Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dusting Off This Old Blog and Starting a New Adventure

Well hi there!  It sure has been awhile since I have touched this little internet space of mine.  I've been busy: added to my family, made a few moves, learning how to home school our kids, my husband got his dream job.  Stuff like that.  Still moving forward in this photography business of mine, and now I am starting something new.  I'm not going to go into why I haven't been doing my blog because no one cares (including me!).  But what I am going to discuss is this new adventure, I'm having so much fun and my heart is so happy with the work I am doing.  So what's new...

Documentary sessions!!!  For real documentary.  Not life style.  Not posed to look candid.  Real, this is your life, documentary sessions.

It's truly what I have been wanting to do for at least 5 years now, probably longer!  It's what I have always wanted to do for families but time and time again, no matter how great my session was, I felt like I had missed my goal.  I couldn't figure out why I always felt this way, but I did.  Then I realized that I felt this way because really what I have always wanted to do for the families that hire me is give them what I do for my own family all the time.  A capture of those moments that make up their life.  Those aspects of their life today that will bring them immediately back when they see that image in 20 years.  As a photographer I am helping families record their story of this life they are living.  I came to realize that as the yearly portrait photographer I was giving people the titles of their chapters, but what I really wanted to do was give them a couple pages of the chapter itself!

So I have spent late nights brainstorming.  Drafting ideas and reaching out to people to help me.  I have come up with 2 documentary sessions.  One will document 2-3 hours of your day, the "moment in time" session.  This is for the after dinner bike rides, a play date at the park, a special event, or for that family portrait session with a huge touch of something more.  The possibilities are endless, what special thing has woven itself into your daily routine and you want to remember its presence in your life when it's been replaced with a new season of life?  The other one will document 6-8 hours of your day, the "day in the life of" session.  This is for those that want it all.  The details.  The transition from one activity to another.  The busy morning and the lazy afternoon in the yard.  A full day of life with your family.  What's a typical (or not so typical, today is extra special) day look like for you?

So what will this look like in our photographer/customer relationship?  We'll talk about your life, on the phone, over coffee, whatever works.  We'll plan a day.  I will meet your kids so I won't be a stranger come picture day.  We'll spend the day together, you living and enjoying, me along to document it.  After I have edited your images and made you an awesome slide show video to watch over and over and over again, we will get together so I can show you all your images.  You will get to select the images you want in your album, which is included in both these sessions.  Once we have made your album, you can choose to order additional products and art.  It's a process I go through with you, from meeting before your shoot to plan a special day, all the way to delivering your album and admiring it with you.  I want to give my customers so much more than just the yearly shoot and some drop boxed digitals...

I have completed my very first documentary session, check out the video below!  I have several more lined up to help me work out the details.  I can't wait to document your day!  The ordinary.  The mess.  The laughter and fun.  All of it!  Contact me for all the details so we can sit down together over a cup of coffee and plan your session.

Now a note on digitals.  I know that you want them!  And I don't plan to take that option away from you.  But real, in your hands, on your walls, not on a screen images, are so important!  I want you to have at least the album that comes in your package.  I want you to enjoy flipping through it, with your kids...with your grandkids.  And I want your product to be high quality!  I want to do the work and deliver something beautiful to you, not have you pick up something mediocre from the 1 hour lab.

I'm excited for this new adventure I am taking.  I am excited to grow as an artist and share what I love with you!


Friday, July 26, 2013

1 year, 4 months, and 3 days later...

well hi there!  It's been a while, that's for sure.  Not because I stopped taking pictures, but seriously, I don't know how mamas with cameras and legit photo businesses do it.  I only have a part time legit business and I can't seem to juggle the babies, the camera, the facebook, and the blog all in one.  So the blog fell to the ground and I kept juggling the rest...barely.

But then this week 3 people contacted me via facebook or email and told me that they went to my blog but didn't know if my prices were up to date or they had a hard time finding my contact info.  So suddenly I realized people are still visiting this tiny space of mine (well, at least 3 people).  So I figure I better make it look pretty, and make it informative, and pick it back up off the ground and give it another shot at flying through the air with the rest of my life.  So here I am...

1 year, 4 months, and 3 days later.

Check back to see what else I manage to get done.  And while you are at it, check me out on facebook because I do pretty well with that, and hook me up with a "like," but only if you really like it!

And so I don't go picture-less on this blog post, here are some pictures of a wedding I did last October at the Mountain Home Lodge, a cute little resort in Leavenworth, WA.  I'm going through old wedding shoots I have done because I have decided to go the extra mile in 2014 and actively try and book weddings.  I have loved the ones I have done over the years through word of mouth and with at least 30 weddings under my belt simply from people liking my work and contacting me to shoot their wedding I figure its time to give it a go, and actively work to book up a handful of my weekends.  So if you have a 2014 wedding get in touch with me.  I would love to shoot your wedding!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Daily Life sessions

Are you waiting to schedule a family photo shoot until your daughter can be convinced not to dress herself just this once?  Until your toddler gets good enough at walking so the permabruise in the middle of their forehead goes away?  Or until the "haircut" your child gave them self can be salvaged into something presentable?  While in certain stages of life it might be a good idea to wait to invest in cute stylish outfits for those family portraits, consider investing in documenting one or two of those special things your family does together.

I love taking pictures of my kids being kids and having fun doing the things they love.  My daughter in her classic shorts over her leggings and stickers all over her shirt look, my son's unevenly growing hair and high water pants because he outgrows the length WAY before he ever out grows the waist, and the baby hanging out in the seat on the counter (because I ignore the safety warnings) taking in all the chaos...the look of hope that she will soon be involved plastered on her face.  Most of the time I am involved in doing these things with them, making it hard for me to take pictures.  While taking pictures (especially of my kids) ranks up there as one of my favorite things to do, it would be lovely to occasionally be in one of those candid moments.

I thought it would be amazing to offer this as a photo shoot option for my customers.   These are "daily life" sessions.  The goal will be to document some of those moments that happen in your normal every day life that are so special.  I will come hang out while you bake cookies with your kids or do arts and crafts.  While you take a family hike or run through the sprinklers in the yard.  Whatever it is your family has been having a lot of fun doing lately, I want to document it for you.  Sure, we might take a posed pic or two, but mostly I will just be there hanging out capturing the smiles, and joy, and the fun!  And that person that is normally the family photographer will finally get their share of the photo album spot light!

Here is a recent unscripted moment I caught around my house.  This boy loves his sister :)

The pricing of these shoots will somewhat depend on the activity you want to plan, but the base price is $75/hr with a minimum of 1 hour.  As I build and design this option for customers I have a couple discounted shoots to offer.

I have a few ideas I want to do and am offering these shoots to families at a discounted rate of $50.  These include:

Baking cookies together: You must have a kitchen with good lighting and be willing to let me sample the goods :).  The first family to contact me and pay through paypal will get this shoot at the discounted rate.

Hiking with the family:  Shoot will take place at St. Edwards Park.  All members of family must be able to walk (or be carried in child backpacks 1.5 miles round trip (pretty steep incline but my 2 and 3 year old can do it so it is not super hard with help).  We will hike down to the water and back up to the park.  You also must have a WA state parks pass ($30 at REI) or pay the $10 for parking at WA state parks as this is a requirement for this park.  First family to contact me and pay through paypal will get this shoot at the discounted rate.

Easter Egg coloring:  You must be able to do this shoot in the next week.  The first family to contact me and pay through paypal will get this shoot at the discounted rate.

Do you have another idea you want to do for your family?  Contact me before the end of March with your idea and you will get 20% off your shoot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My opinion on photographers giving clients a disk of images

This photo has been floating around on facebook recently and I was inspired by it to speak my opinion on this issue.
(Photo taken by Yanman Photography)

As a photographer that includes a disk of high resolution images with my shoots you can assume that I am on board with a photographer giving their clients the rights to the images.  However, my opinions go a little deeper than that.

There is a very powerful message in this image.  Seriously, what if all of your grandparent's wedding photos were backed up on an outdated technology?  Let's go further and apply this to your childhood or to your children's 1st year of life or the most important images of the a loved one who has passed away!  What if they were locked away on piece of technology you could no longer get access to or had to pay lots of money to do so?

Hiring a photographer is wonderful, and clearly as one, I think you should do it from time to time.  But the history of your family, of you, goes much beyond a session with a photographer.  So I am going to talk about your images as a whole...the ones I may produce for you as well as the ones you capture every day.

YOU NEED TO BACK THEM UP PROPERLY!  Okay, I'm not yelling, I promise, but seriously, back those things up!  I need to preach this to myself over and over and over again.  With every session I have multiple places to back up the original files.  Throw in the 1000's of pictures I take of my own family and I am doing a lot of saving and re-saving and organizing images!

So what does all this have to do with the way I run my business and what you should do as a purchaser of custom photography???

I believe great photography should be affordable to people.  You should be able to document your family's personality beyond the walls of the Sears or JC Penny studio.  It is wonderful to be able to do a session with a professional photographer and then get a beautiful album and professionally printed enlargements from your session, but that option is just not affordable to everyone.  So then should they just be bound to cheesy mall portrait studios?  As a custom photographer I hate that idea!

So what is my end of the solution?  I give you a disk of your images AND I provide you with a gallery to order prints from.  Some people might want beautiful prints and others my not be able to afford them right now.  Sure, Costco, Wallmart, Target, etc. certainly don't make my images looks as great as a professional printing studio does, but if you get pictures you love from me instead of settling on your kid sitting next to a giant primary color painted alphabet block at Sears than I am okay with that.

But now I have to ask you know your end of the responsibility?  I can't tell you how many people I know who have tons of digital images and NO prints.  I am not judging, I struggle with keeping current on my prints as well (and even more with framing them and hanging them on my wall).  But, if you have the digital files, please consider carving out a chunk of time and saving up a little money to make some real prints.  You will never regret it, but I would hate for you to regret not having printed them.

As far as technology goes...let's be real for a second.  I think we are all savvy enough by now to know that EVERYONE is using digital files for most of their images.  I am pretty certain that the makers of computer equipment are not going to do away with tools to read various backup technologies like external  hard drives and burned dvds.  BUT, those items do corrupt, or get broken or lost.  BUT, film negatives got hot or wet and stuck together, or eaten by the dog!  So no mater what, through the history of photography, you have had to take care of your data!  In the same way one could lose a roll of film one can just as easily lose or delete their image files!

I will continue giving a dvd of images and giving you the right to make your own prints because I believe it allows me to reach out to lots of different people.  Those who may not have the budget for prints or albums right now, as well as the ones who may have a much larger budget, and also want to have the files of as much of their family history as possible.  I will also continue to offer professional printing because the quality is better and I believe you should keep digital files as well as true prints of the images you love most.  This works for all those people.

If I am going to do this, you have to back up and back up and back up again.  In 30 years I hope that your only copies of the images you hire me to take are not stuck on the dvd I mail you.  I hope that you will add them to the many images you have documenting your life and move them along with you as technology advances.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Newborn photography promotion

Update: I had a lot of interest in this deal and loved meeting some new babies so I am doing it again.  Currently I am extending this deal into June 2012 so if you landed here from any links I or anyone else has posted know the deal is still good and contact me soon to book your date.

I am really exited to offer this new deal as I spend the next few months really focusing on working with newborns.

When you book a newborn shoot for your baby due between now and the end of May, 2012 you will get a free follow-up mini shoot (valued at $75) of your baby at 6 months.  Bonus is that the follow up session lands right around the time that many people get family pictures for holiday cards so you will already have that taken care of!

Over the past year I have booked quite a few newborn shoots as I have branched into this type of photography.  Newborn shoots are special.  They capture a very fleeting moment of life.  In just the short amount of time it takes for you to get your pictures back your baby will have already changed so much!

Here are a few of the pictures I have done over the last year:

Please contact me at to book your shoot.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I am back from maternity leave, booking shoots, and continuing to improve the look of things for my business.

First off, I joined the world of professionalism and became!  Much cleaner, much nicer, much cooler!

I am also changing around some of the colors and look of my logos and this blog.  But, I cannot do that without thanking my dear friend Bethany for jump starting this blog and making it look significantly better than what I had before.  I am certain I will still be calling on her to rescue me when I reset something she created and my blog goes all crazy on me.

I also tossed out the boring about me page from the past and spiced it up with a little honesty!

And last and best of all, meet the three little people that have been getting all of my time the past few months.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Heart Faces: Hands

It has been a while since I entered the iheartfaces challenges, but this is one of my top favorite wedding pics and it is perfect for the theme this week: hands.  I loved getting to know this couple and their wedding was beautiful.  Look closely and find the name of her love hidden in the henna art.  So sweet :)