, for the duration of the shoot. 

For in-studio photography sessions I will be wearing a mask.  I may momentarily remove the mask to demonstrate a facial expression, when necessary, but this can easily be done from a safe distance.  For headshots I typically shoot with a 70-200 mm lens on an ASP-C sensor camera.  For full-body shots I typically use a 24-70 mm lens on the same camera.  In both cases, I will need to be 12 or more feet from the subject to fit them in frame. 

The space I have is 1500 square feet, with 11.5' ceilings.  I will have the space sanitized before your arrival.  Given the large volume of air, the filtration on our HVAC unit, and the relatively short duration of a client's visit, it is very easy to maintain social distancing during a shoot. 

I do ask that clients who are experiencing symptoms that may be related to Covid, reschedule their appointments for a time when they no longer have symptoms.  I also ask clients to make use of the hand sanitizer I provide when they arrive.

If a client has any special requirements regarding their safety pertaining to Covid, I am certainly willing to accommodate them to the best of my ability.



Photo Ownership and Usage Rights


As a rule, I do not give up rights to a photo -- ever.  As an alternative, I do often offer an "Exclusive and Unconditional License to Use in Perpetuity" for most of the work I do for clients.  This means that with this license you will get to use the photo in anyway you see fit, for as long as you like, without additional cost or constraint.  The client will be the only person offered a license for such use for the works in question.  The terms of that License will be defined in the Photography Agreement supplied to and signed by the client prior to shooting.  To date, all of the many clients I have worked for have been comfortable with that arrangement.

The only difference between that and full ownership of the photo is the ability to claim authorship (to claim that you shot the work).  I am not sure where the notion came that one needs to have the photographer sign away all of their rights to a photo in order to use it commercially, but it is mistaken. 

In most cases, the only use I may have for the photos I provide clients are in generating new work by using the photos as sample images of the type of work I have done in the past in my portfolio, and possibly on a blog post on the same site.  This is also stipulated in the Photography Agreement. 

If for some reason I needed to use a photo that a client appears in for some other commercial use, I would be required to get a signed Release that specifies that use from the client. If the client would like to stipulate conditions pertaining to when those photos could be displayed, this can also specified in the Photography Agreement.  To date I have never had a need to do so, and I cannot imagine a circumstance where this would be necessary given how I market my work.

In the past, on rare occasion I have shot work for clients who required a Non-Disclosure Agreement, preventing me from displaying the photos for any reason for a period of time.  I am happy to do this, but it will come at a premium.  I am willing on occasion to delay posting a set of images in my portfolio for a reasonable period of time (several months perhaps).  Please understand that when you require me to not display recent work, it directly affects my ability to generate future business. 



Unedited Files


The work that I provide my clients are finished, fully edited files typically in JPG, but also sometimes other formats (PNG, TIF, or PDF).  For commercial work, I nearly always shoot in RAW format, which is like a digital negative.  This file format cannot be displayed directly on a website, or printed, it needs to be converted to a file format which can (such as JPG, PNG, PDF or TIF). 

The RAW file format (in my case either NEF or DNG files), capture more information than will be displayed in the final version of the photo.  This is the utility of shooting in RAW, as it gives the photographer the flexability to edit the photo to overcome adverse lighting, low light conditions, etc. 

In the course of a headshot session I will often shoot over 150 photos just to get to 6-10 final photos.  In most cases that is sufficient.  Clients occasionally ask me about the other photos taken during their shoot.  I am happy to provide finished photos from any that I shoot in a session, but those have to undergo the same editing process as the rest of the final photos.  The reason for this is a matter of quality control. 

As a rule I do not hand out unedited photos.

When clients ask for the RAW files, it is usually to control the final look of the work so it will be consistent with other work that they use. I would be happy to export the edited files to any format you require.  If you have editing specifications, to insure consistency with existing work, I would be happy to have you specify these in the Photography Agreement, so I can provide photos that meet those specs.