Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jennifer Ellen Photography - Tea Party

Such a cute session! I love the feminine feel of these images...I can't wait until my baby girl is old enough to want a tea party! Great work Jennifer Ellen Photography

"I had this vision and I was working on making it happen for awhile. I wanted to capture the innocence and care free, fairytale imagination we had as kids. Dressing up with our moms clothes, using their make up, 'playing house', setting up parties with our friends. Just being kids. I wanted people to see this set and hear the girls chattering away, laughing, speaking to each other in 'grown up voices', mimicking their moms and older sisters perhaps. I feel that I captured all of this and more. I loved every second of this shoot.
I couldn't of asked for better clients to pull this off. My vision matched with what this client wanted for a shoot and her attention to detail help pull all the little pieces together as well and I am so proud of this shoot. It is now been asked to be used by other photographers as well as clients."
Facebook Fan Page for Jennifer Ellen Photography 
Jennifer Ellen Photography Website


Monday, August 15, 2011

Erica Nicole Photography

 I just love this mini-session! Such an adorable use of props...How cute is that rocking horse and banner?! Not to mention the sweet little model! Thank you Erica Nicole Photography for your submission! 

"This session was a spur of the moment. Creative energy outburst kind of a thing. I have so many props and I am always trying to think of different ways to place them all together. I did this set up in just a few minutes and my son had a blast playing on the horse outside! I love, love, love the lighting this time of day and couldn't get enough of it! These are the kind of evenings that make me happy to be an all natural light photographer." 
-Erica Nicole Photography 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Carolyn Spranger Photography - A New Birth

Questions for you...You Fabulous Photographer, You!
Name:  Carolyn   
Business Name: Carolyn Spranger Photography
Location:   Cheyenne, WY   
Meet Carolyn Spranger...
What gear is in your camera bag?  
Canon 5D MKII, 24-70mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 35mm 2.0 (canon 40d for backup)   

What is your favorite lens to use and why?  
My 50mm 1.4.. I recently purchased it and it hasn’t left my camera since.  I like that’s it’s small, light, and great in low light 
Give us one sentence to describe the style of your photography.  
Simple and clean!  
What caused your interest in photography?  
I’ve loved photography since I picked up my first manual camera in 8th grade, a Pentax K1000.. I learned the ins and outs of exposure right from the start and was hooked.  It wasn’t until after I had kids that I realized this is always what I’ve wanted to do and I needed to stop searching for that textbook ‘career’ and focus my energy on photography. 

What is your favorite thing to shoot and why?  
Births and newborns!  I’m finally at a place in my life where I can start birth photography and if I could shoot nothing but births and newborns I’d be completely satisfied.  I love the simplicity of a sleeping newborn and the emotion behind birth photography.    
 How long did it take before you felt that you established a solid portfolio?  
I think my portfolio is always growing and changing.  I never stop learning. So I’m always replacing old images with new ones.  Before I started advertising myself as a photographer, I made sure I was satisfied with the variety of images that I had to show potential clients in each area that I would shoot.   I offered a few shoots to friends so that I could practice with different lighting styles and find where I was most comfortable.   

How long did it take you to discover your style of photography?  
This is always tough, sometimes as photographers we can get caught up in the current trends of photography and lose track of who we are.  I wouldn’t even show my work from 4-5 years ago, I may or may not have been caught up in a sepia trend ;)  Then I moved from NY to WY and took almost 2 years off to try to figure out what direction I wanted to take my business (I also had a baby to the time off was spent on family too).  Now I am set up again and I’m sure about myself and my style... just simple and clean.  No fancy props or crazy post processing.
What inspires you most? 
 I think every day moments inspire me.  There are so many times out of the day that I wish I had my camera glued to my face so i could just snap a moment that I see.  I also think feedback inspires me a lot.  Hearing from a client that they love what I gave them and what they love about it.  It inspires me to know that I did my job and got the images they wanted, that what I do has a purpose.

How long does it typically take you to edit a portrait shoot?  
I’m only able to edit after the kids go to bed at night so I usually spend a full week on a session.  I spend an average of 2 minutes on each photo, but that’s after a lot of trial and error on my workflow.  I finally got it down to where I’m still giving each photo enough attention but I’m faster at it.  I’ve created my own actions that go through each of my steps so it cuts down on time.  
 Do you use studio equipment? If so, what would you say is the most crucial piece in your studio and why?  
I have a studio in my basement.  It’s hard to say what the most crucial piece is, I guess my computer for editing?  I think it’s crucial that I have my space organized since I have limited space to work in.  I don’t want to be in a session and have no way to switch out papers or no where to put my extra stuff.  The floor needs to stay clear so that I can easily move my lights around.   With births and newborns I hardly use my studio though.  i feel like I have it for my own kid's pictures! 
 What are you looking most forward to this year...Both professionally, and personally?  
I’ve declared 2011 the year of ME.  I’m starting my business back up and looking forward to everything; new state, new website, new prices.. a whole fresh start.  Personally, I’m excited to have ‘professional photographer’ back!  I spent the last almost 2 years just doing the mom thing, now I get my professional thing back. 
 Do you ever get "bored" with your work? If so, what do you do to shake things up?  
There are times that I go a while without shooting and it kind of puts me in a funk.  All I need is a great photo shoot to get me back and excited about things, but there’s nothing boring about birth! 

 What's the one thing about your work that you feel sets you apart from the big sea of photogs?  
It’s REALLY hard to be different in the world of photography, it’s all been done.  all I can do is stay true to myself.  I like clean, simple images so I don’t use a lot of props or extra items.  I also offer digital images rather than packages.  I’ve found most of my customers just want to keep their images and don’t want a million print packages to choose from, so all of my sessions are priced to include their digital files. 
 Do you have an idea for a shoot, but have no clue how you are going to make it happen?  
Well, I always have an idea of a quick and simple shoot with my 16 month old.. but that hardly happens.  It’s one tough age to photograph and it makes me appreciate when I have a client and get the shots they want when I can hardly get any of my own kids. 

How do you balance your personal life with your work life? 
 It’s always a struggle.  During the day I’m ‘Mom’ and after the kids go to bed, I spend time working on my business or editing images.  Sometimes I feel like I’m falling behind in the ‘family’ department and sometimes I feel like I’m falling behind in the ‘photography’ department.  it’s something I try to work on every day.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  
Colorado!  I’m only 10 miles from the border.. in WY where it’s a little cheaper, but I love Colorado. It’s beautiful and I feel like I fit right in with the people there. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  
I would love to be known as the ‘have to have’ birth and newborn photographer in our area!   

What are you most proud of? Both professionally and personally?  
Personally, I’m proud of my children.. They’re the best I could ask for to put it simply.  Professionally, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve finally decided to put my business together and jump in, for real.  I’m typically the type of person that likes to be the best at everything I do, otherwise I won’t do it.  I’ve always felt like I need to get better before I can make this a business, but I’ve come to realize that I’m as good as I can be with the knowledge that I have right now.  I’ll always be growing and learning more and they’re always be someone better than me.  I’ve accepted that and I’m ready to make this a business. 

Describe in one paragraph what a perfect day for you would look like.  
The perfect day would be doing all the outdoor things we enjoy with our kids like geo caching and bike riding and just laying under the sun.  Then, while we’re busy enjoying the outdoors there will be someone at our house working on all the homeowner tasks we need to be working on.. Then it’d be a relaxing day.  The kids wouldn’t whine, AT ALL. 

What turns you on the most creatively and what turns you off?  
Keeping busy.  When I’m always working I’m always thinking of new things that I can do.  If I take too long of breaks it slows me down.  Something that turns me off is taking on a task because I *should* , not because I want to, especially if I don’t have that good vibe going.  I need to be better at saying no for things that aren’t my niche 

As far as marketing your business goes, what would you say are the most important and beneficial things to do when you want to get your name out there?  
Make friends with Google and Facebook!  word of mouth is always great, but making sure that you rank top of Google searches is key.  I’m working on that one since I’ve just started back up.   I’m starting to network with other professionals in my area to help too. 
 What's the one piece of advice that you feel a person just starting a photography business would benefit from?  
I think the best advice is to get all your ‘behind the scenes’ stuff squared away before you call yourself a photographer.  Put together your client information packet, model release forms, set your prices (make sure you’re 100% happy with them), buy your business license, pay your taxes, have a business account, and just be organized.  it will make it much easier when you want to start advertising if you have everything organized and ready to go, you won’t be changing your mind on prices or look unprofessional.  If you want to set lower prices for ‘portfolio building’ then pick your goal prices and lower them.  call it a portfolio building special so clients know that those won’t be your prices for long also helping to avoid undercutting other photographers.