Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ponderings and Photos

So, I have been doing some thinking lately. I love my children tremendously and I am so thankful that we have the resources available that allow me to stay home with them. However, I don't know how much longer I can stay at home and stay sane. I am missing the classroom something fierce. That said, and considering we have no idea how long Chris will be stationed here, making getting employed in a school district as a full-time teacher challenging, I have decided to start my masters. I am so excited -- classes begin on January 1st. Finally, I'll have something to do during nap time other than clean the house or watch poor daytime TV! It will be so good to start using my brain for more taxing purposes than deciphering the latest whine or protest cry from one of my children.

I am also contemplating starting a small photography business. I love to take pictures. Have loved it for forever. In fact, I'm one of those nerds that reads books on taking photos, even though I've never taken a class to learn to be a better photographer. If there is a class offered on base or in a nearby town this spring, it most likely will end up on my list of things to do.

Back to taking pictures for money. Kids grow up so fast. Taking them into a studio they don't always act/react the way they would in their own home or playground. We live in a society where we don't necessarily live near grandparents or where a parent can be gone on business or a deployment for long periods of time. Then there are those of us that have experienced the miracle of adoption -- we want to document every minute with our bundles of joy. If we are to keep up with our kids then we are going to pay a small fortune in sitting fees and pro-quality photos -- Chris and I spent over $150 for a photo CD from Sears last weekend, and that included a whopping 11 photos taken in about 20 minutes!!!

My thoughts are that I would take photos of kids and sell their parents a CD of the session. I think that this could be a good outlet for me on top of studying curriculum planning and instructional design. I've been moved by the Celebrate Adoption sessions and would love to take pictures of families brought together by adoption. I want to help families who are surviving long deployments -- Chris at least didn't feel that he was missing everything about the kids growing up while he was gone. Plus, since this would be "extra" income, I would donate some of the money to Global Orphan Team.

Now, here are my questions: 1.) Based on photos that I have posted on my blog, would you hire me to take photos of your precious babes? 2.) What do you consider a fair price for a photo CD with 1 hours worth of photos from a location of your choice (with some retouching)? 3.) How high of a quality camera would you expect from your photographer? This is my real big conundrum currently. My girlfriend is getting married next summer and I offered to take the photos of her wedding. She in turn offered to help me buy a camera to start off my business. I really want the Cannon 40D digital SLR that has all kinds of bells and whistles and is a professional grade camera. However, the Cannon EOS Rebel also has 10.1 megapixels but the big difference is it doesn't shot as many frames per second or have quite as fine a resolution. Do I go for the big camera or the Rebel (I have the film version and LOVE it), since I am not sure how much time and money I am going to have to invest into this business. Any thoughts or suggestions you can post are greatly appreciated.

Saturday afternoon in the yard with Daddy:

At the park:

Any time I start to think that my kids are getting to big I just need to see them next to something that I know is big (like a basketball hoop) to be reminded that they still have lots of growing left to do.
Elena's "Uh-oh" face
Superman down the slide

Taking the steps like a big girl

Shot from below while Garrett is climbing the ladder

Fun with wood chips



So, would you buy my photos?


Todd, Amy and Evan said...

I just bought a Canon D40X 10.1 MP SLR and have been enjoying it. It was a package with the camera body, 18-55mm lens, 55-200mm lens and camera bag for $799. I paid another $50 to upgrade to the 55-200mm VR lens (vibration reduction) and paid $129 for the additional flash. I've been pleased with its performance and the quality of the pictures.

Good luck in what you decide.


The Collins Family said...

First of all..donating to GOT...LOVE you!

Second of all...have you been spying on me???? Go read my post that I just did about AN HOUR AGO! I'm going to shoot you an email about this too.

Kim & Dave said...

Oh, I would buy them!

The ones of the kids looking through the fence reminds me of one taken of Ruth in our "Celebrate Adoption" photo shoot.

If you want to take a look, the link is on the sidebar of my blog & the password is "kim."

Also,....how much our lives have changed since last Christmas, huh? & I miss having Christmas in Guatemala, too. :(

The McKenzie Crew said...

I LOVE all these pics:):)

N & D said...

You go girl!!
Both in your degree and taking photos. Your photos are awesome!!
I got my masters long ago before kids - it will never hurt to have more education!
I don't know how much pictures cost as I haven't done the photo shoot yet, but would do it if the photographer came to our house.
Last year we were at the Radisson last year at christmas, so we might have met up or passed each other on the street :)

Tam said...

Oh, yeah, your pics are great! Sorry I have no advice because I don't know a thing about this stuff....


I have both the Canon 40D and the Rebel XTI. I love both--the key is not necessarily the camera, but the lens (my lens costs more than my camera)-- I have an image stabilizing lens on each one. Helps make the photos VERY crisp!

Make sure that this is something that you REALLY want to do---it is extremely time consuming! I have lost alot of time with my family bacause of this business--don't get me wrong--I LOVE IT!--
but, if you are even remotely thinking of doing this as a business, be prepared to sacrifice alot more than just a few hours a week. It will become your life.

I have done quite well and had a few very lucky breaks with high profile clients. I am the happiest and most exhausted that I have ever been in my entire life.

In my personal opinion (not that you are asking for it), your photos are cute--some great composition, clear captures, and I really like that you are more of an observer, and are not "posing" your subjects. That being said, I think that if you play wih them a litle in post prosessing, that you would do well as a contemporary lifestyle photographer.

If you really want to know what people (pros) think of your work, then sign up for flicker and post some pics and ask for comments---they will give you a honest opinion. That is sometimes hard to get from friends and family who want you to do whatever makes you happy.

I don't know that shooting a wedding right out of the gate is a good ideal. There is soooo much pressure to get it right--there aren't a lot of chances to fix it if you screw up there. But, hey, if you feel comfortable enough--then go for it! I, personally, like to stay away from weddings---too many bridezillas who demand perfection.

Again, not that you asked for my opinion, but Meghan mentioned that you wanted to try it out, so I was poking around your blog.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Our Family of 5 said...

Love the pictures! And of course I would buy your photos!