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NoirLux F.A.Q.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. The fastest way to get your answers is to call us at 773-377-5603 from Monday-Saturday.


General Questions

I'm very shy and would like to have some boudoir photographs taken for a gift. Can you help me?
Yes, of course. Beauty and concealed fine art nude photography is a very popular gift for many occasions. Jovanka, our female photographer,  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.

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 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. Don't be intimated by today's mainstream glossy magazines with famous supermodels. Most boudoir and fine art nude photography has more to do with lighting, posing and angles than the perceived "beauty" of a subject. Also, there are so many styles of beauty, glamour and concealed fine art nude photography available. We will make sure you pick the one that works for you.

What is the process for a typical photography studio session from start to finish?
First, review our portfolios and packages online or call us for a free studio consultation. Book your session by calling us at 773-377-5603. Once you arrive at the studio, you will spend some time with a makeup artist and hair stylist (if applicable). After a detailed discussion of your objectives for the photos, including reviewing some samples you might 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 contact sheets (smaller thumbnails of all exposures). The contact sheets allow you to make your selections for your final professionally retouched files or prints that comes with each package (or more, if desired). Your final edited and retouched files and/or prints are usually ready within 1-4 weeks depending on the product. You can also choose to simply get the unedited digital files on CD/DVD and process them with a 3rd party retoucher or photo lab.

Should I bring some of my own ideas and samples?
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 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!

Can I keep the images confidential?
Absolutely. The choice is entirely up to you. 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 confidentiality agreement right after the session.

Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?
Our motto is simple: If you don't like what you see, you get 50 exposures for free (sm). If you are not happy with the outcome of your studio photography session 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. Does not apply to on-location photography.

What are your phone and consultation hours?
Our phone hours are Monday-Friday from 9AM to 7PM and Saturday from Noon-5PM. Since our consultations, studio sessions and pick-ups are by appointment, please call first to schedule your date and time. If you happen to get our answering service or voice mail, just leave a message and we will get back to you ASAP.

When are you available for studio and on-location photo sessions?
Appointments are available Monday-Friday from 9AM to 10PM with a final appointment start time of 7PM. We recommend evening appointments for busy professionals as a convenient alternative to keep weekends free. 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 are closed on Sundays, except for emergencies.

Do you offer free consultations?
Absolutely. We highly recommend a free consultation prior to the session to discuss all the necessary details or just get a feel for the photographer and the studio space before booking. To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at 773-377-5603.

What are your payment terms? Do you require a deposit?
All studio 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 sessions are due 100% in advance.

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

Do you have a rescheduling or cancellation policy for photo sessions?
Since we are reserving expensive studio space, resources and professional staff for your session, we request that you notify us at least 7 days prior to your photo session in order to reschedule at no cost. Rescheduling with less than 7 days prior notice to your appointment causes a $95 rescheduling fee. A cancellation or no-show will result in the loss of the non-refundable deposit/retainer (equals 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. Just add the appropriate mileage based travel fee to your package. On-location shoots require a $500 minimum booking. Shooting on-location is usually recommended if you prefer a non-studio environment.

When can I see the images? What is your turnaround time?
Contact sheets or proofs (smaller thumbnails of all exposures) are usually issued the same day right after the photo session in digital format via email. Retouched prints and digital photos are usually ready within 1-4 weeks. Individual delivery times vary depending on the product.

Do you offer express turnaround?
Yes. Additional express fees apply. Availability depends on current studio session volume. Call us at 773-377-5603 for availability.

Do I have the rights to publish the images?
Yes. You have unlimited rights to publish them if they are not confidential.

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 a remote location to ensure privacy and data protection. Please call us for details.

Can I bring a friend to the photo session?
Sure, no problem. Bring a friend only if you think they will put you more at ease.

Where are you located, how do I get there and is there any Parking?
We are conveniently located in Chicago between hip Bucktown and classic Lincoln Park near the intersection of Fullerton, Ashland and Clybourn at 2475 North Clybourn Avenue. CTA: take the brown/red line to Fullerton, then hop on the #72-Fullerton bus west and exit on Fullerton/Clybourn. Walk 2 blocks north (right) to our studio on Clybourn. From the Kennedy expressway, exit on Fullerton, go east then drive about 1 mile (4 traffic lights) until you see Clybourn Avenue. Turn left going northbound onto Clybourn Avenue and drive for about 2 blocks. We are on the east side of the street. Our storefront studio is black with a yellow sign. There is usually plenty of free street parking available. Click here for a Google map and directions finder in a separate window or call us at 773-377-5603.

What matters most for a professional photograph? Is it the amount of mega pixels in a camera or the fancy backdrops?
Neither! Contrary to popular belief, 75% of a photographer's job is people skills, not technical knowledge, which can only be gained by years of experience. The photographer's ability to pose and relax their subjects, the skill to control light, to create the mood desired and of course, a hefty dose of natural talent and creativity are what distinguish a professional photograph. Bottom line: If you need pro photographs, stick with pro photographers. Take advantage of our vast experience in helping you relax in front of a lens and get the photos you really want and deserve.

What kind of camera and lighting equipment do you use?
As mentioned before, the camera brand doesn't guarantee a great photograph. But since you asked, we use several state-of-the-art digital cameras featuring high megapixel counts, noise free images and high quality internal processors. We use only the finest top of the line lenses, each uniquely fit to the individual job. All images are shot with custom white balance in raw mode for the best possible quality and securely stored and backed up for future orders. We continuously research the camera and light equipment market and update our gear on an ongoing basis in order to provide you with the highest quality job.

Fashion, Props, Makeup & Styling

Do you offer any accessories, props and costumes for boudoir, pin-up and beauty photo sessions?
Yes, too many to list. We have a variety of props, accessories and a wide selection of backgrounds. However, you should bring most of your own lingerie and clothing for the shoot and use our wardrobe to accent your look if necessary. We are more than willing to acquire special props or research an appropriate location. We feel that backgrounds, props and fashion should support the job at hand (and not the other way around). What better excuse to go shopping! If you're not sure, bring a suitcase full! It's better to have too much, than not enough. In terms of style, mix it up a little an don't forget a variety of sexy heels and plenty of accessories. We will recommend the most appropriate fashion for your shoot during your consultation and before the session. Give us a call today at 773-377-5603 to discuss your unique needs based on your (or our) idea or concept.

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! Avoid a common mistake like trying to squeeze a shoot into an already hectic schedule. Try to give yourself buffer time before and after your shoot so you aren't rushed to arrive on time or rush through the session in order to get to your next appointment. Eating a small meal, drinking plenty of water and getting a good night's sleep 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 right before the photo shoot?
No, unless you're 150% certain of the outcome! We recommend getting a haircut or tanning at least 2-3 days or more 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. Watch out for tan lines. If you give it some lead-time, you have a chance to correct your appearance. You can also use makeup to cover tan lines. We can always give your skin a slightly warmer look or soften tan lines with retouching in post-production.

Can I do my own makeup and hair, go to a salon or bring my own makeup artist or hair stylist?
Most basic makeup applications done by you or a salon are geared towards regular ambient or daytime lighting. Our professional makeup artists and hair stylists optimize your appearance for a studio setting with specialized makeup and hair products. Should you choose to do your own makeup and hairstyling with a salon or your own stylist, make sure they have experience in boudoir photography related makeup and hair applications.

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 recommend that you 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.

Retouching, Photodesign & 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, tattoos, hair etc.?
We have done some amazing work in regards to body and skin appearance. Smaller issues like blemishes, overall skin appearance, tattoo removal etc. are never a problem and included in our retouching services. We always enhance the eyes, remove any temporary blemishes and pimples, brighten the teeth and minimize wrinkles 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.

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

Do you offer photo-illustrations and composites such as virtual backgrounds?
Yes. Photo illustrations are hip and in high demand. 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 773-377-5603 for your personal consultation.

Wall Art, Prints, Digital Photos, Discs

Is editing, retouching and airbrushing always included in your prints?
Yes, it is always included at no extra cost to you. We try our best to shoot your images as clean as possible. But even the best image usually requires at least some basic color adjustments, editing, cropping and retouching. We feel it would be a real shame for you not to get your images at the highest quality possible and therefore always edit and retouch your prints. 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 whatsoever.

Do you offer albums?
Yes! We offer beautifully hand crafted leather bound albums in a variety of sizes and colors. Normal turnaround for albums is 3-4 weeks. Please inquire for details.

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 metal surfaces. Please call us at 773-377-5603 for details.

Can I make my own prints from the digital photos?
Yes! You may purchase retouched or unretouched digital files which you may print at the lab of your choosing.

Do you offer any cheap "raw" prints, meaning without editing, retouching and airbrushing?
No. But you can easily get your prints made anywhere you want by opting for our unedited files on CD/DVD. Be aware of the print and archival quality of certain low cost retail outlets and online labs. 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 CD 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 with color casts (believe us, we have tried it all!).

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 CD as a backup.

Do you offer traditional framing?
No. There are simply too many quality-framing services all over Chicago. Framing, just like photography, is a very specialized craft and we highly recommend the use of a professional framing service to display your portraits. You can also take advantage of our modern display alternatives (see above).

What kind of digital delivery options do you offer?
We basically offer three types of files: 1) unedited digital files of all the images from your session, 2) edited and retouched files in high resolution format or 3) edited and retouched files in web format. You can pick and choose which photos you would like to have retouched and delivered via disk or e-mail or just have all unedited files on CD or DVD.

Can I view your digital images on my computer? What software do I need?
You can view your images with any photo editor or picture viewer such as Picasa (free) from Google or iPhoto from Apple among many others. If you would like to edit and retouch your own images, we highly recommend using a trained professional. It takes years to master the craft. Web optimized files can easily be viewed by using any web browser such as Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or Safari.

Browse our additional Chicago photography portfolio and services sections for more images and further information. Get a free phone or in-studio consultation by calling our Chicago photography studio at 773-377-5603. You can also send us an e-mail via our contact section. Studio or on-location sessions are available by appointment year round. Follow us on social media for news and specials.