Can you believe it, next month marks the 10th year that Stacy Francis Photography has been around. We weren’t always called Stacy Francis Photography, over the years this little business of mine has had 3 name changes, quite a bit in 10 years of business actually, but this is the name it will forever hold, thank goodness because it’s who I am and I don’t ever expect my name to change 🙂 I have been working hard to create all sorts of fun to celebrate the big month, There will be a new website coming soon with updated images and a fresh clean look. The blog will be getting some updating as well to try to tie the two websites together. I am working on some fun contests and a big giveaway. Speaking of giveaways, if you’re a vendor (i.e. hat maker, framer, canvas company, boutique owner etc) and are interested in participating in the giveaway I would love to promote your business all while be able to give away some great prizes! If you’re not a vendor but have a favorite place you shop at or would like to win something from let me (or them!) know and I’ll do what I can to help add their product to the giveaway. I have a few more things up my sleeve and can’t wait for it all to come together. June is going to be a super fantastic month here at Stacy Francis Photography!
Now through Saturday, May 12th purchase a gift certificate and your dollars will double! Pay $50 and receive a $100 gift certificate. So all you last minute shoppers, can you think of a better gift to give mom than the gift of portraits? It is a gift she will always remember, she’ll see her gorgeous images on her walls every.single.day and think about the amazing gift you gave her. What are you waiting for? You can claim this great gift by either calling the studio, emailing the studio or visiting our Facebook page and clicking on the “claim this offer” posted near the top. I need to know the amount you’d like to spend and who the gift certificate should be made out to. I’ll even package it in a pretty box for you all set to hand deliver. All gift certificates come with some rules, here are mine:
Minimum $50 investment
Valid on new sessions only, can not be applied toward previous sessions.
Gift Certificate must be used within 12 months
Good towards session or prints
Orders placed by Saturday will be available for pick-up in time for Mother’s Day.
Do you know a deserving mom? I know, we’re all deserving, but do you know a mom that has had a tough year and could use a little something special this Mother’s Day? The military wife, the single mother, a mom that had a particularly tough year? I want to hear about these moms. Please email me their story to info@stacyfrancisphotography. Put “deserving mom” in the subject line and then tell me their story. Please include a way for me to contact her. One very deserving mom will receive a free session, wall portrait and images on disk curtesy of you and Stacy Francis Photography. Every mom deserves amazing portraits of them with their children, let’s make it happen for one amazing and deserving mom this Mother’s Day. Email submissions need to be received by Saturday, May 12th.
I always try to explain to my clients during the consultation and again at their session on what the next process is after their session. I tell them I will load and back-up their images, edit them and then present them in a slideshow and shopping cart for them to enjoy and share. I’ve had clients ask “what do you mean by edit?”. I don’t know that I’ve ever really gone into detail about what happens immediately following a session and the time it takes to “edit” images. Thanks to Laura over at Pretty Presets for sharing these before and after templates this week I decided now would be a great time to walk through the process with all of you. It starts right after our session. I take the the card(s) of digital images to my computer, creating a new folder with your name for easily finding you on my system, it would really stink to lose a client after all 🙂 and transfer all images to the folder. I then burn a disk with all of the images as a back-up. If time allows I’ll grab a few images to quickly edit and post some sneak peeks (assuming the model release has been signed, many clients prefer their children/families not appear on the blog or Facebook pages). Then the process begins with me choosing the best images. I am sure if you’ve had portraits taken by me you know I take a lot, sometimes to make sure I have everyone looking (if it’s that kind of session), sometimes to capture the image in both close-up and full length and other times because I’m trying to capture a series of images. When you take 200+ images you know some aren’t going to be great, some are repeats and some just aren’t quite right, this makes it easy to narrow down. I try to find the best 30ish images, sometimes it’s more, rarely is it less (mini sessions are the exception). Then the fun begins. I crop the images in an eye pleasing way, then spend several minutes on each image tweaking things just so. Many times the images don’t need much, just a little boost here and a little boost there. Other times I have a vision on how I want the image to look but need to “play” with it a bit to get it just right. And to many times I find myself lost in making it the “best” image possible. When the session has been edited, I resize all of the images for uploading to the web, prepare the slideshow and shopping cart and email all of the information out for you to view and order your portraits. The process from start to finish is anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on how many images (senior sessions have taken longer yet!) I’ve taken, how many changes of location and clothing were involved and whether or not I was an airhead and forgot to change my camera settings when changing lighting conditions (umm, yea, not the smartest to admit that, but it has happened). Don’t judge, I get wrapped up in what I see unfolding and don’t always remember the fundamentals, at least not for a few minutes when my brain snaps back in place and remembers those dials and buttons on my camera are there for a reason.
I quickly pulled an image from a session last fall to demonstrate the edit process. The before image is good, it’s properly exposed, the lighting is good (there should never be harsh shadows or black eyes in a portrait, if you have ever paid for portraits with goofy shadows or have black holes where your eyeballs should be do yourself a favor and find a new photographer), technically there isn’t anything wrong with the before image, but it just didn’t have that “pop”. Now I didn’t do a complete and full edit on the after, but I did remove the drool on little man’s chin and brighten him up just enough to make him come alive. With a slight reduction in the red tone he’s good to go. Now if this was an image that is ordered I would go in and fine tune the edits, making sure all the drool was cleaned up (drool can be cute, but in this instance it was just a wet chin) that the white of his hat remained white without losing the texture of the hat and maybe defining the texture of the basket just a smidge more.
Why am I telling you all this… it’s a rainy Sunday. I am working on editing a session, remembered these great templates I downloaded last week and decided to take a break from editing my session and share the process with all of you… don’t you feel lucky now? 🙂 Come on now, I know you’ve always wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes.
I have buried myself in the office the last 2 days trying to get caught up on a few things. One of the things I’ve been working on is my new product and pricing guide (still not done, but it’s getting there). I can’t tell you how many times during any given week I receive the question “How much for the disk?” I’ve addressed this several times in the past and there is a great article that was just posted called “Choose Art” found at http://www.bowesphotography.ca/blog/2012/04/29/blog-carousel-prints-or-files/.
If you want to purchase the disk because you want to be in control of printing the images please ask yourself why you’re choosing a professional photographer in the first place. It is our job to do the best work for you, starting with a consultation to make sure your session runs as smoothly as possible and ending with handing you archival quality portraits. If you want it for security to know you’ll always have access to the images in case of a worst case scenario that I understand and is the reason I’ve made some major changes.
With that being said I have decided to add some digital collections into the new pricing guide. I wish everyone chose art and not a disk that will be buried under dust and out of date in a few short years, but the reality is it’s not what people want. These may change over the next year or so as I figure out what works and what doesn’t, but for now this is what I think will work best for my business and my clients.
The digital collections now available:
1. $395 5 digital files
2. $795 10 digital files, 1 5×7 reference print of each digital image and 10% off a la carte print orders
3. $1095 15 digital files, 1 5×7 reference print of each digital image and 15% off a la carte print orders as well as a custom designed cd case.
4 $1395 all edited images from a session on disk, 1 5×7 reference print of each image in a beautiful custom box and 25% off a la carte print orders.
Digital images $100 each after minimum purchase. All digital images will come with a print release form and lab recommendations.