Feb 16, 2012

OK, that title may be a little misleading.  🙂  I don’t have any actual behind-the-scenes photos to show you, but I did want to give a little glimpse into what all goes on from the time you book a session with me until you receive your finished art pieces.  Someone mentioned to me the other day, “I had no idea how much post-production was involved after a session…” and it’s true, most people don’t have an understanding of exactly what all goes on to make a professional custom photography session – and the resulting portraits, albums, and other heirloom pieces – happen.  So without further ado, here’s a peek into one of my custom sessions:

Pre-booking conversations and answering questions (either by email or phone), preparing Photography Agreement, preparing PayPal invoice for session fee:  1 hour

Session planning (figuring out location and pose ideas):  1  hour MINIMUM

Preparing equipment for session (clearing and formatting cards, charging batteries, cleaning lenses):  1/2 hour

Travel time to and from session:  1 hour

(Did y’all notice that this is THREE HOURS before I’ve even picked up a camera to shoot your session???)

Shooting time:  1.5 hours

Post processing:  copying and backing up images (twice), importing into editing software, deciding which ones are keepers, color correcting and light retouching on the keepers:  time varies widely depending on how much retouching is needed, but on average, 3-4 hours

Preparing for presentation session:  preparing slide show and samples to show you, gathering all materials:  1 hour

Travel to and from presentation session:  1 hour (average)

Presentation session:  1.5  hours (average)

Preparing ordered images for printing (final retouching and cropping on all ordered images), and ordering from lab:  varies depending on amount of images ordered, can be anywhere from 1-4 hours

Checking and packaging orders received from lab:  1/2 hour

Travel time to and from post office and waiting in line (for shipped orders):  1 hour

Whew!  So there you have it!  When you book a session with me, you receive around 15 hours of my time, from start to finish, which is one reason why custom photography is more expensive than running down to the mall.  But, when all is said and done and you have beautiful imagery gracing the walls (or tables) of your home, you will be glad you made the investment to preserve this moment in time for your baby, child, high school senior, or family.


Feb 09, 2012

Some days, it hits me just how lucky I am.  When our son was born six years ago, I desperately wanted to stay home with him, but like many families, it just wasn’t financially possible for us.  I was fortunate enough to work at the church where I had been a lifelong member, and had a wonderful then-college student (Hi, Nanny Katie!) taking care of him part-time and I was able to work part-time from home.  I had kind of set myself up to accept the fact that I would be working full-time throughout our kids’ childhoods.  But somehow, we managed to arrange things so that just after he turned two, I moved into a part-time role with the Lutheran bishop’s office doing Event Planning – working part-time, mostly from home, with much fewer nights and weekends spent working.  I am so grateful to do meaningful work with fantastic people while being able to spend some mornings doing little things like going to the library.  Although when combined with the photography business, I think I am pretty much back to working full time – my hours are just structured a little differently!  🙂

So here’s to appreciating the little things in life – which sometimes turn out to be life’s biggest things.