Family Reunion! (Winnipeg Event Photographers)

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I had the honour of photographing this family reunion at the Canad Inn on Saturday. Pictured here you can see the grandparents with their 6 grandchildren. It was the first time in 15 years that this family had been together. I can understand how wonderful that would be for these grandparents as one of my sons lives in Calgary and it has been a while since my whole family has been together.

I don’t think this family could have given a better gift for their 50th wedding anniversary than their presence at this event.

This is one of the granddaughters with her boyfriend. Aren’t they cute!

How much are digital files? (Winnipeg Photography Studios)

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This is a copy of an article written by a photographer in Surrey BC, named Rachel Thornhill, which speaks to how I feel about selling digital images without attaching any prints or wall art to them.

I have edited some parts of the original article.

You can read the original article here:

https://www.rachelthornhill.co.uk/single-post/2018/02/06/How-Much-are-Digital-Files

One of the questions my potential clients ask me on a regular basis is how much I charge for digital files.

My first reply is “What would you like to do with them?”

Way before I press the shutter on my camera, I ask myself three very important questions: Why am I taking this photograph? What am I trying to capture, and who is going to be looking at it?

If I’m photographing a client, everything about the image is carefully planned. We’ve spoken beforehand about the location, clothes, poses and expressions; we’re working together on this to ensure we’re capturing something that is truly worth capturing. Then I’m looking at the lighting, the composition of the image, how pronounced my subject is in front of the background, and sometimes even my subject’s pose. In my mind I know what I’m trying to achieve; the look, the feel, the style. I choose the focal point, the depth of field, decide exactly what shutter speed will be to show movement or freeze the subject, the exposure length to achieve bright or dark images, even the ISO to capture detail.

Once I have captured the image, I then use Adobe Lightroom to develop it digitally, in the same sort of way as film is developed in a dark room (less chemicals and more light involved obviously!). I review every image, and quite often I crop the image to help create leading lines or patterns to help direct the viewer to the part of the image that I want them to look at first. I’m looking at symmetry, balance, impact. And that’s even before I’ve colour balanced or removed a blemish or scratch.

Now I’m not telling you any of this to show off… indeed my short list of what I look to do is just a few of the things that Master Photographers of today think about.

But what I’m trying to explain is that this amount of control results in an image that is hopefully one where the quality and composition shines out, that when you see it you can see that I’m worth being paid to take it.

This is where it starts to get a bit tricky. That edited image that I see on my computer is probably not the same as the one you would see on your computer screen, or your iPad or smart phone. That is because my monitor is calibrated in a way that when the image is printed, it looks exactly as it does on screen. And when I say printed, I mean printed using the particular professional print company that I have chosen and calibrated my monitor to. If I sent that image to 5 different printers, including perhaps printers that most people don’t have access to (for example here in the UK we have Snapfish, PhotoBox, Boots-  I will guarantee you that I would have a slightly different photograph from each of them. They use different printing machines, different papers, and all of a sudden, the vibrant lavender field image I sent to print is not the image that I have on my screen.

As an artist, that is a loss of control. And if you start to throw into the mix products such as canvasses, the difference in quality of the products available is staggering.

As a Professional Photographer, my work is why people choose me over other Photographers. It is what makes me me. So when my work is on display, the quality that it is displayed at is absolutely crucial, especially as being on display means it is there to be seen. I use only Professional Printing companies to print my photographs, artwork and albums, ensuring the high quality image I’ve created so far is preserved in the exact way I intended it to be shown. I’ve known of Photographers that have given digital images out to friends and then seen them as products on those friends’ walls; and then been heartbroken that the images that they had taken so long to craft had been cropped, or the colours oversaturated, or even that the product itself was of such quality that a beautiful image looked like a phone snap. That inferior product is then judged by others as a representation of the Photographers’ work, which has a significant impact on their business and reputation in a way that is completely out of control of the Photographer.

I recently heard about an award winning wedding Photographer who received a bad review from a Bride and Groom, saying the quality of his work was awful. The story got traction on social media, and it turns out that the Photographer had supplied the Bride and Groom with digital files, and they had made their own album and had it printed at a supermarket. Images had been stretched, zoomed and cropped, the carefully chosen colours of the bridesmaid’s dresses and flowers were nowhere near their true colour, and the images were blocky and blurred. When the Photographer discovered this, he made up an album himself, had it professionally printed and sent it to the couple; they were of course horrified when they realised what had happened and apologised, but did those people who heard bad things about the Photographer stay to hear the rest of the story? Probably not.

This is exactly why I am wary of providing digital files. Often they are priced the same as wall artwork or large prints, because actually assigning a monetary value to something that isn’t usually intended as the end product is quite tricky. But for me it is not about the money. It is about supplying my clients with First Class customer service throughout their whole experience with me, capturing an amazing session, then creating gorgeous products with the absolute WOW factor that will bring joy and be cherished for years to come, rather than to be delivered in a little black box to stay locked away as digital files in a drawer until they finally get remembered.

Social media is the other reason that people ask for digital files. They want to share the images with their families and friends, and why not? Of course some people choose not to (and that is a whole other blog post for a few week’s time!) but I’m happy to provide social media formatted images for this very reason.

And actually, for each image used in artwork, I do also give my clients the high resolution digital file. For the use that it was only ever really intended to be, when digital imaging was created.

As a backup.

I hope you got to the end of the article. I am happy to discuss this with you if you have questions.

Christina

Call out for Maternity Models! (Winnipeg Maternity Photographers)

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Call out for all pregnant mamas!

I’m looking for some models for maternity photos. The purpose of these images will be to build my maternity portfolio and possibly enter the images into competitions. I have some new gowns and some exciting ideas that I want to try out.

Applicant for this model call must:

  • be 30 to 38 weeks pregnant in February.
  • be willing to sign a model release to allow me to use their images
  • send me a photo of themselves. This can be a selfie taken with a phone.

The benefit of doing this model call:

  • Applicant will receive a free photography session and a $100 print credit.
  • This is a $150 value with no cost to you.
  • Your newborn session would be half price with another $100 print credit. This is a savings of $162.

If you are interested please email me at chrismcwilliamsphotography@gmail.com.

I will forward an application to you with further details.

Please share with any of your friends who might qualify or tag them on Facebook or Instagram.

Thank you,

Christina

Products at ChrisMcWilliamsPhotography! (Winnipeg Photography Studios)

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I’ve spent the last couple of months developing and purchasing some beautiful products for my photography studio.  I want to provide my clients with heirloom artwork; products that they can’t get anywhere else.

Digital files will and do disappear, whether on a failed hard drive, lost in a drawer or on a damaged DVD.  It happens all the time. Clients often contact me to see if they can get a copy of an image that we took a few years ago. The good thing is that my archives go back a number of years and I probably will have the image stored online. But how many people have that?

Prints, whether as wall art or in an album will always be accessible and professional products will last 100 years.

Having said that, here are a few of my new products:

I love the beautiful little girl in the image below and had one of the images of her printed and plaque mounted. It looks amazing!

This image has  been accepted by the Professional Photographers of Canada (Mb).

 

I had such a great time with this group of children. I had their image mounted on canvas. It is stunning!

The next few images are of a folio box. A folio box is a box that you keep your prints in and display either on a coffee table or on a shelf with albums and books. I know a lot of people put new prints in front of old ones in the same frame. This is a great alternative because you can see easily all the prints.

Folio boxes come in all sizes, colours and materials. The one shown is black velvet and holds 8×10 matted prints.

This is how an opened box looks.

Here is a close up of a matted print. 

Albums make cherished keepsakes. They are a great way to organize and remember events in your life. I have 2 new albums. The first one is a 5×7, has a brown leather cover and hard, lay flat pages.

This album is 10×10 inches and has a black suede cover. It also has thick pages that lay flat.

Accordion books make a great gift idea and are also a handy way to carry your favorite images with you.

Contact me if you are interested in booking a session or if you had a session a while ago and would like to purchase one of these products.

The Seasons of Victoria Beach (Winnipeg Photographers)

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Over the past 4 years I have had the privilege of getting to know Victoria Beach. John, my fiance, is fortunate enough that his grandfather bought a cabin there in 1944 for $600. This cabin was torn down a couple of years ago and replaced with a new, modern and very beautiful cabin.  It is really more of a beach house than a cabin. We both love it there and call it our sanctuary. Most people only come to their cabins in the summer but we go all year round and we love it even more in the winter. Here are some images that I’ve taken in the 4 seasons at Victoria Beach.

SUMMER

Summer is a very busy time at VB.  There are people playing tennis, visiting in the village green, biking, walking, swimming and waiting in line at the bakery. The sunsets are amazing and the beaches are busy. The pelicans and the eagles are back and the days are long and hot. I love summer.

 

FALL

Fall is the most beautiful time at VB. The days and nights are cooler and there are fewer people around, especially after Thanksgiving. I love walking with my camera in the fall.

WINTER

It might strike you as strange but winter has become my favorite season at VB. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, the people are gone. The population goes from about 16,000 in the summer to 450 in the winter.  It’s not that I don’t like people, but I love the solitude in winter. I love walking the dogs on the roads without worrying about anyone complaining about them being off leash. I love that even on the coldest days, the wind is blocked by the trees and I can take the dogs for walks.  I love the pictures that I can take of the cold and the snow. Take a look:

 

 

SPRING

One of the really neat things about spring at VB is hearing the ice moving as it melts. The dogs can still run free and people have not returned yet. Spring leads to some really interesting pictures as well, with the contrast of the blue water and sky and the white snow and ice.

 

As you can see, it is an idyllic place in all the seasons.

We would love to see you at our sanctuary. Come for a drive and visit us. It’s only an hour from the North Perimeter and well worth the trip.

News and Offers CM Photo! (Winnipeg Photography Newsletters)

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Lights, Camera, Editing, Portraits!



Studio Upgrade

I am very happy to announce that my studio upgrade is complete!

In the image below you can see my new floor with a brick backdrop. Along the right side are 2 other backdrops set up for Christmas sessions. The new floor makes it much easier to move equipment around and to change floor drops, as well as looking great in pictures!

Remember the treadmill I used to hang blankets on? I got rid of it and now have the blankets hanging on 2 layers of rods. This helps me to see what I have and to access the blankets more easily.

My newborn wraps are also hung on a rod, making them easier to see and access. I’m still working on an easy fix for displaying headbands. Let me know if you have an idea/solution for showing them.

In the image below is my updated client room. On the ledge at the back is my projector which I use when doing “In Person Sales”. Images are projected onto the opposite white wall allowing clients to view images in a large display.

I’ve done  “In Person Sales” for over a month now and really love the process. My biggest thrill is hearing my client’s OOHs and AHHs when they first see their images. I like being available to answer client questions, as well as, helping them make choices for their photography products.

Come and have a look and we can talk about your next photography session!  Coffee and tea are available and I will even supply some treats!


More on Printing

I recently found a really great article on the importance of printing from a childhood perspective. You can find it here:

https://www.michellemckayphotographer.com/blog/2017/7/8/the-importance-of-printing-photographs-childhood-identity-and-a-history-made-in-pictures

The author writes about prints of her young daughter that she has displayed in her house and how those prints help give her daughter a sense of personal identity and  belonging.

I love her words:

These days of now will be gone, but through photographs they can be remembered and cherished. We can remain tied to our pasts, to our memories.

We can have and hold all these versions of our life and our selves still; they can exist all at once on the walls and in the hallways of our homes.

Long after these days and sleepless nights have ended, let there exist a record around us – a story of love, belonging, connection.

A rich and glorious tapestry. 

A history, told in pictures.

Wise words I think.



FREE Digital image!

As a promotion for the month of January, I am offering you a full resolution digital image at no charge after you spend $400 on products. This can be any image that is in your gallery.



The Paper is Always Free

I recently wrote a blog post entitled “The Paper is Always Free.” You can read it here:

https://cmphotographyblog.com/2017/11/28/the-paper-is-always-free-winnipeg-photography-studios/

This article talks about the costs of running a photography business. It is important that consumers understand that you are not paying for paper when you order a print. You are paying for all the expenses and artistry that go into producing that print. The list of photography expenses is endless, but some of the items are listed below.


The same costs go into producing a digital image as making a print; therefore a digital image does not cost less than a print.

Read the article for more information.



And Finally!

I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy New Year.


Yours in Photography,

Christina

The Paper is Always Free! (Winnipeg Photography Studios)

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Clients sometimes ask me if they can get a digital image rather than a print in order to save money. They think there is more value in a print and the digital image should be almost free. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You see the paper is free. There is very little cost involved in the physical print. The paper is worth pennies. It is the photographer’s artistic vision and their cost of doing business that you are paying for, whether you get a digital image or a print.

Would you even think of asking an artist who is a painter to send you a digital image of their work? Before the start of digital, did clients ask photographers for their negatives? I would say almost never. And yet, people think the digital negative should be almost free.

I am transitioning to a new business model in which selling products will be the main focus. That is because I want clients to have a finished product and I want control over where that product is printed.  I value my artistry. I take pride in my work. I want it to look good. I don’t want clients changing my images and posting them on Facebook (this has happened). I don’t want clients to print my images at Walmart. I want the final product to reflect the hours of work I have put into the creation of their image.

And I also want to cover my cost of doing business. People often don’t realize the costs involved in running a photography business.  Then there is the cost of equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, lighting, backdrops, programs and supplies; not to mention heat, light and security and much, much more.

 

I love photography. I love getting to know my clients, photographing small children and getting a newborn into a beautiful pose. But because I love it, doesn’t mean I should do it for nothing and give away my work.

The paper is always free. It’s what is on the paper that costs money.

 

plus all of this and more

Equals this!