Too good not to share

I usually just post one sneak peak per photo session….but….I loved this one so much that it was too good not to share.  This photo screams LITTLE BOYS!!! Love it!

toddler boy

The light is also so so so so …. so so so so dreamy! Want to know why??? Golden light.  Golden light occurs twice per day.  Once in the morning and once in the evening.  It happens an hour after sunrise and and hour before sunset.

In the summer golden hour can be tricky because it’s sometimes as early as 6:30am and as late as 8pm.  This can be hard for the little ones. But if you can swing it (and I really hope you can!) it will make everyone look creamy and dreamy.  Once summer is over the times get a little more reasonable.

Did you see that my last October weekend date to grab is October 29th?  That’d be 7:30am or 6:15pm. Take it while you can!!

Location {of the above image} Trinity River Park in Ft. Worth, Texas

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What to wear Wednesday: Keeping in thrifty!

I’m sure you’ve heard of poshmark! Super great to get some awesome deals.  It’s a GREAT place to find an awesome outfit for your FALL photos! I’m transitioning today in talking all about fall photos!

I’m loving the color yellow for fall photos.  (That’s what I’m planning on wearing for our fall photos..stay tuned!!)

Look at this awesome Nordstom’s Boho Fringe Kimono with a tad of yellow in it! It also complies with my style guide to choose lighter colors for portraits.  AND GUYS…..it’s $8!!! Whatttt???? That’s just drop everything you’re doing and head over there to get it NOW! Yikes!!!

This is from an awesome stylist Brittany Thomas.  You should check her shop out and come back to check out as she updates it regularly.

This is my first (probably of MANY!) announcement that I’m working with her and a bunch of other local vendors on an awesome wedding styled shoot coming your way in late September.

And one more mention about Fall Photos – If you’re hoping for an October weekend session then contact me now, lickety-split!  I have just 1 spot left (October 29th!) – is it going to go to you?? Time would be either at 7:30am or 6:15pm.  (I go into the why about these times in my style guide that also comes with booking a session with me! It’ll help you also with MORE what to wear!)

 

Thanks for reading my what to wear Wednesdays!

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Why does photography cost so much?

Just a warning before you read this: I’m not trying to convince you to buy a portrait session from me.  I just think it’s important for you to know what actually goes into a photo session so that you can be more informed.  I hope that this article can speak about the blood, sweat, and tears that most professional photographers put into their work.

Why does photography costs so much?

family tea party

Let’s take my 2 hour session, where you get 2 locations, any combo of people within the 2 hours, digital images, printing and posting rights.  This session is priced at $310. (Let me just say also that some photographers think that I’m selling my soul when I include the digital download in my sessions.  So keep in mind that getting the images is VERY valuable, you’re getting an original piece of art!!!!) I want to keep giving the digital images because we live in a digital age – and honestly if I was having a session I’d totally want that! I want to give you what I would want!

Now, it would seem that I pocket $155 per hour based off of this fee.  That I’m actually making $155 as opposed to the minimum wage of $7.25 if I were working at a minimum wage place.  There is a lot of extra time and expenses that the client doesn’t actually see that goes into figuring the cost for each session.  For instance, for the 2 hour session, I don’t  just spend 2 hours on the session, here is the break down of time spent on a 2 hour session (so you can fairly divide this time in half if you’re interested in time spent on the 1 hour session).

1 hour prep before the session (includes emailing client, consultation of what to wear, possibly shopping for fun portrait props like balloons, bubbles, pin wheels, baskets, flowers, etc.)
30 Travel time (this varies obviously with every shoot but on average I spend 30 minutes going to the location, scoping out spots to shoot, and the travel home)
2 hours on location shooting
2-4 hours post editing (for me this is downloading images off of CF card, backing them up on external HD, choosing which ones are keepers, editing them in Lightroom, making your printing/posting rights, resizing your images to upload to my print service, uploading the images to my print service, emailing you that your images are done and that you can see them, contract, printing/posting rights) This only takes into account what I’m doing on your photo session.  This doesn’t take into account answering emails, networking, hustling my business – all that I actually don’t get paid for.  So I might have done this before your session to actually get your business – it’s the behind the scenes.
There is also more time put in when clients order prints or any other add-ons that could be tagged onto this hourly calculation

Total hours spent on a 2 hour session: about 7 hours (So actually I might make $1/hour….oh my goodness)

What also goes into this price calculation is: (So it’s not like I’m really pocketing that hourly fee that you just calculated)

-Business expenses
-Photography experience/education
-Cost of upkeep of equipment or NEW/USED equipment

You might just think that I have 1 or 2 bills to pay as a business owner.  Right now there are a TON of photographers, and I think it’s somewhat because they just think they need a camera and a lens.  There are actually A TON of things that go into actually having a business.  I have thought about each one and truly don’t like to waste money (by now you’re may be getting my point that I don’t actually have money to throw around!) and they serve to make business run smoother and/or to be more professional, after all I am offering a professional service here.

Here are just a sample of bills that needs to be paid in this category I’m calling..

Business Expenses

Service Fee for Invoices (each client gets an invoice so they know their total before I spring it upon them this also serves as a receipt)
Service Fee for accepting Credit Cards (so you can pay your way)
Advertising Fees (which I rarely use because they don’t really work and I have no money!) Networking does work so this is where I like to spend this money or really time
Gas for all those miles I drive to locations and deliveries
–Normal business supplies (paper, ink, printer, staples, etc.)

So those are just some obvious ones.

Photography experience/education

I actually went to school for photography so I know a lot about the art of composition and how to use my camera.  This is more than a person who picks up a camera and offers photo sessions for $25 (nothing personally against someone starting out – I was there once too!).  I look and study posing so that you look your best in your photographs (you do want to look good, right?). The camera doesn’t add 10 pounds, the photographer does.  And I’ve totally been that photographer who didn’t know that…but now I know…that’s why I pay to study posing.   The reason why a lot of people don’t charge a lot for their photography, is because they don’t have experience.  This is what I did, when I first started out I had to prove myself, so I made my prices really low so that I could actually get clients.    Everyone knows that usually you pay for what you get.  If you’re willing to pay that $25 for the person next door to take your photographs then you probably are going to get $25 worth of photography not the “Wow this is great and I’m going to enlarge this to be the 24×36” mantle print!!!” I want your photos to live on well past the time period that they were taken in.  I want you to experience the power of your photos – the appreciation you feel toward your loved ones in your photos.  This is really important to me! If just one person feels appreciation toward their loved ones and not hate/anger/resentment/discontent because of their photos for just ONE MINUTE I feel like I am successful at what I am doing.

Cost of Upkeep of Equipment

So it’s no secret that photography costs a lot.  I think one of the most common comments I get when people see my camera for the first time is “wow that must cost a lot”! Yup, you’re right! Photography would be a ridiculously expensive hobby of mine, so I’m glad it’s not just a hobby! I would have a hard time justifying purchases that cost so much if it were just a hobby! A nice camera body can run you over $2000 and that’s not even accounting for the lens you’ll need! Those can cost somewhere around that to even more! And then there is flashes ($500+) and other gadgets that actually make your photographs better.  Oh and did I mention the external hard drives you need to keep all of these photographs ($100+).  I haven’t even talked about the price of editing software Lightroom ($$) and all the other things that come with it.  Professional photography also requires a really nice computer.  My husband built me mine (hallelujah!) but honestly I’ve been thinking  a laptop would be a great way to showcase my work to potential clients and work on-the-go.  (Adding that to my long wish list….)

Now I haven’t even mentioned the cost of actually living, like food, rent, etc.  I’m not even factoring that in to this equation.

Something also that has been on my heart (now that I have a family) is although I LOVE photography and giving people that appreciation they need for their loved ones – photography is my job and requires me to take time away from the ones I love.  That is so precious I can’t even really put a monetary value on it.

Phew! That stresses me out just thinking about all of that stuff!

So I hope that after you’ve read this you understand a little why professional photography created by a professional costs so much! I’m certainty not trying to rob you! Please leave your comments/questions, your Amens and hallelujahs!

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Time to schedule your senior shoots

School is almost out here and summer is about to start! Now is the time to schedule your senior shoots! Summer is a great time to knock these out so that you aren’t scrambling in the fall to get these done. My summer is filling up fast so better to get on the schedule! Senior sessions are for 2 hours, 2 locations, multiple clothing changes, digital images, professional printing options, and my style guide (as always!).  The style guide will help you decide what to wear and where to have your session.  My clients tell me they absolutely LOVE the guide and it has helped them plan every detail of their shoot.  The senior sessions are priced at $310.  You can also get the whole family together to add to the senior session for a family photo…bonus!

Allyson Photo Shoot

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What to wear Wednesdays: Color choice

If you missed my last “what to wear Wednesdays: slight casual engagement session” check it out here.  I also have several other clothing suggestion posts for guys for spring portraits, family sessions, and the ladies for their spring sessions.

When I first started doing photography (nearly 10 years ago – whhhatttt???) I mostly suggested choosing the coloring of clothing you felt most comfortable in.  I always remember my grandma and mom saying that I look best in bright colors so for me I often leaned toward choosing brighter colors for photos.  I also am that person who chooses a paint sample and goes for the paint on the brighter bolder side! As I’ve been photographing throughout the years now, I recommend choosing softer more neutral colors for your outfit choice.  In my professional opinion, light colors compliment the skin better and compliment golden hour colors from the sun better (which is when I suggest scheduling your portrait session).  It also takes the attention away from what you’re wearing and puts it on your face!  And from a technical perspective it allows the sun to light up your face making for a brighter and crispier photo!

So for today’s images I wanted to show you the difference between choosing a bold color for clothing verses a more subtle color.  I recently did preschool photos (it was such a good experience too!) and like I always do I gave the parents some clothing suggestions.  The suggestions included choosing more subtle colors.  The first time around the sweetest little girl wore a beautiful dress and then for re-takes she wore a light pink dress. The differences in the photos are AWESOME! Her parents both agreed that the light dress suited for photo much better. (By the way I totally asked if I could share this story!)

 

toddler girl in chair light pink dress

Isn’t she SO cute???? The first photo is totally a great photo (if I do say so myself!) but I think the second photo takes the attention away from her outfit and puts it on her cute little face! I can see the second photo displayed in their house for many many years:)

 

I also give all my clients a very detailed “How to Style your Portrait Session” guide when you book.  It goes over this and much more!

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What to wear to your mini-sessions: the men

So you tell your significant other you’ve just scheduled a mini-session with me for spring photos…and he totally rolls his eyes, right? It’s ok! I’m here to help! After booking you’ll receive my complimentary style guide that’ll help you have the right tools to ease his eye rolls. 

When you (and him!) look back on your photos you won’t even remember how he whispered under his breath when you told him about getting photos done.  What you’ll see are AWESOME photos of you and your family that you’ll love for all of time.  They won’t just look awesome, you’ll have a GREAT experience on the shoot to change his experience of having photos taken.  Promise.  

I really think having family photos help you love and appreciate your family even more.  We all need a little more of that in our lives, right? 

Did you see my tips about what women should wear to your spring session? And kids

The most important tip for you guy is TAILORED! Tailored pants will make him look like a hot stud. Because it’ll be spring (and super hot in Texas already) you can have him wear a tailored short sleeve shirt.  If your husband is anything like mine, he gets super grumpy when he’s hot.  So just leave the grumpiness at home and have him wear a tailored short sleeve dress shirt (plain colored or very light pattern).  If he doesn’t have a tailored short sleeved one, go for a long sleeved one.  Tailored is just that important.  You can find affordable examples from H&M, Target, and Old Navy.  

Next time you walk by a JCrew store you’ll see the models have several layers on at a time.  This looks really awesome.  Tell him he’s going to look like a hot stud if he does this.  OR – tell him you want him to try this look so that you can see IF he can look better than the models – guys LOVE competition! 

Read these tips here that I provided earlier about how to style your guy.

So only if he will wears a sports coat can these shirts be successfully pulled off.  You also have to look at any other pattern that you have going on in your family’s clothing choices.  But I think these are stylish examples of what your man can wear.  Pair them with tailored (SLIM) pants and brown closed toes dress shoes to look like a hot stud.  Remember – photo sessions are totally ok to beg and borrow clothes and accessories from friends.  

Guy shirt #1: Slim fit Indigo Patterned Shirt $22
Guy shirt #2: Slim Fit Classic Shirt $12-24.94
Guy shirt #3: Slim fit floral shirt $15.00-20.00
Linen blend blazer $69.94

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