Questions & Information

“If each photograph steals a bit of the soul, isn’t it possible that I give up pieces of mine every time I take a picture?” – Richard Avedon

Pricing Policy

The prices listed on our website are subject to HST and may be changed without notice. In case of a change the price on the website at the time of booking will be honoured. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for occasional sales and contests.

What’s the difference between a headshot and a portrait?

Headshots and portraits are two very different things. Headshots are a professional tool while portraits are generally more for decoration or aesthetic purposes.

Headshots are most often used by actors or other types of performers for auditions or programs but are important tools for anyone in any kind of professional field. With the growing use of online resources in job searching and marketing it is important for everyone to consider having a headshot taken for their LinkedIn account, company website or marketing purposes.

In general headshots should always be a very clear representation of what you look like currently. You should be looking into camera and the frame should be no lower than your waist.

Portraits sessions can take a more artistic and candid approach. The photos may be used as supplementary photos on professional websites or as decoration in your home.

It’s important to specify whether you’re booking a headshot session or an individual portrait session when booking.

How do I book a session?

All portrait sessions (headshots, couples & family) should be booked online through the widget on the Booking Page. Sessions are not fully booked until confirmed by me via email. Occasionally dates or times on the widget may not actually be available for booking.

Clients looking to book for events or other work should contact me through the Contact Page to book.

Deposits & Cancellations

All sessions require a deposit before the session is confirmed. The deposit is subtracted from your final invoice. Deposits should be paid as soon as possible after a booking request is made as your date will not be held and could be booked by someone else.

Once a deposit is paid it is non-refundable in the event that you cancel your session. If you reschedule a cancelled session within one month of canceling your deposit can be applied to that session. After a month your deposit will be forfeited and a new deposit will be required should you decide to rebook.
If you cancel within 48 hours of your session and a deposit has not yet been paid you will be charged a cancellation fee.

Individual Headshots & Portraits: $50
Couples & Family Sessions: $100
Events: 50%
Other Work: Please contact me for more information

Where do sessions take place?

MJ Photographics focuses on natural light photography. Because of that I don’t book studio sessions. All portrait sessions take place on location, meaning they are usually in a public place.

For headshots I often conduct sessions in and around downtown Halifax or over in Point Pleasant Park. If the weather is bad or during the winter sessions take place in the Central Library in downtown Halifax.

For Couple and Family sessions I will often use various public parks or historical sites. If you have a special location that you’d for your session let me know when booking and I’ll see what I can do about having our session there.

See below for the weather policy

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my shoot?

All sessions that are initially booked for outdoors are subject to rescheduling due to weather. I will make every effort to reschedule a session with 12-24 hours notice but with Nova Scotia’s unpredictable weather sometimes that may not be possible. Please check your email and/or text messages before leaving for a session if the weather isn’t looking good.

Headshot sessions have to option to just being moved locations to the Central Library. However if you would prefer to be outdoors the session will be rebooked.

Family & Couples Sessions are usually all conducted outdoors and so will be rebooked.

Outdoor Events: I will contact you in the event of bad weather to discuss our options.

What should I wear to a session?

The best advice I can give is to wear what makes you comfortable and feel your best. That said there are a few general rules to try to abide by.

Try to stick to mostly solid colours, patterns tend to look too busy on camera unless you cover with a solid jacker or sweater. Also, stay away from solid black or solid white unless you can break it up with a coloured jacket, sweater, scarf etc.

Feel free to bring a bunch of things along and we can chose what works best.

A base outfit with a sweater, jacket, etc to throw on over top works best when shooting in on location.

I usually suggest at least one casual outfit and one more dressy outfit. (For packages that include multiple looks).

For headshot sessions I’ll be taking mostly close-up shots but also a few from farther away so whatever pants/bottoms and shoes you wear will likely be in the shot.

How should I do my hair and makeup?

Like with your wardrobe you want to stick to makeup and hair that makes you feel great about yourself but also is comfortable. Now is not the time to try something new. If you’d like to hire someone to do your hair and makeup before the shoot let me know and I can try to put you in touch with artists I recommend.

For headshot sessions:
Hair should be as you’d wear it to an audition, though a hair tie, brush and some clips are useful if you do want to change it up a bit.

Makeup should be natural, whatever you’d wear on a daily basis and to an audition.

If you have a beard and would like to have shots with and without you’re welcome to bring a razor and shave halfway through.

What are proofs?

Headshot and Individual Portrait clients will receive a gallery of proofs where they can choose the images they would like edited. Proofs are unedited images from your session. They will not look as clean and polished as a the finished products you see in my portfolio. The Client Archive and your client page will have information on how many images are included in your package and how the archive works.

How do I get my photos?

MJ Photographics sends you your photos as digital files either via email or via Dropbox. Most packages include your files in web resolution and in print resolution. See the pricing & rates pages or your contract for details pertaining to how many web and high res. files you should receive. Here is a run down of the two types of files.

Web: For web use only (social media, websites etc.). The file is sized much smaller and is not suitable for printing purposes. When posting on Facebook or Instagram it would be great if you could tag MJ Photographics.

Print: For printing only. The file is much too large to upload to the web. For suggestions to wear to have prints done see below.

What if I want to print my photos?

MJ Photographics does not print photos. Instead I provide high resolution files that can be printed at your leisure. You are welcome to have your prints done wherever you’d like but I do have recommendations of companies who provide good quality for a reasonable price. However MJ Photographics is not responsible for the quality of any prints.

For headshots I recommend Rocket Reprographics. Located in Vancouver BC, they are the leading print shop in the country for actor headshots. There’s an easy online form to fill out, you can choose from a variety of borders and text and then you receive your prints in the mail a week or so later. The prints are very true to what you see on your screen. Here is the website should you choose to go this route:

For Family and Couples images I recommend Posterjack. They have a variety of printing options from your typical photo album prints to canvas prints. They have an easy to use online system and your prints are delivered to your door.

Why do you charge for extra high resolution images?

Buying high res. image files is basically like buying the full rights to an image because you can pretty much do anything with it at that point. Some photographers don’t sell high res. images and instead want to be able to control where the images get printed so they do the printing part for you for an additional cost. Myself and other photographers like to give the client more flexibility as to where, when and how much you pay for printing, especially in the film industry I know that sometimes you need to be able to print a headshot off last minute and having the high res. files will let you do that. So we sell the high res. files in the same way the other photographers sell you prints.

Will you give me the RAW or unedited files from our session?

I do not supply clients with unedited files. The editing of the images I take is part of my style and brand and is a significant part of what you’re paying for when you book with me. Having unedited images out there representing my work is the same as having an unfinished painting representing the work of a painter.