Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions

(Clicking the question will reveal the answer.)
If you have a question that isn’t answered here… talk to us!

What should I wear for a portrait?

Most importantly, wear something that makes you feel good. Beyond that, we recommend solid, subdued colors. You don’t want a strong pattern or a brightly colored dress or shirt to divert attention away from your eyes. As shown to the left, clothing with fine, tight patterning (herringbone or small, regular squares for example) can create unexpected interference patterns with digital camera sensors. Keep in mind that our most frequently used background is a charcoal gray, so you might wish to avoid a charcoal gray top. Solid white jackets, dresses or shirts should be avoided unless they will be covered by a darker jacket, or unless they are part of your professional uniform. Though less common in business atire, strong orange turns out to be surprisingly similar to skin pigmentation which can make it difficult for us to balance. Because your photo will potentially be viewed all year ’round, sleeveless tops or dresses are too season–specific and should likewise be avoided. We have heard theories about “power colors,” but really — you know what colors work for you. Keep your wardrobe (including jewelery) uncomplicated and professional so the emphasis will remain on your eyes.

What should I plan on for a portrait session in our office?

If we come to your office, we bring lighting equipment (typically three lights, umbrellas, light stands and a power pack) and a background in addition to a camera. Because we don’t want the subject right up against the background, and because we need some room to the sides for lights, an area about ten by ten feet is a comfortable minimum. We frequently find that a conference room has been reserved for us. That’s usually great, but conference rooms tend to be dominated by a table, and sometimes there’s not a lot of room left over! A lunchroom often turns out to have more space available. A private office is generally too confined.

It takes us about 15 minutes to set up and another 15 to break down, so do consider that when reserving a space.

Is retouching available?

The short answer is “absolutely yes.” We do charge a fee for this service. A call to our office can establish an estimate based on your specific needs.

The somewhat longer answer is that we typically generate a large number of images on an assignment. Recognizing that you are unlikely to use all the images you receive from us, our policy is to ensure that all images are, at minimum, corrected for color and exposure.

You can, however, expect that images you select from a portrait sitting will be looked at carefully for such things as unruly hair, blemishes, loosened neckties and reflections in glasses. If you have specific requests for work beyond these basics please let us know.

We try to make a distinction between image enhancement (which to us means “polishing” an image) and image manipulation (which to us means changing the content of an image). The former might involve subduing blemishes or controlling fly-away hair. The latter might involve adding a missing person to a group photo or putting a sign on a new building.

We have a very skilled and experienced staff available for perfecting your images. The Retouching page of our site provides links to examples of our capabilities in these areas.

How can I select my favorite portrait image?

We want to make this process as frictionless as possible, so we offer a variety of options. Each of our clients seem to have settled on a system that works for them, and you are encouraged to discuss what your needs are when you book an assignment.

Our standard practice currently is to capture portrait images directly to a laptop, review images with the subject, take more if necessary, and arrive at a selected image right then and there. This selected image is then optimized (“polished”) in our office before delivery. This is a very efficient workflow for portrait assignments but we need 10-15 minutes per person for this to be a satisfying experience for the subject.

Some of our clients prefer digital (PDF) proofs delivered via email; others request that a temporary gallery be posted to our web site to make a selection after the sitting.

We recognize that no single solution meets the needs of everyone. One of the solutions described above will probably be appropriate for your needs but if not… talk to us!

What are your usage terms?

FAYFOTO releases images shot on assignment without usage restrictions. The company that booked and paid for the assignment is free to use the images in whatever way they wish. FAYFOTO retains the actual copyright but what that means in practical terms is that you (the client) can’t resell the image for profit, and we reserve the right to use the image for our own promotion. FAYFOTO will never release images shot on assignment to another party (such as a stock agency or even a former employee) without express written permission to do so.

What can I expect to pay?

FAYFOTO’s photography fees are based on hourly rates. We charge a post production fee (primarily to cover the time and skilled labor involved in downloading and editing the images, ensuring that exposure and color are appropriate and preparing the images to be burned to CD). Expenses such as state sales tax, tolls, parking, travel time and mileage complete the costs you can anticipate. We do not charge travel time or mileage to locations in Boston itself.

Because nearly every assignment we do is somehow unique, our suggestion is that your call for a quote based on your specific project.

Will FAYFOTO archive my images?

We are very conscientious about backing up the work we do for our clients. We don’t guarantee this service (we know that bad things can happen to good data) but we have a very good track record.

We do not charge for this service. Should you need to have a CD replaced or a duplicate made or some retouching done on an image we created in the past then we do charge a modest fee for the labor involved. You may read more about our archiving policy on this page.

How do I book FAYFOTO?

We recommend a telephone conversation (617-267-2000). The majority of our bookings are handled verbally. Because an assignment consists of so many small but important details we find that email almost invariably omits something important. Although we are happy to provide a written estimate upon request, we are rarely asked to generate written contracts. It may seem casual but in reality this proves highly reliable.

If some detail concerning an assignment changes (for instance the time, the day, the location or the number of portraits) then by all means feel free to .

How do I get my pictures?

There are many delivery options and it is best to explore what works best for you in a direct conversation with us.

Options for delivery of physical objects (for example prints or CD or DVD disks) include courier delivery, mail or FedEx. For small numbers of jpeg images, electronic delivery (email attachments or download via FTP) work well.

Can I pay with a credit card?

FAYFOTO accepts major credit cards. However because most of our customers are businesses the normal process is to send an invoice via postal mail.