Month: January, 2010

Canadian Airport Lights and Security – both never ending

January 29, 2010

Ottawa Airport US ConcourseWhile I am a Beaufort based photographer, I do get around quite a bit. Recent trips included such exotic (and cold!) destinations as Waukesha, WI and Ottawa, Canada. This particular photograph was taken at the Ottawa International Airport.

Did I mention this was in early January and that Ottawa is the second coldest capital city in the world – Moscow has the dubious honor of being the first. While Beaufort was suffering through a cold snap with 30 degree weather, I was dealing with a high 10 degrees! Lucky for me, they do have heat in Canadian airports.

They also have some wonderful new security rules that forbid carry on baggage other that small purses and laptop bags. Only for flights to the US mind you. Since I carry a small backpack, I could not bring it with me on the plane. It had to be checked in.  I wasn’t about to let the camera and computer ride the conveyer belt or face the ground crew! Let’s just say it was interesting going through security with my pockets loaded with lens, batteries, camera and laptop computer.

By contrast, facing the US border agent was a breeze. Yes, you clear customs while still in Canada. This is where you wait for the flights to the US. The concourse was added recently and has a very… industrial feel to it: brushed steel, metal beam ceiling and these hanging lights.

As I was sprawled on the bench, recovering from the security gauntlet and feeling like a pack mule, I noticed the ceiling lights. Their symmetry just begging to be photographed. I did process the image to darken the lower portion and really put the emphasis on the row of lights…much like canadian airport security, it seems to never end.

What’s the deal with Session Fees?

January 24, 2010

Session fees are often a sore point with clients. The majority of professional photographers charge some sort of session fees. These fees might range anywhere from $20 to $300 or more.

As a Beaufort Photographer, many of our customers are military. Since the military machine is not known for its financial largess, we keep our session fees at a reasonable $50. In fact, we even do away with session fees if you purchase a  portrait package.

Clients might question the reason for charging those fees. Shouldn’t this be included in the price of the photographs you get? Let’s take a look at the time involved in doing a photography session.

  • Initial consultation (30 minutes)
  • Travel time to and from location (30 – 60+ minutes)
  • Time for the session (60+ minutes)
  • Backup & Import Images (15 minutes)
  • Initial image processing & sorting (30 minutes)
  • Prepare photo gallery (30 minutes)
  • Travel to/from customer home for showing (30 – 60 minutes)
  • Photo selection session (45 minutes)

Thus far, we have invested anywhere from 5 5to 7 hours of our time, without any guarantee the customer will purchase anything.  At best, this works out to $10/hour.  Not so extravagant.

Save the Naked Prints!

January 22, 2010

Low Country photography is being assaulted by a terrible blight.  As a Beaufort Photographer, I find myself at the vanguard of the fight against this affliction. It’s the Naked Print. It goes by many names: gift prints, photo package, picture sheet. Regardless of the name, they are those photos that come in an envelope.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the photographs themselves. I am certain they are quite lovely. What I’m railing against is our propensity to procrastinate displaying those photographs for others to enjoy! Human nature is what gets me!

I would venture to say the majority of naked prints stay in the envelope. It’s not the print’s fault. In this day and age, who has the time to go out and look for a frame? And woe be to you if you have a “sheet” – you actually have to cut the photographs?! We just don’t do it.  As a result, we have lonely languishing naked prints. Forgotten in a curio box.

You might think I’m on a quixotic quest to change the plight of naked prints worldwide. Unlike Don Q., I’m not going to flail at the windmill of human nature. But as a Beaufort Photographer, I will do my part to fight it locally.

This is why at Southern Photographic Images, every prints we offer, regardless of size, comes with a complimentary frame. From the smallest of 4×5 to the largest of 40×30, they come ready to display.

Our standard frame is a wall mount black or silver frame; nothing fancy (we can do fancy if you want). If ordering a small gift print, you can ask us for a desk frame instead and we will find you something suitable. The key is that when you receive the print, it is ready to display.

Imagine if all your photographs came ready to show the world! No more excuses not to proudly display your family memories!

We’re doing our part, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help! I implore you, rescue your naked prints today.

Save the Naked Prints! · January 22, 2010 · 3:36 am · Musings · Add Comment

eStork – helping deployed military connect with their newborn

January 4, 2010

Being a Beaufort-based Photographer, I am extremely proud of the Marine Corp. They have become an ever present part of our life. Be it the noise of F18 doing carrier landing exercises or noticing the plethora of high and tights, the military presence adds to Beaufort’s unique charm.

As a Photographer, I love a Marine’s dress uniform. There is a richness and a vibrancy to its colors. It could very well be that I have been influenced by the Corp’s fantastic commercials – I tip my hat to the JWT advertising agency. You have to admit, no other branches has commercial sport with as much mystique.

For all the sexiness of the commercials, the military life is a difficult one. It is replete with sacrifices and hardship. Not only the physical danger, but also the strain on relationships and family caused by deployments.

I have looked for a good way to show appreciation to our military and their family for all the sacrifices they make. While we offer a military discount, I wanted to do something more. I am thrilled to announce that our studio has joined the eStork program.

eStork was created to help with a heartbreaking situation: A deployed serviceman unable to be at their child’s birth.

The goal of the program is simple: provide nice portraits of newborns that can be emailed to the deployed spouse.

Participating photographers offer a free newborn session and provide a no cost CD with images suitable for emailing.

To participate, simply contact a participating photographer and schedule a session.  In the Beaufort area, you can contact us at 263-9706 (or via our contact form). For other areas, the eStork web site has a list of photographers.

This is a small way to give back to the military community.