May 27, 2009 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: My Life
It's been a while since i've done a FAQ post :)
Q) "Can I still book for 2009?"
A) Unfortunately, I can not take on any more shoots this year. I am completely booked (a tad OVERbooked even) for the remainder of the year. I am blessed to be able to say that i'm booked for the year.....but truly hate turning people away. For the sake of my own life, family....and sanity (haha), I can't take on any more than I already am. I'm a one woman show folks.....and add that on top of being a wife, mom, sister, aunt, friend, etc.......I have to draw the line somewhere :) I still have a little one to take and pick up from preschool a few times a week, lessons to attend, birthday parties to plan, go to and take photos at, soccer and football games to attend (when I can), weddings to be a guest at, holidays to celebrate and plan for, etc.
A lot of people don't realize that a shoot is a lot more than just a shoot. There are so many things and many hours that go into just one session, so here is a breakdown of what each shoot of mine (and most photographer's) consists of:
1) Time spent emailing back and forth to set the date, time, location, clothing suggestions, etc. (this could be 2 or 3 emails....or it could be 20 or more).
2) Time spent collecting (and depositing when checks) deposits.
3) Time spent driving to and from each session.
4) Time spent actually shooting at the session.
5) Time spent editing photos and typing up/posting the sneak peeks on the blog.
6) Time spent editing all of the photos.
7) Time spent uploading and watermarking all of the photos to the online gallery.
8) Time spent emailing the client the gallery with all of the detailed info.
9) Time spent burning discs, packaging and sending the clients their discs.
Now times that by 2 (or sometimes more) times a week.....on top of my regular life as a mom, wife, etc.....and you'll understand why it's impossible to take on more shoots :)
.........and all this time you were wondering why I charge "so much" for just "ONE hour" of my time ;) It's not one hour at all........it's many, many hours :) But hey.....I LOVE MY JOB....and it sure beats the socks off of working elsewhere. I mean, my "boss" (my daughter PJ) can be a pain....but it's worth it! ;)
Q) "Do you have a waiting list in case of cancellations?"
A) Yes, but at this time I already have a waiting list of 5-10+ people in each month hoping for cancellations....and honestly it's very rare for someone to cancel since deposits have already been paid, etc.
Q) "I know you're booked for 2009, but can I book for 2010?"
A) Absolutely! I already have a few bookings for 2010 (which is just crazy to me!...but awesome!), so no, it's definitely not too early to book for 2010.
Q) "I tried to leave a comment for you, but can't find anywhere to do so. Where can I leave comments?"
A) My wonderful brother in law is working on adding comments to my site, so hopefully soon I will have the comment feature added to my blog. If not, you all can email HIM and bug him at......... just kidding! ;) Hmm...but when it's up....ALL of you who have emailed me and gotten on my case about not having comments, BETTER comment all the time ;) I don't want to be the lame-o that has all of 0-5 comments! LOL. In the meantime, you can add Lot116 Photography on Facebook and leave comments there! :) Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lot116-Photography/98199290026?ref=s
Q) "I LOVE the retro family session you did. I wish my family could pull off something like that! Am I crazy to even think about it?"
A) Absolutely not!! In fact, I hope that more families will try something a little different. The family who did that does NOT dress like that every day. For them, it was all about dressing up, trying something unique....and most importantly....having FUN! The amount of emails and comments I received about that shoot was insane. It totally made my day(s)...and was one of the most fun shoots i've done! The wheels in my head turn ALL the time and i've got ideas and visions spinning in my head. There are SO many ideas that I think would be fun to take photos of families/kids/people doing. The hard part is finding people who want to step outside of the box and try them! ;) If you have a shoot scheduled with me this year and want to try something different, let me know! I love trying new things!
Q) "We aren't sure what to wear for our shoot. Do you have any suggestions?"
A) I love all kinds of things....especially fun bright colors and cute clothes. Stuff from H&M, Target, Old Navy, Naartije, Knuckleheads, Etsy, etc are all great. Most of my clients know that i'm a sucker for Converse, so you get extra brownie points when you show up in chucks ;)
It's hard to say exactly what TO wear....so instead i'll tell you what NOT to wear (in MY own personal opinion).........
Please DON'T be the family that shows up completely matching in khaki pants or light washed denim with white shirts ;) If you are looking for that "Olan Mills" look....please head to Olan Mills.
Please DON'T put a huge bow on your child's head. If you want the first thing noticed in the photos to be the bow, then sure, add the bow, but if you would like your CHILD noticed....avoid those big (anything bigger than a regular sized barrette is considered "big" in my book) bows ;)
Please DON'T wear anything with big logos on them (including TV characters on your kids' clothing). It might be cool or in style right now, but in a year or so will you really want to see the huge "Old Navy", "Dora the Explorer" or "Spongebob Squarepants" in the pics? Yeah, doubtful.....and again....it will be the first thing noticed in pics.
Q) "Can you suggest any locations?"
A) My location suggestions usually vary depending on whether or not children will be in the shoot, and also the age(s) of the child(ren). There are many things to factor in, like, possible passing cars/traffic, whether your child is the type to "run off", steep steps that may not be safe, sand being eaten (by little ones) or rubbed in eyes on accident, etc. Another thing is the time of year. For instance, in the fall, trees have beautiful leaves, but it's usually very cold, etc. In early Spring the grass is really green, the flowers are in bloom, the fields/meadows look gorgeous. In the summer, all of the plants have dried out and died, the chance of possible rattlesnakes, etc in the bushes is very high because of the heat, etc. I suggest locations on a case to case basis depending on the above.
Q) "Do you have a studio or do studio shots?"
A) I don't have a studio...and don't plan on getting one. I love shooting on location to change up variety. Don't get me wrong, if there were an amazing loft (which I would turn into a mini play haven for kids with awesome couches, cool toys, fun bright colors, etc - think Ikea meets Pottery Barn) or something somewhere that had awesome natural light and didn't cost a ton, it would be fun.....BUT budget wise, it's easier for me to shoot on location and keep my costs lower. Paying to rent a studio would cost me money....which in turn would mean that I would have to raise my prices to pay for it. Some photographer's just bring "backdrops" (either blankets, sheets, rolled paper, etc) and possibly studio lighting to do "studio shots" at clients homes....but I have no interest in doing that (the only time I will do anything remotely like that is for newborn shoots). Picture People does plain white, black, etc backdrop studio shots.....so again, like the Olan Mills thing.....head to Picture People if you want that look ;) Plus, kids aren't usually thrilled about being "stuck" in the same spot for more than a few minutes (especially if they are already crawling and/or over the age of 1).....so trying to keep them on a backdrop/sheet/whatever for about an hour would be torture. I'm all about kids having FUN....not pissing them off ;)
Q) "We missed out on the mini sessions last month. Will you be doing them again?"
A) I absolutely plan on doing mini sessions again......BUT time is a huge factor. Since i'm booked up for the year, it most likely won't be until next year (probably in March, April or May of 2010).
There are still some more FAQ's that I need to get around to, but i'll have to do that another time. "Cinderella" (me) has already gotten PJ ready for school, fed her breakfast, cleaned out my dresser drawers, finished cleaning my closet (and wow, there are at least 8 garbage bags FULL of donations downstairs!), cleaned the guest room closet, posted this blog entry and am now off to clean the bathroom, jump in the shower and then head back to pick up PJ from preschool. Do I at least get to go to the ball??? ;)
Thanks for reading everyone!! I'm taking the next 2 days OFF!! :)
May 23, 2009 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: Previews
While I was waiting for some images to upload earlier, I decided to throw together a little slideshow. I've never done this before (so take it easy on me), but it was pretty easy and fun, so I *might* be doing this from time to time :) P.S - Make sure you have your sound on!
This video is a bit small, but I uploaded it to my Lot116 Facebook page as well and it's a little bigger there. Here is the link:
May 22, 2009 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: My Life
"Come one, come all and...... "
I've been asked to remind people to vote for me *DAILY*.....but I don't want to pester people and be annoying, so I figure a reminder once a week or so wouldn't hurt ;)
I would LOVE your *DAILY* vote! http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com/parents-picks/san-diego-ca-usa/best-san-diego-family-photographer
Oh, and in case you're wondering what's up with the mustache photo, our friend's Jay and Darcie own an awesome shop downtown called "5&A DIME". On their blog they do "Mustache Of The Day" posts and PJ was featured the other day (and yes, the Q&A's were really her answers) :)
P.S - My brother in law did the awesome website - http://www.thinkdepartment.com/
PJ was hilarious with that mustache on. As soon as it was on she busted out with these faces and poses on her own. I guess she was in character ;) Afterwards they ended up on EVERY stuffed animal and toy she owns and thought it was the funniest thing. Hello Kitty, Grover, Buns Buns (her bunny), etc all had the stache on at one point. I'll have to post pics one day :)
I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Be safe, use sunscreen, don't drink and drive,.......and HAVE FUN! :)
May 20, 2009 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: Previews
On Sunday morning I met up with 3 cousins and their moms. When we arrived it was super foggy and chilly (seriously, we were waiting for the Loch Ness Monster to show up at any given moment), but within minutes it turned to super bright sun and heat. It was crazy. As we started the shoot, we had a little visitor who popped right up and totally posed for me (....and no, this wasn't with a crazy zoom lens or anything. I was pretty darn close and he just stood there and posed!).....
Haley is a total Hannah Montana in training. She was a complete ham and loved to pose for the camera. Every time I started taking pics, she would pose, tilt her head, and bust out with her modeling moves LOL.
Kaya wanted NOTHING to do with the camera at first and screamed bloody murder LOL. She was fine with ME (she even went with just me to walk down to another park area), BUT as soon as she saw me trying to take pics of HER, she would yell "NO! DON'T TAKE ANY PICTURES OF ME!!" and run off. Pretty much the entire shoot was like that, but right as we all started to lose hope, she suddenly agreed to take some pics within the last few minutes of the shoot *phew*! :) I'm glad she did because they ended up being some of my faves......
Devon is Kaya's brother who is a total character. He liked to goof around and would say "Take a picture of me doing this!" :) Luckily I got a few non goofing off pics as well......
May 18, 2009 | Posted by: Julie Cruz | Category: Previews
It's no surprise that urban shoots are some of my favorites. There is so much variety, color, texture, etc when you're just walking around the streets. I was glad to hear that this awesome family wanted urban/street shots. Bright and early Saturday morning, we met and had a good time walking around to various spots.
As these kiddos got out of the car, it was as if they already knew me. Mom and dad were shocked when the youngest (Liv) walked right up to me, smiled and held out her arms for me to pick her up. They said she never does that....and mom said I have some sort of magical kid magnet or something like that ;) LOL. Liv just turned 2 in February and was quite hilarious. I got lots of cute smiles from her, but don't let that sweet smile totally fool you, she's definitely a mini diva ;) If she didn't want to sit down or do something, she'd say "NO DO!" and walk off. It was hilarious!
Big sister Vivian needed some modeling shots and was quite the pro already. Not only did I get a card from her at the end of the shoot (that she had just written before we said our goodbyes) saying "YOU ROCK!", but during the shoot she said I was "so cool". Yes folks.....although I may be an uber geek....apparently i'm still "cool" to the 9 year olds ;) Sweet! It must be because my psychic powers guessed that her favorite song was by Taylor Swift (followed by me singing some of the words (quite terribly I might add). You should have seen the amazement on her face when I said it. She was like "(*gasp*) How did you know that!??". Shhh....don't tell her, but my niece is 9 too ;)
Making silly faces at each other.......well except little Liv who was not happy with the fact that her big sis was sticking her tongue out. Right after this she yelled "NOOOO!"....
I told them to "do whatever"...."hug, kiss, tickle,...... punch each other in the nose, etc". They went for punching in the nose! LOL!....and later on went for kissing......