Saturday, March 27, 2010

ABC's of Friendship

ABC's of Friendship

(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in "you"
(C)alls you just to say "HI"
(D)oesn't give up on you
(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over
(J)ust "be" with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life
(N)ever Judges
(O)ffers support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits
(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you
(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains things you don't understand
(Y)ells when you won't listen and
(Z)aps you back to reality

-Unknown

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2 down, 1 to go

We had our biggest branding of the year yesterday and everything went well. The weather was a little windier that I would've liked, but that's okay. I was able to try out my new camera and it was awesome! I can't wait to use it some more. Here are a few....

Our 3rd annual group shot...

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A few action shots...

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I don't know what's going on here, but I love this shot!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

35

Yesterday was my birthday. Last year I wrote about 34 things that happened on my birthday. I am not sure if I can think of 35 things that happened this year, but I will try.

1.The kids insisted on wrapping my gifts first thing in the morning, rather than getting dressed and ready for school (aka we were running late).

2. After I took the kids to school, I met my mom for coffee at Starbucks.

3. My mom treated for coffee and breakfast! Thanks Mom!

4. My dad called and wished me a happy birthday while we were at Starbucks.

5. I received lots of nice Facebook messages wishing me a Happy Birthday.

6. I went to Eureka to do some shopping and have some quiet time to myself.

7. I bought a cool photography lighting book at Borders that I can't wait to read.

8. I had a $10 off certificate at Victorias Secret so I bought some yummy smelling bath stuff.

9. I bought my niece some adorable boots for her birthday... not till September.

10. One of the highlights of my day was lunch with my long-time friend, Sara. (Thanks for the gift too!)

11. We went to Hurricane Kate's in Old Town Eureka for lunch and it was Sara's treat!

12. I had a orange drop martini which was pretty tasty (and strong!)

13. They gave me a free dessert since it was my birthday. I picked the creme brulee.

14. I received several phone calls wishing me happy one. Thanks to Mary, Alison, Pam, Aunt Karen, and Kristen.

15. I left Eureka a little late and knew I wouldn't make it back to school to pick up J.T. He rode the bus and I picked him up at Crystal's.

16. I took a nap!

17. Andy brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers designed by Jamie Hindley.

18. My mom, Sandi, and her kids came over to watch me open gifts about 5:00.

19. I really wasn't very excited about opening gifts because Andy and Sandi had been teasing me that I was getting a stripper pole.

20. I got a stripper pole.

21. The pole is really a piece of stainless pipe that Andy borrowed to play this joke on me.... and it's going back where it came from!

22. To compliment the stripper pole, I got some other interesting items to wear.

23. Everyone thought this was quite funny.... except for me.

24. I also got a cute pink winter jacket that I had seen when Andy and I were shopping for boots.

25. Andy tried to convince me that those were all my presents.

26. In order to try to make me happy, Andy and Sandi decided they would let me open my "real" gifts.

27. Andy scored some bonus points by getting me a new camera (Canon 5D Mark II) and a new flash (Canon 580EX II). Sandi got me two different diffusers that fit my new flash.

28. The four of us, Sandi and her kids went to the Scotia Inn Pub to try it out since none of us had been there.

29. It's a good thing it wasn't full because the kids were a little loud and fidgety.

30. The kids played "Happy Birthday" on the jukebox for me.

31. The food was really good.

32. We didn't have dessert but that was just fine with me, because I was stuffed!

33. I got the battery charging for my new camera when we got home so I could try it out.

34. I wasn't crazy about turning 35, but now that I am here, it's fine.

35. The celebration will continue on Sunday with my parents and Andy's parents.

Well I made it..... it was not easy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baby girl!

I had the pleasure of doing newborn photos for little miss Clara on Wednesday. Isn't she adorable! And thanks to Sandi for being my helper.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We survived!

*I got this in an email from my friend Amy from Utah...*

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant..

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this..

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon... we drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight... WHY?

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the
streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.. WE HAD FRIENDS! And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes..

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others
who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, send this to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why are Professional Photographers so expensive?

This article was published in the December 2009 edition of Professional Photographer Magazine.

In this digital age where everyone has cameras, scanners, and home "photo printers," we hear this all the time: How do professional (or personal) photographers charge $X for an 8x10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drugstore? Simply put, the customer is not just paying for the actual photograph; they're paying for time and expertise.

The average one-hour portrait session

First, let's look at the actual work involved:

  • Travel to the session
  • Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
  • Shoot the photos
  • Travel from the session
  • Load images onto a computer
  • Back up the files on an external drive
  • 2 - 4 hours of Adobe® Photoshop® time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs. Proof photos are also ordered.
  • 2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment, and ship.
  • Possibly meet clients at the studio to review photos and place order. Meeting and travel time average 2 hours.

You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal photographer charging a $200 session fee for a one-hour photo shoot, the client is NOT paying them $200 per hour.

The eight-hour wedding

A wedding photographer typically meets with the bride and groom several times before and after the wedding. And it’s not uncommon to end up with 1,000 - 2,000 photos, much more than a portrait session. Many photographers spend 40-60 hours working on one eight-hour wedding if you look at the time that is truly involved. Again, when a wedding photographer charges $4,000 for eight hours of coverage, clients are NOT paying them $500 an hour!

(Don’t forget that the photographer runs the wedding day to some extent. A comfortable, confident wedding photographer can make a wedding day go more smoothly.)

The expertise and cost of doing business

Shooting professional photography is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though a DSLR now costs under $1,000, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most personal photographers take years to go from buying their first camera to making money with photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website, etc. And don’t forget backdrops, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc!

In addition to the financial investment, photographers actually need to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill by itself. You could argue that posing is a more important skill than actually knowing how to use the camera. A poorly exposed photo can be saved, but a badly posed photo cannot.

The chain store photo studio

Chain stores do have their place. For a very cheap price you can run in, shoot some quick photos, and be done with it. But you get what you pay for.

Consider the time and effort that a personal photographer puts into photographs, compared to a chain store. Store sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.

The truth is that many chain store studios lose money. In fact, Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios in 2007 because of the financial drain. What the chain stores bank on is a client coming in for quick, cheap photos…and while there, spending $200 on other items. They are there to get you in the door.

The real deal

Professional, personal photographers are just that—professionals. No different than a mechanic, dentist, doctor, or electrician. But a personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal photographs of cherished memories.

Maybe we need to help clients look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the drugstore. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair.

The added attention and quality that a personal photographer gives is worth every penny.

Conclusion

We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs, created by a Personal Photographer, are so expensive.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

He's here!

Welcome Ian Lane Victorine born today at 11:40 am! Congrats to Clint, Christina and big brothers Isaac and Evan! Isn't he adorable?!

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Life

Thought for the day....

"Life is a grindstone. But whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on what we are made of." - Josh Billings

Last basketball games

On Saturday, the kids finished up their basketball season. Here are a few photos that I took at each of their games...

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Today

I had a fun, interesting day today. In the afternoon, I took the kids to a birthday party at Healthsport. Then Sandi and I headed to the Bridal Faire at the Blue Lake Casino. We wanted to do a little scouting and check out our competition for wedding photography. We ran into one of our June brides there and chatted with her a little.

For paying $5 to get into the Bridal Faire, we received $10 in credits to use in the casino. I am not much of a gambler but it's a little more fun when you are playing with someone else's money! We played for less than 10 minutes and I walked away with $90! Not too bad....

We stopped in Eureka to do a little shopping and then headed home. When I got home, we started on Abigail's oral report project that she's doing tomorrow. She is going to tell her class how to make "Chocolate Scotcheroos." We made them and took photos along the way (Pioneer Woman style) to make a poster showing the steps.

Now it's time for bed....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Honestly....

It really bothers me when someone says, "Your camera takes such nice pictures." Seriously? Do you really think the camera does all the work? The above statement will offend most serious photographers. Would you tell a baker that their oven makes a great cake? Most likely not. Is this a little bee in my bonnet? Yes, actually it is.

I have spent countless hours learning, reading, practicing, practicing and practicing some more. And I will continue to do so for as long as I have an interest in photography. I don't think you can ever stop learning, especially with all the changes in technology.

Okay, vent over.... Thanks!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

4-H Spaghetti Feed

The kids are selling tickets for the 4-H Spaghetti Feed coming up on Sunday, March 28 from 4-8 pm at the Fortuna Veterans Hall. If you are interested in supporting a great local event, let me know and we will get you some tickets. Adults are $7, kids are $4, and under 4 are free!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Today

Do you want to know what I did today? Well I'm going to tell you anyway....

*Took the kids to school.

*Went to the Ferndale Childrens Center to drop off the money that I counted from Saturday night's fundraiser. We made about $12,000 which will benefit the center greatly.

*Did some errands around Fortuna.

*Designed and ordered some new business cards for Sarah Albin Photography.

*Had lunch with Andy at Eel River Brewery.

*Paid some bills. I can't believe it's March 1st already!

*Took a 3 mile walk.

Here's what I have left to do today...

*Pick up kids.

*Figure out something for dinner. Have some leftover chicken to use up so I will probably do something with that.

*Have a 4-H meeting at 7:00.

*Get the kids bathed and ready for bed.

*Watch "The Bachelor" finale.

*Get ready for tomorrow.....

Thanks for checking in...