Tuesday, June 30

Jilli Beans

Jilli Beans is what everyone calls her. She just turned one and is the last of the Sweeney crew Jillian is just a little gem. She is patient and can climb like a little monkey on anything! Seriously though, this gal is the most mild tempered little one I have ever met.

Jillian just learned how to walk a couple of weeks ago and is on the move, but I managed to snap a few cute ones (if I do say so myself).

I don't usually crop my images much, but between those baby blues, that sweet pucker and Jillian's wispy red bangs I just had to get in close!









I think that just about sums Jilli up. Adorable!

Monday, June 29


I am going to go ahead and warn you now.

Audrey has a brother. His name is Kimbal. He is all boy. When you are around Kimbal you just cannot help but fall in love with him. Kimbal is such a cutie pie. He loves his Momma and protects his sisters just like a brother should. Kimbal is the best snuggle buddy and even asks, d-d-d-do you wanna sungggggle? Ladies lock up your daughters. This boy is going to be a heart breaker.

Consider this your warning:


Come on... he won't bite.








Has he sucked you into his cuteness yet? Yeah, I thought so!

On deck: Kimbal's little sista' Jillian.

Sunday, June 28

Snow White is a Diva

I didn't want to tell you all like this, but Snow White is a Diva. I also have to tell you something else. I love every second of it.

Little Miss Snow White (a.k.a. Gina's daughter Audrey) is all that and a bag of chips. She is the oldest of Gina's brood of 3 and as dramatic as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Audrey also has the looks: big blue eyes, fair skin and blond locks that really just make your heart melt.

I have the pleasure of hangin' with Gina about once a week. Okay. Let me be real. I am at Gina's about 3 times a week. Audrey is such a little woman. She wants to be with the adults and is always interjecting her two cents. The crazy thing? She is usually right on the money! You can often find Audrey asking me for some gum, bossing (I mean directing) her sibling, Kimbal (2) and Jillian (1) on just what they need to be doing. Audrey has also coined the phrase, Oh My, because she says it all the time.

Above all of those a fore mentioned attributes she is a diva who loves lip gloss. And... she does all her own poses. No, seriously. I didn't pose her once. She did it all on her own! Just look:







Isn't she just stunning? Gina I hope that you are pleased with what you see so far! You all can also catch more of Audrey and her siblings on my facebook (www.facebook.com/erinphotographs) photo galleries.

Up next, Audrey's bro, Kimbal.

Saturday, June 27

Show White Beauty

I am almost positive that when Snow White was a little girl she looked like this:


I would like to state for the record... yes, her eyes really are that blue!


I could not decide if I liked the color or the black and white edit more. So, you get both.

This little one belongs to my friend Gina. She had me do a session with her kiddos yesterday. All I can said is this... she has siblings and they are just as crazy cute as she is! Gina says that they, get it from their Momma. Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, June 24

For Sale

We have all heard it. Probably a million times a day. This enonomy is a total bummer.
My Mom is an avid Kansas City Star reader. Her favorite section is the For Sale type section since she and my Dad are in the market for some land/slash maybe lake property. She found this site in this past Sunday's paper and we have had a lot of fun looking ever since. Please don't mistake us for reveling in others misfortune, but it is fun to look at what is out there.

This *little* beauty is our favorite thus far. David told my Mom if she and Dad purchased the house we would buy the boat to put in the boat slip!

In case the link doesn't work here it is: http://catesauction.com.

Monday, June 22

More J* Workshop Favorites

This afternoon I was bored (and trying to delay the inevitable... laundry) and thought I would edit up a few more of my favorites from the Jasmine Star Workshop earlier this month.






These two models, who are married to each other and also former clients of Jasmine's, were some serious lookers! Gorgeous!


Sunday, June 21

Jasmine Star : The Workshop

I am nervous. I have only been shooting a year. I am cold. I totally should have worn jeans. This camera bag is really heavy. What if no one likes me. I totally should have stayed home. I have only been shooting a year. I am in way over my head here.

That is what was going through my head the morning of the Jasmine Star Workshop. I was pretty sure that I was going to vomit. Gross I know, but I am being for serious. My carpool buddy, Ayumi, and I were the first to arrive. This made me even more nervous. As soon as we walked into the room Jasmine and JD (her husband) greeted us with smiles and hugs. Ahhhhh, I started to breath again. She said that she remembered me (from the Free to Suceed Tour). Really? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares.

I can safely tell you that was THE BEST workshop that I had ever been to! Bar none! Jasmine and JD (and her Mom even came to help too) pulled out all the stops. Fresh fruit, yummy drinks, snacks before lunch, delish' lunch and a crazy good dinner. Leave it to the chubby girly to give you the run down on the food! Did I mention the shoot?



The flowers, equaled amazing! Thanks Treasured Petal.











Tiffany's rockin' make-up and styling was executed so beautifully by Vivian Tran, of All Made Up.


I know that this next image is totally blown out, but I love it. Something about it made me fall in love with it.


Yeah. What can I say? Amazing models, styling, make-up, location... you name it they thought of it! I was thrilled when I saw that the clothes were not your typical bridal look and the flowers were like non I had ever seen. Totally unique!

The presentation on branding was excellent and exactly what I wanted to learn. Jasmine and JD really put amazing experience and workshop in the same sentence for me. I could not be more thankful for having the chance to shoot with J* and all of the other 18 incredible photographers! I even told David that I want to go again.

Wednesday, June 17

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

I am asked this question all the of time. When, I saw this article on a few fellow photographers' blogs it said it all.

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?
by Marianne Drenthe at http://http//www.professionalchildphotographer.com

The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art.

We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print - as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

“How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?”

The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The cost of TIME

Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:

  • session prep time (30 mins - 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
  • one hour travel time TO session
  • 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
  • 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
  • one hour travel time FROM session
  • 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
  • 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
  • 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
  • 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
  • 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
  • 1 hour sorting through and checking order
  • 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
  • 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
  • any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours - dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.

The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.

Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success. Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.

Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.


Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 leased photography retail space by a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation? The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough - those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10). The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.


Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc..

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity. The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.

I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories. The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, June 16

Kansas Dirt

My Kansas State Alpha Chis out there may remember Chuck. Chuck was our cook at the Alpha Chi Omega house. Chuck was really no one's friend. Chuck was kinda, well for lack of a better phrase, A Grumpy Old Man. Chuck's food was good and his desserts were even better.

Mr. Grumpy used to make this dessert that we all just loved. He called it Kansas Dirt, appetizing I know. He would never tell us what was in it. Never. Even to the day we let him go... don't worry though, he became a greeter at Wal-mart (I am not joking), he would not tell us exactly what was in it. I never knew. Until I went to Nick and Stacy's.

While Nick and Stacy were putting me up, at their place in Los Angles, Stacy made a dessert. A dessert that was oddly familiar to my taste buds. Chuck's Kansas Dirt. Since Stacy is not a Grumpy Old Man like Chuck she gave me the recipe. Sweet Stacy.

Kansas Dirt:

Oreos or Graham Crackers for Crust
4 t. Butter
2 small boxes Instant Lemon Pudding
Powdered Sugar
1 Box (softened) Cream Cheese
Whip Cream Topping
9 x 13 pan

You can make a graham cracker crust or an Oreo crust. I choose Oreo every time *surprise, surprise*.

Crust: Grind about 10-12 Oreos in a food processor. Put about 4 T. to the side for later and put the rest in your 9 x 13 pan. Mix ground Oreos and 4 t. melted butter until all Oreos are wet. Then, press evenly, to cover the bottom of the pan. Do not worry about the sides. Place that in the fridge.

Mix: Cream cheese, 1 cup of Powdered Sugar and 1 cup of Whip Cream. Spread over Oreo crust. Be careful here. You do not want to tear up the crust so spread lightly.

Mix, in another bowl, the 2 small Lemon Pudding Boxes with 2 3/4 cups of milk. Spread that over your Cream Cheese layer in your 9 x 13 pan.

Use the remainder of your Whip Cream to spread over your pudding layer. Top with the Oreos you previously ground and set aside.

Refrigerate for a few hours and eat! I personally like to scoop mine with an ice cream scooper and serve in small dessert bowls.

Monday, June 15

Photog Prayers

A few fellow photographers could use our prayers:

Amy Wenzel's husand, David, suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. The doctors have found a mass in his brain. He has been referred to Mayo Clinic for treatment for a large calcified tumor in the left temporal lobe. You can read Amy's posts here and here. You can also read David's blog here to keep updated.

Cathy Crawley, from Australlia, could also use some sweet words to The Guy Upstairs. Her son, James, is missing. Yes, missing. I know that most of us cannot imagine what she and her family are going through right now. You can read what Cathy wrote on here blog here.

When, you keel down tonight please don't forget to ask for blessings for their families' too! God answers knee mail.

Sunday, June 14

The Life of a Binx

I have said it before, but I will say it again. I am not a morning person. While David is up with the Sun (seriously) I cannot seem to get up at a reasonable hour on a weekend to save my life. Luckily, I don't have to and I have Binx. She is a sleeper. Duh, she is my dog. Of course, she is a sleeper like her Momma.

Ever morning I wake up to this (No, not David he is already up. To see him I have to go find him somewhere in the house. Hopefully making me breakfast.):

A Binx Dog. This is Binx just waking from her sweet puppy slumber.

This is Binx telling me to get the flippin' camera out of her face.

This is Binx just starting to greet the morning Sun.

This is Binx stretching after being so rudely awakened. In this picture she is also begging me to take her to the groomer.

This is Binx realizing that if she is awake, and I am awake, it is time for her Nuggets (breakfast).

So, there you have it folks. The posh life of a Binx.

And yes, she does have her own bling. Why? Because she is phat like that! Don't judge her. It's mean.