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Hi! Thanks a million for visiting my blog! This is a place for my business, photography, ideas, inspiration, life stories and, of course, mounds and mounds of pictures. If you're looking for information about my photography services, i welcome you to view some of my most recent work here and then click on the portfolio link above. If you're looking for a place to have fun, relax, feel happy, and be inspired, stick around and grab something to drink! May I suggest the "what I'm sippin'" list of favorites to the bottom left?

August Anniversaries

Well, it’s September 1st and I’m posting my August Anniversaries. Ugh. But let me just tell you about August. It was busy and crazy and didn’t go as expected. “Life happened” and caused some modified work weeks and delays. Being a stay-at-home, small business owner mom, I had to just roll with the punches and make things work as best I could. So a day late? Hopefully the following couples won’t mind some belated wishes. :)

It’s a warm and sunny day here in Garrett County, MD and that’s exactly what we had for these three weddings last August. Happy First Anniversary to Jocelyn and Justin, Presley and Nathan, and Mary and Tyler who wed in June but celebrated in August and still deserved a mention in this post. :)

Jocelyn and Justin’s wedding was such a neat opportunity for me! They married at an old church on Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh and then had a “moving” reception on one of the Gateway Clipper Fleet’s dinner boats. It was an awesome way to experience my first downtown Pittsburgh wedding! Happy Anniversary Jocelyn and Justin!

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See Jocelyn and Justin’s full wedding blog post here.

Mary and Tyler married in June of last year at Dolly Sods, WV and because they couldn’t accommodate a large number of guests for their ceremony, they decided to invite everyone to celebration a couple months later in August! They held their reception at Heston Farm in Fairmont, WV and it was a beautiful event!

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See Mary and Tyler’s full wedding reception blog post here.

Presley and Nathan were married at the very end of August on a very warm day. But the beautiful Benton Grove in Morgantown and the lovely sunlight at the end of the day helped make things better. :) Happy First Anniversary, Presley and Nathan!

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See Presley and Nathan’s full wedding blog post here.

 

Photog Tips: The Importance of Fast Emailing

This blog post is another in a new blog series for JFP, “Photog Tips.” I’m planning to make it a more regular thing when my new website, blog and brand launch SOON, so be sure to come back later, too. :)

This tip is for photographers who have small businesses, but can really be useful for any small business owner.

Tip: Be a fast emailer. Plain and simple. If you have a photography business, or any small business, really, try to be fast. In my opinion, it’s a CRUCIAL part of good business and being successful…and it’s a fairly easy thing to do!

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I’ll never forget the time I reached out to a few photographers about taking family beach portraits while we were on vacation a few years ago. One photographer got back to me in a few days, one got back to me in two weeks and one never responded! Are you serious?? I’m okay with waiting a few days, but two weeks or never!? How do those people still have a business?? In a world where some people are impatient, last-minute and needing instant gratification, waiting more than a few days to respond to client/customer emails is not good business practice.

So here are my reasons why you should be a fast emailer:

1. It’s professional. I’m assuming that all small business owners want to be professional in some way, shape or form. Wearing presentable clothes, being punctual, having well-designed marketing materials…these are all things that make you professional. But how’s your communication? If you’re responding to emails promptly, your clients/customers know you’re serious and reliable.

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2. First impressions. When a prospective photography client emails me, it might be their first personal connection with me. If they’ve read my website or blog they probably have an idea of my personality and the kind of person I am. But it’s not until they actually attempt to interact do they get the real thing. If I email them quickly (within 48 hours is my rule…a little more is okay if they emailed me late Friday because I try not to do computer work on the weekends), they right away have a good first impression. If it takes me more than a few days, they may start to think negatively of me and my business because they’re waiting. They may start to see me as unprofessional and people don’t want to spend good money with unprofessional photographers, right?

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3. It’s easy. For some photographers, emails can be a daunting task. Whether you’re inbox is constantly full or you simply don’t like the act of writing emails, making emails a priority can be easy. You don’t need to do it all day every day, but make it a daily thing. When I sit down at my inbox, my goal is to answer emails that have been waiting for more than about 24 hours. If I have other things to accomplish that day, I stop. I didn’t spend a ton of time on emails and I responded to those that needed me in a timely manner.

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4. It puts you above the others and you earn trust. I have some brides and grooms tell me that they are impressed with my turnaround time when it comes to emails. They find themselves waiting around for responses from other wedding vendors and it gets frustrating. If I can be a source of relief and positivity during their planning just by being a good emailer, I know I have a good chance at standing out and gaining their trust.

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Easy, right? Open up that inbox and make it happen! :)

Jolene & Shane: Engaged, Deep Creek Lake MD Photographer

Jolene and Shane are such a great couple! Not only did they come visit me in Garrett County, they’re also AWESOME in front of the camera! These two made an overcast even look so warm and happy and I’m happy to call them JFP clients. :)

They’re from my hometown of Connellsville, PA, so we already have some connections. But getting them in front of my camera, having them at our house and taking them to the lake allowed us to connect even more…and because of that, I know we’re going to rock it on their wedding day next July! Enjoy my favorites from yet another summer engagement session!

Boom! First picture of the evening and they were immediately cute! :)

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And Jo showed that she can rock a soft smile…yyyeeesssss!!!

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So glad the tall grass in our yard hadn’t been cut yet…

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Then we ventured back into the woods and they made this spot look so spectacular! Don’t ya think??

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FAVES!!!

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I just couldn’t decide if I liked the black and white or color better…

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We did the second half of their session at Deep Creek Lake State Park. These two hope to reside in Garrett County someday in the future and they enjoy visiting the area together now, so pictures at the lake were very appropriate…

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A BIG TIME ENGAGEMENT SESSION FAVE FOR ME!! I just love the colors…and Jolene’s look! :)

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This was right after I slipped and almost fell on the rocks. Thankfully, the only thing I almost lost were my sunglasses…

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For some reason, these look so movie-esque!

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Then we ventured into the water…this next series is so romantic!

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We had the beach area all to ourselves!

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A few more along the shoreline…

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Aren’t they just the cutest!?! And so great in front of the camera, too! Thanks for venturing down to Maryland, Jo and Shane. It was so awesome to meet and hang out with you guys! I’m pumped for the wedding next year! :)