Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

I am so excited about this gorgeous new product.  Pick your favorite image from baby’s session and I can customize it with birth stats for the nursery.  This is a framed fine art print sized at 10″ tall by 20″ wide.  Its gorgeous in person!

baby announcement

I love being able to offer gorgeous heirloom products to my clients.  I’m introducing the new Heirloom Keepsake Box.  This beautiful handmade box is crafted in the United States.  I can see this being passed down to generations.  Can you imagine handing this to your little girl on her wedding day?  It is filled with a 4×6 print of each photograph from your session.  It also comes with three tiny vials… ideas for filling them would be baby’s first lock of hair… baby’s first tooth lost.  So many little memories that this box can hold.

This sample is in the studio, and I’d love for you to see it in person.

sacramento portrait photographer heirloom high end products

New Heirloom Albums

February 25, 2015

I’m so excited to launch a new line of gorgeous heirloom albums. My clients REALLY need to get their hands on one of these. They are well made, gorgeous and a perfect item to display and share with family and friends for years to come. My kids are now 8 and 10, and I have a baby book for each of them. Even now, they love to page through and see themselves as babies. I have a sample in the studio, and will have more coming in the next few weeks. They are just stunning in person. PAST CLIENTS – Contact me for an introductory rate good until the end of March if you’d like one of these beautiful albums from your past session.

01 heirloom album by lovely baby photography02 gorgeous newborn heirloom album03 gorgeous newborn photography heirloom album04 gorgeous newborn photography heirloom album

And.. while we’re at it.. these were all taken on my new 75 year old reclaimed wood, that will be going into the studio as a backdrop sometime in March… isn’t it beautiful!?!?!

05 gorgeous newborn photography heirloom album

I signed up as a reseller of Organic Bloom frames in the Sacramento area last year, and I keep forgetting to put up a blog post about it! I had an inquiry this evening, so I thought I would add a post to talk a little bit about these gorgeous frames!  They come in a huge assortment of shapes and sizes, and in 54 colors!  They are hand crafted right here in the United States, by a small business in Oklahoma that exclusively sells them through photographers.  If you are looking for a reseller in Sacramento, I would be more than happy to help you!  Please email me or call me and I can forward an emailed catalog of colors and shapes, along with pricing.

I’ll add more images later, but here is just one of my favorite shapes – the “Lucy”.

where to buy organic bloom frames in sacramento

I stumbled upon this great brand of photo jewelry recently, and I am in love!  It is from Planet Jill.  I ordered a charm and engraved tablet necklace for a client, and a few for myself, and I think every mom deserves a piece of this lovely jewelry!  All of the pieces are sterling silver, and made very well.  They are dainty, and so beautiful!  If you have had a session with me in the past and want to order with any of my images, you can order directly through me.  I am offering free shipping for orders through 4/27.  Just enough time to receive the pieces before Mother’s Day.

Planet Jill Photographer's Jewelry

So I am a creative at heart.  I have been since I was young. I can remember doing tons of little arts and crafts projects with my mom when I was a small girl.  I would have girlfriends spend the night, and that is what I wanted to do – make stuff.  And I still love to make stuff!  I am always on the hunt for beautiful props for my photo sessions.  I buy a lot of things, but I also make things when I can.  I can’t knit, so any knit hats or bows I have purchased from other talented crafty women.  I came up with an idea for this gorgeous headband, and I have had a few other photographers ask about them, so I am going to sell a few on etsy!  If you’re interested, here is the listing.


I’m excited to announce some of my upcoming mini sessions.  There will be a few dates and options for my Fall sessions, as follows:

Tuesday, October 5th in Citrus Heights, Pumpkin Patch and Old Car – 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm and 6:30pm

Thursday, October 14th in Citrus Heights, Pumpkin Patch and Old Car – 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm and 6:30pm

Saturday, October 16th in Old Town Sacramento – 4:30pm, 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm and 6:30pm

There will be two session options available….

Session Option One will be a 25 minute Mini Session for up to six family members for $70.00.  This will include one, 8×10 print and two, 5×7 prints.  An online gallery will be available for you to view images and you may order additional prints a la carte.

Session Option Two will be a 25 minute Mini Session for up to six family members for $130.00.  This will include one, 8×10 print and two, 5×7 prints, along with a custom designed Holiday or Christmas card created for you.  You will receive 25, 5×7 Two Sided Cardstock printed cards along with envelopes.  I have a ton of designs to choose from for your cards.  And additional cards may be ordered. An online gallery will be available for you to view images and you may order additional prints a la carte.

* Additional family members, $10.00 per person.  Sessions cannot be extended into full sessions, and cannot be used for newborn sessions.

Contact me to reserve your space – session must be prepaid in full in order to hold a date and time.  916-747-3515.

citrus heights pumpkin patch photos

I have been running my photography business for almost two years now, but in case you didn’t know, I have been a local business owner for over four years.  I am still operating my first business, Baby Card Expressions.  I offer custom birth announcements, invitations and holiday cards that I design myself from scratch.  I am in the process of creating a few new holiday designs for 2010, and I really wanted to offer some unique items.  I have found a gorgeous die cut card that is sized to fit in a 5×7 envelope.  I just ordered my samples today, and I cannot wait to get my hands on them.  They are just to die for!  I will also be offering a “holiday ornament” card, that is a 5″ circle.  It will be hole punched at the top and can double as an ornament!  So cute!  Here is what I have completed so far.  I love them….

holiday christmas cards sacramento, ca

gorgeous trifold christmas cards

New Product Available

April 14, 2010

I’m always on the lookout for fun and cool products that I can offer to my clients.  I found the coolest little custom item – ipod and  cell phone skins customized with photos from your session!   I will be creating custom designs, and adding your photos.   It is not available to fit all phones, but will fit several current models including many Blackberry phones and iphones.  Check with me to see if it is available for your model.  Perfect gift idea!

custom ipod skin with your photographs

custom ipod and cell phone skins for your photos

I found a great online article and wanted to share on my blog…

What is Custom Photography?

The photographic art you choose to place on your wall is ultimately the result of the vision of the photographer. This vision, coupled with what you wear to your session, the environment, the lighting, even the mood the subjects are in at the time of photographing creates the work that you will want to proudly display on your walls forevermore.

Your first step in the process is more about determining who you are, who your family is and then seeking a photographer that reflects your style. For instance let’s say your family is extremely outdoorsy and loves playing on the beach. You start determining what style you like, browse through photography website portfolios and determine if any of the styles exhibited there would be a good fit with your life and family style. You have already determined that you should probably seek out a beach type photographer (that is if you live near a beach) and then begin narrowing the field down a bit.

Finally after a bit of internet research, you have narrowed it down to two photographers who do what seems like solid work, the sort of outdoor beach look you desire.  It is now time to ask yourself: Do you like photographer A’s style over photographer B’s style? Is it because the people in the images of A’s style are having a great time and it seems very caught up in the moment vs. B photographer more posed, looking in the camera images? If this is a case, you probably like LIFESTYLE photography or perhaps even take it a step further and define your desired style as a PHOTOJOURNALISTIC photography style. The photographer you probably should choose is photographer A because their style is very similar to the style you desire.

What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience (as in THE experience). Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of the next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities. Often the images are fully edited images-color corrected with blemishes and undereye circles removed. Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart.

Custom photography should have you, the client and your experience in mind.

Why does Custom Photography Cost More?

The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process.  Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels.  However, with flexibility comes a price.  Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art.

We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print.   Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

“How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?”

The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted.  Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time,  equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The cost of TIME

Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love.  This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session.  Here is an example of a time break down:

  • session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
  • one hour travel time TO session
  • 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
  • 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
  • one hour travel time FROM session
  • 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
  • 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
  • 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
  • 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
  • 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
  • 1 hour sorting through and checking order
  • 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
  • 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
  • any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service.  This is time dedicated only to ONE session.  When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer.  Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography.  A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500.  A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.

Then come lab costs for specialty products.  A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success.  Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer  often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.

Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details.  There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.


Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains.  The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service.  In February 2007 leased photography retail space by a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation?  The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them.  Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10).  The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments.  Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions.  You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience.  Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.


Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part.  Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism.  A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography.  Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream?  They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc..

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch.  To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity.  The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability.  This is how reputations get built.  Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.

I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories.  The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment.

Why Choose Custom Photography?

Custom Photography as something “special”

Custom photography is more of a luxury than your entry level cookie cutter chain experience. Custom photography truly is not for everyone, it requires a level of commitment, investment in time  and money, forethought and planning on the part of the subject/client and requires a larger time commitment for the photographer as well.

Clients who enjoy taking a more active role in the creation of their families’ memories have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized.  These more discerning clients have been known to budget and allot time for a custom photography session. Many clients opt for it to be a once a year special experience, some opt to have custom photography sessions done to record their child’s stages in life.  Having said this, it is clear that custom photography is not in everyone’s budget,  it is something that most families save for to splurge on from time to time to memorialize their children as they really are (not posed and primped in the cookie cutter studio setting).

There is a great deal of time involved in creating high end custom photography sessions for a client.  The luxury of great service, better choices and a supberb end product.  The result of all this are heirloom quality images.  The time invested at the session is only a small portion of time involved in this process.

Custom photography has been likened to purchasing a fine vehicle.  To get to point B from A let’s face it, even a bus ride would suffice.  If you want to luxuriate in a finely appointed vehicle, customizing your own experience by listening to smooth jazz while sitting in a climate controlled setting adjusted purely for your comfort in a body hugging leather interior, perhaps that Lexus you so desire is your cup of tea. Custom photography is much the same cup of tea.  It is the Lexus of the photography world.  It is where the intangibles make the experience truly wonderful and the images themselves make the investment of money and time truly worthwhile.

Custom photography can be broken down into even more levels.  There are on location, studio, mixed studio/on location, specialty location and destination type photographers.  The beauty of custom photography is in the choices and in the luxury of thoses options.  The customized service level you are sure to experience will be amazing.  The knowledge that your final images are the result of someone caring about those moments so much that they take extra time ensuring that the artwork you receive is good enough to stand by with their name on it.  That level of quality and commitment  is all but lost in the age of “mass produced,” “mass marketed,” corporate “everyone is a number”.  Custom photography is based on being unique to you.  How great an experience would be,  to be able to sit back and allow a photographer to do this highly custom work for images that you will most likely cherish for a lifetime?

Keep in mind more than anything that the Lexus will never appreciate in value the way your portraits will.  The portrait art you become invested in from your custom photographer will no doubt increase in value and become more priceless as the years pass.

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