F.A.Q. | Frequently Asked Chicago Photography Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Bauwerks Professional Photography Studio Chicago and our wide range of photo session styles including corporate headshots, family portraits, acting headshots, modeling comp cards,  artist promo photos, dog and cat portraits and boudoir photographs below, or just call us at our conveniently located Lincoln Park photo studio at 773-529-4199 for a free phone or in-studio consultation or to book your very own photo shoot.

General Photography Studio Information

Where is your photo studio located and do you have Parking?
We are conveniently located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood just north of Chicago’s downtown loop business district near the intersection of Fullerton, Ashland and Clybourn at 2475 North Clybourn Avenue. Via CTA: take the brown/red line to Fullerton, then hop on the #72-Fullerton bus west and exit on Fullerton/Clybourn. Walk 1 block north (right) to our studio on Clybourn. From the Kennedy expressway, exit on Fullerton, drive east about 1 mile (4 traffic lights) until you see Clybourn Avenue. Turn left going northbound onto Clybourn Avenue and drive for about 1 block. We are on the east side of the street. Our storefront studio is black with a yellow sign. There is usually plenty of free unmetered street parking available. Click here for a Google map and directions finder in a separate window or call us at 773-529-4199.

What are your hours?
Our hours are by appointment only available Monday-Saturday from 9AM to 7PM. Since our consultations, studio sessions and pick-up’s are by appointment, please call first to schedule your date and time. If you happen to get our voice mail during business hours, we are giving our individual attention to one of our clients, so please leave a message and we will get back to you ASAP.  Or feel free to email (insert hyperlink to contact form) us anytime with questions. If you require a shoot time outside of our normal business hours, please call us, and we will try our best to accommodate you.  We usually don’t mind staying a little later in the evening to accommodate busy professionals.  The photo studio is closed on Sundays, except for emergencies.

Why do you operate by appointment only?
We believe that every client deserves our full attention and creativity. Like most professional photographers, we operate by appointment. For your convenience, we can also ship prints and USB Flash Drives or deliver files online or via e-mail.

 Do you offer free consultations?
Absolutely. We understand and agree that sometimes you just need a personal face-to-face consultation in order to discuss all the necessary details for your photography project or just get a feel for the photographer and the studio space before booking. To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at 773-529-4199.

Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?
Yes! Our motto is simple: If you don’t like what you see, you get 50 exposures for free (sm). Since you can review your photos right after your studio photography session, if you are not happy with the outcome and are unable to find any satisfactory images, we will shoot another 50 exposures for free (same day only). This applies to studio photography only and does not apply to on-location photography.

Do you require a deposit for photo shoots? What are your payment terms?
All studio photography sessions require a 50% non-refundable deposit (retainer) at the time of booking which will be fully applied to your package. The remaining 50% is due the day of the photo session. On-location photo sessions are due 100% in advance.

What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash and all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover. We also accept personal and corporate checks for deposits and advance payments only.

Do you have a rescheduling or cancellation policy for photography sessions?
Since we are reserving high-demand studio space, resources and professional staff for your photo session, we request that you notify us at least 7 days prior to your photo session in order to reschedule at no additional cost. If you reschedule with less than 7 days prior notice to your appointment, you will incur a $95 rescheduling fee.  A cancellation or no-show will result in the loss of the non-refundable deposit/retainer which equals the cancellation fee.  We will try everything possible to accommodate your schedule and rarely have to invoke our rescheduling/cancellation policy and fees. Consultations are always free and at no cost to you.

Do you shoot on-location?
Yes. Call us for a custom quote. On-location shoots require a $500 minimum booking.

What is the process for a typical portrait photography studio session from start to finish?
First, review our various portfolios and packages online or call us for a free studio consultation or corporate quote. Book your session by calling us at 773-529-4199. Once you arrive at the studio, you will spend some time with a makeup artist and hair stylist if you have booked hair styling and/or makeup application for your shoot. After a detailed discussion of your objectives for the photos with the photographer, including reviewing some samples you may have, the photo session proceeds as planned. Once the shooting is complete, you will be able to see every single image the same day on our large projector screen and receive digital watermarked PDF proofs of all exposures via email usually within 24 hours. The proofs allow you to make your selections for your final retouched prints or digital photos that come with your photography package.  Your final retouched photos are usually ready within 5-15 business days.  You may also choose to purchase the unretouched digital session photos on a USB Flash Drive and process them with a 3rd party retoucher, photo lab or graphic and web designer.

When can I see the images? What is your turnaround time?
We will review the photos with you in our projection room right after the shoot is complete.  PDF Proofs which are small watermarked thumbnails of all exposures, will be emailed to you after the photo shoot for further review and selection usually within 24-48 hours.  Final prints, digital photos, headshots or comp cards are usually ready within 5-10 business days. Individual delivery times vary depending on the product or output. Tight deadline for your headshots? No problem!  We can expedite the turnaround of your digital photos usually within 24-48 hours.  Just let us know at the time of booking what your deadline is by calling to book your photo shoot at 773.529.4199, and we will let you know if expedited turnaround is available.  Rush fees do apply and is based on availability. Please inquire at time of booking.

Do I have the rights to publish the images or make my own prints?
Yes. You have unlimited usage rights to publish them for promotional, corporate collateral and public relations use so you can use them for social media profile photos, magazines, websites, brochures, etc. We will issue you a general agreement right after the photo session at no extra cost.

Can I choose to keep the images confidential? 
Absolutely. You can opt to keep them completely confidential, and we will never use or publish them for anything, period. Should you choose to keep your images confidential, we will issue you a mutual non-publish confidentiality agreement right after the photo session. Please inquire for details.

How long do you store images? Can I order images from a past session?
We keep your images active for at least 1 year. After that, we securely store them in an off-site archive  to ensure privacy and data protection. After one year, additional fees apply to retrieve the original photos in order to process new orders.

Can I bring my staff, colleagues, friends and family to the photo session?
Sure, no problem, just let us know when booking who will be attending the shoot. Art directors, graphic designers, agents, marketing staff or anyone else involved in post-production of a commercial session is highly encouraged to participate and input their professional opinion. Bring a friend or family member only if you think they will put you more at ease. If you are under the age of 18, you are required to have a parent or legal-guardian present during the entire session.

What kind of backgrounds, props and accessories do you have available?
We have a variety of props, accessories and a wide selection of backgrounds. Just let us know what you are looking for and we’ll let you know if we have it or how to acquire it.  You should bring your own clothing for the shoot and use our props and accessories to accent your look. We feel that backgrounds, props and clothing should support the job at hand (and not the other way around). We therefore recommend you give us a call at 773-529-4199 to discuss your unique needs based on your (or our) idea or concept.

Photo Session Preparation, Make-Up & Styling

Should I bring some of my own ideas and samples?
Absolutely. Even though we see it as our duty to come up with creative ideas and poses, your specific ideas are always welcome. We highly encourage you to research online and in magazines as much as possible and bring samples to your consultation or photo shoot, especially if you know exactly what you want or have a certain look in mind. The more ideas and minds we have, the better the results, guaranteed!

What should I wear or bring to my headshot or portrait photo session?
What you should wear depends on the type of shoot are doing and who your intended audience is.  Simple and contemporary is probably the best way to describe the ideal wardrobe for a headshot or portrait photo session. In general, we recommend avoiding bright colors, big patterns, logos or any other feature of your clothing that might distract attention from you, but that depends on your personal style and the purpose of the photo. For corporate headshots we recommend modern business suits and several shirts and ties (men).Darker colors like black, charcoal, chocolate, navy, maroon, etc. work best, but sometimes a crisp white shirt is just the look you are going for! Long or ¾ sleeves are better than short sleeves or sleeveless for a headshot. Also, make sure your clothes are freshly cleaned, pressed and relatively new. What better excuse to go shopping! On the other hand, if your photos are just for you then by all means, make sure your clothes are a reflection of YOU!!! If you feel like dressing up like The Queen of England or Lady Gaga, then you should go for it!!  If you’re not sure, bring a suitcase full of outfits! It’s better to have too much, than not enough. In terms of style, mix it up a little: some upscale, some casual outfits, shoes and plenty of accessories. Don’t forget to bring the appropriate undergarments, socks, belts, etc. to go with your outfits. We will recommend the most appropriate clothing for your shoot during your consultation and once you arrive as we can see what you have.

How can I prepare myself to get the most out of a photo session?
Plan, prepare and relax! Plan ahead so you have all the things you need before the shoot. Go shopping, get a manicure, or do whatever you need to do to relax before the shoot date! Since we don’t have a time limit on our portrait sessions, we never want you to feel rushed during your portrait, and we want you to get the best possible photos.  Therefore, please avoid trying to squeeze a shoot into an already hectic schedule. Eating a small meal or snack prior to your shoot, drinking plenty of water and getting a good night’s sleep the night before the shoot will not only make you feel better, you will look better in your photos. If you are scheduled for a larger package, try to take the day off and get a little departure from the daily grind while enjoying a fun photo session.

Should I get a haircut or tan the day of the photo shoot?

No! We recommend getting a haircut at least 1-3 days prior or tanning at least 2 or more days prior to your photo session. We have had several cases of getting burned by a tanning bed, a bad spray tan or a too short haircut, which required rescheduling the shoot at the last minute resulting in a rescheduling fee. If you are planning a swimsuit or lingerie look, watch out for tan lines. If you give it some lead-time, you have a chance to correct your skin’s appearance. We can also give your skin a slightly warmer look or soften tan lines with retouching in post-production.

Do you provide hair stylists and makeup artists?
We work with several freelance hair stylists and makeup artists.  Please let us know at the time of your photo session booking if you would like to have one available. If you choose not to book them in advance, they will not be available for you should you change your mind the day of the shoot.

Can I do my own makeup and hair, go to a salon or bring my own makeup artist or hair stylist?
Yes. However, we recommend our professional makeup artists and hair stylists to enhance your appearance for studio lighting. Most basic makeup applications done by you or a salon are geared towards regular ambient or daytime lighting. Should you choose to do your own makeup and hair-styling with a salon or your own stylist, make sure they have experience in photography related makeup and hair applications.  You may also bring your makeup with you for touch-ups as well.

Do I need to bring my own makeup or will the makeup artists have their own makeup?
Our professional makeup artists will have their own makeup kits. However, we feel free to bring your own makeup as well, especially if you have skin allergies, have a hard to match skin tone or would like to use a specific product for the shoot.

Do I need to bring my own makeup or will the makeup artists have their own makeup?
Our professional makeup artists will have their own makeup kits. However, we feel free to bring your own makeup as well, especially if you have skin allergies, have a hard to match skin tone or would like to use a specific product for the shoot.

Acting Headshots, Fashion & Modeling Comp

What do you recommend for actor headshots?

The style of your headshot depends on your acting career goals.  If you’re into theater acting, we recommend a dramatic or non-smile headshot. If you’re planning on breaking into the TV and film both smiley and non-smile headshots work and for commercials, a happy smiley shot may work better. Most of our clients get a mix of several looks: one for theater, a headshot for TV, movies and commercials, and a more corporate one for industrials and trade. The Chicago market usually requires you to be versatile in order to make a living and send a different headshot depending on the role you are auditioning for. We highly recommend consulting with your agent before making a final decision or calling us at 773-529-4199 for a personal consultation.

Who should help me pick my final headshots or images for a comp card?
We will gladly give you our input. Depending on the size of your package, there are usually many options that would work for you. We also recommend involving your agent, manager, or acting coach, if you have one.

How do I get started in modeling?
You need an agent!  You can start with a fashion style comp card that features 4-5 images of you in completely different looks and environments or backgrounds. Consider it a mini portfolio to showcase you in different settings and poses.  If the weather is cooperative, we will shoot several looks outdoors.  And if it’s not, then we will shoot with both artificial and natural light in the studio.  However, you may choose to look for an agent first and then get your photos, the choice is yours.  Addresses of modeling and talent agencies are easily available by searching the Internet. We provide our acting and modeling clients with a list of reputable agency recommendations after their shoot. Many agencies also offer open calls where you can just walk in with your comp card photos in hand on certain days of the week or you can submit photos on their website. If you’re on a budget, you could start out with a simple fashion style headshot. A typical comp card fashion shoot includes several outfits, makeup looks and hairstyles and usually ranges from our 3-5 looks or the ultimate package. Be prepared for a session that will last several hours up to an entire fun filled day!

Is it common to pay agencies upfront or force me to go to a specific photographer?
No. Beware of scams asking for money upfront for promised future modeling gigs. A reputable agency will review your photos or comp cards or meet with you at an open call at no charge to you. They get paid from the commission of booking you for a job.  You should be free to choose any photographer you like, although the agency may have their own photographer in some cases. Once you are a working professional model, you will get plenty of tear sheets and complementary photos from commercial sessions to build your portfolio. The hard part is getting started.

Do you offer modeling gigs? Are you an agency or talent representative?
No. We do not directly offer any modeling jobs nor do we promise any career in modeling. We focus on what we do best: photography.

Do you offer TFP/TFCD (Trade for Prints/CD) or test shoots for fashion photography?
Rarely. Photographers who are just starting out in order to build their portfolios usually offer TFP shoots. In order to get the specific photos and the experience you need, we recommend you pay for your first several photo sessions. That way you decide on the different looks and sets that work for your personal style (versus the photographers).

Corporate & Commercial Photography

Can you bring your lighting to our office for corporate style business headshots? What are the costs?
Of course! We shoot on-location corporate headshots and executive portraiture at locations throughout Chicago and the suburbs including downtown Chicago Loop, Schaumburg, Oak Brook and Naperville. We will bring professional lighting and backdrops and turn your conference room or any other place into a comfortable on-location studio for your colleagues and staff.  Call for a custom quote based on our corporate group discounted rate at 773.529.4199.

Is retouching and airbrushing recommended for executive portraiture and corporate headshots?
Yes. We always recommend purchasing our edited, retouched and airbrushed digital photos rather than the unretouched digital photos. We usually spend up to an hour on each final image. This is especially important if you choose not to book a professional makeup artist and/or hair stylist. Many folks simply don’t know how to apply proper makeup for a photo session. Post-production retouching and airbrushing allows you to correct most simple makeup mistakes, blemishes, remove other artifacts and get a commercial print or web ready file. Also, most corporate graphic and web designers are not trained photo-retouchers. So make sure you check first with your communications department if you have the proper internal staff at hand to edit and retouch them in-house.

Do you recommend getting  releases from our staff in order to use photos in corporate collateral marketing materials?
Yes. Most state laws require written model releases for any commercial use (educational, press, PR and informational use is usually exempt). Unless you have a release built into your employment or other contracts, we highly recommend you obtain releases. Please contact us for any further questions at 773-529-4199.

Are there any additional licensing fees or royalties in addition to the package price or price quoted?
No. You as a client have the right to use the images for pretty much anything related to your promotional, sales, corporate collateral and public relations efforts. Please contact us for a custom quote if you plan a major advertising campaign or for 3rd party usage.

Are you able to organize the models for our planned advertising photo sessions?
No. In order to keep our overhead and your costs low, we do not offer model casting and highly recommend using the services of professional model and talent agencies such as Ford Models or Lily’s Talent.  We will gladly assist you with the final selection during our consultations. A low cost alternative is street casting of non-professionals or the use of internal staff, which has been popular in recent years.

We have a graphic and web designer in-house. Can we just have the unedited shots?
Yes, no problem. We offer unretouched digital photos in high-resolution jpeg format. If you are planning on retouching the images, be advised that most corporate graphic and web designers are not trained photo-retouchers. So make sure you check first with your communications department if you have the proper internal staff at hand to edit and retouch them in-house. We offer retouching at competitive rates including file delivery via USB Flash Drive or e-mail.

Personal Portraiture

Do you offer traditional family portraiture?
Yes, we do offer traditional family portraiture, however we specialize in more relaxed and contemporary images for your family.

Do you work with pets?
Yes. All of our photographers grew up with pets and would love to photograph you with your best friend. Pets such as cats and dogs require more exposures and patience than humans. Make sure you call us first to discuss your ideas before you decide on the package size.

We are getting married out of town and need an engagement photo done in Chicago for our Save the Date Announcements. Are you experienced in such services?
Absolutely! We have photographed lots of couples for their engagement, both in more traditional and casual styles for family, friends, newspaper publication as well as Save the Date announcements.

Do you offer maternity and newborn photography?
Absolutely! Our delicate balance of creativity, patience and professionalism delivers a high quality fine art photography experience you can cherish for a lifetime. Call us to discuss the details of your session at 773-529-4199.

Have you photographed kids, toddlers and babies?
Yes. We photograph kids, toddlers and babies of all ages. We also produce kids talent, acting and modeling headshots and comp cards.  Please review our various portfolios for examples of our work.

I need profile photos for my dating service. Have you had that request before?
Absolutely! A professional image will definitely give you an edge over some of the poor quality amateur photography and selfie’s seen on most dating sites.  You want to stand out of the crowd, and a professional photo will get you noticed.  You’ve heard the old saying “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression”!  Your profile photo is your first impression online.  Make it count!

Beauty & Boudoir Photography

I’m very shy and would like to have some boudoir photographs taken for a gift. Can you help me?
Yes, of course! Our boudoir, glamour and artistic nude portrait photographer, Jovanka Novakovic has a style that is very classic and tasteful.   Jovanka is our female photographer and is very experienced with putting you at ease and making your session a fun and memorable experience. Read about her work as featured in the Chicago Tribune.  Boudoir and nude photos are popular gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, wedding night gifts, milestone celebrations or just as a gift for you!

I have never been in a pro studio and sure don’t look like a super model! Any thoughts?
First of all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to beauty and boudoir photography. We therefore carefully discuss and plan all sessions in order to capture the essence of each individual by utilizing lighting, fashion, props and environments that support the idea and look you have in mind. Most beauty and fine art nude photography has more to do with lighting, posing and angles. Also, there are so many styles of beauty, glamour and artistic nude photography available. We will make sure you pick the one that works for you.  Feel free to bring ideas of your own as well!

Can you make me look like a supermodel?
Absolutely, if that’s what you want! All fashion magazines are highly retouched and we can airbrush and sculpt your photos to look like a super model. Extra retouching fees apply for body contouring and will be quoted on a per image basis. Please inquire for details during your consultation.

Do you offer any accessories, props and costumes for boudoir, pin-up and beauty photo sessions?
We have a selection of props and accessories available. Please call our boudoir photographer, Jovanka,  at 773-529-4199 to discuss any details and availability or for a free in-studio consultation.

Are my images going to be in your portfolio and the Internet?
Only if you choose to do so. Most of our clients love our images and have no problems being in our portfolio. Should you choose to keep them private, we offer written mutual non-publish confidentiality agreements. The decision is entirely up to you!

Digital Photos, Albums, Wall Art, Prints

Is editing, retouching and airbrushing always included in your prints? If so, why?
Yes.  We want your wall art and prints to look their best for you to enjoy for years to come.  For example, if you didn’t sleep well the night before your shoot and have dark circles under your eyes, we can minimize their appearance with retouching. If you compare print prices, be aware that most photographers and labs do not retouch their images and literally print the raw digital negative without any adjustments.

Do you offer any cheaper “raw” prints, meaning without editing, retouching and airbrushing?
Our prints will always include retouching, however you are welcome to purchase the unretouched session digital photos on USB Flash Drive and make prints on your own anywhere you choose. Obviously we cannot guarantee the quality of third party prints.

Are your single fine art prints archival quality? How long do they last?
Our single fine art prints are individually prepared by our staff featuring a wide color gamut, vibrant colors and excellent dmax for black & white prints. Our prints also feature high archival quality and durability for up to 100 years if properly stored and handled. Always protect your photographic prints! They will fade or turn yellow over time if left unprotected in bright sunlight. Display images framed under glass or keep them in a dry and dark storage box. Additionally, you can get your photo session on USB Flash Drive as a backup.

Do you offer true black and white printing?
Yes. We are proud to offer true neutral tone archival quality digital to analog black & white printing using the newest technology far superior to mini-lab prints.

How can I protect my prints from the environment?
Always protect your photographic prints! They will fade or turn yellow over time if left unprotected in bright sunlight. Display images framed under glass or keep them in a dry and dark storage box. Additionally, get your photo session on USB Flash Drive as a backup.

Do you offer albums?
Yes! We offer beautifully hand crafted leather or linen bound photo albums in a variety of sizes and cover options. Normal turnaround for albums is 4-6 weeks. A studio consultation is recommended for photo albums due to the many bells and whistles available.  We think you have to actually see and touch them in order to really experience the quality of the albums. Call us today at 773-529-4199  for a free consultation to see the different options available.

Do you offer canvas prints or other modern display alternatives?
Absolutely. We offer a wide range of print alternatives including canvas gallery wraps and printing on very contemporary acrylic and aluminum metal surfaces.  Frameless wall art comes ready to hang and enjoy.  Please call us at 773-529-4199 for details or come in to the studio for a free consultation to see the different options available.

Do you offer traditional framing?
No. We prefer to focus on what we do best: photography!  Framing, just like photography, is a very specialized craft and we highly recommend the use of a professional framing service to display your prints. You can also take advantage of our modern display alternatives which do not require framing and come ready to hang and enjoy on your wall (please see above).

Are high volume headshot prints and comp cards the same quality as single prints, even though they’re cheaper?
Our high volume prints, primarily for headshots, are for commercial use and printed on Fuji Crystal Archive or Kodak Professional paper using high-end Lightjet printers. Since they go through many hands, they’re printed for durability and have a lifespan of up to 60 years, still far longer than ever used. We never use laser printers for headshots as offered on the Internet or advertised in magazines due to poor quality. For comp cards we only use the finest high-grade offset printing.

What kind of digital photo delivery options do you offer?
We offer two types of digital photos: 1) unretouched digital photos of all the images from your photo session or 2) edited and retouched high resolution digital photos. You can select which photos you would like to have retouched or purchase all of the unretouched versions on a USB Flash Drive.

Can I view the digital photos on my computer? What software do I need?
You can view your images with any photo editor, web browser and a multitude of apps. If you would like to edit and retouch your own images, we highly recommend hiring a trained professional. It takes years to master the craft of natural looking retouching. Web optimized files can easily be viewed by using any web browser such as Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or Safari.

Do you offer photos ready for use on websites and in e-mail?
Yes. We can resize and optimize for optimum quality and fast loading your high resolution digital photos for web and e-mail use.

Photo Retouching & Photo-Illustrations

Can you “Photoshop” just about anything?
It depends. Every Photoshop professional will tell you that it’s much better and more affordable to get the shot right in the first place. We consider it our duty to produce the best images possible during the shoot. It’s the lighting, environment, skills, experience and proper planning that matter. Fixing overexposure, bad colors, the wrong environment, blurriness and other pitfalls result in long editing hours and can never really live up to pro photography in the first place. As they all say: Make a good photograph exceptional in Photoshop and not a useless one acceptable!

Can you remove blemishes and whiten my teeth? 
Absolutely! Our retouching includes removal of minor blemishes such as pimples, overall skin smoothing and removal of stretch marks and scars, eye and teeth brightening as well as minimize wrinkles and dark circles and more. We try to keep the look as natural as possible and avoid destroying the character of the image and the person by making it look too superficial. As soon as you can tell it was retouched, we went too far. We always ask our clients about the style and level of retouching they prefer.

Do you offer photo-illustrations and composites such as virtual backgrounds?
Yes. Photo illustrations are hip and in high demand from personal to commercial projects. Open any magazine, and you will see them everywhere. We can virtually create anything as long as proper planning and consultations are involved. We offer simple photo enhancements such as selected color tinting to elaborate virtual backgrounds and environments to complete fantasy worlds. Call us today at 773-529-4199 for your personal consultation.

Browse our Chicago photography portfolio and services sections for more images and further information. Call us for a free phone or in-studio consultation by calling our Chicago photography studio at 773-529-4199. You can also send us an e-mail via our contact section. Studio or on-location sessions are available by appointment year round.