Category Archives: behind the shutter
The BEST and my favorite way for a client to thank me is by writing a fabulous review about me, my husband, our business and how we worked to please them.
The most important thing to a bride and the photography is receiving images that captures her day and story in an artful and tasteful way that will last the rest of her life and children’s children’s lives.
The most important thing to a photographer is not only being able to deliver on her expectations but creating art. Because we aren’t just photojournalists, but artists too. At least I am =)
Another very important thing to photographers is reviews. We are not only artists but we are running a business. Reviews help us to continue to run our business and grow. When we get reviews it’s not only a form of a thank you by showing us how we accomplished expectations but it also shows we are being supported in our business and our clients want to see us grow.
When I opened my email today, I was over the moon when I saw I had a new review and read it. It made me happy in so many ways. I wanted to share.
If you are a past bride and groom of mine and would like to share your experience with others you can do so here.
Adam and I wish you all a blessed and beautiful Christmas. With that here are some photos from my set up for my first dinner party in my new home! Thanks to Pinterest I even made the cake =) P.s. I had more than 3 guests. I added in more table sets later. lol.
It’s November! Fall has always been my favorite season. There has always been something charming about it to me. The colors of the trees, the reflections from the sometimes wet pavement, the comfy sweaters and knee high riding boots all just rock my world.
This November will be something a little different. The weekend after Thanksgiving Adam and I will be moving into our very first house. I’m looking at the pile of empty apple boxes that are sitting there and thinking how I really should be packing. Yea…about that. I think I’ll start after this blog. It wasn’t a really long process for us to find our home. We looked every weekend for about a month or so and actually got the first one we put an offer on. While looking at it Adam saw the dead seriousness in my face, meaning nobody better live here but us seriousness. Because of the design of the house we are able to have our own studio and meeting spot now. Meeting in coffee shops has been great, don’t get me wrong. I love how I had an excuse to always have my skinny vanilla latte but using the small tables to place everything we bring to our meetings has been a chore. I’ve even so sadly split my precious latte before. It was heartbreaking really. BUT NOW I get to have my own designed area that will be able to showcase our work and our personal style. Oh yes, I’ve been dragging Adam into the Z Gallery and Restoration Hardware every chance I get. He’s lucky Ethan Allen isn’t closer to us or we would be over there on the next train stop. Not to mention I have him looking at my collection of decoration ideas on Pinterest every time I push that pin it button. I think I gave him whip lash at one point. I’ve learned over the years that Adam and I share the same taste in decorating which is awesome because my taste would have pulled the bigger stick if it came down to it. =)
November also brings other great things. Black Friday. Not that I will be going into any of the stores, I avoid that madness with everything I have. I’d rather shop online with the company of my bunny Mogwai and my husband. Peaceful. Most holiday seasons Adam and I drive to southern California to see his family and spend the holidays there. This year we decided to stay home. We still have a few weddings that will be in December, we will have just moved into our new house and my mom will be getting surgery. So spending the holidays in our new home in the Bay Area just felt like the thing to do this year. I will miss that home made fudge his auntie makes.. I’ll have to get some in the mail.. wink wink. =)
So far this Fall has been a blessing. We have bought our first home and have already started booking weddings for 2013. I feel so blessed. Last year my new years resolution was to cook more unique things. I tried one recipe I found on Pinterest and decided to keep it to what I know after that, taco bell and chicken noodle soup. I think this years resolution will be more about my work. And whats better to start it off then shooting my last wedding of the year on 12-31-12 and my first of the new year on the early morning 1-1-13? MY goals this year are to push myself even harder with my photography skills and get published. I want my photos to be on the front page of style me pretty or 100 layer cake and some other fabulous wedding blogs. It’s something that Adam and I need. So we plan to work as hard as we can to make it happen.
I hope everyone has a great November.
It’s the end of March and the beginning of Spring. Starting today our wedding season starts. I’m soooo excited! I can’t wait to see all of my beautiful brides and grooms celebrate their love on their wedding day in their gorgeous gowns and beautiful locations. Adam and I wanted to get in a few shots of just the two of us to start of this season’s love with a bang. Adam you support me in everything I do from wanting to take pictures in the rain to building a wonderful business. You even support me when my chicken comes out of the oven way too dry. I love you so very much and am thankful to have such a wonderful and talented partner in the field and in my life. To a fabulous 2012!
Yes I said it. Gooberness. Is that a word? Well it’s now my word if it isn’t. I personally trademark myself as a goober. But I’m ok with that. I pride myself in being a goober. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
This last week Adam and I took a trip to the land of sin, stars and feathers. Yep, you called it Las Vegas. However those three words would not describe the experience we left with. Adam and I went to Vegas to go to WPPI; a convention and trade show for professional wedding and portrait photographers international. It’s a place for us to gather, learn and drain our bank accounts for some really awesome new equipment. Boy did I want everything, luckily I have Adam to bring me back down to earth and remind me that I have a bunny at home to feed. I did leave with some pretty cool stuff. Amazing new friends, knowledge and meeting Jasmine star and Bambi Cantrell were some pretty cool things to leave with too I might add.
I left with inspiration for my business to help us grow not just as photographers but as business owners. Because that’s what I’m running, a successful professional photography business. I love taking beautiful photos. I love the feeling I get when I take a stunning shot for someone to have as a keepsake for the rest of their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren. It’s more then a photo, it’s a memory. My job is to create memories in a fashionable and stylized way. But without knowing how to run a business correctly and adequately I wouldn’t be able to produce an amazing service and experience for my couples that lasted much longer than just when they receive the photos.
Some of the things that stuck to me from my classes at WPPI were that changes are necessary for a successful business. Keeping it fresh. Adding new things all the time. If everything stays the same it gets boring, but not just that, your business won’t grow or expand. Changes are necessary. Speaking of changes Adam and I are in the midst of adding some changes to our business. We are adding some pretty cool stuff. I cant tell you yet. It’s still in the beginning process of having it added in but it’s big and its great and I cant wait to tell you! One thing I can tell you is we found our albums!! Finally! It took forever but the trade show had every possible album company that works directly with professional photographers available to look at hands on. We found it and I am designing one to show all of my past present and future couples of what they can get. Once its all done I will let every one know. Very exciting and it’s very classy.
Taking charge is one thing I already do but was very much emphasized. I’m the art director when It comes to the photos. People hire me because they want amazing photos that they can not produce themselves. They hire me because they like my photography and want it for them. If I don’t step in and take control of the visual aspect, whether it’s with the posing, lighting situations or the way the decorations are set up for photographs, then my couples will not get what they hired me for. I refuse to be a fly on the wall. That’s not my style. If that’s the type of photography someone wants, then I’m not the right photographer for them. I step in, take control and make sure that the visual aspect will turn out the way I want it too, the way I see it, because again that is why my couples hire me. They like my work, my eye and the way I see things from a photographers stand point. That means if I need to have something moved to get a visually stunning shot of it then it will be moved. Because again I will stress this, My couples hire me to get great shots. I need to produce that for them and styling is everything for great shots. Cake or not, if it needs to be moved to get that shot….I’ll let someone know. lol. I’m not moving a cake by myself. But you get the picture.
Dedication and sacrifice. No one becomes the top photographer in the nation over night. It takes years. It takes a lot of time, money and sacrifices on your end to be successful. Time. I can not tell you how long I sit at my computer. From emails, editing, studying, blogging, networking. Time in practice, practice, practice. Money. It takes money to have a business. My couples do not hire me because I am the hobbiest with the kit lens who likes to take photos. Investing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment to be able to give my couples and clients the type of quality and service I provide was a must for me and my business. It was a sacrifice I had to make. It was scary. Dropping 15 thousand dollars into equipment in a short period of time is frightening, that’s a huge chunk of money. But my clients pay a lot of money for me to give them great memories and I wouldn’t let them expect anything less then top quality gear and knowledge from a photographer who knows how to use it. It doesn’t stop at 15 grand for camera gear. The costs go on, you need high efficiency computers, professional editing software, back up hard drives, marketing tools, the list goes on. Spending a lot of money on equipment isn’t gonna make someone a great photographer either though, it goes beyond that. Being able to make personal connections with people. Really caring about what you do for them and really caring about them is what makes a good photographer a great photographer. I’ve heard this one photographer say I don’t care about my couples, I don’t want to know them, TMI I just want to take their picture…. I thought to myself how the hell are you going to truly get them to be themselves in your photos. If there is no personal connection , there is no trust. If there is no trust , they wont feel comfortable showcasing their true personality in front of your camera. If they do not showcase their personality then the photo is not of them, it’s of their body yes, but not of THEM. That’s what really makes a great photo. That’s what makes them fall in love with the photo when they see it. That’s what makes Grandma and Grandpa want to buy that photo, it’s because they see the person they know, the one they love in an amazing visually appealing shot that still showcases their personalities. It also becomes more than just a photo session it becomes an experience. That takes dedication.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do pose when the time is necessary. But I get to know my clients so I know what types of poses will work for them. I listen to my bride talk and watch how she acts in her dress so I can tell what I can do with her. If she’s very scared of letting it touch anything and getting the slightest bit of dirt on the dress then I’m gonna know that my bride will not want to go lay down in that flower field outside for shots. If I pay attention to their personality’s, talk to them and truly get to know them I will know what type of poses and shots I can get them to do. Again, that incorporates their personalities. If they are bubbly the photos will show this. If they are more reserved the poses and type of shots will be more reserved and calm.
This brings me to my gooberness. While I was at the Bambi Cantrell class for learning how to incorporate lighting and posing together I met these two lovely ladies who are photographers in Utah and Alabama. All three of us happened to be sitting in the first row of the class when Bambi called us up to help demonstrate some posing techniques you can do during the bridal party sessions. Adam was ever so brilliant as to use our Ipad to record it. OMG. Ok I was not in my most adorable outfit to be on stage in front of a class of 1000 photographers. I had woken up at 6 am and was running on 3 hours of sleep. I can say that was an every day thing. So my outfit and hair is well …ewwww.. lol.. Don’t judge me!!! You can see in the vid I was the first one to run off the stage when she said we were done, I said Peace! But WHHAATT?? When I heard a gift was being given my 5 foot little embarrassed self waltzes right back up on that stage .. I like gifts =)