Engagement Session at Pomona College

Engagement session of Scarlet + Mario.

Planning for their June 2018 wedding this couple chose a location near their wedding venue for their engagement photos. Pomona College in Claremont made this engagement shoot a beautiful location to capture the souls of these two love birds.  The architecture of the buildings not only make these picture stand out but it also makes the people feel nostalgic. This was a practice for their wedding day bride & groom portraits and bridal party portraits.

I’m looking forward to being their photographer on their wedding day!

A comparison in 1 year – Mini Sessions

Last year I did over 100 family sessions in November, December, and January.

I signed up for a marketing deal, sort of like Groupon. They set the price and take half the money of who signs up.

After talking to the guy he convinced me that $49 was what all the other photographers have done. He also said because it was so late in the season that I would probably only get 30 people to sign up for a mini photo-shoot for Christmas.  After having no job for a month I agreed, I was desperate.  The day the post went public I had about 70 people sign up on the first day.  My phone was ringing off the hook! The offer stayed up for a week and I had around 130 families sign up for a mini session. Sounds amazing right?! Well let me put a few things in to perspective for you before you think I landed a golden jackpot here.

Math Equation of reality.

130 families x $49 = $6,370

Divide that by 2 (since they took half)

So I get $3185.  They also charged $200 for the service they took that out, which means I got $2,985.

I was completely booked all of November, December, and January…every day of the week shooting and editing.

Now Divide $2,985 by 3 months = $995 per month.

This doesn’t include the deductions of what I had to spend on software to maintain the large amount of clients images to deliver in a professional and organized way.  I also had to buy more equipment to manage this much use on my camera every day.  In addition I sold extra digital images, prints, and products. Not much though.  Most people just wanted a deal, and I don’t blame them.

I worked 18 hours a day-no joke.  It came down to about $2 per hour that I made.  I got really sick, stopped working out, and got totally burned out. Christmas was out of the question for me to enjoy. I was not in the Christmas spirit and I had no time with my boyfriend that I lived with for 3 months solid. Life was stressful at home and on the money end of things.  Somehow I got through it all.

I made a lot of contacts and hopes for future clients with my hard work and dedication to deliver the best product I could to each family.

I created a lot of content. A LOT!

1 year later, with 130 contacts, I offered mini sessions for Christmas again.  This time I offered my regular mini session price with a discount if you bought early.  Out of the 130 contacts I had 10 people sign up.  (3 of the 10 clients were new)  So actually I only had 6 returning clients out of 130.  I had 2 of those families do a full session at regular price.  I ended up making $2475 in just a few weeks and got to take the month of December off and enjoy traveling for the Holidays. I did 8 mini sessions and 2 regular sessions.  I also had time to recover from my foot surgery and get my health back on track.

To sum this up, was it worth it in the end to sacrifice so much 1 year to have a regular life the next year? I’m not sure…but I can say it gave me experience and with that experience I gained a lot more confidence.  I wake up and I don’t dread the day, I look forward to it. I’m being honest. I have had jobs where I wake up in the morning and I just want to call in sick.  With this job, I work when I get sick.  In fact, I worked when I was on crutches! That’s right…I jumped around on one leg to capture photos.  Because I love to work THIS job, and I don’t want to let anyone down.  I’ve made a product that these clients can count on and that meant a lot of sacrifice on my end. They pay the price of quality and I am happy to give them my all.  Not every photographer has to go through this.  I didn’t have to either, but what’s done is done.  I am growing every day, and this year we will see where my business goes. 

 

 

New Year’s Eve in New York City Times Square

This year I was not one of the 22% of people that fall asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve.  I was one of the 1 million + people that was in Times Square New York, watching the ball drop.

No, we did not wait in line.  No, we did not have to suffer in the freezing cold weather all day and night.

       

Yes, we had great connections with even greater company.  Yes, we had access to the streets an average person couldn’t get.

Our friends we met at a wedding invited us to join them on New Year’s Eve in Times Square for an exclusive look at the ball dropping at midnight. Making their own connections to get us in with them, we made it through and had front row seats to a rare occasion. Their stay at the Casablanca Hotel offered a high end 5-course dinner, the 2nd floor pre-party, and then the rooftop access to watch the ball drop at midnight.  We stopped by a Brewery within the barricades of exclusive access and got served right away in a nearly empty restaurant instead of forking up $1,000 for a fancy dinner. My fiance and I then walked to the Rockefeller Center while our friends were enjoying the 5-course dining experience and enjoyed the scene.

We then met with our friends for some toasting in their room and then on the 2nd floor pre-party! Complimentary drinks, dancing, music, and a lively audience made this anticipation for the ball drop even more enjoyable. 

During the waiting of midnight hotel guests were allowed access right under the ball in the streets of Times Square.  We stood in front of the millions of people that waited all day to stand in line and took pictures and danced in the empty street.

While enjoying our view a group of people were dressed in their black tie attire taking pictures as we were.  I glanced over and noticed a man kneeling down on one knee. Just getting engaged a few days before that I knew what was happening and I immediately turned my camera on them. The couple from Texas was truly grateful to have gotten their true reaction of the Times Square proposal on camera from a perspective other than their friends and family filming it all.

As the night went on the time had finally come for us to head up to the rooftop and countdown to the New Year. Our view was spectacular! I felt like my camera wasn’t getting the real feel of what we were seeing in real life. I tried to soak in as much as I could and capture something we would remember for a lifetime together. The countdown began…Five, Four, Three, Two, One…Happy New Year! Everyone kissed and the confetti was released. When I say confetti I mean confetti, like billions and trillions of confetti released in the open land of Times Square. The confetti alone was why I thought it would be worth it to stay up all day and all night in the freezing cold. But I didn’t have to haha.

As we got back to our hotel one of the couples from the black tie party was telling us their story.  She was holding up a large piece of confetti with writing on it. She proceeded to say that her mother found a website that you could submit your New Year’s wish to have written on confetti. They arranged for the confetti with all the wishes to fall when the ball dropped in Times Square. It said that over two tons of confetti would be dropped at midnight.  After being on the roof they went to the ground floor outside and were playing in the confetti and throwing it up in the air.  Her fiance looked down and saw the littlest piece of confetti with writing on it that just happened to be her WISH!! Among a billion pieces of confetti, there was her confetti sitting there right in front of their feet. She even put a smiley face when she submitted it. The couple had gotten engaged on December 26th so naturally her wish really did come true, but to then find that piece of confetti she wrote in Times Square, I think that’s fate.

We were invited to this party by two new love birds, witnessed a love story proposal from one couple, and a confetti love bursting story from another couple, and we just got engaged ourselves! It was a love fest for sure, and a memory I will have forever. I am forever grateful for that. This will be a year to remember for a lifetime, and it started out great!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

ALL IMAGES TAKEN BY LAURA GOUTCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

BIG THANKS TO THE NYPD FOR KEEPING US SAFE!

DAD’s buy this for your wife

Mother’s Day special

For a limited time only this Mother’s Day Special is the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Why? Because flowers die, chocolate gets eaten, and memories last forever.

No need to drag Dad into the picture and include him in another crazy scheduled activity. DAD it’s your time to offer this deal to MOM! I know you’re thinking Dad should be in the pictures, but that’s what Christmas cards are for.

No more excuses about how you can’t schedule Dad into the pictures! Your kids grow up fast and you need portraits of them before they are all grown up!

Offering 30 minute mini session for Mother’s and kids – or kids only. Call today to schedule! Weekend dates are available and weekday mornings. Make this year’s Mother’s Day a forever keepsake!

*This offer is not for a full family session.  Mother’s and kids or kids only. If you would like to include the whole family the price is $450. This is a special for Mother’s Day not for full family sessions. Many Mother’s express to me how hard it is to get their family portraits because Dad is always busy. Most of the time they miss the opportunity because they are just too busy.  This is for Dad’s to buy the special deal and not feel guilty about missing out on the family portraits or having to wait another year. Kids change and grow up in the blink of an eye. If you want your whole family in the pictures I offer family sessions for $450. If you are one of those families that would like to take advantage of the Mother’s Day deal then this is for you. Get your husband to buy you the best gift – or Dad, surprise your wife and get the kids portraits done without her knowing. The pictures can be delivered to her on Mother’s Day! How special will that be?! Call today to schedule an appointment!

 

Bliss of an only child

Dear LG Fans,

How many of you are an only child…or have an only child? There is one thing I’ve noticed about families with only one child and that is this – they are very well behaved! Seriously though they don’t act up and are more likely to listen to their parents than kids with siblings. It seems like as soon as you get one other kid in the mix all hell breaks loose and they have their forever buddy to create mischief with.  It was a bit of a breath taker to photograph families like the Seal family with only one, well behaved, sweet kid.

My favorite part of this session, the eskimo kisses!

family_nov19_001

family_nov19_002

family_nov19_003

family_nov19_004

Mahalo,

lg-logo

Eye of the Beholder

Dear LG Fans,

Many of you experience something completely different than me during my photoshoots. I am experiencing something that I know is a good shoot and my job is to keep my composure and get it done yo. For some of clients, this is not what is going on in reality. In reality their kids are having a meltdown and not listening to anything anyone on Earth is saying. This includes ignoring all bribes that you never wanted to bribe them with in the first place. This also includes your children running as fast as they can away from the photographer-me-but I am in good shape for the most part, so no worries there. When the session is over I know the pics turned out great, but the parents are sitting there grinding their teeth and apologizing for their rowdy kids. No need to worry, Laura’s got your back…because a great session is in the eye of the beholder, which is me, the photographer. Ha-ha!

My favorite thing about this session, the pink boots of course!

family_nov18-2_004

family_nov18-2_001

family_nov18-2_002

family_nov18-2_003
family_nov18-2_005

family_nov18-2_006

Mahalo,

lg-logo

Family from Afar

Dear LG Fans,

Most of us have family that don’t live near us. In fact, some of experience having family from a State away, across the country, or even overseas! Being away from family can be tough as we have all had experience with this. Getting together is important and sending out those family photos has become as important as a visit. The photos are the only thing that connect our families as they grow up, change, and evolve into awesome humans! Meeting in person is a far different experience, but is a necessity when you want to get to know someone for who they really are.  There’s also a good sense of support when you see a person face-to-face, rather than just in a photo or on a screen. We all need support after-all, this world can be scary alone. But with our never-ending busy schedules meeting as often as we want is not always an option, therefore your updated photos can bring a sense of reality to the situation. A photo can make the moment seem real, “I hear her cute little laugh in this picture.” Then your memory floods with sounds, sights, and actions that you had with this person.  What a cool experience to have, right? The Pi-Henderson family can understand this as Joan’s family is in Spain, and Andrea’s family is in Canada. Carlotta is one lucky American girl, and world-wide family traveler!

My favorite thing about this session, the Pajama’s!

family_andrea_008

family_andrea_007

family_andrea_006

family_andrea_005

family_andrea_004

family_andrea_003

family_andrea_002

Mahalo,

lg-logo

 

 

Nice People = Loving my Job

Dear LG Fans,

When you book a session with people you’ve never met you always hope for the best. With the Bradbury family I got just that and more! This family was so nice to me right away and more importantly, they were nice to each other! I can’t tell you how awkward it is to be a part of a family argument, or some type of yelling match. Even if it’s not a loud domestic abuse situation, it’s still not pleasant to be part of-or the reason for it during a photo session. It makes my job much easier when families love each other and get along in the short amount of time we have together.  The twins were very photogenic and willing to come out of their shell and be themselves. I loved the real life capture of this session and will never forget their great attitude.

My favorite part of this session, the oak tree with that light coming through!

family_nov18-1_001

family_nov18-1_002

family_nov18-1_003

family_nov18-1_004

family_nov18-1_005

family_nov18-1_006

family_nov18-1_007

family_nov18-1_008

family_nov18-1_009

family_nov18-1_010

family_nov18-1_011

Mahalo,

lg-logo

%d bloggers like this: