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 clear, you’re paying for the final product as stated in the package details. For portrait sessions, the product is the final quantity of fully edited images as stated in the shoot details.  

You will quickly see that many more shots are taken than what you receive in the end. To say it simply and directly, that’s how the process goes. People blink, hair moves, light changes, bystanders walk through our scene, etc, etc. And sometimes I just don’t like what I shot and will make changes on-scene. 

That being said, this doesn’t mean you would not have the option to purchase additional images. Editing is time and time is valuable. So if we decide to do a “proof viewing” where you select the images I do a final edit on, you have the option to add more images beyond those included in the package for a per image fee.


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.


I don’t understand this full resolution digital download thing. Why do you charge for it?

Because my work and everything that is requisite to produce this work (time, equipment, skill) has value. 

I price my work based on the quality of the work I produce. I try to keep my prices as accessible to clients as possible. What I have done is removed anything from the package that drives the price up and hence why I go a la carte. Most clients want social media quality images to share as a bare minimum. Some want prints and frame them themselves. Some buy wall art. Some buy Wraps. Etc., etc. I make a small profit from each product sale and the majority of the price goes to the lab that produces these products. The lab uses the “Full Resolution” image file in the production of any tangible product you buy and I roll that into the final cost of the product. 

So if you decide to shop around and purchase products from other labs, they will also need the Full Resolution file. I’m not giving that away for free. It’s a product and it has value. Put another way, nobody needs the full resolution file for social media. It’s for prints and other print products. So again, if you buy from me, it’s included in any purchase for that product. If you bring your business elsewhere, I’m going to charge you for the file. 


















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