James Hale Photography

James Hale Photography

Capturing moments today for your memories tomorrow....
Questions to Ask Your Potential Photographer
We took the time to create this q&a for you to use when interviewing potential photographers.  Too many times clients get caught up in the financial aspects of a purchase such as photography when often...
...read more... "Questions to Ask Your Potential Photographer"
The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer
The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer Even photographers hire photographers. “Why?” you ask. “If you own a good camera, you don’t need a professional photographer, right?” Wrong.  So, with a nod to...
...read more... "The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer"
Event Photography
Event photography can take many shapes, from covering non-profit events such as BikeMS or the AHA 5K Run/Walk, to Corporate Christmas parties and get-togethers. Full coverage candids are taken throughout the event with the option...
...read more... "Event Photography"
Photographic Services Available
James Hale Photography specializes in portraits.  However, with that said, there are many different kinds of portraits.  We also do weddings, schools, groups, baseball teams, dance teams, other groups, events both corporate and charity and...
...read more... "Photographic Services Available"

Event Photography

Event photography can take many shapes, from covering non-profit events such as BikeMS or the AHA 5K Run/Walk, to Corporate Christmas parties and get-togethers. Full coverage candids are taken throughout the event with the option of a photo booths and group photos are a couple of options that are available as well. For very large events, multiple photographers will be used to make sure that coverage is complete. Contact us for further details about your event and what we can do for you.

My True Gemini Comes Through
They say that Gemini is the sign of the twins and that the twins are never satisfied. Well, it's either that, or a serious case...
Read More "My True Gemini Comes Through"
Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary
I met with Doug and Mary Ann and talked about what they wanted.  This was the first time in many years that the whole family...
Read More "Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary"
Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos
One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” was written in the early 19th...
Read More "Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos"
Please Forgive my Naivte
First off I want to say "I'm Sorry and I Apologize." When I started in photography many, many years ago, I always dreamed of owning...
Read More "Please Forgive my Naivte"
My True Gemini Comes Through
They say that Gemini is the sign of the twins and that the twins are never satisfied. Well, it's either that, or a serious case...
Read More "My True Gemini Comes Through"
Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary
I met with Doug and Mary Ann and talked about what they wanted.  This was the first time in many years that the whole family...
Read More "Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary"
Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos
One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” was written in the early 19th...
Read More "Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos"
Please Forgive my Naivte
First off I want to say "I'm Sorry and I Apologize." When I started in photography many, many years ago, I always dreamed of owning...
Read More "Please Forgive my Naivte"

Digital Images vs. Prints

Digital Files vs. Prints

Photography has become commonplace, virtually everyone loves taking photos and most people do a pretty decent job at it. However there are times when you want to hire a professional photographer to create extra special images for your family. You want to display some incredibly beautiful, emotive images that capture who your family is at this moment in time, you want those photos to represent something spectacular , you have this vision of gorgeous albums, a stunning framed portrait in your foyer, an outstanding gallery wrap canvas hanging over your fireplace mantle.

You begin calling to interview photographers and inevitably you explain to them that you want to print these images yourself. You’re looking for the photographer that will create those beautiful, evocative images for you, unique to you and your family and you want them to hand over the images for you to print. Somehow you’ve come to believe that getting the disc of images is best because you control the process and it’s cheaper to print yourself.

What?! Come again?

This scenario is very representative of the photography market today. Somehow people have been brainwashed into believing that digital files are the best option when, in fact, they are not.  All that digital images are MEANT to be is a temporary method of storage: all too many things can go wrong with digital media leaving you in a lurch with a ton of images that were never printed; images that will never be displayed in your beautiful home; images that will never be archived and made permanent.  Lets face it, for many people, after you get back your disc from said photographer, the disc goes in the drawer to never see the light of day…maybe JUST MAYBE to be unearthed (if you’re lucky) in a year or two with an “I meant to print some of these…” utterance.

 

Why some photographers do not sell digital images or sell them only at a premium price

Imagine…

Let’s say you go through the process and expense of hiring a photographer and end up purchasing the disc of images. Then you figure you will “get to it later” and don’t bother printing up those photos for yourself.  That disc then stays in the drawer for a period of time.  Perhaps these images are of your newborn baby girl at 7 days old but now she’s almost 13 years old!  You want to create something really special for her 13th birthday so you finally take that disc of images out of that drawer and put it in the CD tray of your computer to get them printed.  In the CD goes as you wait…and wait.  No images found.

Hmmm… You hit eject on your tired old computer and pop out that CD tray.  You then make sure the CD is inserted properly, close the CD drawer and again…waiting…waiting.  POOF your images are gone!  They are nonexistent.  This particular CD from your daughter’s newborn session doesn’t even show any data on it!  You go through the explore process to see what files are on that disc to find out there are none.  There is no data on this disc!!  Now you freak out.  You compose yourself long enough to remember the photography studio that took these particular images and you call the photographer to order another disc to deliver to your home ASAP.  When you finally find and call the number it is no longer a business number. Then you go online to find that photographer only to find that they are now out of business nowhere to be found! You have no way of getting a hold of that photographer. You once had all these amazing images of your daughter (never backed up, never saved as prints) but now you can’t even access them!  You went to this photographer for the first two years of your daughter’s life, frazzled and more than a bit freaked out you start pulling CD-ROM out for each and every session from those two years and poof! one after the other the images on each of those CDs has somehow disappeared!  It’s the photographer’s fault!  It’s a defective disk!  The photographer is a scam artist! A thousand thoughts whirl in your head when the sad reality is:

THAT DISC WAS NEVER MEANT FOR LONG TERM STORAGE!

Sounds implausible?  It isn’t.  It’s actually a well known fact that CD-ROM and DVD-ROM discs are not meant as a long term storage solution. Neither are USB keys or hard drives — no electronic storage system is infallible, that’s the truth.

It’s true! The Myth of The 100 Year CD-Rom

 

But wait!!  That can’t happen to you…your photographer doesn’t burn images to a CD!! So this scenario isn’t possible. The photographer you use, well they’re smart (and so are you) for choosing to put images on a USB key. Those have to be fool proof — right?!

No. USB storage is a very recent phenomena and knowing how technology evolves chances are that the USB storage key you received from your photographer will go the way of the floppy disc within ten years, give or take. Think hard now, when is the last time you’ve seen a computer with a working floppy drive? Can you guarantee you’ll still have a working computer with a USB port in ten years?


More on the topic of things you haven’t seen in awhile…

“Oh but I didn’t just LEAVE those images on the USB key…I also downloaded them to my hard drive!”

If I had a dime for every hard drive failure I’ve heard about I’d be at least $100 richer or AKA “The Story of Some Sad Photographers”

Do the math. That’s a lot of hard drive failures. And they’re very real and scary.

But you need not worry, you have multiple copies of your images on multiple hard drives scattered far and wide, right? Yeah well…

A photographer friend (who shall remain nameless) hadn’t printed up any images of her young children in several years. She decided since they were taking a long trip away from home that “now’s the time to get editing and printing.”

Off they went on their trip, planning on working hard on getting up to date with her photos she did the smart thing: she brought along her laptop, her external hard drives and the back up drives on vacation with them on vacation. You know…so she could do catch up, get some editing done, get some images tuned up and ready to order.

A few weeks into the trip, all seems good, right as rain, she’s excited because many of these images were of her youngest when she was super little and she didn’t have any prints from this time in her life. She’s finally going to get them printed.

She kept her equipment locked up and secure when they were away but somehow someone knew to break into the place where she was storing said equipment (hard drives and back up drives) and someone took it. EVERY last bit of it. Every drive, the laptop, everything. Can you imagine how awful that felt? To lose all those memories?

That’s a tough lesson to learn. I mean she did do the right things mostly, right? She had back up drives of her images…but yet this method still failed her EVEN without the hard drive failure!

Years of images GONE. Zero printed copies of these long gone moments. Probably stuff like baby’s first bath, baby and big sister playing in the bath tub, playing dress up, baby’s first steps…the list of lost images is heart wrenching. Had she had the prints at least she would still have the prints, I’m pretty sure prints are zero value to a petty thief but they are invaluable to the memory holder.

That story is 100% real and it’s 100% sad and there’s a hundred more like it: hard drive failures, power surges that mess up operating systems, house fires that ruin computer equipment. More theft (in homes). A lot of what I’m illustrating happened to those who do and should know better: photographers!

I bet they won’t have to learn that lesson twice.

So what you’re saying is digital files are bad?

No. To the contrary what I am saying is this. Think long and hard about basing your photographer choices based upon availability of digital files and/or price.  What you’re making the investment in may not be what is truly the best option for you: digital files are great if you plan on using labs that you know for a fact can reproduce images to what your photographer saw on their screen when they edited those images, if your photographer sells digital files then they should recommend to you a lab that can do a decent job.  HOWEVER know this: to get the best quality images from your session you really should think about having your photographer control the printing process simply because your photographer has access to labs that can accurately reproduce images to their standards. I assure you most photographers are so ridiculously strict on what they deliver to a client you’d really be surprised how many images don’t pass our muster and have to be redone. A true professional photographer CARES about the quality of the images that hang on your wall because THEIR name is on those images, maybe not physically so but that is their life’s work up there. They want your friends and your family to be wowed by the gorgeousness of their work, it only serves them to do so.

(READ Why some photographers do not sell digital images or sell them only at a premium price at the top of this page for details on what calibration means in the professional photographer world)

Quality should trump quantity every time.  Often photographers receive the questions regarding digital files and then “How many images do I get?” What a silly question really.  Unless you plan on wall paper plastering your walls with photos from your session the question shouldn’t be: “How many images do I get?” but “How much will I love my images?” “Will I want to display my images?” The answer should be yes. The photos you put on display in your home should reflect the character and beauty of your family and be captured in the best manner possible and should be reproduced on fine quality professional photo paper or canvas.

A wannabe-hobbyist photographer may say: “You’ll get 50 images (and based on the law of averages) you’ll like some of them.”

A true professional photographer will be confident in their skills enough to say: “You will love your images, all of them.” and assure you the images captured at your photography session will be of the finest quality, reproduced in print on the finest paper by the finest professional labs available to them.

My True Gemini Comes Through

They say that Gemini is the sign of the twins and that the twins are never satisfied. Well, it’s either that, or a serious case of OCD! I’ve decided to change the layout of my website a little. Ok, maybe a lot. However, it won’t interfere with the functionality (I hope…) of the website. If it does and you can find what you need, give me a call. Also, if you see something you like, let me know. I LOVE to have people tell me what they like to see on a website. Too few people do that… So, sit back, enjoy the change of scenery and if it gets to much, go outside and get some fresh air!

Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary

I met with Doug and Mary Ann and talked about what they wanted.  This was the first time in many years that the whole family had gotten together because three of their four children lived very far away.  It was a special occasion and we had a great time!  I …

Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos

One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” was written in the early 19th century.  Though its author is disputed, with the poem being attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. over the years, it was …

Please Forgive my Naivte

First off I want to say “I’m Sorry and I Apologize.” When I started in photography many, many years ago, I always dreamed of owning my own photography business.  Yes, I was taken in by the “rock star” mentality of what it was to be a photographer.  Back then, it …

About Me

I had my first exposure (no pun intended) to photography at the ripe old age of 18 when I applied for and got a job doing discount photography in K-Marts and other department stores around the MidWest.  When you have an hour-long line of kids under 2 years old with their mothers, you begin to learn what is important and what isn’t and you learn patience.  I realized pretty quickly that there was more to photography than just running people through a line and taking their photograph.  Needless to say, I looked for something else.  I found it.  I joined the Navy.  (Didn’t see that coming… did you? <smile>)

When I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, I found that I still loved photography and got a job as a portrait photographer with Olan Mills Portrait Studios.  I loved this job!  For awhile.  No lines!  Well, that’s not exactly true, but the line wasn’t right next to where I was taking photographs and it was so much better.  I also learned salesmanship at Olan Mills or rather, NOT the way to sell photography to clients.  At Olan Mills, typically someone would come in for a free 8×10 that they had a coupon for and I would go through my standard set of poses for them. Sometimes I got really lucky with a sitting.  For instance, one time I had a mother bring a 3-day old baby in to have their picture taken.  I knew that there wasn’t much that I could do with what I was given at Olan Mills, but miracle of miracles, I got the baby to smile.  Ok, maybe it was gas, but it was still a smile.  I made a big deal out of it and eventually the mother ended up buying a lot of portraits.  After that, the client would come back in on a specific date, set at the portrait sitting, and then be pressured into buying additional photographs that they either did not want or could not afford.  I did not want to do that.

I got a job shortly after this working with a studios and my first real mentor.  This job allowed me to enter the realm of wedding photography.  I assisted at a number of weddings until they thought I was ready to go at it alone.  I loved the medium format Mamiya film cameras that I used.  My freezer was stuffed with rolls of 220 and 120 color film that I used to photograph weddings (which was the method of long-term film storage in those days). I did that for a couple years and loved it.  Unfortunately, they went out of business and I became an unemployed photographer.

My interest in computers developed out of my love for photography because while I was working at the studio mentioned above, the industry started developing something called a “digital back” for my beloved Mamiya RB-67 that I used for weddings.  I decided that “digital” was the wave of the future so I started looking for positions as a programmer.  Because I had studied programming right out of the Navy, I eventually got a job as a COBOL programmer (go figure).   To make a long story short, I still loved photography and would take photos as often as I could but I spent the next 30 years serving my time in the I/T field.

Years of practice have provided me with a patient and prepared eye that enables me to recognize and capture images as you would remember them if only you could seize that perfect instant.  I am very good at putting people at ease in front of the camera and pride myself on being able to provide my clients with a variety of images that are timeless, elegant, spontaneous and fresh, even if I do have a bad set of “dad” jokes!

At times during a photo session, I work as a photojournalist, recording life as it unfolds, but most of my portraits are a collaboration between the myself and the person or people being photographed. I always have fun during a photo shoot and even the most reluctant subjects tell me that they had fun, too.  My work is usually done on location at your home or at a site of your choosing because I don’t believe that professional photography should just be in the realm of the studio.  When you book a photography session with me, you will fill out a questionnaire with some of your likes and dislikes and then we will discuss possible locations.  The majority of my portraits incorporate elements of the environment and are shot using available light.  I do have the equipment necessary for more formal portraits, head shots and for anyone who prefers the studio that I can set up right in your home, at your convenience, not mine.

I am available to guide you every step of the way.  From questions about clothing to finding your best angle to choosing the best images — I am here to help you.  Even if you decide to go with another photographer, I am available to you to answer questions and guide you to get the best possible photograph that you desire.

Organizations I belong to:

  • PPA – Professional Photographers of America – #8327862
  • Professional Photographer’s Association of Greater Kansas City – Member ID#
    • Treasurer 2018-19
  • Model Alliance
  • Missouri Professional Photographers Association – Member ID# 30677496
  • American Photography Association