Frequently Asked Questions

Family Portrait El Dorado Hills

General Questions:

  1. Do you offer a guarantee?
  2. How do I choose a photographer?
  3. What if I look silly/overweight/etc. in photographs?
  4. I bought a Daily Deal/Auction Item, how do I redeem it?

Pricing Questions:

  1. How much is an 8×10 print?
  2. What is a session fee and how much is it?
  3. What packages do you have available?
  4. When do I pay for everything?
  5. How much will my session cost?
  6. What forms of payment do you accept?
  7. Is there sales tax?

Logistical Questions:

  1. Where is your studio located? Do you travel?
  2. How long will my session take?
  3. What do I need to do to book my session?
  4. What should I do to prepare for the session?
  5. How quickly do we get to see our photographs after the session?
  6. Do you touch-up the images?
  7. Do you offer online proofing?
  8. Do I get the digital files from my session?
  9. How are my images printed? Are they archival?

Studio Policies:

  1. What is your cancellation policy? What if it’s raining?
  2. When should I show up for my session? What if I’m late?
  3. What if I want to change my order?
  4. Can I make my own prints? Who owns the copyright?

General Answers:

  1. Q: Do you offer a guarantee?
    A:  We want you to love your portraits!  Together we’ve put in a lot of time to create a beautiful lasting memory.  If you’re not happy with the images from your session, we will gladly re shoot the session.  If you’re not happy with any of the finished prints, we’ll be happy to adjust and reprint them to your satisfaction at no extra charge.  We highly value our reputation and believe you deserve the highest quality, service and timeliness.  We appreciate your confidence in us and look forward to being your photographer both now and into the future.
  2. Q: How do I choose a photographer?
    A: Choosing the right photographer is a big decision.  Professional portraits by Mischa Photography are works of art that will be decorating your walls and enjoyed every day for years to come.   While it’s easy to try to compare photographers “apples to apples” on their 8×10 print price, what you’re doing is like comparing restaurants “burgers to burgers” by price alone while disregarding the quality, service, presentation and most importantly taste!  We’re not the perfect photographer for everyone, but if you love our online samples, then you’ll love the portraits we take of your family even more!  In terms of quality, service and presentation we are a gourmet boutique specialty restaurant, we’re not a diner.  You’ll find we go out of our way to make your experience the best it can be from start to finish and while we’re definitely not cheap, we are a bargain for the level of service we offer.  We will have fun taking your portraits and make sure you’re comfortable, and when you’re comfortable and having fun, your portraits will turn out great!
  3. Q: What if I look silly/overweight/etc. in photographs?
    A:  That’s why you come to a professional!  We guarantee you will not look bad in our photographs.  We are experts in posing and lighting.  We have never met anyone who didn’t look great in the right pose and the right lighting.  Some people think they make silly faces in photographs, we have solutions!  Some people hate posing, we have solutions!  Some people blink constantly, we have solutions!  Some people feel like they look overweight or fat in photographs, we have solutions!  Please let us know what your concerns are during your consultation and we’ll be happy to share some tips and tell you how we plan on approaching the session so you will have nothing to worry about.   When you look your best, it makes us look good. We want you to show your family and friends and have them ask: “who took these great photographs?”  We want you to be proud to say “I got them at Mischa Photography!  You should go there too!”  Your portraits are our best advertising.   Call us now to schedule your consultation!
  4. Q: I bought a Daily Deal/Groupon/Won an auction, how do I redeem it?
    A: Please call the studio to make an appointment today! You will be treated exactly like a full paying client. We will start with a planning consultation in one of our studios. Just one person is needed to represent your family. We will decide on the location, date, time, style preferences, go over any concerns you have, discuss clothing and makeup, go over our pricing and sign our contract. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes. Please be prepared to make decisions and bring your calendar! Please note that deals are not valid towards headshots or other commercial uses, online dating portraits, or event photography including family reunions, weddings, birthday parties etc.


Pricing Answers:

  1. Q: How much is an 8×10 print?
    A: This is a very common question, and usually the first one anyone asks.  However, it’s not easily answered and not a good point of comparison between photographers.  While it would seem simple enough, it’s sort of like trying to find a good restaurant by asking, “How much is the beef?”  The answer depends on what kind of beef, how it’s prepared and what it’s served with.  Is it a plain burger, or a burger with all the fixings, or  is it a filet mignon or a ribeye?  The restaurant itself will also affect your decision, is it a gourmet place you’ve heard great things about or a diner?  Are meals prepared to order by a chef, or microwaved and waiting under heat lamps?  You’re probably starting to get the idea…  For photography, you may want to ask: “What is the style of portraiture at this studio?” “Are there session fees in addition to the price of the portrait itself?” “Am I required to order pre-determined packages or can I get whatever I want?” “Am I able to have a meeting with the photographer before hand to discuss my ideas? Is there a charge for this consultation?”  You’ll find answers to most of these questions in the FAQ’s here, but we highly recommend you setup a consultation.  There is no charge for our consultations. In addition to planning your session we will be able to go over printing options and explain all the prices (including 8x10s) which vary by combination.
  2. Q: What is a session fee and how much is it?
    A: Session Fee (a.k.a. sitting fee or creative fee) is the initial investment for taking the photographs (no prints/ files included). The specific amount varies depending on the type and length of session.   Please call the studio to start planning your portrait session today!
  3. Q: What packages do you have available?
    A:  Again, this is a really common question and unfortunately not so easily answered.  We do have some standard packages for each type of photography, but mostly we create custom packages based on your desires.  This way you’re not limited to specific size combinations or a certain number of poses.  We also offer sliding discounts that increase with the size of your custom package.
  4. Q: When do I pay for everything?
    A: Your session fees is due when you reserve your appointment time.   Print order payments are due at the time the order is placed during your order consultation.  We also offer payment plans, please let us know if you’d like us to set one up for you.  Please call the studio to start planning your portrait session today!
  5. Q: How much will my session cost?
    A: This is the 3rd variation of the common “how much is an 8×10” question and again just like at a restaurant, it depends.   It’s a very hard question to answer even over the phone, so we highly recommend coming in for a free consultation.    Once we know more about you and can show you the options we have for enlargements, you’ll be able to make an informed decision which will allow us to answer the question precisely.   However to give you a range, a typical session could spend as little as a couple hundred or as much as several thousand for a multi session baby plan or large multi family portrait.  Please call the studio to start planning your portrait session today!
  6. Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
    A: We accept cash, check, Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover and Paypal.
  7. Q: Is there sales tax?
    A: Yes. Sales tax is currently 8% in Sacramento and 8.75% in San Francisco and all photography is considered taxable except headshots and commercial shoots that are digitally delivered through the internet.

Logistical Answers:

  1. Q: Where is your studio located? Do you travel?
    A: We have a full studio in both Land Park Sacramento just South of downtown and the Mission District of San Francisco close to both the 101 and 280 freeways. We offer free travel charge for sessions from Tahoe to Monterey and Santa Rosa to Fresno with full price sessions. Worldwide sessions are available. Initial planning consultations are complimentary at either of our studios or we can come to you with a pre paid session fee. Please call the studio to start planning your portrait session today!
  2. Q: How long will my session take?
    A: Most sessions take about an hour. Large groups take more time both to organize and to photograph sub groupings. Newborns through 4 month olds we allot 2 hours to give time for feeding and breaks. Headshots are usually no more than 30 minutes.
  3. Q: What do I need to do to book my session?
    A: For most sessions we require a pre-session consultation at one of our studios. We will sit down with you to discuss all the aspects of your portraits from location to clothing to posing and where the final portraits will be displayed. During that session we will book your actual portrait date and collect the applicable session fee to proceed.  It’s a good idea to also book your ordering appointment at the same time as our schedule does fill up sometimes months in advance.
  4. Q: What should I do to prepare for the session?
    A: We will go over most of this in the pre-session consultation. However there’s also a lot of information provided on the Portrait Planning page on our website.
  5. Q: How quickly do we get to see our photographs after the session?
    A: Images are normally ready within one week. We offer in studio viewing sessions in our projection screening room. There you can see the full breadth of our products from prints to frames to albums and more. Our special software allows us to show you your portrait scaled to size and with a supplied image*, we can even show you your portrait on your own wall.
    *Ask us for details on how this works.
  6. Q: Do you touch-up the images?
    A: We retouch all of the images when they are ordered.  We usually take a few years off, remove blemishes, tone down wrinkles and otherwise enhance the photograph. We also commonly swap heads between alternate versions of an image so that everyone can have the best smile. We also take special requests and can go light or heavy on the retouching if desired. We steer towards natural rather than plastic skin. We artistically enhance as well.
  7. Q: Do you offer online proofing?
    A: We do offer complimentary online proofing with a minimum initial investment which varies depending on the session type. However, with the large number of options and decisions to be made with every portrait order, we highly recommend our no charge ordering consultation, so we can make sure you can see and purchase the best art for your taste.
  8. Q: Do I get the digital files from my session?
    A: We do have options for purchasing digital files, however we only sell fully retouched images as finished prints.
  9. Q: How are my images printed? Are they archival?
    A: All our images are printed on real photographic paper called a C-print, using the traditional, time-tested photographic chemical process that is known for its archival quality and found in museums around the world. Many inkjet brands claim 100+ year longevity for their prints, but the reality is that many factors will drastically shorten this longevity, from the quality of the paper or ink to chemical interactions with common environmental factors such as Freon (found in most refrigerators). However, it is best to store any photograph (whether it be a digital or photographic print) in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight. All my photographs are guaranteed for life, no questions asked. For especially discerning clients, we are also able to print our images on black and white Fiber paper or color Cibachrome paper.  These are the ultimate in image quality and archival quality. There is only one lab in the United States that we know of that is currently printing digital files onto these premium papers. Please inquire if you’d like your images printed in one of these mediums.

Studio Policies:

  1. Q: What is your cancellation policy? What if it’s raining?
    A:  We require 24 hours notice for cancellations or the session fee will be forfeit.  We can reschedule for rain if necessary, however we do have protective gear for the cameras and some of our best work has been done in the rain, so we encourage you to keep your appointment.  If you see rain in the forecast and are thinking you may want to reschedule, we still require 24 hours notice, but we may play it by ear depending on the circumstances.  If you have cancelled more than twice for any reason, our policy will change to a minimum 7 days notice.
  2. Q: When should I show up for my session? What if I’m late?
    A: For most sessions we request you show up 15 minutes early to get settled and ready for your session.  If an infant or pet is involved we request you come closer to 30 minutes early so you can nurse your baby or let your pet get used to the smells and get some energy/excitement out.
  3. Q: What if I want to change my order?
    A: All orders are final, but depending on where in the printing process we are, we may be able to change the chosen finished product to another.   Please let us know asap if you want to make a change and we’ll let you know if anything is possible.
  4. Q: Can I make my own prints? Who owns the copyright?
    A:  We do not sell the copyrights, but we do sell printing/digital usage rights with high resolution digital files and digital usage rights only with low resolution digital files.  Unless you purchase one of the above options, you will be billed at double rates if we discover illegal use and may be subject to civil or criminal charges if payment is not made promptly.  Notice of copyright:

    • You may not copy printed images for digital use as profile image, for email distribution, as screensaver or any other digital use.
    • You may not download or otherwise save any images from our website for any use.
    • Copying and reprinting any of our images in any form including for cards is prohibited.
    • Copyright infringement is a felony and is punishable by civil and criminal penalties. The law also specifies damages at $150,000 per infringement.

    You may ask, “but why are your copies so much more expensive than if I just get it printed myself at (fill in the blank)?” The answer is because our price includes the work that went into making the print.  Having discount copies made will not look as good as the original and will compromise the quality of the portrait.  This can damage our reputation when you show others the now inferior prints and tell people they were taken at our studio.  It’s very similar to illegally downloading a tv show or music mp3, except instead of being the 1 in 1000 that did it illegally, you’re 1 of 1 and are jeopardizing our ability to make a living and be around to photograph you and your family in the future.

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