My name is Kara and I take pictures. We are the studio for those who like it a little different, are a little crazy, and love to laugh. We are stress-free and fun. "We" includes myself and whomever happens to be working with me at the time - James, Anita, or Emry.
I am in love with salsa. I am terribly against socks that match and I recently bought a red washer and a grey dryer. Why must everything match?! I believe photo booths are the coolest things on the planet and have a small obsession with "Friends"
While checking out the site & thinking about how much you love us don't forget:
1. It is only possible for me to take one weddings a month and only 10 a year.
2. We love travel and are available to go anywhere you want. Just ask! :D
3. We don't charge hourly - it is silly.
That is all. That is all I can think of to say. I love mail, I love emails, I love hearing form you so don't hold back! I am excited to meet you. :D
This growing baby boy is due is March. And I am so excited that Dharshini asked us to be apart of this stage in their lives. We have at least one more session planned before the birth session. As you can tell they are all going to be beautiful.
I, Kara, was too swamped to fit this session in so Kim volunteered to take it. Guys, I am so happy for all of you to meet her. She is doing a great job and so far it sounds like my clients are loving her. I can’t get enough of this maternity session from yesterday. I am so thrilled to be working with Dharshini & Joe myself soon.
Do you remember when we were all in high school and were barely responsible enough to get ourselves to class on time? That was about a decade ago for me and these two. I just don’t understand how we are all old and responsible enough to be raising little human beings. These little girls love their dad so much and Heather is such a fantastic mom. But, all I can think of while I watch them together is, “Holy cow! What just happened?? I am quite positive none of us are old enough to be this responsible.”
But, parents we all are. And look what cute kids these two make!
Look at these cute, curly haired girls! Don’t you love their springy curls? When I was a little girl, I had super straight hair and we use to perm it to get all these curls. And then I turned 9 and decided I wanted straight hair, but my hair refused to ever be straight again. Now, my hair is wavy on top and curly underneath. It is dumb. But, these cute girls with their adorable curls take me back to my childhood a little bit.
We sent Kim down to Monument Valley again this weekend and she did an amazing job with this girl. Renea is stinkin’ gorgeous. I mean, between her beauty and Kim’s talent I really didn’t have much to do on these photos. I just made the sky a little prettier and called it a day.
I am so happy we met Bridgette in Cortez and she keeps bringing these gorgeous girls for us to photograph.
This morning I am a little more than down. I am a lot discouraged. I was finally able to work with a family I have been dying to work with for years. And things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I love the images but I let everything else fall apart.
In an effort to shake it off and keep working I have paused my editing to talk to you guys, my clients for just a minute. I hope you will forgive for the short break.
I opened my little studio in 2009. We barely managed to scrape out 18 sessions that entire year. It was easy to make sure you guys had great customer service because, well, I didn’t have much else to do. Those first two to three years are when I met most of you. Since then, you guys have caused my business to grow and this year, to explode! You have sent your friends and family to me and all the people you like the most, expecting them to receive the same quality of service and images that you have over the years.
I think I can say for the most part I have succeeded. We just photographed our 100th session for the year. Our studio is definitely growing. But, this year has been a hard year and came with obstacles that I was not really prepared for. I came straight from back surgery directly into our wedding season only to find out I was pregnant. Yay! But, also hard because my body does not like being pregnant. Fortunately, I can power through most things and it only slowed us down a little. Mostly, it just added extra stress.
More fortunately, I had amazing clients who made sure I was taken care of even when I should have been taking care of them.
About a month into my wedding season (that is about May-Sept here) the main editing computer broke. Of course, all the images were safe but I had very carefully planned out my calendar and editing so that I could keep up with the demand. Unfortunately for all of us the backup computer, yes I have a backup computer, couldn’t meet the demand and workload I was putting on it. So, the three days that it took to get the computer fixed put us a week behind. I was catching up, and then it broke again. And then it broke again. We lost a camera to an auto focus issue and in the middle of a wedding the aperture for one of my lenses broke. None of these things have ever happened to me before. All of these things cost me a lot of unforeseen time.
Luckily, I am relatively proficient at what I do and I was able to work around the issues and still deliver, what I consider, great images. So far, the couple agrees as well.
With the increase of clients this year and all the tech issues we have also had more client complaints than ever before. We have had five client complaints this year, one resulting in a cancelled session. Yes, yes I know that five out of one hundred is not bad at all. But, to me it is devastating. I am not even being dramatic. Those are five people that I really cared about handing amazing images to. Those are five people that we scouted locations for, scheduled time for, and went into their sessions or wedding dreaming big. And those were five people who we were not able to achieve the level of service that I demand for.
I hate to admit it, but I saw these problems coming before they actually got here. I knew we were weeks behind in editing. I cancelled sessions to try and clear room to get all our other sessions done. I hired a business manager (I will introduce you guys to her later next week) to start taking over a lot of the backend stuff that didn’t need my personal attention. I saw that we could have potential issues as we took on more clients and we started setting up to head off those issues ahead of time. But, there are always issues and adjustments that need to be made when anything is growing and changing.
And because you guys are so amazing my studio is growing. You guys are the reason my studio continues to grow and I am so thankful for you. Because of that and because we want to keep you and your family as clients for our whole lives we are implementing a few changes starting today.
No New Clients
Until April we are no longer taking new clients. This is awesome for you guys cause you are now our exclusive clients. We will not wander or cheat or stray. We only work for you guys. The only exceptions to this are weddings. Obviously, we cannot keep shooting the same wedding clients over and over again. That would get weird. And the second exception is if you, one of our clients, buys a gift card for friends or family. We will still honor those.
From May forward we are only taking new clients on a referral basis. Basically, you get to choose who our clients are. In order to get into our calendar all new clients will need to be referred by one of you amazing people. Again, the exception to that is weddings.
New Photo Editor
I have hired someone to help with editing! She will choose the images that are best from each of your sessions, clearing up time and she will be in charge of making sure I get the detailed editing done on time.
The Business Manager
I hired a business manager!! Some of you have already met her. She was suppose to start at the beginning of October but her old job would not let her go and I worried we would go into a bidding war over her. But, she started 19 days ago and she will be here to help you guys with tech issues, manage the calendar, getting the billing done, reply to emails faster, and keep us all organized. She will make sure I give you guys the very best. And she will make sure all your prints and products are ordered in a timely manor.
The New Photographer
I hired a new photographer. Her name is Kim and I will set up a little bio and portfolio for her in the next month. She is fun and sweet and a lot more quiet than I am. Kim will mostly take over our senior sessions, cause she is amazing at it. However, if requested I will still be photographing a few of those as well.Here is a little preview of the work she does:
We will have more changes that come up as we approach the new year. And I hope they are all changes that you love. I have created a questionnaire for you all so you can give us suggestions of the changes that you would like to see take effect. Please, feel free to answer it, it can be anonymous. Our studio thrives because you guys built it. You guys make all of this possible so I want to create a studio around your needs. Don’t be shy and click here to give a little feedback – even if it is negative.
And finally, if you are reading this and you are not a current client but would like to be one day you can sign up for our mailing list here. And we will let you know as soon as our client list opens up again.
And here is my anthem for the day to help me refocus. Feel free to have a little dance party for me. 😉 Sorry to Anita, I know you hate this song.
And finally I just want to say, you guys are amazing. I am so happy I get the chance to be apart of your lives. I really have the best job ever. I get to be there where people are getting married, getting engaged, I have know about pregnancies before dads and got to photograph their reactions. I get to see all these little people grow up and sometimes I get to be there when they are born. I feel like a part of your lives and I want to make sure I am the easy, happy, well photographed part of your lives. Our studio is going through some changes and there will be a few more growing pains but, when we get to the end of this transition I hope we can be even better than we were before we started.
Thank you guys so much for your patience with me. Thank you for understanding that sometimes life gets in the way. And thank you for not making this pregnant woman cry but taking us out for dinner in new places instead. We are so excited to start the new part of this studio with you guys. I hope I continue to see you all at each new milestone in your lives. I love seeing your families grow. Thank you for making my studio a success! We will work on upping our 95% satisfaction rate to 100% next year. That is where I need it to be.