Frequently Asked Questions

-Is your equipment worth a darn?

It's not clear what the exact conversion rate between darns and dollars is, but we feel confident saying that it's actually worth many darns. For those who are technically inclined: Ty shoots with two Canon 5D Mark IV camera bodies; Christina uses a Canon 6D Mark II body; we work with a slew of lenses (Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II, Canon 8-15mm f/4L fisheye, Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro, Canon 85mm f/1.2L II, Canon 50mm f/1.4, etc.); and we break out flashes when needed (especially multiple Canon 600EX-RT radio-triggered speedlights).

-What’s your studio like?

It’s the whole Earth, so, yeah, it's big and overall pretty cool! Seriously, a studio doesn't really make sense for us, since a vast majority of the pictures people want us to take are "on location," out and about in the real world. For brides and grooms, that will of course mean at your wedding/reception venues. For engaged couples, it might mean at your favorite park, roaming around your city's downtown area, and so on. And for businesses, it might mean your showroom, or boardroom, or waiting room, or production floor. When the occasion calls for it, though -- as when we want to get headshots for professionals -- we do have backdrops that we can quickly and easily set up in your office space or home.

-"Ty Raterman Photography." That's a pretty creative name. How in the world did you ever come up with that?

It came to Ty in a dream.

-Since, like, Ty has, uh, a Ph.D. in philosophy and stuff, what's, like, your philosophy of photography, or whatever?

Wow, tough question! Okay, first, we think memories are incredibly important. They're a big part of what makes each of us who we are. (If you were to take away someone's memories, you would in some sense make her/him into a different person.) Second, we think no other artistic medium preserves memories like photography. Films can be entertaining, songs can be soul-stirring, paintings can be beautiful, sculptures can be fascinating... but nothing captures the emotion on a face -- joy, nervousness, relief, sadness, love, and so on -- and preserves it for posterity like a picture. (How a relatively small, still, silent, 2-dimensional image can be so powerful is something of a mystery, but pretty cool!) So, to take pictures -- of families at formative stages, of brides and grooms on their wedding day, of students who are approaching graduation and entry into adult life, and so on -- is both a responsibility we take incredibly seriously and an opportunity for which we're amazingly grateful.

-Why are your prices so high? That's kind of a bummer.

Perspective is everything. Really good photography requires not just an artistic eye, skill at making the subject look her/his best, and considerable technical knowledge, but also expensive equipment, tons of time editing, and extensive communication with the client before and after the shoot. And of course we need to a website for you to read this on, a car to get us to the shoot, insurance to cover us (and you) when we're there, a powerful computer to edit on afterward, and so on. We're confident you'll have a really tough time finding better photography for less than what we charge. We stay really busy, but are nonetheless just making a middle-class living, so if you're concerned that we're going to get rich and then let all that wealth and power corrupt us, we promise that you don't need to worry. 

-Why are your prices so low? That sorta makes me nervous.

See--perspective is everything! Yes, plenty of people charge more than we do. However, we're "frugal" people -- that sounds nicer than "cheap," doesn't it? -- and we price our work for people like us. We can't justify charging more than we'd want to pay.

-What geographic areas do you serve?

Our home base is Shelby County, OH—specifically the city of Sidney. However, we're happy to travel for weddings, engagement sessions, and to photograph for businesses. Our clients are primarily in Ohio's Miami Valley, including the counties of Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Hardin, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Van Wert, and, of course, Shelby. So, in addition to Sidney, that includes Dayton and all its suburbs (including Beavercreek, Centerville, Englewood, Fairborn, Kettering, Huber Heights, Miamisburg, Springboro, Xenia, and Yellow Springs), as well as cities such as Bellefontaine, Celina, Greenville, Lima, Piqua, Springfield, Tipp City, Troy, Urbana, Vandalia, Van Wert, and Wapakoneta. And we're certainly also willing to go to Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo—and indeed beyond, if you promise big enough smiles!

-Christina was born in California, Ty lived there for 8 years, and it's where you two met. What do you miss most about it?

The simple things, really. For instance, camping with practically no mosquitos. And chillaxin’ with our buddies George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon.

-Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG format?


-Okay, cool. So, can you give me the original RAW files?

Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Relax. You’re getting sleepy. Sleeeeepy. Every word I say is leading you further into a deep, peaceful state of hypnosis. You don’t want the RAW files. You dooon’t waaaant the RAW files. RAW files are totally unprocessed: the colors aren’t vibrant, the contrast is low, and they’re huge! Wanting the RAW files is like wanting your food before the chef gets the chance to season and cook it. When I snap my fingers, you will wake up and realize that you’re best off trusting us to do our post-production work (which is primarily in Adobe Lightroom) and then to give you full-resolution JPEG files. ::SNAP::

-How "frequently" are these questions asked, really?

Uhh, you're on to us. Perhaps "Occasionally Asked Questions" would be more fitting. Or in some cases even "Never Actually Asked But Conceivably Could Be Asked Questions." Just play along, will ya?