Professional Photo labs VS. Consumer labs

Many of my clients now know that I offer glorious prints, canvas and gallery blocks.  I have said numerous times, maybe even coming across pushy, how important it is (to me) that you get your prints through me, instead of using a consumer lab like Costco, Wal-Mart, Shutterfly and Snapfish.  Here are some examples of why.  I am currently in the process of building my sample gallery for you, so here are example images I borrowed from another professional.

Image credits to RebeccadanzenbakerCredit to image : https://rebeccadanzenbaker.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/consumer-photo-labs-vs-pro-photo-lab-shocking-results/

Images printed by (top to bottom)  Millers, Shutterfly, Target, Costco.  Do you see the difference? Take the thickness of the paper for example (in her photo is mounted, from Musea this IS the paper)  The top photo (Millers), is true to the colour of the baby, the lighting is perfect and soft and all the details are in focus.  The Shutterfly photo is nearly yellow, its out of focus and her mouth is a strange colour.  Its also horribly over processed and the highlights are too bright. Target, yes we don’t have them in Canada anymore but you can see the over exposed highlights and the white blanket is ivory, not white.  Costco  the baby is blue and she looks almost like she isn’t with us anymore.  Its also under exposed/dark and still has the same problem with poor highlights and a loss of sharpness.2013-01-31_020

My prints are done through a couple different pro-labs, my favourites are Millers, Musea and NPL.  By using a pro-lab I am the one who chooses the colours that are in the image, I choose exposure and I choose the paper quality and I choose MUSEUM quality paper.

I know I may be coming across as snobby, or pushy or rude even but I assure you that isn’t my intention.  I am passionate about photography, I am more passionate about my clients and having them be able to have their memories true and honest forever.  I would hate for you to trust me with your most precious moments only to have poor quality prints to remember them by.

So please consider this post the next time you ask me why charge $X.xx for a single print.  I want you to have the best, you hired me because you trust that I will deliver you the best, the best session, the best images and the best memories, let me deliver you the best product as well.

What to wear for…

Picking your outfit for a photo session can be a daunting task, scary and frustrating.

“Is this the outfit I want to remember for the rest of my life?  Does this really represent me or my family?”

When in doubt ask your photographer, there are many different styles of clothes that will look perfect and timeless for different sessions. Today I will focus on my maternity clients.

Most importantly discuss with your photographer whether you want an indoor or outdoor shoot. In my case are you hiring me for maternity boudoir?

INDOOR SHOOT/BOUDOIR MATERNITY

For indoor shoots makeup is very important, it needs to be more dramatic than when shooting outdoors.  There isn’t as much natural light flooding your face so makeup will help highlight the features that may be missed.

Clothing, simple is better.  Avoid patterns, especially stripes!  Not only do stripes photograph poorly but they create a poor shape on nearly every single body and at times may accent all the wrong curves.  Empire waist, empire waist, empire waist.  I love the shape these create, with a simple change in the placement of your hand or your partners hand we can accentuate that glorious baby bump and at the same time you are comfortable in loose fitting and cool clothing (you will love me for this especially if you are pregnant in the middle of summer and book your session)

Lace babydoll dresses and nighties, open front, these are something I supply for the session to my clients.  They create a timeless and classic look, aren’t trendy and, well, lets face it, lace will always be beautiful.

Shoes: Bring three pairs, one pair of sky high stilettos (for posing NOT for walking) a pair of cute flats and a pair of sandals/flip-flops or slippers if you have cold feet for your downtime and during set/background changes.  Also slippers or comfy shoes are great if you get tired and need a rest – which often happens for maternity shoots that happen later in pregnancy.

Get your hair done professionally, make sure it is DOWN and not in an up-do.  If your hair is down its much more soft and accents faces much better than a pony tail or up-do.

OUTDOOR MATERNITY

Outdoor shoots need more natural makeup, if you have heavy shadow and liner it looks like you got lost on your way home from a party and doesn’t quite fit the scenery.

Clothing, simple again.  Wear natural colours and try to wear something that will pop.  Examples: if you are shooting in a forested area of a super green area try to wear something bright (including bright white) so that you stand out from the green background.  If you are in a more urban area feel free to wear some rich greens burnt reds or any colour that you feel matches your skin tone.  For ME i prefer my maternity models do not wear black (except for boudoir) because I feel that black is the colour related to sadness and these are definitely not sad times.

Shoes:  Again bring 2 pairs.  One pair of comfortable flats and one pair of something more dressy.  It makes it much easier and safer to walk along trails and do some gently hiking if you are wearing flat shoes with good soles.

BRING SUNSCREEN, some of you may notice that your new pregnant body burns much easier than it used to.

I also suggest you have your hair done, and keep it down as well.

Most importantly and above all else wear something that makes YOU happy and speaks true to who you are.

Why?

What made me become a photographer?   I honestly believe that I was born as a photographer.  Once I passed the phase of wanting to be a Veterinarian I realized that I wanted, needed, to do something creative with my life.

My first memory of photography is of my dad, he had an amazing Pentax film camera and he took it with us on our family vacation to Disney Land.  I remember him taking a photo of a flower in the park and later when we were home it was the perfect image; just the orange flower was seen, the greenery and everything behind it were black.  It was like the flower was popping out from nowhere and on display for the world to see and appreciate its beauty.  Being a young child you don’t always know what is out there in terms of careers.  I thought that photography wasn’t a career choice but a hobby, I didn’t even know any photographers.  Im old (33 years old) this was before internet was available for everyone!  So I dabbled in photography, did photo shoots for my friends and took landscape images whenever possible.

Fast forward a number of years and I’m leaving Canada to go live in Mexico (AWESOME!)  I have decided that I want to work for Vallarta Adventures, which is an adventure tourism company, and I want to be a dolphin trainer.  Well unfortunately in order to do that I would have needed to volunteer for about 6 months and I did not have the luxury of no income for that amount of time.  Luckily for me their photography department was hiring and I was offered a position immediately.  A perfect blessing, someone is going to PAY me to take photos?!  Yes please, when do I start?  After working for V.A for nearly 2 years I returned to Canada with my camera in hand and a vision of my future:  I will be a photographer, I will help people have their memories forever, I will capture these precious moments and I WILL be successful.

I may not be a household name yet but I am working towards it.  My passion, drive and sheer enthusiasm as well as skill show through in my work.  So why would I want to work for multiple hours, all hours of the day and night (around my daughters nap schedule)?  Why do I spend my free time scouring the city looking for the perfect location?  Why don’t I want that 9-5 job?   Because I AM a photographer, this is what I was born to be.

Fun Memories

The best part of being a photographer is that you can do the same thing every day but no two days are ever the same.  One of my most fond memories was while I was working as a photographer in Puerto Vallarta for Vallarta Adventures.  I was working my usual tour, Las Caletas, and in my normal spot : Canopy Kids.  I had the pleasure of working with two particularly awesome kids that day, kids with no fear and a love for the camera, this doesn’t happen all the time.

Are these the most composed and perfect shots?  No they aren’t, I was just starting out and still making mistakes but they are one of my best memories.

Lil Mr. AdventurerCanopy kiddieszippity-doo-dah !Crazy Guides