Several months ago I received a message on my Facebook page asking for more information on my Maternity Portrait Sessions, and most importantly, how quickly I could get them in. I soon learned that this sweet couple was expecting their first baby, and daddy was soon to be deployed. She was only 29 Weeks pregnant, but they wanted a Maternity Photography Session before Daddy was deployed. We scheduled our Portrait Session for a few days later. That particular day was stormy and rainy literally ALL DAY LONG! I had a backup, indoor location available for Plan B, but we really wanted to shoot at our original location, if at all possible. We had watched the weather and prayed for the sky's to clear. Literally only about 30 minutes before our session the rain stopped and we were able to shoot, AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!
I instantly knew that this Portrait Session was going to be one for the books. When you talk to Kelly you imediantly know that she is such a sweet person with a kind soul. I knew she was going to make a fabulous mommy!
Several weeks went by and then Kelly sent me a message saying she was 39 weeks pregnant. Kort had been deployed by this time. I told her that I would love to do a Mini session for her to document her sweet baby bump. She didn't have much of a bump when Kort saw her last. She agreed to meet up with me and we were able to get some beautiful shots. The plan was that I was going to quickly edit them and she was going to surprise Kort with the Portraits. Well... little did we know that sweet Baby K would be making his arrival only 2 short days later. I am so glad that we were able to pull off the session to document that part of Kelly's pregnancy journey!
Only a short time later, I received word that baby was coming! Daddy was able to fly in a day after his birth and they wished for a Newborn Photography Session before Dad had to report back to the base. We schedule the Photo Session for just a few days later. It was the most beautiful session. Baby "K" did amazing! Kelly has such a gentle touch and you can truly tell how much love she has for her precious new little one. I can not explain the joy it brings me to be a part of these moments. I feel so blessed to do what I do. It puts me in places in peoples lives that mean so much. Without Photography, I would miss these special occasions that surround us every day. These tiny glimpses that pass by so quickly. The love that you first have when bringing home a brand new baby.
Kort and Kelly, he is simply beautiful. I am so happy for you two and thank you for allowing me to be a part of documenting this precious time in your life!
Hey Guys! O gosh! Where do I begin? I wanted to write a blog this morning with a warning. Every day I see social media flooded with "ISO Photographer" then hundreds comment offering their services. Most for little to nothing. Every day I also hear horror Photography related stories. The worst stories come from Weddings. Weddings are a one time thing. Moments that only happen once in your entire lifetime. Thus making them that much more important to make certain you hire a true Professional. Every single Wedding that I photograph, someone; or multiple people, tell me their "terrible Photographer experiences." That is no exaggeration. I am constantly told of how the Photographer never showed up, or how they never received any images, or how terrible the images were. It's such a tragedy that my industry has become what it is. An industry that is flooded with a market of people that pretend to be something that they are not, at the result of loosing memories that they were in trusted to document.
My best piece of advice for hiring a Photographer is to look at their work. Look at them from a large computer screen, not from a small phone. Is it over-saturated? Over processed? Are there "halo's" around the tree lines from over editing (zoom in and look!)? Are white objects white? Are the images over exposed and blown out causing loss of detail in their faces (bright white)? Are the images clear and sharp? What about shadows or sun spots all over the subjects of the image? Look at their pricing, and ask questions!
The market is FLOODED with people whom own a camera and call themselves a "Photographer" to earn a tiny bit of cash on the weekends. To be completely honest, it is SINKING our industry. I wish so badly that we could go back to the film industry when it wasn't so hard to tell the "True Professionals" from the "Hobbyist". Photography is so much more than clicking a button on your camera. A Professional has years of training, and knows how to fully control a camera. Shooting in Full Manual gives you the control to set your shutter speed to adjust for active children, or a bride tossing her bouquet. If you don't want a blurry subject, setting your shutter speed is a must. "True" Professionals set their own White balance so a Bride's dress doesn't turn out Orange, or Green, or a newborn baby doesn't have a blue or yellow tint to them. Professionals adjust their Aperture. This can to allow for 15 people to be in full focus; where as a camera on Auto will only focus on the closest object, that being a person or object, the camera knows no difference. Ask if they shoot in RAW format or JPEG. RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. Because no information is compressed with RAW you're able to produce higher quality images. JPEG format compresses the image and results in a loss of resolution as well as data. In saying that, RAW format requires software that can edit such images and then convert the images into a JPEG for client viewing. RAW files are not recognized my all computer software. Professionals editing with professional grade equipment will shoot in RAW for best imaging results.
What about flash? A new trend is "Natural Light Photographers". Is Natural Light gorgeous? Absolutely, BUT do they know how to implement On and Off camera flash when Natural Light goes away like when it's a cloudy day or a dark indoor reception during a wedding? Images with not enough lighting become grainy and even blurry. This is a huge must for Wedding Photographers. You have to know how to use additional lighting properly. Untrained use of added flash will cause ugly shadows. It takes training and lots of practice to be to the level one should be at to shoot a Wedding. Shooting with Natural Light is grand until it is no longer available. On and Off camera flash, when used properly, can diminish shadows, even while using the natural lighting. Most professionals know how to implement flash for enhancing the lighting around them to result in gorgeous shots.
A tell all sign of an Amateur pretending to be a Professional is PRICE. I work in the business literally 65+ hours a week. This is my Full Time Job. When I am not out on Photography Sessions, I spend at least 8 hours a day on my computer editing, building albums, marketing and blogging-which is a must for keeping my website to show up in search engines such as Google. I spend hours in my car driving to new locations all over the DFW area scouting shooting locations. I spend weeks on end preparing for my next Expo and spend thousands investing in High Quality Canvas to display my work at such Expo's. I have Thousands upon Thousands invested in gear, and am constantly required to replace gear due to them going out and burning up. When you shoot all the time, gear runs down quickly, and have you priced lenses recently? My monthly cost alone to run my business is more than my car payment. I have paid assistants and the list goes on. I simply can not shoot for less than I do, and really I am one of the Cheapest in my industry, speaking from a Professional sense. I want to offer my clients the absolute most that I can because I value Photography. I feel everyone needs Photographs to document their lives. Photographs that will spark memories later on. I don't want to over charge, and therefore have priced my sessions and products accordingly. I am not in this business for an overpaid position. In saying that, I also value my Profession. I can not shoot on a dime and make it a Full Time Profession. I don't want to do anything except what I do and have done for a decade and more. I shave o much invested in this. I pour my entire heart into what I do and I want nothing more than to continue to do what I do. I charge what I charge so that I can continue.
I certainly hope that you understand my rant this morning. I love you all with all my heart and want to give you Photographs that document the moments in your live's that you are living today, and want to remember tomorrow.
I am so excited for this sweet family and the addition to their new sweet arrival! I began Photographing them when their first baby was in mommy's belly and documented her entire first year as well as yearly family sessions since. I love my Milestone sessions and the bonds it creates! Here is to many more sessions with this family!
This is why I do what I do. I get to be apart of life's most beautiful moments. Memories that I will never forget. This Shoot I must admit was a first for me. In my 10 years shooting I have never shot a Adoption hearing before. I have to say, It WILL NOT be the last! It was amazing. I began this day's knowing I would document this sweet little girls adoption into her forever family. Sweet little Emersyn had spent 559 days in Foster care and was finally finalizing her stay with the ones that would hold her heart forever.
I began the day by following a "Convoy" to a Courthouse. When I say convoy, I literally mean it. Family and Friends met at this family's house and drove to the courthouse, 45 min away. It was like a "Train of LOVE". This sweet little angel has a family that loves her so much, and they all joined together for the big event. Car after Car made their journey to the courthouse. The road trip was emotional, and amazing. Adrenaline building the entire way. Once at the Courthouse, while waiting in the waiting area, I got to watch through my lens this family interact with this sweet little one. It was so obvious how much apart of them she already was. The bonds were so strong. They laughed and hugged and enjoyed each others company and time.
Then the moment finally came, and the Courtroom doors opened. It was decorated with Balloons and ribbons for a great celebration. Mom and Dad signed some papers and the Hearing began. When the Judge asked the family to stand and approach, Mom, Dad sweet Emersyn approached and was followed by all their friends and family. The support shown to them was beautiful. They were surrounded by all of their loved ones. The words were carefully spoken and direct. As I watched the event unfold before me, documenting each moment, I could not help but feel the emotion in the room. Tears Streaming down faces and a Mom and Dad Beaming with Joy! TODAY WAS THE DAY THEIR BABY GIRL WAS OFFICIALLY THEIRS. All the hard months and days leading to this moment was over, and the day was here. This sweet heart Joined her family 559 days ago, but Today I got to be apart of a day that made her family forever hers. She was given a brand new name and a brand new beginning. It was amazing and I can't wait to share pictures from the event! I am going to bed this evening full of Emotion. I am so Happy, and am so blessed I was able to capture this moment for this family.
So in 2014 I had a resolution. It was long, as usual, and included completing a business class as well as many other things, most business related. I have to say, not only did I complete a business class, I completed several. I learned so much about myself and so much about the direction I want to take my business. That what brings me to today. In my class I was told, "Brand yourself, blog, get critiqued..." Among other things but this is what I took to heart, this year. These are the things I decided would be my "2015 Resolutions" So here's to 2015. Here is to me starting my "BLOG". I have to be honest, I don't even know how to "blog". Guess I am going to need to youtube that. For now, this is me blogging. I am sure by the end of the year ill be better at it.
I am very excited about this new year. Every year, heck every session, I try and look back and think, "how could I have improve", "what can I do differently?" I feel I am constantly trying for the "next best thing". It seems so funny how in the first years of my business my goals were always getting the next piece of equipment. That studio lighting, new lens, camera bags. Then the next years goals were learning how to properly use them. Along the way I forgot about how to represent myself and my business. That all took a backseat. Now 9 years into owning my business Im looking at branding, my businesses outward appereance.