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!

Holidays are fast approaching…

I know I’ve said it before.. I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. It gets cold (except today.. Record high, anyone? I’m okay with this..) but then my favorite holiday is just around the corner (Thanksgiving. I can pack that food in like no one ever believes…). I love getting holiday cards.. And who doesn’t love twinkly lights?! But I feel like right about now, we kick into warp speed and before we know it, it’s January. And then where did it all go?!

So! I’ve decided to start holiday mini sessions a little early this year. Let’s get those done so you can get your holiday cards out! I MIGHT offer one more mini day in late November or early December, but that’ll depend on demand, and my schedule 🙂

So if you want to make sure you get one last session in this year, grab ’em before they’re gone!


https://squareup.com/market/katy-rose-photography/holiday-mini-session

I’ve also decided, in honor of Veteran’s Day next week.. I’d like to offer a free mini session (complete with 3 digital files and Facebook banner) to all active military, or families with deployed spouses. THANK YOU for your service! ❤ Email me to schedule! katy@katyrosephotography.com

Also, I’ll be publishing another blog shortly about no-hassle holiday cards that you can get from me, even if you’re not doing a holiday mini. Stay tuned! 🙂

Autumn Mini Sessions!

Everyone loves the colors of autumn! AMIRIGHT?! 😉 

Fall mini sessions are always popular! And since I already have several sessions scheduled over the next few weekends, I decided to open up several dates for mini sessions so we can make the most of the gorgeous foliage that’s about to explode around us!

SAVE 10% on your session and receive an extra 5 digital files (with printing rights) when you use code ‘FIVEDIG10’ at checkout!

https://squareup.com/market/katy-rose-photography/fall-mini-session

Saturday, October 10th: Mt. Cuba ($10 admission per adult, $5 per child ages 6-17, Free for children 5 & under)

Sunday, October 11th: Lums Pond State Park (park fee: in-state vehicle $4, out-of-state vehicle $8)

Thursday, October 15th: Rittenhouse Park

Saturday, October 17th: Valley Garden Park

Sunday, October 18th: Valley Garden Park

Get ’em while they’re hot! Spots will fill fast!! Contact me about a specific time if you’d like to confirm an opening before you book! I’ll remove days from the available options when they are full! 

  

Say it isn’t so! Back to School already?!

Summer always goes WAY to fast for me! I love everything about summer! The sunshine, the heat, even rain showers on a hot summer day! So when I start seeing ‘back to school’ things in stores, and hear of my friends, family and clients doing their ‘back to school’ shopping, it makes me so sad because it means the colder weather is coming! 😦

However, it is an awfully good excuse to offer another mini session! Let’s cherish every last bit of summer with a fun “back to school” mini session! Have your kiddos wear their back to school outfit and their new backpack and we’ll get some super cute photos in Old New Castle! Don’t you want pictures to look back on at the end of the school year, so you can see how much they’ve grown? Book today for a 10% discount on your selected package (use code ‘BLOGDISCOUNT’ at checkout!)

Back to School Mini Sesion
Mini sessions in Old New Castle! September 6th, 2015. Book today!

Sephira Anaiś

Hurry up and wait. That’s what birth photography feels like. 😛 I get the text “contractions 5 min apart” and I jump for joy! Check my bag, make sure everything is in there and batteries are charged. Make some calls to get my affairs in order for the day… Now what? I’m so excited that the coffee I’m drinking is already making me jittery, and I can barely eat because I’m so excited! And then I’m just left to wait for another update!

The birth of Sephira Anaiś was so very special. Momma (my incredible cousin, Melissa) was so focused when I arrived, she looked at me and mustered up a tiny smile in the middle of a contraction, then closed her eyes and continued breathing. I knew right away that it wouldn’t be too long. Melissa’s concentration was unbelievable.

I’ll admit, I don’t know Harlan that well. We met briefly at the baby shower, and I’ve heard great things about him from family members… but I got to see his true essence the day Sephira was born. Dads are typically really funny to watch during labor & delivery. You could tell Harlan was nervous (who wouldn’t be!) but it seemed he was more nervous for Melissa’s pain than anything else. He was so attentive to Melissa’s needs, keeping a close eye on her during each contraction, giving her ice when she wanted it, even rubbing ice along her forehead and cheeks between contractions as they grew closer together and more intense. When Melissa started to appear exhausted and started to lose focus of her breath, Harlan gently reminded her to breathe through the pain. He held her hand and stroked her arm. I could see in his eyes how hard it was for him to watch Melissa in so much pain, but he did all he could to help her through it. I am so happy to see my cousin with such a genuinely kind and supportive man. It was so beautiful to watch their love fill up that room…

And the moment their sweet baby girl finally made her grand debut was simply incredible. Dad & auntie’s smiles were from ear to ear, and the moment momma saw her baby girl, she was suddenly so calm and overjoyed. She whispered “hi, baby!” as the nurses placed Sephira Anaiś on her chest. A few moments later she kissed her baby on the forehead and turned to Harlan & Deja with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. The wait was finally over. 😍

Happy Birthday, Sephira Anaiś! 07.03.15

You are seven days old today! 💗

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!

Do you work out?

During my weeks of not blogging, I’ve had lots of photo sessions, I’ve been working on a few personal projects, and planning out some updates to my website (which will probably take a another few weeks to finish). Also I started doing yoga again.

I was talking to a photographer friend about how hard it is (physically) to shoot sometimes.. We got to talking about how much our bags and gear weigh, and how we can really feel sore the day after a session. Anyone want to take a guess on how much my bag weighs (with all my gear inside)? Or how much my camera weighs with the lens attached? I haven’t weighed either yet.. but I have to know now! 😛

To get ready for the spring rush, I started doing yoga again back at the end of March/beginning of April. I usually only do it once a week or so, with other random exercises thrown in another couple days a week. The funniest part of doing yoga for me, is how difficult it is to simply hold my arms out straight for extended periods of time. How is that so hard to do?! LOL. My biceps stay in pretty good shape carrying my heavy camera (and lifting toddlers sometimes helps too ) but my deltoid muscles apparently are non-existent! Until now, at least. I also signed up for another new adventure that took place a few days ago… I took an introduction to aerial training class over at Ascend Flow Arts. If you’ve never heard of this, don’t worry… I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. My friend changed her profile picture to this amazing picture of her gracefully hanging upside down from a trapeze bar. When I went to the website she gave me, I saw more amazing pictures of people “dancing” from large pieces of silk fabric and posing on huge circle hoops in the air. Alternative fitness that looks like art? Yes, please! So I had no idea what to expect, but it was SO fun. But oh my goodness, I HURT TODAY. I want to take more classes.. so if you’re interested in trying it too, let me know! P.S. A note to others trying this (and a reminder to my future-self), if you don’t consider yourself a “muscular” person, or don’t work out seriously on a regular basis… don’t wear a belt the following day. For some reason that is one of the more troublesome parts of the day after- trying to get my belt undone and back on for bathroom breaks. Also opening & shutting heavy doors (aka car doors, fridge doors, etc). Pretty much anything that uses shoulder muscles and or “crelbow” muscles (thanks, Tammy for that wonderful word…) ;p

What are you doing on May 30th?? Come visit me in Pike Creek! I’ll have a vendor booth at the Pike Creek Reiki Mind, Body, Spirit Fest! I’m still planning out my booth.. I think it’s going to turn out looking really awesome so you should come see! I’ll also have a raffle and a giveaway going, so those are more reasons to stop by!

Also- May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month, and if you’ve checked out my Instagram, Facebook (or blog!) then you’ve probably seen tons of pictures of Miss Kylee Rose.. She has both cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy. I posted a blog showing a little more about what a typical day is like for her, you can see that here. And if you’d like to learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, you can do so (and donate ) here. I’m also running an Ava Anderson Non Toxic fundraiser this month, 20% of all purchases will be donated to the CF Foundation. You can check out the products here. If you’d like to make a purchase, please use party code #65729 at checkout. If it asks for consultant id, mine is 8216.

 

 

Twenty-Nine.

29!!! Weird. I’m 29 today. At some point during my youth, everyone stopped aging in my eyes. Myself included. I look at my younger cousins now and I’m always baffled about how much they’ve changed and grown up, because I still think of them being 8 or 9 years-old. So when I think of myself being 29 – It’s just confusing. hahah

I always catch myself reflecting around my birthday and around the New Year…. Reflecting on my previous year, and reflecting on how far I’ve come over the years. I’m definitely not where I ultimately want to be, but I wouldn’t trade this journey for the world.

I think back about things I’ve done and I catch myself shaking my head saying “oh, boy… what was I thinking?!” Then I remind myself of one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes – “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Then I always throw in Mahatma Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And I move on with my life, and my mission(s). 😉

I can’t wait to share more with you all about some new dreams and goals I have.. but I want to get things planned out a bit more before I make that announcement. Stay tuned for that – and cheers to you all celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight! Be safe and enjoy your Mexican food & margaritas! 😛

Kylee Rose

I have a very special little lady in my life. She is almost 4 and you have probably seen several pictures of her on my Facebook, Instagram, and my website, and blog. Last year I had a photography assignment for one of my last classes at Wilmington University and Kylee was the star. It was a photojournalism class, and the assignment was to tell a story using only images.

Kylee has Cystic Fibrosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She is an incredible little girl, tough as nails and honestly a huge inspiration for me. She’s very creative and has a great imagination… but she deals with a lot on a day-to-day basis that most children don’t have to. Regardless, she is full of smiles, funny stories and tons of love.

Here are the final images I used to tell Kylee’s story. “A day in the life of CF & SMA for a toddler”. These images were taken over a period of several days last June (2014). It’s crazy how grown up she looks now and it’s only been about 9 months!

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.