Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you approved to work on the US Naval Academy campus?
A: Yes, we are a USNA BSD Approved Business Partner* and have a valid DoD ID to access the Yard. Very few portrait photographers have this access.
Q: Are you the photographer who helps sponsor Commissioning 101?
A: Sure am! And, it’s always a great event!
Q: I like your scenic portraits. Does the Academy provide this service?
A: No. The Academy contracts a large photography company for typical senior head shot type portraits on a painted background. (That portrait is also used in the Lucky Bag year book, although they will accept ours as well.)
Q: When do you schedule the sessions?
A: Sessions on the Yard are usually scheduled as soon as the trees green up and the spring flowers start to bloom. That’s usually in mid-April, and we often go into the first part of May, and then have the previews ready for you to view by Commissioning Week. Of course, we work around the weather, and around finals. (Your session fee includes reasonable reschedules due to weather or other valid reasons.) Some parents prefer that we do their Mid’s session in the fall, and we can certainly accommodate that as well. Sessions in the studio can be done at any time of the year.
Q: How will my son/daughter be contacted?
A: He/She will be texted or e-mailed with information on the right uniform to wear, and how to schedule for a convenient time. Because of your Mid’s busy schedule, we will give them a link so that they can book their session online 24/7.
Q: What is the fee for creating the portraits?
A: The Session Fee for on “the Yard” appointments is $675, which includes a $495 credit toward any portrait purchase.
This fee covers reasonable reschedules due to weather or because your Mid can’t make the original date.
$495 of the Session Fee applies toward the purchase of finished portraits, and we guarantee your complete satisfaction with the results.
With your $495 credit, you could purchase a package with several desk-size portraits, or you can apply it toward larger packages or wall portraits.
In-studio sessions are only $550, and also include the $495 portrait credit. (We have US, USNA, USN, and USMC flags available if desired.)
Q: How much do quality finished portraits cost?
A: We offer the very finest portrait finishes available anywhere. Most parents spend between several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, but we have no minimum purchase after your initial session fee and portrait credit purchase.
Individual portraits start at under $150, but most people need several portraits so we offer cost-effective Collections starting at just $495.
Beautiful Wall Portraits are available from $595, but can also be included in Collections for greater savings. Our standard Embassy Finish offers a durable textured surface, but we also have a variety of gallery canvas and other finishes available as well. Our finishes have an archival life expectancy of 100-300+ years, depending on the finish.
Because there are often a variety of great poses, some parents also opt for our handcrafted Signature albums.
Digital Images: You can purchase digital image files after a minimum printed portrait order purchase.
Q: How will we view the portraits?
A: Dave will meet with you in his studio on your next visit to Annapolis or during Commissioning Week to show you various sizes, finishes, and frames for your portrait. Using his unique projection system, there is never any guesswork as to which sizes and poses are best. This is the absolute best way to select your portraits, so we do not make paper or online proofs.
Q: Can we schedule a family portrait on the grounds at the Academy?
A: YES. Although it’s a busy time for you (and us), we can accommodate a few families during Commissioning Week, or for another time you are in town.