Friday 5

1. Do you use Lightroom?

I don't - I know a lot of photographers that love it, but I am not one of them. When it first came out, I gave it a try. However, it is just so slightly different than Photoshop that I found it hard to navigate and use. I can't use Photoshop Elements for the same reason - actions and menus are organized differently and I am a person of routine. I actually use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and LOVE it. I love how streamlined it is to transition my file right into Photoshop to put on my finishing touches. Just a personal preference!

2. How do you keep all of your files organized?

I organize them as such: Session Type - Last name, First name. So, on my computer you'll find Newborn - Doe, Jane. Within a client's specific folder, I have additional folders entitled Roughs (SOOC and unedited RAW/Jpg Files), Finals (edited images), Proofs (web sized blog sneak peeks), and Selected (client choices).

3. What is the busiest time of year for your business? The slowest?

Right now is by far the busiest! I am booking faster than I ever have. Fall is a busy time because of the changing of the leaves and "holiday card pictures". Things will slow down in January - it is a calm after the storm that is the winter holidays. Things will remain quiet (and too cold to shoot outside) so many of my sessions will be limited to indoor newborn photography. Things pick up again in March as it starts to warm up.

4. Is it hard to be a photographer with a child? How do you conduct business while still considering yourself a full-time stay at home mom?

A lot of people have a misconception about stay at home working moms, that we "have it made". In a sense, we do. I know I feel that way. However, there is a drawback. The one issue many don't understand is we're never off the clock - we can't leave work at the office. When my daughter naps or goes down for the night, that is when I go to work. It is important to me to not be glued to the computer editing images when she is around, so I conduct most of my business after hours. My house keeping takes a beating because of this... Being attentive to my daughter is also why I prefer to conduct most communications with my clients by email - it allows me to focus during the day on being a mom, but also making sure I can give clients my full and undivided attention when discussing business and the details of working together.

As for conducting sessions, I couldn't do it without the support of my family, that is for sure! I am very lucky to live just minutes away from my parents, who are always more than willing to look after my little girl for an hour or two while I sneak away to a session. On the weekends, my little girl spends one on one time with her Dad or they accompany me to a location so they can play outdoors while I am off with a client. Still, there have been many times where she cries when I leave, and I cry a little bit too. I love my job, but I love being a mom too!

5. Your clients always look so well put together. What do you recommend as far as putting outfits together without being matchy matchy?

My clients are amazing at this! I am always impressed how coordinated everyone looks while still remaining individually presented. I think it's important to remember to work with shades of color, not one specific tone. If you're wearing brown, explore tans for the kids. If you're wearing blue, explore navy, royal and pastel blue for members of your family. Another way to pull in more colors to tie everyone together? Accessories! Head bands, belts, bracelets, shoes.

Pinterest is another amazing new tool. I find fashion inspiration on it all the time! Keying in "photo clothing ideas" brings up tons of possibilities!

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