Back at the beginning of this new year one of my goals was to successfully execute a styled shoot. It was an exciting dream but also a little scary. I could not have imagined the amount of positive responses I would receive from vendors. It really blew me away! One of my favorite
parts of this little endeavor was the honor of getting to know Marcie and Blaize. These two lovebirds are some of the the nicest people I have ever met. Their love for each other just radiates from them, and they were absolute naturals in front of the camera. I'm positive you'll be able to tell. Another thing that made this styled shoot extra sweet is that they are a military couple. Blaize will be deploying at the end of this week, and I was so excited to get them some fresh pictures before he leaves for a several months.
My vision for this shoot was chic and romantic with lots of pink hues and pretty details. I could not have trusted that vision with anyone better than our fabulous vendors. These ladies worked so hard to make everything run so smoothly and beautifully. (Scroll down for links to their contact info because I know you'll want to check them out!) I am incredibly thankful for such a wonderful first styled shoot, and I can't wait to do this again soon!
I have always wanted to do client gifts and finally did it this year. Let's just say I went a little crazy in the Target dollar aisle. So many cute things!! I thought it would be fun to share a little behind-the-scenes today because it's been a while since I've posted something other than portraits on the blog. :)
I loved these tiny tin buckets! They were the perfect size to hold all the goodies. So easy too! Just add some tissue paper and you're good to go.
I'm a sucker for a good candle, and I love finding unique jewelry. These with the tassels were just too adorable to pass up!
Giftcards are always nice! I figured I could pick out some treats myself and let the girls pick out whatever else they wanted.
Do you give client gifts? If so, what do you give your clients? I would love to hear your ideas! Leave a comment or shoot me an email!
A few days ago, I posted the Nolan family's session, The other half of that session, the Eoute family, is coming at you today, and it is an adorable one, let me tell you. Piper and her parents melted my heart! Plus, keep scrolling to see the two cuties who graduated from K5 today in a few shots TOGETHER! It took a little bribing and a lot of jokes from Maddox to persuade Piper to scoot closer, but it was worth it in the end. I know these are going to brighten your day!
If you missed it a couple days ago, check out the Nolan family's session with little Maddox!
Another spring season has ended. WOW. God has been immensely good to me! And I would not be where I am today without YOU, so thank you for your incredible support!I can hardly believe I've photographed two spring senior seasons now, and it's crazy to think just how much can change in only one year. Last year as I was just starting out with Nichole Lauren Photography, it was all I could do to learn as much as I could to sharpen my photography skills so that they would be up to par to work with paying clients. Inevitably, some essential business-related things fell to the wayside. Looking back in retrospect, I can clearly see a few areas I wish I had known more about before jumping into working with clients, so if you're in that boat now, maybe I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made. There are some essentials I've learned you've got to have to succeed! So let's get started! Enjoy a few photos of my beautiful roommates mixed in with the words of advice. :)
1. Contracts are a must.
When I was just starting out, I only made my clients sign a model release form so I could legally post their images on my blog and website. That's better than nothing, but it's not great. You need to have some sort of document that outlines your expectations for your clients and what they can expect from you. Be overly clear about anything you think is pertinent. It's better to be painfully obvious than to leave an important issue to the imagination. Once you deal with clients on a more regular basis, you will learn what is important to include. Consider hiring a professional to discuss your contract with you.
2. Deposits are a really good idea.
Some photographers don't require a deposit to book. Each business is different, but for my needs and according to my experience, requiring a deposit from my clients to book a date at least a week in advance has relieved a lot of frustration and confusion. My deposit is non-refundable, but it goes toward the final session fee. So, my clients aren't paying an extra fee as long as they follow through with the session which almost always happens. And I really think that success comes from having the deposit in the first place.
3. Dedicate a webpage to explain your packages and pricing.
Or create a PDF you can send to clients when they ask about your packages. Either way, having a link or something pre-made that you can send makes responding to inquiries stress-free and an overall better experience for you and your clients. They get a consistent response from you, and you can tailor your materials to reflect your packages accurately so you don't have to recreate your explanations each time you receive an inquiry.
4. Community is your most valuable resource.
Greenville finally got a Rising Tide Society #TuesdaysTogether group, and it was the greatest day ever. I've only been to one meeting because of school and work, but the online community has been overwhelmingly helpful. Connecting with other photographers in your area is so, so important. I don't think you really realize how important it is until you run into a problem or an opportunity that only another photographer would understand. It's valuable!
5. Never forget why you do what you do.
Especially at the end of a busy season, it's so easy to feel tired and burnt out. You love what you do, but you've been doing it over and over in a short span of time that it feels typical and being creative gets harder. Never forget that you're not just a glorified shutter clicker; you are changing lives! You are capturing moments no one else will in a way that only you can. That's powerful, and that's important. People are hiring YOU to help them remember the way they are right now, and that's pretty special.
I have done plenty of graduation sessions but nothing quite like this before. Little Maddox is graduating... from kindergarten, and he couldn't be any cuter! While we were at it, we had his big brother Connor, who is graduating high school, join in too. They told me that Maddox looks just like Connor did when he was five, and you can definitely tell! But seriously, don't you think Maddox could be on the cover of a GAP kids catalog??
If you liked this session, you might also love the Kuzmic's family session!
And just like that, spring senior season has come to an end! I could not have picked a better senior to finish off this season with than Corrie. This girl just radiates joy, and I am in love with how all her images turned out! This spring season has been so amazing, and it would not have been possible without all my beautiful 2016 seniors. I am so honored that you let me capture this special stage of your life, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude at how good the Lord has been and how kind you have been to follow along and support little Nichole Lauren Photography. Next week, I will be sharing a little something I put together to give my high school senior clients, so stay tuned. Cheers, graduates! You made it!
If you loved Corrie's session, I bet you would also like Katelyn's!
When Darby and I were arranging things for her senior session she asked if her boyfriend Kyle could come along for part of the time. I love photographing couples, so it was a no-brainer and I said, "Of course!" Well, little did I know that it would be sweeter than I could have ever expected. They asked me to meet them in the courtyard of the shoeboxes and then proceeded to tell me that this was where they had met their freshman year. The rest is history. :) So, we got some shots where their love story (kind of) began! I'm dying over here from all the cute, and I know you will too!!
If you liked Darby's Clemson senior session, you wold love this Clemson engagement session!
The Kuzmics are some of the nicest people I know! They have always been so encouraging to me throughout the years. I went to school with Sarah, their oldest daughter, throughout elementary, junior high, and high school, so we go way back. It was so fun getting to shoot their family portraits! It turned out to be a perfect day, and I love how the lighting turned out. Enjoy some nice, sunny images on a not so nice, gloomier Monday. Chin up, buttercup!
I love travel and adventure. I love seeing things from new perspectives. I love to find good food in exciting places. And I love making moments last for as long as possible.
Follow along for behind-the-scenes on Instagram!