Sunday, May 11, 2014

Newborn/Birth Photography video ( Timeless Photography)

I have something super special today.. My FIRST video release on newborn/Birth photography! you gotta check it out!.. It gives you information, testimonials and a peak inside of a newborn session here at my studio!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Newborn Photography- Frequently asked questions and faqs

When should I book my newborn session? You can book your newborn session as early as you like! But please do so before 30 weeks along in your pregnancy so I can be sure to find you a spot! 

  How do you know when to schedule a newborn session? And how old should baby be? I like to take your due date and set the potential newborn session date for 5 days after the set due date. I realize babies arrive on their own time usually so I am pretty flexible and leave space open before and after that time to make sure we can adjust as needed. I like to get babys in before they are 10 days old because they are still flexible, poseable and sleepy enough to get through the newborn portraits as smoothly as possible! 

  Were will the newborn session take place? I do all newborn portraits here in my studio in Choteau Mt were all my supplies and equipment is easily accessed. 

  Do I need to bring my own props? Accessories? No you do not! That’s why your choosing to hire a professional! I have countless props and accessories for your newborn portraits to provide you with the best experience and professional results! Can you bring your own prop? Yes if you have something of sentimental value you would like incorporated into a shot I can make that happen.

  Can I or any of my other children perhaps be in any shots? Yes! While I like to keep the focus of a newborn session on the newborn I have no problem including a shot of mama, dad and baby or sibling (s) and baby! However if the sibling is of toddler age keep in mind these sessions are lengthy and can be very hard for a little one to sit through! So make sure you can bring along a helper to keep the little one entertained. 

  If I want to be in some of the shots with baby and siblings and baby, what should we wear? I personally would recommend light neutral colors with solid or less print as possible this keep things simple sweet and soft without getting baby lost in the sea of colors and prints! 

  Can the newborn session be done in my home? Yes and no.. If I were to do it in your home we would be looking at the fresh 48 session which is more of your photojournalistic or lifestyle session I would not bring along any props or accessories and it would all be done with what is available in your home with little to no posing. if you want more info on the fresh 48 session please ask and I will explain. Soo.. yes with a fresh 48 session.. and no with the newborn session. 

 What is the best way to contact you to setup my newborn session? I would say to contact me through my email you will likely receive a quicker response so that im not waiting for my children to go to bed so I can hear over the phone. It will also allow me to easily attach my pricing and policies and information for you to review. 

During the session the studio is kept at 85 degrees so babys stay warm , cozy and content. So during our cooler months around here wear layers, your gonna want to take a few off to get comfortable! 

 When you arrive for your session I am happy to take baby off your hands and get them stripped down and settled for the beginning of their newborn portraits. Unless of course he/she is in need of a feeding first! 

 I like these sessions to be relaxing and somewhat of a break for parents , so I want you to prepare to just sit back and relax and watch your babys first professional portraits in the making!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why does custom photography cost so much?

Custom photography is not for everyone. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand onces… “how come this photographer charges X amount for an 8×10 when Walmart sells them for $3???” I know. I once questioned the same thing before I started this business. Once I was neck deep in images to edit, cards to design, orders to place, and prints to be packaged and working 14 hours a day to keep things on schedule… I understood. I am a one-woman show people. I have spent countless hours and invested thousands of dollars into learning this craft… learning to produce images that would be literally impossible to achieve otherwise. I am passionate about it. I wanted to give 1000% of myself to it… and I did. Somewhere along the way I started spending less and less time with my family… missing my kids while plugging away at shooting, editing, ordering, packaging, book-keeping, etc. When I saw what little profit I actually got to keep and contribute to my family…I broke down… I was ready to quit altogether. I had nothing left in me. I felt I had given all of myself to this business and in doing so… I cheated my family out of what was most important…. me… and for what?? I finally came to the conclusion that my time is worth something… and if I am going to invest my time in something… there must be reasonable compensation for it. Even the Bible says “The worker deserves his wages.” (Luke 10:7 & 1 Timothy 5:18) Life is short. Children are only small once. While I would be honored to capture that brand new beautiful baby that is absolutely perfect or your incredibly good looking senior… I can’t do it at the expense of my own three little ones! For those of you who think my work is a worthy investment… I so appreciate your business and I will work hard and do my best to capture images that you won’t be able to take your eyes off of!

Some FAQ regarding pricing:
So… once you get a fancy camera and some expensive glass… you’re all set and the rest is profit… right???

Ha ha… I’m hoping no one really thinks that. So after the $10,000 I invested just for the equipment in my camera bag (oh… and let’s not forget the $200 bag)…. there are still so SO many expenses for running this business including but not limited to: studio mortgage, heating and electricity, internet and phone, insurance, water and garbage bill, props, backdrops, backdrop stands, lighting equipment, wireless triggers (with extra cords always sold separately), taxes and other fees, workshops/seminars, website/blog templates, web hosting, prints (of course), packaging (boxes, ribbon, stickers, wrapping paper), branding, design elements, marketing,laptop, printer, software, external data storage, mileage on my car, gas, product samples, accounting expenses… just to name a few. Most of what I make…. goes to pay for all this stuff… what’s left over after all the taxes and expenses are paid compensates me for the time I spend: driving, shooting, editing, preparing galleries, designing wall groups for your home, designing cards, putting together storyboards, putting in print orders, answering e-mails and phone calls, packaging print orders, cleaning/maintaining/hauling equipment, searching for/acquiring new props…. and, of course, the list goes on.

Session fees??? Why do you have them???

Session fees pay for the photographer’s time and talent only. If a client decides not to order any prints from their session (yes, unfortunately it does happen), I get at least some compensation for the time I’ve invested. Such as the time I spent on the shoot plus what comes after the shoot such uploading photos to computer, sorting through photos, color correcting, editing and retouching, uploading and paying for galleries, etc..

Why do you have a minimum order requirement?

I have minimum order requirements to ensure that I am compensated for the time I’ll be investing. Or I wont have myself a business..SO I either have to enforce a minimum order… or I have to increase the amount I charge for prints.
One of the questions I’m often asked is “Why are your print prices so high?” I’m happy to give an honest answer to anyone who asks me this question. But most people don’t just ask, they take one look at price, think “I could get a print at Wal-Mart for a fraction of what she charges!” and move on without ever asking why Professionals charge what they do. Many automatically assume it’s because we’re trying to rip people off, or we’re so full of ourselves that we have these thoughts of grandeur that our prints are worth more simply because we’re “artistes”. Not the case. At least not for myself and many other Professionals I know.

I can promise you we are not trying to rip you off. We charge what we do because we put alot of effort into your portraits and use professional labs, that use quality materials. We use these labs because we take pride in our work and we care about our clients’ memories.

Another question that is asked that I would like to address is … Why does a 4x6 cost the same as an 8x10 the best way I can explain is this is how it works for sizing .. ok you go to a clothing store and go into the kids section and there's this cute dress.. and there's small med and large and they are all $50 ... ( so for me that would be like my desk print sizes whether you get the small med or larger size desk print.. its all the same.. the same time ,work and money was all put into that piece no matter what size..) then you go into the adults section and there is a FAB dress for $195 whether you get the small medium or large its all going to be the same price.. your just going to find the size you need.. (this would be like my medium wall portraits section) .. and so on up the ladder. So Hopefully that gives you all a better visual on how it works.

But, I have a CD of the digital files. I can just print them at walmart or wallgreens!

Sure you can do this! BUT there is a HUGE difference between the paper used by pro labs, the paper used by places like Walgreens and Wal-Mart, and the paper you use in your inkjet printer.
Kodak Professional Supra Endura VC Digital Paper (what pro labs use) is the most popular paper used by Professional Photographers. Accurate color, realistic saturation, excellent neutral flesh reproduction, and greater intensity are just a few of the benefits. Plus, standard Archival Value of 100 years in home display; 200 years in dark storage. Impressive huh? Wal-Mart can’t guarantee that. Neither can Walgreen’s. Think an inkjet home printer can do that? Nope. Why? Because the paper they use, as well as the paper used in inkjet printers, is nothing more than thick paper with a glossy film put on top. Prints from a pro lab are printed on professional paper and are created with printers that expose light sensitive paper that is then run through a chemical process. These are real photographs, not inkjet prints. HUGE difference.

I could go on and on about the differences in color spaces, monitor and printer calibration, etc. but if you try to print a Professional’s work at a consumer lab, you could end up with blue or magenta skin tones, shadows that are too dark, and highlights that are washed out (this will degrade the quality and detail of the photo). There’s a reason Professionals are so discerning when it comes to how and where their images are printed. Our reputation is on the line whenever we lose control of the printing process, and if a potential client sees an image with our name on it, and the quality is sub par, they’re going to question our knowledge and skills. If you’re investing in the cost of a Custom Photographer, take the extra step to invest in Professional-quality prints as well, I promise it will be worth it.

So If you are going to choose the portraits on a cd route I would suggest mpix online. Are you going to get the same quality as you would from a pro lab? No. But the company seems good, mid-grade materials that won’t degrade like those cheap prints. They have good prices and good customer service.

So… if the expenses are so great… and the time investment so heavy… why do you continue to do this???

Well.. because I love it…. the photography part anyways (not so much the business part). I’m an artist at heart. It’s the way God created me. If I ever get to the point where I just don’t enjoy ‘the business’ anymore and want out… I’ll quit and use that extra time to photograph my own family. For now I’m going to keep at it and hope to meet many more fabulous clients that also value photography as much as I do!

Monday, May 23, 2011

This is so important .. really think about it!

So I do not blog often at all!.. I'm not a writer.. I love sharing things in person but I am not able to write it all down like most awesome people I know.. so in the best way I can I really wanted to share how incredibly important I think it is to have some good quality portraits taken of you during your pregnancy along with the precious photos of your newborn.

I don't know how many countless times I look back at my previous clients maternity and newborn photos and ache to have some of my own.. I did not know back when I was pregnant and had my two children that such a thing even existed.. but I wish I had known .. I so long to have some photos of my pregnancies that I could look back on or display and I really really wish I had AT LEAST two large amazing portraits of my babies hanging on my wall FOREVER.. I don't believe the newborn portraits are replaceable.. In my opinion its something you do not replace each yr as they get older and truly is a Priceless Piece.. That is the one thing I continually look back on and regret not having!.. Sure I have a few cute snap shots of them but I just cant seem to get over how amazing it would have been to proudly display these once in a lifetime great quality portraits of them! I would have spent every penny I had on being able to have these portraits of my children as newborns and I have to admit I probably would have done it behind my own husbands back since he doesn't seem to think spending money on portraits is even necessary.. but this comes from a guy who probably believes snowmobiling and continually buying parts to fix it over and over again are of utmost importance and would likely deem the snowmobile parts priority over portraits..sure no doubt if I was getting what I wanted it would probably be a real good chunk of money out of our pockets and would have struggled to pay for them at that time.. but those portraits are forever precious moments and couldnt be more worth the struggle to have them..

I can even imagine myself in the future ( if I had my own done) with my large wall portraits of my babies still on my walls as they start to have thier own babies and they bring them to me for a visit and there I am holding my grandbabies up to my own childrens portraits saying look at how much he or she looked likes u did!!.. yeah im corny like that..

Or even curling up on the couch by the fire with my husband looking at the newborn photos of our children right along side thier senior portraits.. saying look how they have grown and moaning over how time went by so fast!.. yes I think about those things!..

I feel I have really missed out..and I don't want anyone else to feel this way.. so I'm really trying to stress the importance to you just as important as your wedding photos are so should these moments in your life.. so please think about matter were it might be you choose to have these portraits taken..I know it is one thing you will not regret!