DO YOU ONLY PHOTOGRAPH WOMEN?
Women do take priority for me, after years of being both raised with and nurtured by both matriarchs and sisterhood. I do, however, also love to show as many sides as possible to men. I believe that strength and stoicism are wonderful in camera, but so is softness and joy. I also welcome non-binary identifying folk to approach me for portraits when they feel ready.
DO YOU ONLY PHOTOGRAPH BLACK PEOPLE?
Similarly to the previous answer, melanin comes first. I adore movies, television and learning about the many cultures across the globe. Being raised beneath a Eurocentric standard has given me greater thirst for seeing magazine and silver screen treatment come to people who look like me.
DO YOU cover PARTIES & EVENTS?
My primary focus is found in portraits, boudoir and headshots. The only events that I cover are weddings.
If you are looking for coverage, please contact me directly, as due to a brand separation, I am no longer offering those services under this umbrella.
If you were introduced to Neat Shiny Owl through weddings and engagements, or if you were a client previously given those services, thank you. You are more appreciated than I can convey!
HOW MUCH DO PORTRAITS COST?
Headshots begin at the $450 mark. Portrait sessions start at $750. Clients will typically spend upwards of $1700 for both photography services as well as physical goods following their session.
AREN'T PORTRAITS AND HEADSHOTS THE SAME THING?
Headshots are very often less stylized, no matter what photographer you end up choosing. They tend to be that way to be versatile for LinkedIn profiles, speaking engagements, or other informational content that need to feature the face clearly and brightly. While portraits can also have minimal stylization, they more often will vary in appearance.
DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?
Absolutely! Headshots do require payment in full at base value. All other portrait sessions require a non-refundable 50% deposit to book and secure date(s), followed by 25% the day before the session and the remaining 25% after your images are completed.
DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY AND FRIENDS DISCOUNT?
No. Apart from limited specials held throughout the year, there are virtually no discounts of any kind.
HOW LONG DOES A SESSION TAKE?
Our portrait sessions together can last anywhere from 4-6 hours with half-day bookings or 8-10 hours for full days (with lunch). Headshot sessions, conversely, are usually only 1-2 hours.
HOW MANY LOOKS CAN I DO?
Aim for no less than two distinct looks in your wardrobe. While each of those can be tweaked, still bring as many as you feel you can squeeze into the amount of time you've paid for. Most importantly, come prepared to have fun!
WHAT IS YOUR TURNAROUND TIME?
The average wait time for half and full-day sessions are three weeks. During busier seasons, this can grow to four weeks -- in either case, you will be updated at our earliest available opportunity so that you know what to expect.
CAN YOU PHOTOGRAPH ME FOR FREE?
We do free work all the time! Several times throughout the year, we design fun and intense portrait projects to flex new muscles and share with our audience what awesome things are arresting our attention at the time. For those, we usually reach out to folks ourselves. Apart from these projects, we will, on a limited basis, accept very cool projects that we are approached for, especially if it's something that we've not done yet.
DO YOU DELIVER RAW FILES?
No, we do not. As a matter of policy, every file delivered to you for digital and print media use is carefully culled, color corrected, color graded, retouched, and sharpened. Anything less is a poor representation of Neat Shiny Owl as a brand and a disservice to you, the client, investing any amount for any service you choose us for.
HOW/WHEN DO I GET MY IMAGES?
The standard edit window is three to five weeks. During busier client seasons, this can expand into four to six weeks. In either case, you will be informed at the close of your session and during the editing process so you never have to guess.
IF I WANT MY PHOTOS FASTER, HOW SOON CAN I GET THEM?
We (Anthony and friends) are happy to accommodate faster editing services for additional charges. The soonest we are able to deliver the quality you expect Neat Shiny Owl is approximately 1.5 weeks. Any sooner than that will cause the work to suffer.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK MY SESSION?
Ideally, six weeks is desired to ensure that materials, travel arrangements and accomodations are gathered in a timely manner leading up to your session. Depending on the ask of your portraits, materials can include wardrobe, photographic equipment not already owned by Neat Shiny Owl and/or props, venue permits or other temporary licenses. If your session is not on location and does not require travel outside of the DMV, most planning can be completed in just four weeks.
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE MY MAKEUP?
Say something. Who's gonna look at you sideways? Not me. Not us. Most of the success of Neat Shiny Owl as a brand is carefully crafting an experience that can only be described as enjoyable if not unassumingly pleasant. If you don't like the way you look, it will reflect in your portraits and there's no amount of editing wizardry that can be done to fix that. Not even with the Photoshop neural filters. And those are scarily good. Help us make your experience as amazing as it can be by being transparent and vulnerable and we will never judge you for it. If you have a last minute project, please reach out anyway so we can either refer you or see if you can be accommodated by us.
WHAT IF I NEVER WEAR MAKEUP?
If you want to forego wearing any makeup, especially if the purpose of your photo session is to reconnect with yourself as you are, please communicate this with your photographer! Alternatively, especially in the case of men, you'd be surprised what a little bit of makeup can do and how invisible corrective makeup can be for skin!
I HAVE 3A - 4C HAIR: WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT STYLING?
The struggle. It's no secret that the curlier and kinkier the hair is, the more time it will take to manage it. For more intricate braids and protective styles we do encourage you to have it done either one or two days prior to your session. Short haircuts can be done as soon as the morning of. Straighter hair types can also be done closer to your session, but please do not overbook your time and travel to prevent your hair appointment from making you late to your session. Once you arrive, we are able to make stylistic tweaks to your crown with props, flowers, scrunchies and glitter (oh no, not glitter...).
CAN YOU EDIT MY FACE/BODY?
Every single image you receive is carefully color corrected and graded, cropped for print and social media and sharpened for optimal viewing. I do also smooth skin and remove blemishes, being carful to avoid most scars and features that help make you you. While I also do minor body modification, most of the flattery happens in camera during your session.
I DON’T MODEL, I’M FAT, I’M AWKWARD WITH POSING & I’M NOT PHOTOGENIC.
So: If you don't model, that's ok. If you're fat, that's ok. If you're awkward, we're mostly introverted over here so join us. If you're saying you're not photogenic, you've been lied to. If you're just worried about posing, that's something you don't need to do since it's literally our job to worry about that for you. If you are thinking or feeling any of these aforementioned things and feel that they equate to you being ugly, you're again mistaken. If you ARE, in fact, ugly: that's usually an internal thing and not an external thing. Ugly people have historically been photographed and accepted as beautiful in pictures. You have nothing to worry about!
CAN YOU MAKE ME LOOK…
Go back and reread the response about fat awkward and un-photogenic non-models. Hint: the most recent question wasn't a question at all. It was a slew of worry vomit.
Because people wanna know stuff.
Whether you're looking for a headshot photographer, or you value the semi-lost art that is portraiture, we hope these answers will persuade you to choose Neat Shiny Owl for your next beauty, boudoir, comp-card or heirloom portrait needs!