I met up with three beautiful young girls to take pictures like this…
…all in an effort to create my newest venture…
Everyday we create moments that deserve to be captured. Birthday parties are prime opportunities to create those memories for your daughters and sons. I am now available to document both themed and traditional birthday parties. My packages are reasonable and offer the ability to provide a unique birthday party experience for everyone! Spread the word and contact me soon to book your fun and fantastic event!
love (the fun times in life),
It’s the first Friday of February. Holy smokes. We’re almost two months into 2011 already. I’ve been married 90 days at the end of this month. It’s amazing how time can fly. This being said, it’s high time I put my goals in writing for this year. Last year I didn’t declare any goals and I’m so grateful for that. You see, last year was a freak year. It was one of those years that can only happen once in a lifetime…thank God. For this reason, I wasn’t truly able to devote myself entirely to my business…way too much happened that I was barely able to keep my head above water. Enter the end of the year, and the decision to go full-time with my photography business was the right thing to do in both mine and Jeff’s hearts. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, we knew there would be a lot of sacrifices to make, we knew it was exactly what I needed to do.
Among the calamity of 2010, I did manage to do a few things that rank high in my list of personal photography accomplishments. Truly, they are what helped me catapult my business and fine-tune the more detailish aspects in the year 2011.
My accomplishments of 2010
1. Building a brand – this was monumental in terms of identifying where I belong in this world of photography. It’s difficult being one among thousands. When I made the decision to build my brand around love in it’s truest form – the heart – I found home. From my photo icon to my business cards to the way I speak…it’s all about the love baby. When I was in college a woman told me that my greatest strength was knowing how to “love hard.” As I grew older, gained new friendships and solidified old ones, I heard it from their mouths too. Many years later, I acknowledge that I’m a lover. It’s who I am. Sure, I can be funny, I can be spunky, I can be eccentric. Ultimately…in my truest form…I am a lover. It was the right thing to do to base my business around who I am.
2. One word. RAW. Since I began the use of this early on in 2010, I have never looked back. Hands down, withoutadoubt, one of the best decisions I have ever made.
3. Leaping into Lightroom – a huge squeezey hug has to go out to my friend and fellow Photographer, Becky Z, for this transition. The very first time I met her, she asked if I used Lightroom and then kicked me straight in the proverbial rump for not using it. I should also mention she transitioned me to the use of RAW at this same time…all credit goes to her. The great thing about Lightroom is that I have been able to actually see my images differently in-camera as a result of the investment. I know it sounds backwards, but knowing what I’m capable of doing with Lightroom in the way of light manipulation assisted me in making a conscious effort to use it less. I’m sure someone out there understands me on that one.
4. Manual flash. Holy awesomeness. To say the least, I was very intimidated by my external flash. So much in the sense that I avoided using it for nine months after purchasing it. Once I gained access into understanding manual flash, I was better equipped for low-light situations like wedding receptions, and felt more at ease doing specialized portraits that required the use of a flash.
5. Thanks to the amazing Jasmine Star, I have become more aware of my surroundings. Natural reflectors are crucial to taking well-lit pictures…that is…if you want to play hard and work less…which I do! It’s not essential to use natural reflectors such as windows, mirrors and whitewashed buildings to naturally light the faces of your clients…but it does help shorten the process of post-processing. Being an action person and not so much an edit person, this was something I wanted to know more about. So…I learned it…and I learned it good. I found that red walls don’t make for a good reflector but make for a great background. I found that taking the wall-mounted mirror off a client’s wall and placing it directly across from a window immediately lights up a baby’s face and leaves a pristine image in-camera. Thanks Jasmine. 🙂
6. Thorough contracts. I can’t express enough how helpful it has been to have several pairs of eyes review my contracts and on top of that a few pairs of legal eyes do a glance-over as well. I’m by no means a lawyer (though sometimes I think I was in another life with the way I’m all “technically…that’s blahblahblah” about stuff) so it was definitely one of those business items that’s worth the investment.
My goals for 2011
1. Nothing frustrated me more in 2010 than not having a fast turnaround for my clients after a session. With working 40+ hours at another job and trying to find time to edit without losing important family time as a result, I found myself constantly struggling to create a happy work/life balance. With the ability to go full-time, I have more motivation and time to dedicate to editing for a more efficient turnaround. I have already heard great things from recurrent clients who were already happy with the products they received but found themselves anxiously waiting in the past in upwards of six weeks for images – to experience a turnaround that was within two weeks from their session date was exciting for them and exhilarating for me. In giving myself a two-week turnaround on all images I have found that I’m more organized and better defined in my workflow to be, ultimately, as efficient as possible and super-satisfying to my clients.
2. A five-day send out of products. This goes in stride with the two-week turnaround. After the images were uploaded to a gallery for clients and their orders submitted, it used to be difficult for me to get to a post office during the day to mail off packages because of the hours I worked at my full-time job. The trouble was two-fold — each package needed to be weighed and the grocery stores where they had USPS capability couldn’t put tracking confirmation on packages because they were too close to a federal post office. This left Saturday’s available to go to the post office, but only between the hours of 8 and 12. For those who are weekend Photographers, you all know this to be prime.session.time. Quite the pickle I found myself in at times. With my newfound time, the ability to have a faster turnaround time for product is much easier. Thank you God for the gift of hope that gave me the ability to quit my non-Photography job.
3. Invest in kid-friendly props. Preferably, I would like to figure out how to make certain camera-buddies such as an owl, frog or monkey. Additionally, I have found that I always end up with a rattle or squeaky toy in my hand during in-home sessions to alert the babes to look in a certain direction. Being an on-location Photographer, and knowing that parents can forget things in the midst of “put child in their car seat, pack an extra outfit in case of a blowout, don’t forget the bink” mode, I want to have a small bag of tricks for the kiddies in case their favorite rattle gets forgotten in the shuffle of life.
4. Focus on the details. I want to avoid just capturing the moment and relish in capturing the story of that moment.
5. Less, but quality, photos to clients. I’m no longer that Photographer that takes 1000 photos in a one hour session. I’ve become more selective in my photography technique and as a result have found I take much better pictures with that challenge. Even as my photographic eye has become more selective, I still find I’m in abundance of great images at times. In my experience, it can be overwhelming to a family to receive 30 great pictures — they don’t know where to begin in printing or canvasing one image as a staple in their home. I want to make that decision easier for them.
6. Develop proper pricing and amazing packages. This goal goes hand-in-hand with goal #5, as the reduction of photos will allow clients a more comfortable opportunity to select the images they truly want to own. I find it valuable that clients own their images – they’re not my pictures to keep – they’re the clients pictures to memorialize. I will still continue to include digital images in every package I offer…things will just be a tad different and much less complicated. I have worked endless hours in front of a Netflix movie (or five) fine-tuning my packages and pricing guides to offer a selection that is competitive with my market and still within a reasonable budget for my client base. It’s a very exciting part of this years goals…for me anyways! 🙂
7. The greatest takeaway I have from starting my photography business are the friendships I have made. I sit here today holding some of my clients very close to my heart as true friends. Without a doubt, though, the strongest friendships I have forged are with fellow Photographers. The photography business is competitive – duh. While moving upwards towards my dream, I found there to be some dream squashers and downright mean people. When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s important that you have a strong foundation of encouragement and love surrounding you…a clan of superheros of you will…to help extinguish the haters. Oh yes…there will be haters. As a Christian, I felt the call to organize a clan of Jesus-lovin’ superheros. After many conversations with fellow Photographer friend Chris about the need to have others around us who love God, the timing felt right and so formed Collective Faith. Bashfully, I contacted fellow east-coaster Katelyn James and she so graciously took some time to provide direction and encouragement to little ol’ God-lovin’ me about the upstart of a Facebook-based organization. Here’s to the opportunity for amazing blessings through this group in 2011.
8. After learning about manual flash in 2010, I am eager to create a project solely based around external flash-work. I have no specifics…and no real idea at the moment of what I intend to do…but something to allow me more time with this amazing accessory will be done this year.
This is the longest blog post I’ve ever written. It’s like, the combination of about thirty of my last blog posts. Pblthhhhh…it’s my blog. 🙂
While Jeff and I anxiously await our wedding pictures, we have taken steps to ensure we share the beauty of those images with those we care about. As Christmas gifts to our awesome Momma’s, we printed gift certficates, good for one wedding album each. Additionally, we haven’t sent our thank you’s for our wedding gifts and cards because we intend to send pictures to everyone as well. I am making notes of where in our home we will frame and hang pictures and I already know for certain, on our coffee table, there will be a leather-bound album full of the small details and the grande events which took place on November 26th.
So often I hear of couples who purchase a CD of their wedding images and only go as far as printing a few 5×7’s of their favorites and…wait for it…posting their pictures on Facebook. The notion of printing and binding these memories in albums for yourself and loved ones went the way of the dodo in so many ways as digital imagery and social networking have evolved over the years.
As a Photographer and recent bride, I encourage you to consider investing in albums. Don’t just pack up your CD to collect dust in a box…lay out those beautiful images cover to cover and allow yourself, your guests and your family an opportunity to re-live your wedding day as they turn the pages. You spent so much time planning the small details and stressing over those things you now laugh about but appreciate…show them off. Share your story through imagery…you deserve it.
I love the vendor I work with for my prints and specialty products, MPixPro. Their albums are leather-bound gorgeousness…
I never thought I’d enjoy creating the insides of these albums…but I DO!
The full-page spreads are to die for…
I’ll say it over and over again…bind your memories.
Bind your memories.
Bind your memories.
…and have a happy Tuesday. 🙂
love (seeing love come to life in albums),
Its the middle of January…and it’s cold. What better way to warm me up than to warm up my heart with a winter giveaway!
What I’m giving away….oooohweeee I’m excited!
- 1 Free Session
- 20-30 images on CD of printing capability up to an 8×12 size
- Those same 20-30 images, web-sized, to share with your friends and family
- An additional 20% discount off any products that are ordered
Are you lovin’ it? I hope so. This is going to be fantastic!!!!
Here are the rules…
- Session does not include weddings or boudoir sessions
- Giveaway cannot be applied towards existing contracted sessions
- Session must be done within my 30-mile radius. **If you’re an out-of-towner, you can still enter the giveaway and, if you win, either travel to good ol’ Kansas or re-gift your session to a family or friend of your choice who lives closer!!**
- Session has to be completed by February 28th…it is a winter giveaway!
And finally…how to enter the giveaway…it’s SOOOOO easy!
- Comment on this post, sharing why you want to win.
- For a second chance to win, become a fan of my Facebook page and comment back here that you’ve done so. Already a fan? Awesome! Just re-comment and tell me that!
- For a third chance to win, follow me on Twitter and comment back here that you’ve done so. Already following me? You’re the coolest – just re-comment and tell me that!
So…there you have it. Now…get movin’…this giveaway ends on Monday, January 17th!!!!
love (giving back to you),
Oh yeah. It’s going to be hotness. Super fun, giggly, smiley, sexy hotness.
My new boudoir extension…Sexy Skivvies and Lovely Unmentionables…I’m so stoked. I’ve been playing around with this notion for awhile, did a bunch of free sessions to see if it was something I was 1. really interested in and 2. was good at. Check and check.
A couple things about this extension of my business you’ll see…or rather…you won’t see. I believe in keeping your goods privatized…they won’t be seen on here nor will they be seen on an additional blog as I don’t have the time (or patience) to maintain upkeep. Who will see the images? You will. The client. My own husband doesn’t even venture into the office when I’m sassifying a bare-naked chickey…there’s no way I’m about to post your image here for him to see after the fact. There’s only one body he’s seeing half nakey…ya dig?
It’s a beautiful Wednesday; have a good one y’all!
love (beautiful women),
Typically I blog once a day – or at least I try to – but today called for a second post. With going full-time in my business just over a month ago, there has been a big game of catch-up played and a lot of questioning the next direction of jenifriend photography. Notably, marketing plays a huge factor in how much business I produce, so this is me…reaching out to market myself…to you…
I’m sure a large majority of folks forgot to take pictures this year. No worries! This is a great opportunity to play catch-up yourselves with the potential of receiving an amazing discount by referring your friends and family!!
Throughout the year I’ve tried to document love where I see it. What better way to showcase love than to spread it year-round? I am happy to premier A Year Of Love, a twelve-month compilation of the sightings I captured throughout this year…to share with you for all of next year. Still available for arrival before Christmas, the calendars are $20 each and can be ordered here.
In other (still business-related) news, you’ll begin to see some changes take place around here. I’ll be revamping my website and blog so if the dots aren’t connecting when you click on a link, do not fret, it will all be smooth-movin’ in no time.
love (thankful Tuesday’s),
I woke up this morning, flipped over, saw Jeff and said, “You’re still here!” With as much morning attitude as he could muster (and with the BEST New York accent ever), he said, “What are you talking about?”
It’s official. The crazy wedding dreams have commenced. Let the fun begin.
Be prepared. I have three weddings and a baby to show you next week. In the meantime…don’t forget about the mini-session special I’m offering on October 16th!! Remember those holiday pictures you haven’t taken yet?? That you’ll more than likely wait until December to do?? Well don’t procrastinate and book for October 16th and you’ll have one thing finished before Christmas Eve — one less thing to freak out about when it starts to get close to the holiday season!!
– Shawnee Mission Park
– 30 minutes
– High-Resolution CD of your images
– 1 8×10 for your family of your favorite image
If you’re interested, contact me asap at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get to booking you!
Happy Thursday, all!!
love (the fall setting in),