Posts Tagged ‘the internet’

5 Unexpected Things About Starting A Photography Business

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

1. I am covered – COVERED – in bug bites. I was going to count them for you so you’d understand what “covered” meant, but I got to 7 just on my left ankle and gave up. I need to invest in some long yoga pants and a pair of Hunters so my poor legs don’t get any more torn up as I roll around in fields, hike through woods and lie in long grass to get a shot. I need a sponsorship from Off bug spray, stat. Or at least a huge can of it to keep in my camera bag for me and my clients.

2. Besides bugs, there are other hazards to shooting in scenic locations. Like when you ask a pregnant lady to take two steps forward and she steps on a snake. Luckily no one ended up in labor (instead, her husband showed my kid how to poke it with a stick) and she didn’t run screaming from the field. I’ve also ruined a pair of shoes by walking right into the ocean to get a shot, not to mention the little girl who followed me into a lake and ended up soaked herself. I’m already dreaming of a nice, snake-free climate controlled studio.

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Sit right here, in this long, unmowed grass! I’m sure there’s nothing lurking in it!

3. Cutting down the number of photos I offer is SO HARD. My session package comes with 12 digital files the client gets to choose out of 30-40 edited pictures. I set it up that way so I wouldn’t have to spend a million years editing every picture from a session, since I usually take around 300. AND YET. I can’t bring myself to skip anything that’s even halfway good, so my galleries have 75+ pictures. I’m going to have to a) edit faster and b) learn to cut back so I don’t spend 20 hours on every session (which would mean I’m only making $5 an hour before you even add in travel and insurance and equipment). Yikes.

4. Setting up a business is a lot less fun than just taking pictures. There’s the tax stuff, the legal stuff, graphic design for business cards and web and more (huge thanks to my friend Alena for my logo), packaging, labels, price guides, what to wear inspiration, websites…it’s a lot, is what I’m saying. If I wasn’t already pretty good at this blog stuff I might have quit after the first 24 hours. I don’t know how the really amazing photographers can even be so good at both parts – the part of my brain that loves the artistic elements of photography curls up in a corner and cries every time I have to fill out a tax-exempt certificate.

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Don’t even tell me if there’s a typo on my business card design. I am the world’s WORST proofreader (I ordered 200 wedding invitations without a time for the ceremony/reception) (not to mention birth announcements with the WRONG DATE) and I can’t handle it right now.

5. I love it. Despite the bug bites and snakes and crossed-eyes from editing and hours spent staring at different flash drive options and paperwork and having to answer the phone when strange numbers call and OMG TALK TO STRANGERS…I’m so, so exited. I’m getting better with every single shoot (practice makes ever-so-slightly-closer-to-perfect) and the experience is priceless. I’m still sort of stunned anyone would pay me in real actual pennies to do something I enjoy so much. AMERICAN DREAM HELL YEAH.

OK, I swear I’ll blog about something else soon. Who wants to hear about how blue-colored Icees turned my children in MONSTERS yesterday?

 Website / Facebook Page for Ginger Snaps Pictures

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I thought I didn’t like newborns, but I was wrong. Well, except for the fact that I could barely walk the next day I was so sore from crouching/squatting/kneeling/bending in weird ways to get the shot. I need to get in better shape for this.

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Support Breastfeeding Honesty

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

I talk about my boobs a lot, especially here on my blog. It wasn’t something I set out to do – YES! I know what will make me a raging success on the internet! Talking about my SORE, LEAKING NIPPLES! – but when you are breastfeeding a newborn it just sort of happens. In the past three years, I’ve said the word “breast” more times the day than I’ve said my own name. BREAST.

Back in the beginning, when I was really struggling, I spent hours online reading forums and message boards and websites full of breastfeeding advice. Do this, don’t do this, try this, try that, give it time, see a doctor. Some of it was helpful, some of it was scary, some of it was eye-rollingly stupid, and sometimes it stressed me out. But one thing I found invaluable was real-life stories from real-life women. Living, breathing moms with crazy hormones and crying babies and stretched out abdominal muscles. I laughed at their leaky mishaps, cried when their babies were hungry, and sympathized with their pain. Those stories – not the experts – were what got me through the rough start and into happy, 15 month nursing relationship with my first child. I STILL turn to the internet when I have a breastfeeding question and find often myself answering them for others when they pop up on Twitter or Facebook.

There is some worry in the lactivist community that talking to much about the hard parts of breastfeeding instead of just the warm fuzzies and rainbows will discourage women from ever trying to breastfeed. They fear that too many jokes about bleeding nipples and piranha babies will scare mothers away and into the welcoming arms of the nearest can of formula. It is often implied – and sometimes said outright – that it shouldn’t hurt, it shouldn’t be a struggle, it should come naturally, and if our eyes fill up with tears of pain and angst rather than tears of joy as we latch our babies then we are doing it wrong. Shhhhh…don’t talk about that. We’re trying to recruit more women to Team Breastfeeding.

I say that’s a mistake and a disservice to women. This isn’t shirts versus skins – it’s just mothers and babies.

In fact, I say the opposite is true. I say the honesty has led to more breastfeeding. Talking about your personal experience with breastfeeding should ALWAYS be encouraged, no matter how successful or long that experience was. Every single conversation about breastfeeding normalizes it. It becomes just another thing we talk about when we’re discussing babies, like diapers and spit up and tiny socks and why are their nails so SHARP? I have talked about every single bit of my breastfeeding journey, from my giant engorged porn start boobs to using a nipple shield to dealing with thrush and finally, FINALLY having the kind of idyllic, peaceful nursing relationship the books tell you about. As far as I know, I have yet to scare someone so badly they vow to never nurse a baby.

What I DO know is many of my friends who struggled to breastfeed their first child are trying again with their second baby. They are nervous and worried and cautiously optimistic, but they are TRYING. A mother’s feelings about breastfeeding can be so fraught with both internal and external sources of guilt that stopping or quitting, even if it’s the best choice for their family, can be heartbreaking. I like to think my constant willingness to engage in honest boob-talk had a teeny tiny bit to do with their decision.

I am so so proud of these women, whether they try for one day or for a thousand. They are brave for putting it all out there (heh) again and they are all amazing moms. The bottom line is because mothers have found more information and more support and more honesty about breastfeeding there are more babies getting more breastmilk. And isn’t that what lactivism is all about?

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This post has been in my drafts folder for a few weeks while I worked out exactly how to say what I wanted. Just yesterday I saw the Support with Integrity Pledge posted on my friend Gina’s site. I’m thrilled to see over 1,000 people have signed it already and vowed to support breastfeeding moms without judgment or criticism. You can check it out and sign the pledge by clicking on the badge below:
Support with Integrity

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