Sunday, December 20, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I haven't taken many clients this year doing school and photography. Just my regulars and of course anyone from our church family. Well I squeezed in this one and right close to Christmas too! Thanks Melanie! I am so glad I got to come over!
Monday, December 14, 2009
This article has been very well received by the photography community, and is published in the December 2009 edition of Professional Photographer Magazine.
In this digital age where everyone has cameras, scanners, and home “photo printers,” we hear this all the time: How do professional (or personal) photographers charge $X for an 8×10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drugstore? Simply put, the customer is not just paying for the actual photograph; they’re paying for time and expertise.
The Average One-Hour Portrait Session
First, let’s look at the actual work involved:
Travel to the session
Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
Shoot the photos
Travel from the session
Load images onto a computer
Back up the files on an external drive
2 – 4 hours of Adobe® Photoshop® time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs. Proof photos are also ordered.
2 – 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment, and ship.
Possibly meet clients at the studio to review photos and place order. Meeting and travel time average 2 hours.
You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal photographer charging a $200 session fee for a one-hour photo shoot, the client is NOT paying them $200 per hour.
The Eight-Hour Wedding
A wedding photographer typically meets with the bride and groom several times before and after the wedding. And it’s not uncommon to end up with 1,000 – 2,000 photos, much more than a portrait session. Many photographers spend 40-60 hours working on one eight-hour wedding if you look at the time that is truly involved. Again, when a wedding photographer charges $4,000 for eight hours of coverage, clients are NOT paying them $500 an hour!
(Don’t forget that the photographer runs the wedding day to some extent. A comfortable, confident wedding photographer can make a wedding day go more smoothly.)
The Expertise and Cost of Doing Business
Shooting professional photography is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though a DSLR now costs under $1,000, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.
Most personal photographers take years to go from buying their first camera to making money with photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website, etc. And don’t forget backdrops, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc!
In addition to the financial investment, photographers actually have to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill by itself. You could argue that posing is a more important skill than actually knowing how to use the camera. A poorly exposed photo can be saved, but a badly posed photo cannot.
The Chain Store Photo Studio
Chain stores do have their place. For a very cheap price you can run in, shoot some quick photos, and be done with it. But you get what you pay for.
Consider the time and effort that a personal photographer puts into photographs, compared to a chain store. Store sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.
The truth is that many chain store studios lose money. In fact, Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios in 2007 because of the financial drain. What the chain stores bank on is a client coming in for quick, cheap photos…and while there, spending $200 on other items. They are there to get you in the door.
The Real Deal
Professional, personal photographers are just that—professionals. No different than a mechanic, dentist, doctor, or electrician. But a personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal photographs of cherished memories.
Maybe we need to help clients look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the drugstore. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair.
The added attention and quality that a personal photographer gives is worth every penny.
We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs, created by a Personal Photographer are so expensive.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I know it has been a long time, but I wanted to share with all of you these beautiful images from a photoshoot today.
This is Emily, we took these for a ceremony. She is being awarded a community service award. She is a super sweet girl and we had lots of fun this morning!
Check her website below, and her baby brother's website who was her inspiration for her non profit charity that she created.
Baby Jude, The diary of a baby and a stroke: http://cjengo.blogspot.com/
Emily's smile boxes inc. a non profit charity, spreading smiles through hospitals; http://www.emilyssmileboxes.com/
Sunday, October 11, 2009
We went to Jump for Fun in Southlake. So just take note that if you ever want to have a party that has good customer service you will want to never use this company. They will input your information wrong and tell you that they don't remember you calling to fix it. They won't call to confirm your party and see if you want to order anything for the party. They will however tell you they called and that you didn't want anything. WTF!
This company can book another party during yours. As long as it is within 2 years. So they booked a party for a 4 and 5 year old double party with close to 20 - 25 kids at it. It was the classmates of each of the kids celebrating. The manager tried to tell me that the party was for a 3 year old and a 5 year old, but the kids at that party were much too old for that. And what class is a 3 year old in? Most 3 year olds don't attend pre K.
So 20 minutes into our party we our bombarded by 25 loud kids. Sarah now no longer wants to play. So we spend the rest of our time in their party room holding her because she is now to afraid to play. I go in to talk to the guy in charge and he says that they have no record that Sarah was turning one. I booked on the phone. Really?? They must not know how to input information into their computers. Because I know how old my little girl is. Why would I say she is 3??? So their way of making it up to us that Sarah is now too scared to play is to give us a Jump for Fun t shirt and comp us the cheapest pizza we bought. Are you kidding me? Thanks for the cheap shirt and the free $12 pizza after I just spent $300 to rent your place and buy pizza!!!!! Are they out of their minds!!
So I write them a letter letting them know I am upset and they blame me. They tell me that I never told them she was 1 so how could they know. Why would I book a random aged party for my kid?
And of course he believes they did their best to compensate me for her party.
I digress from my soap box to say that while I know Sarah won't remember this, it cost me $300!!!! Does anyone else thing that I should be happy about this.
Don't take your kids to Jump for Fun!! Go to Pump it Up in Grapevine instead. It's cheaper, you don't have to share your room with kids that are way to old to play with your baby.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
This is little J. He is the sweetest baby. Born with just 3 chambers to his heart. I could have looked at his sweet little face all day long! He was just happy and sweet. He and his parents are an inspiration to me. What a beautiful family! Pray for them as he has surgery soon, and we want the Lord to give them strength and success to see many many years watching this handsome boy grow up!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Baby Jude, The diary of a baby and a stroke: http://cjengo.blogspot.com/
Our family's reviews: http://ourfamviews.blogspot.com/
Emily's smile boxes: http://www.emilyssmileboxes.com/
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I took this while driving home from a senior session the other night. I know it isn't as good as most sunset pictures but it is pretty to me all the same.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Today I thought about something that is just me. (In my search for who I am) and I really like chocolate, but not dark chocolate. So I know that without influence I don't like dark chocolate. Tell me something about you that is unique.
I am currently on a search to find out who I am. I know who I am in Christ, a beloved daughter. But I think I am not quite sure who I am as a person.
Well I wanted to show you an update so here it is: The kids are great, I am ALWAYS busy and I hope to take a break to breath soon! SO many pictures to post so here is the first post. Updated pictures of all of the children. THen the next post will be Faith's birthday!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I wanted to share some images with you from a random driving around shoot. Some of these I am using for my photo assignments. I am attending the New York Institute for Photography. You can never know enough about what you love.
These first 3 pictures I am turning in this week. One is panning the subject. That would be my swinging Aimee. The second picture was to have very little depth of field and isolate the subject and the last one was to have great depth of field showing the viewer a great deal in focus.
This one was just for fun. More to come when I get some more time.