Jeff Smallwood Photography
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Can I use one of your photos on my website, blog, magazine, calendar, school project, etc...

Most likely yes, but there are some rules you must follow.
In order to re-use a photo of mine you must request a license to do so. I grant many non-commercial and personal uses for free. Usually attribution and a link back to this website and/or a watermark are required.
If you want to use a photo for a commercial or for-profit reason, you most definitely must have a license.
The good news is that it's incredibly easy to request a license. View the photo you want and click the "Request License Now" button. Alternatively, when viewing an image you can right-click and the licensing dialog will be displayed.
Don't forget, using a copyrighted image without consent is illegal.

Are all your photographs on this website?

Nope. Although not all my photographs are posted, the ones you see on this website represent a healthy selection of the most popular, unique, or favorite shots. I have a lot of additional photographs posted on Flickr or social media sites like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

I saw a photo of yours elsewhere but can't find it here. Why not?

Similar to the question above, I post many photos on social media or on my Flickr account but do not post them for sale or display on this website. In addition, I sometimes post or print a slightly different version of a photo (different angle, perspective, or process) than the copy you see in my portfolio on this website. If you saw a photo of mine elsewhere and wish to purchase it, please contact me.

Sales and Ordering

How do I license a photo for use elsewhere?

See the section above under "Portfolio" about requesting a license.

Do you offer any photography services, like portraits or event photography? What about photo restoration?

Yes. Although I don't maintain a regular schedule for portrait sessions, I do take clients who desire professional work with an eye for detail. Sessions can be scheduled for families, couples, personal portraits and headshots. I also offer event photography and specialty services for documenting property (in case of sale, insurance, or damage). I provide expert photo restoration services and occasionally offer discounted or free services for non-profit organizations and functions.

Why don't you collect payment when I checkout?

The primary reason is so I can review your order and finalize any remaining details or special requests. Once I'm 100% confident in being able to fulfill your order and deliver a solid product, I will send you a digital invoice that outlines the entire order with final and itemized costs. This invoice can be paid online using your preferred payment method.

Why is my order reviewed before making payment?

I review the orders for two primary reasons:
  • Prints are available in a wide variety of sizes and aspect ratios. When a print is ordered in an aspect ratio that is different than the original, it must be cropped (i.e. an 8x12 image ordered as an 8x10 print). I review exactly how each print would be cropped based on your preferred sizes and matting to maintain the integrity of the image. I feel it is unfair for me to collect payment until I've done my part to ensure a quality result.
  • Depending on the products ordered, sizes, and destination, shipping costs can vary dramatically. Sometimes orders must be split apart (i.e. ordering a canvas takes longer than a matted print). Reviewing your order first allows me to determine the most economical and appropriate shipping options to meet your needs.

What about color accuracy?

As you may already know, digital displays and computer monitors display colors with slight variations as compared to real world colors. When printing I use color space matched print services to ensure the most accurate representation of a print. However, most people's monitors and screens are not color calibrated. The result is that colors seen on the screen will not 100% match the colors in real life. For example, the exact color of a mat you see online may have a very slight difference in color than the physical product. However, these differences are usually very minor and do not impact the quality of the product. If you have any concerns about color matching, please contact me.
Check out the Lagom LCD Monitor Test to see how your monitor performs.

Can I order prints with a custom crop, mat, style, or finish?

Absolutely. Either contact sales directly or put any special requests in the notes section when you checkout.

I can't order some photos in certain sizes. What gives?

Sometimes different print sizes have different aspect ratios. When this happens, a photo must be cropped in order to be printed at a specific size (i.e. ordering an 8x12 image as an 8x10 print, you'll lose 2 inches off the long edge). Some photographs don't lend themselves well to certain crops because an element in the photograph may become cut-off. In these cases, only a limited selection of print sizes will be available.

Can I order framed prints?

Yes, but for the time being I coordinate framed orders manually, not through the online ordering system. If you wish you have a print framed, please contact sales directly or you can put the framing request in the special notes section during checkout. I coordinate with each customer on framing options and styles in order to provide a final cost.

What other products are available?

The online store only offers photographic prints at this time. However, all photos can be ordered in the following products:
  • Gallery Wrapped Canvas : Photographs transferred to canvas material and stretched over a wood frame. Can be framed or not.
  • Float Wraps : Similar to a gallery wrap, these are wrapped around masonite and have softer, curves sides. Mounted on a small block, they appear to "float" on the wall when hung. Can be ordered as print or canvas.
  • Metal Prints : Photographs printed onto an aluminum panel, provides a display that is set off from the wall. Available with acrylic covers as well.
  • Panels / Standouts : Block prints on wood that work perfectly without a frame. Available with colored, natural wood, and metal edges
  • Greeting Cards : Come with envelopes and can be ordered individually or in packs


I'd like to learn more about photography, where should I start?

Your local photography club is usually a great first step! If you're local to the Southern Maryland area, the Calvert Photography Club, St. Mary's Camera Club, and Bowie-Crofton Camera Clubs offer a wealth of resources and knowledge to members. Doesn't matter whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, a photo club is a great way to learn something new.
Another way to learn is to hang out with other photographers, even if it's just online. For example, there are some amazing photographers on Google+, 500px, and Flickr. Sign up for an account, follow what they do, participate in some of the weekly themes and challenges, and you'll pick up something new for sure.

What is the best camera / lens / flash / tripod / filter / software / plugin / accessory?

Although there certainly is a wide range of quality between a cheap camera phone and an expensive DSLR, it's been said the best camera is the one you have with you. Beyond that, there is no absolute answer to that question. What is the best car? What's the best food? What is the best color shirt? It all depends on your needs and what you're going to use it for. Someone who wants something lightweight and easy to fit in their pocket will certainly pick different products than someone who shoots in rainy environments and doesn't mind carrying around a large pack of lenses.

Are your photos "photoshopped"?

In modern digital photography, this question (and others like it) don't really have a yes or no answer, and here's why.

I shoot all my photos in a format called "RAW". In a nutshell, a RAW file is like a digital negative. And just like a traditional film negative, the negative is developed and printed in order to come up with the final image. When you shoot photos in JPG format, your camera does the developing internally and the JPG is ready to be viewed and printed right away. This is not true of RAW files, RAW files can't be viewed right away and must be digitally developed. The RAW digital developing process affords each photographer a variety of choices for how to create the final image just like traditional darkroom and film work does. But to answer the intent of the question, the answer is "sometimes". After I process a RAW file, there are shots where I may use artistic or specialty filters in order to bring a photo to life, to boost colors, or create a black and white from a color image.

The trick is, if I didn't get the shot right while I was there in person, all the "photoshopping" in the world won't save me.


If a man was drowning and you could either save him or take his picture, what would you do?

I'd use shutter priority and burst mode on ISO 800 :)

I'd like to get into selling my photography. What's the quickest way to make money?

Sell your equipment :)