Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hold my requested session date & time?

I offer a limited number of photo sessions each week; and to hold the date and time you’ve requested I need a 50% deposit for all of my sessions, except the following do require full payment in full to book: the 30 Minute San Marino/Pasadena area Outdoor package, the Cosplay Convention portraits, the In Studio 30 Minute Portrait package, and any Hair & Make-up add ons.  The deposit is non-refundable; however, if you are unable to attend your session and have provided me at least 72 hours’ notice, I can reschedule your session one time. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that any payment for the Hair & Make-up add ons will be refundable if cancelled.

Where do you shoot?

For my studio sessions, I use several Southern California studios to offer locations that are convenient for my clients. I’m also available to come to many local offices for a session; and for my outdoor sessions I use several local parks.  

Regarding outdoor photo sessions, California has made it very difficult for photographers to shoot in public/private city, county, state and federal locations. I do not customarily purchase photography permits for sessions, because of the costs of involved for a permit; unless that is part of your photo package. If you would like to have a photo permit purchased for a specific location, please let me know so I can adjust your session price accordingly.  Otherwise, if we are asked to leave a location during our shoot together, you will receive all of the images taken up to that point; however, your session fee will not be refunded. If time permits, we can try to go to a secondary location to shoot additional photos for your session.

Does my session include hair & make up?

No, my standard photo sessions do not include a Hair and Make-up artist or a photo assistant. If you are interested in having a Hair and/or Make-up artist, please contact me so I can provide a list of people you can contact for an estimate.  

How long do sessions last?

I offer various sessions, depending your needs. All sessions lengths quoted includes your wardrobe changes and the set-up of any equipment, lights or backdrops and then the breakdown of the equipment. 

Is it ok if I bring someone with me to my photo session?  

Yes. It's always been my practice that you’re more than welcome to bring a friend, family member or significant other to your photo shoot. I always encourage a collaborative and comfortable atmosphere on location or in the studio.

How and when will I receive my images after our session?

The images from your photo session will be uploaded to a secure, password protected online gallery and will be made available for you to view to download for 4 weeks from your session date. The images will be 100% quality JPG files. In most cases, I will provide a link to your gallery within 24 to 48 hours after your session. For very large or group sessions, it can take up to 5 business days to receive all the images.  Just an FYI, since photographs from portrait photography sessions are usually delivered electronically via download, state sales tax is not collected. However, if you require physical products like thumb drives or receive printed photographs, California state sales tax is then applicable and calculated based on all fees/costs related to your portrait session.

How many photographs will I receive?

For all but my Cosplay packages, you will receive all the images from the session, excluding test, black or out of focus images. My 30 minutes packages typically include 50 to 150 images and the 60+ minute studio shoots usually include over 200 images. See the Cosplay photo packages to see the current number of images you will receive.

I forgot to download my images from my online gallery, how do I get my images now?

After 4 weeks and up to one year from your session date, there is a $20 fee to re-activate your gallery for an additional week so that the images can be downloaded. Once your payment has been received it can be up to 24 hours to have your gallery re-activated with your same link and password.   After one year, all photo session galleries are archived and there is a $50 fee to have your images re-loaded to a secure online gallery. Once your payment has been received, it can take up to 5 business days to have the images re-loaded to a new secure, online gallery that will be available for one week. A new gallery link and password will be sent to you.

What should I wear & will you tell me how to pose?

Since everyone is different, I can recommend clothing styles and colors during your phone consultation. And of course, I will help you with your posing during your session to make you look your best.

Do you offer image Retouching?

Yes, I do. The way I approach retouching, is to give my clients a healthy, natural look. Heavily retouched images look fake, and I try to find the natural balance for an image.  My Standard retouching includes: evening out complexion, brightening eyes, reducing dark circle and wrinkles, evening out shadows and bright areas, plus color blending for each image; teeth whitening, and beauty fixes to hair. Standard Photo retouching is only $20/image.  

 If your package includes a standard retouch image of your choice, you will have four weeks from receiving your gallery to request your free standard retouched image or the option is waived.  Standard retouching includes: evening out complexion, brightening eyes, teeth whitening, reducing dark circle and wrinkles, evening out shadows and bright areas.  Additional standard retouching only $20 per image. Anything outside of standard retouching is billed at $40 per image for specialized fixes or photoshop (turnaround time can be up to 72 hours per image)

Can you just Photoshop that out?

Yes, in many cases I can. If your image does need more extension work like additional background blurring, changes to the background, or replacement of the background; reducing & minimize glasses reflection, hot spots; body changes; or removal of extraneous items within the image. Any image where photoshop is requested will be handled on a case by case basis. Pricing starts at $40/image for Advanced Photo Retouching and can increase depending on the total work requested. Some items may not be able to be removed in a photo, because they may cause distortions within the image .

What if I need to cancel or reschedule?

If you need to reschedule a session or an event, please send an email to photos@markvfx.com at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled session day.  Your payment will not be refunded; however, we will reschedule your session upon a time that is convenient for both the photographer and the customer. You can only reschedule 1 time, otherwise your will lose your deposit/session fee and must pay the deposit/session fee again to rebook. A higher priced session maybe offered to you if you cancel. Cancellations with less than 72 hours will not be refunded; and you must repay the deposit /session fee to rebook your time.  

What happens if I’m running late to my photo session?

If you are late for your session you will only receive the time remaining for your scheduled time. In most cases I won’t be able to extend your session.  

What happens if I miss my session or don’t show up?

I cannot refund you if you miss your photo session, because I’ve already reserved my time for you and have turned down others for your time slot. 

What if I don’t like my pictures or where my session was held?

You are purchasing my time and expertise so there are no refunds once the photos are taken at the session.

You took my pictures; do I own the copyright?

Simply stated, no. Unless a Work for Hire contract has been signed prior to any photo sessions stating otherwise, the federal Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/) states that the photographer owns the copyrights to the photographs and not the client or model.

Can I use the image you took of me for commercial purposes?

Typically, the images included in many of my packages are only for your personal, non-commercial use, such as your LinkedIn, or personal social media profile. The images cannot be given to any 3rd parties or have any logos places on them. If you wish to use your images for commercial use, please email me at photos@markvfx.com for a revised quote or a license agreement.  

Actor/model’s you are granted the following limited license:

Self-promotional use by your agent and actor/model in his/her capacity as an actor including web, print, casting directories, agent mail outs and front of house by employers. The images can also be used for personal social media accounts. This does not include paid-for advertising, i.e. endorsements. All use is subject to accreditation.

Please note: any editorial placement must be cleared with me (Mark Edwards Photographer) prior to use. If a newspaper or magazine wishes to use your photos, please ask them to contact me to arrange a license agreement for usage. Often publications require a specific resolution or file output, which I can provide.  

Do you ever do TFP/TFS or Collaborations? 

Yes. I love to collaborate with models and make-up artists! If you would like to work with me I want to hear from you. Some of my most exciting work has come from collaborating with models, cosplayers, actors, and make-up artists. Models will just need to sign a model release for TFP/TFS and Collaborations.

Do you charge Sales Tax?

In most cases no. California state sales tax is not collected when you receive your photos delivered electronically via download. However, physical products like thumb drives, hard drives, CD’s (using your own or one purchased from Mark Edwards Photographer) or receive printed photographs, California state sales tax of 10.50% is then applicable and calculated based on all fees/costs related to your portrait session or package.

This document was last updated on April 28, 2019.