As we approach the end of summer, all of our thoughts are geared to squeezing the last possible ounce of outdoor fun in before school starts. Yes, even though I have no kids in school anymore, I always feel that the beginning of the school season marks the beginning of fall and my crazy busy season. It is September that everyone returns to their normal workflow and daily routines are back in place. It is this time that my phone starts getting hot with inquiries regarding holidays, business portraits and couture sessions. Summer for me consists of family portraits and high school senior sessions. My fall consists of pretty much everything on steroids!
I try to send out gentle reminders right around this time every year for everyone to try and get the mojo going in mid August. Schedule that new headshot now so you have it when you hit the ground running in September. Schedule that fall family portrait now to secure the best date that fits into your schedule and mine! Sadly, the summer is in fact coming to and end and we all must plan for the fall.
I know, it’s painful to think of colder weather coming. But for me, by the time August 20th hits, I have had it with. hot sweaty weather, gardening, weeds, outdoor sultry portraits and in general, living inside when it is 95 degrees out side. On my day off this week, I cut down all the summer flowers and popped them right out for garbage day. My husband knows this is normal for me, so when he pulls in at the end of the day and sees the garden totally clean again, he knows that I am now back in super woman work mode.
So are YOU ready with your fall business plan? I am! Lets create great images!
Having been a photographer for close to 3 decades, I get a variety of phone calls asking me to describe my services. I am happy to chat with everyone and give them a bit of instruction on how I work. If the client isn’t a referral, then they have checked out my work on either this blog, Facebook, Instagram or my web page. So, they know my style of work and were interested enough to make the call. Every photographer has a “style” and it has taken many moons for me to establish my own. In the beginning of my career, I photographed anything, any way, any how just to give clients a variety of styles to chose from in my work. I would purchase any new prop, new background, different studio lights, etc. to try and cover every possible aspect a client may want. I had props out the wazoo! I bought wicker chairs, wicker tables, tons of paint splattered backgrounds, dark backgrounds as well as huge rolls of background paper. I remember when I first opened my studio, there were some photographers who would build a mini pond in their studio to get cute pictures of kids pretending to fish. Yes, the thought of filling my studio with a little pool had crossed my mind for a brief moment. Some photographers hung a swing from the ceiling to get cutsie pix of kids pretending to be outside.
However, over the years my branding became more refined and I dropped all the paraphernalia that other photographers employed. Getting rid of that stuff was liberating.
So this brings me to the subject of this blog. “How to hire a photographer.” It basically relates to the same question when you purchase a designer dress. You purchase a Vera Wang dress because you like Vera’s style. You purchase a Stella McCartney, Versace or Karl Lagerfeld dress because you there is something about their style that you like. So it intrigues me so when the phone rings and goes like this: “I saw your web page and want to hire you to take my photograph, however, I want you to change this, do that, incorporate this…… ” Then there are the clients who feel the need to direct me during a portrait session by telling those in the picture where to stand, how to stand and what background they want. Would that same client buy a Versace dress and then rip it apart sewing a different type of hem? NO! Their only experience with posing and lighting is perhaps what they saw on Pinterest and feel the need to re-arrange my style based on their concept of a great portrait. It is so important to accept the style of the photographer, their professional experience and their knowledge of light. Let me work my professional magic. Trust me.
88 Days Until Halloween!
Today I ran to the local grocery store to gather a few items and the first thing that hit me in the face was this display of Halloween candy. Of course I groaned as I wiped off the sweat from the 91 degree day. But you have to hand it to the marketing people who designed this set up. Yes, it is way to early. For me, there was no way I would buy candy this early. However, there were some kiddies sniffing around this display. More so this display than the back to school display! My Sunday newspaper is filled with “Back to School” specials which also seems way to early.
This whole early marketing idea may seem like a waste of time and money, but in reality, it is brilliant. Why? Because for one brief moment, I forget that it was indeed 91 degrees outside and fall was approaching. We are all in vacation mode and the thought of getting off the sand and back to work is downright frightful. September is less than 4 weeks away and most kids are back to school by then. So, this is when it starts all over again. Working longer hours, packing lunches, carpools, after school sports, meetings, planning, and everything that goes into that last quarter push. If you in business for yourself, it means putting forth that last quarter marketing plan. Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the second week of September?
In my area, I can always tell when the kids have gone back to school because the headshot inquiries come in more rapidly than summer time. The first 3 weeks of September can get a bit crazy because it is like spring when the bear wakes up from hibernation. Everyone realizes that for 12 weeks, they have been in first gear and now it’s time to move faster….. way faster.
So, if you are lucky enough to read to the end of this blog, you are the lucky one. Because from now until August 31st, if you are smart enough to jump ahead of the headshot line and get your professional headshot done early, you may receive an additional image complimentary. A $75 value. This is completely retouched as well and ready for anywhere you want to shine.
Call the studio to set up your time (215.968.5220). Don’t wait until life is in full swing again. This is an amazing offer.
Two weeks ago, my son Jason married the love of his life Caiti. It was a destination resort wedding in Punta Cana where there is nothing but beautiful beaches, amazing lavish gardens and more food then I care to think of. As a photographer, it was hard not to take photographs of this special day. But, Caiti and I discussed early on that we needed to get another photographer to handle the ceremony and family portraits as well as some of their own personal wedding photographs. Since I can’t be mother of the groom and photographer at the same time, it was logical that we scout around for a photographer to either bring with us or hire someone there. Jason and Caiti did a scouting run of the resort about a year before and interviewed with the photographer. It was decided that he would do the ceremony shots as well as the posed formal shots (and family) after the wedding. I did the “pre” shots. The getting ready, the flowers, the “first look”. It worked out just wonderfully.
Here is a link to a 4 minute slide show that I put together which incorporates my photographs, the other photographer and some video as well. https://youtu.be/75-ZhmaH3Hs
Here are a few images that I took that hints at what a great day it was!