| Henry County Fair 2019 |

County Fairs are an area favorite this time of year!  Youth and adult projects of all kinds are entered and prepared for all year long; from open class to 4-H, FFA, Farm Bureau Youth, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, everyone looks forward to their county fair!  As a 4-H alumni who took projects from photography and sewing to furniture refinishing and market lambs, I love our county fair!

Earlier this year I was asked if I would be interested in becoming the superintendent of the photography department for our local county fair.  After talking with the director in charge and my family, I decided to take on the position and help to showcase the photo talents of those in Henry County!

Along with coordinating classes, organizing drop offs and pick ups, and many other tasks during the fair week, I was asked to choose someone to judge the hundreds of entries.  Without hesitation I knew exactly who I wanted to have join me as judge, Angela Keck of ARK Photography!  Angela is a fellow Henry County photographer, we have worked together several times at weddings, bounced ideas back and forth with each other, and learned from each other!    She is immensely talented and I am honored to have her on board!

                                       

This year’s Henry County Fair runs from August 8-15 and will be filled with amazing entries in the 4-H barn, animal barns, floral hall, merchant’s buildings, and Farm Bureau building!  Make sure to stop out, see the exhibits and get a burger, sausage sandwich, and milkshake!

| Share the Love |

As 2017 is now well underway, there are still many new things coming for SSRM this year!  Next up is the brand new “Share the Love” referral program!  I have been lucky to work with so many amazing people the last several years that I wanted to be able to give back to them for continuing to allow me to capture their family, seniors, kids, & weddings!  Not only will they receive a great gift of a credit for their next session, but the family or friends they refer will also receive a discount on their session!  There is no limit to the number of referrals one can make or the number of credits you can earn towards a future session.  Let’s “Share the Love” and make 2017 another wonderful year!!!

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*All photos and designs are copyright and property of SSRM Designs & Photography, please no copying, cropping, or saving photos.

| Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy |

I don’t very often post many personal things or talk about what is going on in my family life, but I wanted to take a moment to share a little about my Grandma.  She is one of the main reasons that I know how to do what I do, how to be creative, and how to express that through an art form.  She has been there for every family member, taking care of everyone, cooking, cake decorating, woodworking, landscaping, you name it!  She’s a jack of all trade and a master of every single one!  For the last several years she has struggled with Severe Peripheral Neuropathy, Spinal Stenosis, and the pain of associated with each of these struggles.  Luckily in our area these is a center called Sara’s Garden that does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, where many local community members and some that come from great distances have received helpful treatment.  We were lucky enough for her to be accepted into the program and she started treatments today!  She already felt better after just one day and can’t wait to keep going.  Below is a link to her story, and if you feel guided to donate, our family is more than grateful, but kind thoughts and words are just as wonderful!  Take a moment to ready her story and the history and mission of Sara’s Garden, it’s a truly amazing story and the work that they are doing is simply fantastic.

http://sarasgarden.org/deerobertson/

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| Starting & Maintaining My Small Business |

As the Northwest Ohio weather decides what it wants to do, snow one day and 60 degrees the next, I’m prepping and planning for warm weather and exciting outside sessions!  This year is bringing many business changes in both photo sessions and graphics projects, from a Client Loyalty program and a Client Referral program to a new Senior Rep program and now providing digital print images for graphics clients!

I never imagined that I would own and run my own business, let alone be the photographer and graphic designer and get to combine many different medias. I took a huge leap and it’s been a wonderful experience that I can’t wait to continue to grow with!  I’m often asked what it takes to run a business, why I charge what I do, or how do you know/learn what to do, so I thought I’d take a bit to share my workflow(remember every business’ will be different) before the busy season really picks up!

Photo shoots and sessions, a lot of people don’t realize that a shoot is so much more than a shoot.  There are lots of little and big things that go into each photo session, all culminating in the outcome of your customized session!  There is time spent…

1)  Talking with a client.  This usually first consists of emails or Facebook messages where a potential client will inquire session pricing and availability.  Then if we are a good fit for one another, there is more emailing of date, time, location, clothing suggestions, etc.  Sometimes one or two emails will do it, but most times it’s 10-20.  On occasion, especially with weddings, I will meet with clients to discuss what they are looking for at their session, I’m always game for meeting face to face rather than emailing, it’s more personable and gets everyone out in the fresh air!

2)  Prepping for sessions.  Here I spend time deciding if I am going to be bringing props or if the client is providing them.  If I am, I like to have a little time to pick a few things that will work with their location and the number of family members.  This part is essential for newborn and little ones sessions.  Most of these sessions are done on location, which then requires me to load up my car with 2-3 props, materials trunk, backdrop holder(which we made out of pvc pipe and is collapsable, yay!), lighting gear, camera gear, and anything a client may happen to mention that I may be able to surprise them with.  There is unloading at the clients location, reloading to leave, and unloading again once I return; lots of in and out of the car!

3)  Travel to and from sessions.  Some sessions are only a few miles down the road, while others can be 30+ minutes away.

4)  Shooting the sessions.  No session is ever going to last exactly the same amount.  Families run from 1.5 hours-2, newborns about 3 hours, seniors 2.5, it really just varies on each session and how we are customizing it to you.

5)  Once back in the office there is loading the pics from my camera to the computer, culling images(or weeding out the good from the bad) and editing a few for facebook and website sneak peaks.  Then once those are up, it’s editing the remaining session images!  Time for this will also vary depending on the session, number of family members, etc.  Here I also back up all images to a second hard drive.

6)  Gallery.  Once all images are ready to present to a client, I upload to an online proofing gallery where clients can view images, choose their favorites, and get ready to place their print order.

7)  More emailing, lol.  Sending the gallery and explaining how it works can always be a task.  Some people catch right on and others need walked through a bit, but that’s ok!  In today’s technological world, it’s always changing and sometimes I have to retrain myself on how to use it!

8)  Once in a while a client will ask for a couple additional edits and I’m always happy to do that!  While basic edits are included in the session pricing, those that are going to take several additional hours are charged by the hour.

9)  Placing orders.  Once a client has decided on the images they would like to order, they email their list to me, I pull those images from my files, upload then to my pro printer, and order.  Depending on the number of images ordered, this can take quite a bit of time; I also like to combine multiple orders at once, that way things are bundled together, arrive on the same day, I separate and label each order, and this allows me to get clients their prints in a much more timely fashion.

10)  In between much of this there is also accounting things to do.  Keeping track of retainers, payments , invoicing, tax, running to the bank, and more.  I also have to file sales tax twice a year as well as file normal taxes, which we all know takes far too much time to figure out!  lol

11)  Once prints arrive it’s back to emailing to set up a pick up time!

Graphics Projects/Orders.  Like photo sessions, there are many steps to these…

1)  Talking with the client…inquiring emails from potential clients on what it is they are looking for, what they want to see in the final outcome, colors, halftones, and so very much more.  In most of these situations it is best to meet face to face and go over things, especially with large projects and designs.

2)  Designing.  No two graphics projects will be the same, even for the same customer.  Some are logo design, starting from scratch or tweaking an already existing logo.  T-shirt layouts, wedding invitations, programs, and thank yous, birthday party invites, baby shower invites, promotional artwork, signs, digital prints, you name it!  Art time for any project can range anywhere from 15 minutes to 8+ hours, it all depends on what the project is and how involved it will be.

3)  Edits.  Once the project has been designed, it’s sent via email for proofing to the client.  I always expect edits, it’s just part of nailing down a look or layout.  I consider the first layout a starting point, we edit from there to focus in on the direction we need to continue to go.  Sometimes there are just 1-2 edits, others can be 15-20; while many think edits are a click here and there, they are actually much more time consuming.  So what may seem like a simple edit to a client, may in actuality take half an hour; more often than not, that one change isn’t going to affect just one part of the design, but rather the entire design and will require adjustments to everything.

4)  Order placing.  Once a final layout or design has been determined and after art approval forms have been received, the artwork is off to the printer for production!  For projects such as logo design or things to only be used online, it’s a matter of finalizing the correct file formats and making sure it is usable for the client.  Since designers and printers work in specific art programs, exporting or saving to the right format is a must.

5)  Accounting.  Just like with photo sessions there is accounting.  Keeping track of art time, material costs, application time, etc.

6)  Final product.  Some projects like invitations, promos, or t’s don’t require application by me.  But orders that include vinyl application on a car or digital print application on a 35″x95″ piece of plastic are going to require some dedicated time.  This is one of my favorite things to do, apply!  I don’t get to do this as often as I would like, but there’s something relaxing about applying graphics big or small!

7)  Pickup schedule.  Like photo sessions, finding a time that works for both parties to pick up is never easy.  Our lives are all so busy and full, that it can be a challenge, but I do my best to make myself as available as possible for everyone.

 

And one for both…education.  I am constantly learning, seeking new information, experimenting, watching tutorials on graphics, etc.  These are two ever changing fields and staying as current as possible is incredibly important.  I try to spend as much time as possible finding something new or studying something each week.

There it is!  My work flow!  While there are more steps listed for photo sessions than graphics projects, that doesn’t mean those will always take longer.  Nothing is consistent in these fields, some days my graphics projects are simple and to the point, other times, they take weeks.  Photo sessions can go smoothly or they can take extra time to edit out a random fly fling in front of the camera.

Owning a small business isn’t just a 40 hour a week job, it’s more of an 80+ hour a week job.  I do my best to limit myself and allow as much time for family as possible.  I love getting to meet new people and take on new designs, I’ve met and learned from so many amazing people in the last few years and look forward to continuing to do so!

| Watermarks |

What are watermarks and why are they on your images?    Webster’s dictionary states a watermark as: a design or symbol (such as the maker’s name) that is made in a piece of paper and that can be seen when the paper is held up to the light.  Why do photographers, graphic designers, and more use them?  There are varying reasons, each business having their own necessity for it.  There are many out there that don’t use them and equally as many that do; I personally like using them in my business and thought I’d share with you why and how I use them in my business! 🙂

Color vs. Transparent. Some photographers use a full color logo to place on their images, others use a form of their logo in white with different variations of transparency to allow for the image to show through the logo, but still be embedded in the image.  In most instances I prefer the transparent watermark logo over the full color logo so as to keep the eye on the subject of the photo rather than the logo.

Marketing & Recognition/Identification.  The watermark identifies the photographer.  If a client shares the images from their session online, it is very easy for those whom see the images to know exactly what photographer captured the client’s family, senior, etc. and if they feel that photographer fits their personal style, they will know exactly whom to contact.  Making it a very simple way to advertise.  Word of mouth, referrals, and social media have become common, affordable ways of advertising today.  While many still advertise in their local papers, etc., physical, tangible ads add up financially.  This is a way that we can advertise without being viscous and to help keep our session costs low.  When we post images to Facebook and our websites, we hope that potential clients will see our work, see the watermark, visit our website and business pages, and possibly hire us to capture a special moment in their family’s life.

Low Resolution Online Images.  When I post sneak peaks of my clients, I don’t upload the high resolution image.  I add the watermark and then downsize the image.  These images make for great profile and cover photos, upload more quickly than large MB files that photographers are working with straight out of camera(SOOC), and if the image gets into the wrong hands, is saved, misused, and/or enlarged, will be produced with pixelation.  One of my biggest concerns is my clients images ending up in the wrong hands, that’s why anything I post is downsized and watermarked, to protect as much as possible.

Protection.  In today’s technological world, images are stolen daily.  If a person wants that image bad enough, they will save it with the watermark, crop or shop it out, spend several hours removing it, and claim it as their own.  All photographers know this.  Photo theft is a very real problem for photographers and the clients we serve.  It’s not out of the possibility that someone on the other side of the world could see an image of my clients, save it, remove the watermark, and use it in their advertising campaign.  This is not only illegal by stealing someone else’s work(similar to plagiarism if claiming as their own work) but also hurtful to the client in the image.  My clients sign a contract stating that my business is the only one to use their images as advertising and sharing.  Therefore I as a business have the grounds to take legal action on that company/person for misusing my image.  It gives me an added level of security to the image and my clients in the image.

Respect.  Photography is an art, just like painting, drawing, etc.  You wouldn’t consider removing the signature off a famous painting, right?  In my contract it states that watermarks are not to be cropped or removed when sharing online or setting as profile and cover photos.  Our watermark is our signature, photography is our art, removing that is disrespectful.  Some say that if photographers are so concerned with images being stolen, then we shouldn’t post them.  But if we don’t post our photos, there would be no way to advertise our business, talents, love of the art, and the passion we have to our clients and potential clients.  We don’t take the images to keep just for ourselves, we want our clients to love them, to share them, and so that we can continue to do this for years to come!

Love.  I love what I do.  Capturing families, kids, newborns, etc, and getting to create some pretty amazing graphics.  With all of the above comes hours of work, research as to what will work or not work for my business, how I can protect my clients, and continuing to push forward and grow with this ever changing profession.  No session is ever the same, just as no graphics project ever is.  I take pride in in every project and session, what it took to get me there, those whom have supported me through the years, taught me what I know, and the love it takes to maintain a licensed business in this amazing career.  Stay tuned for many new things, from sessions and logos, to graphics and maybe even some new watermarks for my images!

 

| Professional Photographer Session Pricing |

Pricing…something that each and every photographer struggles to establish within their own business.  Every photographer prices their sessions differently, they offer different time allotments, types of sessions, products, and more.

As of late, I have noticed many times in my news feed from buy/sell/trade sites, people looking for a photographer.  And it never fails that there are over thirty different names mentioned.  Going back to a previous post, I encourage you to make sure that the photographer you choose is legitimate and registered!  50% of the time, the photographers mentioned in these threads are not legitimate…they aren’t registered with the state, don’t pay taxes, and it is usually a hobby.

This is where the confusion, and frustration, comes for many.  Often times I receive inquiries on session pricing, what comes with the sessions, etc.  I am proud and happy to give all information to perspective clients and it always excites me that there is the possibility to get to know a new family or couple and be able to capture a very important moment in their life!  But, many times the response I receive to my pricing is this, “Why are you so much more expensive than XXX Photography?  They only charge $20 for an hour session and all digitals are included.”  To this there is no simple answer, but one I felt I should share with all of you! 🙂

Professional Photographers base their session pricing on many things.  Equipment costs(camera bodies, lenses, memory cards, hard drives, lighting, and more), equipment upkeep, software, computers, the amount of time for each session, post processing time to perfect your session, session delivery, print ordering, accounting time, length of time in business, talent, and location.  Pro photographers also have to take into account taxes and other bills, from sales tax and licensing fees, to social security payments and insurance costs.  Being a professional business is very expensive and those costs are often reflected in your session costs.  Every photographer’s list of what makes up their session pricing will be different, but these are many of the most common you will hear talked about among photographers.

One way that I keep my session costs lower is by not including the digital files.  Some photographers want nothing to do with ordering prints for clients, so they bump up their session costs to include the digital files.  Others like myself, love to order client prints/products and so I do not include that cost in my session pricing.  I want to make sure that my clients receive the best print/product possible and I trust my professional printers to do this for me.  I personally like to set session pricing, allow my clients to build their own print/product package, and if digitals are wanted, then ala cart pricing will be discussed.

As one’s business grows and the years pass by, you will see prices rise, this is due to the continuous equipment costs/upkeep that photographers encounter as well as their talent and client base evolving.  My prices are no longer what they were three years ago, but most photographers will say the same thing, as they grow, so do their session prices.

A little something to keep in mind…the next time a photographer is offering cheap sessions and great perks, ask them if they are legitimate…are they registered with the state, pay taxes yearly, pay sales tax, pay social security, and follow government guidelines?  If the answer is no to any of those questions, there is a reason why their sessions are so much less.  Pro photographers aren’t doing this as a hobby, it is their love, their life, they are very dedicated to their craft, it’s what pays the bills, and supports their family.

On behalf of all professional photographers, thank you for choosing us to capture your important life moments, we love what we do, and seeing your smiles in our images is priceless!

| Professional Photographers vs. Point & Shoot Professionals |

pho·tog·ra·pher : a person who takes photographs, especially as a job.  Webster’s Dictionary

In today’s technological and digital world we are all photographers. :o)  With cameras in our smart phones, to small point and shoot cameras, to larger DSLRs with changeable and unique glass.  I love seeing people out there capturing important moments in their lives and the lives of others, from Grandma’s catching their grandchildrens’ winning goals and touchdowns, to my fellow pro friends documenting a wedding with a great love story.

As of late I have noticed a large increase in the “point and shoot professional.”  We all start somewhere and in today’s world point and shoots become many starting points, which is fantastic!  I applaud all whom take an interest in photography to better themselves and their photos!  But there is a large difference between pros and the point and shoots.

I wanted to take a bit of time to describe what you get when you hire a professional photographer and some of the differences you will notice that will make your session unique to you and make you proud to display that shot on your wall! :o)

What are you paying a professional for?
When you hire a pro you are paying for many things including: your pros’s creativity and expertise in knowing how to make a session unique to you, a specific amount of time for your session, post processing time, a specified number of digital downloads, and their love for photography!

Isn’t digital photography cheaper?  Why are your prices higher than XXX Photography?
Digital photography has revolutionized the photography world, in some ways for the better and in others for the worse.  It’s made it easier to catch flows or closed eyes in camera rather than get home, develop film, and see that all shots have closed eyes and you come away with zero shots of a desired pose.  Easier image modification, increased abilities to shoot in low light situations, and create striking color and black and white images of the same shot.

Here comes the confusing part: for amatures or point and shooters, digital is most times cheaper.  But for professionals, it is far from it.  In stats published in the last few years, a professional session done completely digital costs as much as one-third more than the traditional film methods.

Why?
1.  Hardware and software are continuously changing.  Dark room equipment and cameras from as early as eight years ago to one hundred and fifty years ago expected their equipment to last from five to twenty-five years or more.  Today’s digital equipment from cameras, computers, software, lighting equipment, SD cards and more are often obsolete after only a few months and sometimes only last a few short years, requiring many things to be upgraded frequently.  Upgrading is very expensive.

2.  When a photographer shoots a session digitally, there is a lot of post production work to do when they get back to the office.  Downloading the session, color corrections, batch actions, backing up files on external hard drives, retouching, uploading online galleries, and getting these to clients.  Many times this process take two to three times as long as the actual shoot itself does.  In years past, it was a simple drop the photos off at the lab, pick them up, and bill the client, but today it is the photographer, not the lab, that is working at their computers to prepare your images for perfection, presentation,  and preservation.  Many pros are also their own accountants, they place the print orders, they are putting the orders together once they arrive, doing the invoicing, keeping their financial records, and more.   Most photographers include all post processing in their session pricing rather than billing for things individually, makes the pricing much easier for everyone involved :o)

3.  Digitals have meant that faster turn arounds are expected.  While in some cases this is true, but if you are editing a ten hour wedding, this is going to take significantly longer than a family session or mini session.  I edit sessions in the order they are taken, do my best to deliver them quickly, but I also prefer to take my time to ensure that all images are edited to the best of my ability so that you can have years to cherish your session.

Are you legitimate?
Photographers, like any other business, are required to be registered by the state, charge sales tax, and file taxes.  The requirements vary by state, but in Ohio you should have a vendor’s license or EIN number.  Sales tax is to be charged on anything tangible, such as prints & products, and filed every six months.  Sessions are not taxable.  Then come April 15, you also are required to file your business taxes just like any other business.  It’s always a good idea to check to see if the photographer you are inquiring with is legal, no one wants to get caught eluding the government and causing problems for not only the photographer, but you personally.  Those photographers caught charging for product and not paying taxes can be charged with fraud, face fines, or even jail time.  It’s always best to be legitimate and stay within the governing rules for any business.

Why should you hire a professional vs. a point and shoot?

1.  Professionals take an interest in you, your family, your hobbies, and what makes you, you!  We want to include as many poses and groupings as time will allow that are specific to you.  We bring our knowledge, experiences, and equipment to capture this moment in your life so that you have memories to share for years to come!

2.  Artistic.  Pros are always looking for unique session spots.  I could be driving somewhere for something completely non photo related and see a perfect spot for a family or senior session.  Everywhere I look I see a shot through my camera’s viewfinder and am thinking what I would set ISO, Shutter Speed, & Apt at.  At your session we are not only focusing on you, but the background, lighting, shadows, depth of field, and many other elements that not everyone can “see” through the lens that help to make an image memorable vs. a snapshot.  This artistic vision helps us to craft your session into something special.

3.  High End Equipment, we use the latest digital SLR equipment and cameras, but most importantly, we know how to use them.  A large majority of pros do not shoot in Automatic Mode.  Most shoot Manual, on occasion they may switch to auto, but nine times out of ten, it’s manual.  With this equipment we can manipulate focal lengths, shutter speeds, aperture, depth of field, and lighting to each individual session.  No two images are ever going to be exact, but we know what we need to do to get that desired outcome.  And if we don’t, you better believe we are on top of figuring it out.

4.  Lighting can be a very scary aspect to photography.  On camera flash, off camera flash, soft boxes, back lighting, triggers, it’s a lot to take in and learn, but we know how to get our cameras to communicate with these great complimentary pieces of equipment.  Many times I prefer to shoot as much natural light as possible, but on occasion, you just can’t, either there isn’t enough natural light coming through windows, or you are shaded and need a little fill light.  Should you bounce the light or hit the subject directly, use the light stand behind the subject for a unique back lit shot?  These are things we are always contemplating.  When lighting isn’t used correctly, you can have underexposed or overexposed images, we know how to set our cameras to catch the natural light, use the right time of day, and/or get that OCF just where we want it.

5.  Post processing software, all pros use it, even if it’s just to add a little fill light, or take a completely blown out photo that would usually be ruined and make it something fun and unique.  This software allows pros to manipulate hue, saturation, vibrancy, turn to black and white, and more.  This software however does not mean that we are miracle workers.  Sometimes there are just images that don’t work no matter what you do, it happens to every photographer.  But we take that image and we learn from it.  We give a professional look to our images before we present them to you, the client.

6.  Custom Printing Options.  The majority of professionals work with professional printers to produce their high quality images.  We work with pro printers to ensure that your images are delivered in the finest manner possible, on higher quality papers/products that are using brighter more vibrant inks, and have access to unique products.  We bypass the low cost volume printers, such as WalMart, Walgreens, etc, because they don’t meet our professional standards for presevering your memories.  You hire a professional for your session and deserve to have your images printed professionally as well.

7.  Learning.  Not all pros went to school for photography, I personally don’t think you have to.  But I do believe that you have to have an artistic eye, have a creative mind, and a solid business plan.  Being a pro requires a personal love for photography and the wanting to always learn more.  It’s an investment, not only financially, but personally as well.  Becoming a professional doesn’t happen over night, it takes years of practice and learning to get to where one is.  Pros never stop learning, researching, or finding new ways of doing things.  I am constantly researching, experimenting, learning, making mistakes that I can learn from, and bettering myself professionally in any way possible!  If you don’t learn something new everyday about your profession, you might just be in the wrong one, lol.

And there you have it!  Some of the biggest differences between pros and point and shoots!  I am proud to call myself a professional, proud to say that I know my camera and lenses as well as my other equipment and it’s possibilities.  I know that my images are better today than they were three years ago, and most all pros will agree, with every year you become better.  We all start somewhere, with some sort of camera, but in today’s world, there are many things to consider when hiring a photographer.  Are they in it just for fun and to do as favors for family, or is this their full time job, what pays the bills, and what they love?  I will continue to learn so that I can serve my clients better than the day before and strive to always produce high quality images for you to enjoy for a lifetime!  I love my job and all of my clients, family, and friends for their support over the last several years!  Let’s keep this wonderful ride going! :o)

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| Sessions & Packages, Prints & Products |

Sessions, packages, prints, products, galleries, and social media.  How do you know where to start?!  In today’s world, it only gets more complicated with every passing day.  But at SSRM, I make it as easy as possible for everyone to get that perfect session!

A lot of photographers put together packages that include the session fee and different print sizes.  I decided to stray from the common plan and put together something a little different 🙂

Rather than forcing you to buy a certain package to get a specific quantity of a particular size, you get to build your own package!  You pay the session fee and pick your own prints and products in the quantities that fit your family, it’s that simple!  No unnecessary prints just to get what you need, only your quantities, how you need them.

Where do your prints and products come from?  I work with professional printers that print on high quality materials and whom use great print processes and inks to help bring out your sessions true colors.  Prints, canvases, metals, shadow mounts, soft mounts, and even prints on wood.  There are so many different options out there to show off your gorgeous family!  And what’s even better is the cost, high quality prints for a great family affordable price!

Pick your session, we’ll find a great location, a little post processing after the session, a personal gallery just for you, and you get to order exactly what you want, in the quantities you want, and in the format you need for your family and friends!  No complication, just simplicity to make your session unique to you and your family!

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|Proofing|

I’ve had several questions on proofing come up in the last few weeks, so I wanted to quickly explain a little about how I do that at SSRM! :o)

In this now digital age, the time of physical in hand proofs has gone by the wayside.  Some are in favor of it and others aren’t.  I can understand both ways, the touching of your physical proofs and the ease of a digital gallery that you can quickly share with friends and family.  I thought long and hard about how I wanted to present client’s session images to them, I went back and forth between ordering proofs and finding a gallery to submit them too.  As I was debating I accidentally stumbled upon something called PASS.  A digital gallery, all of your session images online for 10 years of cloud storage, and backup!  What could be better than that?!  Well, it got even better!  The company soon upgraded to offering a FREE downloadable app for all mobile devices.  This is what sold me.  They then also included a way for all family members to not only view the gallery, but create an account, set up a favorites list, and share that via social media as well.  I could upload an unlimited number of images, set up a personal gallery for your session, attach images numbers to make it even easier for you to pick out your favorites to order as print products, an app, and ten years of storage.

As I was comparing costs of physical proofs to a gallery, I wanted to make it as affordable as possible for all clients, current and those inquiring.  For example, to order 50 image proofs it would cost the client around $65 dollars, to do a gallery with 50 images it costs the client $0.  With 80% of sessions having fewer than 100 images, it made financial sense for everyone.  Sessions such as seniors, families, and weddings, the gallery cost is factored in since the number of images is significantly higher and will still save hundreds of dollars in the long run.  A digital gallery you can share with family and friends at your fingertips with the click of a button or physical proofs that you have to send from one family to the next and those family members that live out of town, are out of luck at seeing your session until the next holiday.

I’ve been using PASS for almost two years and I love it.  I’ve had great client feedback, ease of use, saving everyone money, and just all around excitement about being able to make their session available to family and friends across the country, even the world!  I can pull up the galleries on my phone or iPad while meeting with clients, it makes sharing and talking about different types of sessions so much simpler.  Within minutes of creating a gallery and making it live, it can be put out on social media and be across the country.  It’s amazing!

In addition to using PASS, I decided to then let you, the client, build your own packages.  You pay for the session and pick the quantities and products that you want!  No one telling you you have to order a certain package just to get a specific number of 5×7 and that one 8×10 you really want.  Order as many prints and products as you like, it’s your session, why should anyone tell you what you can and can’t order!?  Then once you have narrowed down your prints for order, you simply message me the image number, size of print, and the quantity you would like of that image.  I then place the order through my professional printer, and you will have your prints within just a couple weeks.

Can you still get physical proofs!  Of course!  But with so many options at your fingertips, I think that PASS will change your mind!  Take a moment to explore little Mila’s gallery(link below) and see the ease of use and the quick ability to share!

Never hesitate if you have any questions, I’m always happy to answer them!

http://ssrmdesignsphotography.pass.us/milaharperquinones/

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