W Family Beach Session | Longboat Key and Bradenton FL Photographer

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I really enjoyed capturing this beautiful family from Ohio who were visiting Longboat Key.  I don’t often do daytime sessions because the beach is just so crazy bright, but we managed and the kids were absolute troopers.

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For portrait sessions, I generally work with clients who are visiting our corner of paradise which means I drop-ship their prints and products directly to them and rarely get to see my finished designs in person. One of the products that the family ordered is the mini accordian album.  I love these!  They come in a set of two or three and make the best gift, especially for grandparents.  They are a great way to showcase 8-10 of your favorite photos – all in one place. I had these delivered to me first so I could take a look and capture some shots.

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First Annual 4th of July Event – Soma Creek Side | Bradenton FL Photographer

I was thrilled to capture Soma Creek Side’s first annual 4th of July event in downtown Bradenton!  Crazy, fun night…..so many people, good food, and awesome drinks.

So this is the calm before the crowd……the set-up on the patio, the dining room, and the lobby.

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And….the flowers.  Beautifully styled by Simply Sophisticated, a local wedding and event planner.

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And the people…….

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And the cool craft cocktails with a big thank you to the Winter Park Distilling Company……….

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And the food – oh wow.  Appetizers were comprised of Watermelon, Pomegranate Iced, Grilled Andouille Sausage Tater Tot Kebab, Grilled Apalachicola Oyster with Poke Sauce, and Deviled Eggs with Black Truffle Oil and Parmesan.

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Then..oh more people!  And food!!

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And Jennifer was hard at work at the bar the entire evening……

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And then the music…….not just one venue, but three.  In the lobby, jazz guitarist Kevin Green entertained the crowd.  Earlier in the evening,  we were treated to an amazing duo – John Moody on guitar and Chuck Early on drums.  And then – The Elephant in the Room got the crowd going outside with some of their original songs – along with several Led Zeppelin covers and other favorites which made me a very happy girl.  They are really good – locals take notice!

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Chef Dave making the rounds saying hello and chatting with his guests…..

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The main entree….S.F. Cezar Salad with chopped romaine, buttermilk, and cracked pepper and lemon dressing, followed by Southern Paella with rock shrimp, chicken thigh, saffron, hominy, okra, and jasmine rice.

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Just before 9 pm, the patrons headed to the parking garage next door to the top floor to watch the fireworks.  Me?  I stayed in the sudden, calming quiet of the Soma Creek Side bar.  Jennifer poured me some wine and Chef Dave made sure I had some of his delicious dinner to dine on.  A perfect ending to the wildly successful evening….I even popped outside to catch a glimpse of the fireworks.  This will definitely be a major Bradenton event each 4th of July!

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Happy Holidays | Longboat Key Photographer

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Happy Holidays!  Well this year was a quiet but very nice Christmas.  My son took his first solo trip up to NYC on Jet Blue to spend a few days with his dad and step-brother and arrived back here in Florida on the 23rd.  He shopped for my Christmas presents at kitchen specialty stores (smart kid – he knows his mom pretty well!!) and this was one of my gifts.  I love it!!  It’s the perfect vessel to hold freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese.  The  brand is Guzzini and they have an interesting line of products.

My son happens to LOVE Parmesan cheese….so maybe that had a little something to do with his gift choice lol.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and thank you to all of my wonderful clients for choosing me to capture their family memories this year.  :)

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The Demise of Portrait Photography? | Longboat Key & Bradenton FL Photographer

It has actually been a godsend that I haven’t taken on any photography sessions for the last two or three months – it clearly has brought to my attention just how much time I spent editing and neglecting so much around me (and myself).  After the stress of getting divorced and moving and then having so many sessions through the spring and the summer makes me wonder how I manged to (barely) keep my head above water.  Although I need the income, I clearly don’t need to stretch myself to unattainable limits especially when the value and cost associated with portrait photography seems to be in such a state of sad demise.  Read on  ;)

I just read the most frightening and sad threads at MCP Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets that asked professional photographers what they charge for various size prints.  People – learn business. Learn what your COGS is and price your products properly.  You are a disservice to the industry by not knowing what to charge and then grossly undercharging so that clients eventually assume that $99 for a disc of images or a $6.00 8×10 is normal.  It’s not. Value yourselves more by wanting to actually make *above* minimum wage through education. I will get out of this business before I compete with you for clients who only care who is the best bargain out there. Fortunately, I have been blessed to have so many client inquiries start off with, “I love your work!!” instead of, “I’m shopping around for a photographer, can you send me your prices?” but I’m not sure how much longer that will go on for with crop after crop of uneducated photographers out there with a “nice” camera who will ultimately teach potential clients to expect cheap. And no, I’m not some groovy and awesome photographer….but I have spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars educating myself through workshops and forums. On the art AND business. You can’t run a successful business based merely on “art” or “passion.”  Nope.  Sorry.

Not really sure if I’m at a crossroads yet – maybe; maybe not. I love the time I have without sessions to work on recipes and food photography for my food blog Kitchen Serendipity.   That makes me happy.  REALLY happy.

Many thoughts to ponder……maybe my new direction is not far around the corner.

Thanks for listening.  :)

Roasted Tomatoes | kitchenserendipity.com
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Carrie Green - December 12, 2013 - 10:48 pm

My thoughts exactly! I am the highest priced photographer around. I have lost tons of clients who were looking for a better deal. I kept the ones who really value my work. I used to do tons of weddings, but now only a few a year because I refuse to negotiate my price. I do this on purpose….I’ve decided that creating memories with my family is much more important than creating memories for strangers. Iast year I missed almost every weekend with my family because I was shooting weddings. This year, I’m only shooting weddings in the winter and Spring. The summer will be my time.

admin - December 13, 2013 - 10:54 am

That’s what I try to do, too, Carrie…..you can pretty much tell by the client inquiry if they will value your work. My clients have been terrific but I sense a big change in the air. :/