Monday, December 28, 2009

new year, new pricing!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

on being thankful...

So we just wanted to take a minute out to thank all our clients for a great year in 2009! This time last year, we were talking about building a website and just beginning to blog our work as our own business - since having always worked FOR someone else. We have certainly come a long way from there! We are excited about what 2010 holds for us and for the new adventures we have to look forward to! If you know anyone who is graduating next year, newly engaged or getting married, or are just in need of some fun, spunky family photographs - drop us a line! We would love to meet some new families and reconnect with old friends through our work! So - thank you clients of 2009! Heres a recap of 2009 - kids, weddings, and us! enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Custom Photography - Why it Costs More?

I thought I would post an interesting article that I recently ran across featuring this frequently asked question. Its kind of long but its a good read! :)

This is an excerpt from the Custom Photography Series via Professional Child Photographer Consumer Guide : "Why Custom Photography Costs More?" Written by Marianne Drenthe.

"The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art.

We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

 “How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?”
The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The cost of TIME

Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:
  • session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
  • one hour travel time TO and FROM session
  • 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
  • 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
  • 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
  • 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
  • 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
  • 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
  • 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
  • 1 hour sorting through and checking order
  • 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
  • 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
  • any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues
In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.

The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.
Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success. Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.

Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.


 Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 leased photography retail space by a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation? The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10). The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.


Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc..

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity. The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.

I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories. The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

{on nesting}

For almost four years now, I have had this piece of furniture. When I first got it, it was brown and falling apart - and me and my mom painted it and put the doors back on. Unfortunately I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with the doors - fabric or mirrors? Humm...too many choices.

That was like the day after i got it. Okay - now fast forward four years - three homes since then - and we have finally completed this project. Its that pathetic! But I still love it like the day I got it - now just with a little more love put into it :).

I just briefly wanted to dote on my baby girl Scout. Shes almost a year old now and HUGE! Time has just flown by so fast this year. It seems like just yesterday she looked like this -

And now. Shes all grown up.

Shes such a good girl...Oh how i love her.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

{and the winner is...}

Marissa is now the owner of a case of Drug of Choice Brand Coffee! She referred several friends and fans to beat out the competition! Thanks to everyone who participated in getting our name out there! we are a small little business venture so every little bit helps! thanks for your support! and yay for marissa! :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

{hip hip hooray!}

for supporting us in our first year as h + d photography!!

we are totally stoked (that's right i said stoked - i'm bringin' that back in case you didn't know) about our little anniversary! So it's been one year of picture taking and memory making and we thought it would be nice to do something for the folks who've helped and supported us. So what could that be, we wondered?
Hmmm? Haley -being the addict that she is - suggested COFFEE!!!
(Who doesn't like coffee? Really.) We want to give away FREE coffee!!! Not just a cup.
Not even a whole pot! We want to give away a flippin' case of the good stuff!
Okay okay, so now that we have your undivided attention, here's how to get in on it:

Copy and paste the following to your Facebook status:
"Haley Reid & H+D Photography invite all to check them out on Facebook! 'Friend' them or 'Become a Fan" and tell 'em who referred you! World peace hangs in the balance!"
Be sure they mention that you referred them to us.
Whoever has the most referral wins the grand prize - a complimentary case (2 jars) of Drug Of Choice Brand coffee! (They will be packaged in heavy glass jars that will "undoubtedly become cherished family heirlooms.")
After you've done that check out Drug of Choice Coffee and if ya don't win some from us, pick up your own jars!
daryl recommends the GI Joe blend!

so here's hoping you are the winner! and thanks again for supporting us here at h+d!

excited about pioneering.
worried about $$$$.
reading the bible.
creating a picture wall.
loving my pup.
wondering how to stay on a schedule.
craving simplicity.
listening to mumford+sons.
thankful for forgiveness.
praying for less anxiety.
watching less tv.

who we are...

who we are...


for stopping by our little blog! please check out our main website at for more information about scheduling your session or booking your wedding with h + d! we would love to sit down and chat with you! give us a call at 706.833.7680 if you need too!

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