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FAQs

I’ve seen you on Facebook and your website, and I LOVE your work!  How do I find out more pricing information or book a session / wedding?

First of all, thank you for following my work and loving what I do!  You can click the “Contact Me” link above, fill out the form, and submit it.  Or you can opt to simply shoot me an e-mail to jessica@jessicaleighhood.com.  As outdated as it seems compared to FB, Twitter, and e-mailing, you can always give me a call at (276) 275-4226 at anytime.  From there we will privately discuss your wedding coverage or artistic portraiture desires, determine availability, and set a date for your upcoming session or event.

Can I book a session with you or receive pricing information via Facebook?

While FB is a fantastic marketing tool, great way for me to share my work with my fans, and a wonderful place for my clients to share photos that I’ve taken of them with their family and friends, it is not always the most reliable form of communication.  FB is trendy, so it’s always changing.  You never know.  In no time, FB may be “uncool” and a thing of the past.  Sometimes private FB messages do not go through properly, get lost in the mountains of private message inquiries that I receive, or simply get overlooked because of the continually changing FB layouts.  I send all pricing information via e-mail so that I 1) have a record of the document I e-mailed you, 2) can quickly know when it was sent, and 3) have your e-mail address on file for future communication.

How would you describe your photography style?

Taken directly from my “Who’s That Photographer?” page:

I enjoy shooting from unique angles while maintaining a classic elegance to compose the perfect shot.  I specialize in on-location photography, taking advantage of both natural light settings and creative indoor ambience.  I love bright colors, slightly aged photos, black & white images, modern poses, little details, touching moments, true emotion, and unique locations.   I take a candid approach to my photography with the goal of capturing true love and romance, real self-expression, pure bliss, the “family essence”, and childhood innocence.  While I enjoy the more traditional posed images, I am truly passionate about seizing those moments of natural interaction.  I create artistic, modern images with a lots of emotion, tons of creativity, and we all have tons of fun in the process!

What could be more emotional than a marriage ceremony or the birth of a child?  Nothing!  I specialize in all things wedding-related, birth-related, and family-related.  I want to uniquely capture that look of absolute romance and desire on your wedding day.  I want to see that moment of pure love in the delivery room when you lay eyes on your baby for the first time.  I want to capture those laughs, smiles, and heart-warming moments in still-frame as you play with your children.  These are the things that life is all about, and I want that to be what my photography is all about – LIFE and all it’s most precious moments!

So I planned ahead and got on your calendar.  Yay!!!  Now what do I do?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being an early planner!  My calendar fills up pretty far in advance, and as much as I would love to do everything for everyone, I simply can’t.  So, what can you expect?

Families: We’ve set a date for your artistic portrait session, whether it be for your family, your children, your blossoming belly, your new addition, etc.  Your session fee must be paid in full on or before your session date.  If you’d like to set up a payment plan or pay via PayPal, feel free to discuss that with me.  I’m super flexible when it comes to payment options, so don’t hesitate to ask.  You may have questions in regards to choosing attire, selecting a venue, and deciding on a style for your session images.  We’ll entertain all these categories in order to plan a session that’s incredibly unique, suits the style you’re seeking, showcases everyone’s personalities, captures true emotion, and gives you everything you have in mind and even more that you don’t realize you want!

Brides: If I “tentatively” marked my calendar with your wedding date, I will need to receive your 25% retainer in order to make your tentative booking “official”, thus making me completely unavailable to anyone else on your big wedding day.  We will schedule a Pre-Wedding Consult to discuss your full-coverage wedding day photography desires / needs so that I provide you with the perfect images from your big day!  During the consult, we’ll review the contract, discuss wedding details, schedule wedding-related sessions (engagements, bridals, and/or boudoir), and plan a photography timeline of shooting.  Our journey begins with detailed-oriented, OCD planning – just what I love!!!

What are my payment options for services and products?

JLH Photography accepts payments in the form of cash, check, money order, or secure credit / debit card payment through PayPal.  As I previously mentioned, I try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to payment.  You can make arrangements with me for partial payments at your own discretion, monthly invoices, or to pay in lump sum.

I know the service fees for my session / event, and I’m agreeable to them.  However, what all do those fees give me?

My service fees for all shooting cover the cost of my shooting time itself, travelling time and expenses (within a 30 mile radius), my personally creative approach and composition of your images, full professional editing and post processing, creative blogging to share your pictures and experience, convenient online gallery hosting for viewing and ordering your images, and access to the best quality and most modern variety of photo products on today’s market.

I live an hour away from you.  I’m having my wedding in the Tri-Cities.  I’m having a “destination wedding”.  Do you travel anywhere?

Yes, I travel to any destination!  However, there is a travel fee outside of a 30-mile radius from Wise, Virginia.  The travel fee is based on the round-trip mileage, set session or wedding time, and time-length that I will be shooting for you.  These factors will determine whether travelling will be only a day trip or will include an overnight stay.  All these factors will determine the travel fee cost, and I can provide you a quote for this prior to your booking, if necessary.

Is there a limit to the number of photos you take, the number of clothing changes  we’re allowed, or the number of locations we shoot at?  What about the number of images in my final gallery?

The answer is no, no, and no.  I shoot an undetermined number of photos during any session or event.  You are not restricted to stay at a certain number of images.  As long as our session remains within the time frame allotted, you can alter your wardrobe and change locations as much as you want.  Both of these factors will eat into your time some, but as long as we plan accordingly for those, we’ll work in as much into your session as possible.

I just had an AMAZING session with you.  Now what?

The editing schedule for JLH Photography is as follows:

Full Coverage Weddings – 6 to 8 weeks

Lifestyle Portrait Sessions - 2 to 4 weeks

Depending on what time of year your session or event falls, these times may vary.  Please know that I work diligently to digitally process, post TEASER images on FB and the blog, and host the full online gallery on my website for you as quickly as possible.  I want you to have your images because I’m just as excited about them as you are!  However, I also want to take my time and provide impecable attention to each gallery of images I create.  I do try to expedite the editing process for births and newborns, making sure that these images are finished within about a 2-week period.  The reason that I do this is because our sweet newborn babes change so very quickly and look totally different even by the time their gallery hosts.  No matter what type of photography I’m providing you with, you’ll receive preview images on FB and the blog and a full password-protected online gallery with access to amazing custom products on my website.

Now that my gallery is ready, how do I get prints and custom photo products?

Standard and artistic print sizes (and finishing) can be ordered directly on my website by accessing your personal gallery.  Standard sizes range from 3.5 x 5 up to 24×36.  There are also some other “point and click” products that can be added to your cart there as well, including standouts, traditional and floating canvas gallery wraps, digital media, specialty holiday ornaments, etc. The custom photo products often require so many different design specifications that it makes the ”point and click” method too confusing and cumbersome.  Please contact me personally to talk about designing an amazing custom photo product that you’ve seen available through JLH Photography!

So what are these custom photo products that you offer?

Check out my Client Viewing & Ordering system and select the “Product Samples” gallery to view the many options for custom-designed photo products I have available.

Is JLH Photography a one-woman show, or do you have associate photographers or employees?

I currently do not have anyone employed with JLH Photography.  I steer this ship entirely on my own, and my hands touch every thing that is done!  Future expanision is possible for the near future.  However, I do have other self-employed photographers that I work with on a regular basis.  It’s not often that I need an additional photographer, except for weddings.  If you’d like to have multiple photographers on your wedding day, that is no problem!  I actually find it incredibly beneficial, especially during the ceremony time and a portion of the reception.  We can discuss the pros and cons during your Pre-Wedding Consultation to determine whether a second-shooter is right for you.

There are lots of photographers that “take pictures and then give me a CD of images” to print on my own.  Do you ever sell the copyrights to your images, or can I purchase a digital package?

Let me explain something first: There is an upward trend right now with photography, and it’s important to know and understand the difference between two different types that are saturating the market – PROFESSIONALS and HOBBYISTS.  In this day and age, you can purchase a good DSLR camera with decent lenses for under $1000.  With the affordable costs of a “good camera”, along with people’s encouraging words about a candid someone snapped, everyone wants to make money with a “photography business” these days.  However, there’s a big difference in someone doing this professionally and others doing it as a side job or as just a hobby.  Professionals do it legally by filing sales tax, pay self employment tax, file all the necessary paperwork, sometimes have employees, work with vendors, provide products, and use professional grade equipment and software.  Hobbyists are not filing taxes, often give away CDs with their sessions, don’t file any legal paperwork in regards to a business name in the local economy, and they still want to “compete” with those that do.  While this works for them, it creates something difficult for those trying to do it professionally.  I often have to explain why you don’t receive rights to high resolution images with your session.  To me, part of my service is the print itself.  If someone takes my high resoultion images, prints them at Walmart, and then gets asked “Who took that?”, I’m clueless as to what the print actually looks at.  My name is associated with a print that I’ve never seen before and cannot vouch for the quality.  All non-custom photography vendors color correct, so it may not look like anything that I edited.  That’s big for me, and I value my work from the time I shoot the RAW file, to the moment I hand you a print that hangs on your wall forever.  I do, however, offer a record-set CD of images from your session, and these are included with all weddings.  They are web-sized images at 72 dpi for record keeping, quick e-mailing, posting to FB, etc.

I do sell the rights to use my images for marketing purposes for commercial clients ONLY.  Commercial clients are often creating billboads, flyers, websites, blogs, postcard mailings, business cards, etc. that will require the usage of my images.  There are some circumstances that I will allow you to use the images I shoot for your own personal use, such as on Christmas cards, for announcements in the newspaper, birthday invitations, etc.

What exactly is a copyright?
The U.S. Constitution and the Federal Copyright Act give “copyright” protection to “authors” for their “original works,” such as photographs.  Among the protections that copyright owners have are the exclusive rights to: make copies of the work, prepare other works based on the original, distribute copies of the work to the public by sale, rental, lease, or lending, and to publicly perform and display the work.  These rights are protected by laws which provide for damages and criminal penalties for violations.  Both the customer and the lab that violates copyright are subject to the law.

In regards to copyright laws, who owns what?

The law says the “author” is the owner of the copyright.  The author of a photo or image is the person who snapped the shutter or created the image.  If you took the photo, you own the copyright.  If a professional photographer took the photo for you, then he / she owns the copyright.  If you decide to purchase the digital negatives from your session, you own the right to make unlimited reproductions of the images for personal use only.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to burn the images to a CD and give them to your clients?  Why all the fuss with “retaining rights”?
The primary reason is economic.  I invest a great deal of time and creative energy into creating the experience, idea, theme, setting, pose, lighting, background, and extra shots to get the right one.  I have priced our session fees taking into account the fact that our customers will be purchasing their prints and products from me after the session.  If the prints are obtained elsewhere, I lose the opportunity to recover funds for the effort expended.  So, you’re saying that it’s all about making more money?  Certainly not!  It’s about the many hours that go into making a photo session, wedding, or other specialty event fabulous…both what you see me shoot and what I do behind the scenes.  I am also very concerned about my artistic integrity.  Since the JLH Photography name is associated with the photos, I want complete quality control over the quality of the products and prints.  Many people have no idea about copyright and think since they paid us to take a picture of them that they own the copyright.  This is far from true.  While you own the prints you purchased, you do not own the right to copy the work in any way.

Can you get fined for copyright infringement?
Fines for copyright infringement now exceed $150,000 U.S. dollars (per infringement).  In other words, if someone steals an image that they did not produce and publishes it or reproduces it without the copyright owner’s consent, then they are liable and could be fined up to $150,000 for each violation.

What is the trend of “custom photography”, and how do I know if this style is right for me?

I could talk about this subject for days, but this blog post on custom photography really sums it up from an industry standpoint.  In one sentence, I would describe custom photography as: “A unique, modern approach to photographing life’s biggest and most intimate moments, while at the same time showing off your personal style, making creative use of natural light, and having a fabulous time in the process!”

In a world with tons of photographers, why should you choose Jessica Leigh Hood Photography?

Simple answer.  You just can’t get enough of my photos!!!  In all sincerity, I hope that you DO love my work, keep up with my blog, follow / stalk me on Facebook, and want to have me photograph the biggest moments of your life.  Of course I want that!  However, I also want you to choose me as your photographer because you love life as it is, enjoy real emotion, and want to remember the precious times and details in still frame that quickly fade from our daily memories.  Aside from my work itself, I want you to love ME!  The relationships I maintain with my clients are so important to me.  I love feeling like I’m a part of my clients’ lives, so much that it no longer feels appropriate to give them the “client title”.  Thank you for inviting me into your homes, allowing me to interact with and feel like a part of your family, and trusting me to capture the most important events and moments of your lives!  I often tell my brides that by the time their wedding day arrives, I want them to feel like they have a friend photographing their wedding, and not just a photographer that they’ve hired as one of their wedding vendors.  That sums it up perfectly!  I hope you choose me because I’m more than just your photographer…I am a true friend to you in the process and for years to come!