Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and quite a few Infrequently asked ones. If your question is not answered below, please contact me!

ART

PRINTS

ORDERING

SHIPPING

RETURNS AND CANCELLATIONS

EDITIONS

TECHNICAL

YOU

MISCELLANEOUS


ART

Q. Who are your artistic influences?

A. These are mostly painters and pinup artists. My main influences in the pinup genre are Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, Patrick Nagel, Olivia de Berardinis and Luis Royo. They encompass a century's worth of artistic mastery of varying styles, aesthetics, and techniques.

Outside the realm of interpreters of female form, I rank my mother highly. She is an accomplished and exhibited landscape watercolor painter, and has taught me a lot about the fluidity of interpretation of color. Close behind come Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.

Q. Who are your photographic influences?

A. By far the most influential for me is Richard Avedon. His portrait of Marilyn Monroe remains the most intimate and beautiful photograph of a woman I've ever seen. With the brief click of a shutter, he immortalized the Hollywood bombshell's vulnerability and inner fragility. Other influences include Herb Ritts's era-defining fashion photography, Helmut Newton's unabashed imagery, and Gregory Crewdson's meticulously staged scenes.

Film has also been a big influence on how I've viewed women as subjects. Foremost are Ridley Scott (especially Alien), James Cameron (his two Terminator movies) and Oliver Stone (Natural Born Killers) in their portrayal of female protagonists breaking taboos and stereotypesand creating new ones! Further, Yimou Zhang's generous cinematic color usage demonstrates how it can be manipulated to tell a story.

But the piece that really got me into photography was the music video for George Michael's Freedom. When it came out, it was a life-altering experience for my fifteen-year-old self: Christy wrapped in angelic white, her poised entrance fit for an empress, and Cindy's steamy bubble bath still represent the epitome of beauty to me.

Further, John Paul Caponigro continues to be a major influence: his understanding and use of color theory has had a profound impact on my photography. Joe McNally is a wizard at lighting anythingespecially peopleand, through his books and lessons, has taught me a lot about how to light my models.

Finally, my influences include the countless unsung photographers of every fashion and nudie magazinePlayboy first and foremostand website I've ever flipped or clicked through.

Q. What makes you an artist?

A. I prefer to call myself a dilettante, not an artist. 'Artist' is a title others might assign to me, but I can't and won't do it myself.

Q. What makes your prints "fine art"?

A. The rigor, the discipline, the experience, and the intent. My shoots are planned in detail; all my prints are exhibition quality. Every step from capture to printing is executed by top craftsmen, using the finest materials and processes available. Nevertheless, I only claim to produce fine art prints. In the end it is up to you to decide whether the prints you get are fine art. Note that you have my generous one year no questions asked return policy, so you have plenty of time to reach your verdict!

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PRINTS

Q. What print options are available?

A. I offer exhibition quality, matted archival Limited Edition prints in four sizes (see below), in your choice of European or US -sized mats, which can be easily inserted into standard frames (frame not included). Paper sizes are the same between EU and US versions, mat sizes differ. Custom mat sizes are available upon request. All mat openings are 4x5 aspect ratio, corresponding with the 4x5" large format film used.

All Limited Edition prints are dated and signed by me in the margin on the face of the print, hidden by the mat. Limited Editions include print numbering. Prints don't have the watermark seen on the website. All prints come with a signed and dated Certificate of Authenticity with print numbering. Refer to EDITIONS section in the FAQ for further detail.

Also available as Open Editions through here.

Specifications are subject to change.

Size Mat size Paper Size* Image Size**
cm inches
 Small

 40cm x 50cm

approx.

15 3/4" x 19 2/3"

A3+

33.0cm × 48.3cm

13" × 19"

30cm x 38cm

12" x 15"

 Medium metric

70cm x 100cm 

approx.

27 1/2" x 39 4/10"

A1

59.4cm x 84.1cm

23" × 33"

53cm x 66cm

21" x 26"

Medium imperial 76.2cm x 101.6cm 

30" x 40"

A1

59.4cm x 84.1cm

23" × 33"

53cm x 66cm

21" x 26"

 Large

100cm x 125cm

approx.

39 2/5" x 49 1/5"

A0

84.1cm × 118.9cm

 33" × 47"

72cm x 90cm

28" x 35"

* Paper size may vary. ** Approximate size of mat window.

Q. Do you offer other sizes?

A. Not at this time, but I might offer other sizes in the future if there is enough demand.

Q. Do you do the prints yourself?

A. No, I don't. Printing is a highly specialized craft for which I don't have the skill setat least not yet!so I have employed the services of a Dutch master printer.

Q. Are your prints pigment, inkjet, carbon or giclee?

A. Yes, all of the above. The terms are the same thing, in varying levels of accuracy and pretentiousness. I prefer "pigment inks on paper".

Q. Are the prints dated and signed?

A. Yes. Limited Edition prints are dated, signed and numbered on the face of the print, in the margin, hidden behind the mat. Artist's Proofs are marked as such.

Q. What paper do you use?

A. My printer uses Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl Inkjet Photo Paper, 11 mil thick, weight 280gsm which is roughly 75 lbs. It's a thick fine art paper with a neutral white, and surface which resembles a traditional photograph. I retain the right to change to a similar archival quality paper if necessitated by shortage of materials, discontinuation of the paper, or any other compelling reason.

Q. What type of matting do you use?

A. All mats are white, made by Conservabarth van Gelder here in the Netherlands. They are 100% cellulose, acid free, buffered with 4% calcium, and cut to size locally. Medium and Large prints use 1600 gsm (2mm thick) mats, Small prints 1200 gsm (1.5mm thick) mats. All materials used are archival, including backing board and linen tape, which means, they don't contain chemicals that can harm the print.

Q. Are the prints dry/wet mounted to the matting board?

A. Neither. The print is mounted using t-hinges with archival linen tape. The print can be easily removed and re-mounted if necessary. These are the same materials used by the best museums and galleries.

Q. Do you offer matting in other sizes or thickness?

A. Yes, please contact me for details.

Q. Do you sell framed prints?

A. Not at this time due to the prohibitive cost of packing and shipping large framed prints around the world.I might offer the option in the future if there is enough demand. The prints come matted and ready for framing. The rest is up to you.

Q. What is the Certificate of Authenticity that comes with every print?

A. It is to assure the origin and provenance of the print. All my prints come with Certificate of Authenticity, regardless of type of Edition. It includes the title and date of the print, its number, and is signed by me. It also includes features ensuring easy verification of authenticity.

Q. How long will the prints last?

A. Most likely several decades, if not longer. Due to various display and storage conditions, it is impossible to give a more accurate estimate than that. The paper, ink and matting materials are archival quality, which ensure they have the highest likelihood of lasting for decades. For extended print life, don't display the prints in direct sunlight, don't smoke or cook around the prints, and keep room temperature and humidity constant and at reasonable levels.

Q. Can you further explain your pricing?

A. I offer prints in different sizes and editions to fit most budgets. My prints are not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

These are hand-crafted exhibition quality fine art prints. Producing shoots requiring a crew and creating high quality archival prints is not cheap. I fully finance all my shoots myself, and each photograph you see here requires countless hours of work with a significant monetary investment.

Each photo represents at least half a day of shooting, and hundreds of exposures. I pay out of my own pocket for my travel, hotels, studio/location and lighting rental, film, and camera gear, and rental or buying of wardrobe, accessories and props. Just as I expect to be paid for my time and work, I pay my models, make-up artist, hair and wardrobe stylists their going rates. I pay for the highest quality drum scans and printing. I spend hours in post-production per photo: developing film, editing scanned photos, and proofing and evaluating test prints. Then comes processing, packaging and shipping orders, and maintaining this website.

I use local resources whenever possible and cultivate long-term relationships with partners and suppliers; there is no race to the bottom here. There are no compromises made, and everything is executed to the highest possible quality and rigor.  

Although I am very serious about my work and the work of my models and crew, we also have a lot of funjust look at the photos for proof!

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ORDERING

Q. What payment methods are accepted?

A. Major credit cards, and other local payment methods varying by country.

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Q. Is my Credit Card info secure?

A. Yes. I don't actually receive your Credit Card information. It is authenticated by a trusted, secure third party just like vast majority of websites.

Q. Do you offer volume discounts?

A. Yes. On orders of two prints you get a 20% discount; use discount code "20off" at checkout. On three or more prints you get 30% off the whole order, using discount code "30off". You can only apply one discount code per order, and they can only be added when the appropriate number of prints have been put into the cart.

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SHIPPING

Q. How long does it take for me to get my print?

A. It varies by distance (I'm based in Amsterdam), but typically you will get your print within 7-14 days within Europe, and within 10-30 days in rest of the world.

Q. Do you offer expedited shipping?

A. Yes. contact me for expedited shipping.

Q. Do you ship prints in tubes?

A. No. I only sell matted prints which can't be rolled.

Q. Do you insure your packages?

A. Yes, they are insured for full value of the contents.

Q. Can I track my shipment?

A. Yes, I will email you a tracking number as soon as the package is shipped.

Q. Do your prices include customs and duties?

A. No. Due to the wide variation in policies, taxes and duties around the world, all of those fees are the responsibility of the buyer.

Q. Will you mark my package as a “gift,” “sample” or to have "no commercial value"?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. Really?

A. Really. You are purchasing a commercial product with commercial value.

Q. Are your shipping materials archival?

A. No; I use recycled materials as much as feasible. If you don't display the print immediately, please take it out of the shipping container before storing.

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RETURNS AND CANCELLATIONS

Q. Do you have a returns policy?

A. Absolutely! I appreciate that fine art prints can't be reproduced accurately online for you to determine whether the size, colors, composition, etc. suit your exhibit space. Therefore I offer a generous return policy: you have one year (!) to return the print for a full no questions asked refund (shipping and customs duties not included). Please save the shipping box so that you can send the print back safely.

This warranty does not cover prints which were altered, modified, damaged during re-matting, or damaged after transit. The print must be in like-new condition when returned.

contact me prior to returning a print for details.

Q. My print arrived damaged, can I get a replacement?

A. Yes, you will get a free replacement. I will pay for shipping and handling. Save the damaged print, and contact me for details, please.

Note that Limited Editions that are sold out can not be replaced. When they're gone, they're really gone. Please contact me and I'll arrange a satisfactory solution.

Q. What is your cancellation policy?

A. You can cancel at any time before confirmation of shipment for a full refund. Please contact me.

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EDITIONS

Q. What are Open Editions?

A. There is no limit to the number of prints available in Open Editions. In other words, I will continue to deliver prints of a photograph until I decide otherwise. All Open Editions are fulfilled by Fine Art America, and shipped from the United States in tubes. You can place your order here.

Q. What are Limited Editions?

A. These are limited to a specific quantity of prints. A typical edition is size is 24 Small prints, 12 Medium, and 6 Large prints, and usually up to three artist's proofs in each size. The edition size is marked on the print's face along with its print #, signature and date, and again in the Certificate of Authenticity accompanying the print. When the edition is sold out, I will not sell more prints at that size, or release other Limited Editions close to that size. Ever. When they're sold out, they're gone.

Q. Will you offer second, updated or refreshed Limited Editions?

A. There will be only one Limited Edition at each size for each photo, although I retain the right to offer other Limited Editions which are of significantly different size. Note that different photos might have differently sized Limited and Open editions.

Q. Why do you limit the # of prints when it is technically possible to print practically unlimited amount of identical prints?

A. This is a complicated matter, and something I've spent a lot of time pondering. The short version: vanity and demand. Vanity, because I really like the idea of producing a rare artifact. Demand, as some collectors prefer limited editions over open editions. At the same time, I can price Open Editions lower so that my prints are accessible to a wider audience. That's why I offer both Open and Limited Editions

Q. What are Artist's Proofs?

A. I actually use artist's proofs for their intended purpose: checking that the print looks great. Therefore they might have some differences to the main edition. I typically make 1-3 artist's proofs of each photograph.

Q. How are Artist's Proofs identified?

A. The text "AP" accompanies print numbering on the print and Certificate of Authenticity. Latter also specifies whether the print is an Artist's Proof, or part of the main edition.

Q. Where can I buy artist's proofs?

A. These are typically not for sale.

Q. Will you change your editioning?

A. While I retain the right to do so, I won't pull any shenanigans. For example, if there is a demand for smaller or extra large prints, I might do that if it's feasible. Note that the Limited Editions at sizes listed will always remain limited to the # of prints listed. Also, I will not release a limited edition which is close to the size of an existing Limited Edition. Finally, there will be no Director's Cuts, Special Platinum Collector's Editions, 2nd editions of Limited Edition, or any other variations with minor (or major!) changes to the photographs.

Q. Are your photographs vintage prints?

A. By most definitions of the term, yes. All prints are originally released by me, comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and is signed, dated and titled by me on the face of the print. In addition, all Limited Edition prints have the print # written on the face of the print (eg. 4/12).

Q. Do you change or edit the photographs between editions?

Typically not, but I retain the right to do so on Open Editions. Open Editions may be updated to 2nd or later editions, although I rarely re-visit my old photographs. Limited Editions will always be the same photo across the entire edition. I also retain the right to release an edited Limited Edition which is significantly smaller or larger than a previous Limited Edition.

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TECHNICAL

Q. Great photos! You must have a nice camera!?

A. Why, thank you! As a matter of fact, I do. I shoot with a Gowlandflex, which is a rare 4x5" Large Format Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera the size of a large toaster. She's a big girl and quite temperamental, but if I treat her right the results makes me look like a great photographer. The lens I use is a legendary Heliar lens from 1929, an f/4.5 lens at 180mm focal length.

Q. What film do you use?

A. I use Fuji Astia and Fuji Provia color transparency film at 100 ISO.

Q. Who develops your film?

A. I do. E-6 development is not nearly as difficult as a quick internet search makes it out to be. Try it!

Q. How do you scan your film?

A. All the photographs you see here are drum scanned by a pair of Dutch photographers, who are known for the outstanding, professional quality of their scans: for example, they have scanned images for the Van Gogh Museum. Drum scanning ensures the utmost quality; the 16-bit files are over 200 megapixels, and 450MB in size!

Q. Is [this photograph] photoshopped?

A. Yes.

Q. Are the ladies in your photos real or enhanced digitally?

A. All my photos are enhanced digitally. I take extensive artistic license with global and local editing, which includes but is not limited to color adjustment, exposure, brightness and contrast editing, and selective sharpening. This is effectively no different than the manual touching-up that studios and photographers were doing before the invention of Photoshop.

Having said that, I will never elongate limbs or digitally remove ribs for tighter waists, or make other non-trivial geometric edits to the ladies. All flaws you see in the photos are either my shortcomings as a photographer, or your own unrealistic expectations of female physique.

Q. Do you shoot digital?

A. Yes, but none of the photographs offered on this website are shot digitally. I use digital in the studio to check exposure and composition as well as instant film on my Gowlandflex, but I don't use digital for my fine art prints.

I'm no Luddite: I use digital for my travel photography. For those who care, I use a Micro Four Thirds kit.

Q. Why do you shoot film? Isn't digital photography superior to film?

A. I shoot film because it fits the subject matter and the genre, and I like the hands-on process, deliberate (read: slow) pace, and the results on large prints. I'm sure some, if not all of that could be replicated with the latest digital cameras. It's just not for me with this project, at least not yet.

As for image quality, digital is "superior" by some definitions of the word. But if you're on this website looking for eye-bleedingly sharp photos with subtle "micro-contrast" and eye-popping "tonality" and whatever else is the latest image quality term chased these days, look elsewhere. Besides, I have yet to hear a model say "I want the pores on my face to be sharper!"

While the photographs on this website are mostly realistic, they are not meant to document reality; they are staged interpretations of a fantasy. As such interpretations they are shot, processed and edited to convey that ethereal, fleeting and often unreal moment. 

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YOU

Q. Who are you?

A. I was born in 1975 in a small city in central Finland. I'm a single guy, and my hobbies include reading non-fiction books, listening to music (from blues to metal), watching lots of movies (mostly action, sci-fi and fantasy, although pretty much anything goes), lifting weights, playing video games, cooking, and riding my Harley. My favorite drink is a gin & tonic made with Old Raj and the all-important lime wedge. I'd have a cat if I didn't travel so much. I've lived abroad since 1997including the US and Hong Kongand currently reside in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Q. How long have you been photographing?

A. I got my first camera when I was a teenager, a disc camera which I put to good use in taking snapshots. I got "seriously" into photography when I bought my first SLR, a Canon EOS 50E in 1999. I reluctantly moved to mostly digital with Canon 30D, although I've continued shooting film with medium format Mamiya C220 and large format with my Gowlandflex. I started with travel photography, and added portraits and glamour into my portfolio around 2005. After years of diligent research, practice and dedication, I am finally confident in my artistic work that I feel comfortable selling fine art prints.

Q. Do you have formal photography or art education?

A. No, I'm self-taught. But I have spent a lot of time looking at and studying the work of others, both those I admire and those I do not, in order to learn about visual art and photography.

Q. What's your goal with photography and this website?

A. To become a better photographer, to get my photography out there on the internet, to have my work hanging on walls for people to appreciate, and to have something to do when I eventually retire from my day job. Better yet, I'd really like to retire early and become a full time photographer with my own gallery space and studio. I'm in this for the long term; I have been into photography for well over a decade, and I will continue.

Q. What is your day job?

A. I'm a corporate finance professional for a global Fortune 50 IT company.

Q. Are you on Facebook/Google+/Twitter/Myspace/Bebo/etc?

A. No.

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MISCELLANEOUS

Q. Will you share my email address or other information with third parties?

A. Absolutely and positively not.

Q. Are your models 18 years or older?

A. Yes. I require, check and photograph each model with a government-issued photo ID as part of signing a model release.

Q. Do you have model releases for all your shoots?

A. Yes.

Q. Are the models in your photos enhanced surgically?

A. That's none of my business, and frankly, I don't give a damn. It's her body, and she can do whatever she pleases with it.

Q. I'd like to work with a model in your portfolio, how can I get in contact with her?

A. contact me with your proposal (eg. photographer looking for models to shoot with, modeling agency, etc.) with supporting documentation and links to verify your identity. I will forward your details to the model who will decide what to do next. I will not forward marriage proposals or inappropriate contact requests.

Q. I'd like to be a model for a shoot, how do I do that?

A. Please contact me for details with links to your portfolio, website, or sample shots. I mostly work with professional models, but might make an exception for a specific, exceptional look I'm seeking. I am very selective, and not all gorgeous ladies fit the look or shoot I'm currently working on.

Q. Do you have property releases for the props used?

A. No. Props are integral to pinup tradition, and are used here as part of freedom of artistic expression. Before you sic your trained attack lawyers on me, note that a Danish artist, Nadia Pleisner, won a precedent case in the Dutch courts about this subject in 2011: artists are allowed to use recognizable branded products in their art.

Q. Do you get paid to feature products in your photos?

A. No. All clothes, shoes, accessories, props, etc. are either bought or rented for the purpose, or they belong to me, the model, or a member of the crew.

Q. I have an idea for a shoot, will you do it for me?

A. Possibly. Before you share your idea with me, you need to agree to give me unrestricted rights to it. In other words, don't sue me if I use your idea!

Q. Do you do work on commission?

A. Perhaps. Please contact me with your proposal.

Q. Do you do editorials?

A. Perhaps. Please contact me with your proposal.

Q. Are your photographs available for licensing?

A. Perhaps. Please contact me with your proposal.

Q. I have another question not answered here.

A. You are welcome to contact me with other questions or comments, thoughts or musings.

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