This morning I was driving along highway 6 when I saw them...
The first bluebonnets of the season.
Rumor has it, all the rain we have had this year is going to serve us with a killer bluebonnet crop.
Bluebonnet season for College Station Photography is HUGE time for family portraits but every year, I cringe when I see families pulled over on the highway squatting in the wildflowers to try to get a good shot. I cringe 100x more when I see that they have toddlers who could so easily slip away and run into the road.
So it has inspired me to highlight some of my favorite safety issues when it comes to family or children's portraits.
1. Railroad tracks.
Just say no to railroad tracks, please. This issue hit close to home 2 years ago in 2017 when a 19 year old, pregnant Navastoa resident was struck and killed posing for a photographer on a set of railroad tracks. You may think that you will hear a train coming in time to move, but I am here to tell...
You can’t run from it any longer.
Your face is on every point of contact. Your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram email signature, website and business card all have your lovely mug all up on it.
So what photo did you choose?
Is it professional?
Does it say, “come work with me?”
Does it draw in the clients and separate you from the competition?
Do you look approachable?
Did you crop it out of a cell phone picture of a night out with your friends?
…Did you crop it out of an old pic with your ex?
Let’s be honest. The way you present yourself online is the first impression people have of you. Have you been intentional about it?
“But Ashley, I HATE having my photo taken.” I hear that daily. Truly, 90% of the people that come into my studio tell me that they absolutely hate it.
So that’s my job. To put you at ease, and get you to give me a genuine expression that makes people look at you and say, “Hey, she looks like...
Im going to give you a little bit of insider knowledge about the photo business.
A peek behind the curtain, if you will...
Photographers struggle to market our businesses the same as any other type of business. Here is how marketing works:
The gurus tell us: “Find a pain point in your client’s life and tell them how your company is there to fix that pain point for them.”
But what pain point does photography fix?
I’ll tell you.
But first let’s take a step back and look at how image rich our culture has become. The advent of photo sharing social media has created a time where we share pictures of EVERYTHING. And I mean everything… I photograph about 10 childbirths a year. :)
Why? Because we have a primal need to connect to others and feel accepted. We need to feel like we have a “tribe.” The fact that we can show off all of our accomplishments, big and small, from completing a marathon to following a recipe, and get...
We have a big announcement to share with you!
As many of you know, for the last year, K. Norwood Portraiture and Fig-Mint Photography have shared a studio, but we have decided to take the next step.
As of January 1, K. Norwood Portraiture will be coming under the Fig-Mint Photography umbrella!
For those of you who have been loyal Kathy Norwood clients as she has served the Bryan College Station area for many years, don't worry! You can still request that she shoot your images! Moving forward, all scheduling, consultations, and ordering will be streamlined with Fig-Mint Photography.
We are so excited to be able to serve the Brazos Valley with a top notch service experience and 2 PPA Certified Professional, Master Craftsman Photographers!! (And Kathy will be receiving her Master of Photography designation this January!!)
Ashley Diamond Siegert, CPP, Cr.Photog
Kathy Norwood, CPP, Cr. Photog, M Photog.
Today I have been feeling all the feels for some of my favorite local business owners because you know what Aggieland?!! Bryan & College Station has some of the best small business entrepreneurs ANYWHERE.
Here are a few that have personally touched my heart and made my life easier and more enjoyable lately. I hope these suggestions help you out as well.
1. The Dine-In Dude.
Did you know that every week, this fabulous chef creates an amazing dish of the week, announces it on facebook, and BOOM, he sells out within an hour or two. Then, you pick up your tray of AMAZING dinner (or get it delivered,) and you don't have to cook that night.....WHAT?! I know. I will be digging into a pan of King ranch chicken here in a matter of hours and I am PSYCHED.
2. My Doc BCS
If you are a cash pay medical patient, meaning you are on a med-share plan, faith based plan, or just flat out pay cash, I am about to let you in on a little secret. IT IS CHEAPER to have a...
Can we talk for a sec?
Here's the thing.
When I was in high school in Atlanta, we had our senior photography sessions during the summer before, or early fall of senior year.
This was great because during the school year, when different organizations finished their season and had banquets, they could collect the images for slideshows, any yearbook requests were ready to go, and most importantly, we were not rushing to get them done in a short 2-3 week spring window after the weather improved but before we needed to send out graduation announcements.
When I moved to Texas, however, it was all different and here is what I see:
1. Photographers are scrambling to try to fit everyone into the short window
2. "We already bought the invitations, they offered at school, and now I wish we had waited for the photos and made our own."
3. It's raining for the 12th day in a row, as happens in spring time...
4. It is already 90 degrees...how did that happen?
To begin, I have no plans to bum you out. But, I would like to have a frank conversation about the importance of taking portraits now, because you won't be here forever.
Photographers make pretty photos, and we like to create pretty thoughts when we create our marketing materials. Butterflies, flowers, and whimsical icons are everywhere in the photography marketplace.
But here is the problem: marketing is about reaching out and grabbing you by the pain point. How to solve a problem that you have.
People marketing air conditioners market to your fear of being hot.
People marketing running shoes market to your foot and back pain.
People marketing sunscreen are playing to your fear of terrible sunburns and skin cancer.
But photographers regularly struggle with marketing because its somehow taboo to talk about how your portraits will be the best memory keepers that your loved ones will have when you die. (OMG did she say die?! She can't do...
Ok, so we are now a full week (or more) into summer vacation and you are already googling the academic calendar for next year to see when you are going to get your full productive hours of the day back...
Take a breath. It's going to be a while.
BUT! In the mean time, the beautiful part about summer in Bryan and College Station, is that we have excellent parks, lots of places for swimming and splash pad fun, and that means lots of great opportunities to get some sweet summer photos of your kiddos.
So here are my pro tips for getting the best shot of your kid with just your phone:
1. Look for the light.
If you are inside, try turning off any electric lights, and just work with window light. It is best to position yourself (and your phone) between the window and the area where your kids are playing and to focus on their faces. This way, the camera in your phone will set the exposure to correctly to your child's face, and the intensity of the light will fall off behind them,...
Years ago, when I was first starting my photography business, we had a family friend who was battling breast cancer.
We always knew that there was a chance that we would loose her, but the thought of her 3 young daughters loosing a mother was just unbearable, so we all kept a good attitude and her large community of friends in our very close knit town did everything we could to make the final year the best it could be.
Many people offered time at beach houses, cooked meals, drove the kids to various activities, etc.
What could I do? I had this camera and this vision of lifestyle family photos, so we picked a sunny afternoon and I came over to capture a day snuggling in bed, sitting by the pool, and snagging those tiny moments.
Years later, scrolling through my facebook feed on her birthday or the anniversary of the day she was called up, one of those images will catch my eye, and my breath. Her daughters share them often. They treasure them.
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