Questions About Photography in Europe
What if you've already photographed one of my ancestral towns? Can I buy some of the photographs from your files?
This depends on your interest.
Like our fingerprints, every genealogist's history is unique.
I've photographed hundreds and hundreds of locations in Europe since beginning in 1990. And, I'm far from finished. European Focus is an ongoing business. Even if by chance one of your ancestral towns is listed on my archives, chances are that I'll recommend a re-shoot in order to accommodate your personal needs. I want you to be 100% satisfied with your project, not just 95% satisfied with someone else's photographs.
The photographs that are on file of Amelunxen, Germany (just to name one of the many towns that have been photographed) may not be of interest to anyone but the genealogist who hired me to photograph that village. Why? It's because when I photograph a town, I use your research as my guidance. The Evangelical Lutheran Church that serves Amelunxen was photographed because that was my client's ancestral church, but I bypassed the Catholic Church because it had no meaning for the client. Therefore, if your ancestors from this town were Catholic, you'd have a hole in your portfolio that could only be filled by a return visit to that town.
If by chance I have photographed your ancestral town for another person, I will let you know. If your interests are very general in nature, then perhaps I can offer you a selection of photographs burned onto a CD. Or, if you need specific places photographed, and those places were not photographed for the original client, then I'll offer you a discount of about 15 percent less than my normal low fees for a new project produced for you in that town.
What is included in an average portfolio?
At least 30 photographs of your ancestral town, all shot with the very latest digital camera. I present the images on CD, which can be read by either a MAC or a PC. In addition, I give you a set of 5x7" color prints. Every photograph is carefully identified with a full caption on the backside. I also include detailed town and area maps, and most importantly for many of my clients -- a complete, detailed diary of the visit to your ancestral town. I include names of people that I talk to, addresses of local experts and describe the ambiance and atmosphere of your ancestral town in a way that makes you feel like you were right beside me as I created each photograph in your project.
If I'm going to pay someone's way to Europe, why don't I just go myself?
The beauty of what I do is that my portfolios cost a fraction of what it would cost you to go to Europe and stay for a week or so, even using one of those bargain flights in the dead of winter. I hope you're visiting my web site because you're interested in having professional photographs of your ancestral village, not just snapshots. Most people arenft very good with a camera. I'm trained to capture scenes that others miss. You can have a full portfolio on CD of professional photographs that show your ancestral village, taken especially for you, for a price that starts at just $450 for some areas in Europe. (You can see more information on my Fees page.) It would be impossible to travel to Europe for less than $450 on your own.
Many genealogy enthusiasts go to Europe completely unprepared for the fact that in their ancestral town, the church may be locked, the parish office may not even be located in the town at all, the town hall deserted on certain days of the week and there could be a lack of people who speak English. I eliminate all of these "unknowns" by using more than a decade of experience in photographing small towns in far-flung regions of Europe. I never come away empty handed -- but some of my clients who have gone on their own do, and then they contact me. Because of my experience and resources, I can usually provide you with much more information than you could possibly find on your own.
What kind of genealogy enthusiast hires European Focus?
About 30% of my clients have been to their ancestral village themselves, but either they didn't know then what they know now, or their camera didn't work, or they were too caught up in the moment to take quality photographs. Maybe it rained all day and they only had one day to spend there. I've heard all kinds of reasons. The majority of my clients will never have the opportunity to travel to their ancestral town because of budget concerns or health reasons. And some of my clients just want a preview of their ancestral town before setting off on their own. All of my clients have one thing in common -- 100 percent satisfaction. I go the extra mile to make sure of it. I'm proud of the fact that 1/5 of the projects that I do each year are for return clients, some of whom are having their fifth or sixth project in as many years produced for them.
Can I use my photographs in my family history project and does this cost extra? Who keeps the negatives?
You can use your photographs in your family history project. Copyright Guidelines come with the finished product. I just require that when you use the photographs, that you give proper credit to European Focus. I don't charge for usage, in fact, I like it when my clients use their images on their family web site, or in a family history book. European Focus owns the permanent rights to every image that I produce. These images form an immense archive that I use for promotion, display and sometimes, inclusion in new projects that I produce for a new client in a town that I've already visited.
What if it rains when you're scheduled to photograph my ancestral village?
Clear, well lit photographs are just as important to me as they are to you. I stay in Europe for months at a time, so weather isn't as big a problem for me as it is for other people who are there on a tight schedule with usually someone else doing the driving. If the weather isn't cooperating, I return to that area a week or so later to try again.
Can I go with?
Yes you can. See Private Tours.
Does European Focus sell stock photographs?
I have supplied images for the editors of Genealogical Helper magazine as well as Family Chronicle, German Life, Family Tree, Ancestry and several others. I sometimes license images for use in other areas that are not connected with genealogy. The use of my archival images is usually done on a trade basis, the magazine uses my work, and in return I get free advertising in their publication.
I have some photographs of cities in Ireland. Are you interested in buying them?
I get asked this a lot. No, I'm not interested in purchasing amateur or even professional photographs. All work under the banner of European Focus has been produced by James Derheim, and no others.
Have any questions not covered here? Contact me by e-mail, phone or regular mail. I'm standing by to assist you in any way that I can.
"This service has saved me from making a long and expensive journey. Short of having been there myself, your photos and narrative are the next best thing. Thank you, my curiosity is satisfied, and very nicely too!"
— Laura C., Naperville, IL
"The photos are truly world class and have added to my ability to explain our Thu?Nringian and Bavarian family roots to those family members who have only a passing interest in genealogy."
— Mel W., Albany, NY
"This has really inspired me to finish the family history and illustrate it with your beautiful pictures..."
— Regina E., Ocean Springs, MS
"We all sat around my mother as she turned the pages and watched her eyes get wider and wider. It was great when she saw the house where her great-grandfather was born."
— Amy G., Orlando, FL
"I received your package yesterday. Thank you so much. What a beautiful presentation you put together. I am looking forward to giving this to my aunt when I go to Chicago in March."
— Noreen S., Pasadena, CA