Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. If you’re still confused or I’ve made things as clear as mud, email me at images@focalbluephotography.com


How do I save one of the complimentary social media/small print images?

When viewing any image in your gallery, it’s as simple as right/option clicking on the image and following your device’s or computer’s menu options that pop up. For many phones, it’s a matter of long-pressing on the image and following your phones menu options. 


Isn’t a screenshot of a gallery image the same as doing what you said in the previous question?

NOPE!!! Screenshot degrades the image compared to the right/option click method.


Why don’t I get every single photo you took during the shoot? I paid good money for them!

To be specific, you’re paying for the final product. Much goes into that beautiful image or images you sought me out for. The expensive camera and lens I used in your shoot does nothing automatically. It’s actually more difficult to get a good image made with my camera than the phone you’re likely reading this with! 

The shoot you participated in or are about to is actually just the beginning. Yes, you saw me shoot many, many times throughout. From different positions. Different lighting angles. Different poses. Different locations. Sometimes I get an idea in my head and try to execute it. Sometimes you give me ideas or suggestions and I try to execute them. Notice I said try. Yes, I’m good at what I do, but sometimes even with my best efforts the shot just “doesn’t work”. This goes for all photographers. No photographer does a 3, 6, 10, or 15 shot shoot. No one! They take multiple shots in an attempt to get “that one”. And you have no more “right” to those less than perfect images we took in the creative process than to the camera or lens or lights I shot it with. Sorry.

After a discussion with you, I may choose to upload a temporary gallery of smaller JPEG, watermarked images that we agree beforehand are to be used in the selection process for the sake of decision making only. You tell me which ones you want professionally edited and I custom edit each from there. You lose access to this gallery after you make your choices. I then make a separate gallery for your final images.

And then the fun begins: hand editing each of the images we selected from the 50, 100, 200 shots. A single edit can be as quick as 5-10 minutes or up to almost 45 minutes depending on what needs to be done or is requested by the client! Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not as easy as the grotesque Snapchat filters so pervasive today! I try to keep the final image looking like you and not a mannequin. 

If you want more images edited than what is stated in the shoot description, we can discuss the per image pricing later on. I do NOT delete what is left over after you make your choices so you have the option to request more edits!


Why don’t you do “packages” like they do in school?

Sorry, it’s my personal pet peeve as a consumer. I really don’t like gimmicks nor purchasing things I really didn’t want under the premise that it was a “deal”. 

So I price my prints, wall art, etc appropriately and let the client shop a la carte.

I may generate a coupon code or two occasionally.


I’ve saved the images that you include with the shoot. You label them as “social media/small print” quality. What does that even mean?

I’ll try not to get too geeky here. A digital image is a bunch of dots clustered together to make the picture you ultimately see. Let’s just say for this case that the more dots you pack in there, the better in terms of image sharpness and clarity.

My professional grade camera produces way more dots than social media uses or a small print requires.  If you were to use one of my full-resolution files on social media, it would get "crunched" down to something they prefer. A 4x6 or 5x7 print doesn't need all the "dots" that my camera generates, so it is essentially wasted. 

In my personal research, the image files I include with most packages produce the following quality when printing:

4x6 is "excellent"

5x7 is "very good"

8x10 is "fair"


So I'm looking at the Digital Download purchase options in my gallery. What's that all about? I thought my shoot package included that

I attempt to include in my shoots what most people typically want. And believe it or not, prints aren't as immediately popular as you'd think. In this digital age most clients immediately use the images we create on their phones or social media outlets. They consider prints or wall art afterward, if at all. 

I must also mention that the print business is sadly no different than anything else out there. Large print outfits such as Snapfish, Shutterfly and Walmart are impossible to compete with. I use Bay Photo out of CA, which is still independently owned and produces better quality than any  of the aforementioned corporate print juggernauts. 

So, if you purchase anything from my website, Bay Photo uses the full-resolution file from the shoot and you do NOT need to purchase any digital file upgrades. 

If you decide to use a cheaper print outfit AND are printing anything LARGER than 5x7 or 8x10 then you need to purchase the higher resolution download. The higher the resolution, the larger the print possibility and the higher the quality.

Although I don't make much profit off of print sales, they are still sales. And I'm not here to generate profits for those giants. I understand if your budget requires you shop with them, but understand that I need to keep my doors open too.


The print lab wants a signed "print release". What is that?

You ever read the small print on the back of movie packaging? Or a band's album? Or an instructional video? Try using a popular song in your next YouTube video without permission and see what happens.

The same rules apply to those images I made. So technically when a print lab reproduces images that were obviously made by a professional photographer they are supposed to secure this document, signed by the photographer. How do they know this? It's a geeky thing called an EXIF file. All digital images have one and they're always there. It contains the serial # of the camera that was used as well as any other data I choose to program into it. So yes, "copyright Bob Rainville/Focal Blue Photography" is embedded in there.

The document basically says that you, the client, are allowed to print this image and keep it for personal use and that's it. You cannot edit or alter it further. You cannot say you made it. You cannot enter it in a contest. Etc, etc. 

If you need a print release just message or email me and I'll get one to you. If you have any specific requests about printing or altering an image just reach out to me and we'll see what we can do. I'm pretty reasonable about these things.


The weather doesn't look good for our scheduled shoot.

If the weather prevents our portrait shoot, then we'll have to reschedule. Please keep this in mind though if you have any hard deadlines such as those involved with senior portraits. The closer you schedule to the deadline, the fewer options we have to reschedule! 


I want to hire you as my photographer but I want my pictures to look like these Pinterest or Insta shots

I'm not gonna lie...Pinterest is a great resource for creatives! So show me these ideas. But don't wait until shoot day please!!!

If I shoot in a similar style to something you've seen elsewhere then by all means, we'll make it happen. But if it's something that does not come intuitively to my creative flow then you may be better served by someone who is more aligned to that. It is important that you discuss with ANY photographer your expectations and vision, if you have one. We have several talented, professional photographers in this area to choose from that offer a wide variety of styles for almost any budget. Generally speaking, if you look at a photographer's portfolio you will see a general style emerge. Make sure you view their portfolio before scheduling and ask questions. Start a dialogue about anything specific you want, including shots you've seen elsewhere. 


I'm 50 and I want you to make me look like a 22 year old supermodel. Can you do that? (Let's talk about editing)

In spite of being a bit cheeky here, I take this topic seriously. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is more prevalent than you realize and it is personally painful to witness. You may not believe this but I care about every model that steps in front of me and my camera. I take the responsibility seriously and will always "have your back". As a photographer and editor I realize that my profession may contribute somewhat to BDD, so I make every effort to NOT unrealistically edit any portraits I make! We all have our hang-ups and I'm no different. I grew up with bad skin, a huge nose and a crooked smile. Photo editing when I was in school produced something resembling the Guy Fawkes mask look. Sadly, in spite of dramatic advances in editing techniques and software, BAD EDITING still persists! And if anything, it may be worse! Some of it at the request of the client.

To the point: I make every attempt to accentuate the best features of the model and conceal the less than ideal features. I use lighting and posing and wardrobe to do this when possible. Sometimes it happens through trial and error. And what I cannot control to my or my client's wishes during the shoot falls to the editing process.

Please honestly discuss with me any requests you are considering BEFOREHAND. There are several reasons to do so. The first is to determine how much effort in the editing is required to attain the desired outcomes. Unfortunately if it is extensive and on the heavy-handed spectrum, I need to charge more for the time required. The second is that I do not want to offend. So if there is a birthmark, scar or anything that you identify with, tell me and I'll leave it alone! And the third is my professional reputation. I make every effort to not be associated with "obviously unrealistic over-editing". Yes, this is subjective but I make every effort to walk a fine line between making you look on-point vs looking like your mannequin avatar.


















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