Category Archives: other

Lost in cyberspace

I value every inquiry from potential and existing clients, and I respond to every email I receive.  So, if you send me a message through the contact form on my website and you don’t receive a reply within a few days, please try to reach me again :)  Apparently, some of the recent messages sent via the contact form have been lost in cyberspace…gotta love technology, right?! ;)

On a related note, when you’re filling out your email address in the form, please check to make sure there are no typos.  I will be responding to the email address you input, so if it’s not correct you won’t receive my email reply.

I look forward to connecting with you!

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NL App: Shop The Rock | Media Features

I’ve been fortunate to have some media coverage about Shop The Rock in the past couple weeks — it’s been featured on the NTV news, CBC Here & Now, CBC Late Night news, CBC Morning radio shows (St. John’s and Gander), OZFM and in the Telegram. With all these interviews (and everything else), I’ve been a busy lady since 2013 came in! I reluctantly share the TV interviews because the unflattering camera angles make me want to hide in the room, lol, but the radio audio interviews went ok ;) Please don’t judge me too harshly; I get nervous when I’m being recorded, haha!
CLICK HERE to check out some of the media coverage!

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New Workshop Options to save $$ | Newfoundland Photography Workshops

Check out the workshop details page (HERE) and each of the registration pages (Basic Photography and Intro to Photoshop) for new bundle options to save money!  If you register for the Intro to Photoshop workshop at the same time as you register for the Basic Photography workshop, you will save $25!  If you’re only interested in the Photoshop workshop, you can “upgrade” your registration — for only $1 more you get a $50 credit to I ShootI Shoot is my line of apparel and accessories for photographers – shirts, caps, wristbands, bag tags and more!
Learn to use your camera and take your photos to the next level with photo editing!

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Newfoundland Prints

A few of my prints are available for purchase at local businesses!  All prints are professionally printed, mounted & coated with a pearl finish, and professionally framed – ready to hang. No glare, paper wrinkles or discoloring to worry about.  The Visitor’s Information Centre in Bay Roberts has a couple different fireworks prints and one of the river.  There are fireworks prints for sale at Home Accents & Gifts in the Beaver Plaza and at Hidden Treasures on the main highway in Bay Roberts.  A  20×30″ fireworks print is displayed in the waiting area of the Bay Roberts Dental Health Centre (this one is not for sale, but you can view it there).  The fireworks photos were taken at the 2011 Klondyke Days fireworks in Bay Roberts.  The river photo was taken in Hopeall a couple years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lifestyle Sessions

I am excited to now offer Lifestyle Sessions. Lifestyle Sessions are intended to capture the essence of your life, or something that is happening in your life, at the time of the session. The images will mostly be natural, candid and personality photographs, and possibly some casual portrait-type of photos, as well as “details” shots. You may remember the post I made about Jaxon’s first haircut a while ago (LINK); this is one example of a Lifestyle Session. Below is a video featuring some photos from a recent family Lifestyle Session. If you would like information about preserving some of your memories in this way, please contact me for details!

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Gift Certificates Available

Give the gift that will be cherished for a lifetime: quality photographs.  Gift certificates available in any amount, to be used towards a session. Or, you can choose to purchase a certificate for the entire shoot fee (which includes some prints).  Perfect gift for friends and family!  Do you know someone who’s interested in learning photography? Why not give them a gift certificate to one of the Basic Photography Workshops with Brandi Gosse?!  Great gift idea for Christmas, birthdays, graduation, retirement, Mother’s Day / Father’s Day, etc.  All my gift certificates are personalized with names and a message if you’d like.  And I can provide an electronic copy for you to print yourself if you don’t live nearby to pick it up   :)

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Print with caution

I admit, I often print my personal snapshots at a local “chain” lab.  Recently, I took a studio picture of my baby that I wanted printed quickly, so I put it through with my monthly snapshot print order (rather than waiting until I sent my next pro order).  When I picked it up I was SHOCKED!  It didn’t look anything like it did on my calibrated monitor.  Of course, I re-printed it with my usual pro lab, and I just can’t get over the difference!  See for yourself; below is a picture showing the two prints…notice how the “not-pro” print is washed out and has a ”cold” look to it, not to mention you can’t even see the shading of the background.  (I never edited this quick comparison picture at all – only cropped it and added text – so please excuse that it’s not super sharp, lol).  Yes, this is the exact same file, uploaded to two different labs.  This is one reason I’m so reluctant to provide clients with full-resolution digital images for them to print themselves…I have no idea where they are printing, and they could be putting a picture like this (awful) print on their wall and telling people I took it – yikes!

Addition on July 19, 2012: Here’s another comparison, showing the drastic difference with another photo! (LINK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s in MY Bag?

I often have people ask me what camera I have or what lens I use, or if I use a flash, or what accessories I have.   So, here’s what’s in my camera bag!  (Sorry I don’t have time to include various pictures with this post; if I could buy TIME, that would be the most valuable thing in my bag!)


Cameras

Nikon D300.  I purchased this camera when it was first released, and I really love it!

Nikon D40.  I bought this camera used, for infrared photography.  I used it a few times – until the novelty of infrared wore off – and now I keep it as a back-up.  (Note: I don’t shoot weddings or other important “live” events, so having a “good” back-up camera isn’t as critically important for me)

I plan to upgrade my camera soon (I’m checking out the Nikon D800.  And the D4, in case I win the lottery ;) ), so my D300 will soon become my back-up camera.


Lenses

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f.2.8G ED.  I’m thrilled to have recently added this to my bag (though my bank account looks pretty sad with the big whole where the 2K used to be, lol)!  I’ve only been shooting with this for a short time, but it’s  already clear that this lens rocks!

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR.  This was the lens I purchased when I bought my D300, and I’ve used it about 80% of the time since then.  I love the range it covers (perfect for a convenient walk-around and travel lens).  Though I will be shooting with my new 24-70mm most of the time from this point forward, I will still be keeping this worthy lens for travelling because it’s lighter and less valuable than the 24-70mm.

Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D.  Open wide, baby!  I love that this lens can open to an aperture of 1.4!  But, my lens seems to have a problem and is being serviced by Nikon at the moment :( .  Looks like I may be upgrading to the newer AF-S  50mm f/1.4 G pretty soon.

Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8G ED-IF VR.  Looking at things through a macro lens is like getting a glimpse at a whole other world.  The amount of detail that can be captured of such small things is truly amazing!   While macro photography is one of the most challenging types of photography I’ve tried, I truly enjoy the photographs I can get with this lens.

Nikon AF DX Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 ED Fisheye.  This is my “play” lens, and I adore it!  It is extraordinarily sharp, and it produces super fun and interesting photos.  It’s tied with my macro lens for my “coolest” lenses  :D

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX.   I have to admit, I haven’t used this lens much.  Note to self: get this awesome lens on my camera and put it to work!

Lensbaby Composer.  Another “play” lens.  I purchased it used, just to see what it’s all about.  It’s pretty cool, but it’s another lens that I could have done without but don’t want to part with now that I have it.


Flashes

Nikon Speedlight SB900.  I have two of these.  They are wicked!  I use them in studio (occasionally), outside (often) and for personal snapshots in the house (all the time…unless there’s quite a bit of light coming in from the windows).


Accessories
Sekonic L-358 Flashmeter.  I bought this when I was beginning to learn studio lighting.  I used it initially, but to be honest, I rarely use it anymore.  I tried to turn it on last month while I was waiting for a client to arrive, and the battery  was dead.

Two PocketWizard Plus II Remote Triggers.  I use these outside for off-camera flash, and I also use them in studio.  It took me a while to upgrade from the cheap ebay triggers, but now I can’t imagine using anything else.

Various filters – UV, polarizer, ND, IR, and maybe others that I’ve forgotten about.

SanDisk Extreme CF cards – two 4GB and one 8GB.

Other miscellaneous things – lens cloth, stepping ring, sync cords, rain sleeve, etc.  Some filters are Hoya and others are B+W.

Manfrotto tripod.  Not sure of the model number, but it’s a heavy-duty tripod.

 

You may ask: “Is all this stuff actually in one bag?”.  And my answer is YES (or, at least it all could be – except the tripod)!  I can get it all in my Tamrac Expedition 7x kick a** camera bag.  But it is HUGE!  I use it to store my gear that I’m not actively using, and I have taken it when I travel so that I can fit everything in one safe bag en route (though it barely fits as carry-on luggage).   BUT, I also have two smaller camera bags – one that can fit my camera, a couple lenses and a flash, which I take with me for location shoots; and one cross-body bag that just fits my camera with attached lens, which I would use if I’m going on a personal outing to the park, for example (and that I would take when I travel as well).

So, that’s my gear…well, my gear that fits in my bag; I haven’t even touched on what’s in my studio!

(note: this is a good supplement to my post titled “The Cost…Explained” HERE)

 

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What do YOU Shoot?

I’ve been pretty busy with my new venture this month  :)   I recently launched I Shoot, a line of apparel & accessories for photographers.  Swing on by to the online store to check out the gear! While you’re there, subscribe to the Blog so you don’t miss posts about sales, new products, photography tips, Photoshop tutorials, free downloads, etc!  And be sure to “Like” the I Shoot Facebook page for a chance to win free stuff!!

Click here to check out the I Shoot website!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cost…Explained.

I wrote this article to shed some light on why it costs more to have your pictures taken by some photographers than other “photographers” or the chain/department store studios.

In case you don’t want to read the whole post (I know, it’s long!), I’ve pasted the last paragraph at the beginning as well:  Most people spend hundreds of dollars on items that will only last a few years. Quality photographs can last a lifetime, and beyond. Custom photography is an investment. You are preserving your memories for years to come. Though quality portrait art and prints can cost a fair bit of money, they will become a priceless piece of personal history that can be handed down and cherished for generations. “A photograph is the pause button of life” – Ty Holland.

First, I’ll touch on the differences between a session at a department store vs. your experience with me as your photographer.

Typical department store experience: when you arrive for your appointment you could have to wait with your children for 20+ minutes before it’s “your turn”. When you get into the “studio” your session is likely limited to 15 minutes or so, unless they’re having a slow day (I worked at a department store studio during my university years and I remember the manager expecting us to get each person in and out in less than 10 minutes – and this included families with 3+ children. It was a nightmare!). During your session, and while you’re reviewing your pictures, there are other people (and possibly “active” or “fussy” children) waiting for their turn, distracting you and your kids and/or watching you. Who wants an audience?! Especially if your kiddies are not exactly cooperating that day, lol, and you’re getting a little flustered, hehe ;) . The photographer (who, by the way, may be a student with little or no experience with children or photography) convinces you there are a few good shots, so it’s selection time. At many places the first shot you “agree to” becomes the one – and only one – you get in your package. Then you have about 10 minutes – with your impatient kiddies – to decide if you want additional pictures, which will be priced much higher than the $9.99 coupon you arrived with. When you get your printed pictures you notice they are not well focused (kinda blurry); the overall color is bad; that scratch or bruise is visible front and center; you can see the specs of dirt on the clothes (or bottom of shoes!), and that precious smile you love to see, well, isn’t quite there, and those gorgeous eyes are red and watery from the tears. But, it cost you less than $20, so you’re (somehow) satisfied.

Your experience with me: When you first contact me I will provide you with my session info and prices, as well as a document with answers to frequently asked questions. I’m available via email around the clock to answer your questions and discuss options, and you’ll find I can usually respond within a few hours (except overnight ;) ). Sometimes it’s easier to chat by phone, and I’m happy to do so. Once you decide to book your session with me, I can provide tips for your session and we can further discuss the types of pictures you hope to get from the session. When you arrive for your session, the studio is ALL YOURS! Or, if you’ve booked an outside location shoot, I’m all yours! (… but we may have to share the location with whoever else is around ;) ). There will be nobody before you or after you (if I do book more than one session a day they are spaced multiple hours apart). I list approximate session length/time on my Session Info page, but it’s not carved in stone. I’d say at least half of my sessions run over a bit, and it’s no problem. You’ve spent time preparing for your session and waited for the day to come; I want to make sure I’ve captured great shots for you to treasure, and sometimes that takes more time than expected because kiddies have minds of their own, hehe. I’m not promising every shot will be picture perfect smiles; but I will capture personality and natural expressions! Once your session is over, I will spend hours editing and processing your images to provide you with proofs for selection. I will remove blemishes, dirt spots, stray hairs, food stains (yes, your kids arrive clean, but sometimes you have to bribe them with food to get them to cooperate, and believe it or not that food often gets on their face and clothes, lol), etc. For the adults in the photos, I provide airbrushing and other “touch ups” at no extra charge as well. And then there’s all the other things – color adjustments, sharpening, custom collages, etc. I have often had to work some magic in Photoshop to make one great shot from multiple images (think of groups with more than one child, “blinkers”, “nervous smilers”, etc. It has sometimes been impossible to get everyone looking “good” in one shot!). I use my editing skills to create artistic images you and your friends/family will “ooh and ahh” over. Within 1-2 weeks your proofs will be ready and you will get them on CD (resized and watermarked) as well as a password protected online proof gallery. You get to decide on your prints over several days, in the comfort of your own home. My packages include at least 3 shots, and I offer discounts for large orders. All of my photographs are printed at a professional lab, and I offer finishing services such as dry mounting and canvas. By choosing me as your photographer, you are not paying for a student’s part time job; you are hiring someone with a passion for capturing those moments in life that have passed before we know it but that we never want to forget.

What’s that you say? Your friend has a friend who knows someone who has a studio in their basement and takes pictures for $20 (and maybe even includes the full quality images for you to print yourself)? I believe you. Because that’s what I did when I started about 10 years ago (only I charged $10…then $20 once I started getting a few people ask me to take their pictures). But I can guarantee you that the quality of the images (both digitally and in print) will not even compare. Don’t get me wrong, we all have to start somewhere; and I’m not saying that this person won’t become a knowledgeable and skilled photographer (heck, when I look at pictures I took 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, I think “man, they’re crap”! The people I took them for thought they were fantastic, and I even thought they were pretty good at the time. Sometimes I can’t even believe how much I’ve learned, and how differently I see things now). I’m just saying that if your total cost with this person including high-resolution proofs is $20 – or even $100 including the high-resolution images for that matter – they are probably still in the early stages of learning photography.  It’s “hit or miss” – you may get a few “good” shots, but more than likely the exposure will be off on most of them (either too bright or too dark), the focus will be off (for example, the hands or feet will be in focus instead of the face), the color will be awful (skin tone may be too blue or too orange), and so on.  There’s nothing wrong with choosing them to take your photos…if that’s what you’re looking for. If you look at photos taken by well-established and skilled photographers, and compare to photos taken by beginners (or the department store studio), and you don’t see a difference then perhaps it’s not worth the extra cost for you to have a custom photography session. But if you can see the MANY differences (I think I could write an entire article just on the differences, lol), the extra cost will be worth it to you.

So, why does custom photography cost more?

Aside from compensating the photographer for their knowledge, skills and experience, custom photography costs more because of the amount of equipment required and essentially the amount of time it takes to provide you with your gorgeous photographs.

Here’s a little breakdown of time:
30-60 mins for inquiry, booking, other pre-session discussions
30-60 mins pre-session prep time (set up the studio, equipment checks, scouting out locations, etc)
30+ mins travel time (for location shoots. Plus the time to pack my gear and load & unload it)
30 mins – 3 hours shooting time (depending on the type of session you’ve booked)
30 mins transferring images from camera to computer and backing up originals
3-10 hours of editing time (again, depending on the type of session you’ve booked)
1 hour uploading to online gallery, blog, etc, and transferring images to CD for you
1-2 hours preparing slideshow (if that is included with the session you’ve chosen)
30 minutes showing your proofs and explaining the order process, and answering questions afterwards
1-2 hours preparing custom collages or greeting cards (if applicable)
15-30 minutes spent with you to place your order
30 minutes to sort and check your prints when they arrive
15 minutes to show your prints when you pick them up
Plus the time I spend learning new techniques, practicing new things, etc.
The exact amount of time per session depends on the type of session, but ranges from 10 hours to 25 hours. The different types of sessions are priced accordingly.

The friend of a friend who snaps some shots and gives them to you on CD to print yourself at the local photo lab has not invested the time that it takes to provide you with a personalized photo session and quality photographs.  What’s the point of 30 pictures on CD if neither of them is worthy of hanging on your wall? Wouldn’t it be better to have a dozen awesome shots?  It seems anyone with a camera calls themself a “photographer” these days (well, maybe not everyone does this, but I think you get my point)…but, it’s unlikely they have invested in professional quality equipment, education, etc to produce your images…which brings me to the next topic…

Besides all the time it takes, there is the cost of running a photography business. These are a few examples of costs:
$12,000+ in cameras, lenses, flashes, and accessories (See my post titled “What’s in MY Bag” for details, HERE)
$9,000 in studio lights, backdrops, props, etc
$3,000 in editing equipment and software
$1000+ for advertising (website, business cards, giveaways, etc)
Plus additional expenses such as education/workshops, sample prints, templates, office supplies, and so on.

As you can see, offering a full service custom photography experience is not cheap!

It really comes down to “you get what you pay for”. If you just want snapshots, perhaps the department store studio or beginner photo enthusiast is sufficient. But, if you want an experienced photographer who “lives” for those tears of joy shed by a mother when she sees her newborn’s slideshow, I could be the photographer for you!

I’m not saying I’m the best photographer, or I know everything; there are many photographers who post pictures that I would consider to be “better” than mine (they also charge a lot more than I do!). But I can tell you that I know my stuff and I shoot my style of photography well. I’m always striving to improve my skills, and I will not try to pretend I know more than I do or claim to have won bogus photography awards to impress you (yes, I know of “photographers” who advertise winning fake contests). I let my work speak for itself; I post many pictures I take so that potential clients can decide if my style of photography is what they’re looking for. And I do share emails/messages I receive from previous clients so that new clients can feel comfortable and confident in their decision to choose me as their photographer (check out the Raves section on my website Blog).

Most people spend hundreds of dollars on items that will only last a few years. Quality photographs can last a lifetime, and beyond. Custom photography is an investment. You are preserving your memories for years to come. Though quality portrait art and prints can cost a fair bit of money, they will become a priceless piece of personal history that can be handed down and cherished for generations.

“A photograph is the pause button of life” – Ty Holland.

I hope this article helps you understand what you are paying for when you choose a photographer.

 

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