professional photography - See The Difference!

I came across this poor quality print last evening at home and thought about the difference between it and the print that is currently hanging in my office. As a professional photographer, I understand why some clients may think it makes sense for them to just get digital images rather than paying the cost to have the professional photographer handle the printing for them.

See the two pictures below from the same original digital file - the first one was printed through a company I found online (image was taken approximately 3 years ago - this is not faded from age). I thought it was a great price and I was really proud that I was getting such a good bargain. The second one was printed by my professional lab. The professionally printed one has vivid colors that are true to life with crisp lines (and it has been hanging in my office and exposed to fluorescent and indirect light every day without fading). The mail order image looks faded and just sits in the corner in my studio and rarely gets any light exposure. The difference is really quite remarkable! So where is the bargain if the finished product is of such poor quality that you don’t even want to have it displayed for your enjoyment?

Yes, there is more cost associated with having images printed professionally. But the end result is well worth it. Besides looking better, it will be printed on an archival medium that will last for many, many years. The colors will be calibrated and true to life. And don’t think that if you have the digitals you will always have them - how many computers have you upgraded and still have programs and files from 10 years ago? We can’t be sure we won’t lose thumb drives or that the technology to read these won’t change over the years. Don’t take chances with your precious memories!

So unless you are just wanting to post some fun images on Facebook, go with the investment of a professional photographer and professional printing!

poor quality from online mail order lab

poor quality from online mail order lab

Professionally printed fine art image - hanging in my office!

Professionally printed fine art image - hanging in my office!

Print Your Memories, Your Life

As a member of Professional Photographers of America, I see it as both a perk and a responsibility to educate my clients on why it is important to print images. Once your photography session is completed and you have the chance to view your gorgeous images, think about where you can display them. Where will you most enjoy looking at them, every day

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What's on Your Wall?

Sort of like the commercial for Capital One, where they ask “What’s in your wallet?” my question is, “What’s on your wall?”

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of photographing a young family, Rebekah and Michael and their precious 2 year old daughter - Ruth. She was so much fun and had SO MUCH ENERGY!

Fast forward several months and Rebekah forwarded me the images below of her wall portraits that they purchased and now have displayed in their home!

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Birthdays & Families

My son's birthday is today.  Happy Birthday Greg!   Our family got together last evening to celebrate and just enjoy being together.  We grilled steaks and corn on the cob and we had grilled shrimp too, but since we forgot it on the grill, it sort of came at the end of the meal!  And we had Sister Schubert rolls.  Greg, and well all of us, love those dinner rolls and we have them at most family gatherings.  Greg also loves Blue Bell ice cream drowning in Hershey's chocolate syrup. Surprisingly, the half-gallon is sill in my freezer untouched.  Everyone was full and declined dessert.  

The weather was absolutely perfect and we enjoyed dining and visiting together on the patio. What I really enjoyed was the laughter and listening to my son and daughter reminiscing about past times and events from their childhood.  Unfortunately, none of us managed to take a photo to commemorate the evening but that doesn't lessen the memory.  

Greg has been building a chopper motorcycle in his garage for a couple of years now and all that is left now is to paint it.  To paint it correctly, he has to disassemble the entire bike and send it off to have it professionally painted.  What an undertaking!   I've included a photo of him here in the early stages working on it.  Stay tuned for photos of the finished project!  

The Science Behind Picking the Perfect LinkedIn Head Shot Trust us -- it matters.

I just read an article, titled above, from the March 2017 issue of Entrepeneur written by Vanessa Van Edwards.  This was really interesting and I thought you might find it interesting as well as helpful when you are choosing the best picture for your LinkedIn profile pictures. 

This story appears in the March 2017 issue of Entrepreneur.  I've included only a portion of the article here but you can click the link at the bottom to read the entire article and see examples of good and back picture choices. 

Do you agonize over your LinkedIn picture? Do you dread the moment someone asks for a professional photo? There’s good reason: That picture really does matter. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that different pictures of the same person produce radically different impressions. And according to one of the researchers, Alexander Todorov, we judge new faces online after only 100 milliseconds -- about how long it takes for a hummingbird to flap its wings once.

Image from a recent headshot client.

It gets worse: Those snap judgments are often correct! Researcher Sarah Sloat had people guess someone’s personality traits based on their Facebook profile picture. Participants accurately guessed an average of nine out of 10 traits. That means our pictures give off all kinds of signals about us -- our personality, our competence and our likability. Picking the right one is key -- and it may not be what you expect.

PhotoFeeler offers insight for everyone. In one site-run study, 60,000 participants ranked 800 profile pictures. Among the findings: Full-body shots make someone seem less competent but more likable. (Takeaway: fine for Facebook, but not for LinkedIn.) And sunglasses, glare or shadows across a face in a photo decrease both likability and competence. (If you don’t have a head shot taken in a studio, use one where you’re directly facing a light.)

And the big takeaway: Second opinions are useful! So before you pick your photo, get one -- if not from the internet masses, then at least a few truth-telling friends. 

Here is the link to the original article:


To Print or Not to Print - That is the Question!

Think for a minute about how much technology there is around your house.  If you were to clean out drawers or closets, would you find old devices or media stuffed away that is no longer accessible?  I know I’ve thrown out old floppy disks, the big ones that were about 5” square (I realize I just dated myself), and the smaller 3” disks in a hard plastic case, which were replaced by CDs and now DVDs and thumb drives and who knows what will come next.  In our media cabinet, we have old movies passed down from our parents on tape and our children’s home movies on small VCR cassettes that if we could find the adapter and if we still had a VCR machine we could watch.  Are you getting my drift?  

My son loves going through our family photo albums reviving and reliving precious memories. The photos are tangible and other than some of them fading a bit or getting dog-eared from handling them, they still exist and can be viewed.  They are a visual reminder of our family, of vacations and fun times and special occasions. Pictures, and the memories they invoke, make us feel good.  My mother-in-law had large, framed wall portraits made of each of her grandchildren when they turned one year of age and proudly hung them in her living room.  She is gone now and I have my children's portraits - what a great legacy she left for us. Through these portraits, we are linked to her and someday I will pass these portraits down to my children.  What will your children have to look at when you are gone?  

It is important to pass traditions and memories down to our children and extended family. Technology changes and despite our best efforts and intentions, honestly how often do you show or even look at your digital images other than on your phone?  And what happens to those digital images on your phone when you trade up to a new phone? The best way to preserve the images and memories that are important to you is through printing the images - something you and your family can hold and touch and that won't become obsolete.  Think of it as an investment in your family’s heritage!

Here's a picture of me, Lisa and Greg on my birthday! 

Here's a picture of me, Lisa and Greg on my birthday! 

Work space and brain overload

Saturday morning - this is my time to regroup from the busy week, think about what all needs to get accomplished today and tomorrow, hopefully relax some, and maybe even pick up around my house (you see where that falls in the priority list!). 

This week, I spent some lunchtimes and every evening listening to the 2017 Turn It Up Conference hosted by Matt and Carissa Kennedy of the International Academy of Wedding Photographers.  They lined up a phenomenal group of professional photographers to speak on marketing, sales, websites, and technical information.  There are some pretty amazing photographers out there and they are so willing to share what they have learned and help others who are still building their businesses and all I can say is THANK YOU!!  Although I feel like I have more money going out than in some days, I did sign up for a package from Zach & Jody Gray.  Their Ultimate Bundle package contains SO MUCH information, I am going to have write out a schedule to ensure I get through all the information so I can take full advantage of it.  I was blown away by how much information and access is provided in this bundle.  Totally worth the $.  I also signed up last year for the International Academy of Wedding Photographers course to be a certified wedding photographer.  Still waiting to do my first wedding and the knowledge and information I am gaining through those courses will be a huge asset.  

I learned some new information about websites this week and that I need to learn more about SEO so I can be found more easily by search engines.  This is mind blowing but I love the opportunity to learn more and stretch myself.  

Here's a picture of my desk where I work most of the time (when not at my day job) - note the stacks of paper, laptop (not usually on my desk) as well as my desktop computer, printer, camera bag in the floor - could definitely stand some cleaning and organization!  Randy says me sitting at the desk is the image of me that is cemented in his mind cause that's what he sees me doing so much of the time!  Yikes!  But thankfully he is totally supportive and he even joined me listening to some of the webinars this week!  We did this while cooking and eating dinner - What a great hubby!