Client Question – Printing and Conversions

Being from a military family, I have friends all over the world. And when they ask me for photography advice, I absolutely love it. No, I’m not being sarcastic. Their questions make me aware of questions that my own clients may have, or just any client as a whole.

So with these questions, I’ve decided to add to my blog (which is pretty inexistent, I know) the questions and answers as they come about. So if you have a question for me, please feel free to message me and I’ll be happy to help out if I can!

Let’s start with this one:

Question:

We have pictures from a photographer on CD (they gave us printing rights or whatever you call it). I want to change one of them to black and white and have it printed as a 10×13. Is this something you would recommend (converting to black and white?). Also, how would you recommend we do it to get a quality photo for framing and hanging in our home?

 

Answer:

Before you convert it, you need to make sure that the photographer is okay with it. Most are not, but may not have a problem converting it themselves.

Printing rights are not the same as editing rights. Just like posting rights are not the same as printing rights. I’ve been seeing a lot of this recently all over Facebook…especially with school photos. Unless you have the right to post the photo, it’s illegal to scan or take a photo of it and post it up (not that you’re doing this…just a little 411). Again, some photographers may not care, but make sure you ask. Some may happily give you a copy with their watermark to share. Never hurts to ask!

As far as the conversion, it’s not usually a quick click of a button. What you might envision it looking may not be what actually comes out…usually it will be a bunch of different shades of gray (LOL!) and very little black and white. There’s quite a bit of editing that goes above the initial conversion or even just printing in b&w.

As far as quality, I would see if the photographer has a professional printing company that they use. You absolutely CANNOT beat a professional printer. The problems is the general public doesn’t have access to them. Not all photographers will use one or even offer this service for resale…some may only offer digital downloads due to tax purposes. But if they can’t/won’t order one for you from a professional lab, Mpix.com does pretty decent prints. Anything above an 8×12 I would suggest going with metal or something similar instead of a paper print. Just my personal opinion. =)

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Riding Lessons

So this is more of a personal blog. I realize I’m VERY behind on those that are more business based, but I my brain is going 50 million different directions and I write and re-write them, and they just never seem to be a true rendition of what I’m trying to say.

So I’m hoping that this, being light and airy with some photos to share will be easier to get out there, so I’m at least posting SOMEthing….

So recently (okay….really not so recently, but last May), I bought a Living Social Deal for my daughter to take some riding lessons at what I thought was a nearby stable. This actually ended up being 30-40 minutes from my house, but I REALLY think is well worth the drive. Anyway, day 1, she fell in love, as I had hoped she would. I grew up with horses in and out of my life during the course of my childhood, and they have always been my favorite animal, especially if you include unicorns in the same grouping.

So, if you’re in the San Diego area, I highly recommend Rancho Del Mar which is located at Deer Springs Equestrian. They give lessons for kids as young as 4, and even to adults.

Day 1 was basics, as I expected and I was pretty impressed both with they way the instructor taught, and with the fact that my daughter wasn’t kicking and screaming or hanging on for dear life. Day 2 was great also, and she was finally able to ride without being lead for a little bit. She had a little bit of difficulty with posting during the trotting portion, and I overheard her telling the instructor that she had fallen off before (which she hadn’t), and she was a little scared. So the instructor did a little game of “Around the World” which got her a little more comfortable in the saddle, and eventually lead to her riding a little bit backwards. I was pretty impressed with that as well.

Anyway, HIGHLY recommend at least trying this. Every child I’ve known to be involved with horses have been very courteous and responsible. I’m hoping this sticks with my sassy little six year old….

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Surf Shoot

As you can see, I am VERY behind in my blogging. I will do my best to get better!

So, a little while ago, I had put together a shoot that I really wanted to do. If you follow me on Facebook, this is the blog I promised to write that was a little on the strange side…

I was able to find a beautiful model, already had the perfect location, and a very good friend of mine, Jessica, offered to help me as well.

When we arrived at our location, I was a little sad because the waves weren’t as I wanted them to be. The plan was to get some surfing shots to start, and then move on to posed shots on the beach when the sun went down. It was a cloudy day, which is a little unusual for San Diego for this time of year, it was a little chilly, and very little surf. I decided right away I wouldn’t have the model suffer in the cold even though I already had one of my backup cameras set to go in the waterproof shooting bag.

We met up with Heather, who is a college student, and your typical surfer girl. She’s also a fill in dance instructor. BONUS! Hopefully we’ll get some shots pertaining to dance in the future… ANYWAY, with board and camera equipment in hand, we worked our way down the the surf, put our stuff down and proceeded to get started. And that’s when SHE walked up. 1 liter OJ in hand (which probably had a little something extra in it), she announced we were doing it all wrong, and that she KNOWS photography. I was amused and wanted to hear what she had to say. BIG mistake. She walked up to our model and proceeded to tell her how she should stand, and then we had our own personal stylist. She tousled her hair, adjusted her upper bathing suit for what seemed like 10 minutes, and told her how to stand. Then she adjusted her bathing suit…AGAIN. Then, and only then, did she announce that she wasn’t trying to molest her or anything. Definitely amusing, and our model was a good sport and appeased our new friend until she was off again to play in the surf.

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So our shoot continued, and we moved down to the other end of the beach to get some of the amazing gray skies and rock scenes you’ll see below. We were only interrupted a few seconds when our new friend tromped through a bit upset, saying “I’m not drunk! I’m emotional!” but then she was good. Overall, probably the most “what the heck” shoot I’ve had in a very long time…

Enjoy the shots!

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What Should I Pay for Professional Photos?

Earlier someone posted in a group asking other moms what they normally pay for professional photos, and what it includes. After responding, I figured this would make a good blog topic.

Pricing usually depends on the skill and costs of the photographer. I’ve seen some giving EVERYTHING for as little as $35 all the way to a couple thousand and give no digital images. And although the saying usually goes that you get what you pay for, there are of course, always exceptions to the rule. You never know what skill level someone’s at, what their business knowledge is, or where they feel their self worth is at.

It also depends if the photographer is spending a lot of time perfecting your images post process or not. A 1 hour shoot can end up being another 1 hour of transportation and maybe 6-7 hours of editing. Others do no editing, or will do batch editing which means they don’t spend as much time perfecting your images. Or maybe they are just that good at getting things right in camera that they don’t have a need to (in which case you will probably still be paying a bit more for their experience). This is fine for some, while others want a higher quality, or something more custom.

I always suggest finding a photographer whose work you are absolutely IN LOVE with. Don’t settle. These are memories you are going to look back on 10, 20, 30, and even 50 years down the road, if not more. And then your kids and grand kids will be looking at these as well. I’ve always loved looking at photos of my grandparents when they were younger, and these days more so the ones of my parents as they are getting older – not to mention my kids (now 17 and almost 6).  A $500 session works out to under $1.37 a day for a year. That’s a cheap price to pay for a good quality image that will last a lifetime – or two – or even more.  If you are one of the few lucky ones to find everything you need in a photographer and it just so happens that they only charge $100, then I say you’re pretty darn lucky. Snatch them up before they figure out what they’re worth (and send me their info if they’re local!).

I know a lot of people who will pay a pretty good chunk of change once a year, or once every couple of years and then use someone less expensive to capture those times between. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all have our priorities on what we are willing to pay for. Some of us ladies have purses that are several hundred dollars, or even over a thousand, while others won’t spend more than $30. My husband will drop $200 on dinner and drinks without a blink but freak out if I pay $40 for a shirt. Priorities.

I can’t afford to pay one of my favorite photographers for a session twice a year, and maybe not even once a year, but I will try at least once every 2 years  – because that’s what is important to me. Good quality photos. Not the make-shift portrait studios you find in a mall (oh how I laugh at the photos I have of us as kids from those days), but one that has taken the time to learn the craft for at least several years, knows the ins and outs of their camera, and how lighting, depth of field (what makes the image blurry in the back), and composition can affect the feel of an image. One that has an artistic eye.

Of course, as a photographer there are ways for me to take my own photos, but it’s just not the same. Plus I love the work of other photographers as well. Even professional hire professionals. So I can at least be my “cheap” alternative for the in between times. =)

So every photographer is different. You can expect to pay less for someone who doesn’t have as much invested, who maybe needs to update their portfolio due to a change in their business, who is just starting out, who doesn’t put as much time into the marketing and post processing, or doesn’t pay required licenses and all the other fees that come with having a small business, or doesn’t need to hire a CPA. Also, if someone is shooting just for a few extra bucks and isn’t trying to make a living or subsidize their family income, you can probably get a pretty good deal too. But most seasoned photographers will be charging several hundreds of dollars, and even up to the thousands for a session.

 

The first post… here we go…

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This blog deal may be the death of me yet, and I haven’t even started…

 

But they say in this line of business (or most businesses), these days it’s an absolute must. So….here we go!

 

This first post will be a bit about me. No, I don’t love to talk about myself, but it was the suggestion that made the most sense when I asked my friends and followers what I should write about first. It’s difficult to make connections over the internet. Well, real ones anyway. And it’s difficult to connect in unspoken words, but I’m hoping that my best attempt will be somewhat successful and images posted with them will help.

 

At this particular time of writing, I’m 38 years young. Nearing the big 4-0 and a little bit scared. I currently live in sunny San Diego with my younger husband Will, my 5 year old daughter Kaiya, and our pup who will be 1 on Cinco de Mayo, Molly. And my soon to be 17 year old son Killian comes to visit at least once or twice a year.

 

This is my husband. Well, actually, this is a picture of a cider I like, and he's just in the background because he hates getting his picture taken.

This is my husband. Well, actually, this is a picture of a cider I like, and he’s just in the background because he hates getting his picture taken.

 

I’ve had my first camera in hand at the ripe old age of 2. It was my parents’ 110 Kodak…the one with the green square push button and flash cubes for lighting. I’m pretty sure most of my photos didn’t get developed back then, but I sure did love to line up the shots and click that button. And as years went on, my love for photography grew, and I had fun posing in front of the camera for a few years as well. Some days I took it more serious than others.

 

Although I have been shooting for quite a lot of years, thinking back I would have to say I started making it more of a career soon after my daughter was born. I had purchased the domain name KRush Photography (named after my son) YEARS before I had even met my current husband, but just never took the final leap until then. And although I THOUGHT I had a business well before then, I just realized the other day that it was more of a hobby.

 

This is Killian last summer.

This is Killian last summer.

 

To add to that, I had never used a DSLR until after Kaiya was born either. I had always shot with my point and shoots and SLRs…first a Pentax I bought when I was 19, and then a Canon Rebel a couple years later. I think I now own 4 SLRs and 3 DSLRs…all Canon except for the one Pentax. And I know there are a lot of die hard Canon/Nikon/Sony/etc users out there that swear one is better than the other, but that’s not me. I fell into it because that’s just what I had and it’s easier than changing everything out and starting from scratch again. I think that just about any DSLR out there is great. Although I still miss film.

 

So with that being said, photography will never be a full time job for me. I may work more than 40 hours a week editing, shooting, marketing, and coming up with new ideas, but I’m just not ready to make that jump to letting my livelihood be determined by whether or not enough people are going to book me. I believe that I will ALWAYS have a full time job. That way, if I get burned out with what I’m shooting, I can always step back, collect myself and get back to doing what I love.

 

And what is it that I love? I’m not really sure that it’s just one thing. I love capturing beauty and smiles, and creating new things. I guess when it comes down to it, I love to capture a feeling. Whether it’s my subject’s or trying to touch those of the viewer, I guess that would explain it the best. And I’m always up for trying something new.

 

So that’s it in a nutshell, for now. I’m sure you’ll figure out as time goes on (and if you stick around) you’ll find out I’m a bit of a nut, love food, and new adventures. I hope you tag along for the ride….

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