s p o t i c u s photography
Not so frequently asked questions
Does your rate include the license fee?
It depends. A photographer retains the copyright for all of the pictures he or she takes. What this means is that usage is typically determined by a license agreement, which usually requires a separate fee from the cost of taking the picture. For non-commercial portrait work, there's no fee for personal use. If you decide to use the images for commercial purposes, you'll just need to contact me to arrange for a different license. For small businesses looking to advertise on social media and their own websites, I include a 1-year license with the cost of the shoot, which in most cases covers what you'll need. If the images are for paid advertisements or larger marketing campaigns, an additional license may be required. There are many factors that determine the cost and terms of a license, including distribution (digital vs. print), size of the audience, etc. I'll work with you to determine your needs and develop a quote accordingly.
What makes you different from the next guy?
1) My background as a landscape photographer informs my approach to other types of photography a great deal. The attention to detail that's required when shooting a wide open space containing both complimentary and contrasting elements is extremely useful when shooting on location. A portrait, for example, isn't just about blurring the background. It's also about the color, texture, and style of the background. What's in front of or behind a subject can be just as important as the subject themselves.
2) I embrace the use of lighting equipment to create a variety of moods, whether it's simply to augment existing light (for a more natural look), or to create a dramatic image by using it as the primary source. You can't get that kind of range with "Natural Light" photography.
Are you a "Natural Light" Photographer?
-Yes and no. There's been a trend recently of people referring to themselves as strictly being “Natural Light Photographers”. "Natural" is great... if you own a grocery store. I'm kidding. Sort of. Often this ends up being just a fancy way of saying "I don't know how to use a flash". Sometimes it's OK to shoot using only natural light and there's certainly no shortage of great images created this way. But there are limitations to this approach, both technically and artistically.
People can do pretty much whatever they want for the sake of their own art. If somebody wants to take a picture called “midnight in a black forest during the new moon with no flashlight”, that's totally fine. However, if I can take the exact same picture in my living room by simply leaving the lens cap on, is the former really all that great? One certainly sounds more artistic than the other. But if the results are the same, what's the difference? The answer: marketing.
The point is not that "Natural Light Photography" is inherently bad; it's that you can only do so much with it. Keep in mind that people who do not refer to themselves as "Natural Light Photographers" can, and do, still shoot using only natural light when it's appropriate. The difference isn't that one group uses it and the other does not, it's that one group is limited to a single option and they're selling it with a catchy title. Read: marketing.
To be clear, this isn't about comparing one "style" of photography to another. It's about being able to use all the tools at your disposal in order to shoot in a wider range of environments. It's about expanding your vision. It's about elevating your art.