This is where frequently asked questions (FAQs) not
answered elsewhere are answered.
Call us (301.455.5344) or send an email (BillVisual@gmail.com)
or use the Contact page form to ask any question.
Q. Say why you like dogs, is there anything that's special for you about dogs?
A. To do this subject justice, I would need at least a month to respond. I'm being perfectly honest here. A friend, also a dog lover, and I a few days ago were talking (trading text messages) about this very topic. Here's that conversation:
Friend: They have far better hearing than humans.
Bill Owen: Better smelling too, better eyesight, probably great taste buds. Kinder, more loyal, happier than humans. They wear their hearts on their sleeve. Dogs are so honest and innocent, that's why we love them.
Friend: True all true
Q. Do you offer gift cards?
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 your note to BillVisual@gmail.com. Or call me on my mobile, 301.455.5344.
Q. What days and what time of the day do you schedule photo sessions?
A. I schedule photo sessions every day of the week. I like mid-morning or mid-afternoon start times. Summertime, late afternoons are good.
Q. Should I do anything special to get ready for the session?
A. As a practical matter, take your dog for a good walk before the photo shoot. A good run is even better. "A tired dog is a good dog" is the axiom. Clients often have the dog groomed before the session. Totally up to you. Personally I love the look of your dog, however he/she looks this moment ... combed, uncombed, just had a bath, didn't have a bath. He's going to look fantastic in the photographs, no matter what.
Q. Do we meet before the session?
Yes, I will come to your residence to meet you and the pooch or pooches, and/or the kitty, and we will plan out the session, decide on the date and meet time, let me see the layout of your home, discuss nearby outdoor settings. The pre-session consultation, whether by phone or at your home, 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. Treats can slow us down, cleaning up the crumbles. That said, bring some of his favorite treats along if you wish. It's true, dogs are food motivated. It's all a matter of degree.
Q. Can the dog owner assist me during the session?
A. I'm counting on your off-camera support, encouragement, and direction to your pooch. You are welcome to get in some of the shots, too. Two-thirds of everyone doesn't want to be in the shots. One-third of my clients absolutely want to be in some shots. And you can change your mind during the shoot
Q. How many photos do you take?
A. Typically 125-250 for The Essential Photo Session ($250). At a 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 love digital. See instantly how things are looking. I was a latecomer to digital though.
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 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. Will you travel for a photo shoot?
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! Three sessions on Saturday, three sessions on Sunday. 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 weekend, let's talk.
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. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, personal check, or cash. Please note that all prices and terms are subject to change without notice.
Q. I'm told you have a special interest in older dogs.
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 in his/her twilight years.