| Noteworthy Nuptials Logo Design |

Your logo is one of the first thing clients see and becomes one of the ways they recognize you from others; having a strong logo to add to your brand is just one of those important steps in creating and launching a business!  From gorgeous watercolors and soft complementing colors, to bold fonts and colors, the possibilities of creating a logo are endless!

Noteworthy Nuptials is a wonderful wedding coordinating business that is owned by a fellow high school classmate of mine, Jen Bailey!  I was so excited and honored to be able to create this amazing logo for her!  I love getting to sit down with clients and discuss what they would like to see in a logo, but for Jen and I, there are just a few states that separate us.  Instead of meeting in person, we opted to face time our meeting!  Jen emailed her thoughts and ideas so I could have a visual on hand while we chatted and bounced ideas back and forth, discussing colors, designs, likes and dislikes, and a week later we had her final custom look!

I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about the South Carolina couples that have the pleasure of having their wedding coordinated by Noteworthy Nuptials!  Congrats Jen on your new adventure and thank you for bringing me along!

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

| Mark Helberg Birth Announcements |

Birth announcements are a great way to share he arrival of your new little one with family and friends near and far!  Who doesn’t love to put a gorgeous newborn on their fridge?!  Mark’s newborn session went so well with the help of his big brothers!  It’s so much fun to create custom art for clients and his mom and dad picked out the perfect image for their announcements.  With the addition of a little text to add the details of his arrival and a little graphic around the outside to help highlight him, we had the perfect announcement to share with his loved ones!  Getting to combine two amazing mediums is so rewarding for me, capturing special moments and highlighting them with custom graphics is an amazing way to bring lasting memories to any important milestone!  Thinking about a special session or graphic?  Let’s combine the two and create something memorable!

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

| Moline’s 1st Birthday Invitation

Miss Mo turned 1!  It has been a joy to watch her grow as we captured her during her milestone sessions and creating her 1st birthday invitations has been icing on the cake!  We created a custom watercolor design and added in text and graphics to highlight her birthday theme!  Her sweet family loves John Deere green tractors and it’s only fitting that her first birthday invitations reflect that perfectly.  Wishing Miss Mo the happiest of birthdays and I can’t wait to continue to watch her grow!

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

| Skye Cinema Family Film Festival Posters |

Warm weather means families are venturing out of hibernation from our cold winter and enjoying the many fun things around the area communities!  One of our local movie theaters puts on a free family film festival every summer and what better way to go out for an evening with the family to see a favorite movie or find a new favorite!  From The Greatest Showman on Earth and Sherlock Gnomes to Hotel Transylvania 3 and Lego Move 2: The Second Part, you can’t go wrong!  It is always fun to team up with Skye Cinema and create a new look for them each year and find different ways to incorporate their sponsors and different movies!  Grab the family and head out to Skye Cinema this coming June and July to catch some amazing movies!

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

| Wheeler Christmas Card 2018 |

I can’t get enough of this sweet family!  I’m sure The Wheelers put their friends and family in the Christmas Spirit with this adoreable card!  Sweet Miss Mo on her JD 4020 and then snuggled up on her Daddy’s lap make for the perfect layout!  Custom Christmas cards make your Holiday Season that much more special!  Choosing your colors, designs, and layouts, and then having the ability to make edits and adjustments until it’s just perfect for you!  Thank you Wheeler Family for an amazing session, sharing your sweet girl, and for your wonderful friendship, wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

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

| Robertson Christmas Card 2018 |

The Christmas season is in full swing and that means it’s Christmas card time!  These fun loving pups did so great at their family session a few months ago and look so handsome with their humans!  There are sure to be lots of belly rubs this Holiday Season for Jax & Yogi, after all, who could resist those adorable faces!  Merry Christmas Robertson Family!

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

| Dailyn & Logan Wedding Programs 2017 |

On October 7, Dailyn & Logan tied the knot at the Williams Co. Fairgrounds Bridge!  I was honored to put their wedding programs together for their guests!  They opted for a tall, thin, two sided design with their ceremony on the front and their wedding party and thank you’s on the back!  A bold black text color printed on a gorgeous kraft paper made for the perfect addition to their already beautiful ceremony!  What a beautiful fall day they had, Congratulations Dailyn & Logan!

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

| Kenzie Short 2017 Graduation Invitations |

I have had an absolute blast working with Kenzie!  Her senior session was one of my favorites last year and getting to create these 5×7 graduation invitations was just as fun!  She choose one of her favorite images from the session and we added a unique script font mixed with a traditional serif font to highlight her name and the details of where she and her family will be celebrating!  Kenzie will be off to the University of Cincinnati this coming fall majoring in Engineering.  The University of Cincinnati holds a special place in her family’s heart and I’m sure that she will be right at home there!  Congrats Kenzie and the AHS Class of 2017!

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

| The ABC’s of Movement, CD Jacket & Book Insert |

It has been wonderful to watch this business grow and I am proud to have been able to help get things started!  This time around we created a CD jacket for her upcoming CD that purchasers will be able to incorporate with the previously released cards.  We also created a reference page that will be going in her book that she is having high school students create the illustrations for.  The projects and ideas that Laurie brings forth never cease to amaze me and I always enjoy bringing them to life for her!

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

| 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!