All, Connections

10 Steps to a Stress-free Family Session | Central AR Photographer

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Raise your hand if having family portraits done is the modern day form of torture for you. My hand is up! Yes, it is hard and stressful and over whelming. When clients show up, half the time they are angry with each other and need a nap. Next time will be better with the following steps.

  1. BOOK EARLY Schedule your sessions months in advance so you get the best selection of dates for your family. You have plenty of time to take off work if necessary, and you will want to do some shopping. Booking early also allows you time to set a savings plan into place to be able to focus on what you want from the portraits and not only what you can afford.
  2. PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP Mom you deserve this! Schedule yourself professional hair and makeup. Getting everyone ready means you get the time that’s left. You will love the way you look. Allow plenty time to get home and get your family ready.
  3. OUTFITS Find one person, usually a daughter or mom, a “wild card” outfit that has multiple colors. You then match the rest of the family around that outfit. We have a complete guide on clothing to help with this step. When I say outfit, that is head to toe including bows, shoes, jewelry, everything. Many times most of this can be found at home, don’t feel as though you have to buy all new. And do not order clothing within a week of the session. Make sure it will be in days before for ironing.
  4. REMIND DAD Not all dad’s are like this but many are. They need to be reminded weekly of this session, maybe daily the week of.
  5. DISCIPLINE This varies greatly by child age. Babies and toddlers are just that. You can’t predict so you have to go with it. Make every effort to get good food and naps for them. For pre-school to school age, talk to your children about how important this is to you. Make plans for how to celebrate after the session whether you are a reward parent or just a family activity at home after. Something to look forward to if they do well for you.
  6. PACK Two nights before, not one but two, pack. Every accessory, baby items, hair items, anything you might need. Pack it all. All clothing is laid out, ironed and ready. Don’t wait until the night before incase something pops up.
  7. EARLY Everyone begins the getting ready process early. If you take 1 hour to get ready, then get ready 3 hours early. Everyone should be ready to walk out the door an hour early. Last minute rushing creates the most stress. Then plan to arrive 15 minutes early. This should accommodate any traffic issues.
  8. ARIVAL Once here, take a few moments to think. Did you put on all accessories you planned, are the kids dressed correctly. Look everyone over and yourself.
  9. BEHAVIOR Remember I work with children, I’ve seen it all so don’t worry too much about what the kids do or say, relax. Unless they are destroying my studio haha!
  10. SMILE Now just follow direction, relax again and smile. I will talk to the children and get the emotion, you stay focused on the camera or whatever our focal point.

YOU DID IT! You will have accomplished something big and all thats left is to enjoy it for the rest of your life!

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All, Connections, Heart and Soul

Want a Big-Ticket Vacation Annually?

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Welcome to 2018, the month of resolutions, budgets, and plans. Do you ever wonder how your friend or coworker can have lavish family vacations year after year? Are you looking at finances and telling yourself there is no way? Hang on just a minute – there may be.

Print out your bank statements and start adding. Where is your money going? Not the big expenses but how about all those small purchases. The 5, 10 or 20 dollars here and there for unnecessary items. Ever go to the store and get a pile of “crap” only to hear “that will be $107.99”? Guess what – those little amounts add up. Go on, add up those fast food receipts, Starbucks, Sonic, pedicures, tanning….

Now lets study the big stuff. Seriously consider what you are paying for that is not a necessity. Boat, country club membership, high end vehicles, entertainment… Now I understand these things may be important but here is the a-ha moment – you are choosing to value X over Y, and the result may be that you can’t afford Y.  Everyone has priorities in which they choose to spend their “want” money.

So let us say you come to the realization you are throwing away a lot of money on little wants. Maybe you realize those 5, 10 and 20 dollar wants added up to $500 in one month. If the money is there you will spend it, so here is your solution. On pay day, $100-$200 gets transferred to the special vacation savings account. $500 is a good amount to save. If you get paid weekly, $100 a week almost gets you there. If you and your spouse get paid weekly, only $50 from each check. As for my family, if we don’t move that money, we spend that money. In the vacation account, we will not touch it.

What if you are the family spending X and wanting Y? You have to make choices. What do you want most. Those people you see vacationing have chosen to make vacations their X and perhaps they are sacrificing in other areas that make up their Y. Of coarse maybe they just have a huge green budget, but those are not the people we are talking about here.

Every family handles budgets differently, so apply these suggestions to the way you handle money. In my studio career, I hear so often we could never afford nice portraits. Yes you can, save up for whatever it is you want. You have to make what you want a priority; we can’t have our cake and eat it too.  Happy New Year and happy saving.

All, Pitter Patter

Official Pre-school Year | Morrilton, AR Photography

With the new school year, I realize Loralai has started her “official” pre-school year. She didn’t change classes, she has been in there since her 4th birthday in February, but this feels more real with all her age classmates moving up with her. I know what comes next, Kindergarten which morphs a “baby” into to kid. Its a bittersweet milestone. But until then I’ll enjoy my little girl and her sassy little self. We decided to go Shirley Temple style for the photoshoot marking the occasion.