About Own Your Portraits
First of all, a big, warm welcome! We’re a mother/son team of photographers with many years of experience in both photography and design. We love to photograph families, couples, high school seniors and pets. You’ll find that our friendly, casual style will put you right at ease, resulting in portraits that look natural and unposed. A little background info about us and our unique business model:
Toby graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of South Dakota with a bachelor of science degree in Contemporary Media & Journalism. He began working with design and Photoshop on a Mac at the tender age of 11 and built his first web site by age 12. With an expert skill level in all Adobe Creative Suite applications including Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign and Dreamweaver, Toby brings considerable talent and creativity to our team. He’s a bold designer and award-winning photographer with a contemporay style and intuitive sense of marketing ensured to give our clientele that cutting-edge advantage. The Dahl Mountain Photo Contest selected one of Toby’s photos to be included in its 2007 contest and gallery exhibit. 29 photos were chosen from over 240 entries for inclusion in the exhibit. With a dedicated work ethic, creative 6th sense and friendly, polite nature, you’ll find Toby a joy to work with.
Own Your Portraits
Most photographers charge a basic sitting fee to shoot your senior photos, then edit the pictures they think you will want to buy and charge you again for each print of each individual photograph. You may think you own your images, but in reality, the photographer owns the digital negatives and is merely renting them to you one print at a time at a remarkably high profit. When you purchase your images from a photographer, you are generally only purchasing that one photo and do not have the right to make copies from it. That’s where they make their real profit, and we’re not saying that’s dishonest or wrong.
Most professional photographers use online print services like Mpix Here’s an example of the prices photographers are paying to have your images printed:
Surprised? Now compare the above prices with the per-print price sheet you’ll get from most photographers. Our business model simply takes out that exhorbitant middle man fee and gives control of your images back to you. We give you unlimited reproduction rights to have as many prints made as you wish, wherever you want to have them printed, in whatever sizes you choose, as often as you like. (We do highly recommend Mpix to our customers, by the way, and anyone can order from them.) You also own the right to have albums, greeting cards and canvas wraps made from your photos without requesting permission from us each time. You may place them on personal web sites and share them freely on social networking sites such as Facebook, shutterfly, photobucket and flickr, as well as on your own blog or Web site. And there are absolutely no watermarks on your images to spoil the fun!
We retain the original copyright of the photos we create. It’s the same concept as an artist signing a painting and then selling that painting to a customer. The buyer owns the artwork, but the artist’s signature remains so that its creator can be identified. This simply means that we reserve the right to display your images in our promotional materials, and that a copyright notice should accompany your photos wherever they might be publicly displayed, such as in a newspaper, on greeting cards or on a web site. The copyright notice is basic and brief, and simply credits us as the photographers:
© [year] OwnYourPortraits.com
Our business model isn’t the only thing about us that’s different. While most photographers are still struggling to convert from traditional film photography to newer digital technology, we’ve been shooting that way since the inception of the first digital cameras. Our background includes 16 years of shooting professional stock photography images, including custom portraiture for the web sites we develop. We have extensive skills and knowledge in every aspect of digital photography and professional processing techniques. We are proficient in the use of all Adobe Creative Suite applications, with decades of experience in Photoshop retouching methods.
Our style is photojournalistic. We take time to put you at ease in a relaxed atmosphere and shoot in an informal manner. This style results in more natural looking expressions and poses. Your portraits will reflect your unique personality, and won’t look similar to anyone else’s. Most photographers work alone. That means you get one viewpoint expressed in your final portraits. It also means that if equipment malfunctions at a crucial time, (think: The Wedding Kiss) you may not have an image of one of the most important moments of your life. That’s why we work as a team. With 2 photographers shooting simultaneously from different vantage points with varying lenses, you end up with a greater variety of images and greatly lessen the chance that an important moment will be missed.
We shoot in a format known as Raw. This is the purest form of digital photography and gives us the highest quality images possible, with the greatest amount of detail and pixel-perfect control over the final editing process. We shoot with Canon digital SLR cameras and lenses, paired with creative, innovative lighting equipment and custom hand-dyed, one-of-a-kind studio backdrops. Our workflow includes the expert processing/retouching of all images using the most recent version of Adobe Creative Suite.