Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting in the Mood

My last post was on a very happy Monday. Today's post is brought to you by a very tired Wednesday. I don't know what it is about the middle of the week that makes me just want to stay in bed and ride it out until Thursday. Maybe it's because the temperatures are in the SINGLE DIGITS here in the Bluegrass? Yep. Probably. I'm not a cold kind of a person either. So the middle of the week, combined with a ridiculous wind chill makes for a sour attitude. The only thing that brings me out of a sour attitude is focusing on plans. Plans for the future. Plans for the future of my business. Plans for the future of my business in WARM WEATHER. My mood has drastically increased just by typing the last 4 sentences. 

A few months ago, I was asked about mentoring sessions by several people. I gave it a quick thought, but I was also smack dab in the middle of my busiest season EVER. It got put on the back burner, along with all of my other super awesome ideas that have yet to come forward. I initially thought I would be able to pull something together for this month. January. What was I thinking? January is SO not fun. It's not a month that makes me want to learn or teach. Or even get out of bed. It's a blah month. A month of taxes. And ice. If I had picked January, I wouldn't really have time to pull my awesomeness together. It kind of would have been lots of thoughts thrown together quickly and taught in (probably) a semi-boring way. That's just unacceptable.

Wanna hear what I've come up with by waiting a couple of weeks and digging deep into my winter-logged brain? NOW I'M EXCITED!!! My 1st official mentoring session will take place in July 2013. I will be opening this workshop to 5 people who want to learn, improve, and perfect their photography skills, whether you're an inspiring photographer, or a "mom with a camera" -side-note: I REALLY hate this term and my eyes are rolling around in my head just by thinking it. If you have ever hunted through photography blogs and sites, you see that term used often. It's so incredibly off putting. So please know that I don't only see you as a "mom with a camera". I see you as someone wanting to create. Just like me. -- I will be focusing on a few very specific strategies, and will be covering topics like using your camera in manual mode, lighting (mostly natural, but some flash techniques as well), posing, and very basic editing skills. Not only will I be teaching these skills, but all of the attendants will have the chance to play... I mean work...with a model family in the most perfect location EVER. Like, seriously ever. My favorite summer location in the world with the most gorgeous lighting you will ever find.

Ahhhhh... (that was my sigh of relief in case you didn't hear it well enough). With the news spilled, my space heater on high and sitting right in front of me burning my face off, and the thought of the July evening sun, my Wednesday is looking (and feeling) SO much better. And to that, I say Happy Wednesday!

Here's a quick Before and After:
Before = When I was "just a mom with a camera" (Although, I still LOVE this picture because of my littlest Little and her sweet little goo face). After = Warm July sun under my favorite tree ever, after being 95% self-taught and 5% taught by other awesome photographers.
                             (2008)                                                                         (2012)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Monday, World.

It's Monday morning. This is usually everyone's blah day. Every once in a while it's a rough start for me, but usually it's my day of rejuvenation. I feel refreshed and clean. I purged all of the laziness over the weekend and I am coming in strong. So strong today that, before 8:30am, my dishes were finished, the laundry was folded (and started again), everyone was fed and presentable, and we had time for extra Monday morning hugs before school. And now? Now it's 9:15am and I'm sitting at my computer, coffee in hand, working on a blog post. HELLO Monday morning. You're not really all that bad.

As promised, I will attempt to blog all of my 2013 sessions. Although this one was actually in the last days of '12, I want to get that head start. Just like my Monday mornings. Coming in strong.

 This Momma said there was no way she was going to be in a picture. She hadn't planned on it ahead of time, so all she could do was refuse. Well, that's just not acceptable ;) Be ready. Makeup or not. Clean clothes or not. You will be appearing in one way or another. And I'm SO glad that she did!

 Happy Monday, World.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmastime in Kentucky

While trying to get in the habit of blogging regularly, I've decided to start with a small glimpse into each of my sessions. Kind of a highlight of the event, ya know? So, with that said, here is the session I'll be starting with. The most awesome of all awesome twins in the world. These sweet little ladies required a second shoot, due to coming off of a long plane ride, a whirlwind of relatives, below freezing temps, and their first Christmas. But I was SO excited to have met them, and their different personalities were GREAT!!!

 (outtakes will be involved in this whole sharing process, as well)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blast From the Past

I'm going to try to catch up a bit. I post very frequently on my Facebook business page and have no trouble keeping up there. If you'd like to follow more closely, feel free to jump over and LIKE the page :)

In the months before Christmas, I did a series of mini sessions, as well as SEVERAL family sessions. Everyone likes to give pictures for Christmas. I have ALWAYS given pictures as gifts. It's perfect, really. Who doesn't like to be on the receiving end of that package??? The next best thing to receiving pictures as a gift, is going to your mailbox and opening holiday cards from clients, featuring YOUR OWN IMAGES!!! I LOVE THIS! I cannot even tell you how big of a dork I am when it comes to Christmas cards anyway. But then you fill them up with pictures that I took and it's HEAVEN for me! Love.

I realize that I haven't shown off a few of these families (and some I have!) due to 16 weeks of madness, so I wanted to show them to you now. On the new and improved blog, ya know? ;) And several of these families even ended up hanging out on my living room door frame for the season! Thank you, thank you, thank you clients. You make my world fun!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Don't follow the herd

I was never really a fan of resolutions for the new year. Really. It's almost like setting yourself up for a disastrous failure. Every. Single. Year. Come mid-March (or February), 9 out of 10 resolutions are forfeited and forgotten. Take this blog, for example. I do great in the beginning and then I hit my busy seasons and all is lost in blog land (not this year though, right?!). So, while I do enjoy making a new task list for the year, these resolutions are for the birds.

I have been doing this photography thing for a while now (actually, since like middle school, but we won't count those years). My first paid session was in 2010. And for that session, I earned $20. Guys, I was THRILLED. Seriously. I just scored $20 for having a BLAST with a family who I already adored. And I look back at those now and, in all honesty, I didn't do a terrible job. Obviously, there are PLENTY of things I would do differently now (I won't make a list). But we all have to start somewhere.

After a few years, I have raised my prices a couple of times (Sorry. No more $20 sessions). In 2012, I made a huge decision to not just give over your digital images with your session fee. MANY of you stuck with me through the changes, and I also met several new clients. And for this, YOU ROCK. I always give credit where credit is deserved, and that goes to my 2012 bunch.

While thinking over the changes I'd like to make for the business this year, and making my 2013 task list, I had some serious doubts about the way my pricing works. I know lots of photographers are offering packages. Many do a print credit. Some even do a point system. This, my friends, is all WAY too confusing for me to keep up with. There is enough swirling in this brain already. I have no room for counting, adding, documenting your "points" (Cheers to those of you who can handle this!). So my best answer to keep things simple for myself, and you, is to not change. Why do I have to change things? Just because everyone else is? Well, I've never been one to follow the herd.

So there you have it. NO PORTRAIT PRICE CHANGE IN 2013!!!
It's official. CHEERS ;)