The next several blog posts will feature some of my favorite vendors in and around Tallahassee that I have had the pleasure of working with. Community over competition is a beautiful thing.

06.01.16 laura titleLate last year I was introduced to Laura, of Laura J Artistry. Her tagline Dramatic Unique Beauty perfectly describes her professional style, and her beautiful personality too! Laura’s talents go far beyond the surface, she not only makes her clients look beautiful, she makes them feel beautiful too. And that’s not something just any hair and makeup artist can do. She loves talking with everyone, something that is very evident if you’ve ever spent time in her studio – which is absolutely adorable and I love that space!

Laura received her bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising at FSU and her Cosmetology License from Aveda Institute. When she isn’t at the salon you can probably find her at Bird’s for karaoke, relaxing with her two cats (Sushi and Tavi) or watching her talented boyfriend, Roger, play violin in his band.

When it came time to coordinate the details for a stylized shoot I arranged earlier this year, there was only one MUAH artist I wanted to team up with, Laura J Artistry. She perfectly captured the romantic garden feel, using a few of the florals from the bride’s bouquet, tying everything together beautifully. After the shoot, I sat down with Laura and asked her questions I think our clients would want to know…

06.01.16 laura 3What’s one piece of advice you like to give clients?
Relax and enjoy your day. The day will be a blur and you have to take a few moments to be in the moment.

What keeps you passionate about your work?
Each day is different and there is always something new that is changing the way that people want to do their hair, makeup, etc. Also the difference that I make in someone’s day with a new look. The relationships with my clients also brings me a lot of joy and keeps me interested in my work.

How would you describe you/your company’s style?
When I first started looking into this career I worked at a place called “Wabi Sabi” which means beauty imperfect, or everything is beautiful in its own way. That resonated with me and is how I have operated my business. Every person has their own beauty which I help to give confidence to and make shine.

What is one thing you would tell people going into this field or their own business?
Just go for it – be bold and confident, it will definitely be scary but it is worth it.

06.01.16 laura 1What are some things your clients say they love about you?
That I make them feel comfortable and have their best interests in mind. That I am energetic and have a smile for everyone and am very positive. A lot of brides say that I am a calming energy during their big day!

What was your experience with Poppie Studios like?
Excellent! Emily is so nice and her eye is wonderful. She has a genuine personality that shines through.

Thank you so much, Laura! I adore you and am so thankful you were part of my Romantic Garden Wedding.

Keep in touch with Laura, check out her portfolio and book your session with her online:
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  • Angie - How awesome when professional relationships also translate as friendships! Great feature!ReplyCancel

The next several blog posts will feature some of my favorite vendors in and around Tallahassee that I have had the pleasure of working with. Community over competition is a beautiful thing.

Vendor Spotlight Cake Me With YouAwhile back I was introduced to Leanna Brown, sugar artist extraordinaire and owner of Cake Me With You, Tallahassee’s leading wedding cake small business. We met via The Rising Tide Society and I’m so glad we did! I had been slowly planning this stylized shoot for several weeks before I joined RTS and the beautiful women of this group were the missing pieces I’d been looking for. After the shoot, I sat down with the vendors I teamed up and asked them questions I think our clients would want to know…

Leanna is the hand, eye and voice behind Cake Me With You. She is 26 years old, has two lovely daughters, and a dear husband. They live in the small town of Crawfordville, Florida which is right outside of Tallahassee, Florida. Leanna’s passions include baking, decorating, event design, antiquing and eating pasta. She grew up wishing for victorian styled homes, tulle dresses for every occasion and glitter through every season.

Vendor Spotlight Cake Me With YouWhat’s one piece of advice you like to give clients? Your event’s desserts can be everything you dream of with my services around. I give more than 110% to my clients, and it shows. I promise you that I’m not necessarily the cheapest option, but I am worth the pennies I charge. You can see the quality.

Where does your inspiration start from? It comes from art I see, in any form. I believe a lot of it stems from being a creative brain. I am constantly creating. It’s a way of life for me (Amen, sister!). I can get an idea for a cake from a dress, a photograph, even a bouquet… anything really!

How would you describe you and your company’s style? I promise, there is nothing like me in Tallahassee. I am every bit feminine as I am clean and modern. I have been described as whimsical, dreamy, sharp, fluffy (I don’t know what that means but I like it!) and unforgettable. I have only ever dreamed I would have the kind of reputation I do. It is me, perfectly.

Vendor Spotlight Cake Me With YouOutside of work, what are some of your favorite things to do? You know Joanna Gaines? She is my Patronus Charm! I am constantly taking old junk in, and turning it into something unique and beautiful. You should just see my little house! When I’m not baking, I’m turning trash into my customized treasure.

What are some things your clients say they love about you? My clients say that they feel spoiled rotten when they are working with me. I take care of every little thing, with a smile on my face. I have heard that my buttercream is the best thing they’ve ever put in their mouth. One said “I’m a photographer, and have eaten lots of cake. This is the best cake I’ve ever had.”

What was your experience with Poppie Studios like? I love, love Emily’s style. She is like me. We are free spirited and crazy artists. She is just as much bubbly as she is sweet. The minute she met me, she handed off the cake and hugged my neck! That is my kinda girl. Her photos are to die for, but we already knew that…

Aww, how sweet is Leanna? If you want superb cake from an amazing boss-lady, Cake Me With You is you’re only choice in the Tallahassee area. I adore her and her work and if you like me, then you’ll like her too!

Thanks Leanna!

To get in touch and stay up to date with Leanna’s beautiful work, check her out online:

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Next week, my Vendor Spotlight will shine on Laura of Laura J Artistry – who’s excited?!

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Maclay Garden wedding

Gorgeous. Thankful. Excited. Those are the words that keep coming into my mind when I look at photos from this stylized garden wedding. For several months I’ve been dreaming, scheming and coordinating this shoot with several of my favorite local Tallahassee vendors. Piece by piece everything and everyone fell together. After joining the local Rising Tide Society group, I met Stephanie Hayes (of Stephanie Hayes Photography). She took my amazing headshots earlier in the year, during which we got to chatting about my vision for this shoot. She suggested Maclay Gardens – and I’m so glad she did!

Maclay Garden wedding

If you haven’t been to Maclay Gardens yet, you need to go! Oh my goodness, it’s perfect. Truly. It reminds me of my trip to the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy. Vines covering steps and walls, tall cypress trees pointing heavenward, a beautiful blue reflecting pool, trees dripping with moss and the most spectacular light spilling onto the brick pathways… truly, perfect. One visit and I was convinced there was no better place for this shoot.

Fellow Rising Tide member and friend, Ashley (of Ashley Evans Creative) hand-addressed the wedding invitation set as well as our directional signs. LOVE! Her style of calligraphy flowed so perfectly across the envelopes and really popped on the dark wood signs.

After posting a sneak peek image on my Instagram page of our location, Laura (of Laura J Artistry) commented, offering her services for the shoot! I had gotten in touch with her several months back and was so excited for the opportunity to finally work with her. The bride’s hair and makeup was absolutely gorgeous – perfect for a romantic spring garden wedding.

Maclay Garden wedding tablescape

Another fellow Rising Tider, Leanna Brown (of Cake Me With You) supplied this absolutely stunning two-tier gold brushed cake! She matched the vision so beautifully I could not have been more excited to photograph this piece of edible art. Pass the fork please!

Maclay Garden cake
For even more stunning photos, check out my gallery and Stephanie‘s. I’d say us Lady Bosses really rocked this shoot! Cannot wait to work with each of them again in the future. Special thanks to Stephanie for helping set-up, tear-down and coordinate our beautiful models!

 

Maclay Garden Wedding

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Holiday Session with Erin

Erin is one of my biggest supporters and best clients, for that I am grateful. It’s always so great to catch up with her, especially when it involves photography and Cannoli, her adorable furbaby. For this mini session we went to the Southwood Community Center and took advantage of the beautiful surrounding scenery.

Holiday mini session Erin

It was so great to meet her mother too, and include Mom in a few of these beautiful portraits! And Cannoli is just a doll. A little popcorn for motivation and she’ll pretty much do whatever you need her to. The red pop of Erin’s jacket, the cute pink blanket… this session was a treat! I love what we captured on film this day!

Holiday mini session Erin

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11.17.15 title
On a fairly regular basis, a potential client contacts me with an inquiry about if they can “just have a disc of images” instead of prints. After all, you can go to the nearest drugstore and have an 8×10 printed for $2 so why on earth would you pay upwards of $15 for a custom photography print? Why should you pay my prices instead of just having Uncle Bob take some photos or calling that $50 photographer on Craigslist?

What it comes down to is time and business costs. A professional photographer has equipment costs, film expenses, packaging, shipping and printing expenses and all the overhead expenses that come with running any business (website, fees, taxes, marketing, etc).

You’ve contacted me because you’ve seen my work, you really like it and now you want to book a session. Here’s where time comes into play. We’ll spend 30 minutes chatting, getting to know each other (both via e-mail and on the phone). I’ll spend 30 minutes to an hour prepping for your session (buying film, cleaning and testing my equipment, packing all the “just in case” items. It’s even more for weddings!). Then I have travel time/mileage/fuel to your session. 60-90 minutes of my time and talent photographing you and your beautiful family (tripled and quadrupled for weddings). Then I have travel time/mileage/fuel from your session. Next, I sort the film, prep it for shipping and have shipping/processing costs from my lab. Once I receive your images back from the lab, I spend 2-5 hours editing images and uploading to your private online gallery. 30 minutes prepping for your ordering session. 2-3 hours with you during your ordering session. 1 hour sorting and double-checking your order. 30 minutes checking quality once your order arrives and prepping for delivery to you…

Whew! That doesn’t even include any additional phone/e-mail/text time we spend together. Add that all up and you’re looking at an average of 15 hours dedicated to one session.

But why am I charging more than the drugstore for prints? I hear often that the mall/department store photo chain only charges a $9 sitting fee and just $19 for an 8×10 print, for which you can get a 50% off coupon! I worked at one of those exact chains during my college summer so I can tell you from insider-experience and knowledge, they are about quantity, not quality. An a la carte item, not part of a package, and certainly much more than just the single 8×10 you went in for, can easily cost $75. And that coupon? It usually does not apply to anything larger than an 8×10.

Not to mention how stressful the entire situation is. You have your 9am appointment? So do three other people, and their children aren’t any happier to be there than yours are. Think those backdrops and props are sanitized in-between each session? And once you’re done with your 15 minute session, they immediately pull you over to a computer to sell you prints. Too bad that you just want one 8×10, the computer system will not let an associate proceed until they’ve mocked up at least three different photos, at three different sizes and have applied three different effects. Now you’ve got a screaming child hanging on to your pant leg, someone else’s baby screaming in the “studio” and you have to make a purchase because you’ve already invested all this time and mental energy. Instead of a $9 sitting fee and a 50%-off 8×10, you’re leaving exhausted with empty wallets.

Super fun time, right? Those photos you adore on Pinterest? Those aren’t from a mall studio – guaranteed. They make their profit on volume, not one-on-one service.

My prints cost more because they go through quality-checks at least three times. First by me, before I send the file to my professional printing lab. Second, by the lab, who ensures the colors they’re printing match what’s on my screen (the drugstore and mall don’t do that). And then a third time, again by me, when I receive your products. Before packaging them up for you, I check one last time for any discrepancies. Your products are printed on archival paper and/or canvas. And you can choose from multiple types of surfaces too.

I don’t say all this to demean what other photographers are doing. They’ve got a system that turns a profit for them. And while yes, that is my goal as a small-business owner too, my biggest goal is to provide you with an experience that leaves a good taste in your mouth. From your initial inquiry, to the delivery of your final products, I want you to enjoy our time together. But more importantly I want you to leave with an heirloom you can pass on for generations to come.

I hope this knowledge will make you feel more comfortable choosing Poppie Studios now that you understand the hidden costs (both monetary and emotional) associated with “the other guy.”

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