Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Custom Photography? New pricing list!

A lot of people ask me why custom photography costs more than large photography studios. If you have ever been to a studio like JC Penny, Picture People, etc. you know how chaotic your visit can be. Often you end up waiting for a long time as you are moved in and out like cattle. You don't get very much time, and you don't know who your photographer will be. Yes, you often get your pictures right away, but you often only walk away with a million prints of one pose.

From step one with custom photography you get some one on one attention. I take time to make sure we choose a location you like. That we style a shoot towards your personality and we work with your schedule as best as possible. Custom photography takes A LOT of work! There is so much more behind the scenes than the actual taking of the pictures.

As a photographer, I do all of the following:

*1st is contacting clients whether via email, phone, etc. to set up their sessios and answer their questions.

*Scouting out locations: This one takes time, and I'm not always successful in finding great "new" locations on each "scouting" trip I do. I also have two young kids, so it's not that easy to do hiking, etc. I wish I knew the area a little better.

*Set up/clean up of studio (and cleaning my home for clients.) I wish I had a "studio" room where I could just leave everything set up, but for now I don't so this step takes awhile.

*Taking pictures (usually a 1 1/2 time frame but doesn't include the driving to and from locations). For newborns, seniors and weddings, the sessions are obviously longer. Taking the pictures is the BEST part of photography!

*Selecting pictures: Ahhh, sifting through the favorites, this takes more time than I'd like. The comparing of similar pictures to find the best takes forever. I need to find a faster workflow.

*Editing pictures: This is the most time consuming part. I like for every picture to stand out and look it's best. I also have a hard time narrowing pictures down to the number I say the client will be getting. I put way too much time into this part of the business. Once again, I need a better work flow.

*Blogging/sneak peeks: This part takes awhile too, but I like to be able to share my sessions with everyone. I'm not the best with words, so I try to make my pictures speak for themselves. I'm starting to not like the "sneak peeks" so much as I don't ever get to see the clients first reaction. They see it online, and I'm not even there! Bummer! I'm starting to offer "viewing" sessions for this reason. I'm also putting the pictures into a slideshow with music to view on the big screen. Clients can order a digital copy of the slideshow to share with friends. It's hard to tell how much someone likes their pictures through an email or a comment.

*Placing Orders: Not every client of mine chooses to order prints, but when they do it takes a little time to get the orders in! I wish every client ordered at least one professional print. Their quality is far superior to any out there.

*Designing cards/announcements: Any specialty products require time and effort to design.

*Hours and hours learning/researching, etc.

After taking a good long look at how much time I spend with each client, I would say it averages from 5-7 hours per client depending on the session. I realized I was making pennies on the hour. I started to wonder if this was a good thing for my family as I spend so much time attached to my computer for literally nothing. I used to raise my prices every year around June, but I was too busy this summer to sit down and do it! So, as of September 1st, their will be new pricing for my services. They will be posted in the Current Pricing tab. If you have already booked, or have been trying to schedule a session, the current pricing will stick to that session. After that, everyone will be getting the new pricing.

My session fee, will be just that, a session fee! It will cover my time and talents only. Digital cds and prints will be available for purchase. I have struggled with raising my prices in the past because I want nice portraits to be available to everyone, but it has come at too much of a cost for my little family. Mini sessions will be offered a few times a year so that everyone can have the chance to get pictures taken. The mini sessions are not always available, just at the scheduled times. There will be a Mini Holiday Session the first Saturday in November. Details to follow.

So, the new pricing structure for this year is:

*Family/Child Session Fee: $150 for a family of up to 5 (each additional person is $25) Large groups, such as family reunions begin at $200

*Newborn Session Fee: $250 Will include a complimentary announcement design and 25 cards.

*Senior Session Fee: $250 Will include 24 complimentary rep cards and an announcement design fee.

* Wedding packages begin at $1800. Please email for more details.

*Digital cds, with the rights to print will be available for $100.

* Prints are available with a minimum of $20 for each type of print.

* I also sell albums, mini albums, calendars, place mats, chore charts, gallery wraps, standouts, frames, etc. Please inquire for pricing.

I will be putting together some portrait packages soon to save you on some custom prints when buying a package. Please watch for those.

I have had a great year and want to thank everyone that has come for business. I have been building new friendships with clients and I love what I do!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Denise and Justin: Maternity

I had this gorgeous couple in this weekend for some maternity photos. They have waited so long to be able to have a baby, and they are so excited that their dreams are finally coming true! I had a great time capturing these images of them! They are going to be wonderful parents to their baby boy that is on the way!

Seriously, could they be more beautiful?

Yeah, she's 7 months pregnant and super tiny! Don't hate her because she's beautiful! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brianna: 5 and off to Kindergarten

I am so blessed to have this beautiful little girl in my life! She turned 5 this month and is starting to seem soooo grown up. While we were in Oregon I did a mini photoshoot of her, but I didn't have as much time as I would have liked. This girl is in heaven when she's at the beach! I know she wishes she lived there!
On top of turning 5, Brianna started Kindergarten. When did I get old enough to have a child in school? She LOVES going to school and wakes up extra early every morning ready to go. The other day she started to cry and when I asked what was wrong she replied, "I don't want you to walk me in, I want to go by myself!" I wish she was a little less grown up! :) This is going to be a great year!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jolene: 6 months

Jolene is such a cute and petite little girl! She is also a very mobile little thing, her size isn't stopping her! I wouldn't be surprised if she's walking soon! She was an asbolute angel, but we had to work really hard to crack a smile!

When she wasn't giving me a blank stare, or trying to crawl away, she would do this with her tongue: (too cute)

Thank you Keras and Sai for bringing your beautiful family in!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Heath Family: Oregon Coast

A few weeks ago we went up to the Oregon Coast for a family reunion with my family! It was gorgeous! The weather was perfect, the beach was a dream and we wish our vacation would've lasted longer.
My sister took advantage of the opportunity to have their family pictures on the beach! Here is her beautiful family! They have had a really, really long last couple of weeks with some health issues in their I'm hoping this post will bring a little happiness back in to their home since I live so far away and can't help with anything else!!

J.T. is their oldest! I spent so much time with him when he was an infant and toddler and I can't believe he is a teenager already!!Zach, the best soccer player I have ever seen! He's getting so much taller!!!Michaela, this little monkey is becoming such a beautiful girl! What happened to the little toddler when I moved away!Lexi, my daughter's favorite cousin. They were inseperable and my daugther misses her sooooo much!

Here are a few decor ideas for photos in your home! A canvas display idea