Frequently Asked Questions
As a small business owner, I have a lot to do...
I spend a great deal of time looking and waiting for wildlife, and scouting new locations for client photo shoots and landscape opportunities. I do my own books, invoicing & taxes; keep track of inventory and research new products, services and gear. I create, manage and update my website and social media accounts and look for new ways to market my business. I network in the community, looking for new business opportunities. I spend time cleaning and maintaining my gear and charging batteries, preparing, packing and unpacking before and after shoots. And I answer a lot of questions that come through email and social media messaging - some are from potential clients and some are from people interested in pursuing photography as a hobby or profession.
I also own my own home, which happens to be a farm on 83 acres. I have a partner and 4 fur kids to care for. I am chief cook, cleaner and nurse. I have 9 acres of grass to mow and whipper-snip. Trees and gardens to tend outside, in addition to some 60 (indoor) plants I've adopted/propagated/acquired over the years.
So... in order to save me a bit of time, I've compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If I've directed you here, the answer to your question can be found below. If you've found your own way here, I hope you find your answer. If not, please feel free to contact me and I will answer as best I can and as soon as I'm able!
Purchasing Products & Services
Q: Can I hire you?
Yes! Please send me an email at info(at)helengrose.ca with as many details as you have and we can go from there. Information that is helpful for me to know includes:
~ type of shoot (e.g. family, event, corporate),
~ hours of service required (if event related),
~ location of shoot,
~ dates (specific or potential timing),
~ number of participants,
~ intended use of images (print, online, personal, commercial), and
~ desired end product (prints, digital images, etc.).
Q: How do I purchase a photo?
I offer prints in a variety of sizes (from 5x7 to 20x30+) and mediums (photo prints, canvasses, aluminum). You may purchase prints directly through my website by visiting the Galleries, selecting the image you wish to purchase and clicking on the “Buy” button located on the bottom left-hand corner of the image. Or you may send me an email with the file name or description of the image you wish to purchase, as well as the size and the medium and your shipping address and I will send you a quote.
Note: Items purchased through my website are printed and shipped from a professional lab located in the U.S., while items purchased from me are printed and shipped from a professional lab located in Canada.
Q: Can I see your work in person?
My work has been on display in a number of locations across Ontario, but at the moment, you can see and purchase a few pieces at The Mad Musher restaurant in Whitney, Ontario, which is located about 10 minutes east of Algonquin Park’s East Gate. I do have some pieces available for sale on my property in Bracebridge, Ontario, too. Please contact me via email (info(at)helengrose.ca) to set up a time.
Q: I am a business owner and am interested in your art. Do you offer wholesale prices?
Yes! Please send me an email including information about your business and clientele and the types of pieces and quantity you're interested in carrying. Popular items include: greeting cards, photo magnets, matted prints, framed prints, gallery wrapped canvasses.
Q: May I use your image for my __________________________? (e.g. project, poster, brochure, cover photo, computer desktop, background image)
Almost all of my images are available for purchase through my site. I offer low and high resolution digital downloads with licensing options, prints from 5x7 to 20x30+, gallery wrapped canvasses and various merchandise with my images printed on them. So, yes, you may purchase my images for use. If you do not see the image you would like to purchase for sale in the format you require, please contact me to discuss details and be thorough in your explanation of use so I may provide a quote. Unauthorized use of my images (even if it includes my logo and/or watermark or cites full credit) is a copyright infringement, which I take very seriously. Please see below for more details about copyright and what it means.
Unless you are a registered charity, please do not ask if you may use my image(s) for free. There are plenty of photographers who offer work with a creative commons license, but I am not one of them. Here's a great write-up that helps explain why professional photographers cannot work for free.
Q: What do you shoot?
Anything and everything! Portraits, sports, special events, products, real estate, pets, nature and wildlife. If you are interested in having photos taken of something and you’re not sure if I do it - ask! I once had someone ask if I would take photos of his son’s paintball practice… I said yes and spent the next three years touring around Canada, the US and Europe photographing paintball!
Q: What’s your set up / what gear do you use?
This obviously depends on what I’m shooting, where I’m shooting and what the conditions are like.
Sports: Canon 1DX + Canon 70-200 f/2.8L II IS
Wildlife: Canon 1DX + Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L II IS
Landscapes: Canon 1DX or Canon 5DMKIII + Canon 17-40 f/4L or Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II
Q: How do you protect your camera from the elements?
I use Aquatech sport shields and love them. I protect my lens with high-density clear filters if I’m shooting paintball – to protect from the oils and scratches due to constant cleaning of my lens. I’ve seen people use all kinds of things to protect their gear, but what it comes down to is you use works for you.
Q: I’m just getting into photography and need to buy a camera. What do you recommend?
Gear is constantly changing. I am not interested in “tech talk”, so the advice I offer is generic. I shoot Canon, but I do not subscribe to the Canon v. Nikon debate, nor do I discount the other options on the market. Buying photography equipment is like buying a car… so many brands, they’ll all get you from A to Z, but what is right for you depends on the specific uses, your budget, and your preference for bells and whistles, look and feel.
I recommend you buy a camera that feels comfortable and makes sense to you – we are all different. Most cameras offer the same or similar features, but they all have different ways of getting there. So, if the way they’ve set up the menus makes sense to you on one camera, but not the other – you have your answer.
When choosing a brand, here are a couple of things to consider:
1. Do they make a range of products that you’ll be able to grow into?
2. Are you comfortable with the price point levels offered?
Other than that, what I highly recommend is you invest in a good lens or lenses. Consider what you want to shoot and the focal range that will work for that (e.g. wide angle for landscape, telephoto for wildlife) and buy the very best lens possible. Zoom is probably the way to go to start as it gives you options. If you choose wisely, that lens will last and be a great investment. Also, lenses don’t lose their value over time the way camera bodies do. In my opinion, lenses are a far more important factor in image clarity, colour and sharpness than the camera.
When looking for a camera body, choose the one that does what you need. The more options it has, the more you have to learn… and with the rate at which technology changes, as soon as you’ve mastered it, you’ll want to upgrade to the latest and greatest anyway. Don’t go crazy on the body. Unless you’re creating images to blow up on a billboard, you don’t need the camera with the highest number of megapixels. If it feels good in your hands, does what you need it to and won’t break your bank, go with it. Use that extra money you would have spent on a spare battery and a comfortable strap.
Q: Where should I buy my gear?
I always recommend starting your homework online. You can window-shop prices through various retailers without ever leaving home. There are also great sites like photoprice.ca, which will help you compare prices across the country and even internationally. I never recommend purchasing photography gear at big box retailers, as their knowledge and selection are generally lacking, although I have heard of some finding a good deal on consumer/entry-level gear. I recommend that you build a relationship with someone in a photography specialty store, like Henry's or Vistek or your local camera store and don't ever be afraid to ask for a price match. If you live in the US, I highly recommend B&H – shop online and have it delivered to your door. Their service is fast and great – even across the border!
Copyright & Image Licensing
Q: What does copyright mean?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines copyright as: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work). Copyright is automatic upon the creation of an image, so even if it is not stated, it is protected, meaning the artist is the only one legally able to distribute, reproduce or sell the image. Any unauthorized use – even if accompanied by a credit to the artist or displaying the artist’s watermark – is a copyright infringement. Copyright infringement is a nice way of saying it is illegal. Just because something is 'on the internet' does not mean it is fair game or free to use.
Q: What are the commercial and personal licensing agreements for your digital downloads?
Commercial Use License for Digital Downloads
What you can do: Photographer ("Content Provider") grants you a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide license to use the accompanying image(s) (collectively, "Media,") for permitted commercial purposes, defined as:
~ advertising, promotion, brochures, packaging
~ as part of a commercial website for promotional purposes (maximum 800x600 pixels) use
~ prints, posters, flyers, tearsheets for promotional purposes (not for resale)
~ prints, posters, or other commercial display of Media
~ magazines, books, newspapers, other printed publications
~ video, broadcast, theatrical
What you may not do:
Buyer may not resell, relicense, redistribute without express written permission from Content Provider. Use as a derivative work, and reselling or redistributing such derivative work is prohibited. Media may not be used in a pornographic, obscene, illegal, immoral, libellous or defamatory manner. Media may not be incorporated into trademarks, logos, or service marks. Media may not be made available for download. Content Provider retains all rights, license, copyright, title and ownership of the Media. There is no warranty, express or implied, with the purchase of this digital image. Neither Content Provider nor SmugMug will be liable for any claims, or incidental, consequential or other damages arising out of this license or buyer's use of the Media.
Personal Use License for Digital Downloads
Photographer ("Content Provider") grants buyer a non-exclusive perpetual personal-use license to download and copy the accompanying image(s) (collectively, "Media,") subject to the following restrictions:
~ This license is for personal use only. Personal use means non-commercial use of the Media for display on personal websites and computers, or making image prints or video copies for personal use. The Media may not be used in any way whatsoever in which you charge money, collect fees, or receive any form of remuneration. The Media may not be used in advertising. The Media may not be resold, relicensed, or sub-licensed.
~ Title and ownership, and all rights now and in the future, of and for the Media remain exclusively with the Content Provider.
~ There are no warranties, express or implied. The Media are provided 'as is.' Neither Content Provider nor SmugMug will be liable for any third party claims or incidental, consequential or other damages arising out of this license or buyer's use of the Media.