Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet baby boy W

I thought my baby (who is 16 months almost) was still a baby until this morning.

now THIS is a baby- a sweet, calm, 2nd son. I just don't think it gets sweeter than those first few days.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

There's nothing in the world like a large print

Lillian and I are approaching our 2nd anniversary of www.theportraitparties.com. We have changed and grown and adapted and learned and are in such a different place from where we started. I thought I would take a moment or two to share with you all some of the reasons and motivations that have brought us to where we are.

When we first started, we just knew we loved taking pictures. We weren't sure we could do it professionally but we were willing to try. We sent out an email and charged a very, very tiny amount and had literally a full house. And it worked out. The photos were beautiful. We had done it with a simple paper backdrop and a PVC pipe frame we had made. We used my garage and dining room (when the weather was bad) and our beginning cameras (Nikon D40 - jamie and Canon 40D- Lillian). And we proceeded from there. We kept our prices low-- very, very low and we had another portrait party a few months later. And another and another. We were in fact, doing it.

And that was about when some big realities started to kick in. We were offering a photo shoot, plus all the editing, and a lot of the digital images for such a great price without thinking of the work that actually went into the process. For example, we had at one point a one hour photo shoot (in New Jersey) that we got paid $100 and in return provided 60 images. (Now we had several sessions that day so the travel costs were split up over quite a few clients) -- but traveling there and back was 4 hours, taking the photos took 1 hour, uploading the photos and backing them up took 1/2 an hour, editing 60 images took 4 hours, posting them to the blog and facebook took an hour, burning the images onto a disc and mailing them out took an hour -- and in the end that one session took about 11 hours of my time. Then you have to remember that I also pay taxes (self employment 15% and income taxes). Fortunately it was on a Saturday so I didn't have to hire a babysitter -- but when it all comes down to it I made less than $3 an hour. (and that isn't even factoring in camera equipment, computer equipment, software, gasoline, and more).

For the first little while it was OK to hardly make anything because it was just exciting to have been hired and exciting to do it. But as we got busier, the excitement faded a little. Both Lillian and I talked and talked and talked about what to do. We simply could not continue under the circumstances.

And yet, we had fallen in love with being a photographer.

At about the one year mark, we each made some significant investments in our cameras and lenses. We raised our prices some. We saw our quantity of photoshoots drop significantly as a result.

But it had to be. We cannot do this for nothing. We have to make it just like any other business. At the one year mark we went from being photographer's trying to run a business to business women who are photographers.

Lillian took some small business classes through SCORE. We met with several advisors. We crunched numbers and filled spreadsheets. We read about so many other photographers and how they were making the same changes we were.

And we had to keep asking -- What is it we provide that you can't get just anywhere? Why should you pay us our prices? What can we do for you?

And so here we are today.

We take amazing photos. Lillian has a style that is uniquely hers. I have a style that is uniquely mine. We have extremely good equipment and impressive editing skills. We have a good repoire with our clients and especially with kids. We take our time and wait for the perfect expression, the just right moment, and capture you . . . being you.

And because we have fallen in love with prints (especially large prints on metal or canvas or framed) our prices now include one large print so that you can experience that joy of seeing your images displayed in your home.

We will spend the time with your family or you or your children until we get it right, and we stand by our work 100%. Once your session is over, in a few days you will be directed to a beautiful and user friendly online album where you can mark photos as your favorites and narrow down your selections. We can help you design the walls of your home. We can help you with ideas for gifts. We can even just send you the link to download your photos instantly if that is the route you would prefer.

Here is my new favorite wall in my house. My kids. 16x20 image on metal prints. In a beautiful layout with lettering. I love it. It is in fact priceless to me.
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So give us a call and we can help you create something beautiful that will stop time and preserve those fleeting moments for your family too! There's nothing in the world like a large print to take you back in time and remember what it was like.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Men's Headshots

Photographing children, while challenging, is nothing compared to photographing your own husband for a headshot. But those kind of images are very much in need and we can do them here at theportraitparties.com -- It will be comfortable, fun, and you are guaranteed to love the result!
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