Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of equipment do you use - Film or Digital?
While I do still have some of my film gear left, I shoot everything 100% digitally these days.

What kind of equipment do you use?
All of my cameras, lenses, and flashes are Nikon - I have various lights in my studio, along with a whole host of accessories, light modifiers, etc.

For processing images digitally, I work on a Windows-based PC that has a color calibrated monitor to ensure my colors are accurate – this aids in both digital images and in print.

Will my photos be in color or black and white?
That really depends on you. I typically use my artistic judgment to convert some images to black and white, or sepia, or even vintage looking – but I try to get a feel for what you are looking for. If you want a certain image in black and white, I will happily convert it, and vise versa. I’m a huge fan of black and white, and I always try to include a few in each package.

How much processing or "touch ups" do you do?
This depends on the assignment. For a lot of my work, I’ll remove blemishes, smooth skin, adjust colors and contrast, and even remove an out of place object. However, I typically don’t do edits to the images that fundamentally alter someone’s appearance. I’m of the opinion that you should be able to look at a photo and think you look great, without knowing exactly what enhancements may have been done – it needs to look natural.

Can I get the digital files?
Yes, most all of my packages include the full resolution digital files.

Do I get ALL the images?
Well, no. Part of the reason you hired me is not only to take the best photos, but to provide you with the best photos of the bunch. Typically I will edit through the photos I take and will provide the ones I think are the best. Depending on the assignment, I will occasionally go through all the images with a client so they can help me pick out what they think are the best images. Once the best images are selected, I work some of my processing magic on them to deliver the highest quality images possible.

Can I make prints anywhere?
Just about - but the quality can be hit and miss. I prefer to have all my personal work printed through my professional lab.

Why should I buy prints from you?
To some, this is a subjective question. As I mentioned above, you can get images printed just about anywhere these days from the drug store to Costco. What you don’t always get is the quality. I work with one of the best professional labs in the country – their work is top notch, and they use real Kodak photo paper. If you put is side by side with a photo printed somewhere else, you can definitely tell the difference.

How would you describe your style?
Aside from constantly evolving? I think I'd say I'm a combination of traditional and modern. I cover all the "basics" But I'd like to think my photos have a modern "journalistic" flair to them.

How is your pricing structured?
Pricing is based on hours of coverage. I have a couple of standard packages with "buckets" of hours. Each package includes the consultation session/engagement session, files, and prints - the prints vary based on the package. If one of my packages doesn't fit your need, I can generally customize one to fit the coverage needed, or your budget.

We don't want formals...are you okay with that?
Sure - but in my experience, 10 years from now you won't be - and neither will your parents. I've found that people really do like having the formal photos, even if they are a little less formal. No one likes standing still for these, but I try to find creative ways to take them, and to keep everyone lauging and having a good time.

What is a consultation session?
A consultation session is where I sit down with my couples to discuss their expectations of photos from the wedding - and to also plan out a little of how the day will go. This often times occurs during the engagement session. All of my packages include this.

What’s an engagement session?
An engagement session is basically a photo shoot to take pictures of you and your fiancée - it’s a way for me to get to know my couples a little bit better so I get a feel for how they photograph – these are usually really lighthearted and fun, and a lot of couples display photos from the session at their wedding.

What should we wear to an engagement session?
This depends on you. But, I have found it better that you both dress somewhat consistently in terms of style - some photos look odd if the gal is dressed to the nines, and the guy is wearing beach shorts and flip flops. That said, wear what makes you comfortable!

Do you have back up gear?
Absolutely. If your photographer doesn’t have backup gear of all of his/her equipment, then you should consider another photographer for your wedding. While equipment failure is rare, your day is far too important to take this risk. I have backups for all of my equipment and then some.

What happens if you are sick on our wedding day - do you have a back up photographer?
Yes. I have a back up photographer that is a friend and colleague. I also belong to several organizations that have an emergency “help list” in case someone needs a backup. All of these members are professionals, and I would trust any of them to cover for me in the case of an unfortunate event.

Some photographers promise hundreds of photos - isn’t more better than less?
I suppose this depends on how you look at it. Some people measure how their day was captured based on the number of photos. I prefer to think it’s based on the quality and creativity of the photos – to me, this helps to tell a better story of your day.

Will you wear a suit to the wedding?
I will if you ask me to. Most people don’t realize how much of a physical task it is to run around, literally, chasing the wedding party all day. I typically wear suit slacks and a dress shirt. I generally don’t wear a jacket.

Are you available for travel?
Definitely. Please keep in mind that travel outside of the state will incur travel costs on top of the package price. Please call or email me with specifics and we can work out the pricing based on your needs.

Do you charge a session fee?
No, the session fee is included in the package price.

Do you shoot indoor or outdoor sessions?
Both! While I love shooting outdoors, I understand that sometimes you just have to move things inside – maybe you have a valuable instrument you’d like to use as a prop, or – it is Washington – the weather doesn’t always cooperate! If you’d like to do a session indoors, I can accommodate it in my home studio.

What are Photo Credits?
Photo Credits are used toward print orders. A credit consists of either four 4x5 or 4x6s, two 5x7s, one 8x10, or eight wallets. By using credits instead of a set package, you can choose the size of photos you want.

What’s a Web Ready CD?
A Web ready CD contains images sized for use on social networks and blogs. These images have a small Michael Bauer Photography logo on them. This is provided free of charge with all packages.

What’s a Cap and Gown session?
If you purchase a Cap and Gown session (included with some packages) you get to have one more short session before graduation where I photograph you in your cap and gown. This includes 56 wallet photos that can be sent with your graduation announcements.

Do you have a Representative program for seniors?
Definitely. I offer credit toward packages and prints, as well as monetary incentives. Please call or email for more details.

Why don't you have a snazzy song playing on your website?
I think a lot of photographers have picked great music for their sites...but it turns out that most of the photography sites you see with these songs are using them illegally - I know a lot of musicians, and I like to support their art just as they support me. If and when you hear a song on my site, you can bet I paid for it's legal use ;o)

      (206) 459-5585 Copyright Michael J Bauer 2009