Here is the second part of my photo series with this dress. My 'Mistress Morning' with the lovely Danni.
Mistress Morning starts with her emerging from the darkness and finishes with her walking the morning mists.
The misty look was achieved by taking photos by the thermal steam of Rotorua.
Here are some of my faves.
Make up by Danielle Sutton
The Photographers boys
I have been asked why have I made the recent changes to my photography business? Why do I charge more now? Why do I offer less services? Why now?
Well some things haven't changed. Natural, black and white family shots still is, and always will be my first love in photography. I have always loved creative portraits as well, and these have been a work in progress the whole time I have been in the photography business. They have been there, but they have been crowded out with everything else I was doing photographically.
The last year or so of business have been my busiest (and I had the tax bill to prove it :D ). Up till now I have kept my prices very low. I have enjoyed taking lots of photos of different families, and being able to provide images for families that normally couldn't afford a photographer. They have helped me enormously in improving as a photographer. The down side was I could feel myself burning out. The frequent migraines, the never ending tiredness, I could feel my creativity and passion draining away. I was starting to sacrifice the time that goes into home-schooling two boys and being a wife and Mother. At the same time financially, there would be weeks that would be fine, and then there would be weeks when I was working hard, but still struggling to put food on the table. Looking into the pantry trying to figure out how to feed your family for the next week with what is left is tiring in itself.
I knew I needed to make changes, and I had been slowly doing it. It was The Arcanum that gave me the painful kick in the butt in the right direction to make me commit, and have give me great advice on how to do it. There is still some tweaking to do, but the first major step is done.
My hourly photography rate is actually still the same, I just don't do mini sessions anymore and I have some lovely products to showcase the portraits now. I understand that not everyone will now be able to afford my new packages (though you can pay them off.. just saying), but know that I will be putting my creative best into every portrait session to make your investment worthwhile. If it starts getting really busy again, at least I should be able to afford to hire Calico Jo's sidekick, Jaxon to help out.
I'm excited now. I'm focusing on what I'm passionate about. I am brimming with ideas for portrait sessions. I'm getting mentored by some of the best photographers in the world!
Did I mention, I love photography?
The Value of Photos
I of course think photos are priceless, special moments captured in time that I can look at over and over again, but photography is my passion, so of course I think like that.
What about people who are not passion bound and just want to hire a photographer to take their family pics? There is a lot of variety of photographers and they all charge different rates, how would you decide? I've been trying to think of a relatable comparison, and I think it is a little bit like taking your family out to a restaurant.
I would take my family out to dine for a little bit of treat, for an eating experience I couldn't provide, or I just don't want to cook myself. I would have family portraits done for a bit of treat, if it was an experience I couldn't provide, or I want to be in the portraits, and also I would have photographic momentos to keep.
If I want to take my family of four out to a nice dinner that is not too fancy at an affordable price, I would probably take them to a Cobb & Co type restaurant. I would be expecting a nice meal, but not anything original or extra special. I would probably be looking at around $150 - $200 for 2-3 courses each and drinks for my family of four. If I wanted just some nice family portraits done, nothing fancy or original, I would think I would be happy to pay a little more that my basic dining out experience, as I would have photographs to keep afterwards.
I wouldn't expect to go to Gordon Ramsays restaurant and expect the same prices. Can you imagine his reaction if I said "Well Gordon, the Cobb & Co down the road can feed my family for this price, so I expect you to charge me the same"? I would say it, then run away really fast and hide. :D
If I took my family out for a fine dining experience, with a chef who specialised in a particular style of cooking, who had their own special recipes and presentation, who would provide a culinary experience high above the local Cobb & Co, I would be expecting to pay a lot more. If I was going to do this, it actually wouldn't be about the price. It would be about the decision of choosing if I go with Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Colin Fassnidge etc. It would be about the chef and the eating experience I want.
So if I wanted extra special family photographs done, I would be going by a photographers style, what they specialise in, what look they give in their final product. Then I would look at their prices so I knew what I needed to pay for them to do my photographs.
Sometimes it has to be about the price. But, because my family photos have a high value in my heart, I would get the artist and style that I wanted first and foremost.
Well that's my thoughts for the day. :D