Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

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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.

Conclusion
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!
Angela

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Coming soon to a website near you (like… really REALLY near you)

July 28, 2008

Is a brand new hot & flashy look!

I’ve been waiting, debating, waiting & debating… and waiting some more… to take the plunge & redo my website. It served as a great excuse as to why I haven’t updated my CURRENT website in so long (I mean, really – why on earth would I put even more on my plate when I’m about to redo my site!?).

But of course, there was a great widespread debate (ask any of my closest friends) about WHICH layout I should convert to. Ahh, the dilemma. I was really ready to just buy 4 layouts, but GOD only knows, I can barely maintain one, much less 4! But, alas… this is me, the notorious overachiever who never has the time to fulfill my many many pursuits! (Case in point: my knitting project, my sewing project, my crochet project, my great & wonderful coupon organization system – which to my credit is probably the most successful of all my projects, and the list goes on and on and on…)

So – Anyways – hold on tight, a change is a-comin’. A new site and… quite possibly even a new blog (thats been in the works for a while now, so don’t get TOO excited).

Geesh – contests, new site, maybe even a new blog – I feel… refreshed! I think I should even change my haircolor!!

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First contest!

July 28, 2008

Ok, so our first contest is in celebration of National Lefthanders Day (which is actually August 13, and that will be the day I announce our winner & prizes)!

So – dig out your cameras, and show me something that celebrates left handedness! (Family friendly please!)

Get crazy, get creative, and get downright silly! Post a comment here with a picture, a link to your blog with your entry (and be sure to include a link back to this post or my blog), or email me at: angela@bellavitaphotos.com !

Ready… set… go Lefty!

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Guatemalan Princess – Celebrating Adoption

July 28, 2008

I am so eager to finish the editing on these, sweet little Cara was so much fun & what an adventure our shoot was! it was on my shoot with Cara that we meet Mr. Lubber the Grasshopper out at Eden State Gardens (past Destin & Sandestin but not quite to Panama City and just across 98 from where Alys Beach is).

But, I will say – Cara gave us all a run for our money – and I do mean RUN. Mostly, this is what I saw for the majority of our shoot:

Yep, that’s right – the tail end of Cara. She was on a mission, and she was FAST! But, luckily I’ve been trained by my two little ones & I can book it! So off I went, chasing Cara around:

Oh, and I just have to post these. Not only did Cara collect sticks, pinecones, and pretty much everything and anything else that wasn’t firmly planted & rooted into the ground (she even tried to catch a fish!), she loved to smell things. I am always amazed watching kids explore the world, and I always try to think about how they must see it from their perspective. Only kids can inhale, smell & actually appreciate the smell of a pinecone & smell a flower 20 times over & never grow tired:

Or – also in Cara’s case – climb the stairs of the porch at Eden State Gardens 1,743 times and never once grow bored!

Oh, and I just had to post this one – I’m not sure why I like it so much – because I’m not quite sure if it shows just how big the tree is or just how little Cara is – maybe a little of both:

But as Cara’s mother says, she is in fact, a little Guatemalan Princess – or doll, take your pick!

Thanks for being so much fun, Cara!

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That Son-of-a-… I mean… Southern Lubber

July 28, 2008

So – I had to share this all on it’s own, because it certainly is worthy of it. Meet my new friend: Southern Lubber. I had to look it up, and this is what I believe is commonly referred to as a Southern Lubber Grasshopper, or if you’re actually from the south, you just call it a “Big Ass Grasshopper”:

Get close – does he not look like he’s talking!? I swear he’s saying “What YOU doing on my walkway?!” Make no mistake, if he looks small it’s b/c you *think* he’s small – but he’s as long as a brick is wide. Hes HUGE in other words. He was as long as my foot was wide. And I know this because HE stepped on ME.

Gosh, I just can’t get enough of this big fella. I mean, I’m sure in some country somewhere, this is like a TBone Steak size grasshopper! (Which, BTW, I actually have eaten chocolate covered grasshoppers before, ewwww. And NO they’re NOT good!)

Ok, ok, last one… I promise, then we can go back to business as usual:

Ok, so to *me* it looks like he’s just talking in one pic, and he’s screaming in another. Apparantly, my friends disagree & they say that’s a clue I’m under far too much stress when I imagine bugs yelling at me. *shrug*
But – I do admit, I failed to get a picture of the black widow we found on our window (don’t worry – she was on the outside & I didn’t smash the window to pieces).

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Announcing New Contests & Freebies!

July 28, 2008

Ok, so I’m feeling energetic & like spicing things up a bit, so I’ve decided to start a monthly contest! Now, no worries, no special talents are necessary – at least not usually (bwahahaha). (Thats my attempt at my witchy evil I’m-going-to-take-over-the-world laugh by the way).

So – it’s pretty simple – somewhere around the first part of the month I’ll post a topic (I’m totally up for suggestions too by the way, hey maybe that should have been my first contest! lol). Anyways – there’s nothing really special or significant about August (that I know of). It’s really too hot & miserable to be good for much. Oh, except August IS the month that sports “World BreastFeeding Week” and it was during August that Hawaii became a state. I thought about doing something for those – pictures of boobs anyone? (I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate as anyone who has spent 10 minutes with me knows lol).

But – as it turns out its also host of:

  • Admit You’re Happy Month (Cheesiest picture anyone?)
  • Family Fun Month (Worst family photo?)
  • National Catfish Month (We’ve got this hands down lol)
  • National Eye Exam Month
  • National Golf Month
  • Peach Month
  • Romance Awareness Month
  • Water Quality Month
  • National Picnic Month
  • Blah blah blah

Oh – but it is also the month that National Lefthanders Day takes place (Aug 13).

Ok, so I’ve rambled on and on and on about a bunch of useless holidays (no offense lefties, my best friend is a lefty!). Let’s pick a contest already & get this party started already huh!?

Oh, and prizes – yes there will indeed be prizes. I’ll try to keep them kind of in line with what the theme is, but you know, we’ll keep it real & just go with the flow!

I’ll be announcing my first contest theme shortly!

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Jennifer & David

July 27, 2008

Well after at least 3 or 4 (or 5 or 6) reschedules due to weather & rain & lightening & you name it – we FINALLY got out to get this engagement shoot! I was so glad too, because we had a lot of fun. David was a little camera shy (or at least he claimed to be, but turned out to be a ham for the camera). All in all, I think we had a blast & it really has me looking forward to the wedding coming up! Time is flying so fast, I’m fully expecting to wake up tomorrow & realize it’s fall already!

What I love about this couple is David is clearly smitten with Jennifer, and the cutest part of all is he was like a school boy jumping for joy every time he got to kiss her!

And finally, the sunset we waited so patiently for. After weekend after weekend after weekend of rain, rain, and more rain, it really was worth the wait & quite a beautiful ending…