Category Archives: Photography Info

The Other Side

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to be on the other side of the lens… the lens of Jon-Mark. We have been planning our yearly family photo session since April. We had originally decided on a date 3 weeks earlier but E’s ezcema flare up led us to postpone. Call me a bad parent but I didn’t want to have memories recorded of her being red, itchy and uncomfortable.

So the date was upon us. We had our outfits all picked out- we coordinated but did not match (he he). I had carefully selected a time that would produce E at her best; 2:00pm. That morning I went to the Swap and Shop with a friend (so much fun) and left E with her dad for a fun dad and daughter morning. When I arrived home at 10:00am he said that she had just gone to sleep, perfect I mused to myself- everything is going according to plan. I was just getting ready to tackle some business stuff and “waahhhhhh, wahhhhhhh, wahhhhh,” E woke up. I gave her 3 minutes to see if she would settle and go back down on her own, yeah right. So I pulled her out of bed and tried to do the “lazy mother” and nurse her to sleep; no dice there either- she was up and not going back to sleep. I started to stress. I did the calculations and yep, she would want to nap right at 2:00pm. I cursed in my mind. I have now taken to cursing in my mind as E has a vocabulary of 30 words that grows everyday… the last thing I need is for her to show up at granny and grandpa’s and drop a big fat F-Bomb.

We showed up at the agreed upon location. E had fallen asleep on the way there within 3 minutes of our arrival of course. We woke her up, she dealt with that quite well, it looked promising. We strapped her into her stroller, she was eager to stroll and take in the city sights… okay maybe we can swing this. We talk to the lovely Jon-Mark and decide on locations within our location. And now it’t time for pictures… and that’s where she decided to turn up the mean on her mug.

We tried different types of photos; the “smile for grandma” type and the more photojournalistic style. Do I even need to say that the latter were way more successful. Poor Jon-Mark, he did not appear frustrated in the least but I still felt bad for him. I can’t imagine what the session would have looked like had he not been so talented and understanding. He thought on the fly and tried to make E’s moods work for us. We began the challenge of capturing the meanest “smug mug” and all giggled about the results. E would not hold hands, she would not sit and she would not smile… well okay she smiled a few times but it was when B and I were not in the pictures and were making damn fools out of ourselves to get her to smile. The i-phone soothed her, so we will now have family photos with that important 4th family member- dad’s i-phone; I am sure that Apple would approve and if Steve Jobs read this post you would see a new i-phone commercial that featured family photos with their i-phone in the photo or at least a “family photo” i-phone app.

I appologized profusely to Jon-Mark. I said the usual, she is usually really happy or she’s tired and I’m sorry. Jon-Mark was convinced that she didn’t like him, I convinced him otherwise and said that really in that moment she didn’t like anyone! I have been Jon-Mark in this situation before. I have had the mom apologize and be embarassed and a teensy bit annoyed with their child. Oh did I say teensy bit, I really mean a lot. I was a lot annoyed. I knew it wasn’t her fault, but I was still annoyed. B on the otherhand was cool as a cucumber. He was all serenity, how does he do it, how does he? Likely years of dealing with her ma (me) has taught him a thing or two about a prickly female, lol.

I am fortunate that in this situation I knew what was happening behind the lens. I knew that despite the lack of sit down and smile there were memories of my little family being created. I knew that Jon-Mark’s skill would prevail and that I would gush the same thing that the other mothers say to me, “I don’t know how you did it, these photos are amazing.” I am pretty sure what makes these shots still amazing is that they are of your family. Yes, that’s right your family. Your family is more than an image, your family is an energy and these more photojournalistic images capture that. You look at the photos and you remember what was happening, you remember the feelings that you had, the smells that were around you (mmm waffles), the feel of the sunshine peeking through the clouds, the uneven pavement under your feet and the smile you exchanged with your partner when you were proud of a new skill that your little girl demonstrated. I am pretty sure that I will prefer these shots over the smile for grandma types (as Jon-Mark called them). I wonder if other families feel the same or if it is just because I also have a love of photography and prefer these types of shots from others’ sessions as well?

So I can proudly say that like all scary situations, being on the other side of the lens taught me a few things:

– I now know what it feels like to be the mom of the child who will not cooperate. Note to self, offer support to the mom, lend an ear, a shoulder or a tissue (hmmm, maybe I should carry mom emergency chocolate?). When said child is not cooperating work with them, not against them, you will create memories for the famliy.

– Being in front of the camera is scary. Talk to people about a happy memory or exciting life event while photographing them. Jon-Mark kept the conversation alive and it helped me to relax A LOT.

– The dad hates having his photo taken more than the uncooperative child. Ohhh goodness does he ever. I have always noticed at shoots that the dad seems uncomfortable. I try to be funny and get them laughing, even if it means making fun of myself. Jon-Mark was great with us, but B still wasn’t excited about the photo session as I felt he should be. I asked him why and it comes down to this, guys typically don’t value family photos as much as we ladies do. They just don’t get our need to document every detail. They don’t get baby books and they don’t get saving curls or first teeth. I asked B how I can help dads, he said make it quick and organized so that I can get in and get out; makes sense if you think of the whole hunter gatherer thing (we like to lovingly collect, they like to strike and get the heck out). Good thing for us, he liked Jon-Mark’s speedy style 🙂

– With a talented photographer, good photos amount from even the most frustrating session. When you think that everything has failed don’t worry, all is not lost just because you don’t have the typical family photo shot. In fact you might get better than that, you might get a shot that actually captures your family as they are!

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And the WINNER is…

And the moment that we have all been waiting for… the winner of the FREE mini photo session… drum roll please (make drumming suonds in your head).

Jennifer congratulations! I have added you as a friend via Facebook and will be in contact to set up your free mini session!

The success of this last month has inspired me to give more away! So here’s the deal… 100 more members each month equals prizes. This month we are already 20 members in, so we would only need 80 more by July 31. The prize for July will be a $100 gift certificate. The gift certificate can be used towards a photo session or prints and other products like the DVD Collection from your shoot.

Thank you so much everyone! This support means a lot to me 🙂

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New Super Fantastic Packages!

Belly to Baby

A mother’s beautiful pregnant belly and her adorable newborn baby are two of the most photographed subjects at Little Pickle Photography.  I have been asked about newborn photos by so many of my maternity clients that it just made sense to finally combine the two into one fantastic money saving package! The Belly to Baby package will allow you to photographically capture both your pregnancy and your precious new arrival. The package combines both the Maternity and Newborn sessions, but at a lower rate and with increased benefits. Details as follows…

Maternity Session Includes:

  • Two hours of creative photography at one location
  • Artistic and traditional digital darkroom treatments to images
  • Personalized high resolution CD of 5 images for you to keep
  • Personal online gallery of 20-30 images that can be purchased a la carte

Newborn Session Includes:

  • Two hours of creative photography at one location
  • Artistic and traditional digital darkroom treatments to images
  • Personalized high resolution CD of 5 images for you to keep
  • Personal online gallery of 20-30 images that can be purchased a la carte

The Belly to Baby package is $ 260.00, saving you $60!

The package can be booked at the time of your maternity session. It is suggested that you arrange your newborn session at this time also as this will ensure that you are booked in with Jessica as well as eliminate one more “to do” from your list after the baby arrives (trust me, it gets to be a pretty BIG list!). Birth announcements can be added on to your shoot for as little as $35.00 ask Jessica for more details at the time of booking.

*If the Watch Me Grow package is also booked at the time of your maternity session you will receive high resolution digital negatives from all of your portrait sessions (maternity, newborn, 3 Watch Me Grow sessions) on personalized CD’s, in addition to a bound coffee table book of your baby’s journey from Belly to One Year… that’s $475 in free products!

Watch Me Grow

Don’t want to miss a moment of your little one’s first year of life? Well now you don’t have to! Little Pickle Photography is pleased to offer the Watch Me Grow portrait plan. The Watch Me Grow plan is for parents who would like to pre-plan portrait sessions for their baby’s first year of life. Babies change so much from the time they are born to the time of their momentous first birthday (I know this first hand being a mom myself!). The plan makes it easy for parents to capture their little one at various ages and stages in their development; holding their head up, sitting on their own and finally, standing on those cute little baby feet! Watch Me Grow offers discounts on session fees, digital negatives, prints, albums, etc.  The plan can be set up during your child’s first months of life, or even at your maternity or newborn session.  Watch Me Grow includes:

  •  3 sessions throughout your baby’s first year (suggested ages are 4 months, 8 months and one year)
  • 10Ă—20 dry mounted storyboard at the end of the year with one photo from each session
  • Discounts on additional products like digital negatives and prints

Each session includes:

  • One hour of creative photography at one location
  • Artistic and traditional digital darkroom treatments to images
  • Personalized high resolution CD of 5 images for you to keep
  • Personal online gallery of 20-30 images that can be purchased a la carte
  • One year session also includes personalized 6 inch birthday cake for the birthday baby for priceless “cake smushing” photos.

The Watch Me Grow package is $ 335.00, saving you over $150!

What’s even more exiciting is that each baby participant will be entered into the Little Pickle Model Search for the Baby of the Year. Only babies who participate in the Watch Me Grow program are elgible for this title. The winners image will be used for advertisements and brand awareness for Little Pickle and the Watch Me Grow program. The lucky winner will receive a bound coffee table book with images from all 3 of their photography sessions from their first year.

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take ME to the cleaners…

I have been struggling lately with how I manage one key piece of my business; my digital files. Up until very recently I thought of them just as that; files. I did not see my files for what they truly are; my (dare I say this) talent, my time, my loving care and attention to retouching, and ultimately my art. After reading some articles like the one below I could feel my business model start to shift and to be honest it was an uncomfortable feeling. I have always wanted to practice ethical photography and would never want to hold someone’s photographs hostage. On the other hand, I also had to realize that this is a business for me and I need to protect the quality of the services that I am providing. And as much as I don’t want to take clients “to the cleaners” I can’t let them take me there either!

After much reflection I have decided to change my packages somewhat starting in June 2010. I will now be providing clients with a disc of 5 images from their session, with the remainder of their photos held on an online gallery where they can be purchased in varying sizes and materials. The site that I am hosting them on will also have the option for clients to download a high resolution digital file of a photograph they really like. I understand wanting to have “hard copies” of photos and so it was important to me to make this option available. I will also include the affordable option for clients to purchase their entire session on DVD for those who like to make a lot of prints or do fun things like scrapbook and create their own photo projects. 🙂 I will be posting more information in June regarding print pricing and packages… also be on the lookout for more fun products that you can have custom made with photos from your session. Things like canvas prints with various templates, bound coffee table books, drymounted wall hangings and much, much more! Photos of examples are on their way and I can not wait to share!

I didn’t want to do away with giving clients files along with their session completely because I think that every family should be able to access quality custom photography. I will full heartedly admit that I am a teensy bit of a photo snob and I can not stand the idea of families having to go to places like Sears or Walmart to get their photos done. The lighting is terrible, the backgrounds are tacky and the photos are boring (let’s be honest). Everyone should have photos of their family that they can hang proudly all around their house, or hand to friends and family. Everyone should have photos that make friends and family (or even strangers) gasp when they see them.

The article below is from BabyPhotographers.com

Posted by Heather on 18th May 2010

Are Digital Files Included With My Baby Photography Session?

Babyphotographers.com would like to welcome St. Louis baby photographer Lauri Baker as our guest blogger. Please enjoy her interesting and informative thoughts on image ownership and digital files.

Surely you’ve noticed an increase in the number of photographers giving away digital files. As a customer, should you expect them to be for sale? Why don’t all photographers include them in the session fee for free, or at least make them affordable? Don’t the files belong to you anyway?

Federal copyright law is very clear about image ownership. They belong to your photographer, who has the sole right to print, display, and sell them. You should expect the price of files, if available, to compensate your photographer for her work and talent. Baby photographers don’t always sell a large package up front like wedding photographers. Instead, most charge a session fee that just covers some costs of providing the shoot. We rely on print sales as our sole source of income. The digital images are the key to those print sales. This is good for you. It means I have to do a good job for you, or I won’t get paid.

While many baby photographers do offer the files for sale, many custom photographers don’t. It’s a matter of quality control from start to finish. They realize cutting corners on that is a disservice to their clients.

Almost all of the file inquiries I get stem from an attempt to get my work for cheap…to get my vision, but to skip out on buying prints from me. Or from a misconception that digital is cheaper to produce than film. It’s not. The equipment is much more expensive, replacements are necessary more often, and the workflow, maintenance, troubleshooting, and constant education requirements make digital much more expensive.

Even at that, the real value of digital files comes not from the cost, but what the files contain: the work and artistry that prompted you to choose that photographer. If you purchase files, expect to pay a price that values the work, and is sustainable for the photographer. You want her to still be in business when your new baby starts sitting up. Or walking. Or when your family grows.

If you’re just looking for average portraits, you don’t care about prints or a long-term photographer, cheap photography is available in abundance on places like Craigslist and all the mommy boards. You can have a session and all the files for cheap. But for good baby photography, the important things to look for are artistry, print quality, experience with babies, safety, and service. Not the availability or price of digital files.

Copyright ©2010 Lauri Baker, printed with permission.

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~Calling All Grade 11 Students~

Do you know a grade 11 student who would be interested in a free photo shoot with Little Pickle Photography? You do? Well send me their details! Little Pickle Photography is looking for one grade 11 student from each of the high schools in Victoria, West Shore and Sydney/Saanich to become a Little Pickle Photography & Design Grad Representative.

Each representative will receive one free grad photo shoot along with custom designed graduation announcements and 5 images from their shoot on disc. The lucky gal will also be given “rep cards” which are little business cards with their name and photos on them to hand out to their friends and family. And here is where the deal gets even more juicy… if the grad rep refers 5 more students to Little Pickle Photography for grad portraits, the rep will receive a 25 page bound coffee table book of the photos in their session… if the rep refers 8 students they will receive the coffee table book AND all of the photos from their session on disc!

*Little Pickle Photography would like to let all graduates know that photos from their session can be sized to go in your yearbook! Why have the same old boring cap and gown shot as everyone else when you can be a trendsetter with a modern and unique photo*

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What To Wear?

More often than not I am asked by moms what their child (or family) should wear for a photo session… taking a cue from a fellow photographer I made up a little example of some outfit ideas. I always tell moms that something that “goes” together is what we are looking for… the picture below is an example of what I am trying to articulate not so articulately 🙂 They “go” but aren’t too matchy-matchy!

Some other rules of thumb: bright colours always look good on kids, if you are fair stay away from stark white as it can wash you out, if you are of a deeper complexion darks can fade you into the background, layering is a good idea for our West Coast weather, outfit changes can be a fun idea mid-shoot provided that outfit changes do not upset your child :)-

The looks below are all from Gap Kids and Baby Gap (www.gap.com). Gymboree, Mexx, Old Navy, The Children’s Place and even Superstore all have great stuff too!

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Choosing A Newborn Photographer

I came across a great article on babyphotographers.com that really helps parents decied who to choose for their newborn photography session.

Taken from www.babyphotographers.com
Posted by Heather on 3rd May 2010

How to Choose a Baby Photographer

What is your style? What do you like? Choosing a baby photographer is a big decision and can involve a significant investment. Here are a few tips to ensure you are satisfied and happy with the end result:

Decide Your Budget Range and Style

The first step in choosing a baby photographer is to decide on a style preference.  Do you prefer a modern look, a classic look, outdoors, indoors, colorful or black and white?  Many photographers have a distinct look, and you may want to consider if their style suits your home décor.  Additionally, prices will vary according to which photographer you choose.  Lower priced photographers will allow you to purchase more prints, while higher-end photographers provide added services such as helping you design custom artwork for your home.  So keep your style preference and budget at the top of your mind, as feeling confident about these two factors will help you be more efficient in your search for the perfect photographer.  

Research Baby Photographers Online

The second step in choosing a baby photographer is to browse the websites of photographers in your area.  Make a list of a few artists who are compatible with your style and your budget. As a general rule, photographers will most often display their best photos online to attract potential clients. If you don’t like what you see on the website, chances are high that you might not like their work in person.

Call Your Baby Photographer Choices and Narrow the List

Once you have a list of your top choices, call the photographers to determine if you “click” with them on a personal level.  After all, this person will play an integral role in documenting your family history, so you want to ensure you like them.  Be open and communicative about your wishes, needs and budget ideas.  Get a “feel” for the energy, the setting and the photographer’s ideas, take your time and make the right decision.

Know Your Photography Goals

A reputable and professional baby photographer will try and determine your goals and needs to ensure they provide you with the best possible service.  Questions you may want to be able to answer include:

  • Are you looking for custom wall art or something smaller to    document this particular time?  This answer can play a major factor in your choice as you might invest in a higher-end photographer for your wall art and try various styles for your smaller prints.
  • What is your priority and main goal of booking this session?
  • Will this photo begin or follow an established family tradition? If it follows a family tradition, ensure you explain your needs fully or provide visual examples.

Remember, establishing a relationship and communicating your goals is the best step to success in hiring the ideal baby photographer for you. Follow these simple rules and you will be on your way to displaying a gorgeous new portrait of your child in your home.

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