Monday, January 2, 2012

With every new year...changes must come...

I must admit...I've been struggling lately. I've known for quite some time that I needed to make some changes in my business. Changes that are the for the best for my family and my sanity but changes that will upset others. To be honest, I hate it.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I am a people pleaser. I CAN'T bear to have anyone upset with me! I have a HUGE heart and I would literally give everything away if I could! But, sometimes you have to remember that the head is bigger than the heart and yes, there comes a time when you need to use it!

These past 2 years in my photography journey have been has been beyond my wildest dreams and I could have NEVER imagined that I would be where I am. I seriously was a just a girl with a new camera, quite happy with taking better pictures of my kiddos and the occasional family or friends...a little extra $ on the was good. But, then it happened. The business was not prepared at all. I made so many mistakes along the way and I fully admit them. 2010 was "my getting my feet wet and working my butt off" year and 2011 was "my finding my way and learning from my mistakes" year. 2011 was amazing but boy was it my quest of building the business, so many people were neglected in the process.

So, with that said, it's time to make some hard changes.

The first area of change will be the amount of sessions. I will only take 3-4 sessions a week. Of course, during the busy Christmas season I will adjust, but as a general rule, only 3-4. I will only book 2 sessions but I will be open for the newborns because we never know when they will make their appearance! :) I will be booking up to 3 months in advance. I will also limit the amount of weddings per year. I took on way too many in 2011, again, another lesson learned at the cost of others.

The second area of change will be the type of sessions. I will only be booking Newborn, Family and Weddings. If you book me for your newborn session, I am available for maternity and baby's first year at a discounted rate. I will also offer a mini-session for birthday sessions and every return client will receive a 15% discount. I will not be able to shoot Seniors, Events or Headshots. However, I have an amazing assistant that I can recommend!

The third area of change will be pricing. I'm not raising my prices in a major way, just changing the way pricing is handled. I will no longer "shoot and burn". Which means, I want your experience with JPP to be just that, an experience. From the time you book your session until the time your pick up your prints, I will be right there with you. I'm making these changes because my photography is so personal to me. It pains me to know that I have spent hours on sessions and then I just burn a Cd and put it in the mail. Most of the time I don't receive a confirmation that the Cd has been received unless I see them posted on FB. I "assume" they like the images but it always leaves me wondering. And, to top it off, I find out that the majority of my clients never print the images or if they do, they do not use the lab I recommend. My first reaction is to be upset with the client but then when I thought it about it...I realized it was my fault! Giving a client a Cd of 80 images is overwhelming! It's my job as the professional to guide them when choosing the images to adorn their wasn't that they didn't like the images...they just did not know what to do! Not everyone is blessed with the ability to pick out the perfect frame or perfect grouping...they came to a professional, they paid alot of money for a's time for me to take that responsibility and to follow up as a professional.

So, with that said. I will not be charging a flat rate anymore and giving Cd's. I will make the Cd available but only after a certain print amount has spent. Your pictures need to be on your wall. And not only do they need to be on the wall, they need to printed the proper way. They need to be protected, they need to be mounted, this is art and your family deserves it.

I will also be catering your sessions to your family. It's not about the location, it's the love between your family. It's capturing where you are now...if your little girl will not take off the princess crown, well, it's ok! If your son insists on wearing the rain boots, well, it's ok too! I'm a firm believer in having family pictures every year and they need to portray where you are during that's a memory, not just a pretty posed picture. I'm also adding a little element of fun to each session. I will have a photo booth at the's amazing how a funny wig or glasses can bring out the personalities...

I'm sure there will be alot more questions but I've summed it all up in the following letter that will be sent out and posted on the website under the "pricing" tab. Please don't let the price deter you from making memories with your family. I truly believe that everyone can afford to have awesome pictures made of their family. Yes, you might have to save up, not eat out as much, cut back on the Starbucks, but wow...isn't it worth it? How many of us treasure our pictures when our love ones are gone? This is your life...there is no price tag for these memories. You can't get them back....Here's the new info....I hope you can see my heart through my words...

Hello new friend!

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am that you are considering Julie Paisley Photography to capture your most precious moments! I am so passionate about photography and not just capturing a “pretty picture” but capturing true moments…candid and sometimes posed. Over the past few years, I have worked hard to build a business and a reputation of offering you something different. My sessions are just that, they are about you, your family, what makes you unique…this will be an experience from the time you book until the time you receive your images. I want you to always remember this time and of course come back and see me next year! We are going to have so much fun and I can’t wait to book your session…it’s time!

Here is how is works…

Once you have decided to book a session with JPP we will pick the perfect date and time. Portrait sessions will last for 1-2 hours and newborn sessions will last 2-3 hours. The best time for a portrait session is sunrise or 2 hours before sunset, location and time will vary according to the time of year. Newborn sessions are held during the day in my natural light studio and it is best to schedule the session when baby is 5-10 days old. After date is chosen, I will send out a packet of info and a contract. This is very important because there is a special little questionnaire that will help me customize your session! You must get this back to me asap! When you do, I will have a little gift for you, have I told you that I LOVE to give presents? The session fee of $250 will also be due at this time and this is important because it will secure your place on our calendar! YIPEE! You are one step closer to that BIG canvas on your wall!!! You will be the envy of all your friends! (wink, wink)

While we are waiting for your big date, I will help you plan your session! I will help with planning your outfits, (this is HUGE) props, themes, locations, ways to bribe dad, etc, etc! I book 2-3 months in advance so we will have plenty of time! One week before your session, I will send out a reminder and confirmation as well as an invoice for $300. This amount is a print credit for you to be used during our in-person ordering session! (and this will take place about a week after your session…yay…so exciting!) I will help you imagine your prints on your wall (remember to be the envy of others) so we will go big! Don’t forget to bring measurements!

Now, isn’t that easy? I will be with you every step of the way and I will make this process fun and memorable!

To sum it up…here’s the details again!

You will receive a pre-session consult, a CUSTOM session and a studio ordering session

Gallery for Friends and Family to view and order prints

Session Fee - $250 ($300 print minimum is required)

Prints start at $40 (all prints are mounted and protected for long life)

Packages start at $500 and includes a CD and copyright release of images.

I can’t wait to work with you!!!



PS. ALL portrait sessions will end with a Photobooth!!!! How fun is that?