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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“WE DON’T REMEMBER DAYS, WE REMEMBER MOMENTS.” -CESARE PAVESE

WHAT DO I GET WITH THE CREATIVE FEE? 
The Creative Fee is a non-refundable retainer that ensures your spot on my calendar for your initial in-person consultation, your session date and your in-person gallery reveal/ordering session. This also includes the $100 print credit and accounts for the time I spend finding locations, creating your shot list, wardrobe consultation, taking your photos, the time I spend culling, editing, prepping prints, and working one-on-one with my lab after your session, as well as the necessary time/travel it takes to hand deliver your products to you at home. 

SOOOOO, WAIT, ARE ANY PICTURES ACTUALLY INCLUDED IN THE CREATIVE FEE? 
No. No physical or digital products are included in the Creative Fee. 

I am a full service photographer, which means that from beginning to end I am by your side, in constant communication, ensuring that our friendship doesn’t come to end while I throw your images at you through this wild and crazy thing we call the internet. How horribly boring and cold-hearted is that!

I believe that this experience is an investment for you and investments require a special touch, something that sets it high and above the others, so I no longer offer products of any sort as a part of my Creative Fee. 

My Creative Fee is just that: My time, my vision, my creativity, my talent and my Genius – which is something you can’t find anywhere else. Go ahead, you can try to duplicate it, but you won’t succeed.  And if you’re still here reading my words, then I trust that you see this as an investment as well and you believe that your life and your legacy deserves recognition… now and for your future generations to come.

You wouldn’t expect to pay $15k for a Ferrari, now would you? No, of course not. A Ferrari is an investment, one that you wouldn’t even dare question a seller that’s asking $250k for their “product”. 

This is the same thing, just of a different nature. It’s still your legacy, just one that covers the walls of your home instead of lines the floors of your garage.  

WHAT IF I REALLY WANT DIGITAL IMAGES, TOO? CAN I HAVE SOME?
Yes, absolutely. For each print you order, I give you matching web-sized digital image for online sharing. For example: If you ordered a 20×30 wall portrait, I’ll also give you the digital image of that same picture in, what we call, web-sized format (which means less DPI – dots per inch), at the same 20×30 size that you ordered.

High resolution digital images (higher DPI) with a print release are also available ala carte or in certain packages, so you can have the best of both worlds and the freedom to share on social media and with family and friends around the world.

SO HOW MUCH ARE YOUR PRINTS AND PACKAGES, THEN?
Specific pricing for my prints and various packages will be discussed at our initial in-person consultation. To give you an idea of how to plan and budget accordingly, my ala carte print prices start at $75 and my packages start at $2100. If you’re ready to get started, you can SEND ME A NOTE so we can get our coffee date on the schedule. 

WHY DO YOU SELL PRINTS? COULDN’T I JUST GET DIGITAL IMAGES AND MAKE MY OWN COPIES AT A LOCAL PRINT SHOP FOR MUCH CHEAPER?
When ordering prints, you aren’t just paying for the paper and the ink and the costs associated with printing, you’re paying for my Genius artwork that will be printed on the paper.

I have spent years honing my skills and learning how to work my Genius in a way that gives the desired results to my clients. I also spend hours before each session getting to know you and preparing for your session because I like to ensure that your session is unique and best reflects your story and the person/people that I have the honor of spending time with. Because of this, each image is a priceless moment catered to you, and one that deserves to be displayed in the best way possible.

Sure, you could order digital images and print them yourself (for the right price, of course) but I wholeheartedly encourage you to order prints through me and my professional lab so you will get the absolute highest quality available on the market today. 

Your every day shop like Sam’s Club or Cotsco or even Wal-Mart don’t pay strict attention to detail when printing or caring for and cleaning their machines. They just print what’s in front of them. They have a whole store with hundreds of other products and a wide array of customer habits and nuances to worry about as well.

A professional lab is just that… professional, to the highest degree. Printing images is just what they do; it’s all they do. The Genius artwork that I create is their focus. Therefore, you are their focus. Pretty sweet, huh?

Besides, it’s less work for you, too! It also guarantees that your images will look their absolute best and not lacking in quality.

I’VE HAD PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE PAST THAT JUST CHARGE A PRICE AND GIVE ME DIGITAL IMAGES INCLUDED IN THAT. WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT?
Well, honestly, I used to be one of them until I did a survey of my previous clients, and let me tell you this… 87% of them have never printed a single image. I’m grateful for their honesty; yet, at the same time, my heart breaks quite a bit just knowing that all those memories, the life and laughter and joys of the moments we captured together, haven’t seen the light of day since. And some of those sessions took place over 12 years ago!

Ahhhh…I’m dyyyyyinnnggggg…. 

So that’s why I’m here now, doing it differently. I have to. I owe it to myself and I owe it to you – my client. Life is far too short for any of us to be leaving our moments in the unsteady hands of a “future” memory that may, or may not, exist in its current fullness.

After living the life I’ve lived, I now believe – with my wholest of whole hearts – that pictures are so much more than just smiles and trees and pretty-pretty-please-say-cheese. 

The pictures I take are rightly considered artwork in my book and guess what… you are the masterpiece! You, little ol’ you. In all your goodness and brave glory. 

You deserve to be on the wall, don’t you think?! You deserve to be the main centerpiece of your home. Why not? Seriously, though… why not? It’s your home, your palace of retreat. So make it yours and live it up! Don’t be afraid or ashamed of your vulnerability and realness – it’s what your people have fallen deeply, madly in love with, and it’s what my Genius craves to find and help you cherish it for the rest of your lifetime and the lifetimes of generations that will follow in your path. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will thank you, I promise.

In fact, there’s a picture of my grandparents sitting here on the shelf next to where I sit, and you know what I see when I look at it? 

I see my grandpa’s giant tenderness, his soft but strong character; his cozy, well-used brown recliner and round, brown leather foot stool that we all knew held the power of his sacred prayers and Bible studies; his drawers full of tiny notepads and miniature pencils that, as kids, we would steal so we could take notes of our findings when we searched for ghosts in the basement.

And grandma.. well, I see her strong and tender ways just as much; her never-ceasing go-go-go; her Christmas tree that always sat high and center in the front window right next to a floating fish mobile and the most brutally ugly mustard-brown couch (haha!). I smell her biscuits and homemade sausage gravy, her pistachio pudding that I now make for my own kids, and her lightly scented bath soap that was just “her”.

You see what I’m saying? That, my friend, is the power of a picture. And that’s what we’re going to create for you and your legacy.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE “IN-PERSON GALLERY REVEAL?”
A week or two after your session, I will come to your home and we’ll sit down and watch a short highlight video of my favorite images from your session.  After that, I’ll “take” you to your gallery that has been setup in your home and show you the Genius in your personalized artwork.

I will bring samples of some of the products that I offer so you can physically feel and see their value. This is your opportunity to soak up all your Genius artwork, emotionally and visually, pick out and sort your favorite moments, discuss any ideas or thoughts, or even get advice on where/how you’d like to display your Genius artwork for the people in your world to see and cherish right next to you.

Once you’ve met your decision with peace, you’ll officially place your order and I’ll, again, get back to work to finalize your chosen artwork, prepare them for printing and send them to my lab.

YOU SOUND LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER FOR ME! DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS FOR YOUR PRINT ORDERS?
Yes, of course. This is an investment and it should be treated as such, and sometimes we just need a little more time to make it work. Life happens, right? 

I offer payment plans that can be extended up to 8 months. A minimum of 25% of your total order will be required as a down payment in order to set a payment plan into motion. After that, we will work out a plan together that not only fits your budget, but one that will make sure you don’t lose out on the moments of your legacy that you may have had to part with otherwise. 

I’M NOT LOCAL TO NORTHERN OHIO. DO YOU TRAVEL?
Oh, most definitely! I can travel to you or if you’d rather, you can travel to me. Travel fees will be quoted before you book so you won’t be surprised with any extra fees. That’s the kind of surprise I definitely don’t like!

Your consultation and reveal/ordering session will take place online via Zoom or Skype, so you’ll still receive the mack-daddy experience from Vaalin Studio.

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