About Thomas Schoeller Photography
My name is Thom Schoeller and I thank you for taking an interest in my fine art nature & landscape imagery. I split time between Connecticut's scenic Litchfield Hills & western Montana's Seeley Lake as my home base. My specialty is large format, gallery-quality fine art prints. Each ready-to-hang custom made piece is carefully hand crafted to order specs.
When you invest in premium quality fine art imagery from me, you are not simply acquiring ink on paper. It is the experience you'll enjoy over a lifetime, each and every time you view the piece. The distinctive artworks and museum grade media styles not only bring beauty into your home, but also bring a lasting measure of value & prestige.
I've been blessed with a loyal following of art collectors and connoisseurs that have procured my works over the last 2 decades. I look forward to continuously adding new clients that connect with both myself and my artworks. My imagery is hanging in homes & offices and both public and private collections throughout the USA, Canada, parts of Europe, and Australia. A few noteworthy installations of my works are the UConn Health - John Dempsey inpatient care center in Farmington Connecticut, the Yale-New Haven Hospital Art wing, the Cottage Hospital public art gallery in Woodford New Hampshire, the SUNY Whiteface Hall in Plattsburg New York, and McConnel Air force base in Kansas.
66x33" abstract nature artwork titled "Autumn Lily Pond Impressions"
LIMITED EDITIONS & OPEN EDITION PRINTS
Many of the artworks in the curated galleries on my site are available to purchase as Limited Edition Fine Art prints. I consider them to be my finest pieces, and I limit them to a production total of 150 prints. When you click to open any artwork, it will state if it's a Limited Edition of 150 in the description below the image. If it does not, then that artwork is an Open Edition. For each Limited Edition fine art print purchased, I'll send you a signed Certificate of Authenticity (COA) separately in a folder via mail. Included will be a tamper proof hologram with a serial number matching the COA. Simply affix the hologram on a lower corner on the back side of the artwork.
The Limited Edition artwork galleries are just a small portion of the images archived on this website. I've established a Photo Archive where you can search for photographs by specific locations and region. The imagery in the Photo Archives are all available for Commercial Licensing, publication and photo prints. If you wish to obtain prints from the Archives, you can select any of the print media styles I've made available for Limited Editions, or you can CONTACT me directly and I can provide more economical print media options.
If you'd love to Gift a special friend or family member a new Limited or Open Edition artwork, I've made this available for you! Simply click HERE to view my Gift Certificate products page. Gift certificates can be applied towards the purchase of artworks, and I've set up some to be used exclusively for DSLR Photography Workshops.
I first began toying with cameras and lenses in the early 1980's. At the time, I had just met my soon to be wife Carol. We both enjoy traveling, hiking, camping and overnight backpacking adventures (not to mention our extended family of cats that we call our kids). Of course in that era I was shooting analog 35mm film cameras. Google, YouTube videos and other online instructional resources hadn't been born yet. The journey from enthusiast to professional sure had some bumps along the way, and fortunately, I took advantage of wonderful opportunities to learn directly from experienced pros along the way. For the most part, I'm proud to say I'm primarily a self-taught photographer.
This Limited Edition of 150 is titled "Divine Light" shown as a 54x36" Acrylic glass gallery float
Like many others, I looked up to and admired some remarkable and notable photographers back in the day. I was deeply inspired by the grand landscapes of David Muench and Galen Rowell. I also was keenly drawn to a particular fascinating style of imagery mastered by one Eliot Porter. That would be the "intimate landscape", and Porter's eye for capturing smaller scenes within the wider landscape probably had the biggest impact on my own personal style to this day.
After several years, I caught a few breaks and was being published by various magazines and calendars here and there. In the years just prior to 2005 I was getting noticed consistently online, which led to more publications in travel guides, local publications, and even more annual calendars. By 2008 I had been published in National Geographic's Traveler magazine - then in 2010, Yankee Magazine's annual "25 Best Towns in New England to see Fall Foliage" was published that September. My published images led directly to dozens of interviews by major US media markets. Since then, I've been blessed to have been published in numerous magazines worldwide, licensed an image in November 2014 that was used on the set of the hit CBS TV drama NCIS New Orleans, and my licensed artworks are distributed and sold worldwide by White Mountain Puzzles, Inc. as jig-saw puzzles.
MY REVERENCE FOR NATURE
I'm in awe of the overwhelming beauty and power of the universe. When I'm out in nature, in the midst of a vast wild forest, on a stretch of isolated seacoast, or exploring trails high in the mountains of North America - I feel as though it is sacred. It's a deeply spiritual & personal connection, perhaps something as an admirer of fine art nature photography you may connect with and relate to. I feel a part of it, like I belong to it, and the energy is both uplifting and exhilarating. As I cast my gaze over the beauty of the landscape while photographing the scene, its like I'm in my own cathedral. There is a saying I memorized forever that I hold close to me. It reads "Study nature, Love nature, Stay close to nature, It will never fail you."
My personal goal is to try and capture that positive energy and emotion, a feeling of serenity and peace, the very essence of the scene - and convey my personal inspiration to the viewer. Each image is unique onto itself, telling a story and maybe even a shared memory for anyone that may have experienced a trip or visit to a specific region. I'm always excited each time I make a connection with someone that admires my artistic inspirations. That is truly special, even more so if they decide to procure a piece from me.
When I am on a photoshoot, I don't view my approach in the same manner as a photojournalist or sports photographer does. I am a Fine Art Photographer, and in order to capture the infinite detail, long exposure effects, superb lighting, correct tonal range and vivid colors I use advanced techniques. The imagery is very real, I take no liberties to add elements that didn't exist. Oftentimes, while the camera is locked down securely to a sturdy tripod, I'll bracket multiple exposures for increased dynamic range, and extreme focus front to back which is called focus stacking.
I also love to bracket a sequence of exposures during sunrise or sunset events to combine images as the natural lighting rapidly changes, like little slices of time. The results of this technique are processed with painstaking care to achieve breathtaking results. As dawn becomes sunrise, first you'll experience vivid colors in the clouds. Then the sun approaches the horizon, bathing the highest mountain peaks in a light called alpenglow. Finally, there is enough ambient light to illuminate the foreground just perfectly. Each bracketed image is recorded without moving the camera body or tripod a single millimeter. Later from my office during processing, I'll select the best images in the series and carefully blend the most dramatic light to create a single image.
NOTHING COMPARES TO THE ACTUAL PRINT vs ONLINE VIEWING
I've been selling my artworks to buyers at a fairly steady volume since 2005. I've moved my online galleries over several website platforms since I began making my artworks available online. The most important features I demand from a website are a user friendly & easy navigation experience, and images with enough web optimized resolution and detail that allow you to feel confident purchasing prints. The details and resolution I'm now able to display online are stunning, no website can top what Wide Range Galleries provides for Luxury Fine Art photographers. Regardless of how awesome they appear on your monitor, there is still no comparison to a fine art print displayed on your walls.
The experience of viewing the artworks live and in person can't be beat. Modern high-end print technologies far exceed where we were just 10 years ago. The premium museum-grade print styles I make available are nearly as close to virtually being there in person. For Limited Edition series prints, the sizes start with 24" at the longest edge, and depending on the imagery, I have artworks that are available at 72", 84" and 96".
Yes, I do offer "custom" sizes - upon special request. The sizes I've listed for each print media style are by far and away the most popular and traditional. Offering more sizes becomes overwhelming, and complicates the final decision.
However, I'm willing to work directly with you and discuss your needs for providing in-between sizes currently not listed on my site. I will not alter the artworks original aspect ratio or make crops. Please CONTACT me directly and provide me with as much information as possible.
THE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE
When you're ready to procure artworks from me, you can expect world-class customer service and nothing less. I've worked with clients in the private residential sector as well as commercial and large scale installations. I can assist you with deciding which is the right artwork, the best size for your space, and the appropriate print styles for your unique budget.
Please scroll down to read all about my order Turnaround Times, S/H fees, Damage during Shipping policies, Return Policies and my Quality Guarantee. If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to me using the Contact form.
TURN-AROUND TIMES, SHIPPING & HANDLING FEE'S
It's imperative to note that every print ordered & obtained through my site is a Custom Made order. I don't stock warehouses filled with pre-made artworks awaiting an order like Amazon or a Walmart does. By design, each and every print ordered in person or online is meticulously hand-crafted by master printers. You are guaranteed to acquire a brand new artwork. Orders are placed into production within 48 hours of confirming payment. Orders are not placed into production on weekends.
The fastest turn-around time for any media style by far is the Photo Print. Since there is no mounting, mat or custom framing involved it generally takes less than 10-days for photo prints to arrive. Keep in mind, you'll be handling the process of picking the frame style and mat in person with your local frame shop and that will add both time and expense.
All of my professionally mounted print media will take a bit longer that the Photo Prints to arrive. I use high-end labs that specialize in their niche' to fabricate the finest of their kind. Typically, production times for Acrylic and Chromaluxe Metal prints are: 7-8 working days for production, and @ 5-8 days for delivery. The Wood Float-Plaqs take the longest, expect @ 21 to 24 working days to arrive.
ONCE PRODUCTION BEGINS ON THE ARTWORK
Once your custom print order goes into production at the print lab, you CANNOT change your mind and back out without reimbursing me. Buying high-end museum grade fine art media is a serious investment, and the investment begins with myself (my costs) to begin the production process, which is substantial. If the artwork has not been shipped out, the buyer would be responsible for a 25% reimbursement fee.
SHIPPING & HANDLING FEES
I provide FREE DELIVERY to the Contiguous USA 48 States. Custom made crates are required for oversized (45" or wider) or large quantity orders per the print master. Alaska and Hawaii deliveries will pay delivery fees.
For all INTERNATIONAL ORDERS you must CONTACT ME first - Before you purchase.
International Shipping Orders may incur additional taxes & duties that you may need to pay for at the time of delivery. You are responsible for resolving this with your local government, as well as any additional fees above the normal S/H fee's that I need to collect from my end. Please Note: I am unable to fulfill & ship International prints order until I obtain a Shipping Quote from my print lab - and the order is paid for in full. I do NOT accept returns if you are unable to pay for any local taxes, fee's or duties concerning your custom print order with us.
Hand Fabricated Crates For Large Orders or oversized prints are a necessity to ensure safe delivery. Crating fee's may apply.
ALL ARTWORK ORDERS are to be paid in USA dollar funds only
DAMAGE CLAIMS & POLICIES
My intent is to make any shipping damage claim be resolved as smoothly as possible. It is an extremely rare case where an artwork is handled poorly during the delivery process. My policy is: Any damaged piece that occurs during shipping transit is eligible for replacement at no cost to you. Please take notice, the carriers have strict requirements (protocol) you must follow. If you follow all of the necessary steps listed in the next paragraph, NO worries, you are covered!
Carefully inspect the packaging prior to accepting for any visible signs of wear on the shipping container no matter how minor, and make a note with the carrier (if they are present) so they can document it. If a signature is not required by the shipping agent, you MUST take clear photos of any damage to the shipping container prior to opening.
Time Sensitive Carrier Requirements: This is urgent. Shipping Carriers have strict policies stating Damage Claims must be reported within 36 hours of Delivery. NO EXCEPTIONS! The shipping agents notify me of the exact time and dates the package was delivered.
Proof of Damage: After you notify me by email, and provide me with clear -- sharp photos showing the damage to the packaging and the artwork. I will then forward your photos to my print lab for review. Once approved, a replacement will go into production and be shipped out to you. They will take up the damage claim with the shipping agent. Depending on the print format, you may be required to repackage the damaged artwork in the exact same manner for returns. If that is the case, I will provide you with the shipping address.
Damaged artwork during transit, or delays in shipping due to unforeseen circumstances are not eligible as a "return" or as a way to cancel an order. All approved damage claims are replaced by my print lab.
QUALITY ISSUES - DEFECTS OR FLAWS
I've only experienced this ONCE in over 20 years of selling artwork online, and that was when an Art Gallery in West Hartford CT ordered my artwork as photo prints. I had used Fine Art America's print service to fulfill the order for me, and I learned quickly never to trust run-of-the-mill print on demand labs ever again! Since that day many years ago, I've depended exclusively on world-class master printers, and have done so to fulfill thousands of custom orders "big and small" without any quality or imperfections to speak of. Defects or workmanship imperfections are VERY rare --- and all of my art pieces are white glove inspected by professionals at my master printers lab before shipment.
If there is a minor imperfection or flaw that is NOT caused by handling in transit, I want to, and NEED to know about it. Please follow the guidelines listed here for resolution.
Contact me within 2 days of receiving your order. It is very important that you carefully inspect your piece in good lighting when it arrives. I require clear and sharp photos taken in good light -- and an explanation of the defect to approve a claim with my partner print lab. IF approved by the print lab as a legitimate defect in their workmanship, a replacement will go into production in the same exact order specifications (dimensions, finish, media style) as the original piece. Artist in particular must be diligent to protect themselves from fraudulent buyers and scams.
WHAT'S NOT COVERED
· Photo Prints are not returnable if you have mounted them, placed behind a mat, cropped, trimmed, or placed them in a frame. Once a photo print is mounted & framed, you cannot claim for defects or workmanship.
· Poor Lighting & Illumination where your new artworks are installed are NOT a defect or quality issue. The most beautiful art pieces, displayed in less than ideal lighting, might not look their best. As luminous as my gallery quality prints are, they'll always benefit from proper lighting to reveal their full potential. I cannot guarantee the quality of your indoor lighting, therefore, it's important not to make judgement of the details and overall quality of the piece until you are able to view it in proper lighting, or outdoors in natural bright light.
· Alterations or modifications of any kind to the Float Mount hardware, OR the print media are NOT a defect and are not covered. If my artworks are physically altered, mishandled, or modified in any manner, that voids any quality guarantee.
RETURN POLICY & RETURN ABUSE
I've been selling Fine Art prints online for nearly 2 decades -- and have yet to have a customer contact me afterwards and say "I'm disappointed - and want to return it for a full refund." My personal investment for the required museum quality archival materials, the printing process, and craftsmanship to create the artwork to the order specifications is substantial. Additionally, delivery fees, depending on the size of the piece can exceed $300.00 even if shipped to the USA lower 48 states. I pay for that out of pocket. Therefore, the situation must be rather exceptional for me to accept a return.
Also, I need to point out a nasty trend that is growing rapidly, that is taking advantage of weak online store policies (Amazon as one example) by ordering multiples, often referred to as “wardrobing” or “free renting”. They'll try them out, and send all but one back. The mega-giant Amazon and E-Bay retailers use easy returns policies as a marketing ploy to get more and more people to buy from them. They make billions, and can easily absorb the costs of "wardrobing" tactics, especially when the products are cheaply made in China and marked up steeply to consumers.
This practice can move beyond clothing into other retail areas including online art galleries and the independent artist. This is known as return abuse which is often categorized as “friendly fraud,” but if you’re an honest hard working small business owner, there’s nothing friendly at all about the impact it has on your trying to survive and keep the lights on. It is us small online galleries that bear a heavy impact on when things go badly. Return abuse is NOT tolerated by myself, or any other independent fine art photographers that I know of. As I stated above, my personal investment starts prior to the start of production. Anyone who is ordering high-end museum grade fine art works must take this process seriously, and stay within the very fair guidelines I've made very clear.
Custom made artwork acquisitions are final, and not eligible for returns. Each of my "mounted print" media options are custom made to order. Before placing an order, please be sure to read and comprehend my policy. ALL of the artworks on my site are Custom Made to Order. I go to extreme measures to assure images of the artworks you see online are 100% clear & accurate, each print media description is explicitly written, so you know exactly what to expect when the artwork arrives. No artist, including myself, can take responsibility if your device or desktop monitor is not properly color calibrated. Be sure to view my website on a desktop with a calibrated monitor (not an iPhone or iPad) when deciding on a significant purchase investment.
As I've explained clearly above, you are always covered if there is a quality issue such as a defect or flaw, or you experience damage during transit to your destination. Quality issues or damage during transit are not eligible for returns - it is my policy that you will receive a replacement, and this is the norm for virtually every Fine Art Photographer who's website I've visited or know personally.
In an extremely rare case where the client is not 100% satisfied and they demand a return, I'll accept the return. However, the purchaser must meet all of the conditions we've set forth below.
· You must return the artwork (ship back to me) within 7-days of its arrival at your destination. You don't get to "wardrobe" or "free rent".
· Returned artwork must be repackaged in the same exact shipping container and manner as it arrived. The containers are specially designed for safe transport. The artwork MUST arrive at my destination in brand new condition, so I can continue to exhibit it for sale at art shows.
· You are responsible for all return delivery fees and for insuring the artwork for it's FULL value.
· If you misjudged your needs and ordered the incorrect size (too small or large) this is not the fault of the artist -- however, I am happy to work with you to reach an exchange agreement. You would be responsible to repackage, insure and pay for shipping to return the original artwork to me, and the original order must show NO signs of wear or damage.
· The purchaser is responsible for a 25% restocking fee. EX: If the artwork sold for $1500.00, the purchaser would be reimbursed $1125.00
SCAMS AND OTHER FRAUD ATTEMPTS
This is the stuff that keeps me up at night. Artists, including the photographic arts, are often a primary target for scams and frauds of all kinds. In fact, buyer fraud online has grown at an alarming rate over the past few years. Credit card chargeback rates increase almost 20% annually (as of 2017) across the board. The crazy attempts I see (and other artists report) come in from emails and inquiries is mind blowing. For instance, the scammer posing as an "art buyer or collector" says they want to purchase your artworks. But when it comes time to pay, they insist on paying through a mobile payment app, or that they are "worried" about their own protection.
They send the artists a fake payment notification and hope you ship the artwork out before you realize you've been scammed! Sometimes they'll claim there was an issue with the payment they made, leaving the artist out of the hard earned investment they made to begin production and delivery costs. For example, they might say they accidentally paid you twice, and ask you to refund one of the payments.
Some buyers will try another scam tactic, by selecting the wrong reason for a return, unaware that it will affect the seller. They may do it after changing their mind, or to protest a seller’s policy. Buyers sometimes request a refund if the delivery is delayed (and then conveniently forget about it). Buyer fraud is a serious issue and it hurts independent small business owners harder than it does the giant e-commerce retailers.