Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our new ranch enterprise

We are in the sheep business! It's a little bit of an experiment so we will see how it goes... Here are few photos of our new sheep and lambs...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The morning after...

I had to go clean up the studio the morning after my grand opening party and the kids came along to "help." I think they just wanted breakfast from McDonalds....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ribbon Cutting at the Studio

The Fortuna Chamber of Commerce did a ribbon cutting at my studio this afternoon..... Andy and Abigail are out of town (more on that later) and J.T. was at school. My parents were there and Sandi took a few pictures for me.....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Studio Grand Opening

The Studio Grand Opening went really well. We had about 30 ladies come and I was very happy with that. Here are a few of the photos that I took....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Press release

The Humboldt Beacon published a press release about my business in today's paper.... check it out HERE.

Choosing a photographer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great birthday!

I had a really great birthday.... I really appreciate the phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, and cards I received. Here are a couple of my favorite Facebook messages...

"Happy Birthday daughter. 36 years ago was a wonderful blessed day for your dad and I. Thnx for making us a family. Have a great celebration. Love, M&D"

Happy birthday to you Sarah. Loved you from Day 1 when we visited you and your mom in the hospital. You were such a cute little baby and have grown into a beautiful talented woman. Al & Bunny"

I started the morning with a fun breakfast with Connie, Brandie, and Shawna (Sandi, we missed you!). And they gave me a gift certificate to Adorn..... my favorite purse and shoe store! Andy and I decided not to exchange gifts this year because we are taking a little get-away next week. We are super excited about that!

My mom took me to lunch and let me know my gift would be waiting when we check in at our hotel. Andy and the kids took me out for dinner. J.T. insisted on getting the owner to play his guitar and sing "Happy Birthday" for me.

It was one of my favorite birthdays.....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New website

I finally got my new website up! Check it out HERE.

Basketball team....

We were able to get a quick team picture of J.T.'s basketball team at the last game...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Basketball is done...

We finished up JT's basketball season this past Saturday.... it sure went by fast.

Now we are onto baseball.... if it ever stops raining.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Prayer request

I am requesting prayers for a close friend of my sister's. She needs all the help she can get right now. Carrie Dunn Penchuck was diagnosed with cancer in early December. She's been through a huge ordeal thus far. Her blog story is here. Thank you so much.

Mission Statement- Sarah Albin Photography

I am in business to help my clients get beautiful artwork on their walls showing off their family and to help them create a keepsake for generations to come. I love to show interaction between family members and share exciting ways to show off their photos.

It is very important to share my talent in the community where I raise my family by photographing children, families, seniors and weddings here. I want my clients so thrilled with their experience that they want to share it with all their family and friends.

I will continue to educate myself in both the business and technical side of photography in order to best serve my clients.

Monday, March 7, 2011

WPPI post #4

The WPPI trade show was such an amazing experience. Talk about a big toy store for photographers! At the recommendation of people who had been there before, I set a budget and made a list of things I wanted to check out. One thing that I have been looking for is a different type of website. I have had some issues with mine and I know that some clients have had trouble ordering.

I picked up information about several different type of websites while I was at the trade show. I played with their trial versions when I got home. In the end, I decided to stay with my website company but switch to a different type of site. I am in the process of getting it all set up now. I will post a link when it goes "live."

I picked up lots of samples and info about new products. I ordered some things and they should be here soon. I am excited to show them to my clients.

One change I am making is instead of online ordering, the client and I will have an appointment after the photo session so I can help them order. It will be fun for me to show off some new products and hopefully I can help my clients figure out what they need to show off their beautiful families.

That's it for today.....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

WPPI #3... and a little complaint.

Several WPPI speakers talked about the importance of being involved in your community. One of the ways they suggested is being supportive of the fundraising that is going on around us. They suggested donating items to auctions as a way to do that, which in addition helps get our name out in the community.

I have done this several times since I started my business a couple of years ago. And I am always happy to donate to a cause that I believe in.

Lately, though, I have had some not-so-positive experiences with that. Just last week I was asked to donate to a local fundraiser here. I am not going to mention the organization's name because I am not trying to bad-mouth it. This is what happened: someone on their committee asked me to make a donation. I offered to donate a gift card. This person thought that was a great idea and also suggested I put up a photo for display. I was happy to do that. She told me where the event was being held and when the committee would be setting up. She said I could drop off my donation and my display. On Friday, I *tried* to do that. When I arrived, one of the committee members basically said they didn't have time to deal with my donation and turned me away. And as some sort of consolation, she said, "Oh maybe you can donate to our next event."

I was in shock. I have helped with enough fundraising events where you are asking community members and local businesses for something, that you just don't turn donations away. And, more importantly, you don't treat local business people like that. I don't even know the person's name that I dealt with, but it was completely rude and unprofessional.

I donated three $100 gift cards to an event last May for the winner, 1st runner up, and 2nd runner up. That was 10 months ago and not one of the gift cards has been used. It is natural for me to want to take it personally, but that isn't really what bothers me. If any business is kind enough to donate to a cause/organization/event, the receiver of the donation should really try to use it.

I am not sure if other businesses have had experiences like this. It will unfortunately make small business owners, like myself, question whether we should donate to community events in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WPPI post #2

One of the things the WPPI speakers kept asking, is "Why are you a photographer?" I have given this a lot of thought in the week that we've been home. I figured that this question, or rather the answers to it, would make a good mission statement for my business. I have been listing, in random order, some of these things.... once I get it all in some semblance of order, I will post it here.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the phrases I heard at WPPI that impacted me:

*Think BIG, or stay home!

*It's your image at stake! (in more ways than one...)

*Customers want choices

*Everyone is looking for something unique

*Exceed client expectations!

*Just ask!

*Put value on yourself

*Love your products (or get different/new ones!)

*It's not just about the portrait on the wall, it's about the interaction, emotions, relationships and memories

*Put your phone number on your home page

*Stop comparing yourself to others! Just be YOU!

I am sure there are more. These things really made me think.... Feel free to share (in the comments) any phrases that have made you think lately....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WPPI post #1

I have so many things swirling around in my head that I am having a hard time getting my thoughts organized for a blog post about what I learned at WPPI last week. I want to write about each speaker that I heard and how they impacted me... and hopefully I will get to that.

Overall, what had the biggest impact on me was the common theme that most of the speakers incorporated into their presentations. This was that I needed to face my fears and not let the one person that was standing in my way keep me from pursuing my dreams. That one person was/is me.

When I was growing up, my Dad always told me, "you can do anything you set your mind to." While I believed him, I didn't truly set my mind to pursuing this photography business. Yes, I was in business. Yes, I was doing photography. Yes, I had returning clients. But was I really putting my whole heart into it? No. And why is that? I truly believe the top reason is one of fear. Fear of sales, fear of failure, and even fear of success. I know it doesn't make much sense, but I guess I have been conflicted for a while.

This WPPI convention has given me the kick in the butt to move forward and really pursue my dream. Will everyone love my work? No. Will everyone want to be my customer? No. Will I do everything perfectly. Of course not. But will I be on the path to making my dream a reality? YES I WILL!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way and will continue to support me....