Why I could kick myself for selling just digitals! Print, print, print!

framed cd on the wall no one wants this

Why I could kick myself for selling just digitals!

Back when I started out on my own in 2004 digital was still kind of new. Everyone assumed digital was archival. I mean we could back it up and make unlimited copies. Archival is a term often used by photographers meaning a print or film can last in the archives. For reference those color prints your parents got at the department store when you were kids should last at least 50 years if properly stored and cared for. The newer papers and printing processes used today are guaranteed a bit longer. Most about 100 years if properly stored. That digital file I started out selling on CD back in 2004 is a big old question mark ? Because there are so many factors. First off that CD we used to give digital files on is lasting 8-10 years. If it was written on with Sharpie or printed on with an adhesive label more like 5 years. Why so short? Well as it turns out the ink from that sharpie actually eats away at the CD material. Ok so I’m human I screwed up. Now we use USB drives. Well those things just keep changing. eHow says a usb drive may last ten years depending on how many times it is used. So really not much better than the CD was. Crap. So the moral of my intro here is Print, Print, Print. The only thing we know will last at least until your baby is an adult is a print. The best part about prints they can be copied. They are the only guarantee. But hey as a new mom on a limited budget I know you might be thinking well I just need it to last until I get back to work or we can save to print them later. But let me just tell you about my slap in the face wake up call I got this year. 

framed cd on the wall no one wants this
Is this what you want for your memories?

The slap in the face!

Now she didn’t mean to do it and I totally thanked her for my wake up call. But here is what went down. I went to visit my friend who shall remain nameless. She lives 4 hours from me and has several kids that I have been photographing for ten years. I even photographed her maternity session before her first was born. But we haven’t lived in the same town since college. So visits have just gotten more and more chaotic the more kiddos we had. But my latest visit I came alone with just my gear for updated family and kid portraits of course. And after the kiddos went to bed we were sitting in her new living room talking. And she lamented to me “I’ve just been so busy I haven’t hung up any photographs of the kids in this place!” So I said “Well I’m here to help where are your frames (I’m thinking they are still in a box) lets hang some up!” And she said here comes the slap in the face part! “oh they are all on CD or flash drive. I’ve never printed any of the photographs you’ve given me.” Wait What?!?! I wanted to die right there on her couch. But instead I had an epiphany. I’ve been photographing friends and clients alike for years and just giving them digital files. I thought I was helping my friends by gifting them the files and letting them print what they wanted. And my clients I thought I was giving them what they wanted, what they had been asking for. Boy was I wrong. 

No one wants to come for a portrait session and leave with homework. Especially homework they don’t have time to do!

My clients newborn clients or worse, those who are expecting a baby and thinking about the millions of things they need to do to get ready. They don’t need or want digital files to do-it-yourself print as homework. They just end up tucked away in a drawer or maybe even downloaded to a computer that may or may not work in a year or two. What new moms really want is a beautifully framed print of baby hung on their nursery wall. Or a framed canvas collection of baby’s first year decorating the stairwell in their home. Let’s get real what new mom do you know that has time to order a print online, wait for it to arrive, take it to the local frame shop, along with baby and  baby’s older brother who refuses to ride in the cart, get it framed, come back in a week to pick it up and then wait some more for dad to have time to hang it, once she has finally decided where it should hang?

No mom I know has time for that.

Ain’t no body with little kids got time for that. And putting together a photo album online, no body has time for that ever. I’m changing my ways as of right now. No more diy, homework feeling digital only packages from me. Photography studios provide a service, right? For Insley that means planning, creating and printing your beautiful artwork of your family. And installation of your artwork is always included!

framed baby portrait sitting up boy black and white
Or does this help you remember when he learned to sit up on his own?

Are you ready for a different photography experience? One where we do it all for you? Are you tired of leaving your memories in a drawer? Are you ready for archival prints? Are you ready for a better way? Get in touch today. 

-alicia

Nina’s 18 months

Oh miss N was so smiley this fall afternoon. She is the perfect little model. Could be because we have been getting together for portrait sessions since she was a newborn. Or it could just be because she is a happy go lucky little girl. Nothing gets her upset. 

Her dress was handmade by her Grammy! Isn’t it so cute and perfect for a fall portrait session. I just love handmade clothing. They fit so much better than store bought clothes. I wish I had that talent. Maybe when my kids are grown I can learn to make clothes for myself. What about you do you like handmade clothes? Leave little miss N some love.

-alicia

Classic Studio Pregnancy Portraits

Classic Studio Pregnancy Portraits

Classic Studio Pregnancy Portraits

Oh man I just love simple classic black and white portraits like these. I could create stunning classic studio pregnancy portraits like these every single day. They never go out of style. They flatter all pregnancy shapes and sizes. And they are all about the relationship between mom and her unborn baby. No props no clutter no fuss. Just beautiful light and a beautiful momma to be. 

Still Amazed

I am still in awe every single time a pregnant woman walks in my studio. She is growing a person in her own body. That is an amazing, wondrous accomplishment I will never fully understand. Moms amaze me everyday they create, carry and bring into this world a new life. 

If you are ready to have timeless classic studio pregnancy portraits made just give me a call at 704-313-5125. I can’t wait to create fine art portraits with you!

-alicia



Real Life Pregnancy Portrait Session Fun

Real Life Pregnancy Session Fun

Real Life Pregnancy Portrait Session Fun

Real Life Pregnancy Portrait Session Fun

When your friend says hey I was wondering if you could do some fun real life like maternity portraits for me? Insert Pinterest example. Of course 

Real Life Pregnancy Portrait Session Fun I’m going to say heck yes. I absolutely love when clients send me fun none traditional ideas. Don’t get me wrong the classic portraits are awesome. But lets be real motherhood is hard, pregnancy with a toddler at home is hard. So why not have fun showing what life is like with both those life stages at home. How much fun are these images?

Do you have a fun creative idea for your next portrait session? Don’t be afraid to ask, I love collaborating on ideas and creating the portraits you want. Lets chat about your fun, creative, or off the wall portrait sessions ideas today!

-alicia

Real Life Pregnancy Portrait Session FunReal Life Pregnancy Portrait Session Fun



Dreamy Maternity Portraits in Studio

dreamy maternity in studio flowing cream dress

 

Dreamy Maternity

Momma E came in to model this cream dress for our studio look book. The dress photographed like a dream. Momma E wore it well. Don’t you all think she looks amazing? I love how it shows off her baby bump but is not too revealing. Leave her some love in the comments on these dreamy maternity portraits!

Some moms to be don’t want to show a lot of skin and this is a great way to celebrate your pregnancy without feeling exposed. Adding on a wrap or shawl could give you even more coverage if desired. This dress would also make a great post delivery momma and baby portrait.

Hopefully we can try it out when this little guy arrives this summer. Your family can’t wait to meet you little one! I look forward to meeting you when you visit the studio for your newborn portrait session. Thanks again Momma E for coming in and modeling my dresses I really appreciate it.

-alicia 

 


Newborn Baby Girl

newborn baby girl mom's veil treasured portrait

Newborn Baby Girl

Oh My Goodness, I totally loved this session. I mean I knew I would since I would get to catch up with a good friend from college. And get to see her newborn baby girl before any one else! One of the perks of being a newborn photographer, even in the winter I get to see all the babies first. But that is not why it will go down as one of my favorite portrait sessions from this year. 

Why then you ask was I so stoked to photograph this adorable little one? Her mom brought in props. And not just any props. She brought in her wedding veil. Wedding veils are gorgeous of course and this one was no exception. But why was I hyperventilating over a veil. Because my friends props with meaning are the way to my heart strings. Your sweet innocent baby girl photographed on her momma’s wedding veil is going to become a treasured keepsake portrait for generations to come. It will mean just as much to this little girl in 30 years as it does to her momma right now.

Memory Keeper

As a memory keeper this kind of portrait makes my heart skip a beat. Knowing that she has an actual print of her favorite portrait of her baby in her wedding veil just makes my year. Knowing that print will last for 100 years and be viewed and shared with family. This my friends is why I encourage everyone to print their memories. Digital file storage devices have a shelf life of maybe 8 years before the device can corrupt or fail. Prints last a life time. Print your memories or come see me and let me create printed portrait memories for your family.

-alicia

 


Introducing Found My Village .com

Found My Village foundmyvillage.com moms resource page

Hi Guys,

Welcome everyone to our new website www.FoundMyVillage.com.

Found My Village foundmyvillage.com moms resource pageFound My Village was created as a community resource for all local moms and dads to help them find the resources they need for this journey called Parenthood. Having moved here just two years ago, with my two boys in tow, I found it somewhat hard to find everything I needed for my kids. Partly because we are so close to the state line and Charlotte, I found google searching a bit tedious and once I landed on a site for parks, playgrounds, local doctors they only had bits and pieces of what was actually available in our local area. 

My goal with Found My Village .com is to make all those local resources, whether here in SC or just across the state or county lines, easy to find and on one easy to navigate website. Thankfully my handy husband liked my idea and was able to build the website I saw in my head. Thanks Honey!

Parks and Playgrounds

First lets talk about the best feature the parks and playground section. This really is a gold mine for those with little ones with specific needs. Why you ask? Because it has a search feature. Let me give you an example of how this works. Do you have a runner in your family, you know one who won’t stay in the play area ever? Then you need a playground with a fence around it. With Foundmyvillage.com you can search for that. Do you also need a bathroom for your potty training little one? You can search for that. You can also search by multiple criteria. Say you need a soccer field for Johnny to practice but little sister sally wants to swing. You can search for those specifics at the same time as well. As I add to this page more parks and more features this searching ability will only get better. 

Second is the resource pages, in these sections you can find everything from a local pediatric dentist to a lactation consultant to a realtor and everything in between. I’m currently adding businesses and categories to the site so please send me a message if you see a need I have missed. This website is for local moms, so please don’t hesitate to send me ideas or suggestions to make it better. 

Facebook Group

A Found My Village Facebook groups also been created  for local moms to share about upcoming events and parenthood tips and tricks. The idea here is to have a positive community to help support the goals of Found My Village .com https://www.facebook.com/groups/1524112771008097/ please join our group we would love to have you. 

Can’t wait to hear how you like my new website and how it helps you find what you have been looking for. So head on over to Foundmyvillage.com and try it out today!

-alicia

 

How to Save Money as a New Parent

Alright I have a new guest on the blog today Breanna Sykes is here with us from Bridge Financial Partners with a few tips to save money as a new mom or dad. Breanna has two small children at home. She enjoys helping clients create a budget so that they can save and grow the money they make. 

How to Save Money as a New Parent.

Being a new parent is overwhelming and expensive. You are given advice, whether you asked for it or not, and you are suddenly thrown into this world of expensive baby items. If you’ve found your way to this post then I’m going to assume you are looking for advice on saving money. I have a few suggestions to help.

First, buy used or accept hand me downs. Children are messy and babies grow fast. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes when they grow like crazy and stain everything in sight. This also works for baby items like swings, cribs, play mats, rockers and all sorts of expensive gadgets. Even better, borrow these items from a friend or family member first to see if your child even likes it. I once splurged on a very expensive “must have” swing that my child hated. Thankfully I was able to return it. I’ll link a few great consignment shops in the area at the bottom of this post.

Another great way to save money as a new parent is to find the freebies. Most hospitals send you home with supplies like diapers and blankets. There are also sites like pampers that will send you free supplies. Keep an eye out for coupons and sign up for samples. There are tons of ways to get free baby items. The Krazy Coupon Lady put together a list of places to get free items on her page (KrazyCouponLady).

What can you do with the money you saved? Starting a savings plan early gives you the opportunity to contribute what you can when you can. There are different options including your bank’s savings account or an educational savings plan like a 529 plan. Your choice depends on your specific situation so talk to a financial professional to learn more. Here is a link to some more information on 529 plans (Saving for College).

how to save money as a new parent
Photo Credit Local Focus Photography-Cara Bruno

For Every Season Consignment Sale http://www.foreveryseason.net
Looks like they have a spring, fall and a winter sale.

Upscale WeeSale Seasonal Consignment Sale
http://upscaleweesale.com
Spring and Fall Sales in Rock Hill

Once Upon A Child Consignment Store in Rock Hill

https://www.onceuponachildrockhill.com

Breanna Sykes
Bridge Financial Partners, LLC
402 Springcrest Dr., Fort Mill, SC 29715
803-548-8875 Office
866-469-4559 Fax
www.BridgeFP.com

Breanna Sykes, Advisory Representative
*Securities offered through H.D. Vest Investment ServicesSM, Member SIPC
Advisory services offered through H.D. Vest Advisory ServicesSM
Bridge Financial Partners, LLC is not a registered broker dealer or registered investment advisory firm.

Units of the 529 plan investment options are municipal securities and may be subject to market value fluctuation.
Before investing in a state specific 529 plan, you should compare your own state’s qualified tuition program and any state tax or other advantages it may provide.

Baby N one year old plus cake smash sort of

Nina 1 year old plus cake smash sort of

Oh my goodness we had such a good time during Ms N’s One Year session plus cake smash sort of. She is just such a cutie that I can’t hardly stand it. Those sweet curls and that big old smile. I couldn’t get over how much she had grown since her 9 month session. You just can’t be sad with Ms N in the house! 

But you know when you get so excited about a plan for your little ones and then they have other plans? Oh yes all the moms know what I’m talking about! I was so looking forward to our cake smash at the end of her one year session. As it turns out Ms N is not a fan of cake. Who could have guessed? She wanted absolutely nothing to do with that pretty pink squishy frosting. And the cake she wasn’t even a bit curious about tasting that either. Even when we got her big sister in on the fun, nothing! She just wanted to go play with her cousins and the toys. And so we got big old crocodile tears, which I think are just part of the first year right. And super adorable, but not exactly what we had envisioned in our minds for her cake smash portrait session. Rolling with the whims of your littles is part of my job and when the littles are this cute, man I love this job. What’s your favorite from this session those sweet smiles or those sad yet adorable crocodile tears?

-alicia

What is an au pair?

Alright friends new this year I am going to be featuring some guest posters to talk about things I think you all may be curious about. First off we have Marcela Zacharova from Cultural Care Au Pair to tell about What an au pair is and what they do. I personally did not know all the details of an au pair and was curious to know more, so without further ado!

What is an au pair? 

An au pair is a young adult from overseas who lives with your family on a legal visa for up to two years to provide childcare in exchange for room and board and an opportunity to become part of an American family. Au pairs can care for your children on a schedule that works for your family’s personal needs, making it a very flexible option. They can also help with household duties related to your children, including laundry, cooking and room pick-up. Au pairs can work up to 45 hours a week, no more than 10 hours per day. The extra set of hands an au pair provides is often just what busy families need to make their lives more manageable- and more fun!

What's an au pair infographic

Our program works best for families who like the idea of welcoming someone who becomes an extended family member into their homes and who have a genuine interest in cultural exchange. Your au pair will share her own culture and language with your whole family and will also want to learn more about America. Most host families and au pairs keep in touch beyond their au pair year and often visit each other again in the U.S. or overseas.

Au pair program is regulated by the Department of State and only few agencies can bring au pairs into the US. We handle all of the logistics and paperwork.  Many parents are surprised how affordable and flexible au pair childcare is. 

If you would like to learn more about hosting an au pair, please fill out this interest form www.culturalcare.com/mzacharova or call/text Marcela 571-296-6910.

Thanks so much Marcela for sharing about au pairs and how they can help your family. I’m more informed and it sounds like a great service for busy moms. Marcela’s website link is here if you would like to learn more.

-alicia

what's an au pair