Frequently Asked Questions
Well, here’s the good news: it’s not so much up to you whether or not you look like a goofball, the photographer is responsible for making you not look like a goofball. Choosing the wrong Portrait Studio can make you look like a goofball! Often the correct body position can make a dramatic difference in how balanced and attractive you look. At Cindy Sherman Photography we are experts at coaxing you into the perfect body position and still keeping it fun. We take your portraits seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. Having your portraits created should be fun resulting in too many good ones to choose from. Our clients tell us ‘this decision is so hard!” Our response always is “When you go to a professional your choices should be hard, how would you feel if there was just one great image?”
Aunt Susie’s pictures never turn out…
That’s why you come to us. One thing that makes Cindy Sherman Photography really different is that we don’t have a routine set of poses for every client that comes to our studio. When you walk in the door, we won’t grab you and set you on a stool and shout, “SAY CHEESE!” When you arrive, we’ll visit together, walk the property and determine which sets are your favorites, review your background choices in the camera room, and make a plan together to maximize your time with us; we have no idea what your portraits are going to look like until we get to know your preferences and personality. Our subjects tell us their portraits look so real and natural. Their friends say, “These portraits show the real you – you look so natural!” That’s because we don’t make you do fake smiles. We want you to relax and play with us during your portrait session, then it is natural to show us your best expression. You must love your portraits. If there is ever anything wrong, we’ll make more, or refund your money; whichever you prefer. That’s a pretty strong guarantee, but we make it because we are confident you will be thrilled with your portraits. Think about this. If you didn’t look great, would we let you out the door with your portraits? We learned a long time ago that the best way for us to grow our business is to produce happy clients. When you look good, it makes us look good. When you show your Portraits to your family and friends, we want them to say, “Wonderful! Where did you get these?” And we want you to say “I got them at Cindy Sherman’s! You should go there too!” Your great portraits are our best advertising. How can you go wrong?
Choosing a studio isn’t just a matter of seeing who has the cheapest 8×10. While price is important, there are many other factors that may be more important. The following article will help you learn how to choose wisely.
There’s a good reason for this: no one likes to look bad. People say, “Oh, I don’t take good pictures!” What they don’t realize is that it’s not the subject that determines the outcome; it’s the Photographer! If you don’t like the food, you don’t say, “Oh, I don’t eat good meals!” Most likely, you blame the chef. At Cindy Sherman Photography, it’s not like “having your picture taken”; it’s a whole different experience. If your previous portrait experiences were “school pictures” or standing in line or being told, “Sit on the box and smile!” you’re in for a big surprise. We Treat You Like A Person. Here’s a secret we’ve learned: If your Portrait experience is unpleasant and uncomfortable, your Portrait will look unpleasant and uncomfortable! We take your portraits seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. If getting your Portrait isn’t fun, it’s not worth doing. Your session will be fun, and when you have fun, you’ll be comfortable – and when you’re comfortable, you’ll look great!
We hear that a lot. The truth is that proper posing and camera angle can visually take more than 20 pounds off of you, and after your portraits are captured, we are more than happy to go in and shrink you a little, helping you to look your absolute best. I am using my family in this portrait to make this point about slimming. See how much nicer I look in the second image?
When you look at a portrait on the wall, your eyes will go to the area of greatest contrast first. So, if you are wearing a white shirt, and everyone else is wearing dark colors, the first thing we see will be your upper body and how much space it takes up. The key is to keep all the clothing in the same hue, taking care to not allow any one article of clothing to be brighter, darker, or lighter than the other clothing in the portrait. This way, the focus of the portrait will remain on the faces of the individuals and the interactions between them. The colors you use are not limited; just pull colors of the same strength together. It is helpful to have darker bottoms than tops, a round neckline echoes the roundness of your face and a ‘v’ neck slenderizes. If you want to hide weight an open collar shirt, or jacket, sweater, or top layer that is open in the front makes a long narrow slenderizing line. (remember, we can easily smooth out some of those extra love handles! ) Be sure to wear dark socks and dark shoes, white shoes, if not an accent to your outfit, are distracting and draw our attention away from your face. Shoes can often just blend into the ground and wearing dark dress shoes in a family portrait with jeans will allow them to blend in when white sneakers will attract our attention.
What if Brent wears the wrong color?
Well, as you can see we can often change the color of a article of clothing in order to put it back in harmony with the rest of the portrait. We didn’t want to embarrass anyone, so my family played the UNESPECTED role of subjects in order to illustrate this point about clothes. As you can see, if Brent had worn a darker shirt in this portrait, the end result would have been more pleasing.
The Thornton family came in with white sweaters on accenting their earth tone greens. Because we knew that theses area of contrast would be distracting we asked them to button up the green sweaters and take off the white tank, revealing the black one, the end result was a truly quality portrait. Thank you Thorntons for allowing me to use you as examples!!
Yes you can. With all the changes in professional photography in the last few years we have added this product to what we offer our clients, but we need you to understand what you are purchasing first.
We shoot RAW. This means we capture a file that you cannot even view in common software. And, we have made changes in the software of our camera to change the way a file is captured. After your session we will spend two or more hours for every hour we were with you processing your raw files and converting them into jpegs. These jpegs are 6×9 inches at 300 dpi. We guarantee the quality of the print up to an 8×10 size.
When you purchase a larger portrait from us we re-process your raw file into a larger jpeg, these are significantly larger, and when opened in Photoshop they range from 100mb to 290mb. This is how we produce beautiful wall portraits for our clients.
We maintain color balance between our monitors, our cameras and our lab. Our lab is in Missouri and they do not print for consumers. Their print quality is outstanding and with our constant color management we get awesome prints from them.
After extensive testing we came to the conclusion that we simply cannot come close to this quality anywhere in town.
Well, yes, and no. Remember we are a professional photography studio dedicated to creating beautiful portraits for you.
When we possess the raw files into jpegs we do the major color corrections, contrast corrections, vignette, and soften the skin. This has been done to all the images on the CD. Our research shows us that this is more editing that many photographers do when selling an ‘edited’ CD.
Once this conversion has happened we select our favorite(s) and hand edit this image. This includes whitening the eyes, the teeth, reducing facial lines, removing blemishes and scars, opening eyes, moving faces in from other images when someone doesn’t look as good as everyone else and removing double chins and reducing ‘love handles’ and body size. Hand editing is done to the preview sample(s) we selected and to any images you have ordered prints off of. These hand edited images are included on the CD, but this is not done to all the images on the CD.
Pricing Frequently Asked Questions
This is our most common question. It seems reasonable, but it’s sort of like asking a restaurant, “How much is a piece of beef?” What kind of beef is it? A steak, prime rib, hamburger- and how do you want it cooked? Do you want just the piece of meat? Or an entire meal? You also want to know about the restaurant itself. Is the meal on a plate, or in a paper bag? Are meals prepared to order by a chef, or waiting under heat lamps? What style of food is it? You may want to ask: “What is the style of portraiture at this studio?” “Are there session fees in addition to the price of the portrait itself?” “Am I required to order pre-determined packages or can I get whatever I want?” “Am I able to have a meeting with the photographer before hand to discuss my ideas? Is there a charge for this consultation?”
Session fees are also called “Sitting” or “Creation” fees. These are the charges to create the images – they are in addition to the price of the portraits themselves. You almost always have the option of paying a session fee or making a minimum Initial Investment. You pay the Initial Investment prior to the session, to reserve your appointment time, and we will waive your session fee. When you order, your Initial Investment is applied to your purchase. How much is my Initial Investment? The amount is based on the type of portrait you schedule (child, family, individual, couple, etc.) and the amount of time you want to spend with us. The entire amount is applied toward the portrait order.
Yes…no… sort of. We have a “Create your Package” ordering opportunity, giving you discounts based on your purchase because this is more flexible than typical packages – all the images don’t have to be the same pose or size, you can mix and match as you wish. The Create Your Package program is the best way to get more portraits at a better price.
No. We don’t play those games. Our emphasis is different. While our prices are reasonable, they are not cheap. The emphasis at Cindy Sherman Photography is on spending time with you and creating a special expression of who you are. People tell us that one of the unique things about our studio is just that – our portraits are unique. Your child’s portrait won’t be like your friend’s, because we don’t just have one certain “children’s pose” that we use for every 6-year-old. We design your portrait when we meet you, and get to know you a little bit – then together we decide how to create your unique portraits.
You pay your Initial Investment when you schedule your appointment. Have a credit card ready if you are making your appointment by phone. (If you don’t have a card, call for instructions.) Soon after your portrait session, you will see your images at your viewing session and place your order. After your Initial Investment is applied, we ask that you pay the remaining balance.
Obviously, “It depends.” It depends on what kind of portraits you want and how many you want. We will tell you the Initial Investment when you call to inquire. We always suggest you come in for a free consultation before you schedule a session, so we can discuss the images you have in mind, clothing and location details – particularly when you are planning a Senior portrait, a family portrait or portrait that involves several people. After we know what you are looking for, we’ll be able to give you a good idea of the range of prices to expect. Typically, a portrait collection for a young child or a simple anniversary portrait will range from one to a few hundred dollars. A large multi-generational family with portraits of the whole group, as well as portraits of the individual families, grandchildren, Grandma and Grandpa, etc., might be several hundred to a few thousand (although usually, the cost is spread out over several families). Everyone has different portrait needs, and we are looking forward to discussing yours. Please call the studio to start planning your portrait today!