Sunday, August 24, 2008


My sister was just up here house hunting (yay!) and she brought me a few items from her thrifting fun. I am hoping to use them with lots of little girls (don't worry I am still looking for boy items). She brought me lots of neat old hats and a cool vintage bag.

We went again while she was here and I managed to snag a few items - including one very neat old ceramic bell that is just simply sweet.

I will be posting about Christmas card sessions in the next few weeks - trying to get all the details together and put together a few samples. The short version is I will be doing mini sessions (if you only want cards and a few portraits) along with full sessions if you want more variety.

claire wise photography, nashville children's photographer, natural light photography,custom photography

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The End

Today is the last day of summer vacation.

When summer gathers up her robes of glory, And, like a dream, glides away.
~ Sarah Helen Whitman

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4

Only four more days left of summer vacation.

It's gone much too quickly here at our house. Soon the buses will be running and I will be getting calls about shh...Christmas & Holiday cards.

I hope that all of you in the Nashville area will be making the most of these last few days. Go fly a kite, jump in that pool and hug your children just a little bit harder - they get big too fast.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer is as sweet as a sugar cookie

Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, August 1, 2008

Life Lessons

Sometimes your heart gets a little beat up. Sometimes you feel a tiny bit broken – but you are still here. Live.~me

These are some of my favorite quotes from Randy Pausch

It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.

Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.

Find the best in everybody…. Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. It might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting.

I’ve never understood pity and self-pity as an emotion. We have a finite amount of time. Whether short or long, it doesn’t matter. Life is to be lived.

And you may ask yourself...

What is custom photography?

Custom photography should have YOU the client in mind. I strive to capture little moments of your family life that might go unnoticed but are there but are clearly recognized when you see the image.

Why does custom photography cost so much?

I am sure you wonder what goes into pricing custom photography. The answer is a lot!

This information is taken from the above link:

The answer is multifaceted and has a lot to do with the time, aforementioned equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer, expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.


Approaching it from a time standpoint, for instance let’s imagine if you will that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love and that is travelling an hour to your on location session. 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

As you can see, average client time for a session ranges from just under 13 hours to 19 hours dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to your session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot 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.


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 up $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 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 $25 for an 8×10 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. According to several articles at the time, did you know that in February 2007 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 studios 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 true "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.

Why choose custom photography?

Because I care about creating photographic art that captures YOUR family the way they are – not in some contrived pose from a cookie cutter studio chain.