Everything You Need To Know About Working With Dave
Posted by: David Arnspiger on April 16th, 2014

"Hi, I'd like you to come to my home, go down into the basement and let me take your picture."

Not a conversation people respond well to, and usually a setup for a bad horror movie. So how do I address that with a new client?

I think the best way is to show you where you will be working with me. Yes, it is a basement in my home, but for me it is a fully working studio and office space. A place I want you to feel comfortable coming into so that we can make amazing pictures.

Check out the video below to get a good look at the studio.

Video provided by Steven Finnestead

I always allow a guest in the studio. If you need more than one guest, please discuss it with me in advance. We can accomodate multiple people, but I like to know who will be in the room before a shoot. It is my home after all.

We want you to have fun while you are working with us. It's not just a work space. We have an air hockey table, foosball, television for guests, WiFi access, or you can simply look around at all my wacky collections in my office.

Now, for an introduction. My name is Dave Arnspiger, and my "company" is Traumantic Studios.

I started focusing on photography in the mid-1990s after people started commenting on my images. Over the next 10 years I continued to improve and gathered better gear and started to shoot for fun.

In 1989 I created Traumantic Software, I did computer support for small companies and individuals. I re-launched as Traumantic Studios in January of 2006 focused on photography and videography.

My primary focus is portraits, pinup and creative projects. However, I also shoot events, products, wildlife and other general items.

My company name came about when my son was 5. He was watching the opening scene of Star Wars when Princess Leia's ship is being chased by the giant Star Destroyer. Afterwards, he rushed out to the living room to tell my wife and I about it.

In his excitement to describe what he saw as either 'tremendous' or 'gigantic', those words were squashed together and the word 'traumantic' popped out. I think it is pretty cool to have your company name be inspired by Star Wars.

The first thing people probably think when they see my company name is that I might be expensive.

For non-commercial projects, mine or yours, I shoot everything TIME FOR PHOTOS (TFP). I do not charge, I do not expect tips, no money is required at all. for my time.

The lone exception to that is shoots that involve nudity. If I bring you in for a shoot where nudity is involved, you will be paid.

Having said that, if you want a hair and/or makeup person at the shoot, or special props that must be rented, you will need to pay for those items.

If images are to be used for any commercial purpose, then separate agreements will be made to ensure both parties benefit.

I am not above accepting paid work. It rarely comes my way, but I do take it when I can.

I just don't do this for profit. I do this because I love making pictures and I hope people like the results I provide for them.

For those photographers who get upset that I shoot free because I am "taking money out of their pockets". I am sorry, but I have a job that provides my resources, and I am not doing anything to take money from you. If your work is great, then people are probably hiring you even if they do work with me too.

As a wise man once said, 'Ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself.'

This web site is built to please me. I built it based on designs from previous incarnations and ideas from other sites that I like. Other than some code snippets from AddThis, Google and some scripts I got help with, I built it with my own two hands. I improve on it as I am able to do so.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media and the lack of control I have with certain sites, so I have built this web site to be the source of my social media posts.

This page is a reflection of me and my 'style'.

It exists to show you what I can do as a photographer in hopes you will want me to take photographs and/or video for you.

You may have heard that the best thing to do is to 'only show your best work'. Probably good advice, but it isn't who I am.

My main page has links to my PORTFOLIOS, my best images, the 'good advice'. I absolutely want you to see those first. It might be all you need to see about my work.

However, if you are looking for more, I have my BLOG section, where I ignore the 'good advice'.

The reason I share these images is so that I can talk about the learning process of taking those shots. This section of my page is for the people who want to see behind the scenes. What I have done, how I did it and what it taught me. What makes me the photographer that I am.

If this approach makes you think less of me and my work, I am sorry to know we won't work together. I am hoping that it inspires others.

I hope it helps you to make the decision to hire me to create some 'traumantic' images for you.

I have read that one should consider whether a shoot concept will benefit your portfolio or not. Truer words were never spoken.

I am a planner. I like to work with other planners. I don't have a huge team to work with, so at least having the model working on the plan with me seems to be a good step.

Participation is the key. If you have an idea, but you are concerned because it doesn't look like something I have shot before, talk to me anyway. Let me show you how I think about putting projects together and prove that I have no fear about trying something new and pulling it off.

I want our shoots to be a team effort that we will both be proud of.

If I ask you to shoot, and I get no response, I will take that as a NO. I won't ask again.

If we get a shoot started, and I ask questions but get no response, I might touch base one time to keep things moving, but if lack of communication continues, I will simply drop the shoot and move on. If you are wondering why you aren't hearing from me, you might want to check your messages to see where the ball got dropped.

There simply isn't enough time to deal with uninterested parties. I am not being mean, I just want to work with people who are excited to work with me. Simple as that.

If you re-establish communication, I might pick up the shoot again, but don't count on it.

Pick ANY picture of a human being (why do I need to explain this to people?) in my portfolio and I will do my best to put you in touch with that model to talk about our shoot and give you input on me.

I have reviews on the front page of my web site. Talk to any of those people, I am connected to most of them on Facebook.

I know you will find that people like to work with me.

I am a photographer, and I specialize in photographing beautiful women. This requires certain lines to exist, here are mine
Our current culture and the misdeeds of other photographers and models require both of us to protect ourselves, and this is how I do it.

I am a happily married man, so photography for me is not a way to meet women. I keep my hands to myself and I am very respectful of your personal space and privacy.

Mine vary, but I try to keep them to less than 3 hours, usually 2 hours. If we are having fun, and nobody is on a tight timeframe, they can go longer if we both want to. This does not include travel time if we are doing something on location. We will create a gameplan prior to our shoot so each party knows what is expected.

I work quickly. Often I edit and deliver one image the same day of the shoot.

I create a web page of the unedited images immediately after the shoot and usually have that uploaded for viewing the same day.

The page has instructions on how to make choices, send them to me and get edited images back.

I am often finished with our images within two weeks, depending on how quickly I get your choices.

Usually, I provide from 10 to 20 final images. Half are my picks, and half are yours. If my schedule allows, I might do more.

I provide those images electronically. The model release you sign with me is provided as well and it contains a print release in it.


I am not sure if this helps to answer all questions you may have about shooting with me, but hopefully it tells you enough to take a shoot to the next level with me.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to ask me.

I live to make great images, and I want to make some with you. Let's talk!