Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back to the studio

First, let me just say that

I. am. swamped.

Really swamped.  So if you are emailing, calling or texting me with orders, questions or changes - please know that I am swamped.  It will probably take me a few hours longer to get back to you than it normally does.

Also, I am really really tired - so my blog posts might be short or not make a lot of sense.  Forgive me.  I feel confident that my brain will return to me after I get some sleep!

It's that time of year again.  The weather is getting cold and windy, which makes for a tough outdoor session with little kids.  This is why the majority of my sessions between December and April are studio.  Saturday was filled with studio sessions.  But, I just couldn't completely give up the outdoor stuff!  I love it too much.  So, I drug this family outside twice during their session.  Just couldn't resist!

This particular session was a rescheduled outdoor session - thanks to the weather.  Most of the point to this session was to get some individual shots of the baby.  Well, my friends, let me tell you about 14 month olds.  Sometimes they just don't want their picture taken.  Most of the times it's because they are tired, hungry or scared.  Not this time.  No, this little guy just had better things to do than entertain us with a smile or even look toward the camera.  He was so funny.  The big kids did a great job working with me.  They needed to keep looking at the camera - just waiting for the baby to look up ... and waiting ... and waiting.  They all did so great.  Thanks guys for coming by the studio!  I had a great time!

Can't you just hear him - 
"um.. hello - don't you realize this is not fun?!"

"lady - do you really think I'm going to smile for you?"

"well fine ... if I must"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Now, before I say what I'm going to say about this session, I want everyone to realize that every session EVERY single one is fun for me in it's own individual way.  Each customer - specifically each child - has their own personality that I enjoy and work very hard to capture in my photos.

That said, this session was really really fun for me.  Two reasons for this -

The first is that "K" is also an artist.  We artists, we have visions.  We see things a little differently from the rest of the world.  That's why we're artists.  We see something in a worn out old building.  We see a lot in it actually.  Which is why I knew that "K" would be all over the kind of session I've been trying to convince my customers to try.  Nobody has taken me up on it - I get awkward pauses on the phone or a kind re-direction to a lovely green location when I suggest it.  So many people are hung up on photographs with flowers and green grass in the background.  Those are beautiful and there's nothing wrong with them (I have plenty of those of my own children) BUT sometimes there's art to be found in other areas.  Sometimes, you should try something different.  The "M" family and I met in downtown KC and we saw lots and lots of great stuff.  So now, here's some samples of an urban session for you skeptics out there.  I will be expecting more of you to meet me in downtown now!

Ok, and the second reason I loved this session is that every time I photograph these kids it's like stepping back 25 years.  Again with the vision - just a different kind of vision this time.  I am the oldest child in my family and I have two younger brothers.  We are the same distance apart as these kiddos and our personalities are a lot like each of theirs.  I giggle the entire time I shoot their session.  I recognize the jokes and the fights (mostly the fights).  I also recognize the warnings from Mom and Dad.  Really, it's like peaking through our window 25 years ago and it's completely amusing to me!

I've blabbed on enough now.  Enjoy your sneak peek "M" family and thanks for an afternoon of vision and giggles!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another Birthday Boy

Another birthday session.  There's been a lot of birthday boys lately!  This little guy you've seen before.  He is the "santa baby" (as many of you have called him when you want me to repeat that shot from my baby galleries).  He's also been snuggled into his blanket on the front page of my website for quite a while now.

Here's the santa shot - two years ago - 

So I got to go out and visit "C" again last weekend.  He's gotten so big!  I had a great time with him and, as a bonus, he read me Elmo books.  So cute.

Thanks for having me out "L" family - and Happy 2nd Birthday "C"!  Enjoy your sneak peek - 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time to Get Your Orders In

Just a reminder that we are nearing (and have passed some) holiday deadlines.

We have passed the album deadline.
The canvas deadline has been extended to this Saturday - the 15th

*Christmas Card deadline is December 1st*

*Print deadline is December 8th*

The Studio will be closed from December 17th through January 7th.  Orders placed after December 11th and before January 8th will not be filled until January 8th.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Speaking of Change

There's been a lot of talk about change lately.  Change in politics, change in the economy, changes in the environment and change in the way we all react to the first three things mentioned ... etc...

I want to talk about change in the business.  They say that if a business doesn't constantly change to meet the customers' newest needs, as well as it's own, the business will be dead.  Indeed, if there is no change then your are stagnant and stagnant is pretty close to dead.  I haven't had many changes in the last two years.  Oh sure, I built a studio and changed how I show proofs, but for the most part things have stayed the same.  I wouldn't say that things are stagnant (check out the dark circles under my eyes and the large cup of coffee in my hand and you will quickly realize that things are hardly stagnant around here) but I certainly think it's time for change.  Change is good and I think in the long run this will make everybody's portrait experience even better.

So, my friends, change is coming.  Starting January 1st there will be changes in policies, pricing and products offered.  Now before you flip out about pricing - hear me out.  There will be an increase in the session fee and the prices for a few products BUT there will also be price reductions on some products as well as lots of package options to save you money.  There will be some products that I will no longer be offering and some new products to take their place.  Policy changes will also go into effect on January 1st.  The policy changes are being put into place to save you and me (and my family) any potential headaches.

So what are these changes specifically?  I will post the details after I get through the holiday rush (there are only so many hours in one day and so many cups of coffee I can drink in that time).  I just wanted to give everyone a warning that change really is coming - at least here at the studio.  Whether there will truly be change in the other things mentioned is yet to be seen.  All I have control over is the change here in the studio and I will be sure to update you on the specifics soon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So Cold

This past Friday and Saturday were hardly ideal weather for photos.  Cold is one thing - we can deal with cold.  Blankets, hot chocolate, coffee, mittens etc gets us through a cold session.  But cloudy and windy is just a whole 'nother world.  Friday night's family got stuck with the yucky cloudy windy situation.  Lucky for me, "K" is always so optimistic and positive.  It really helped in this situation!  They were all good sports and we got through it as fast as we could.  Lots of snuggly shots.  The little girl had the hardest time.  She's so petite - you just know she was freezing.  Thanks "B" family for tolerating what Mother Nature threw at us!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crazy Week

I hate excuses - really, I do.  But this time of year is always crazy and if you look back you'll see a few posts asking for your forgiveness for me being a little behind.  For any photographer, this time of year is absolutely nuts and we all feel like we're drowning.  Don't get me wrong - we love it (or we wouldn't be doing it!) - but still, we're swamped.  So when I say that this last week has been above and beyond crazy, please understand that I am not making excuses but explaining.  Really.  There has been a family emergency, then the baby got sick, then I got sick and now the twins seem to be getting sick (and, as a fun little bonus - the refrigerator went out).

Needless to say, I am in a proofing hole.  To give myself more time to proof, I'm not going to go into much detail about the sneak peeks right now.  Let's just say that I love how they turned out (oh the cake one cracks me up!).  Thanks to all of you who have been so understanding of the family emergency and my illness.  Antibiotics seem to have kicked in (for me and the baby), the family emergency is somewhat under control and Maytag is coming tomorrow to give me back the lovely luxury of cold food!  Don't you worry - I will get caught up!

 "J" turned 1 (and LOVES cake!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fog, Friends and Camels

Wow.  Did you see the fog on Saturday?  Of course you did.  Wow.  I mean, I've seen fog around here but I haven't seen it so thick that I miss my exit 'cause I can't see (it was the fog - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it - it has nothing to do with my hair color!).  Anyway, forgive me "E" family for being a few minutes late 'cause of that little exit problem!

You've seen these guys before - well most of them anyway.  They are all over my blog and website.  There's two reasons for this - one is that they are friends and constantly willing to be guinea pigs for any experiment I'm doing and the other is that they are so very photogenic.  Really - it's amazing - they always take good pictures.

"K" scheduled a session for her family - with the specific intention of replicating a photo from several years ago.  Why replicate it?  Well, they've added another little face since the last shot like this.

the original-

The 2008 version-
And here they are in the fog - 

These guys are always fun at their sessions and they certainly didn't fail me this time.  Little "A" cracked me up.  This is how we got her to smile - "what does a camel say?"  I'm not really sure how to type out what her response was but let's just say it was hilarious and she knew is was hilarious - so she would smile after demonstrating her camel sound.  So funny.  And the boys, well they are just always a crack-up.  Thanks "E" family for a great Saturday morning.  Here's the rest of your sneak peek.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Color

This is going to be quick - 'cause it's 5:15 on Halloween and my kids are ready to go trick-or-treating (and I mean standing in my studio in costumes staring at me as I type this).  I wanted to get this sneak peek posted before the chaos of the evening sets in (sugar high anyone?!).

In the previous entry I mentioned the stark contrast in fall color from one park to the other last weekend.  Well, here is Antioch park - just down the road from the previous entry - on the same day.  Amazing.

This sweet family has been coming to see my for several years - almost since the beginning (of ccphotodesign, that is).  I always enjoy our time together.  The thing that strikes me most with this family is how relaxed they always seem to be.  They just seem to soak in every moment with each other.  So inspiring!

Here is your sneak peek "N" family.  Thanks for another great session!

Ok - off to trick-or-treat!  Enjoy your Halloween everybody!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mother Nature is Strange

The last two weekends in October and the first weekend in November are my busiest weekends of the entire year.  Everybody wants the fall color and this is when it appears (contrary to popular opinion that it appears in early October).  So the color is here and Christmas is around the corner and that means that I - am - swamped.  Please forgive me if it takes me a little longer than usual to get back to every one's email and voicemail - or if I sound a tad delirious when you talk to me!

Back to the fall color discussion.  Mother nature shocked me this weekend.  Saturday morning started out at Antioch Park where the color was fantastic.  Then I pulled up to Loose Park for this session and was shocked to see - green.  Lots of green and not much red,  yellow or orange.  How strange that two parks not terribly far apart could look so different on the same day.  We did manage to find a few spots with some color, but not much.  I'm so sorry "Y" family that the Mother nature played games with us!  Hey - at least green is always a good color, right?!

Here is your sneak peek.  Thanks for spending a few hours with me in the park.  I enjoyed meeting all of you.