This is our FAQs page, where frequently asked questions not
answered elsewhere on the site are hopefully answered.
Please call us (301.455.5344) or send an email (BillVisual@gmail.com
or use the Contact page form) to ask any question at all.
Q. Do you offer gift cards?
A. Yes. Give a creative, heartwarming, exciting gift certain to please any dog lover.
Q. How long in advance do I need to book?
A. The schedule gets a bit tight around the holidays but I'm certain I can find a date and time that works for you. Use the form on the Contact page to send me an email, or just send a note to BillVisual@gmail.com. Or call me on my mobile, 301.455.5344.
Q. Are your sessions only on weekends, or do you do sessions during the week too?
A. Weekends or weekdays, I'll take care of you.
Q. Should I do anything special to get ready for the session?
A. Often clients wait until their dog has been groomed, but I love 'em looking however they happen to look. The pictures are going to be wonderful . . . no matter what. Be sure to walk your pooch before we're scheduled to meet. If you have the opportunity to let him run, even better. There's an expression in the professional pet photographer fraternity, "A tired dog is a good dog." Tis true!
Q. Do you have a no charge consultation before the session?
Yes, I will come to your residence, meet you and the pooch or pooches, and/or the kitty, and we will plan out the session, decide on the date and time, let me see the layout of your home, where the windows are, discuss nearby outdoor settings. The pre-session consultation is no-charge. Pre-session consultations are skipped when you live some distance outside the Washington, DC, region -- in NYC, Charlottesville, at the beach, etc. Everything always works out fine, whether there's a pre-shoot consultation or there isn't.
Q. Should I bring treats?
A. Sure, if you like, but I tend to discourage it. My experience is I don't need treats to get the shots. Still, bring some along if you wish . . . you just never know. Most dogs are food motivated. A secret "motivator."
Q. Can the dog owner assist me during the session?
A. I am counting on your off-camera support, encouragement, and direction to your pooch. And you are welcome to get in some of the shots, too. It's up to you.
Q. How many photos do you take?
A. Typically 125-250 for The Essential Photo Session ($200). At the longer white paper "studio look" photo session, I probably average 250-400 shots. Always keep in mind it's not quantity that counts -- it's quality.
Q. Do you shoot film or digital?
A. I am so pleased to be using digital. I love digital. I pause during the shoot and at the conclusion of the shoot (if we're indoors) to look at the photos on my laptop. Cannot do that with film.
Q. Do you shoot black & white or color?
A. Both simultaneously. The sensor in the camera acquires a vast amount of information for each shot. I can render any image in color or b&w. You don't have to decide in advance or during the shoot. That's a post-session decision. I love color, do a lot of it, but I love b&w too.
Q. Your website didn't answer a couple of my questions.
A. I'm sure I've forgotten something. Please call me to get any questions answered. Call 301.455.5344, or send me an email to BillVisual@gmail.com.
Q. I love your website and all of your photographs I've seen, but I don't live close to D.C. Besides Manhattan and the northeast section of the country, will you go anyplace else?
A. I love to travel. My vision for the future is more travel. I especially love it if you live at the beach! Let me know of your interest. My preference on out-of-town sessions is to sign up six dog owners in your town or city who want a session (six owners, including you) in the town/city where you live. We pick a weekend that works for everyone and I come see you! There's no travel surcharge for one of those. If instead of six dog owners, you are my only client for that particular out of town photo session, and you live more than 60 miles from my zip code, 20895, then there's a travel charge. Ask.
Q. How can I have my dog photographed if he won't sit still?
A. Dogs in motion are one of my specialties and most favorite kinds of shots. My policy is to let a dog who won't sit still do his thing. If he wants to go snoop around the space, fine with me. If he's in his home but he has some unscheduled excursions in mind, I don't stop him. It always works out. The best photographs result from your dog feeling as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We'll go corral him and get him back on the set for more photos. Your pooch without warning leaving the set is itself a terrific photo opportunity. I honestly don't mind. I actually love it, a dog who won't sit still. High energy fun photos are always the result.
Q. Do you have a dog?
A. Not at the present time. I've had dogs my whole life -- Blackie, Scampi, Boxcar. Boxcar, my last dog, was a shepherd, spitz, and collie mix. Boxcar (because of his sturdy, rectangular shape) and I were inseparable for 16 years. Boxcar left his dog body awhile ago. I'm around dogs constantly with the photography. Not by accident. That guy you see risking life and limb to dash across the street in traffic to meet a new dog . . . that's me!
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Personal check. Please note that all prices and terms are subject to change without notice.
Q. You love older dogs, don't you?
A. Yup. Older dogs have seen everything in their long life. They have a dignity and ease I just love. Maybe they move a little bit slower than younger dogs, or there's a slight bit of a limp there, or some extra white or gray whiskers. Not only is an older dog special, but their owner is invariably special too. Patience, dedication, profound love, nothing is too much trouble for the owner of an older dog.