Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dad's 60th Birthday

This is a little long, but I gotta tell the story of how perfect the day went! So we had Dad's 60th Birthday party at my house on Sunday. It was a surprise party, and everything worked out great! My family, my brothers family, Dad and Grandma all gathered at 1 for lunch. I made a pot roast...Dad likes meat and taters ya know! After grumbling about having to drive to Lake Tapps from Bothell, he enjoyed spending time with his family and was happy with his birthday meal. Everybody else was to arrive at 3, and I figured after the first person showed up, I would put out the appetizers and beverages. At 2:45 he just happened to go downstairs and the kids kept him busy in our newly finished theater room. PERFECT! So my brother took Grandma down stairs as well, (that was a sure way to keep him down there as he thought I was just up doing dishes!) Slowly people started to arrive, and I had them stand back in the family room so he wouldn't see them when he came up. When we were ready, the grandkids told Pa it was time to come up for cake. When he came up all he could see was me with my camera (not unusual) standing by the cake. Then he looked and saw all the guests. I couldn't believe how perfect it worked out, and how surprised and happy he was. He was just bummed "his bride" (My step-mom Patty) couldn't be there. Little did he know, she was coming later. Once again, he went downstairs, this time to show a friend our theater room. At this point Patty and two more friends arrived. We had the three of them stand over in the living room where the first guests stood, and once again the kids told Pa it was time for cake. Same as before, he came up and saw me with the camera. This time he didn't look over though (he thought everybody was already there) He walked up to the counter by the cake and got his "birthday song" started, at which point they joined him with his singing. He heard Patty's voice and looked over and I think he was shocked that we managed to surprise him once again. It was great to see that he was so happy to be surrounded by all of his good friends and family. Here are a few of the pics from the party.

A quiet lunch with the family
Grandma, Me and my Brother Kirk
My girls
A few of the people waiting in the living room.
Dad coming up, and peeks over and sees everybody.
He's so surprised... he thought it was just lunch.
Making his way around the room to great each guest.
Telling us all how great it is to have everybody here to celebrate
Not knowing we have another surprise...this is where he walks up to the counter and starts his birthday song waiting for us to light the candles.
Shoot...my flash didn't fire, but check out the surprise in his face after he hears Patty's voice.
Patty, Terry and Margo SURPRISE
Sarah made his favorite cake ~ German Chocolate.
He's made his wish...
But I've never seen anybody put the candles out this way.
Opening his cards and Presents.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Business Cards

I am very happy to have finally ordered my business cards. They are kind of plain and basic, but have all of the important information! I figured until I know what I want, something plain was better than nothing at all. I got 500 to start, so when I get them in, I will be passing them out. Some of you know I will be depending on you to spread them on. :) I will be offering an incentive for referrals!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Getting Started!

Well, this is the start of my blogging. Really just getting started with my business, and haven't really "advertised" yet. At this point, only a few people know what I have started. I will soon be unveiling my website to all! So most of you who know me, know that when I decide to do something I dive into it "head first". This has been no exception. I can't believe what I have accomplished in 1 month! Within a day after I decided that it was time to take my passion and make it a profession, I got my business license and got my website set up.

Within a few days after that, I convinced a couple of friends that they too needed websites. I changed the look of Jason's business website, and am waiting on him to get me some more current info so we can complete that! I am also in the process of working on another website. It is ready when my clients are. They just have some information to get me and they'll be set.

I purchased a new 2.8 lens, and that was very exciting to me. I have to tell you, I really love that lens! The day I recieved that lens, I went to do a soccer team photo shoot, and it was fun. It didn't go as I had planned, as it was an "outdoor" shoot, but since it had snowed that day, we moved into the gym. Ugh, the dreaded gym lighting. I felt horrible that I wasn't prepared for an indoor shoot, and didn't have lighting. Not to mention, due to the freezing cold weather, my speedlight wasn't wanting to recharge in a timely manner. Thank God for having that lens. That was my saving grace. The pics still didn't turn out how I would have liked...but then again maybe I am my own worst critic. My friend (the coach) thought they were just fine. Well, my goal was to do more natural light photography, but I recongnize that I need to be prepared for every situation. Two days later I purchased my lighting equipment. Well, there is lots more I want, but I feel I have what I need to do a great job.

Putting together pricing was my biggest hurdle. I wanted to be fair to myself, and I wanted to be reasonable for my clients. I now have several options available for my photo clients. It is hard to compete with places that do the quick in-studio "in and out" type of photography as far as pricing goes, but I am confident that people will appreciate the difference in my style and the ability to capture the true personality in each and every client I shoot, and recognize the value in that! I have still been working on my web design pricing, but it's all coming along.

We have also been working hard getting my office and studio ready. Talk about some major changes! We have pretty much taken everything out of the rec room downstairs, and it is going to be a great studio when Jason is done! The painting is complete, and he has finished the crown and trim. Now we just have to put that up. Then we're taking all the doors off, so he can get the new doors machined.

When I look back, I just can't believe how much I have accomplished in ONE MONTH! Well, this was a long first blog, but just wanted to get you all updated! I am now looking forward to being finished with the start up, and moving on to what I really love.