Archive for 'Business'
We were invited to be a part of Alfred Angelo’s Girl’s Night Out on Thursday evening and we were thrilled to be able to participate. Thank you Leslie Velazquez of Veils and Fairytales for the invite! Check out the vendors that were at the event: Smetona Photo, Veils and Fairytales, Riley Hagel Makeup and Design, Eagle Glen Golf Course, EO Tan, iTouch Booth, and Sound Garden Productions! Special thanks to Amanda and Carizza of In the Now Weddings for putting together our Smetona Photo booth.
We absolutely LOVE Jesi! And totally agree with everything she says below. Read and leave a comment!
You are engaged. You are planning your wedding. The most important day of your life, so far, maybe. It really is ALL. ABOUT. YOU. And your fiance. And your VENDORS. Do you realize that the people you hire are 100% in control of your big day? Ultimately, once you are walking down that aisle, or standing up at that altar, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do. Except for one thing. TRUST. Trust your vendors. Freaked out yet? Don’t be. Because here’s the thing. We do this every weekend. For years and years. We TOTALLY have it under control. Mostly. Just kidding, we definitely have it under control. And here’s the other thing. You have spent a pretty penny on us, and if you don’t TRUST us, then you are wasting that pretty penny. Seriously. Just breathe and let go. Now, I realize that this is much easier said than done. I want to give you some guidance on how to make your planning process SO. MUCH. EASIER. So, I asked some of my favorite people in the industry their ONE piece of advice they want to give you. I know, it’s GOLD people. Read on, and soak it in. These people are wise
- Let’s be friends. It will make working together so much more fun!
- Understand that we can’t read minds – although we would LOVE to, we need them to communicate openly and from the start.
- Trust my advice! That’s why they hired me in the first place, right?
- Never change or add things the week of the wedding.
- “The golden rule” … it makes life so much more lovely!
- Say “thank you.” I know my clients are happy, because they refer their friends, but they rarely say “thanks.”
- FEED YOUR VENDORS WHEN IT’S DINNER TIME. oh and treat them like they are actual people with feelings.
- Only write in an email what you would say to me in person. Email sometimes gives people the courage to be rude.
- Be respectful of our time – emails and bids take so much of our busy lives, and simple replies/acknowledgement are a must.
- BE HONEST. Don’t be afraid to tell your vendor your REAL budget, ask the questions you’re REALLY thinking.
- Meet deadlines. If a client doesn’t approve a proof on time, the vendor can’t produce on time.
- You are the bride and everyone is already listening to you with all ears open. There is no need to shout or be rude. Trust that we are looking out for your best interest.
- Realize it’s a team effort … As wedding vendors, we try our best to always have back up plans when things go wrong, but can’t always stop something from happening.
Written by Jesi Haack of Jesi Haack Weddings
Hello loyal readers! I, Dustin, offered to make a trip down to the Albertson’s off of Pico in San Clemente to pop off a few pictures for Foundation Soul to Soul. They have created the Soul Patty which is a gluten-free, vegetarian patty that is wonderfully delicious. Even as an unapologetic meat-eater, I’ll put down a Soul Patty anytime! The patty was created by Chef John Merlino. He co-owns Foundation Soul to Soul with my father, John Smetona while my two brothers, Ian and Sean, handle sales and marketing. It’s a family affair for us!
I hope you enjoy these few pictures. What you would enjoy even more is a Soul Patty! So order some off the website (free shipping in south OC) or head to their next event. Go and “Like” their Facebook page to stay updated on when the next tasting will be.
Hi, ladies! Kristin, here!
If you haven’t noticed, I have recently been very involved in boudoir photography. With that comes a lot of questions from potential clients, especially from my fellow Christians. I want to take just a few minutes to address what boudoir photography is and why I think Christian women ESPECIALLY should be involved in boudoir photography.
First, what is boudoir photography? Boudoir (pronounced bood-wah) refers to a woman’s dressing area. This can be a bedroom, vanity, or anything of the like. Specifically, boudoir photography refers to sexy, cute and tasteful photos that a woman might have taken of herself to give to a special man in her life. Think Victoria’s Secret photos of YOU.
So, why do them? I once heard a pastor refer to a man’s brain as a Rolodex. A man has thousands of images that he is bombarded with every day. Some good. Some not. Some holy. Some not. And whether he knows it or not, he remembers them. Ever so often his Rolodex goes on shuffle and pulls up an image in his mind. These images could even be as old as a Playboy cover he saw years ago. Now, don’t go thinking men are sick. It’s just the way God created them. They are visual.
But, why should Christian couples be interested?
Because of my Christian convictions, I believe that boudoir photography is best used in the context of marriage. I think any man would be delighted that his wife (or wife-to-be) would think enough of him to give him a gift that takes a lot of courage and love to do. Now, remember that Rolodex, ladies, how much better and holier is it if your husband’s brain goes on shuffle and up pops a gorgeous image of you…HIS WIFE? He is now thinking of the wonderful woman God blessed him with! What could be more God honoring than that?
Christian ladies, that are getting married. Some of you are (like I was) unfamiliar and intimidated by the thought of being *gasp* sexy. Just the thought of being naked with your husband makes you blush. I remember the feeling. I walked in the hotel room for my boudoir session and the first thing I thought was, “I need Vodka.” (Granted I had never even had Vodka, but for some reason it seemed to fit the bill.) Having a boudoir photography session is a great chance for you to warm up. It’s a safe environment for you to practice being sexy and see that it’s not bad or scary. In fact, I am convinced that if you are scared or nervous, it is all the more reason to do it.
“But what if my body is not in shape?” So what?!? Most ladies will NEVER be in the ideal shape that they want to be. But I bet you that even if you aren’t perfect, your husband will adore the photos. Why? Because it’s you! I had one boudoir photographer tell me that “Hey thanks for writing that post about Christians and boudoir! You totally rocked it! I had a christian girl say it changed their marriage!You never know what a little sexy confidence can do for your marriage. Let me also take this a step further, married ladies, when you are in the privacy of your own home with your husband, why do you stay so covered? Why not add even MORE images of you to his file? Why not prance around the bedroom in a piece he hasn’t seen in awhile instead of that old t-shirt? Just saying…
A few days ago, I came into our bedroom to see Dustin (how I love him!) looking through the boudoir pictures he has of me. I gently kissed him and asked him what he was doing. “Oh, just looking,” he responded with a grin. What a blessing it is to know that I have a husband who not only loves me, but appreciates the body of the wife he has!
I want to leave you with one last little thing. It’s from the TV show ‘According to Jim’ and the episode called “Cheryl’s Boudoir Photos.”
(Cheryl hands Jim the envelope containing her boudoir photos as a Valentine’s Day gift. He opens it. Pulls a photo out and his eyes get big.)
Jim: WOW! YOU ARE AMAZING!
Cheryl: You think so?
Jim: You know, you could go pro! I mean as a model!
Cheryl: Do you like it?
Jim: Like it? I want to marry it! But I did! [Laughs] I can’t take my eyes off it!
Cheryl: Maybe you can take your eyes off of it for this. [She kisses him.]
Follower of Jesus Christ
Wife of one very handsome man
Wedding and Boudoir Photographer (http://www.SmetonaPhoto.com)
I have heard a lot of brides say this a lot recently and, unfortunately, there is no simple complete answer. Brides and grooms are sometimes shocked when thye suddenly start seeing the costs of getting married. Wedding photography is expensive because well, being a quality photographer is expensive. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “You take pictures. You put them on a disk. You are done. What’s the big deal? I have a digital camera too.”
But, my dear, this is not simply pointing and clicking a digital camera. I think a lot of brides are overwhelmed by the price of photography simply because of lack of understanding. A little bit of education may go a long way in helping you understand pricing and how to budget for your wedding day.
Let me break this down a bit for you:
A professional camera is about $2600 (and you need a back-up)= $5,200
Professional lenses are around $1400-$2000+ each= $4200 minimum
Professional flash equipment is about $1000+
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom- $600
External Hard Drives- $200
And this is just base items. Photographers are constantly updating and getting newer equipment that may have worn out due to wear and tear. For now, we will assume I already have these and I will not include them in the yearly expenses below.
Per year- $4,500
These are basic costs that professional photographers face every year.
Insurance ($1,000,000 in liability is considered standard) about $100
Advertising (Just for an idea, one small ad in one magazine can EASILY be $800)
Professional memberships ($100/year per membership. Let’s say I have 2)
Professional seminars (These range from $200-$1000/each. Let’s say I don’t attend ANY)
Equipment upgrades and replacements (Let’s say I spend $3000)
Sample albums- $400
Per wedding x 25 weddings/year- $20,000
Travel to meetings, engagement sessions, location scouting, wedding day (Gas)-$200
Okay so from just the yearly expenses that I have mentioned (and there are more) a photographer (not in a studio) needs to make a minimum of $24,500 a year to run just their business. I haven’t mentioned prints, canvases, professional networking meetings, wear and tear on their car, health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, retirement OR (UGH) taxes.
BUT OOPS! This photographer also has to live. They need a home, car, food, clothing, water, home insurance, electricity, internet, etc, etc. Let’s say they need $40,000 a year to survive!
So, with all of the business and expenses and living this photographer needs to make $64,500/year!
In order to do a quality job on each wedding (and not go crazy), photographers shouldn’t book more that 25 weddings a year. $64,500 divided by 25 weddings is a total of $2,580/wedding IF they get all 25 weddings. And we didn’t even take out for taxes, many other expenses, or children!
Probably the most important thing to remember is the value of a photographer’s time. A full-time photographer doesn’t have another job. They are spending hours of their time and talent on making you look stunning in your wedding photos.
As a bride, here are a few things to keep in mind when considering all wedding vendors:
- Educate yourself on what things cost. A $12K wedding is considered budget. Plan on spending at least 10% on your photography.
- It’s a safe bet that if you think you know what something costs it is probably double.
- You get what you pay for. Professional products cost more, that’s just the way it is. You know that you will get quality when you walk into Nordstrom, you also know that you will pay more. Why should photography be any different.
- Prioritize! Your photos are the thing that will last the longest after your wedding day. Your flowers will fade, your dress will go into storage, the food will get eaten, and that getaway car that you just “had to have” will leave, and you will be left with memories and photos. Your photos will outlast you, your spouse, your children and your grandchildren. Budget well.
This post was not written at anyone in particular. It was written so that brides might have a better understanding of the hidden costs to being a photographer, so that they might learn how to budget in such a way to have the best wedding possible and a so that they may have glorious photos to look back at their wonderful day!