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Current State of Silver Ash Photography

Back in February, I launched my portrait photography business – Silver Ash Photography.

Up until that point I had been photographing only my own children, so in order for me to be taken seriously as a photographer I needed much more than my own family as subjects in my portfolio. So I asked if anyone would be willing to pose for free portfolio-building sessions. Within 8 hours I had no fewer than 24 offers, so I had to close the offer sharpish! 15 of those offers translated into actual sessions over the following two months. It’s been busy!

Those sessions have been invaluable. Not only have I learned so much about photography and dealing with clients, but I’ve also gained plenty of confidence as well. Thank you so much to everyone who offered and especially to those who I actually photographed – you were all fantastic. If you would like to leave a testimonial, it would be very welcome – just look for the blog page with your photos on and comment!

It’s been quite a varied ride! From newborns to couples, horses to Cambridge Academia and a hefty dose of children – my portfolio certainly looks varied these days..

I’ve divided my work into two sections. Indoor/Studio work, and outdoor work. These are now on my blog, under the “Gallery” heading at the top of the page.

* You can see my new Studio/Indoor portfolio here
* You can see my Outdoor portfolio here

In case you’re interested in all the work I’ve done over the last two months, you can view the whole lot over on my SmugMug account here:

* http://sparklies.smugmug.com/SilverAsh

So what now? Well, I only managed to do 10 images for some of the sessions as I ran out of time, so I’m hoping to do a few more for some people – keep your eyes open for an email from me if you’re one of those! I’ll post the best here when I’ve finished.


Charging for Images

With the portfolio-building out the way, it is now time for me to start charging for my photography. Much as I’d love to be able to afford to be in a position to do this for free, ultimately it’s about earning an income as well.

One reason for having so many free sessions was so I could be confident in the prices I will be setting – that I am capable of producing good quality work time and time again. I’m not entering the industry at the bottom of the pile – my aim is to start out as a quality photographer and improve from there..

I’m currently putting together a pricing package which I believe is fair and reflects the standard of my work. Many of you, especially those who have not used a custom photographer before, will probably be very surprised at the prices I will be charging, but a good, third-party explanation of why custom photography is not cheap can be found here. To cut a long story short, there’s a lot more to it than just showing up with a camera for a few hours – the post-processing can be as much as an hour per image or more in rare cases. To be blunt, it’s why my images look good – the photo-taking is only the start. Each session takes me upwards of 20 hours of my skilled, professional time. Then there is the time spent developing the business outside of sessions. Plus there is the not inexpensive matter of camera equipment, studio equipment, computer hardware and software, insurances, accounting, marketing, travel costs and plenty more.

I’m partly so defensive over my prices because I can clearly recall being aghast at the prices photographers charged myself and it’s only now the boot is on the other foot that I can see that photography is sadly not a license to print money! However, I firmly believe that it is worth every penny with the right photographer. You can’t put a price on a precious moment in time captured in high quality.

When I have finalised my pricing and finished developing my client proofing gallery (currently in progress) I’ll be looking for new, paying customers. As a special offer, I’ll likely be charging a significant discount for the first (to be decided, probably a dozen) paid-for sessions before going totally full price. So if you’re in the market for a bargain quality photography session or know someone who is, keep a close eye on this blog!


Sessions Available

I would still like to practice on one more newborn, and do a maternity session, so if anybody knows of any newborns or pregnant ladies who would like a free session with 10-20 images for free, please get in touch by leaving a comment or contacting me by other means.

If anyone would like a paid-for session sooner rather than later please DO get in touch (as described above) and we can sort something out and I can quote you a very competitive price based on my special offer starting prices. I won’t be actively starting marketing until the start of July to give myself time to sort everything out but I am available for sessions.

My specialty is child photography but I am very flexible, and open to most types of photography going. For more information, see my “About Me” page.

Anyway, that’s all for now.. please keep following this blog either here or on Facebook for more news and photography! I have some great photos from my recent trip to the US to share hopefully soon for starters.

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