FAQ – PORTRAITS
Suggestions for your photo session
- For kids: Tell them you are going to the beach and “Uncle Beach” (David’s nickname) will be there to take some fun photos. From our experience that approach works better than “you have to smile for the photographer”.
- Make sure everyone has some water or juice and a bite to eat before the shoot.
- Use sunscreen on the days before the shoot (face very important).
- Be ready to have fun!
- Bring some water and snacks in case the kids need it.
- If there are any children who don’t walk yet please bring a blanket, towel or sheet (solid color best).
- A toy to get the small ones attention can be helpful.
- Bring some clips or hair bands in case it gets windy and back up clothes – the kids may decide to run in the ocean, or you get splashed a bit.
- Please do not use personal cameras and cell phones during the photo session. Everyone loves to jump next to the photographer and take the same shot. In that case people in front of the cameras will look in different directions instead of the photographers camera. We want to get the best quality photos – that’s what you hire us for.
Anyone under 18 years old has to be accompanied by an adult throughout the duration of the photo session.
Please let us know if anyone in the family has special needs for example: grandma cannot walk on uneven ground, grandpa does not hear very well, Uncle Tom does not like his photos taken, ….. this way we are prepared and can plan accordingly.
Why book us?
- We love what we do – and it shows in our products and interaction with our clients – in front of the camera and behind the computer. Some kids consider a photo session with Uncle Beach (David) as their favorite activity on their trip. For some we become a family tradition, not just a documentation. They come back to share their experience with their friends, extended family and the next generation. Year after year. It is the greatest honor.
- We enjoy working with all our clients: No matter if you are concerned about the little ones not wanting their photo to be taken or grandpa would rather be on a boat. We want everyone to go home with beautiful photographs capturing the family’s story and create an unforgettable photo session experience.
- I am a talker, I like to engage with my clients. We get to know each other which makes for a great comfortable low key fun session.
- Best customer service: We treat you the way we want to be treated and make you part of our Ohana (family). That means prompt and excellent customer service before and after your photo session and any help you need in-between. We enjoy making the whole process for everyone easy and share our Aloha.
- Fast turnaround time: Sneak peek of photos within 24 hours. All photos available online within 1-2 weeks. We value your time and every client is important to us.
- Always open to feedback and learning to improve our business.
- Experience: We have been in the business for over 30 years, we are full time insured professionals and we know the best locations that would fit your needs.
- Our latest testimonials speak for themselves: Please check them out here.
Covid-19: Traveling and booking a portrait photo session
What are the current Covid-19 regulations?
Make sure to check out the current Coronavirus regulations in Hawaii before you book your photo session.
County of Hawaii information (Big Island specific)
Face masks are mandatory for all participants (except while posing for a photo). Please bring your own hand sanitizer and respect the social distancing rules.
How do we book a photo session? Once you decided on the date and time we will set up a contract for you. After you reviewed and approved the contract online we would need a 50% retainer to hold the date (credit card or paypal). The photo agreement includes package information, location, timeline, payment schedule…everything is spelled out, there are no hidden fees or any surprises.
*Because of Covid-19 and changing travel restrictions we currently do not require a retainer payment ahead of time.*
When do we pay the balance? The open balance is due on the date of the photo session. We prefer not to worry about the balance at the photo shoot. You can pay ahead of time or after the photo session.
What payment options are available? Cash, check, paypal, credit card – we are flexible. We do have a secure payment site or you provide the credit card information over the phone.
What are your portrait rates? We have a minimum of 1 hour. The fee depends on the number of participants and the time needed. Our prices are based on our over 30 year experience in professional photography, equipment, service and quality of our product. 100% guaranteed.
Please use this form for pricing information.
Do you offer discounts? We offer discounts for returning clients, members of the military or Kama’aina – permanent residents of Hawaii. (ID required).
Why should I book the session ahead of time? We book “regulars” a year in advance and there is only one sunset a day. Specifically the holiday seasons and summer vacation times get booked fast as well.
Cancellation: Please cancel as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days before the photo session to receive your retainer payment back. If you do not show up for the photo session it is your responsibility to pay the open balance.
*Because of Covid-19 the cancellation policy has been adjusted to 24 hours.*
Timing – photo location – weather
Timing: What time is good for the photo sessions? If you are visiting we suggest to book the photo session rather for the beginning of the trip, then the end. For the best light we offer photo sessions at sunset (around 5/6pm – depending on the time of the year). We know you are on a “vacation schedule”, but especially for sunset sessions it is important that we start on time. Being on time is great, no need to be there earlier. If you run late please call or text us at 808 938 7321.
Duration – How long is a photo session? For senior portraits, couple or family photos we do have a minimum of 1 hour to provide quality time. For groups of 12 or more it depends on the family’s needs (what photos are needed, ages of participants…) if we suggest to extend the shoot to 1.5 to 2 hours.
Locations: Where will the photo session take place? We suggest a beach close to your location or if you are at a resort we can photograph on the grounds. We have insurance at all properties. We stay at one location but move around in that area to provide different backgrounds (ocean, green foliage, lava rocks…). The location does not to be locked in when you book us but make sure you are staying in our area (Big Island of Hawaii – Kona coast – west side of the island: Keauhou, Kona, Holualoa, Waikoloa, Puako,…). Check out the locations on our blog. Enter the name in the search window on that site – for example: Old airport beach park and click on search. Some locations require a beach permit that we will get for you.
Where exactly do we meet? We will suggest a spot and send directions. If the photo session is at hotel we will check with the event planners if there are any weddings or events going on so we can pick another area on property.
Weather: What happens if it rains? 99% of our photo sessions are on the beach and it hardly ever happens that it rains. If it rains we would try to re-schedule or change to a different location. If for some reason we cannot do the photo session due to the weather situation we will refund the retainer payment a 100%.
Travel fee: There are no fees within the Kohala Coast-Waikola-Kona-Keauhou-Captain Cook area. For photo sessions in Hilo or other islands we only accept all day bookings for weddings. Travel cost include airfare, car rental, fuel, hotel, parking.
Outfit – props – styling
Props: If there is something that you would like to include in some of the photos share it with us ahead of time so we can bring the equipment that works best for that purpose. A prop can be a favorite baseball jersey, Santa hats, guitar, funny sunglasses for everyone, baby shoes for the unborn baby… – anything that makes sense to your family or the occasion. Leis are also available at a lot of stores (like Target in Kona, Costco, Safeway or KTA…) or check with the concierge at your resort.
Outfit: Most important is that everyone feels comfortable in the clothes and has tried them on ahead of time. Especially if you just bought a new outfit or if it was not worn in a while. Tops with short sleeves and skirts/shorts that are knee length (or longer) are often the better choice – keep in mind you will be sitting down, move around…Skirts or dresses should flare out to be comfortable and to provide coverage when sitting down. Be aware of any straps that could show, tattoos you want to cover…It often helps to check out photos on the website to see what kind of outfits you like. Or look on your own family photos from the past.
If you are looking for classic Aloha wear we would suggest to check out Reyn Spooner.
Style: It is up to you – we want you to feel and look comfortable. Keep in mind that the latest styling trend is great now but it might look different in 10 years and you do not enjoy the photo as much anymore (everyone knows how the 70ies and 80ies looked like). You can’t go wrong with a simple and “classic” style. It’s about “faces” not fashion. For shoes: plan on being barefoot as it is the most natural look for the beach. Please do not bring any expensive shoes to the beach (sand and ocean can damage them).
Color and pattern: We want to draw the attention in the photo to your faces and the beautiful Hawaiian background – avoid the distractions of busy patterns, stripes, polka dot, logos, neon…. One color or color scheme is a good choice (for example: different shades of blue for the tops and khaki on the bottom…). In general neutral and colors are better as they don’t compete with the Hawaiian background.
You can also select a “key piece” with multiple colors and use individual colors from that outfit for the rest of the family. If only one in the family wears a different bright color or white, that person will stand out and dominate the photo. If you choose different styles of shirts, skirts or dresses but the same color scheme it looks more casual. It does not need to be a 100% matching.
Can we change our outfit? Yes, for senior portrait or engagement sessions. Please bring a big towel in case there is no bathroom/changing area close by. For family photos we do not recommend it.
Back up outfit: We usually have fun on the beach and sometimes our clients like to get wet or the little ones play with the sand. Have backup outfits in the car– just in case.
Accessories: Stay away from big jewelry, loud colors on nails and lips, big hats,…. In general simplicity is the best as it is about you and the Hawaiian background.
Bringing cameras and phones: Please do not use personal cameras and cell phones during the photo session. Everyone loves to jump next to the photographer and take the same great shot. The problem is that the people in front of the cameras will look in different directions instead of the photographers camera. I am sure your family wants to have the best possible photos. Therefore it is a big help if the photographer is the only one taking the photos. It will also save you a lot of time as well, getting the perfect shot right away.
Photo list: For family photos with 10 or more participants we suggest to come up with a short photo list of any groupings and combinations of photos you like (grandparents with grandkids, each individual family, ….) We will provide suggestions and guidelines to help. Please assign someone in the group to be in charge of the list. This way everything will run smoothly and no photos are missed.
Glasses: Should I wear my glasses? If no one would recognize you without glasses, you want to wear glasses – however, the glare on glasses can detract from your eyes in photos. You can have your lenses removed from your frames, ask your eye doctor to loan you a pair of similar frames, or you can also visit an inexpensive company online and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames.
For those who wear transition/adaptive lenses we highly recommend to bring a pair of “regular” glasses that don’t darken in the bright light. (If you don’t have regular ones you can buy cheap over the counter ones that you can use during the photo session). This way the eyes and facial expression are visible and the dark glasses won’t “stand out”.
Hair and Makeup: Be ready to put your hair up or pull it together in case of upcoming wind. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories. Haircuts should be done 1-2 weeks before the photo session. Makeup should be light, simple and match your skin tone. If you don’t normally wear makeup you might want a bit of powder or lip gloss. Keep the lips moisturized. Most important – you feel comfortable and good. If you tend to have oily skin/shiny spots on the face get some blotching paper at your drug store. It absorbs excess facial oil and you can use it in between.
Photo specifics and technical questions
Sample photos: Yes, please share a handful of photos you like with us. That gives us an idea which direction to go. Be aware that the lighting during our shoot might be completely different and if the samples are candid shots, it is difficult trying to re-create those natural, spontaneous moments from others. We will capture your own personal ones that reflect you and your families personalities and dynamics.
Will I see all photos taken? You will see a final selection with the best photos. We love what we do and take hundreds of photos. Since not all of them are perfect (eyes closed, someone in background….) we will go through each and every one and use the ones we choose for final editing.
Viewing your photos – turnaround time: How long does it take to see the photos? 10+ years ago it took 3 weeks for us to deliver photos. Now in today’s world of fast technology we deliver a sampling overnight and the rest within 2 weeks max. We guarantee it. When the photos are ready you will receive a unique password protected link to your own photo website where all edited images are posted. You can share the photos with everyone you like. Just forward them the link and the password.
We do not provide “handover of memory cards” or 24 hour rush service. We do not want to compromise quality for fast processing.
Digital file format: What are digital negatives/files? If your package includes digital files you will receive a link (through email) to download individual jpg files directly to your computer. This is the most common format for photos used by all photo labs and readable by all computers and mobile devices. Everyone in the family can see and download photos at their convenience within a certain time frame.
Printing your own photos: Can I print photos myself? Yes, the jpg files are full size, high resolution images. There is no logo/watermark or text on the images. You will also receive a photo release that allows you to print your own photos, enlargements, holiday cards…. at the photo lab of your choice. The photos cannot be used commercially (newspaper ad, …) without our permission (photo credit needs to be provided, no exceptions).
Ordering and printing photos: Can I or family members and friends order professional photos? Yes, you can place the order on your private photo website or email us directly. All photos will go individually through quality control and are printed by a professional photo lab.
Low resolution warning when trying to get photos printed: Make sure that you download the images you received from us to your computer (They are all high resolution, full size images that can be printed and enlarged). If they are downloaded on the mobile phone or tablet, the photos often get resized/compressed and that causes the low resolution warning. If downloading to your computer does not change contact your photo lab and ask them if there is a setting on their site that might resize them during the upload.
Cropping your photos: If you want to crop your photos (for example change a 8×12 format to a 8×10 size) and something gets cut off in the photo contact us and we can check if the cropping would work with the original image file. Please contact us through email email@example.com and provide image number and the photo size you need.
Photographer and equipment: Who is my photographer and what equipment is used? David O. Baldwin is your photographer – he is the owner of this company and a 100% full time professional. We shoot mostly with a Canon EOS-1D X and a 6D. Our professional lenses include wide angel, fixed prime lenses as well as telephoto lens (zoom). Our equipment also includes flashes, reflectors and additional equipment if needed. Anyone can take a snap shot but what we do is different. Our high end cameras and lenses let you blow up super sharp and well lit prints that cannot be done with a smartphone. We do carry liability and equipment insurance.
What are candid photos? Candids show everyone engaged or interacting with each other, not looking at the camera. Talking to each other, having fun, playing, joking, throwing rocks, …. allows us to capture the dynamic, connections and emotions in the family in a natural way. We provide a mix of some traditional portrait and candid photography. To get a good selection of candid shots we would suggest to add 30 minutes to your photo session.
Post-processing/editing: What kind of photo editing is included? Your package includes standard post-processing. That means we sort out photos with not flattering expressions. We also adjust exposure, basic cropping, sort your photos and put them in separate folders/categories for easy review. Once finished the photos are uploaded to your protected personal photo site. Any personal photoshop is an additional charge.
Photoshop: We can remove blemishes, shine on face, take glare off glasses, touch up lines around the eyes … Our goal is to keep a natural look and not “over-process” a photo. We charge custom photoshop work per image, based the complexity. Before you request photoshop work we suggest that you go through the photos and pick your absolute favorites.
Watermark/Text on the photos: Will my photos say the photographers name on it or their logo? No, the final images that you download will have no watermark, text or logo on them. You only see the name on the photos posted online.
My login is not working (anymore)? Please close your browser and re-open, try to use the link and password we provided again. For a personal password you set up you can choose to “reset” it. If you still cannot access them please email us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Why can I not access my photos anymore? The photos will be online for 30 days after publishing and we will send you a reminder before the time is over as well. Your photos can be posted longer for an additional $ 30 per month. The reason why they are not online “forever” is, that photos take up storage space and the more we have, the more it costs us to keep them posted online.
How long do you keep my photos stored? We guarantee to have your photos stored for 6 months.
Privacy and photo protection: We do not forward or sell your contact information. If you prefer your photos not to be posted online for everyone to see, please let us know in advance. We respect your privacy and put it in writing in your photo agreement.