Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I'm Running a Business- NOT a Stinkin' Hobby

I definitely feel comfortable saying that I am now a small business owner.  I have had a steady flow of paying clients for the last two months and also a plethora of people who seem to think that photography is some how a bartering trade.  Granted- I did do 8 free sessions to start out, and I'm glad I did!  I got my feet in the water, learned a lot, and felt comfortable charging people afterwards.

I am however NOT doing absolutely anything for free anymore.  Sorry, just not happening.  Unless it's a shoot out with other photographers in the area,, second shooting with an experienced professional, or trading photos with another photographer.  Anything else "free" aint happening with me.

My services are not negotiable.  Sorry- but you wouldn't go into the Gap and say "you know what I know this shirt is $40, but I only have $20- will you take $20 instead".  One word- rude.  My prices are clearly stated on my website and it even says that they are non-negotiable.  I'm sorry, but I still don't understand why people think that I am going to lower my price for them because they say they only have X amount of money.  My prices are extremely extremely competitive in our area.

I put a GREAT deal of time into every session.  Actually taking sessions can last from only 1-2 hours, this is just a drop in the bucket to the time that I invest.  Each edited picture takes roughly 10-15 minutes to create.  Honestly, I spend roughly 4-5 hours per day working on editing sessions, learning more technical skills, responding to emails, improving my marketing, etc.  Not to mention the literally THOUSANDS of dollars that we have now invested into this so it will actually make us money (no joke).  The camera, insurance, my lenses, props, backdrops.  Seriously the list goes on.

I'm not doing this as a hobby- yest I love it, but I'm doing this to help put food on our table and to pay our bills.  I'm doing this to set a good example to my daughter that wives and mothers can pursue their dreams and passions while still loving and caring for their families.  I saw this picture on Facebook today and it just really reminded me of what I have been feeling for quite some time.


Monday, March 11, 2013

A few little Easter pictures

I swear I do do other things besides taking pictures of Brynlee, but with the weather being crappy and Ben working a ton we don't do a lot of the activities like we used to do.  This however will thankfully change when it get's nicer out!  Plus today me and a couple of friends and all of their kids went to the library for their story time which was fun, but too short!  We stayed a while and just let the kids play around in the children's part of the library and then headed back to her house to play Wii games.  I'm so lucky to have such great neighbors!

I think that next year I'm going to actually do Easter sessions or at least mini sessions for children.  I have big plans to!  I want either live baby chicks or a bunny.  I had a lot of fun taking Brynlee's pictures.  However, I do have to admit that it is definitely harder to take pictures of your own kid in your home.  She knows that she has free range and will go wherever she pleases.  Her favorite room right now is actually the studio which is really funny.  To get like 10-15 good pictures of her I do mini sessions with her that last like 10-15 minutes over a few days.    She's such a ham in front of the camera to and I absolutely love her little smile.  It's sometimes looks like pure joy and other times a mix between I'm happy but somewhat in pain haha.  I swear though we always have fun when I take her pictures!  I don't ever take them when she's grumpy.

Here are a few of my tips for anyone who wants to take better pictures of their kids:

  • make sure they are fed
  • make sure they have napped 
  • if possible have something that they can interact with- is there a holiday coming up? (ex. Christmas ornament, Easter egg/basket, even 4th of July flag in the summer, heck little girls love jewelry) 
  • Find a chair!  Seriously this is the best- put them on a little stool, children's chair, anything (ottoman, even a simple crate)- this will give you a better chance of getting some smiles. 
  • Don't just sit behind the camera- you have to make it fun!  Dance, sing, play peek-a-boo.  Have music playing in the background.     
  • Take pictures of them in their element.  I'm lucky that I have a kid who likes getting her pictures taken, but not all kids do.  Take pictures of them playing, reading, outside, etc.
  • A 50mm lens will be your best friend!- For those with a DSLR I highly recommend getting a 50mm f 1.4 or for a more budget friendly a 50mm 1.8.  It's definitely the lens I use the most and then I love my 35mm as well.  


Friday, March 8, 2013

A Little Pep Talk

Seriously this video just made my day! We are all made to be awesome so don't underestimate your potential for greatness.