I've received some good info from many of you regarding possible dates and days that work best for you.  Can I tell you that I'm sooo looking forward to this!!!

Here's another "assignment" (if you would be so kind)  ...

As I'm thinking up what we could cover in a "part deux" of our photography sessions together, my mind goes back to one thing in particular:  PRACTICE...

And, I know you would all agree with me on that...because really, it has to do with knowing how shutterspeed, aperture and ISO all work together to help you "light sensing" camera do the job you are telling it to do!

That said, I'd like to know some of the challenges that you are coming upon as you are trying to work your settings to your advantage...

Basically, I'm looking for some specifics so that I can use your time MOST efficiently, so that we can get out there and implement them in a timely fashion!

My first impression would be to cover things like: focal points & toggling, lighting conditions & metering, using your histogram, perhaps some white balance issues, and ???

I covet your input:)  So PLEASE leave a comment right here that I can use in order to start working on getting an outline together...I'm hoping for at least one Snapshop Two this may have to be during a week night for 1.5-2 hours after dinner (as my weekends are filled with weddings and sessions & few vacations thrown in for good measure:)

Looking forward to hearing from you AND from catching up with past attendees...woohoo!!!


Snapshop PART 2

One thing that has been constant throughout all my surveys after a Snapshop class has been the desire for a "part 2"...I understand this...because so much information is thrown at you and you are just soaking it in...We just finished up another such class and I am just in awe of how everyone hangs in there with all that foundational ground work...and the "ah has" that burst out when we start practicing:)

However, often when you get home and start to practice some more, you discover that little tidbits of information have suddenly leaked out or brain cell washed away while sipping too much Diet Pepsi late at night editing photos (never mind that last part...that's probably just me)

I will be honest that I have struggled to determine how to introduce a Snapshop 2 that would be worthwhile for everyone...because everyone has excelled at different levels and discovered their own particular style of where to start?

I started putting together another "class" type workshop, but then got bogged down in so many little details...and what I started to realize is that what often helps people the most, is practice...and more practice...and someone giving a little tip here and little tip there...and then all of a sudden, another tidbit CLICKS and you get it:)

Therefore, I'd like to "float an idea" with you all...I am thinking of offering a couple of Snapshop 2 "Photo Walks" this summer...We would meet up at a specific location and have a little "powwow" to review some basics and discuss just a few more details that weren't covered fully in the first class...THEN, we would set out with a check list of "situational set ups" where everyone could practice...I would be right there to help answer questions, to bounce off ideas, to discover how to use light to your advantage...

I'm thinking that by offering a couple of dates and different situations (i.e. a sunset walk one time and an afternoon walk with some indoor practice at a later date) you could potentially come to both of them, but at least one and it would be a time where you could come away feeling not only motivated for more, but confident because you "nailed it!"

It would be open to any past Snapshop thinking would be that it would last between 1-2 hours and would be minimal cost...I'd of course have to come up with "something" as a sweet takeaway gift to "commomorate" our time together;) 

So, I'd like to get your input...would I have some takers?  If so, could you email me some good dates or dates that are NO good for you as well?  I'd love to make it worth your while and hopefully allow some time for other "mamarazzis" to get together and bounce ideas off each other, in the pursuit of getting storytelling/memorable/fantastic pictures of our kids!!!

Can't wait to hear from you!


Hmmm...photographer's food for thought

I follow lots of other photographers.  I learn from them, I take classes, I google videos and workshops.  All in the name of trying to become better at this craft.  I started taking pictures mainly because my memory is so bad and I couldn't bear to watch time slip through my are all I have left here on earth in which to "remember" my loved ones...and so I hold tightly to those. 
At the same time, my perfectionism and first-born tendencies kicked in and I wanted pictures to be BETTER...well, after seeing the cost associated with this "hobby", I honestly didn't have the heart to continue to take family savings to fund my OCD about lenses and lighting and software and more lenses and better cameras...blah blah...the list goes on. 
Therefore, with a couple years of doubt and denial...after much prayer and seeking advice...after much counsel from my hubby especially, I embarked on the CTPhotoMemories journey...
And although this "business" is SATURATED with photographers from all over...I do believe each and every photographer "sees life" differently...they have different "eyes" for things just as numerous as snowflakes or as unique as fingerprints on people.  Because of this, I think people approach it differently as well.  Pricing has ALWAYS been a struggling point for me...a HUGE one.  I will be completely honest, that my hubby is still not totally on board with it as it compares to the amount of hours that I put in...I do NOT say all this for pity, for response, and especially not to scare anyone into thinking that I'm trying to change up my pricing or trying to "stick it" to anyone who complains:)
I just thought this was well thought out and does a good break down of the costs:)  I was AMAZED last year the amount that taxes took in my was staggering...
This is a break down created by some photographers that I followed called Pure Photography (Pure Photoshop Actions on facebook) 
Ok... putting together the info for our workshop and wrote this up... and seriously.... please value your time!!!!!

This is merely an example and just some rough numbers, but more put together as an example!!!

Say you do a session for $100 with a cd of all the images. AWESOME right??? You just made $100 bucks right??!! Score!!!!
Lets break down that $100. Say you shoot 4 of these sessions in one...

$100 received for session
$30 off the top put aside for taxes
leaves $70.
The cost for your website is $16 a month (Through portfoliositez). If you shot 4 sessions that month that is on average $4 a session to pay for it.
You are down to $66.
If you get insurance (to protect yourself and your clients) at an average of $40 a month over 4 sessions That is $10 a session.
You are down to $56
The cost for the CD and case $1.00
You are down to $55
10% towards new gear savings and replacements like batteries and such $10.00
You are down to $45
$4 for gas to and from your session
You are down to $41.00
Ok so there are more expenses, (say if you have to hire a babysitter to watch your kids or if your spouse has to leave work so you can shoot, and other things.. the cost to get a business license, Photoshop.. those kind of goodies.) but let us leave it here for simplicity. You have now made $41.00 from that session. Great!!
Lets break this down by the time you invested into the session

1.5 hours in emails and session prep. Contract signing and emailing back and forth with the client in regards to pricing and location and answering questions. Prepping your gear and getting everything ready.
1 hour in travel round trip. (30 minutes each way) (my sessions are on an average 25 to 30 minutes from my house)
2 hours shooting your session.
.5 hours downloading your images and organizing them and putting your gear away.
3 hours editing your session.
.5 hours prepping your cd and packaging it and mailing it.
1 hour sharing and posting your session on facebook and marketing the session in hopes to get new clients.

You have now spent at least 9.5 hours into your session.
If you take $41 and divide it by 9.5 hours you are making $4.31 an hour for the session. If you count the cost for a babysitter for your kids or if your session is farther or if you take longer to edit or if you shoot longer, or if your insurance costs more (mine is nearly $75 a month), or if you only shoot 1 or 2 sessions that month, you are making even less money.

Is that $4.31 worth being away from your kids? Worth the time and trouble?!! Now.... I am not saying you can start a business and charge hundreds and thousands of dollars. Everyone has to "pay their dues". That is why the government allows you to claim a loss for the first 3 years! But please be a business woman/man. Know that it is a real business, and that you are not actually making $100 from that shoot.

Please understand that photography is a real job.... and not a quick way to make a quick buck. Please please please value your time, and your families time!!! :) If you don’t, who will?!!!


Does This Happen To YOU?

When I first got my camera, I kept it on AUTO 100% of the time.  I didn't really understand how all the different buttons worked together and for heaven's sake, compared to my old point and shoot, this thing was a the less I touched (or messed with) the better off I would be right?

And really, compared to the blurry action shots of my little P&S, the pictures were a TON better than before...

However...does this ever happen to you?  Take a look at that top picture...I was in a hurry and thought, I'll just stick it on "auto" for a second and see what happens. did what I thought it was going to do.  You see, auto works GREAT in the perfect conditions...those overcast days where you don't have to worry about shadows or bright light.  It is wonderful in those situations because, I think it just "thinks" better for itself when it's not overloaded with extremes.

But, I gotta tell you...I'm the QUEEN of seems like everytime I pull out my camera, I've either got too much sun or not enough light...a shadow on the side of someone's face or I can't even SEE their face...or my sweet pop up flash just pops up for no reason and I, all of a sudden, discover that my children's faces look like ghosts!

In this particular instance, it was noon...the sun was directly overhead and the men were shooting.  I wanted to catch some quick action here in the "bunker"...what happened when I left it on auto was that the camera was left to decide what was most to expose the picture...and she (yes, my camera has a name and it is Missy, for those that don't already know) decided that the lovely blue sky in the background with the puffy clouds needed to be recognized. She also deemed that there was enough light to see whatever it was that I wanted to see because there was enough contrast everywhere else.

What "she" didn't understand was that I didn't really care about the clouds all that much, but I wanted to "enlighten" the person actually doing the shooting. 

This meant that I had to control what she metered, how much of the area she metered and finally, take into consideration that she's just a machine, after all...and if I need to overexpose a bit, to get the shot I wanted...well, I was going to have to tell her what to do:)

Therefore, you have the 2nd picture...I kept my aperture the same because I wanted more in focus for this shot...however, I lowered my shutterspeed to allow for more light...yes, it blasted the back out a bit more, but I got what I needed this time.

The Snapshop class is this Sunday.  It's "this" kind of information that we cover in class.  We're heading into the throes of was the last day of school...are you going to be ready to get pictures that tell the story of your summer?  We'd LOVE to have you join us still...I possibly have one more spot available...I don't allow the class to get too large so that we have a good class ratio when getting into the material and practicing with our cameras...Email me at ifyou are interested!!!



Apparantly, May is a very popular month in which to have babies:) 

I must say that I have had quite a few opportunities to see these wee ones, and a lot of them happen to be boys.

If you've known me long enough, you know that I don't have any boys myself...NOPE, we are a princess only household (except for Daddy who is the KING:)

Therefore, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am tickled pink when I get to hold these precious baby boys.  And, at the risk of sounding ubber sentimental and all that...all babies bring special thoughts to mind...

Having daughters, I remember what it felt like to hold them and wonder what they would grow up to be...what personality, what character qualities...likes, dislikes, fears and motivation...what impact would they have on this world, on those around them...the list goes on...

I still see that in each little baby...and with little boys, oh my...I think of the broad shoulders they will need someday to lead a family...I think of the courage and strength they will develop to protect their future wives & babies of their own...

And yet, they start so tiny and small in the arms of their mommies and daddies.  It is through their parents' guidance and love that they gain those character qualities...integrity...strong values...

I walked into this home and recognized almost immediately the values that this family not only believed in, but held close to their hearts.  I have no doubt that their young boys will grow in stature and knowledge of those values and become young men of integrity.

I know, I know..."isn't that a little 'heavy' for someone you have just met?"  Maybe...and maybe not:)

You see, if I can "get" that within just a few hours of spending time with a new mom and dad, and the new nana with her sweet much more is being built into the hearts of these young boys on a daily basis. 

It did my heart glad to witness such a family...

Thank you for trusting me with your precious newborn.  I am inspired by the dedication you have to your family.  Can't wait to see you again soon when big brother joins in the picture taking fun!


Gerber has a new face:)

How quickly does time go by?

If you ask my girls, they will say it DRAGS by...they are STILL in school and the end can't come soon enough...

However, I would venture to say that if you ask ANY mom out there, they will say that time FLIES...

Sometimes we don't recognize it until it's already's during that season of life where you are just surviving the late night feedings and praying for naps longer than 45 minutes! 

But really, at the heart, I think every mom realizes that moments are fleeting...and they take every opportunity to make sure to make a memory in their hearts...they hang on to those seemingly insignificant moments...

a simple clapping of hands...

the little curls that linger around tiny ears...

This sweet family has made sure that they have those moments to remember...this little guy has a big brother who is enough years older to remind his Mom and Dad that time goes by fast! 

And so, when I met them at a nearby university, I wasn't surprised that they had pictures all over their smartphones of both their boys...I heard about accomplishments and the parental pride in their voices.  I knew I had, once again, met with a family that was going to be unforgettable to me:) 

I mean, let's face it...when you've got yourself this little Gerber Baby's pretty hard to forget:)

I had such the great privilege of getting a peek into the adorable life of this one year old:)  I had fun running around and watching his mom and dad get him to laugh and giggle. 

I am honored to meet such incredible families!!!

Thank you!


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I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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