2016, already?!

Exciting plans for 2016! I just can’t believe it’s here already!

I. can’t. even. It seems like yesterday I was gearing up for 2015 and was getting ready to (FINALLY) graduate. It’s crazy how time flies.

Well I had a productive 2015, filled with love, laughter, family, friends and my beautiful clients. I thought I would have more time on my hands after I finished classes.. but looking back on the year, I see that I filled that time up with personal projects and some volunteering! And I’ve LOVED EVERY MOMENT. You may remember around this time last year, I created a “class ring” for myself after I finished at Wilmington University. I used metal stamps to engrave “be the change” on it. I wear it almost every day and often think about the difference I can make, even if for just one person. Well I started volunteering with a couple organizations (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and Boots & Bellies) to help me do just that, and as I started thinking about 2016, I decided that I can do even more to make a difference.

I’m making a few changes to my business for 2016. (Don’t panic- all good things!) The most exciting change: Minis that Matter. I usually do Mini Session days several times a year. They’re fun and easy.. and give you options for quick sessions at a variety of locations, a variety of packages, and starting in 2016: a variety of charitable organizations to help. I’m planning out my schedule for 2016, and I hope to organize at least one Mini Session day per month and each one will benefit a different non-profit or charitable organization. The details of that schedule and the organizations will be posted within a few weeks. If you have a favorite non-profit or charitable organization that you’d like me to consider, let me know!

minis that matter

Another big change is for portrait sessions (maternity, family, children and general portraits). These sessions will no longer have a session fee! A deposit of $50 will still be required to secure a date and time on my calendar, but that will be applied toward your print and product order at your presentation & ordering session. Birth, Fresh 48, and Newborn sessions will still have a session fee due to the on-call nature of those sessions. All sessions will require a consultation an in-person presentation/ordering session (don’t worry, they’re not as formal as they sound 😉 ). Overall (between consultation, session and presentation) you’ll probably be investing about 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours of time with me, but this will significantly benefit you in the long run.

I’ve been testing things out over the last year and I’ve found the clients that have in-person consultations before their session, end up happier with their final images. And the clients that have in-person presentation & ordering sessions after their session not only end up with exactly what products they want, they also receive them MUCH faster because I assist in narrowing down images which really makes the decision-making easier. What historically takes clients weeks to do (if they’re given a link to their gallery), I’ve gotten down to a 30-45 minute process. Let’s face it, when we dedicate our time to one task for 30 minutes, and have help to narrow down the selections, it goes by a lot faster than if we try to steal 5-10 minutes at a time between our busy schedules. 😛

I am dropping my session fee for general portrait sessions for several reasons. I have always had a “100% guarantee” for my sessions, so if you’re not happy with the way your images turn out, I am happy to re-do the session or refund your money. Without a session fee, this just solidifies my guarantee. You truly have no risk in trusting me with capturing memories for you! Also, with my new workflow, the consultations will make it much easier for us to plan your session around what products you will be looking for at the presentation; This means less guess-work for me and faster turn-around from session to delivery of your products. And most importantly, your time is just as valuable as mine. I’m asking you to spend a little more time with me to help me create the best artwork for you, and in return you don’t have to pay as much up front! 🙂

If you have questions about any of these changes, please let me know!! I’m also considering adding an option for a pre-planned custom portrait packages that can be broken down into a monthly installment. For clients that know they do 2-4 sessions a year and typically order the same products each time (or if you do one session per year but order larger products), I’d like to offer the option of paying a small amount monthly rather than a lump sum after each session. If you would be interested in having me create a package for you, let’s chat!

My New Website!

Oh my goodness… It took me five years to finally get around to learning WORDPRESS! And thanks to the help of an awesome graphic designer friend (shout out to Jayne!) I finally managed to update my website to this stylish & functional beauty 😉

Thanks to Errol for the great photos illustrating consultations, sessions & presentations with me! And of course thank you to all of my lovely clients for allowing me to share a piece of your spirit with the internet… in order to showcase my abilities and the images I’ve been able to capture so far. ❤

I’ll be updating the galleries regularly after new sessions and I’ll continue blogging once or twice a month (once a week is just too much for me! 😀 ) I even copied over my old blog posts to this new blog too.. so everything is all in one place!

In the last few weeks, I’ve had quite a few inquiries for birth and lifestyle sessions – so if you’ve been thinking about booking.. now is the time!! Want to chat about it before you book? No problem! My info is at the bottom of the page!

OH- And just a reminder about tomorrow (Saturday, May 30th)! I’ll be at the Pike Creek Reiki MBS Fest! Stop by and see me!

Still Shining.

So, today’s blog post is going to be a bit emotional.

Three years ago, today, my brother lost his battle against cancer. He married the love of his life (a truly amazing woman that I will forever call my sister) in September 2009, and was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer four months later. His attitude was incredible throughout all of the surgeries and treatments, but his body took a serious beating with all the chemotherapy. Three years later his body gave. It was a really hard time for our family and all of Matt’s friends.

For those of you who never met Matt, he was the kind of guy who could make you laugh even when you felt like crap. Even when he got out of his first surgery, heavily sedated (and we were all super anxious and emotional), Matt decides to start quoting Napoleon Dynamite: “But my lips hurt real bad!”, “Just borrow some from the school nurse. I know she has like five sticks in her drawer”. It took us about five minutes to figure out WHAT he was saying, and then make sense of it (when I say he was heavily sedated, I mean SERIOUSLY. Slur city and sometimes he fell asleep mid-sentence. )

Growing up with him (5 & 1/2 years older than me), we didn’t always get along. He “beat me up” a lot… (a punch in the arm here or there.. Normal sibling stuff) I was that “annoying younger sister”. And he would even make be be the goalie for hockey practice (and he wouldn’t give me padding to protect myself). But once we both got a little older, he started being nice to me, and then he moved to Maine. That was hard for me… My sister already moved to North Carolina years before, and I was left in Delaware without my siblings. But we actually grew closer then. I remember one particular late night phone conversation.. Where I had to sneak down in the basement because I didn’t want to wake up my dad. It was the best conversation ever. Somehow, we really opened up with each other, then learned that we actually thought really similarly about a lot of things. I joked and said “OMG, you’re like the male version of me!”

I love hearing stories about how he made other people laugh… Or feel good about themselves. He was really good at that.
The one thing I regret.. Is I wish we had more pictures together before he got sick. As a photographer, that’s the kind of thing I hear all the time from people who have gone through similar situations. We are never guaranteed tomorrow… But we often make excuses about why we don’t want to be in a picture today (hair, weight, etc). I wish that we had gotten professional pictures done as a family (both before our mom passed, and even after, too). I love the snapshots that I do have of him, but we were really little in most, and I took a lot of them when we were older so I’m not in most of those!

Anyway, I wanted to take this blog post as an opportunity to open up conversation… I don’t want you to feel sorry for my loss.. Loss is something that we all (unfortunately) have to deal with at some point in life. I know you feel for me, so instead of condolences (I, of course, appreciate them, but I don’t feel they need to be put into words.) I’d much rather hear happy things. If you knew Matt, tell me one of your favorite memories of him. If you didn’t know my brother, tell me a favorite memory of your sibling or someone close to you (whether they passed or are still alive)! I just want to hear some happy memories.. Something that makes YOU smile & laugh, since that was the kind of spirit that shined so brightly in my brother. Let’s keep his flame shining with stories of love and laughter.

New Client Mother’s Day Contest

new client contest

What?! A SECOND Mother’s Day Contest?! I must be going crazy! 😉
I think it’s spring fever, but I want to share the love with all the beautiful mommas that I haven’t had the pleasure of photographing yet.

So here we are: Enter to win a Deluxe Mother’s Day Mini Session ($228 value) Includes a 30 minute on-location session within 30 miles of Wilmington, DE as well as 1-11×14, 1-8×10, 2 5×7 and 4 wallet sized prints.

All you have to do is sign-up for my newsletter HERE, then in the comments below, share a blurb about you and your little one(s) and why you would like to win a photo session with me (feel free to include a cute picture of you and your baby(or babies!)! Want to win this session to give as a gift? Tell me about the person you want to win it for!
Last day to enter is March 31st! A randomly selected winner will be announced on April 1st! Make sure you check your inbox for the announcement! 😀

*Please note this contest has ended! I’m transferring all of my my old blog posts over to my new blog – so I apologize if you are getting notifications about these old posts!*

Delaware Doulas Meet-Up

After a beautiful experience with Birth Without Fear… I decided to seek out local birth professionals! I was VERY lucky I found http://www.delawaredoulas.com when I did, because they were hosting their first meet up at Pea in the Pod Chiropractic in Newark! It was wonderful to get to know all the doulas and other birth professionals, as well as a few expecting mothers!

Birth Without Fear Richmond Meet-up

A beautiful day, meeting wonderful people. I was so lucky to be there to capture some incredible moments.
Check out Birth Without Fear.. You won’t regret it. 🙂 http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/