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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Embrace the Elements!

With winter coming up and upon us in some areas, I found a great blog post from Pure Photoshop Actions called Embrace the Elements! Click on the link to view some ideas for dressing for an outdoor shoot in cold weather. It's very worth the time to view!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why do photographers charge so much?!

"Why do photographers charge so much?!" I hear this question a lot and that's good. People want to know where their money is going to. Here's an article I found online that explains everything almost perfectly for me. I hope this sheds light on why the cost is what it is.

The average one-hour portrait session

First, let's look at the actual work involved:

Travel to the session
Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
Shoot the photos
Travel from the session
Load images onto a computer
Back up the files on an external drive
2 - 4 hours of Adobe® Photoshop® time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs. Proof photos are also ordered.
2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment, and ship.
Possibly meet clients at the studio to review photos and place order. Meeting and travel time average 2 hours.
You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal photographer charging a $200 session fee for a one-hour photo shoot, the client is NOT paying them $200 per hour.

The eight-hour wedding

A wedding photographer typically meets with the bride and groom several times before and after the wedding. And it’s not uncommon to end up with 1,000 - 2,000 photos, much more than a portrait session. Many photographers spend 40-60 hours working on one eight-hour wedding if you look at the time that is truly involved. Again, when a wedding photographer charges $4,000 for eight hours of coverage, clients are NOT paying them $500 an hour!

(Don’t forget that the photographer runs the wedding day to some extent. A comfortable, confident wedding photographer can make a wedding day go more smoothly.)

The expertise and cost of doing business

Shooting professional photography is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though a DSLR now costs under $1,000, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most personal photographers take years to go from buying their first camera to making money with photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website, etc. And don’t forget backdrops, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc!

In addition to the financial investment, photographers actually have to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill by itself. You could argue that posing is a more important skill than actually knowing how to use the camera. A poorly exposed photo can be saved, but a badly posed photo cannot.

The chain store photo studio

Chain stores do have their place. For a very cheap price you can run in, shoot some quick photos, and be done with it. But you get what you pay for.

Consider the time and effort that a personal photographer puts into photographs, compared to a chain store. Store sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.

The truth is that many chain store studios lose money. In fact, Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios in 2007 because of the financial drain. What the chain stores bank on is a client coming in for quick, cheap photos…and while there, spending $200 on other items. They are there to get you in the door.

The real deal

Professional, personal photographers are just that—professionals. No different than a mechanic, dentist, doctor, or electrician. But a personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal photographs of cherished memories.

Maybe we need to help clients look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the drugstore. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair.

The added attention and quality that a personal photographer gives is worth every penny.


We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs, created by a Personal Photographer are so expensive.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Shawn, Pamela and Gavin Richter - cofphoto@aol.com

Our website - Caught on Film Photography

Our photography forum - Learning Digital Photography Together

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday

OK...I guess that it's technically Thursday, but things have been crazy busy at Chase Grace Photography. I am looking forward to all of the upcoming holiday sessions and can't wait to share the sneak peeks!

Anyways, back to the reason I am posting tonight. It's What to Wear Wednesday!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Free Mini-Session Giveaway

It was good to meet so many moms yesterday at the MOPS Fall Fest!  I enjoyed talking to each of you.  Below is the list of moms that signed up (in the order in which you signed up).  Using Random.org, I have chosen the winner of the Free Mini-Session.  Remember that this is only for the session.  Prints and/or Christmas cards will have to be purchased separately.

List of Moms
1.  Tami Roach
2.  Julie Malott
3.  Christa Checki
4.  Molly Gent
5.  Laura Panto
6.  Lynnae Kucera
7.  Kristie Kahlden
8.  Connie Chow
9.  Amy Byrd
10.  Chelsea Geissen
11.  Dana Arnett
12.  Kari Cabrera
13.  Kerri Westmoreland
14.  Maggie Butterfield

And the winner is...

Congratulations Amy Byrd!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mr. K turns 5!

I took the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to photograph my own son.  His birthday is on Halloween and every year, we take a trip to visit my parents for a week right before his birthday.  I took the chance to scope out some great spots while also getting to enjoy photographing one of my favorite subjects.  We spent the afternoon just hanging out and talking about whatever came to mind.

Here are some of my favorites!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Adorable Mr. E

I had the pleasure of spending the morning last Sunday with a wonderful family that was so excited to be welcoming their little boy into the world.  Mr. E was awake almost the whole time and finally fell asleep as I was packing my stuff up to leave.  Despite his alertness during the session, I was able to get some great shots of him.  I am hoping for both mom and dad's sake that he slept for a while afterwards!

Here's a sneak peek from the session!

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

Here we are.  It's the end of October, Halloween is just a few days away.  The craziness of the holiday season is upon us.  Soon we will be planning Thanksgiving with our families.  Then comes the day after Thanksgiving sales that get the Christmas season rolling.  All leading up to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I love Christmas!  I always have.  As soon as the Christmas songs start playing on the radio, you will find me singing along.  This time of the year is especially magical now that I have my two children to share it with.  I love seeing how their eyes light up at the sights and sounds of the season.

Now is the time to capture the magic.  Your children are only little for such a short time.  Book your Holiday Sessions now.  Sessions are on-location, either in your home (where we can capture some of your family traditions) or at the location of your choice (within the Austin Metro area).

See "Price List" tab for prices on holiday cards.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday

Here's another installment in my "What to Wear Wednesday" section.  This week think about adding layers to add interest to your pictures.  Rich, deep colors are great colors for fall pictures that can also be used for your upcoming Christmas cards.  You don't have to stick to red and green for Christmas cards.  Think about colors that look good on you and your family.  Incorporate those colors into your pictures because if you look and feel great about your choices that will come out in your photographs.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday

I frequently get asked by my clients, "What should we wear?" in reference to their portrait sessions.

I encourage them to wear what they feel comfortable in because comfortable clients always make for better photos.  This usually results in clients pushing the "easy button" and choosing the same color shirts, blue jeans, and flip flops.

So I thought it would be fun to have a weekly set of ideas for upcoming photo sessions.

I encourage you to step outside of the box and seek out fun colors and textures for your next photo shoot.  What you wear can make or break your images.  Take your upcoming photo session to the next level and show off your family’s great style!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things {Austin TX Nature Photographer}

I sometimes get the chance to get out and photograph things and places that I love.  Some of these are taken here in Austin.  Some are taken when I visited my parents in Arkansas.  Some are from our trip to Eastern Tennessee.  Not only are these beautiful places to visit, but they all have some meaning to me.

We will be going to visit family in a few weeks and I hope to get some more pictures that I can add to this collection.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Miss K {Austin TX Children Photography}

We had a fun day at Mayfield Park here in Austin, TX.  It is one of the few places in Austin, TX that is still in bloom.  I had been planning this session for a while.  I knew that I wanted to use these butterflies that first time that I saw them and was waiting for Little Miss K to get big enough to sit up.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Deanna R's Maternity Session {Austin, TX Maternity}

We had a great time at Deanna's maternity session.  It looked like it was going to start raining on us, and actually started sprinkling.  For those of you not in the Austin area, we have not had any measurable rain in about a year.

We went out to Lake Pflugerville in hopes of finding some greenery and water to shoot in front of.  We were able to find a good amount of water, so we went out on one of the docks.

Here's a sneak peak of some of the shots that we got!  Can't wait to photograph the precious little one that will be here soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome to Chase Grace Photography

I love moments that are full of energy and moments of quiet stillness. 
I love juice stained faces, dirty hands and feet, and ripped jeans. 
I love messy hair and mischievous grins. 
I love kids being kids.

My photography is about capturing your child spinning in circles until they fall to the ground, catching your child sitting quietly engrossed in a book, and those first days of life when your baby is so fresh and new.
It's about gleeful laughter and tantrums and tears.

It's about the light that shines in their eyes when they are thinking of something funny and about the way they stick out their tongue in concentration whey they are building the tallest tower.
My aim is to capture the essence of the person in front of me and to freeze that moment in time.