Archive for August, 2008


Tuggle-Harris Wedding

August 30, 2008

This is a very very small sneak preview – I normally don’t get these up & to preview this quickly, but I also don’t normally get home this early either!  This wedding was today in Crestview at the First Baptist Church and it was absolutely beautiful!  Samantha was absolutely STUNNING (albeit nervous!).  Really, though – she was a gorgeous bride.  This is one of the first weddings I’ve really cried at in a while!  Casey, from Felicity Flair, was the wedding coordinator & really did a great job pulling everything together & helping keep everyone on track.  And of course she did an awesome job decorating to make it beautiful!

Anyways – it was a ton of fun… Chris & Samantha are apparantly high school sweethearts, and they have a really fun group of friends.  Her mom was a riot, but Little Kylie (hope I’m spelling it right) was the star of the reception with her “Apple Bottom Jeans” dance.  Here is Ms. Shorty herself, the whole place was looking at her…

she hit the floor…

and next thing you know…

shorty got “low, low, low, low”.

Anyways – here are just a few of the Bride & Groom, Samantha & Chris:

Ok – so more are coming soon, stay tuned!!!


Sticker Shock?

August 27, 2008

So, one of the interesting things about being a photographer is interacting with people.  And I love how in one day, I can meet such a wide range of people, and get such a wide range of responses to the same statements!  I can quote someone the fee for a wedding in one breath, and if they’ve searched around for wedding photographers any – they barely bat an eye.  But then you come across a young bride, early in her shopping experience, or even a family shopping for some quality family portraits – and quoting a  $100-$250 photoshoot can send them into a whirlwind from simple sticker shock.

So… I thought since we are approaching one of my busiest times of year – wonderful fall wedding season – that I would quote a wonderful article by a group of photographers, Shawn, Pamela & Gavin Richter, about WHY professional photographers cost so much.  It’s been quoted and referenced by numerous photographers, and in the world of photographers is widely known & seen in photographers forums & in circles of professional photographers.  It’s nothing new – we can recognize the face of sticker shock when we see it – and it’s not unusual for the very next bride to hear the same price & breathe a sigh of relief that it isn’t *quite* as high as she’d feared.  What a contrast!

So for your reading pleasure… WHY are professional photographers so expensive?

In this digital age where everyone has digital cameras, scanners and home “photo printers”, when people upload their photos to a local drug store website and pick them up a few hours later, we hear this all the time – How in the world do Professional Photographers charge $55 for an 8×10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drug store?

Here’s why.Simply put, you’re not just paying for the actual photograph, you’re paying for time and expertise.

First, let’s look at the actual time involved. If you don’t read this entire page, at least read this first part.

For a two hour portrait session:- one hour of travel to and from the session
– two hours of shooting- 30 minutes of setup, preparation, talking to the client etc.
– 30 minutes to load the photos onto a computer (2 – 4 Gb of data)
– 30 minutes to back up the files on an external drive- 3 – 4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, saving a copy for print and a copy for the internet and backing up the edited photographs- 2
– 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive their order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment and drop package off at Fed Ex.
– For local customers, we also print a set of all of their photos, and meet them at our studio to review the photos and place their order. Meeting and travel time averages 2 hours.You can see how one two hour session easily turns into more than ten hours of work from start to finish. So when you see a Photographer charging a $200 session fee for a two hour photo shoot, you are not paying them $100 / hour.For an eight hour wedding:

– I won’t bore you with the details, but an eight hour wedding typically amounts to at least two to three full 40 hour work weeks worth of time. Again, if they are charging you $4,000 for an eight hour wedding, you are not paying them $500 / hour.Now for the expertise.Shooting professional photography is a skill, acquired through years of experience. Even though a quality camera now costs under $2,000 taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most Professional Photographers take years to go from buying their first decent camera to making money with their photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera itself, there is a mountain of other equipment involved, as well as numerous software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website etc.

And let’s not forget that you actually have to have people skills, be able to communicate, make people comfortable in front of the camera – and posing people to make them look their best in a photograph is a skill all by itself.

Think of it this way – the next time you pay $X to get your hair done, a pair of scissors only costs $1.50. But you gladly pay a lot more to hire a Professional.What about the cheap studios at the mall? Please don’t compare us to the chain store studios. But if you must, consider all of the time and work that we put into our photographs, compared to what they do. Good luck getting a two hour photo shoot at a chain store. Not to mention they won’t come to the beach! And of course, look at our work compared to theirs. You get what you pay for.

The truth is, most of the mall and chain store studios lose money. In fact, in 2007 Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios because of the financial drain they were putting on the company. What the chain stores bet on is that you’ll come in for some quick and cheap photos, and while you’re there, you’ll also spend $200 on other things. They don’t have to make money, they are just there to get you in the door.

We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs cost so much more than the ones that you get from your local drug store.

And soon… I’ll be blogging a little about what the *real* differences are in professionally printed images vs. your local lab like at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc… with hard core proof!


Senior Portrait Rep Cards & Announcements!

August 21, 2008

These Senior Rep Cards are HOT HOT HOT! I know a lot of folks know about them already, but a lot of folks don’t. These are awesome handy little cards for seniors to hand out. BEST yet, hand them out to your friends & when they book a session, and bring in your card, you get 8 free wallets!

Here are some of the styles I offer:

And as you can see, the colors can be changed!

and more color changes…

And finally, the last one…

As you can see, these are really hot, and fully customizable. Put your graduating class on there, contact information to stay in touch with all your friends when you go your separate ways for college, and show off your best pictures! They’re business card sized, so they fit perfectly in your wallet or pocket, and are easy to hand out anytime anywhere!

And better yet, these same designs are available in cards that can be used as graduation announcements or invitations.  Yes, it seems like a long ways off, but it’s just around the corner.  Book your session now, get Rep cards now, and then get matching (or contrasting!) Graduation Announcements & Invites!  Stray from the boring plain invites that EVERYONE else uses, and get something that will really be unique, catch everyone’s eyes, and really make yours stand out.

If you’re interested – call now to book your senior portrait session! It’s not too late, but sessions & weekends are booking up fast!


Jessica’s Senior Portrait Shoot

August 17, 2008

This girl ROCKS!

We had a great time, and I got to bring along a new assistant, Kara (to be introduced soon enough!).

It was a beautiful day, and Jessica was really an awesome model! She had lots of sassiness about her, as you’ll see.

Now, I don’t normally upload blog sneak previews in batches, but there were soooooooo many great shots, and we did a few location & clothing changes (as is pretty standard for Senior Portraits), so I’m gonna post one sneak preview now & another one later!

Ready?  Here she is… (LOVE the pink, how can you NOT love this pink?!)

And one of my favorites (ONE Of… I have so many favorites):

More coming… I won’t do a sneak preview of EVERY outfit change & location, but I will post some more 😉


Markie & Aaron Engagement Session

August 17, 2008

Well, this is one of many that will be coming through the flood gates!  I’ve been lucky to be busy – but it’s also my downfall at the moment!  I no sooner edit a batch, and I have 2 new photoshoots!  lol.

Anyways – Markie & Aaron were in town on a speedy weekend, planning their wedding, and seeing the town (ok, probably less seeing and more planning from the sounds of it).  We got caught in the rain the first day, so this is actually “take two”!  It was morning time, which in Florida weather translates into “hotter than hades”, but I thought we fared pretty well considering!

So, here’s just a little sneak peek, before I wrap up editing & then it’s not a sneak peek anymore 😉  I had a really hard time picking my favorites, but here goes.  And yeah… the watermarks are a new thing, but I’ll make a prettier one in the future I promise 😉

Of course, it’s not complete without showing the rock 🙂

More later!  LOTS more!


Catching up…

August 12, 2008

To those who have slipped through the cracks with online ordering shopping carts, you should be pleased to know that they are all up & loaded! Whew!  Catchup is NOT a game I like to play!

I had some difficulty with my shopping cart (user error mostly 😉 ).  I think I have it all straightened out now, and simplified it greatly!

So – if you have online viewing, you for sure now have online ordering fully intact & ready to go.

If you are waiting on proofs, sit tight – they’re going to be coming up soon!  I’ve got TONS to load up!  It’s good that I’m busy, but whew… I need some sleep!  Almost everyone that is waiting on proofs should have them by weeks end with a few stragglers by middle of next week!  I might actually go to sleep Saturday night or something crazy like that!  😉



A new little bella blog!

August 12, 2008

No – we’re not going anywhere! God knows, we’ve just got on our feet good with the server switching, updating the website, and updating the blog & giving them all a makeover. But since I must be in a makeover kind of mood, I’m also dusting off my personal blog & I’m going to actually start using it (ah, such a novel concept!).

So – if you get extremely bored, and/or want a peek into my chaotic personal life (it’s really not too chaotic to me, just to everyone else lol), OR if you want to learn how to be super super frugal – check it out. It started off as my “frugalness” blog – but although my frugalness & obsession with budgeting continues & will likely live on forever… there’s really only so much you can post about it!

You’ll still get all kinds of frugal tips & tricks, but with the added bonus of seeing & hearing about my crazy kids!

So – here you go… proceed with caution at your own risk… My Private Life as the Budget Chick. Don’t worry, it’s not prettied up yet, but we’re getting there!  Like all things, slowly but surely!