Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why are deposits non-refundable?

Yet again I have come accross a blog from another wedding vendor that states the answer eloquently and clearly.  Cater It Simple from Indianapolis, IN explains in the blog post linked to below the real reason that deposits on wedding services are retainers and, therefore, are not able to be refunded.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why hire a professional for all aspects of your wedding?

Click the link below and read the blog posted by Shang Chen Photography in Boston.  She talks about being a DIY bride, the difficulties and benefits, and why professionals are way more awesome than we tend to get credit for.  This could not have been stated better, and I'm glad she provided this information to the public in such a friendly and honest way.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why experience shows that you should do your homework before you choose a wedding photographer...

I'd like to preface this post by saying I encourage this even with my own potential clients, and I am truly just trying to give you the tools to make wise decisions when planning for your wedding...

I can't begin to tell you the stories I have read and the things I have done to help people out when it comes to having chosen an amateur photographer or friend instead of a professional. I have seen forum posts of women who were in tears over the fact that their pictures did not turn out, because you can never recreate your wedding again.

The pictures were blurry or dark or they missed a special moment.

I have been sent copies of pictures to fix (that somebody had a friend take at their wedding), because they loved how they looked but their husbands head was cut off!

I'm not saying that photographers new to the business don't deserve an equal opportunity and fair consideration. We ALL have to start somewhere. My point is that doing your research is KEY to getting the end result that you want. Don't commit to a photographer with a glimmering low price before you've asked for referrals or testimonials, seen a comprehensive portfolio (which can be families, other live events, seniors, etc. if you're their first wedding), read through their contract, and met with them. Find out what you will get in return for this money as far as time and product. Find out if there are extra fees for more time or extra sessions. Ask your friends and family if they have ever used them or heard of them before.

The same actually works the other way, too. Don't see a really high priced photographer and assume that because they charge that much they will be the right fit. You need to mesh well with your photographer, because they will not only be following you around all day, but they are capturing a once in a lifetime event.

You can usually find a slew of qualified and friendly photographers in the $1000-$3000 price range. Sometimes people offer special deals outside of this, and that doesn't make them bad, just be 100% sure your wedding photos will be perfectly the way you want them. As I have seen many photographers point out, your photos are the only thing you will show your grandchildren from your wedding down the line, so this is one of the pieces to splurge on a little bit.

On a final note, don't be afraid of hiring travelling photographers. Often times these people are more about the photography than the money and will help you find cheap travel if they charge for it at all. Some of us will even offer deals or prices that are significantly less than your local option. For example, every year I offer 3 couples 50% off for first come first serve bookings. Even with the cost of a cheap plane ticket, I was told by a few people that I would be $4000 cheaper than one of the local places they were considering. It's better that you get a right fit than just somebody convenient at the time.

"There's no one 'style' that is right for everyone, no one pose that fits a situation every time. That's where timing, instinct, consistency and the understanding that every part of a photograph has a reason to exist come into play. Clarity and understanding separate the wedding photographer from the snapshooter and are why couples still hire professionals to photograph their weddings. Modern cameras available to anyone with the right budget can make photography a much easier task than it was in the past. The wedding photographer's eye, instincts and attention to detail make the difference."  ~ George Schaub

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Unique Fundraising Opportunity...

Do you know of a school or organization that is looking for a unique fundraising opportunity? Aren't you tired of buying 5 boxes of candy bars to support your child's school when you won't eat them and they will only get 10% of your cost?

Ideal Portraits will donate certificates for resale that get the purchaser no session fee and free or discounted products. We don't take a kickback, just the basic cost of printing the certificates, so the profit is all yours!

Example: If 50 people sell just 5 certificates each (250 total) at the small price of $15 each when the certificate gets them well over $50 in product value, they will make $3,605 after printing costs free and clear for their organization to keep!

50 people x 5 certificates each = 250 sold x $15 each = $3750 - $145 printing = $3605

For more information, contact us at or call at 319-329-6990.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Preparing for your outdoor session...

When you have come to the decision to make an appointment for portraits at your favorite park, lake, or any other outdoor site, there are a few things to remember before you go. These are obviously not hard an fast rules, but they can definitely be some helpful tips to make your session easier.

1) Plan for the weather. It is unpredictable. You can get a general idea of what the day will bring, but the elements tend to switch quickly. If you are unsure, bring a second option of clothing (like a light jacket). Wind is the real killer, because it almost never goes away. Packing a hairbrush and a hand mirror of some sort may be a good idea.

2) Be familiar with the location you have chosen. Are there lots of trees for shade, or is it a fairly open location where you'll be in direct sunlight? Will you be near water or a highway? This will change the type of lighting your photographer has to work with, the type of clothing that you will be comfortable in, and helps you get an idea of what exactly you want to do.

3) Plan to be hungry or thirsty. It is generally a good idea to bring a beverage (like bottled water since it can't stain if it spills), especially when it is hot or you have a bit of a walk involved. Snacks can be a nice pick-me-up and are also GREAT bribery tools for children. Never underestimate the power of a sucker!

4) Bring bug spray and sunscreen. I can't even begin to explain how important this can be. If bugs are all over you (which is a place they like to be when you are anywhere outdoors) it becomes hard to stay posed and smile. Also, it has been my experience that even if you think you will be in shade for most of the session, the sun will sneak its UV rays through the trees and you will go home with a sunburn. Personally I'd rather be safe than sorry. :)

5) Go to the bathroom before you leave. I know this one may seem obvious and a little silly, but I've seen a few people do the "potty dance" before because they didn't like the nasty public restrooms or forgot to go before they left. Enough said there.

6) Don't be afraid to plan an outfit change. Generally for families or small children I would limit it to one change.  It's nice to have a second option, because sometimes it will happen that you didn't like the first outfit as much as you thought once you see it in the picture. Most chidren, however, will not last longer than one change, and toting around multiple outfits can get tiring.

7) Obviously a lot of these are things you bring. Backpacks are great for getting them all together. It's easy to access everything, but you can toss it aside quickly to hop into the picture. It also balances out the weight a little so you can move around easier. Small suitcases with wheels can sometimes be ok for larger groups but tend to be a little excessive.
Overall, these are some of the basics I have come to find helpful (even as the photographer) to keep the session running smoothly for everyone.
Do you have any suggestions from your own experiences? Feel free to share them below for everyone to make use of...

Monday, September 7, 2009

The new deal is Ideal...

At Ideal we strive to provide you with the highest quality portraits, prices you can afford, and top notch customer service tailored to your individual needs.  This is a promise that we take very seriously and literally.  We offer great perks every day like free retouching and enhancements and will travel to whatever destination you would like to be your photographer.  This includes setting up studio style portraits in the comfort of your own home - no hauling the kids and the bags and forgetting things.  We cover all types of portrait occasions such as families, maternity, babies and children, seniors, events, concerts and gigs, weddings, and more!
We do all of this because our passion is the photography, not money, and as long as our day to day bills get paid we are happy to go the extra mile for you.  We hope that you will follow this blog for updates, helpful tips and advice, special discounts, and just plain for fun!

Feel free to contact us anytime we can help you!