Answers to Frequently Asked Questions from Customers
How do I prepare for a family portrait?
First, explain to the kids that the portrait is a family activity you’re planning. You’re all going to have fun with it, and in the end you’ll have pictures of everyone you’ll keep for the rest of your lives. Never explain it in a way that puts pressure on them to perform for the camera, but do tell them to follow your instructions when you’re on the set.

You might also want to show them examples of family portraits you like, especially from your youth.
If it helps, you can bring them by the studio days before the shoot so they know what to expect.

And let us know what their favorite snacks and refreshments are so we can have them on hand.

Here’s a check list you can follow:

• Plan their clothing in advance and let them wear it once or twice before the shoot if its new so they will feel comfortable in their clothes.
• Bring favorite toys or props (a ball, doll) that engage them and relax them.
• Don’t worry about blemishes, skin imperfections, clothing stains that occur during the shoot – we can retouch them out.

I’m not exactly a model. How can I look my best?
In a word, smile. Practice it in the mirror. Whether you are Brad Pitt or Danny DeVito, you will look your best and appear engaging to others when you are relaxed and making eye contact with the photographer.

The studio setting in particular makes some people nervous, so it’s our job during consultation to discover how to engage you on the set. That’s why we allow for portrait sittings up to 3 hours. Usually, we’re done in 60-90 minutes. But some people need more time to open up and connect. Here's a check list:

• Think about things that will help you relax on set.
• Choose outfits you enjoy and feel comfortable in.
• Think about props (a baseball, a teddy bear) that you enjoy holding and talking about.
• We will engage you in conversation as well as we direct the shoot, but it’s better if you engage us. That puts you in control of the conversation and when you’re in control, you’ll feel more confident, humorous and the camera will see it.
• Don’t worry about skin blemishes or moles. We’ll retouch those out, if you prefer.
• Don’t overdo your make-up. This not only makes you more self-conscious, it can muddy your skin texture in retouching.

The best portraits are always the most natural ones. A portraitist once advised, “When you look at the camera, look to the future or the past. Never the present.” And don’t forget the words of Richard Avedon: "A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks.”

How do I prepare my pet for a portrait?
The greatest challenge in photographing pets is simple: it’s difficult to keep them still. They get bored and like to wander.

That’s why it’s important for you (not the photographer) to be directing the pet. Your participation in the shoot is essential. Beyond that, here’s a check-list you can follow:

• Groom your pet a day or two before the shoot.
• For small pets, if you choose an outfit, choose it early and let him wear it and get comfortable with it
• Think about the toys that engage him the most and will keep him from wandering.
• Practice training words that will make him sit, stay, lie down in the days before the shoot.
How do I prepare for workplace/employee shoot?
Schedule a consultation so we can understand the purpose of the event.

We'll need a large space in your office - 16'x20' minimum - to set up backdrops and lighting.

Prepare your employees by telling them in advance about the shoot, so they can dress appropriately.

If you are shooting at a restaurant, we can set up in a table area – or just shoot handheld from table to table with on-camera flash.

Our experience is that being on a lit set is a lot of fun for employees.

In the end, you are the producer. We'll work with you to schedule the type of shoot that meets the needs of your business and employees.
Who owns the rights to the photographs?
Like all commercial photographers, we retain the legal copyright to our work, but we grant you the right to share and print your photos as you see fit. It is then your responsibility to use those photographs within applicable use and privacy laws.

We will request your consent to use certain photos to market our services on our web site or advertising, or to show prospective clients on a view-only basis.

For related information, see our Cybersecurity page.
How are my portrait photos and digital files delivered?
Shortly after your shoot we will upload medium-resolution resolution proofs to a private gallery on our web site and you will receive an email inviting you to sign in and review.

We will also email you a PDF slideshow of “Editor’s Picks” that you can share and review with friends and family.

Once you’ve selected some favorites, we perform any cropping/retouching changes you request and upload a batch of retouched proofs. From that list of images you can order prints from your private gallery.

We can produce our own 8”x10” or 11”x14” prints on archival grade paper, or you can order larger prints or metal prints from a lab.

We use the BayPhoto lab service for larger and display size prints you order from the site. We take care of color calibration with BayPhoto’s printers so you get what you saw.

After final payment, we will deliver all high-resolution originals on a USB Card compatible with any computer, packaged as a keepsake from your portrait experience.
I’m a realtor. How do I prepare my property for the shoot?
The property, whether it’s a mansion or tin-roof shack, should be (as they say) “ship shape in Bristol fashion.” In addition, here’s a checklist you can follow:

• All reflective surfaces (windows, mirrors, appliances, shower glass, framed wall art, aquariums, glass objets d’art) clean and free of streaks
• Countertops, table surfaces clean
• Floors clean
• The home staging should be complete and intact.
• If no staging has been ordered, make sure that all toys, clothes, remote controls, etc. are put away.
• All blinds/shades open
• All lights (ceiling and table lamps) on.
• Ceiling fans off (the camera may capture motion as a blur).
• No pets or anything that moves in the building.
• Swinging doors fully opened (use backstop to prevent motion)
• Pocket doors open (OK to reveal the door hardware)
• Do not disturb the position of anything once the shoot begins
If I order a virtual tour, can you take some still shots of special home features?
Yes, we can, at no additional charge. Because some of the Matterport stills can produce distortion we will take stills (with flash) on every shoot we do. Just let us know what home details you want to showcase.
After you do a real estate shoot, how do I gain access to the photos, videos and Matterport scan so I can get them on my web site?
Within 24 hours, you'll get an email invite to log in to a private gallery on our web site to view MP4 video and color-corrected JPGs - low-res files suitable for inclusion on a web page.

You will also receive an email with a link to view your Matterport VR tour, with embed code you can use to display the tour in your web site.

When we receive final payment, we'll release all hi-res video and stills, along with other products you order (Photo Slideshow, Google Voyager video with plat, Matterport Floor Plans, etc.).

See our process timeline under Client Resources for more details.
Is it worth photographing the property at night?
For homes with excellent exterior and interior lighting features, we think so. The so-called "Twilight Shot" will incur an additional charge, but sunsets and interior night lighting offers a different and exotic look than day photography. The ideal time to begin the shoot is an hour before sunset.
I'm a realtor. What's the best way to size images for the MLS?
MLS has a 12MB limit for digital images, and images should be 1200 pixels wide and 800 pixels tall.

We can provide you with those low-res images, as well as full resolution versions of what we shoot.

Finally, MLS requires that no faces or people be included in the images.

Full requirements are posted here:

How can realtors/contractors/property managers/retailers distribute their virtual tour to clients or subcontractors?
A virtual tour is hosted on Matterport’s platform in the cloud. After scanning your property, the scan data is uploaded securely to the Matterport platform and rendered for viewing.
It is reachable via a link (URL) that you can embed in a web page with your own branding. You can also email that link directly to your clients.

We recommend embedding it on your own web site so that the tour displays on one of your pages and your clients remain engaged with your site.

If you don’t have a web site, we can stand up a web page with your branding and contact info, and your clients can use that site to view the tours and photos we produce.
I’m a contractor or insurance claims adjuster looking to document construction progress on my projects. What’s the process for adding details annotations and links to the virtual tour?
We can capture notation during the shoot if you can attend, or after Matterport processes the scan into a “digital twin” reviewing the virtual together (in person or by Zoom/Webex) to add the notes to the model. We also allow regular customers to access the Matterport site directly if they prefer to enter them.

We need to collect not only notes, but documents and URLs you want to link to any annotation.

Using Zenfolio