You charge that much, just to take baby pictures?


You charge that much just to take some baby pictures? I mean they are good, but I will just take my own

Yep,  newborn photographers hear this all the time, because people just do not understand that newborn pictures are expensive to create, and that custom photography is a luxury. Newborn Photography is more difficult than any other type of photography, except maybe weddings.  Portrait sessions are more than laying a baby on a blanket and snapping away. You have to know how to safely pose them, and what to use when posing them, how to light them, what camera settings to use, and how to edit the images. Newborns session generally take up to 2 hours. There is a lot of calming, soothing, feeding, and making baby comfortable in between all the beautiful images you see. Very rarely do newborns sleep through an entire session the process is time consuming. It’s true you can take your own pictures,  by laying them on a blanket. The pictures will be cute, because your baby is cute, but the end result will still look like you just laid them on a blanket and took a picture with your phone. I have never heard a parent say, I wish I would have not paid to have newborn pictures taken. I have heard loads of parents say, they regret not booking a newborn session. People book newborn sessions, because they want to capture the sweet dreaminess of their newborn, and to do that they pay for a photographer who specializes in newborns, one that has the equipment, props and training that it takes to produce those beautiful once in a lifetime images. For those who are still bulking at what newborn sessions cost and want to do it themselves I have attached the following picture of a basic newborn setup that breaks down what you will need in order to achieve similar results. Keep in mind, the cost of learning to use the camera and editing is not included, but generally you can expect it to take about 2 years to learn and you will need training for how to use the camera, posing, baby safety, lighting, and editing. Courses, workshops, and seminar prices vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you decided to make a career of it, then you will need to also factor in the costs of doing business, taxes, insurance, marketing, and operational expenses.DSC_0272.png12.png

#5 Pictures are worth a thousand words

People are visual creatures, vision, is one of our strongest senses. Pictures tell a story and captures a memory that last generations. Our lives would be dull without pictures. With a picture you can evoke emotions, and show a moment in time that words are unable to adeqately describe. Scrolling through facebook, pictures are what makes us stop scrolling look and read. Some pictures bring us to tears, encite anger, makes us laugh, reminds us of childhood, offends us, awes us with beauty, or just makes us want to barf. For the most part this blog series concentrates on taking better pictures with your camera for personal use, and for the most part that means our kids, family, and pets. What if you want to sell something online? Snap a shot with your phone and list it, right? Wrong! Several quality pictures from different views with the right lighting and composition will create more interest and increase your odds of selling the item than a single quick shot from your phone. Let’s say I was not a photographer, lets say I was a chef, and ran an online blog. As part of my blog I shared receipes. I could just write it out and share it, and you reading it might think it sounds good while scrolling past. However, when I add pictures especially of the process, the receipe becomes more interesting to you,  tantalizes your tastebuds, and may make you hungry. The pictures increases my chances of  you saving and cooking the receipe, but also there is a higher chance you will share the blog with others. How many receipes show up in your facebook feed?  What do they have in comon? Right, they look, not sound yummy. So what do you do? You like it, share it, comment on it etc. This creates a wider audience for the orginal poster giving them a higher ranking fan base on facebook, and increasing thier reach.For a few lucky people it’s so widespread it goes viral. If you are a business and you have a post that goes viral (for a good reason, not bad reason) you are on top of the world literally.  Facebook and other social media sites now offer paid advertising,  as a result, unless  you pay for your posts to get boosted, not many are going to see it, even those that follow you so forget attracting fans/clients that way.  Why do I tell you this? Maybe you have a business page or are thinking about starting one, because you are a stay at home mom or have a side job to make extra money by crocheting, sewing, making hairbows, baking cakes etc. The only way you are going to build your local reach to sucessfully attract clients from social media is,(a)to have already had  an established base audience that like and share your posts, or (b) you have to pay to boost and advertise. I like free, especially if you are just starting out and you don’t really have money for marketing in your budget.  I have tried the paid boosts a couple times, I did the cheapest at $5 a day and let it run a couple days. Really was not impressed only got a few new likes, and no new clients or even inquires. However, in 2 days my business showed up in over 1k peoples news feeds. My next post even though it was not advertised still got seen by over 500 people because my previous post had such a large audience. Slowly but surely the rankings drop after that and your post then only gets seen by a few. That is why so many businesses chant, like our facebook page, follow us, and like and share. It is the only way to keep your rankings up. Why do people like and share your posts? 99.5% is because of the picture(s).  Here is a good example, take a look at the recipe below. If I was a chef trying to increase my fanbase reach I could just write it out and post it on facebook and get limited results, or I could add pictures that not only make the reciepe easier to follow but more visually appealing. By doing this you will like my post, share it, and probably save and try the reciepe, and come back to my page looking for more recipes at later dates. This means I was sucessful in marketing on social media. Me as a photographer is no different, the more you like and share my posts, menion me, and check in the better ranked I become, when this happens  facebook feels I am worthy and that people are interested in what I offer, so I show up visually in newsfeeds within a 50 mile radius.  So make sure to please continue to like and share my posts 🙂  I actually did make the below recipe last night taking pictures of the process to show you guys that cameras normally have a  food scene as one of the modes. Try food mode next time you have a dinner and want to make others mouth watering jealous. This turned out delicious so I thought I would pass the actual recipe along to you as well. You can also make this and serve over rice, in fact you will have enough left over  for another loaf of bread or to eat over rice.

Cajun Trench Pizza
1/2 link of sausage cut into small chunks               1 loaf french bread
1lb crawfish tails                                                             1 can cream of mushroom
1lb shrimp                                                                         1 package onion soup mix
1 bell pepper diced                                                          1 diced tomatoe
1 small white onion diced                                             1/4 c milk
4 diced green onions                                                      a pinch of salt, pepper, basil, oregano
4 celery stalks diced                                                       1 c shredded monterey jack or mozzarella
1 1/2 sticks of butter                                                      3 cloves of garlic diced
1/2 c mayo                                                                        1 tsp liquid shrimp boil
EDW_4251.jpgDice up basic cajun vegetable base, I kept some of the chopped tomatoes  back to sprinkle over the top after cooking.


In a large pot add the stick of butter and your diced garlic, tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and onions and saute



In a skillet melt 1/2 stick of butter and the diced up sausage to cook, once cooked add the crawfish tails and shrimp with 1tsp of shrimp boil for flavor heating them together


EDW_4261.jpgCombine meat mixture to vegetables in the pot and continue to saute


EDW_4267Add in the can of mushroom soup, onion soup packet, spices, mayo, and milk continue cooking on low heat. For a spicy taste add a couple dashes of tabasco, and red pepper flakes.




Scoop out bread loaves to form a trench, then fill with mixture, adding cheese on top


Bake on 350 until bread is warm and cheese starts to melt, I then turned it up to broil to crisp the top a little. Remove from oven and top with remainder of diced tomatoes. Enjoy



#4 oh..your camera takes nice pictures

This tip is going to be a very valuable one! I get asked constantly “what camera do you use? It takes really nice pictures.”  I just smile, but I always want to come back with a snarky remark. The whole truth is you can buy a $50 guitar and a $1,000 guitar. Unless you know how to play it, the $1,000 guitar is not going to sound any better than the $50 one. Same goes with cameras, it kills me to see people by expensive DSLR cameras and shoot in auto mode. Save your money, and get a nice point and shoot for about $150. Below are two cameras I own a professional D750 that before buying lenses cost over $2,000 and a point and shoot Nikon coolpix that is about 7 years old that cost around $100. Notice I said the D750 was over 2k without a lens. Good professional camera lenses will cost anywhere from half of what the camera body cost to double what the camera body cost. You see those people on the sidelines taking football pictures during NFL season, that lens they have on their camera costs over 5k. The cost of equipment alone should deter most hobbyist. However, people not understanding and believing its the camera that is responsible for taking amazing pictures still fall into the trap of buying expensive DSLR’s. Here is why you should not. EDW_4242 copy.jpg

Today I took pictures with my pro camera on auto, and my point and shoot using the macro mode. These are the results side by side. Can you guess which camera took which picture?


Now here is an image using the D750 in manual mode using the years of training, and experience I have. In the two pictures above, the first one I believe is the better picture. It is also the picture that was taken with the point and shoot coolpix. The second picture was taken with the D750. Now look at the second picture and the one below. It is a huge difference, even though both images were taken with the D750 using an 85mm lens. To sum it up, if I didn’t have the photography background I do, and was going to shoot in auto mode, no way in heck would I buy an expensive DSLR. Remember that $1,000 guitar doesn’t sound any better than the $50 dollar one, unless you know how to play it.

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You don’t need an expensive camera to take good photos, you just need to know how to use your camera. To be honest, I don’t want to lug my equipment around with me when I am not getting paid to shoot. My little nikon coolpix is exactly what I need for family shots, vacation, and everyday use. It is the size and thinness of a flip phone, and fits perfect in your shirt pocket or purse, has all the features and modes including a zoom that I need to take great every day pictures. Hope y’all have a nice weekend and are inspired to get out and take some pictures!