This blog follows a bit of our personal and professional life, and features images from weddings and portrait sessions we've done, the places we traveled, and the adventures of our combined family-life. It's basically an ever-changing photo album combined with an information source for current and potential clients. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recharging Our Batteries and READY to Rock!

Even though the winter months are the slow season for wedding and on-location portraiture here in New England, we've gotta say we totally LOVE this time of year as it affords us more opportunity to plan and prioritize.  We can refocus and reaffirm for ourselves what we love about this business - what our strengths are (and how we can capitalize on them) and where our weaknesses may be (where we should step outside our comfort zone and aim to grow).

While reviewing our packages for 2012, we decided to revamp our price lists in order to offer more album selections and a variety of à la carte products.  We saw that we could actually reduce our photo reprint pricing too!  Just after we received our new marketing materials, we happened to attend a Boston wedding expo (the first of the year in this area), and man, were we pleased to find that we're extremely competitive in our pricing and when push comes to shove, we can offer more value for the dollar, more bang for the buck.  In all honesty, the pricing plans we saw at the expo were well over $3000, and we offer several options well below that.

I guess part of our "secret" (if there were one)  is that we keep our overhead expenses low.  Working from our home studio and office allows us the freedom to go "on the road" for weddings and on-location portraits, without having to rent  studio space with all the added expense that entails.  We essentially carry the studio with us when a client wants a formalized background, as is often the case in a baby session at the client's home, or for a high school senior portrait.  And this year we plan to expand our selection of indoor backgrounds.

{at our home studio where we meet with clients}


The other day we bid a fond adieu to our dear comrade "Larry, the Large Format" ... if you didn't know, Chris buys and sells camera gear and knows the stuff like the back of his hand.  Larry, as we liked to call him, sort of fell into our laps when Chris purchased a large collection of gear from an amateur photographer who no longer had the photo "bug".  After some tender loving care, Larry was good as new and looked totally cool with our interior décor, if I do say so myself!

With the proceeds of the sale we were able to snag a lens that we've had our eye on for our Nikon D700 - a Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR.  The image of our living room (above) is the first from this new lens, and we can see it's totally gonna rock at our next wedding this February!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bridal Expo Fun

Winter in New England tends to be "slow season" for wedding photography, so last Sunday we had the occasion to attend a bridal expo presented by Wedding Day Expositions at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.  Although Chris has exhibited at dozens of bridal shows over the last twenty years, I (Vic) had never attended.  Go figure ...

I think at first, Chris was reluctant to pull out his camera -- after all, there were many wedding photographers exhibiting that day and we didn't want to risk stepping on anyone's toes.  But what we found (after receiving permission from Andrea, the expo producer) was that the only folks taking photos were the brides-to-be themselves with their trusty iPhones, so we knew we'd be able to capture some amazing images that no snap-shot camera could achieve.  See if you agree :-)

Nilsa models a bridesmaid dress from La Reine Bridal

Miss Massachusetts, Natalie Pietrzak


Mangit with flowers by Artistic Blossoms

There was no risk of going hungry while perusing the vendor booths.  Most often you'll find excellent dining set-ups provided by experienced caterers.  The adult beverage bar was a real plus, and naturally, champagne was the beverage du jour!  BUT, the pièces de résistance were the wedding cake offerings from Konditor Meister.  You cannot imagine the variety of cakes ready for sampling that were simply to die for -- I chose the Baileys Irish Creme cake.  Y-U-M!

Music for the day for provided by Entertainment Specialists, and the live performance by the high-energy World Premier Band was extremely entertaining.

Among the many wedding photographers present, we struck up a conversation with a super nice gentleman, Jim Hoopes, principal photographer and owner of Beacon Hill Photography, who offered to take a photo for us too.  Thanks Jim!

So in summary, I'd highly recommend attending a bridal expo before your big day!  One thing we advise couples to keep in mind however, is to not feel pressured to make any buying decisions that day, but rather to scout around for ideas on color schemes, dress and tux styles, and types of photography that "speak" to you emotionally.  You may be offered a reduction in cost, a special "this day only" price, if you commit to a particular vendor.  We say, just make certain you've already done your research before you make a decision under that type of situation.   In fact, that's a great idea for our next blog, "How To Choose Your Wedding Day Photographer".

Ta-ta for now!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolution ~ Reward Our Fans & Friends!

Wow, have we been naughty in not posting a blog in so long.  New Year's Resolution #1 -- blog more consistently!

The holidays came and went so very quickly, don't you think?  Why is it with today's technology (which was supposed to save us time), we always feel as though we have less time this year, this month, this week, than we did last year, last month, last week?  Regardless, all one can do is the best one can do, right?!

And so Chris and I sat down to discuss our photography goals and what we see as beneficial for 2012, and luckily for our clients, we've got a great way to attract engaged couples as well as thank those we've done business with before (our 'VIPs' - very important patrons!).  Even fellow wedding vendors can benefit.  So what have we got up our sleeves?

Wakeen Photography's Referral Program for 2012 ~

   Could you use an easy $100?   (Who couldn't?!)  If you know anyone who's engaged and who'll be looking to connect with a professional wedding photographer, your referral to us can earn you a referral bonus upon the couple contracting with us to photograph their wedding day.  In fact, you might not even KNOW that you know someone who is engaged, so if you want to take advantage of an easy opportunity, we hope you'll share this post with all your friends ... they'll tell two friends, who'll then tell two friends, and so on...

During the initial consultation with a couple, we always ask how they heard about Wakeen Photography.  If they mention that Y-O-U referred them, then guess what?  Y-O-U are $100 richer!  This applies in every case, whether you're a former client, a personal friend, a family member, a neighbor, or our mailman  ... someone in your life is probably planning a wedding in 2012!  What have you got to lose ~  SPREAD THE WORD !

AND AS IF that weren't enough ...

We've got another promotion up our sleeves to be announced in the very near future.  Brides and grooms, you won't want to miss this!

Wishing everyone a terrific 2012 full of opportunities, cherished moments and golden smiles!

In Gratitude ~  Chris & Vickie