FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How do I reach you?
A: Best. Question. Ever. CALL: 909.379.9265; EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and please bookmark this page for easy future reference.
Q: Can I search or browse by my plate or bib number?
A: Not at this time. Numbers are often obscured — especially with the unique camera angles I like.
Q: Can you do a search for me?
A: Yes! I'll be happy to go through my galleries to find your photos. Hit me with some basic info (kit, colors, team, class, bike brand, race number, etc.), and I'll collect some links (FREE OF CHARGE) or even create a gallery just for you.
Q: The site is asking for my email address. Why?
A: If you're not yet to the shopping cart stage, it's probably because you clicked on the small "Log in" text centered on the home page. You can ignore it; that link is for the site administrator (yours truly).
Q: Do you offer volume discounts?
A: Yes. With a purchase of five (5) or more photos (downloads or prints), I'll be happy to issue a 20% discount coupon. Please call or email PB to receive the discount code.
Q: What's the deal with the "Teams" galleries?
A: Glad you brought that up. That popular "Teams/VIPs" program will be back for the 2017 calendar year, with just a few minor updates. Please email PB for details. Getting to the question: that program is a special offer to teams or individuals who want to take their photographic content to the next level by paying a one-time fee of $150 to have their own, exclusive, private galleries created. These galleries are posted first (usually within a day of the event), and photo pricing is reduced.
Q: Is there any order to the galleries and the photos in them?
A: Galleries are presented with the latest shoots at the top of the page. The photos are arranged chronologically (starting with the earliest photos taken that day placed first in the order).
Q: Will the "PB CREATIVE PHOTO" watermark shown across the center of the photo in these website previews show up on my purchased items.
A: No. Unless some special arrangement has been made with me, you will receive unwatermarked download files, prints and merchandise.
Q: Why are the photos watermarked like that?
A: That question opens a large can of worms. Basically, watermarks are used by photographers to help ensure their copyrighted images are not being grabbed from the computer screen and used without attribution, authorization or compensation. BTW, that's illegal. Do a Google search on "copyright infringement." We spend a lot of time, energy and dollars to make these photos available to you. Shooting photos is how many of us — including me — make a living. Watermarking is a controversial subject, even among photographers. Some consider a consumer's unauthorized use of a watermarked photo outright stealing, and they may even take legal measures. Others, including me, see it more as extra publicity, as long as it doesn't become excessive. Let's keep things civil and ethical. Just because something is on the internet does not mean it's free for the taking. And really, posting a photo with a huge watermark across it is pretty lame.
Q: Can I share your watermarked photos on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds?
A: Yes, but only under a couple of conditions: 1) the image is linked back to this website, 2) don't get carried away. As a favor, please credit Philip Beckman and/or PB Creative.
Q: Can I share a photo I purchased for personal use with a sponsor?
A: Feel free to share with a sponsor. They will dig it. However, if that sponsor wants to use the image for commercial purposes, including social media, advertising, catalogs, etc., then Commercial rights will need to be purchased separately.
Q: How do I make a purchase?
A: My favorite question! Click on a thumbnail photo to enlarge it. Now click the "BUY" button somewhere on the right side of the page. This will bring you to the store window (it does not commit you to a purchase just yet). This is where you'll see what's available and how much everything costs. As you'll see, there is a lot to choose from, at reasonable prices.
Q: What are my payment options?
A: SmugMug accepts credits cards and PayPal. Client work is typically done via invoice.
Q: Is my credit card number and personal info safe? How secure are we talking here?
A: This site is hosted by SmugMug, a service that's been around for 12+ years. That's very old in internet times. SmugMug has millions of customers who have made millions of past transactions. "We take security very very seriously," I am assured by the company. SmugMug, Inc., holds a website identity assurance warranty of $250,000. This means that you are insured for up to $250,000 when relying on the information provided by IdAuthority on this site. On any page where you are asked to enter billing information, you'll see the URL begins with "https://". That "s" tells you that you're entering your info into a secure form.
Q: How do I get my download once I've made a purchase?
A: You will be sent an email from SmugMug within moments. It will have a link for you to click which will deliver the file(s) to your computer in no time flat.
Q: Should I get a low-res or high-res download?
A: The low-res option is great for social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, etc.), websites and blogs. If you plan on making prints from a downloaded file, go for the high-res choice. This will provide a crisp, clean print all the way up to poster size.
Q: Can I make a poster from the downloads that are offered?
A: In the vast majority of cases, yes. If you want to be sure the resolution is high enough, purchase a high-res download and I will send you the original file at no cost. You could do a mural on the side of Grand Central with that. Just send me an email.
Q: What is the "commercial license" option for.
A: If you're using the photo for business purposes, such as a corporate website, print advertising, displays, catalogs, etc., or for editorial uses such as magazines or newsletters (print or web) – in short, anything that can earn a profit in itself – then it's going to cost a bit more for those rights.
Q: What the heck are all those different photo finishes for prints?
A: Here's a brief description:
Glossy finish is common today from fast, local photo finishers (e.i. drug stores) as well as online printing retailers. These photographs have a shiny appearance that shows off the details and colors of the image, but can create a glare when reflected off light, and are highly susceptible to fingerprints.
Matte finish is what you have most likely viewed if you have ever noticed a "texture" on a photograph. While this texture does not detract from the detail and the color of the image, one of its purposes is to help reduce glare by deflecting light. Additionally, this texture helps reduce the fingerprint problem normally associated with glossy prints. Matte finishes are a good option for photographs which are frequently handled and/or viewed outside of a frame or album.
Luster finish is most easily thought of as being somewhere in between gloss and matte. Luster prints are slightly glossy, which helps enhance the image's color and details, but also feature a very fine "texture" to help reduce glare and fingerprints. Luster offers a nice balance between the features of glossy and matte.
Metallic photographs have this name because they almost look like they were printed on a sheet of metal. A metallic finish has a very high gloss, and the colors appear to be quite intense, but in a pleasant way. Although normally more expensive, a metallic finish can provide a vibrant "pop" to images, making it a truly unique keepsake.
Q: Do you do metal prints?
A: Metal (not to be confused with metallic) prints are created by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets, creating truly archival works of art. This finish showcases a revolutionary new medium that is highly durable, waterproof, weatherproof, and ultra scratch-resistant. The unique printing method gives your photos a vibrant luminescence with incredible detail and resolution. Often offered in High Gloss and Satin finishes. Each print has rounded corners for your safety and the surface can be easily cleaned with any commercial glass cleaner. Metal prints come ready-to-hang with two 3/4" thick lightweight foam blocks and aluminum plate with pre-drilled holes. Metal prints can be sized 30x40" and up are backed with an inset frame for added stability. When hung, these stunning prints will float off the wall. PB personally has several metal pieces on his walls. They are awesome.
Q: What about printing on canvas?
A: You bet, Picasso. Your photo can also be printed directly onto museum-quality canvas material, so prints will not separate over time. Protective spray coating is applied to the surface of each print to help prevent scratches and other damage. Canvas prints are available in three different mounting options: Canvas Wrap, Canvas Stretch/Staple, and Canvas Board.
Q: What's the deal with photo cropping?
A: Some print size options don't have the same proportions as the original, out-of-the-camera photo. Example: an 8x10 print will require a little cropping, while an 8x12 will not. Don't worry, the checkout process allows you to easily adjust cropping. If an image cannot be cropped, then your best bet is to select a print size that matches the photo proportions.
Q: I have this idea… Can PB produce it?
A: If you need a size that's not listed on the price list, or if you're really thinking outside the box, don’t hesitate to contact PB for completely custom jobs (i.e., Bigheads, hero posters, calendars, greeting cards, books, albums, displays, magazine covers, etc.). And if you need a bit of custom work on a photo, like different cropping or some Photoshop manipulation, just drop us a line.
Q: What if I'm not happy with the photo or it comes damaged?
A: No worries. Between this site's SmugMug host and PB Creative, we will take care of you. SmugMug has seriously stellar customer service, and I believe my current customers would say the same for PB. It's become a cliche at this point, but customer satisfaction and loyalty are my #1 goal in this business. In fact, I once wrote a book about it for a corporate client.
Q: How come you didn't take my photo?
A: Ugh, what a disappointment! I hear you; it sucks. I could give you a long list of reasons why your image didn't end up in an event gallery. If you have your eyes closed — delete. If we were in a cloud of dust — delete. If you were "hiding" behind another rider, if the rider in front of you had just crashed into me (it happens), if my flash didn't recharge fast enough between shots…sorry — no photo. It goes on and on. If I didn't capture you this time, I'll be at many cycling events in the future. I take requests, too.
Q: Why do I have to wait for two whole days to see the gallery?
A: Ah, the instant gratification lust the internet age has wrought. Most of all, a photo has to meet some very high standards. I am not a drag-n-drop photographer. I personally examine each and every photo (might be thousands from one weekend), to check focus, exposure, cropping, etc. That takes time and patience (a hideous level of patience…). I try to look at a photo through your eyes. If I wouldn't buy it and proudly hang it on a wall, I probably won't post it. Uploading the finished gallery then takes more time; how much depends on the velocity of my current web connection. If I'm traveling, then everything can be a bit later than usual. You might be surprised how slow many major hotel brand wi-fi networks are!
Q: Will you shoot my wedding?
A: Um, thanks for asking, but I'd rather not. For that I would refer you to my gloriously talented progeny, Sara Beckman. But please keep me in mind for just about any other sort of commercial assignment. My strength is outdoor action photography, but I have some experience with studio and portrait work as well.
Q: Can you shoot my marketing campaign?
A: This is the kind of stuff I live for. Most definitely, I am considering new, exclusive projects and assignments. I'm at a ridiculous number of events (some of them National Championship level). Contact me today.
Q: What if I have a question or a problem?
A: Lay it on me. Email: email@example.com. Phone: 909.379.9265.