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Why we have a passion for printing our photos and why you should too.

Why we have a passion for printing our photos and why you should too.

Happy Monday!! We have been hard at work this year, making a TON of changes to the way we do things around here and we are seriously on pins and needles ready to share them with you. There are a couple of things we love about photography that really get us fired up...

 

The first is our beautiful, amazing clients. For us, photography is more about the relationships we build and the people we meet than the pictures we take. We have so much fun meeting all of you and your beautiful families. It seriously is what keeps us going everyday and it's why we do this photographer thing in the first place.

The second thing that we LOVE about photography is when people use their photographs to turn their house into a home. If you've ever been to our house, you will have seen that we have pictures of friends and family EVERYWHERE. This is so important to us because it takes those beautiful images off of your hard drive and puts them up on your wall where everyone can see them.

So often we hear about clients who get their pictures taken and they post a few on social media where they eventually get lost in the unceasing cascade of cat videos and political posturing on their newsfeed, never to be seen again. Then they fall into the black hold of your hard drive, never to be seen again. This breaks our hearts. We have a passion for people and their families and we want you and your family to be HONORED in the photographs we take. Every family has a story and we want those stories to be put on DISPLAY for everyone to see and hear! That is why, in the very near future, we plan to transition to more of a print-based photography business. Never fear, we will still offer some digital images for you to share on social media (because online sharing is fun too)! But going forward we are really going to encourage our clients to print and frame their images.

We would absolutely love to sit down with each and every one of our clients and hand them beautiful, unique, colorful, framed, hand-crafted images that they can showcase in their homes. This is so important to us that we are working OVERTIME to make this happen as soon as possible. We hope you will see the importance of telling your families' story through the pictures we take and displaying them prominently in your home.

Every family has a story worth being told. We want to help you tell yours.

If you would like more information about package changes or printing options, don't be shy! Send us a quick reply email and we'd love to get together over coffee or wine to help you SHOWCASE your images in your home.

The Value of Printing Your Photos

The Value of Printing Your Photos

Back in my earlier days, I used to work at a Barnes and Noble bookstore. As someone who loves the feel (and smell!) of a good book, it was a great place to work. But the reason I bring this up is not to get all nostalgic on you or bring up my prior obsessions with the various smells of different types of book paper. We'll save that riveting blog post for another day. Instead, I bring this up because Barnes and Noble, or BN as we used to call it, taught me something.

One of the first lessons learned at BN as part of their customer service policy is to "Always put the book in the customer's hand." They taught us on day one that they wanted us to PHYSICALLY remove the book from the shelf and PHYSICALLY place that book into the hand of the customer. Seems silly, right? But bear with me a minute. With the advent of online shopping we can look at pictures, read online reviews, or product descriptions all day long. But how many times have you browsed Amazon and left feeling wanting? How many times have you just wished you could see the product in person before you bought whatever it was you were looking at? What BN learned long ago is that when a customer makes a real physical connection with a product, they are more likely to buy that product. Why? Because we are sensory creatures. When more than one or two of our senses are engaged with a product, we are more likely to remember that product, and therefore more likely to buy it.

When we engage something with more than just our sight we remember it better. This is why so many people prefer not to read books on their phones, tablets, or e-readers. When we engage with a physical book we can retain more of the content we read.  There have been loads of articles written (here and here, just to name a couple) about why physical books are better than their digital versions.

By now you're probably saying, "But wait a minute! Isn't this is a photographer's blog?! What's with all the book talk?" Hopefully, you can see where I'm going with this. These same principles of involving more of your senses apply equally to photography! We always provide digital downloads of our images to our clients. This will never change because we live in a digital age. Having those files digitally makes it incredibly easy to share them on social media, email them to a relative, or store them in a safe place without taking up a huge spot on a shelf. Making our clients happy is our FIRST priority, and without digital downloads, most clients in our digitally driven culture will leave feeling less than satisfied.

We love when our clients show off those images on social media. That's part of the reason we LOVE giving them their digital images! But, once you post all those images to your Facebook or Instagram page, they slowly get lost in the steady stream of your newsfeed, rarely to be seen again. Maybe you'll set one of those images as your microscopically small profile picture and look at it everyday. But the rest of those images are shoved into an album somewhere in a back closet of the vast cyber-universe known as the internet. We know they're there if we ever need to pull them out for some special occasion, but if we're honest, we usually don't blow the digital dust off of them and pull them out of that digital closet very often.

Which brings me to the main point I want to make today...I know, I know...took me long enough, right?! So here it is: PLEASE PRINT YOUR PICTURES!!!!!! (We even said please!) It is SO important because those printed pictures fill physical frames, or physical photo books, or are printed on a physical canvas. You can physically pick those pictures up. Your friends, family, and guests can actually SEE, TOUCH, or even SMELL (hey we never said we didn't have weird friends) those pictures when they come over for dinner or coffee or play dates.

If you ever come over to our house, you will see that we have printed photos in almost every room. We can't count how many conversations have been started because someone saw a picture on our wall. We lost track of how many times the kids randomly grabbed one of the annual photobooks we have printed up using our Instagram pictures and flipped through it for an hour while they remembered the story that went with each of those pictures. We remember how every time we have moved, our new house doesn't quite feel like a home until we get the pictures up.

So we'll say it again: PLEASE PRINT YOUR PICTURES. We LOVE working WITH our clients to provide them with high quality prints, canvas, or photobooks that will last them a lifetime, not because we are trying to sell them something extra or because we want to make a few extra dollars. We do it because we want all of our clients to live in homes filled with beautiful, lasting images that create a sense that they are "home." We want their homes filled with photographic stories they can tell when they have guests over for wine and cookies. We want the people who live in those homes to be able to sit down on a lazy Sunday afternoon and flip through their photobooks and remember the laughter, the joy, and the tears that made them who they are.

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Did you know we can not only help you print  your photos, but we can also provide personalized consultations to help you use those photos to create meaningful photographic stories in your home? Meeting our clients in their homes, in the spaces they cherish most, is something we hold close to our hearts. We love seeing houses come to life to become warm and inviting homes and we'd love to help you. So print your pictures and put them up! If it feels overwhelming, don't let it! We're here for you and would love to help!

The Top 3 Things We Learned at our AJ Workshop!

The Top 3 Things We Learned at our AJ Workshop!

Why are some secrets so hard to keep?! We've been holding onto a little secret for a few months now and it's been KILLING us! Thankfully, we recently received the "all-clear" to share our little secret with you. Ready?!... We were so blessed and fortunate to be able to attend the AJ Workshop in January! First...a little back story, then we'll get to all those lovely details.

Going into 2016 we knew something had to change in order for us to keep pursuing this little photography adventure we were on. Megan had been basically running the business solo for the past three years and she was getting pretty tired. James worked an unfulfilling, dead-end job and was in need of something different. And newsflash, we aren't getting any younger! So as we sat on the couch with a couple glasses of wine one evening in early January, we made up our minds that 2016 needed to be different. 2016 had to be something more than the status quo. We had spent the first 11 years of our marriage trying to survive, to make ends meet, and basically not mentally implode. But as we could see our mid-thirties on the not too distant horizon, we knew the time for change was now.

So we took a chance and made the leap. Not many people will tell you this, but perhaps one of the hardest things to do in this business is to ask for help. And we needed help. We had flat-lined in our business and had no clue how to improve, or what we even needed to improve on. Enter Amy and Jordan! Megan had followed Amy and Jordan for a while on the interwebs and on social media and had heard about their workshops. So after a glass of wine or three, we decided we needed to invest in this business if we ever wanted it to grow. And what better way to learn than to learn from the best. Amy and Jordan are REALLY good at what they do. As former school teachers, their passion for education is unmatched. They took their love for photography, their love for education, put it in a blender, and out popped the AJ Workshop. And we wanted in.

So the day after our wine-laced, business meeting on the couch (which is obviously the BEST way to have a business meeting), I went ahead and sent them an email and told them we wanted to attend. Long story short, they told us they were full in January, but we could attend in April, but then a week before the January workshop, someone couldn't make it, so they wrote us and said, if you want to come in January, you can, so of course we said yes!

Let me tell you something right here, right now. The AJ Workshop not only exceeded our expectations...it blew our expectations out of the water. We learned so much during those two days, we would need 100 blog posts to cover it all. But here are a few things that really stuck with us and gave us the much needed kick in pants we needed to get this business back on track:

1. Know your "Why." - This. Is. Crucial. This is why we were floundering and running out of steam. We had never sat down and really thought out WHY we wanted to do photography. What started as a little side hobby, slowly grew into a passion and a business. But we had never sat down during that progression from hobby to business to really drill down what made our little photography hearts beat. Amy and Jordan forced us on day one to write it out. Because without knowing why you do what you do, it becomes far too easy to lose your way.

2. Comparison kills joy. - I know we've all heard this before, but we'd never thought about it in terms of photography and business. If you are constantly comparing yourself to other photographers you aren't pursuing YOUR WHY, but instead you are pursuing someone else's. This was revolutionary for us. We realized that we weren't put on this earth to be someone else. Don't let comparison kill your joy or get in the way of pursuing your WHY.

3. Don't Hate, Collaborate. - You want to know what the best part about not comparing yourself to others? It frees you up to LEARN and GROW from other photographers and business professionals who have already been down the road you're on. Instead of looking at others with contempt and jealousy, you can look at them as allies and resources. There are so many brilliant and talented people (ahem...Amy and Jordan) in this business and you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice if you aren't utilizing those valuable resources to get better as a photographer. 

So there you have it! Our little secret is out! We are so excited about where 2016 has brought us so far, and we can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store!

Oh and here are those lovely details we promised earlier! Part of the workshop experience is being part of a one of a kind stylized shoot with some truly talented people!

Event Design: Ashley Gain Weddings 

Floral Design: The Flower Studio

Desserts: A Bake Shop

Flatware: Casa de Perrin

Paper Products: Graceline Illustration + Calligraphy

Bridesmaids Gowns: Jenny Yoo Collection

Makeup: Arielle Rondeau

Hair: Emily Hughes

Bridal Gown: Mariee Bridal

Groom Tailor: Brothers Tailors

Venue: The Clayton on the Park