Posts Tagged ‘ginger snaps pictures’

Picture Your Dreams, Make Them Come True

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

I am officially 2 months into this crazy photography business idea and I am busier and happier than I’ve been in years. Convincing people to pay you to do what you love is old, cliched advice…but it’s repeated so often because it’s true. Never do I think “Oh no, I have a photo session today.” I always, always think “Yes! New people! New location! New light! I am so lucky!”

ginger snaps pictures collage

It’s been a long road to discover what I wanted to be when I grew up. Until I showed up to my first day of Biology 111 in college I was convinced I was going to be a marine biologist. Then I wanted to be a journalist, a tv anchor, a Pilates instructor, a human resources manager, a house flipper, a real estate agent, a thrift shop owner, and some sort of unnamed, unspecific job that involved being semi-famous and doing glamorous stuff all day. I was somewhat successful at a few of those, incredibly unsuccessful at others and never got past the just-dreaming-about-it stage of most. But once the idea to start Ginger Snaps Pictures took over a tiny piece of my brain, I couldn’t let it go.

Am I still terrified on almost a daily basis? Totally. What if the day gets crazy and I flake out on an appointment? What if I drop my camera and it breaks in the middle of a session? What if my client hates every single picture? What if my computer and my back up and my back up back up all fail? What if I’m charging too much? What if I’m charging too little? What if I am the worst photographer ever and everyone is just too nice to tell me?

Believing in myself might be my biggest challenge. It’s hard not to compare myself constantly to other businesses. There is always going to be someone better than I am. Always. My goals are just to work hard, constantly improve and make my clients happy. It’s really not that different from parenting – except the clients are a lot LESS demanding and easier to please! It’s super cheesy to say that because I believe in myself I’m making my dreams come true, but it’s the truth.

Working hard to make your dreams come true no matter what stands in your way is also the lesson in Monsters University.
collage 1 Monsters University-3

Monsters University-5

Monsters University-7

Monsters University-8

This is the face I make every time someone wants to hire me.

We’re big Monsters fans in our house – we own the first one and I took the kids to see the second in the theater this summer. We watch a lot of happily-ever-after-type movies, so learning that hard work, determination and doing your best are worthy endeavors too is something I’d like to emphasize. Of course the message is cleverly hidden in an adorable, hilarious movie that my 2 year old, 4 year old and myself all liked equally. Plus I hope the kids can see that lesson in real life as my business grows. Fingers crossed!

You can pre-order your copy of Monsters University here! And to celebrate the release, Disney is going to give one of my readers their very own Monsters University Blu-ray Combo Pack PLUS a $50 Visa gift card. To enter, leave a comment telling me about a time you believed in yourself to achieve your dream.   


No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/3/13 – 11/3/13.
Be sure to visit the Monsters University Page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


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.


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.

My Week(143) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Our week was busy, except for when it wasn’t because of the pouring rain and flash floods. But mostly busy.



I mean, I only have three doll houses, why not buy another one? (I did not)


Caroline is destined for music videos with lots of mind machines


I appreciate how the trees on the point hide most of the nuclear power plant. More scenic.



I’ve never actually seen the state capitol before


Confucius say: Give a man $120 and he will give you an LLC.


Sometimes I take pictures of stuff I want to remember to keep on my phone, but then I forgot to leave them on my phone.



The local tax office is located in part of an old TB hospital.




We love the sunflowers



Really excited for gymnastics


Playdates make me hungry, and this was super delicious


I told Evan he is my photography assistant, and he said that means he has to push the stroller.



Grocery store in the pouring rain


Destroying the house and having pillow fights in the pouring rain


Watching Thor in the pouring rain



Princess Sadface returns


Five kids under a table.


Despite that face, the rainbow ice was delicious.



Home run!!


I never should have showed her how the front-facing camera works.


Restarted C25K. This time I am determined to finish.

The urgency to do as many things and have as much fun as possible before summer is over has hit. I was actually grateful for a rainy miserable day to stay home and relax (even though we ended up having friends over and totally wearing out my kids). July is almost over and August is going to FLY by and then Evan starts 5 days a week morning pre-k, which I am both totally ready and not at all ready for. They grow up so fast, etc etc, but I’m looking forward to a new stage where I have a lot more time to focus on things I love (especially photography) instead of just being Mommy.

Kids on Film

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I am a liar.

A straight up lying liar who lies with her lying mouth (and keyboard).

Despite saying no less than a dozen times RIGHT HERE on this blog, plus another million times out loud to real life people’s ears, I have decided to turn my photography addiction hobby into a business.

There are a lot of ways I’m justifying this change of heart to myself, but it basically boils down to this: I want to get better. I want to be really, really good at photography. I want to take a million workshops and classes and go to conferences. I want to upgrade my camera and my lenses and my editing software. I want – NEED – as much practice as I can get. And having a business is the only way to do all that.

Unless I win the lottery. Then free camera and tiny American flags for everyone!

Photography is not a cheap hobby. I mean, really, almost nothing is a cheap hobby. Please ignore the giant stash of yarn from my knitting hobby, or the giant pile of cookbooks from my baking hobby, or all the dead plants from my gardening hobby – or really, don’t ignore them. Realize that I’m learning from those ventures. I’ve been consistently interested in and learning about taking pictures since I got my Nikon right before Evan’s 1st birthday. I’m not jumping into this. I’m not even going to start charging right away. I’m going to try to do it right, with lots of advice and help from people who can say MISTAKE MISTAKE MISTAKE when I start making stupid decisions.

Please, feel free to roll your eyes at me. Call me just a mom with a camera. You can’t make me feel more unsure of myself than I already do, even though I have plenty of awesome friend who are lovely and encouraging, even if I know they’re thinking “I knew you were a liar!” behind my back. For every second I think “I don’t have to be the BEST EVER to do this – I just have to have work people think is valuable!” a voice in my head says “Valuable? Bish, please, who do you think you’re kidding? If you give a blind monkey a camera he’d get some lucky shots sometimes too.”

So really, I’m somewhere in between. Not there, but on the road. And I guess I just need a little help paying the tolls.

I haven’t been blogging this week because I’ve been editing pictures, and I realize I like doing that almost as much as I like writing words and stories and maybe also just a tiiiny bit more some days? Because it’s 100 effing degrees and I can’t think straight but damn if my kids aren’t the cutest little practice models and taking pictures of them makes me happy.

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p.s. I think I’m going to call the business Ginger Snaps. Get it?

p.p.s. I also think I’m going to try to talk people into letting me do what I do know, just with their families. Go to the park, on a picnic, the aquarium, feed the ducks, the fair, whatever. I’ll just tag along and act like the paparazzi – with maybe a gentle nudge into the best light and cutest poses. Stupid/not stupid?