Photography for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by photographer Tom Szabo

Photography Slide Show – Utah & Arizona

Diane and I recentlycompleted a trip of Arches, Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks.  If you’d like to see a part of our wonderful contry that can dwarf a freight train, use the link below.  I hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Some of you complained about not being able to view the earlier link on a MAC.  I hope this new link works better!


October 12, 2010 Posted by | Slide Shows | , | 2 Comments

James’ senior portrait sitting.

Here are a few images from James senior portrait sitting.  Hop you enjoy them.

September 19, 2010 Posted by | Portrait | , , | Leave a comment

Cassandra’s portrait photography session.

I hope Cassandra enjoyed her sitting as much as I enjoyed creating her portrait!

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Portrait | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cindy’s portrait session.

My friends Diana and Mike brought their little darling Cindy into the studio for her portrait session.  I’m happy to share some images with you!

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Portrait | Leave a comment

Professional Head Shot – Just VAIN?

Why do people use head shots?  After all we’re not all actors.  Isn’t it just a case of thinking too much about one’s self?

Today employers are using social media in their recruiting process.  Many professional people are using social media to promote themselves professionally and grow their personal “brand”.  How should you be perceived by other professionals?  I know, I ask a lot of questions don’t I.  But think about all these questions.

As a business professional you want to have a professional brand.  That means:

  1. Be easily recognized at a first client meeting.
  2. Including a head shot to promote a presentation.
  3. Allow prospects to feel comfortable working with you.
  4. Showing the market you are confident about yourself.

 Here’s a recent head shot for a long time friend of mine.  Thanks Carol!

August 20, 2010 Posted by | Commercial, Portrait | , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Photography For The Bride/Groom; Part 5 – Wedding Photography Copyrights

This is one of the most misunderstood topics – “copyright”. As soon as the creator of an image pulls the trigger, they are the owner of the image. Not YOU! It doesn’t matter if you’ve hired a professional, weekend shoot and burner, student or volunteer. All created images are protected under federal copyright laws. Violation of copyright laws puts you at risk legally.

You have to negotiate the rights to the photographer’s images. Those rights should be spelled out to you in writing. Read them in detail. The more rights you want, the more you will pay. If the photographer delivers a CD of camera images make sure you have the right to copy or print the images and get the rights spelled out in writing. Even the local discount warehouse does not want to wind up in court for printing an image that doesn’t belong to you. Back to your friend with the big expensive looking camera and a big lens, make sure they understand what usage rights you expect.

I’ve only touched the surface on wedding photography. I could go on and on. But this should get you started. Congratulations on your engagement and have a wonderful wedding and life. Feel free to email me with questions.

Tom Szabo, “Phot-art-ographer”
A Thomas Image

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Wedding | Leave a comment

Wedding Photography For The Bride/Groom; Part 4 – Wedding Photography Contracts

A bride called my office needing a photographer on short notice. We talked about the wedding details, I quoted a price, then sent the contract to the bride. The fiancé being an attorney decided he’d flex his legal muscles and nit-pick the contract. I agreed to some wording changes, but drew the line at one particular clause. Flexing his vast legal expertise pushed for the removal of the clause or we could not strike a deal. I said OK, no deal. Oh to be a fly on the wall when he told his fiancé he blew off the photographer, 2 weeks before the wedding.

EXPECT your photographer to provide a contract outlining; services, deliverable, dates, times, location(s), extra print prices, photographer name, usage rights and fees. Don’t be afraid of the word “contract”. The contract should also protect you. My earlier attorney example doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate. Just realize how far you’re willing to go. If the photographer won’t provide a written contract, run, don’t walk, run the other direction. You have the right to know all this information and what your rights are in case there is a delivery or service problem.

If you’ve decided to have your friend with the big expensive looking camera and a big lens shoot your wedding, then give your friend a list including shots you expect, arrival time, departure time and description of the deliverable. Make it clear what you expect. If your friend doesn’t have backup equipment, then get a back up photographer! You can’t smile for the photographer is you’re worried to death about equipment failure!

One more thing, what happens if you lose the CD after delivery? What will it take to replace those images? Most professional photographers have procedures in place to duplicate and back up all image files. Should you lose your CD (fire, flood, the dog ate them or you just plain misplaced them), can you get a duplicate CD from the photographer and what will it cost?

In the next post let’s talk about Wedding Photography Copyrights.

Tom Szabo, “Phot-art-ographer”
A Thomas Image

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Wedding | Leave a comment

Wedding Photography For The Bride/Groom; Part 3 – Wedding Photography Budgets

My studio A Thomas Image is in northeast Ohio. So here are some thoughts on budgets. Disclaimer: The prices you experience may vary from the ranges listed below.

A professional photographer and assistant(s) can range from $1500 and way up for the entire day. Your wedding party size and clothing may impact the need for an assistant. Assistants are generally photographers also. So an assistant will cost extra.
Shoot and Burners range from $500 to $2000 per day. When you’re done you have a disk of images and you have to manage everything. Make sure you understand the copyright terms and who’s responsible when the print comes out lousy.
All others including students and amateurs alike, $200 to $500 per day.
When the photographer is FREE – run the other direction. For the most part, something is likely to go wrong. Or make sure you understand why the service is FREE. If you go this route, read the post on Contracts.

Remember what I said about your comfort reflecting in the final product. Do you want to worry about losing the photographer, just because a camera battery died? Make sure the photographer has back up equipment for everything, camera, flash, lenses, batteries and tripod. Altogether you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars in “stuff”. A professional will have all the backup equipment AND importantly will know how to use the equipment.

Let’s continue the discussion on FEES. Don’t think the fee you’re paying just covers photography services on the day of your wedding (unless you get a CD at the end of the day). Professional photographers will spend time with you before the wedding, spend time with you the day of the wedding, spend hours preparing your proofs, spend hours editing images for printing or burning to CD and preparing the deliverable. You pay for all this time. That’s why we’re expensive! We pay for the most up to date equipment, pay for an office, pay our mortgage, eat and maybe take a vacation. Just like you! We love what we do, but photographers like YOU, want to make a living.

In the next post let’s talk about Wedding Photography Contracts.

Tom Szabo, “Phot-art-ographer”
A Thomas Image

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Wedding | Leave a comment

Wedding Photography For The Bride/Groom; Part 2 – Wedding Photographer Selection Criteria

Just because your friend hired someone doesn’t mean that’s the right photographer for you. Photographers have different styles and Personalities. The more creative the images, the more comfortable you want to be with your photographer. If you’re uncomfortable with your photographer, it will show in your images. Then you’ll be very disappointed in the results.

Any photographer should be able to show you samples of their work. Meet with them to view their work and talk to them. Please, don’t, don’t, don’t, and I’ll repeat don’t hire someone without meeting them. You can’t gain comfort with someone via texting or email. Whatever your price bracket, sit down with the photographer and get to know them. If you’re only paying $200 a day of service, don’t expect the photographer to spend a lot of time with you before the wedding. Does meeting and talking with the photographer take time? Yes, but you’ll be glad you invested the time.

Pro photographers will have a lot of equipment, they know how to use it and they understand lighting. Understanding light is very, very, very, very important. Get my drift here?? Just because your friend has what you think is a Big Fancy Expensive camera and a Big Fancy Expensive lens doesn’t mean they understand how to use the camera or understand light.

In the next post let’s talk about Wedding Photography Budgets.

Tom Szabo, “Phot-art-ographer”
A Thomas Image

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Wedding | Leave a comment

Wedding Photography For The Bride/Groom (A 5-Part Series)

I’ve heard way too many newly married couples complain because they went “cheap” on the photography. Often brides consult wedding planning sites and ask the question: What should a photographer cost? After the wedding photography “horror stories” and all the questions about cost, I thought I’d try to give some insights into this thing called wedding photography. To make this an easy read, I’ve broken the discussion into a series of posts, 5 parts all together:
Part 1 – Wedding Planning Sites
Part 2 – Wedding Photographer Selection Criteria
Part 3 – Wedding Photography Budgets
Part 4 – Wedding Photography Contracts
Part 5 – Wedding Photography Copyrights

This way you can read the portions that interest you.

Wedding Photography For The Bride/Groom; Part 1 – Wedding Planning Sites

Type “wedding planning web sites” into Google and you’ll get over 600,000 hits. That’s a lot! Remember this: sites exist for one reason, to make money. So, somewhere, someone pays money. Either you the bride or the vendor using the site will pay something. In some cases you can get contact information for a vendor or you can broadcast your wedding details to a group of vendors and request a quote. If you’re using a wedding planning site and access to a “boat-load” of vendors is free, than the vendors are paying the fee.

Many photographers don’t publish a price list on sites like these. Why? There are too many variables. When you work with these sites, give a realistic estimate of your budget. If you want a $200 photographer, say so. Yes, we pay to get your lead from sites like these. Ever heard the saying; “There’s no such thing as a Free Lunch!” Yeah you thought everything is free on wedding planning sites. Photographer wedding fees go towards paying for information from these sites. So you end up paying one way or another. Don’t expect a photographer/business person to pay for a $200 opportunity, let alone try to “out-bid” 4 other low-ballers. We’re not interested.

If you are using a wedding planning site to research pricing, go ahead and start with your low-end budget number. Sit back and see what happens. When most likely, no one responds, up the number and wait again. Remember what I said earlier about paying for a $200.00 opportunity!

In the next post we’ll discuss Wedding Photographer Selection Criteria.

Tom Szabo, “Phot-art-ographer”
A Thomas Image

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Wedding | , , | Leave a comment