Monday, July 27, 2009

Girls Camp!

Hooray! I've been looking forward to this for so long and it's finally here! I'll be back on friday and respond to emails and phone calls then! Wish me luck :)

I'll leave you with one...

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why does custom photography cost more?

So I found this on the fabulous Rebekah Westover's blog a couple of months ago and after some hesitation I am deciding to post it. There are some great insights here that truly are only undestood by a photographer. I was so nieve when I started to get into photography, there are endless things to buy and to invest in to get better. You don't just pick up a nice camera and photoshop and call it good, although that is where I got my start. My wish list right now is at a total of 10,000$ and lets be could be much much more than that (hopefully my husband doesn't freak when he reads that)! Ok so just to enlighten all of your minds, here is what this article says.... (sorry it's long but it really is worth the read)

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?
February 27th, 2008 by adminProfessional child photographer

The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art.

We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print - as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

“How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?”

The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The cost of TIME Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:session prep time (30 mins - 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)

one hour travel time TO session

15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home

90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject one hour travel time FROM session

30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer

30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images

2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering

2-3 hours time with client for ordering images

1 hour sorting through and checking order

30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery

30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped

any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours - dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.

Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success. Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.

Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.

APPLES to ORANGES to BANANAS:Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 leased photography retail space by a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation? The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough - those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10). The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.


Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc..

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity. The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.

**** I must say that I am lucky to have clients that appreciate the value of photography. So THANK YOU to all of you! I mainly posted this because the people that I see struggle most with the value of photography are photographers! I hope that photographers can carefully consider how much time and money REALLY goes into running a photography business and try to price themselves accordingly. Place a high value on your art! Don't give out the high-res discs so easily for such a low price. Help bring up the industry!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Milan Maternity

Ok, so this is the big project that I have been very exited to announce! I was lucky enough to be asked to do all the photography for my friends awesome maternity clothing line. The clothes are SOOO cute and they really know how to flatter a pregnant woman's body. I'm somewhat excited to get pregnant again just because now i know where to look and the best part is they are priced right. Make sure you check out the website Here are a few of the pieces you'll find on her site.

Kristin peasant horizontal

Shelley Skirt horizontal copy

Shelley blue shrug2 copy

Shelley basic horizontal copy

Kristin Brown Ruffled horizontal copy

Just one...

Ok Mer I know you are dying to see some but hopefully this one will tie you over and convince you that it was definitely NOT a wasted day. So sweet!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Ok Jamie, I know my obsession with your little girl probably creeps you out, but could I not be?




This is my aunts family and needless to say they have had too much tragedy in the last few years. All you critiques out there may find many faults in my first silhouette picture but all I see is a strong eternal family. I love it!

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