Frequently Asked Questions

Questions people ask, and some they’d like to ask….

Virtual Studio Days

How many sittings do I need?

If there are two of you, one sitting is fine. 

Charles can easily cut two silhouettes in one 10-minute sitting. For this reason, our rule of thumb is one sitting per couple.

You can choose between to classic cameo silhouettes or one double silhouette.

The main exception to this rule is if you want Charles to cut a  full-length silhouette. These are his speciality, but they do take a little longer.  For full-length silhouettes you need to book one sitting per person.

What if there are three of us?

For three people, we recommend two sittings. 

That said, it is sometimes possible to cut three simple cameo silhouettes in one sitting. However, we can’t guarantee this and so recommend booking two sittings.

If you’ve already seen Charles in action you’ll know he will quite often “squeeze in” a third silhouette, perhaps of a family pet. If this happens, great, but please don’t rely on it!

So, what if there are five of us? Or more?

Cutting three silhouettes in one sitting is far more likely to work when booking multiple sittings. For instance, if there are 5 of you then two sittings should be enough; if 7, then three, etc.

However, if there are six of you, please book three sittings: two people per sitting.

Bear in mind that booking extra times gives Charles more flexibility on the day. This time will never go to waste. He could use it to cut more complex silhouettes (eg: holding a glass of wine or a favourite toy) or perhaps to squeeze in that extra silhouette of the dog…

It will just be me. Can I book half a sitting?

No, we don’t book 5-minute sittings. 

Why not invite a friend to join you? You won’t need to be in the same place, you’ll just need to both log into the Zoom meeting at the same time. After the sitting both silhouettes will be posted to you and you can forward one on to your friend.

This won’t work. My child can’t sit still for two seconds!

We hear this a lot. It’s almost never true. 

In our experience, most children can pose better than adults if they want to. The important thing, of course, is the wanting to! It’s all about psychology.

For family groups Charles will offer to cut the kid’s silhouettes first. Usually they’re the first to volunteer! However, if they seem at all reluctant then it’s better for the adults to pose first while they watch. This is usually enough to put them at ease. 

Very young children can pose while sitting on a parent’s lap, perhaps distracted by a favourite toy or video. 

So if you would like silhouettes cut of your children during their formative years, please do suspend your disbelief. You’ll be amazed at what can be achieved!

Bespoke Events and Online Parties

None of your times are suitable for me. What can I do?

Please provide feedback about this.

The schedule of studio days keeps changing and we try to make sure they work for everybody. We hold early, daytime and evening studio days each month to make sure they’re accessible to people in different time zones.

You can contact us to suggest dates and times which might work for you.

I belong to a club. Can you arrange a bespoke studio day just for us?

Yes we can, dependant on Charles’ availability and as long there are a reasonable number of people. There will be a minimum charge. 

We can either arrange a full day just for your club or society, Orr (for fewer numbers) we can post the event publicity on this site whilst reserving a number of sittings for your club.

Please get in touch to discuss these options.

Can I book Charles to attend a corporate event of private party?

Yes, you can. These kind of enquiries are handled by our sister site at The Roving Artist.

Joining Zoom Meetings

How will you send me the Zoom link?

After you book your sitting you’ll quickly receive a number of emails:

  1. You’ll immediately receive an order acknowledgment
  2. Some time later (depending on how quickly we process the order) you’ll receive three further emails:
    1. an e-ticket with your sitting times, the Zoom link, a passcode, and an “add to calendar” link
    2. A registration acknowledgement from Zoom, also containing the Zoom link
    3. Our “all set” email confirming that everything is now ready for your sitting

The most important of these is the e-ticket. Please save it somewhere safe. 

We recommend you add the event to your Apple or Google calendar and copy the Zoom information to it. We’ve set the calendar link up so that your calendar will issue a series of reminders before the event.

I used the add the calendar link an dit saved a six-hour event!

Thank you for adding the event to your calendar!

Your calendar has saved the times of the whole studio day, not just your sitting. This is because we use a single Zoom event to run the day. Charles finds it much easier to manage this than switching between multiple Zoom appointments on the day.

After adding the event to your calendar we recommend you edit it to reflect the times of the sittings you booked (see your times in the e-ticket). This will save confusion later. It will also ensure that your calendar app reminds you of your own correct log-in time, wherever you are in the world.

I heard Zoom has security issues. Will this be a problem?

We heard that too! In fairness to Zoom, the situation has improved enormously over the last few months.

To make sure our studio days don’t get interrupted we enable all the security features Zoom has to offer! We set a passcode (it’s in your ticket) and enabled the “waiting room” (where you wait if you log in early). We also enabled pre-registration, which is handled for you automatically during the checkout process.

All these features mean that unauthorised access is vanishingly unlikely. 

If I log in early, will I disturb the previous meeting?

No. Our studio days are protected with Zoom’s waiting room system.

When you click the Zoom link you will arrive at a screen with a message saying that the host will admit you soon. This is the waiting room. Charles can see a list of those waiting there, but you can’t see him.

If you arrive very early Charles may send you a message in the waiting room reminding you of the time you booked.

If you don’t mind waiting, you can log in whenever you like!

Will I need to enter a Zoom passcode?

Not usually. If you click the “Join this meeting” link at the bottom of your e-ticket, it should take you straight to our waiting room.

Optionally, you can choose to enter the meeting ID and passcode directly into the Zoom app. If you do this, please make sure you are logged into Zoom with the same email you entered for Zoom registration at checkout.

Our recommendation is always to use the link on either your e-ticket or the Zoom registration email.

Can I use the Zoom link to join any studio day?

No, for security reasons each studio day has it’s own unique link and passcode. Once the studio day is over the link no longer works.

If you book sittings at more than one studio day, or if you need to reschedule your booking from one day to another, please make sure you’re using the correct Zoom link on the day.

Can I share the Zoom link a passcode with a friend?

Yes,. If you do this it will give them access to your online sitting, so please share with care!

There are a number of reasons you might want to do this:

  1. The people you want silhouettes of are in different places. or
  2. You bought the sitting as a gift for somebody, or
  3. You want to invite a guest to watch the process

Note that those you share the ticket with will not be pre-registered to enter the studio on Zoom. This isn’t a big deal, it just means they’ll need to input their name and email address on a registration screen before proceeding to the waiting room. You might want to want them about this. 

Missed Sittings and Cancellations

I’m worried I’ll miss my sitting. What can you do to help me?

We hope you’ll be so looking forward to the experience that you cannot possibly miss it! However, there are several practical things we will do to help.

  1. Your e-ticket contains an “Add to Calendar” link. We recommend you use this. We’ve embedded a series of reminders within it, so your phone will remind about the studio day. The  best way to use this function is first to add the whole event to your calendar, and next to edit it to reflect the times of your actual sittings. You should do this straight after booking your sitting. 
  2. We will pre-register you for the Zoom event. This means that Zoom will also send a reminder to log in as the studio day starts. Again, you need to modify this to the time of your sitting, but it is a useful reminder. 
  3. We will subscribe you to a small studio-day mailing list set up to manage the event. As long as you don’t unsubscribe you’ll also receive our own remainder and preparation-note emails. 

Hopefully, this will be enough! However, it is your responsibility to log in to Zoom a few minutes before your first sitting. 

My timezone is 5 hours and 30 mins ahead of yours. It’s complicated!

Yes, timezones can be complicated. We learned all about that when we made the map on the  homepage!

Luckily, modern technology makes things easier. As long as you save the event to your calendar app correctly (changing the times to your sittings) then your phone will remind you at intervals when it’s time to log on.

On the day, you can also check this site. See the clock to the right? – – – >

It tells you the time here at our studio! 

You can also use this handy Time Zone Converter. We’re on London time. 

I’m running late. What can I do?

If there are any problems on the day please send Charles an SMS or WhatsApp (using the number on the ticket) and let him know.

If at all possible we’ll try to reschedule your sitting later in the day. We don’t want you to miss it any more than you do. 

What happens if I do miss my sitting?

If you miss your sitting you’ll receive an SMS or WhatsApp from Charles asking you to reschedule later in the day. There are usually breaks in the day which make this possible.

If you can’t do this, or don’t respond in time, we’ll offer you a coupon code to rebook your sitting on a future date. However, please note we can only do this once!

What if something turns up an can’t the studio day after all?

If this happens please let us know as soon as possible. We will cancel the sitting (either making it available for somebody else or treating it as a tea break for Charles) and send you a coupon to rebook on another day.

What happens if I don’t like my silhouette?

Thankfully, this is very unusual, but it does happen.

If you feel the silhouette doesn’t look right, please say so. It’s far easier to put this right on the day than after we post the silhouettes!

Adjusting a silhouette is rarely a practical option, so Charles will usually offer to make a second cutting. You can then choose which you prefer.

If this means we run out of time, and the next client is waiting, Charles may ask you to log back into the Zoom meeting later in the day. There are always empty sittings when this is possible. Otherwise he’ll simply add time at the end of the day.

Our aim is always to make sure you’re happy with all the silhouettes before we send them out.

Questions about the Silhouettes

Is two cameo silhouettes per sitting the only option?

No, Charles’ repertoire as a silhouettist is wide and he always loves a challenge.

All over this site you will see photos and examples of a wide range of poses, from people holding glasses and books to half-length and double silhouettes. 

s not limited to cameos or full-lengths. Two people can also be cut from a single sheet of paper as a double silhouette, either face to face or back to back. You can also opt for all manner of ½- or ¾-length silhouettes.

If you’re not sure please send an email describing what you’d like to achieve in the time.

Can Charles see me properly over Zoom?

Almost always, yes. Charles will be running the studio day from a desktop computer with a large screen. This makes it easy for him to see you.

To help Charles see you properly you need to make sure you log in somewhere with good lighting and access to a good wifi signal. You don’t need any special lighting arrangements, you just need to be in a well-lit room.

How will you deliver the silhouettes to us?

Delivery of your silhouettes is included in the cost of your sitting, wherever in the world you live. If you live in the UK, this will be by first-class post. If you live overseas this will be by airmail.

You can choose a more secure delivery method. During checkout you will offered the option to choose UK special delivery or an overseas tracked delivery service. Both these options help ensure your silhouettes won’t get lost en route to you.

Can you send the silhouettes to a different address?

If you book more than one sitting, then yes.

As you check out you can enter details for each sitting. There is a notes for the artist section where you can enter any additional information, including different delivery addresses. 

We can then sort out which silhouettes go to which address on the day!

If you are booking a single sitting you can only specify one delivery address..

What happens if the silhouettes get lost in the post?

Delivery can take longer than expected, especially during the current situation. Please be patient, they may turn up.

If the silhouettes are clearly and irretrievably lost then please let us know as Charles can supply a copy.  As long as you know the date and time of your sitting we can recover the duplicates from our albums. Charles will cut another copy and send them to you.

Please note we can normally only do this once without charge. If you are concerned about the risk, please use the tracked delivery option on checkout. 

These are long days. Can Charles keep cutting that long?

Thank you for your concern. 

OK, we’ll let you into a secret. Tea breaks are important! We make sure there are always a few spare sittings for Charles to take a break. If one of our virtual studio days looks like selling out we will reserve a few sittings ourselves for this reason.

If you’re looking at a long list of already booked tickets, they’re not all paying customers!

Can you supply copes of the silhouettes?

Yes. Following years of tradition, Charles keeps a duplicate copy of every silhouette he cuts. His duplicate albums now carry archives going back over twenty years!

Every silhouette he has ever cut can be reproduced, either as a scan or a hand-cut copy.

All silhouettes cut at our virtual studio days are mounted on cards with a certificate of authenticity on the back. This certificate carries a unique silhouette number and the date it was cut. Using these details, Charles can retrieve any silhouette from the archives and supply a copy.

If you own such a silhouette you can order a copy here.

Zoom is complicated. Why can’t I simply send a photograph?

Good question.

The answer is simply that Charles enjoys his work more if he can see and talk to you. After years of working at events, in all kinds of conditions, he is used to working with a “moving target” and prefers it that way.

Working from photographs is simply not the same; it’s both harder and less fun.

However, we do offer Silhouettes from Photographs. The process takes longer (and is therefore more expensive) than a live sitting over Zoom, but you will get a good result.

We always recommend a live sitting, no matter how squirmy the child!

You’ve done us all. Does anybody need more than one silhouette?

Of course they do!

Silhouettes are wonderful, and once you experience them you will soon want to be back for more.

There are so many variations and possibilities once you start collecting silhouettes. Parents with children often to like to have silhouettes made of them once a year as they grow up.

Usually yes. Charles will be running the studio day from a desktop computer with a large screen, which makes all the difference. However a lot depends on good lighting

If you have any further questions, please do ask below!

A penny for your thoughts...