These are our posted policies. Read them. There will be a test.
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The Copyright Act protects photographers by giving us the exclusive right to reproduce your photographs. Violations include, but are not limited to, making illegal copies, scanning, printing from home or downloading from our website. It is illegal to copy or reproduce these photographs in any manner without our permission and violators of this Federal Law will be subject to its civil and criminal penalties. Please understand, we wish to maintain complete control over the print quality, finishes and presentation of our images and any reproduction outside of our studio may lower the quality of the image and scar our reputation for superior portraits.
ll our photoshoots require non-refundable payment in full at the time of the shoot. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, even Diner's Club. Wedding payments are made in the following way: $500 retainer, 1/2 within 30 days of retainer payment, final 1/2 due 30 days before the wedding date. Commercial payment is made as negotiated in the proposal.
The photoshoot fee pays for the time and talent of the photographer only and does not include any finished portraits unless specifically mentioned.
We require at least 24 business hours (1 full business day) advance notice to reschedule all photo sessions (i.e. If your session is scheduled for a Monday, you would need to contact us no later the end of business hours the Thursday before your session). If it is less than 1 full business day, you will, unfortunately, incur a $50 fee. So please, please, please be very sure that this date works for you and/or your children, family, etc... If you reschedule within the 1 business day requirement, no problems.
If you have a sick child on the day of the photoshoot, please call to reschedule. If you try to keep the appointment, we will most likely request that you reschedule if we notice your child is sick. Sick children do not like to be photographed and we know that you will not love your portraits nearly as much as if he or she was in good health.
If We Reschedule
We know that his time is valuable, but so is YOURS! One thing that bugs us is how some professional businesses charge fees for rescheduling, but don't return the favor if they have to reschedule you. So if Mark, for whatever reason, has to reschedule your session, you will receive an extra hour with him at your newly scheduled session.
Being On Time
Please arrive on time! We have a very full schedule and want to have a special time reserved for each client. Starting late sessions has a snowball affect and causes other client's appointments to run late as well. Out of fairness to everyone, if you arrive more than 15 minutes late for any appointment you will be asked to reschedule. No exceptions!
Cancellations/Late Arrivals/No Shows
If you "forget about the session and don't show," you "show up late and we don't have time to shoot," or for some silly reason "you decide that you've changed your mind and don't want to shoot with Mark anymore," you will charged the full amount of your photoshoot fee. Sorry, it's just not cool either way but we just gotta.
Who Should Come to the Photoshoot
Okay, you. Well, if you're the one the photoshoot is for, then yes, you need to be there. Otherwise, please bring only the people to be photographed or in the case of children, parents are of course welcome. We do ask that if other members of the family or friends are brought to the studio that they wait out in the lobby so that distractions in the camera room are limited. This is especially important with children, as we need their full attention on us rather than looking at other members of the family.
Because of some photography business practices, a lot of people now expect access to their images IMMEDIATELY following a session. We do things a little differently. Instead of burning the images he just shot onto a CD or flash drive and saying, "see ya' later gator," we actually take the time to sift through your entire shoot with a fine-toothed 'editing' comb. We narrow down your images, sharpen, color balance, smooth skin tones, tweak and retweak all of the images to look the way we want them to look...which just so happens to be...fabulous! Digital photography, when done correctly, requires time in a digital darkroom to make the images look their best. We are all about quality. We never let an image leave our studio that doesn't meet our standards... and our standards are very very high. It takes time, time, time to work on these images in order to make them perfect. So be patient. It will be worth the wait.
You will view your portraits in our preview room approximately two weeks after your portrait photoshoot. We do not have proofs or contact sheets to give out at the appointment for you to take home with you. Please be sure everyone who is involved in making the final decision in your portrait investment is present, as only one preview appointment is available without incurring an additional fee. You are welcome to bring other family members to the preview appointment so that they may place their order. One note: children are always welcome in our studio, however; they may become restless during the preview appointment, which may last up to an hour. Please plan accordingly for your child, as only you know how they will handle this time.
Final Images for Proofing
While we do capture many images during your photoshoot, you will see only those images deemed selected by Mark for previewing. Each image is carefully rendered by Mark's artistic eye to ensure maximum artistry and technical perfection. Images with eyes closed, heads turned, duplicates, etc. will not be shown and are removed from our archives permanently after the artist rendering is complete. We always strive for excellence!
Ordering Your Portraits
Due to the custom nature of our work, payment for your order must be placed in full and is subject to a 50% cancellation fee should you change your mind about an order after it is placed.
How Long You Have to Order
All images are usually kept on file for a period of 2 years. Orders placed more than 60 days after the preview appointment, require a minimum $100 re-order.
When Will My Portraits Be Ready?
Please allow 1 to 2 weeks for your order to be completed. Add an extra week for our custom framing. Some orders may take longer. Your portraits are an investment and an heirloom that should not be rushed. You will be notified by telephone when your order is ready for pickup. If you are unable to pickup your order, we can ship your order to you for an additional charge.
Printing At Other Labs
If you are using high resolution images you have purchased from us and getting them printed elsewhere – we can't control how other labs print. We, unfortunately, CANNOT and DO NOT guarantee the quality of their work. Printing beautiful digital files is an extremely complicated process to achieve when not working with a specific lab. Every lab is different. If you go somewhere to get cheap prints, then that's what you'll get... cheap prints. Some labs aren't necessarily cheap, but have their system set up completely different than what was intended, and the prints will end up looking washed out, too contrasty, green, blue, red, etc... (you get the point). It's important to know that Mark Umstot Photography cares about the quality of your images dearly. We guarantee top-notch quality with our prints but understand that there are circumstances you want to use another lab. And if you've purchased the digital images and copyright release, you're free to do so, but we just wanted to make sure you understand what's up.
Bonus or Free Photoshoots
Occasionally, and with some wedding packages, we offer bonus or free photoshoots. These are exclusive of products, prints, or digital images which must be purchased separately. Also, they must be used as is and cannot be substituted or exchanged for any other product or service.
If there happens to be one of those rare, out-of-nowhere, technical malfunctions during the session and the images become unsalvageable or the shoot cannot continue, a free reshoot will be offered and scheduled as quickly as possible. We do not offer reshoots for any other reasons.
We photograph intriguing, unique fun, and most importantly, ARTISTIC photographs. We DO NOT shoot photographs that look like mugshots, driver's license photos or class pictures. When we say this, what we really mean is that Mark Umstot Photography has a definite artistic style of posing, lighting and composing photographs (the way the subject 'fits' into the camera's viewfinder just before the photographer clicks away). When we are shooting a MEDIUM to CLOSE-UP shot of a subject, this style will pretty much always include CROPPING THE TOPS OF SUBJECT'S HEADS OUT OF THE FRAME. In our humble opinion, this is part of what makes our photographs rock! If we were to keep the tops of subject's heads IN the frame in these shots, they would NOT have the Mark Umstot Photography look and feel. We have had to add this bit to our Policies recently due to some confusion over the absence of tops of heads. If we were to frame the shot to include the top of your head, it would end up looking like a mugshot or a cheesy class picture that would go in a high school yearbook. It would be boring. And we do NOT do boring. It's important to understand that we are in the business of artistic expression. And that expression is subjective. Not every person likes every type of art, so please look over our portfolio and make sure you like what you see and understand what you are seeing. If you like our art and are ready to have it expressed with you or your kids in the actual images of our cameras, then please continue on. If you still have concerns, please give us a call for a more detailed explanation. This is how we choose to "do it' and it has seemed to work pretty well for us. In our opinion, the 'top of your head' is not as important as how the photographs AFFECTS you when you look at them for the first time. And we want that affect to be of pure amazement at how handsome or beautiful you are.
Wedding Specific Policies
Creative Nature of Photography - Photographer reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time. Particularly, because of the creative nature of this business, if Photographer feels in its own judgment that the client is difficult, micro-managing, combative, litigious, or is otherwise creating an unwanted atmosphere for creativity, the Photographer re- serves the right to stop service and break this contract. Upon such, the client will only be charged for goods and services rendered up to that point, and agrees to hold Photographer harm- less for any damages the client feels are associated with not having a photographer. No further action, goods, or services will be required by Photographer.
Exclusive Photographer - The Photographer shall be the exclusive photographer retained by the Client for the purpose of photographing the wedding. Family and friends of the Client shall be permitted to photograph the wedding as long as they shall not interfere with the Photographer's duties.
Retainer and Payment - The Client shall make a retainer to retain the Photographer to perform the services specified herein. Photographer is not secured to photograph client’s wedding until both a $500 retainer fee and this Agreement signed by both the Client and Photographer has been completed. One half of the remaining balance is due thirty (30) days after retainer has been paid. The remaining balance is due no later than thirty (30) days prior to the wedding date. If balance is not paid prior to 30 days of wedding date this contract becomes null and void. If the Client refuses delivery of the order or refuses to pay within thirty (30) days of this order, Client shall be in default hereunder and shall pay 18% annual (1.5% monthly) interest on the unpaid balance until payment is made in full. Trade and Barter are acceptable for payment of this agreement per both parties agreeing to arrangement.
Cancellation - If the Client shall cancel this Agreement thirty (30) or more calendar days before the wedding date, with the exception of the non-refundable retainer, any monies paid to the Photographer shall be refunded in full minus any applicable charges for services or products already produced (engagement photoshoot, etc.). If Client should cancel this Agreement within the thirty (30) calendar days prior to the wedding date, 50% of the total paid may be refunded, minus any applicable charges for services or products already produced (engagement photoshoot, etc.).
Photographic Materials - All photographic materials, including but not limited to negatives, transparencies, proofs, and previews, shall be the exclusive property of the Photographer unless otherwise noted. The Photographer may make proofs and previews available to the Client for the purpose of selecting photographs, but such proofs and previews shall be on loan and, if the Client does not return them within fourteen (14) days of receipt, shall be charged to the Client at the same rate as finished prints of the same size.
Copyright and Reproductions - The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created and shall have the exclusive right to make reproductions. The Photographer shall only make reproductions for the Client or for the Photographer's portfolio, samples, self-promotions (including photographer's website), entry in photographic contests or art exhibitions, editorial use, or for display within or on the outside of the Photographer's studio. If the Photographer desires to make other uses, the Photographer shall not do so without first obtaining the written permission of the Client.
Client's Usage - The Client is obtaining prints for personal use only, and shall not sell said prints or authorize any reproductions thereof by parties other than the Photographer. If Client is obtaining a print for newspaper announcement of the wedding, Photographer authorizes Client to reproduce the print in this manner. In such event, Client shall request that the newspaper run a credit for the Photographer adjacent to the photograph, but shall have no liability if the newspaper refuses or omits to do so.
Failure to Perform - If the Photographer cannot perform this Agreement due to a plane crash, auto accident, impassable roadways, fire or other casualty, strike, act of God, or other cause beyond the control of the parties, or due to Photographer's illness, then the Photographer shall return the deposit to the Client but shall have no further liability with respect to the Agreement. Every effort will be made to keep prints and negatives safe and in excellent condition in the time before the Client takes possession of them. This limitation on liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing, lost through camera or memory card malfunction, lost in the mail, theft, fire, or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. In the event the Photographer fails to perform for any other reason, the Photographer shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the retail value of the Client's order.
Bonus Photoshoots - With some wedding packages, the Photographer may offer bonus photoshoots (engagement, bridal, and boudoir). These are exclusive of products, prints, or digital images which must be purchased separately. Also, they must be used as is and cannot be substituted or exchanged for any other product or service. If they are not used, they cannot be redeemed for any product or service.
Photographer - The Photographer may substitute another photographer to take the photographs in the event of Photographer's illness or of scheduling conflicts. In the event of such substitution, Photographer warrants that the photographer taking the photographs shall be a competent professional.
Inherent Qualities - Client is aware that color dyes in photography may fade or discolor over time due to the inherent qualities of dyes, and Client releases Photographer from any liability for any claims whatsoever based upon fading or discoloration due to such inherent qualities. Client should backup digital images received as Photographer will archive images but no guarantee is made as to length of time images will be kept on file.
Photographer's Standard Price List - The charges in this Agreement are based on the Photographer's Standard Price List. This price list is adjusted periodically and future orders shall be charged at the prices in effect at the time the order is placed.
Client's Originals - If the Client is providing original prints, negatives, or transparencies owned by the Client to the Photographer for duplication, framing, reference, or any other purpose, in the event of loss or damage the Photographer shall not be liable for an amount in excess of $5.00 per image.
Arbitration - All disputes arising under this Agreement shall be submitted to binding arbitration before 90 days after the wedding date in Lubbock County, Texas and the arbitration award may be entered for judgment in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, either party may refuse to arbitrate when the dispute is for a sum less than $500.00.
Miscellany - This Agreement incorporates the entire understanding of the parties. Any modifications of this Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Any waiver of a breach or default hereunder shall not be deemed a waiver of a subsequent breach or default of either the same provision or any other provision of this Agreement. The laws of the State of Texas shall govern this Agreement.