Standards and Procedures

The specifications on this page represent my published standards and are contractual. By hiring me to produce photographic imagery you agree to these terms and conditions.  Please read and fully understand them before hiring me or sending work to my studio.

Instructions for the Photographer

This applies to all work sent or brought to the studio to be shot without the artist in attendance.  Please mark individual items where necessary to indicate the side to be photographed, orientation, etc.  Written instruction, descriptions, and sketches are essential, especially for jewelry.  For groupings, please provide a sketch or photograph of the intended composition. If you do not provide me with specific instructions concerning side, orientation, background, composition, or any other aspect of the photography, I will assume you are allowing me to use my own creative judgement and will shoot the work in a style similar to other similar work I have shot in the past.  In that case, if you are unhappy with my choices and wish me to reshoot the images, it will be at your expense.

How I Charge for Photography

I bill by the hour, not by the piece.  I bill for however long it takes me to produce the images you order.  By hiring me to produce your photography, you agree to pay me for time used.  This includes time for proofing, time used to make changes or alterations to images at the artist’s request, time required to reshoot images (see below), and all Photoshop time used.  It is incumbent upon the artists to be as prepared as possible for the shoot, to know as clearly as possible what they want, and to express their wishes and expectations as clearly as possible in order to keep costs as low as possible.  I am happy to be as responsive to the artist as possible, but the artist needs to understand that while just about anything is possible in the realm of digital photography, the more changes, the more alterations, the more “tweaks,” the longer the process takes, and the more expensive it becomes.

Proofing

For photography created with the artist in attendance, proofing is on-the-spot.  For work sent to the studio, my standard procedure is to shoot the work and then send low-resolution images to the artist for review.  These images will be identical to the final master images in all aspects but resolution, and may be evaluated as indicative of the final images.  The artist will have the opportunity to evaluate the images according to how well the images conform to the written instructions supplied prior to the shoot, or whether or not the images meet industry standards.

The artist should also evaluate the images based on color, tonal range, background, etc.  Most of these can be easily adjusted in Photoshop and I am happy to make adjustments where needed and submit additional proofs.  The artist should keep in mind, however, that unless they are viewing the images on a properly calibrated monitor, there is no guarantee of the accuracy of what they are seeing concerning subtleties of light and shadow and color tonalities.  My entire viewing platform is professionally calibrated once a week, so that is the final arbiter.  If it looks right on my screen, it is right.  If the artist insists that I make changes to the images which I advise against, they assume full responsibility for those changes.

Re-Shooting

Based on the review of the email proofs, I will re-shoot images which fail to meet the proofing standard outlined above.  In other words, I will re-shoot an image at my expense which fails to conform to written instruction provided to me prior to the shoot.  For example, I will re-shoot an image at my expense wherein I have oriented a piece of jewelry incorrectly, but only if I was given explicit instruction as to orientation prior to the shoot.  I will not re-shoot an image at my expense simply because the artist “doesn’t like the image” or “wishes it was different” or “thought it would look better,” and if asked to re-shoot for these reasons I will expect to be paid for the time involved in reshooting.  Nor will I re-shoot an image at my expense because the photography has revealed defects which were not clearly visible to the naked eye, such as tool-marks or poor workmanship.  High-resolution digital photography is a close-up medium which can be very unforgiving.  Make sure your work can stand the scrutiny before you send it.  I am happy to re-shoot an image in these circumstances, but the artist will pay for the reshoot.

Image Editing

The artist should keep in mind that, unlike the “bad old days” of slides, where “what you see is what you get,” in the digital world it is possible to greatly enhance or alter an image without reshooting it.  I am happy to work with the artist to make adjustments, alterations, or enhancements to any image I produce.  However, the artist needs to keep in mind that time used for making adjustments, alterations, or enhancements at the artist’s request is billable time, and will be billed at standard rates.

For images to be used for juried competitions I will use every tool at my disposal to give you the very best images of your work.  However, your work will nonetheless be photographed “as it is.”  I will make no alterations of the work, including painting out imperfections, removing blemishes, enhancing colors, etc.  This is to maintain a level playing field for all artists, so that it is the art work which is being juried, not my skills in Photoshop.

I consider images to be used in other types of promotion, such as Web sites, brochures, cards, etc., to be traditional advertising.  For work of this type I will do whatever is requested of me concerning image editing, as is commonplace these days in all types of advertising.

Approval

It is my single goal to give you the best images of your work I can create. If you are unhappy with my work or my services please let me know promptly and I will do everything in my power to make it right. However, I also ask you, the artist, to understand that photography is an art form itself. I have many years of professional experience shooting works of art, and I have a certain style which I have worked out over many years which I believe is well suited to showing artwork to good effect. I bring this style to everything I shoot. Please review my work before you hire me and make sure my style is what you are looking for.

I cannot promise that I will see your work exactly as you do, only that I will see it and represent it well.  So I ask the artist to trust my judgement, and to judge my images based on how well they represent their work, not by whether or not I have created exactly the image they envisioned. I don’t promise perfection, and I don’t promise that my work will be exactly how it would be done if you had done it yourself. I only promise that I will create great images, of very high professional standards which a reasonable person will find satisfactory, and I require the artist not to withhold his or her reasonable satisfaction and approval.

Rights

In all cases, unless otherwise stipulated and agreed to in advance, final copyright to the images I produce is retained by me.  However, once the images are paid for, I transfer to the artist the rights to freely use the images I produce for them in any manner and medium they choose, without restriction, in perpetuity, and without further obligation to me, monetary or otherwise.

I simply ask that the artist make every reasonable effort to have me credited as photographer whenever my images are displayed or published, whether in print or on-line.  My preferred credits are “Photography by Jason Dowdle” or “Jason Dowdle — Photography”.  I also reserve to myself the right to use any images I produce for the sole and exclusive purpose of promoting myself and my business as a professional photographer.

Other than these simple reservations, the artist may consider that they own all necessary rights to their images, free and clear, and may use them as they see fit, without restriction.

The only reason I retain final copyright of my images is simply so I have standing, should I find that my images are being used inappropriately and/or without permission by a third party.  In the past I occasionally have found images I produced being used by third parties which fraudulently claimed to have produced the images themselves, or to have produced the artwork contained in the images.  Retaining final copyright gives me the right to order them to cease and desist, which protects both me and the artist.

Billing

My standard procedure is to receive payment when services are delivered. If you come to the studio for the shoot, I will be happy to give you a disk with the finished images on it and an invoice at the end of the shoot, and will expect to receive payment at that time. If you are sending work to the studio, I will send you review copies of the images by email for final approval. At that point I will expect payment, either by check or credit card.  When I receive payment I will forward final copies of the images and return the work to the artist.

Payment

I accept payment by check or credit card.  For credit card purchases I reserve the right to add on a 3% fee to cover the credit card processing costs.

Guarantee of Satisfaction

It is my goal to create images of the highest quality for artists.  It is also my goal to ensure that the artist is happy with their images.  For that reason I offer the following guarantee.  I guarantee that my work will be of the highest quality of which I am capable of producing, of a quality similar to the examples displayed elsewhere on this website.  I further guarantee that my work will be of a caliber and on a par with the work of other top professional photographers in the field of craft photography.  Should any of my work prove to fail to meet these standards, I will refund the cost of the photography to the artist.  This is my sole guarantee.