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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12.03.15 Mohler title

I always know it’s going to be a fun shoot when the family coordinates as well as the Mohler’s did. And can we just talk about how adorable this family is even without the holiday-styled outfits? Too cute! There was a lot of jumping, laughing, running up and down hills and tree-shaking. Yep, shaking trees to see what falls out was a big deal to the two oldest kiddos. Hilarious.

12.03.15 Mohler triple

Their property was perfect for this mini holiday session, the way the green foliage pops again the red is perfect for holiday cards! I fell in love with the way the winding driveway was framed by big, beautiful magnolia trees. And the children melted my heart the way they so eagerly held hands and walked down the driveway towards me – like it was so natural, something they do all the time. And of course, big sis got to squeeze her little brothers in a tight sibling neck-hug that really says “happy holidays”!

12.03.15 Mohler single

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Thanksgiving text

In between servings of turkey and raisin pie (it’s a delicious, wonderful, misunderstood delicacy – I promise), I’d like to let you know how thankful I am…

I started Poppie Studios because I’m passionate about capturing memories on film. If you’ve ever had a photo session with me, if you’re a new client of mine, if you’ve purchased prints through me, or if you’ve read any content on my blog, you can hear the excitement in my voice, I hope 🙂

But none of this would exist if there weren’t wonderful clients like you. None of this would exist if you didn’t think photography was an artform. None of this would exist if you didn’t believe in me and the truth that I’m doing more of what I love. And that, my friend, is why I am thankful today!

I am thankful for you and your unforgettable life-moments. I am thankful that your desire for my framed photography artwork on your walls glows magically. And I’m thankful that you are letting me live my life brightly and boldly.

I am incredibly grateful for your readership and excitement about Poppie Studios, but more importantly that I am able to dream big dreams and then go out in the world and make those dreams come true because of you.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Emily

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