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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Drowning in work

Some days Stephen and I have to wonder how we manage.

Recently Stephen says he is drowning in photography work. All though its tiring and can be stressful, its a good tired and a good stress. Of course we would rather be drowning in photography than not having enough of it.

So yesterday morning Stephen had a photo shoot for the magazine and senior photos as soon as he was finished with that. The senior's mom calls on Friday night worried about every thing, she was concerned because at her sister’s prompting she had canceled an appointment at a photo studio where she was going to pay for a sitting fee and then order a package of photos, but we where charging her more than the sitting fee. She was certain that she wouldn’t be able to print our photos for less than what the studio was going to charge. Oh and if she gets wallets how would she cut them out.. it was a total panic moment, you know good and well that if she had a page of wallet photos in her hand after the fact cutting them wouldn't be an issue she was just in that "mom's first senior panic mode" Stephen actually said to her " you will use scissors.

So I called the mom back, before the call ended I had to put her mind at ease about hair, makeup, jewelry, our prices and my ability to convince her 18 year old daughter that these where senior photos and “sexy” wasn’t the intention. Been there and done that with my own girls, some times with teenage girls its easy for them to confuse confident sexy with porn sexy so Stephen and I work hard at keeping every one on the confident side and if the poses start crossing lines Stephen haa became comfortable with stopping for adjustments, and well I have armed myself with wardrobe tape!

I hung up the phone and had to discuss it all with Stephen, you see I used to be very uncomfortable with charging the $150.00 for a disk or charging in general. Its been said that I could bankrupt any buisness because I tend to want to "help out" every one and charge no one. So I needed Stephen to tell me again that we really where giving them a deal.

I realize they had canceled an appointment where she was only going to pay $35.oo for her setting fee but the setting fee did not include photos, hair, makeup and the photographer was not coming to her house. Not to mention the setting fee was for her daughter’s photos only, we had agreed to do the senior photos, some of each kid, groups of her kids and some family photos. What we are doing at the moment ( and this is sooooo temporary just to get things started), we sort out a place to do the photos and then take what ever photos they want. Then we give the customer a disk with all the photos and they get them printed. We have done weddings that included family photos for almost every family attending the wedding. We do it this way for now because the customer gets a heck of a lot of photos for their $150.oo. I think the last two weddings the bride got disk with 300 to 400 photos on them. The disk we turned over this morning for the senior photos had 280 photos on it. The only duplicates where, if we turn one black and white I do it in addition to the color photo, and a couple of the ones that I put senior 2009 on I did it as a duplicate so they maybe got 6 or 7 duplicates but the duplicates where not exactly like the original photo.

Now I have spoken to a few moms recently about their senior photos, most of them paid a sitting fee and the package cost them at least $400.oo. That is not including all the extra photos we take of the entire family. When Stephen and I first got married I felt odd about charging $150.oo for a disk but now that I am helping with the shoots and editing and putting in the time labor . honestly I am feeling ok about $150.oo.

I have makeup that I use every time Sara’s friends turn up here wanting some “cool” photos and I have some jewelry that I have picked up at various sales just for the photography. However I got to thinking that I needed a couple of things to make sure this girl would have what she needs. So while Stephen was doing his first photos of the day Shelby and I ran to Wal-Mart to look for some cheap but big ear rings, and a bag for my makeup, jewelry and hair stuff. I have been keeping an eye out for a bag but I had in mind what I wanted and I just haven’t seen it yet.

Turns out that Wal-Mart has very little jewelry these days. I remember when they used to carry a lot of cheap stuff that would make due. I managed to find one card of ear rings that was not what I was looking for but would do. The bag was another challenge. Near the makeup was some bags but they where just bags, no real slots for stuff. I stood there picturing makeup piled in those bags and me digging through the bag unable to really find anything that I needed. So I went to the hair isle and found pretty much the same thing, then I went to the purses and …nothing… Finally I went to the arts and crafts isle and even though it wasn’t exactly what I had pictured, for less than $20.oo I found a tote just like this only mine is pink instead of blue

This has lots of pockets and places to put stuff so I was pleased. I managed to get all of my make up and combs and hair spray in there. I even bought a plastic box to put jewelry in ( the box was made for arts and crafts items but it works for me) . The box fit right into the tote. I was quite pleased with myself until I looked at and saw this

Now I want this tote for my make up and jewelry and the pink one can be for curling irons, straightening irons and all that stuff.. not gonna happen as I am to frugal to spend a $100.oo on a tote.. the only chance I have of getting this tote is if Stephen goes and buys it with out telling me then once the money is spent I am ok but, me I would stand there and stare at it and want it and then think $100.oo buys a few packs of diapers or could pay a bill and I would never actually give up the money just because I want the tote.

So any how back to the situations we get into. After our trip to Wal-Mart, I had to take both seats out of the van, pack up all the makeup, hair tools and jewelry and I was suppose to get all the lights, background and support system ready to load into the van, oh and at some point I should at least brush my hair and put on a little make up too. I was in the middle of brushing my hair when Stephen got home, none of the lights, background and supports had been touched, but the van seats where out and my stuff was packed up!

Stephen didn’t complain though, I suspect that he left the house knowing that there was no way I could do every thing I had planned on before he got back lol. So Stephen loaded the van up with everything while I finished getting dressed and we headed off to do these senior photos.

I had explained to the mom call Friday nights phone call that the more her daughter was willing to pose the more shots she would get. The girl was pretty enough but she does exactly what my daughter does, she goes in her room or hangs out with her friends and acts goofy and snaps photos of her self. But put the lights and camera and every one watching they freeze and suddenly can't think of one cool pose. It really reminded me of Sara. One of the older boys brought out his horse and Stephen was able to get some good ones of the boy riding.

After the photos Stephen had to go farther away from home to pick up some bee supplies. Stephen had found some one selling used be boxes and other bee stuff. I personally wouldn't have bought them because the looked a bit yucky to me but Stephen went ahead and got them.

Needless to say several hours later when we got home, we where exhausted and ready for a day to crash. That didn’t happen though.

Today Stephen had another photo shoot for the magazine ( the magazine is the best these shoots almost always go smoothly). Then when he got home he had to sort out all of the used bee boxes he bought.. I will leave that part for him to explain on his blog.

While Stephen was out I was editing yesterdays photos and taking care of a cranky Katie. But things got really strange when Shelby came up to me with this cat that the neighbors have been hitting and kicking and throwing things at. They say it’s a stray and they don’t want it near their house. So Shelby is holding this cat up telling me how she needs to keep it and save it cause its been treated so awful when all the sudden she says “mom it peed on me”. Ok We had a long day on Saturday and I had been at the computer editing the photos all day so I staried blankly at Shelby for a few seconds before it clicks what she has said..I am thinking cats dont just pee on you!!! So .. I look down and I will be darned if I didn’t see a kitten poking its rear end out! So of course I am not going to throw the cat out the door even if its water did just break on my bedroom carpet. We got a container and an old towel and put the cat in there. Stephen only had one thing to say and he said it over and over and over.. Thats not our cat, thats not our cat, thats not our cat....

It didn’t take long to realize two things, The kittens are extremely premi!! And this cat don’t have a clue what is going on. The cat struggled to clean her self up let alone the kittens. The kittens have no fur, 3 of the 5 she had where born breach and dead, and the cat is scared to death to stay in the box with them. So suddenly Stephen goes from "thats not our cat" to CPR on a stillborn kiten!!! Stephen has had to actually help her get some of the kittens out, he has done all the cleaning up of the kittens and the two that are still alive, Stephen managed to rub them enough to get them to breath. I know that the mother cleaning the kittens at birth stimulates them to breath but with mom not cleaning them its been up to Stephen. He tried with all of them but only two of them finally started breathing. I honestly hold out little hope that the two kittens will make it. We did some research because the kittens are not attempting to nurse. Apparently if they are really premi they don’t know how to nurse or swallow. Its late at night and there is no place to buy the needed feeding tube and they will need feeding every hour and we both work all day so the only thing I can think of is to do what we can and hope that nature kicks in and the mom figures out what to do.

This week end is one of the reasons I love Stephen so much, We manage to book a lot of photo work, have 101 things on our plate and still get it all done, and them throw in a suprize cat/kitten rescue and he jumps right in and helps try and save them!

Darn what messes we get into!

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