If you’ve lived in Cleveland or the surrounding areas for any period of time (or you’ve even visited for one single afternoon) you may have noticed the weather here is… temperamental. At best. Sometimes, Mother Nature can be a downright B-word. This winter and then Spr-inter have been really, really crappy.
I *hate* being forced to reschedule sessions in the event of rain. It’s annoying for my clients and honestly, it’s not great for me either since it means re-working my entire week’s schedule (edit days, writing days, gallery creation and delivery, etc). Rescheduling requires massive flexibility and understanding from everyone involved in the session, which bring me back to Mother Nature.
As we’ve witnessed this spring, there’s really no telling what the day will bring. I hate dumping a reschedule onto a client with short notice, but it’s better to get your session in ASAP (in my eyes at least) than to have to put it off. Please understand, I WANT to get your shoot in, as soon as we can and as close to your session date as possible. I know you do, too. I really appreciate it when you as a client can offer days and times when you could be available for a reschedule. I always offer my first available, but I know that short notice can get you in a bind. The one benefit of these overcast days is that I can shoot at ANY time, on an overcast day. The light is nice and even and not harsh like it is on bright, sun shining days when we need to shoot early in the morning or late in the evening. If they’re calling for spotty showers however, I am all for trying to get our session in at its scheduled time and date. Just know if it is raining we will be forced to reschedule. I ask that you keep an eye on your email just incase.
This one is for the anyone curious about RAW files. I’m going to talk a little about why I shoot in RAW file format and why you might want to consider doing it as well. But first, let’s rewind…rewind…rewind… (if you sang that like Angelica Schulyer in “Satisfied” from Hamilton, consider this your internet high five).
A quick and dirty intro on what a RAW file is; a RAW file is a digital image file that contains every bit of digital data. A JPG file which most people are familiar with, is a digital image that has been compressed into one digital “hunk”. To make this a visual, imagine a sandy beach. The individual grains of sand that make up the beach are your RAW digital pixels. The beach itself is the compressed JPG.
I’m pretty confident in my shooting ability, I know I’m going to get my exposure right, my focus, my DOF etc. I thought I was fine shooting in JPG file format. Having never really bothered to use RAW on my other bodies, I didn’t know what I was missing. I couldn’t see the grains of sand through the beach, so to speak. I decided to flip into RAW a while back and when I saw the preview on my LCD, I thought “what a waste, this is exactly the same,” and then I loaded the RAWS into my editing software and great gravy biscuits!
The amount of information that was available was like WHOA. You can edit a JPG file, but that was barely scratching the surface. A RAW file holds every ounce of data- I could pin point the exact white balance temperature, something I was doing pretty OK with (but why be pretty OK when you can be THAT’S AWESOME?). I can sharpen an image to my taste (rather than let the camera decide what is best), in other words- shooting in RAW gives you so much more creative space. I can move grains of sand, without destroying the beach.
Another thing RAW can do for you, is save your behind. The beauty of digitals is that you can delete out whatever garbage photo you happened to snag, however deleting from your card is bad for the card, and firing off junk shots (or “spray and pray” photography) is killer on your shutter. Shooting in RAW gives you the freedom, to make saves when need be.
While shooting a newborn in a relatively dark room, I needed to add some extra light. I set my speed light to bounce light in my soft box, and went to work. I got some shots that were great, but I hadn’t realized that my speed light wasn’t recycling fast enough. I did a quick setting change (less power from the flash until I could take a minute and put fresh batteries in) but I ended up with one totally black frame. I thought, “ Crap, she looked so cute…” and then I was like “DUH YOU’RE SHOOTING RAW. YOU CAN GET THAT BACK.” And guess what…
It’s pretty amazing to see the save, right? Had I been shooting in JPG, I would have had to toss it. I would have thrown out the pretty wrap, the open eyes, the little pucker lips! There’s no way I would have been able to bring this back. That’s not to say that you should shoot in RAW and just go ahead and blow your images because you can save them in post- it’s always best to get your shot right in camera. Recovering an image won’t make it perfect- there will be grain, and you may not be a fan of grain in images- but it can make them useable. This particular image was not one I was willing to let go.
If you shoot RAW, what great things do you like best about it? Did you always shoot raw or did you make the change? What made you decide to go RAW? Leave a comment!
If you belong to any of the “mommy” Facebook groups, you’ve no doubt seen countless last minute cries of, “I need a photographer for my child’s 6 month photos ASAP!!” Sadly, most professional photographers don’t have immediate availability, myself included. It’s so hard to try and keep up with daily life when you have a new baby I don’t fault anyone for only realizing what milestone is just around the corner too late.
The beauty of this Watch Me Grow bundle is that all our sessions are scheduled when we schedule your newborn session! This new bundle of sessions makes it easier than ever to make sure you never miss a milestone. Booked all at once and paid for over the the life of the bundle there couldn’t be a more simple way to get all your sessions in without worrying about them last minute.
You’ll have your newborn photos, 4 month milestone, 8 month milestone, and 1 year cake smash all booked and on the calendar ready to go without a second thought. I’m offering them at a discount when you purchase the Watch Me Grow Bundle. Four sessions, one disk for each session with the corresponding amount of digital files and print release… only $575.
As with everything in life, conditions apply so check out wboycephotos.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
Q- I’m pregnant! When should I schedule my maternity and/or newborn session with wendy b photos?
A- This is a two-parter 🙂 Any session is booked by emailing me; email@example.com. We will settle on a date and location, and I’ll send you a contract and invoice 🙂
You’ll want to schedule your maternity session ASAP keeping in mind that I book at least six weeks in advance. Maternity photos are best shot after week 32 but before week 38- you’ll be showing pretty well but not yet so huge that the “I’m so done” mantra has been chanted. You are welcome to book your maternity session as soon as you hit your second trimester, but know that we won’t be shooting until you hit 32w.
Newborn photos *MUST* be shot within the first 14 days or so after birth. Since a good lot of us have no idea when our babies will be born, you will want to schedule your newborn session by the time you are 34w. I put you on my calendar for your due date, then I leave dates open the week before and two weeks after for your session. It is of the utmost importance that you let me know as soon as the baby is born, so we can nail down your exact session date. Doing so can help ensure that the whole family can be available to participate, if you’d like. On-site newborn photos often include siblings and both parents so keep that in mind 🙂
If your baby is born prematurely and requires NICU time, we would resume your full session when you’re all home together.
If you want book maternity photos as well as newborn photos, I offer a Baby Bundle package. The package saves you some money and gets you *14* photos included with your session fee. I strongly recommend the Baby Bundle package. You get more shoot time, more photos, more bang for your buck!
I also offer a Fresh 48 add on to any newborn session, for just $100. It includes 30 minutes of hospital shoot time and *all* the best images for direct download. Total number of images will vary.
**I have been recognized nationally by the photography group I Heart Faces and had my work used as inspirational photos in both the newborn and maternity galleries!**
So, over on Wendy B Photos I shared an article by the amazingly talented Amy Tripple Photography. It’s a list of things photographers want their beloved clients to understand. It’s one of the few times that I thought YES YES YES. I wish I knew how to say this! But then I don’t have to say it, because Amy did it so well. I wanted to talk about #3 on the list.
It hurts my feelings when you joke about my pricing.
When you imply that my prices are getting too high, it feels like you’re saying that my work isn’t worth what you’re paying. I’m quite sensitive about my pricing and it feels incredibly vulnerable to have to put a price on my passion and art. There are so many parts of running a business that I can’t expect you to know about: taxes, a studio, equipment, website fees, a salaried studio manager… these are just a few of the things I’m desperate to tell you about when you make a joke that “this hour had better be amazing because we sure are paying for it…” I can’t, of course, so I try to remember that you probably don’t understand all the costs involved in running a small business and continue on with your session.”
While the above doesn’t happen to me during sessions, it stings when someone inquires about a future shoot and straight away asks, “What do you charge?” or they make comments like “when is your next sale?”; it makes me think that the person doesn’t put any value into the work; they’re only looking for someone who is “cheap” even if that’s not the case at all. I know cost is one of the most important things that potential clients consider, but it should never be the #1 most important. How much do you valueyourphotos? I’m neither the most expensive nor the cheapest person working the block so to speak and I do the best I can to work with families for whom budget is the #1 deal breaker. ** if you are worried that you cannot afford my pricing, TELL ME. If you book out far enough in advance, I can gladly take small payments over time so that you can be paid up in time for your session**
I do *everything* I can to provide professional, affordable portraits be they family, maternity, newborns, etc. I do NOT believe that professional and personal photography should be a luxury only the wealthy can afford. There are a lot of people who could never afford to spend $400, $500, $1000 on photos. Does that make them less deserving? I don’t think so.
Does that mean that other photographers need to lower their pricing? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Each one of us sets our pricing in line to where it should to be for our specific needs. None of us will have the same pricing structure, even if we’re located in the same zip code. What works for one of us will likely NOT work for another.
I am priced as low as I can be, while still being able to cover my costs of doing business and as any other small business owner can attest, it’s not cheap doing business. There are times when I need to increase my price, or my product pricing but I have done and will continue to do everything I can to make professional photos available to as many people as possible.
I can’t thank my clients enough for being understanding of the ways in which I operate my business ❤ ❤
**UPDATE! I got my physical copy and omg. I love it. It is available for purchase, and you can order one HERE!!
Ho boy… so exciting for me!! In early June, I was approached by the wonderful people at Pretty Presets for Lightroom and told that they wanted to feature me and a few other photographers in their brand-spankin-new photography magazine and resource guide called PRETTY. After I picked myself up off the floor and everyone’s ears had stopping ringing from all my screaming, I sent over three photos I love (absolutely the hardest decision I’ve had to make in a long time) and a bit of information about me and the wait began.
The first resource guide was published July 7th and you can get yours *FREE* for a limited time as a digital download. There is a boat-load of information in the magazine for photographers and mom-togs alike. You can order a hard copy as well, for a small fee. I downloaded the digital version and wow. I can’t wait for the physical version to get here! Download your copy HERE; you know you want to see what photos I chose 😉
I am so honored and my mind is 100% blown away by this. Thank you so much for the amazing feature and *awesome* resource guide Amy, Gayle, and Laura! I love what I get to do, I love the people I get to help in the “pretty” group, I love all the things I learn being active in the community. So lucky 😀