Valentine’s Day is one of my all time favorite events to photograph little ones. I love to include the hearts, the kisses and the hugs. But let’s face it, not a lot of people will book a full session just around Valentine’s Day. So you might want to consider doing mini-sessions, but before you do there are a few things you need to get lined up before pressing the shutter. Here are 5 tips :
1. Do Your Math
Mini-Sessions are all about the numbers from the pricing to the session timing.. You want to do a lot of mini sessions but at what price point do you make a profit ? Each market is different, do your research and start with a price point for the session that includes your time and a takeaway for your client. I like to include a 5×7 print, something tangible from the session. My hope is they will buy more but just in case they don’t, I know I still had a session at my price point. Because these are mini-sessions, I usually collect my session fee prior to the session.
Next on math, figure out how long your mini- sessions will last. Stick to this number for each client and make sure they are aware of the session time and schedule. I’ll get everyone involved and have the kids sometimes push my stop watch to start the session time. Not each mini-session will go well under a tight schedule. You’ll also need to figure out scenarios before your mini sessions. If a child does not co-operate, what will you do? Offer a reshoot? Bank it for Later? Are they out of the session fee? These are all things to consider before conducting your sessions.
Since these are mini-sessions you’ll want to market them in a way that let’s the clients know this is special and fun and LIMITED. This way you are setting the tone, that you are only taking a certain number of sessions and that this is maybe a once a year type of offer. If you offer mini-sessions constantly, they start to lose their appeal and are no longer special.
3. Do Your Homework
Education is key to mini sessions from yourself to your clients, everyone should know what to expect. I like to email helpful information to the clients before the session. It includes a map to the location, their time slot, and some links to clothing ideas and of course my cell phone number. On the day of the sessions, I print out a sheet of paper with family names, names of children and ages.
4. Make it Easy
Don’t try to do it all, having a helper on the day of the mini-sessions can make the difference between a great day and a bad day. I did mini sessions before on my own, but towards the end of the day found myself more worn out and scattered after running back and forth from client to camera. With your assistant, give them all of the information and have them help set the family /child up for the poses. They can help primp and pose your subjects and of course they are the spotter in case you miss something you didn’t see as well as the child wrangler. They can also greet the family when they come and then help them pick up and leave after the session.
Make sure they understand this is not like your regular sessions, that they will not be able to change clothes or take time for snacks or feedings. I typically, will persuade parents of newborns to schedule a full session. It is nearly impossible to do a newborn for a mini-session and you don’t want to set their expectations to a standard that you just can’t keep.
Pick a great location. I have done both outside and studio sessions. Studio is obviously more controlled but I enjoyed being outside just for some different looks. If you choose an outdoor location, include a map and make sure it’s easy to get to. Just because you found an amazing spot in the middle of the woods, doesn’t mean it’s right for mini-sessions if no one can find it.
5. Post Session
The back-end of the session is just as important as the first. You’ll want to streamline this as much as possible. Since it was a mini session, the number of images your clients should receive should be about 1/3 of what you normally offer. Make it as easy as possible as far as viewing and ordering. Give them expectations on the back-end as well, let them know they only have 2 weeks to order images after their gallery is released to them. Again, we are going back to the tip number one, it’s important to know your numbers when running mini-sessions.
I hope some of these tips well help you along your way in conducting successful mini-sessions.
[Blog Post and Photography by Libby for Adoramapix]
Well, it’s official 2013 is no more, hello to 2014. What better way to remember 2013 than to make a family year photo book? Sound daunting going through all of those images? It doesn’t have to be at all when you have a plan. We asked Adoramapix member Jennie Canzoneri on how to make the Family Yearbook.
The Perfect Family Yearbook
When you hear “yearbook,” you likely think of the book you passed around to all your high school friends, watching it get filled with promises to “stay in touch” and “be friends forever.”
Thanks to AdoramaPix (and all those ridiculous high school memories), I’m reclaiming the word “yearbook” to mean a photo book filled with memories from any given year. Something to proudly display now instead of something to gather dust in my attic forever.
A few years ago, I set out to make a photo book to remember the previous year, and I wanted to pick the perfect photo website. I wanted ease of use but, more importantly, I wanted a quality book I could look at with fondness for years to come. A book I could pass along to my son one day, too, since we started this family yearbook tradition when he was barely two years old. These would become the books of his life.
I found AdoramaPix through a Pinterest search, and I spent the next few days (okay, maybe weeks, I’m a bit of a perfectionist!) putting my first book together. Now that I have three of these books under my belt, I have some tips to help you put together a yearbook you’ll love, as well.
Organize your photos as you upload them to your computer! Thankfully, iPhoto does this for me, but I take it a step further and flag (and try to edit in real time) every photo that I think may end up in the yearbook, so that when it’s time to upload to AdoramaPix, I’m uploading from one folder and not a dozen different places.
I make a list of the events I want to highlight. I usually include birthdays, vacations, holidays, and special occasions, but I also try to fill in a few extra “general” pages: a page dedicated to the friends that made our year special, my son’s first few soccer seasons, etc. Writing this list before I start my yearbook helps ensure I don’t forget any important events and that my book’s in the order I want it.
This is probably the most important one, but pick up your camera throughout the year! Because of these yearbooks, I leave the house with my camera more often. Not just my phone’s camera, which we’re all a little too dependent on these days, am I right? But my other, fancier cameras too. Camera photos work just fine in the AdraoamaPix books, I should say, but I like to add more “professional” photos, as well.
Once you have all your photos uploaded to AdromaPix, and you begin laying out your yearbook, I suggest you make it as unique as possible. Change the spreads around, add fun graphics, adjust photo sizes, and make the fonts what you want them to be. The default yearbook is awesome, and if you’re stretched thin, it’ll make a fabulous book. But when I get my book in my hands, it feels that much more special because of how unique I’ve made it.
I’ve introduced a ton of family traditions over the years (breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve, a huge brunch on Easter morning, lighting Chinese lanterns on birthdays) but our family yearbook through AdroamaPix is easily one of my favorites.
Thanks to member Jennie Canzoneri for her help on how to create the family yearbook.
Your Best Shot 2013 Contest
Contest Details – Please Read Carefully!
How to enter:
1. Grand Prize (1 winner): Estimated Value: $2000.00
2. Top 100 Picks : (100 winners) Estimated Value: $25.00
- Each of the top 100 Picks listed on Facebook will receive an 8×10 Metal Print.
3. NEW : The three images with the most likes from the top 100: (3 winners) Estimated Value: $134.95
- The top 3 with the most Facebook “likes” from the top 100 will win a 20×30 Metal Print
4. Top 12 Runner Ups : (12 winners) Estimated Value: $28.00
-Each of the 12 Runner Ups listed on Facebook will receive a free 8×8 – 14 page hardcover photo book with the winning entries displayed.
Dates to Know:
The Deadline: March 17, 2014
A team of Adoramapix Judges will then choose the top 100 images based on technical and artistic ability and will post to Facebook.
We will break them down into categories, landscape, portrait, etc and will take the even percentages out of each category.
The Vote: April 2014
The top 100 will be posted to Facebook. The three images with the most “likes” will receive a free 20×30 metal print. This vote has no bearing on the actual Grand Prize Winner.
The top 25 images will be posted on the Adoramapix Blog as chosen by a panel of 3 judges. Adoramapix members will then pick their favorites from the 25 images posted. The top 12 images that receive the most votes will be awarded the Best of 2013 8x8” -14 page Adoramapix Photo Book.
The Winner Announced: May 2014
A team of Adoramapix Judges will choose the Grand Prize Winner out of the top 12 Best of 2013 winners.
The Winner will be announced via our Blog first, followed by Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and a mail out.
Official Rules: All 2014 General Adoramapix Contest Rules Apply
*You will be disqualified if you enter more than one image. If you are not a fan of these contests, please don’t participate. We’ll continue to try to find new contests and new prizes that will make it fun and interesting to be a part of the Adoramapix community. Thank you for your support.
Adoramapix Rules and Regulations for 2014 Contests
1. Sponsor: Adoramapix (the “Sponsor”).
2. The entry procedures for each contest are announced on Facebook and here on our blog.
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10. Content Restrictions: You may not submit or post anything that is offensive or violates any third party’s rights. For example, your Contest Entry must not contain or reference any of the following:
• Nudity or lewd, vulgar, indecent or obscene images (as determined by Sponsor’s sole discretion);
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• Material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any country, state or province where the Contest Entry is created.
Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, disqualify any Contest Entry that does not comply with these Content Restrictions or that Sponsor otherwise deems to be inappropriate in its sole discretion. In the event of disqualification, the Contest Entry will not be judged or considered for a prize.
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18. The photograph and or photo book, in its entirety, must be original material captured by the Contest entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted image is an original work by contestant and does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the photograph.
19. Copyright: By entering the Contest, Photographer will retain all rights to photograph he/she submits. By entering photography contests, photographer hereby grants Adoramapix (sponsor) (1) a nonexclusive, unconditional, unrestricted, worldwide, irrevocable ,royalty-free license to reproduce, reformat, adapt, creative derivative works, distribute, transmit, display, make available and perform the photographs photographer submits to Adoramapix (sponsor) in and/or through any and all medium or media, now known or hereinafter developed or discovered, and (2) the right to use your name, city and state in promotions and other publications. Sponsors’ use of the submissions may include without limitation, advertising, promotion and marketing for this year and subsequent years. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use. Additionally, by entering, each entrant grants to Adoramapix the unrestricted right to use all statements made in connection with the Contest, and pictures or likenesses of Contest entrants, or choose not to do so, at their sole discretion. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.
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21. By entering the Contest, you acknowledge that you have read, understand and will abide by these official rules. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these official rules, or the rights and obligations of you or Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without regard to the conflict of laws principles. All dollar amounts referred to in these official rules are in U.S. dollars.
She lives in one of the most scenic areas in the world and photographs weddings in adverse weather conditions – most notably, the snow. Anastasia Chomlack is from Whistler, British Columbia and she believes whole heartedly in capturing weddings and love with the natural environment that is Whistler. This includes beautiful green pine trees in the summer and breathtaking, snow capped mountains in the winter. Anastasia gives us a few tips on photographing in the snow and cold.
1. STAY WARM.
This goes for the photographer and the client.
I used to apologize to the bride when I was dressed in boots, and layered in jackets and sweaters and she was in a dress… but honestly the warmer I am- the more patient I can be, the more time and care I can take to get the right photo. When photographing a wedding outside my best friends are my fingerless gloves and I have stopped apologizing for that!
Even though the dress may be strapless or lightweight I always encourage my brides who want snow photos to bring warm accessories that make sense in the snow; warm yet cute boots- a shawl, wrap or small jacket- even mittens… I want to take photos that are authentic and real- not just set up and styled. A bride freezing and underdressed in the snow just does not make sense:)
2. Know your snow, and communicate it to your couple.
Small flakes will fall for longer and often that means its colder… large flakes will soon turn to rain and will not last for long. Communicate all of this to your client. The bride in this photo wanted to have the large snowflakes- they started to fall literally minutes before the ceremony- I immediately went to the couple and told them this was the window for large snowflakes and also told them that if we took the photos now they would be wet for the ceremony- They went for it- we spent five minutes outside, the guests loved the opportunity to watch the couple run outside in the snow and these photos were the brides favorites even if her hair was wet for the vows.
I make sure to share all of the different weather possibilities with my couples- and never promise a clean or dry dress after photos. There are so many unknowns when photographing in the winter- it is best to be prepared for anything!
The white dress on the white background can be tricky with the light reflecting off the snow creating highly reflective surfaces. When photographing in the snow I am watching my histogram more then the image itself- knowing that to to get white snow your graph should be roughly in the middle, and to the right.
Especially in the snow you need to remember that you are smarter than your camera- your camera will want to expose to the bright snow and end up creating underexposed photos.
Another tip is to be aware of the time of day- I do everything I can to not shoot in harsh sunlight during these sessions- always location scouting to make sure I can find open shade.
4. PROTECTING YOUR EQUIPMENT.
Moving inside and outside for ceremony, reception and outdoor photos can create condensation and fogging which could limit your readiness to capture an important moment. Knowing my schedule is important- and I try to keep a second camera for indoors ready to go- so that my outdoor camera can warm up gradually to avoid condensation.
Another trick is to invest in some silica bags to put in your camera bag to quicken the drying up.
The cold will also make your batteries drain more quickly so pack extra batteries on cold days!
5. Go with it.5.