new year

Happy 2013 everyone! Here we are – a new year, a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate – however you want to phrase it, we are excited for it! These past few weeks off have been just what the doctor ordered for my physical, mental and emotional well being, but I’m itching to get some cutie kiddos back in front of my camera again. I have so many fun ideas for this new year and I can’t wait to put them all in place, plus there are just some simple business things that I’m so excited to do better this year. I tend to be that person who makes waaaaaaaaaaay too many New Year’s resolutions and then has a hard time sticking to any of them. Usually, it’s right about this time that 75% are down the drain and give it a few more weeks and all will have fallen through. So, this year I have created a simple few “goals” that I’m going to steadily work on, plus there are just a few simple updates I want to share with you. And guess what?! I have already followed through with one of my fun business goals! It’s #1 below – check it out and the few other announcements:

#1 – LSP is now offering Birth Announcements! I’m SO excited about this, as I just love, love, love newborn sessions and everything that goes with them (well, except the poop… and pee)!! I also love creating cards and seeing the final product of great design + my photos – it’s so much fun. So, if you have a newborn session coming up or are hoping to have one to schedule soon, check out the birth announcements we’re offering here:

http://www.lemonadestandphotography.com/announcing-baby/

I know we are all going to have a ton of fun with this, and I hope to add more templates and options soon! Plus, since I love doing this so much, I can’t wait to add graduation announcements, holiday cards, and possibly even birthday invitations to the mix during the course of the year. Please let me know if you’re interested in making a birth announcement purchase after your newborn session! Can’t wait!

#2 – We are also going to be offering gorgeous wall art options this year, as I am putting a big focus on how you display your photos and truly turning them into art. I am still working on all of the details and hope to have it all squared away in a few weeks, but check out some sneak peeks of just a few of the products you’ll be able to purchase this year!

Organic Bloom hand made, custom frames

Photo Barn handcrafted wood photo boards and blocks

For those of you that have been in my house lately, you have seen these for yourself and I can’t wait to share them with all of you! Both of these companies offer so many gorgeous products, I am just giddy! Plus, I have lots more ideas on how to display your photos and really create eye-catching pieces of art in your home.

#3 – As I started mentioning above, I am really focused on quality this year – both with displaying your photos as beautiful pieces of art in your home AND the quality of the actual prints you get of your photos. As a photographer that offers the high resolution digital image files to all of my clients, I don’t always get to see a lot of the final prints of your photos. In fact, I bet there are some of you that have never even gotten prints made of your photos! We’ve all been there – life gets busy, we always mean to place that print order but somehow the CD gets buried in the office drawer and before we know it, 3 months have gone by. It happens to all of us!  And, unfortunately, the easiest places to get those prints ordered from are also the ones that are the absolute worst with their print quality. Walgreens, Costco, Target, Walmart, Snapfish – I’m looking at you! Over the next few months, I will be creating various blog posts aimed at showing the importance of using a high quality professional print lab for your photos, and how big of a difference it really makes in the final appearance of your photos. Also, with my new ShootProof gallery site, ordering prints from my professional lab is easier than ever! Look for more on this to come soon :)

#4 – This is the last one and of course, it’s in the area I’m just not good at handling – the money stuff. There’s a reason I have a degree in education and a second career in photography, not in finance or accounting. I just don’t do this stuff well. But, it’s silly of me not to crack down on some important money aspects of the business, because right now, I’m losing money… And I didn’t even realize it until recently! You see, apparently Paypal charges a fee to all of the transactions it processes. I knew this already, but never really did the math – oops! So, from now on, I have to start charging that fee to anyone who pays for their sessions via Paypal, as it’s really added up over the course of the year. The fee is 2.9%, so mini sessions will have a $5 fee when paid via Paypal, full sessions will have an $8 fee, and newborn sessions will have a $10 fee. If you are interested in paying for your packages via Paypal, please just let me know and I’ll send you a custom invoice for that payment. As always, LSP accepts cash and check as well, which will never have a fee involved :)

Also, I need to start requiring a deposit of 50% to book your sessions. This will go into effect during the next scheduling session, which will begin February 1st. This deposit is non-refundable, however it is transferable – I understand that things happen, people get sick, kids get scraped up, arms get broken, etc. As long as your session is rescheduled within the same scheduling time period, your deposit will apply toward the new session slot. However, if your session is simply cancelled, your deposit will not be refunded.

Lastly, the remaining 50% must be paid at the time of your session – if you want to pay that remaining balance via Paypal, you must let us know before your session so we can get your invoice to you. Or, like I said – you can always bring a check or cash to your session. I am not trying to be a stickler about this – I am just not good at remembering to send out those invoices once I get home, especially if I’ve had a day full of shooting! Before I know it, I can’t remember which sessions are paid, which ones aren’t, and that’s just not smart of me. So, in 2013, I need these policies to help keep me more organized (and to stop driving my assistant CRAZY – hahaha!). All of these policies have been added to the “Scheduling/Policies” link on the website, which is here.

I am really feeling so refreshed and ready to make the most of every session this year! Two perfect little babies were born this week, one is being born today, and we’ve been waiting on another precious peanut for over a week now. I can’t wait to snuggle each and every one of them and meet with your beautiful families this year. As always, please feel free to email us at stephanie@lemonadestandphotography.com with any questions, comments, or just to say hi! Thanks so much for everything and Happy New Year!

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