Archive for the ‘Tips & Tidbits’ Category

With fall sessions booking up quickly, I’m getting a lot of questions about what to wear for a session. I mean, that is probably the biggest thing people stress about and I completely understand that. Once it’s in print it’s, like, F.O.R.E.V.E.R and can never be changed, right? Well, there are several rules of thumb – no large logos, no loud prints, coordinating, but not matching, outfits, etc… Some people ignore these tips (please don’t HA!) and some get so concerned that they go uber-conservative (think white shirt and khakis). So, I thought I’d give you a visual to work with. Having a visual idea of what looks nice together helps a lot, at least for me – I’m a very visual person though.

Basically, pick a neutral (denim is also a neutral in this case) and then add a couple of accent colors that will compliment each other and use variations of those colors with the family members. Use the 3 color rule – it’s best to limit the bolder colors to 3.

Of course, when in doubt, just contact me, but hopefully these ideas will help you!






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Sweet Caroline Photo: Wow! This is awesome!

eyeshadow cosmetics: Give thanks to you for such a helpful webpage. Where else could one get this sort of advice published in such a fantastic way? I have a business presentation that I am at the moment working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

I was actually surprised by this! 


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Robby G: So would this be the same results for camcorders? Film camcorders are so much more expensive than lets say the Canon XL2.. so lets say if they create a camera that is digital that will outperform the film camera for camcorders than anyone would be able to create massive features for a very low price.

admin: I have no idea. Don't know anything about film cameras. :)

Nahuel: Podolgo vreme One imaat odlichna pduona. Verojatno najdobar odnos kvalitet/cena. Ama ova so cena za vospostavuvanje povik im e najglupo neshto shto go napravile. Sami si se vrakjaat od percepcija na operator koj raboti bez skrieni troshoci (i reklami imaa so koja gi trolaa T-Mobile i Vip) vo standarden operator. Tapa poteg. That's the perfect insight in a thread like this.

auto insurance: That's not even 10 minutes well spent!

Rendi: You've really helped me unasnetdrd the issues. Thanks.

I find that I get this question asked of me and thought it might be worth posting about!  I found an excellent resource at so be sure to go there to read more!  In the meantime, I’ll go over a few excerpts!

What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience (as in THE experience). Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of the next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities. Often the images are fully edited images that are color corrected with blemishes and under-eye circles removed, and often have creative additions such as color pops, special black & white conversions, textures, vignettes, etc., to give a truly customized look. Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart.

Custom photography should have you, the client, and your experience in mind.

Custom photography is more of a luxury than your cookie cutter chain experience.  Custom photography, truly, is not for everyone.  It requires a level of commitment, investment in time and money, forethought and planning on the part of the subject/client and requires a larger time commitment for the photographer as well.

Clients who enjoy taking a more active role in the creation of their families’ memories have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized.  These more discerning clients have been known to budget and allot time for a custom photography session.  Many clients opt for it to be a once a year special experience, and some opt to have custom photography sessions done to record their child’s stages in life.  Having said this, it is clear that custom photography is not in everyone’s budget – it is something that most families save for to splurge on from time to time to memorialize their children as they really are. 

Why does custom photography cost more? 

I took this from the same website as above and it’s very accurate!

Approaching it from a time standpoint, for instance let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love and that is traveling to your on-location session.  Time break down:

  • session prep time (30 min – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks, battery charging,- vehicle checks)
  • 30min – one hour travel time TO session
  • 15-30 minutes prep time at location
  • 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
  • 30 min – one hour travel time FROM session
  • 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
  • 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
  • 1-2 hours in pre-editing (color balance, image prioritization, converting to editable image format)
  • 4-8 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
  • 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
  • 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
  • 1 hour sorting through and checking order
  • 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
  • 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped/delivered
  • any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

As you can see, average client time for a session ranges from just over 14 hours to 19 hours.  This is time dedicated only to your session.  When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 14-19 hours complete time for your session. 

So as you can see, photographers don’t really make much money on session fees.  They make their money on the prints.  Now that doesn’t mean they are getting your prints at the local chain store.  They get their prints from professional labs, on the best papers, with all the bells and whistles available to them (special mountings, coatings, textures, special papers, etc.)  These labs frequently calibrate their machines and only use qualified technicians who know how to get the print colors accurately represented each and every time.  Most of these labs have minimum print orders, which is why many studios have a minimum print orders (even on re-orders).

So, the bottom line is that every single time you see a custom photographer, they are investing their time and talent in to YOU and your family!  It’s an investment that will hopefully result in the purchase of the beautiful prints that were created especially for you to treasure forever!

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Allen Taylor: Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road. Allen Taylor

» Tulsa senior, child, family, lifestyle photographer. » Blog … »Digital Photography: [...] Digital photography by unknown [...]

Why buy a collection?

August 11, 2008

I know that some people get a little overwhelmed when it comes to buying images from a photo shoot.  Many times people think they only need a couple of 8×10’s and a few gift prints, which makes narrowing down the image selection really difficult!  Many people ask me if I have ideas on how people can use the images from our shoots and/or how to display them.  Here are a few tips and some illustrations to show some grouping ideas!

1.  Measure.  You need to know where you want your images to go before you make your image selections so you know how much room you have.  Once you know where the images are going to go, measure the space so you know how much room you have to work with.  Popular areas for images are above sofa, above fire place, in hallway, along staircase wall, and above bed in bedroom(s).  You can make your own ‘photo wall’ by taking a section of a large wall and filling it with images. This breaks up a wall ‘visually’ and creates a mini-room where you can group furniture to make a more intimate space.

2.  You almost always need larger than you think.  One rule of decorating is that a small print on a large wall is dwarfed by the wall.  An image needs to take up at 30%-50% of the space you’re using the image on in order for it to have impact.  If you prefer smaller images, consider filling up the space with groupings of images instead of one large image.

3.  Keep the visual focus as close to eye level as possible.  You will have a lot more impact if you display your images this way.

4.  Remember framing.  Don’t forget to include the size of your frame when you are figuring your order.  If you prefer your photographs with mats, you’ll have to consider that as well.  I now offer framing services so be sure to inquire before you shop for frames!

5.  Balance.  Balance is not the same as symmetry.  You can have balance without being symmetrical, and in fact, non-symmetrical groupings are more visually appealing than symmetrical ones. 

Here are some visual examples so you can see what I’m talking about!   

I used some of my collection packages as examples of groupings, but you can make up your own collection, of course!  These are to scale using an 8ft x 8ft space for reference and 2 inch frames on each image. 

This is the Simplicity Collection:


This is the Memories Collection.  Not as many images here, but a 16×20 Fine Art Gallery wrap is included in this package.


This is an example of a large Gallery Wrap Canvas on a wall with a 6 ft sofa.  Nice, clean look but with impact.  Notice that even though it’s a large image, it doesn’t overwhelm the space.


This is our Master Collection.  There are (2) 5×7’s not shown that are also included.  You need a couple of images for gifts, right??  The Master Collection also includes a DVD slideshow of all final session images.  By upgrading to the Ultimate Collection, you also get a High Resolution Image CD with a signed photo release so you can get reprints up to 8×10 of your session images. 


I hope you find these tips helpful!   And remember, I’m always available for questions so be sure to ask!

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Dawn: I love this!!! I am a visual person so this is great!