Wow! What an exciting year 2012 was for Kristi Kruse Photography. I had such a great year and am truly blessed and honored that you trust me in capturing your loved ones. I’ve enjoyed meeting and working with each and everyone of you and hope to see many of you in 2013. I had established a personal goal to photograph twins in 2012 and I’m happy to say I photographed not only 1 set, but 2 sets. Coincidence that the first set was identical twin boys, and the second set identical twin girls. I absolutely loved the challenge (and boy it can be a challenge) but loved the reward of seeing such beautiful images. For anyone who has been to my studio recently you’ll see a large canvas of my first set of twins right as you walk in our house. Along with the twins I got to photography 26 newborns this year. I loved each and every one of their sessions. It completely reminded me that is what I love to shoot most. With that, my goal for 2013 is to shoot more newborns. In order to do that, I’ll have to make a few changes around here…
As many of you already know, this is not my full time job – I do this in addition to my full time job with IBM and being a mom to 2 beautiful girls. While I am thrilled that I had such a busy and exciting 2012, I also learned that I need to slow down just a bit to balance everything out. What does that mean?
There will be a few changes in 2013. I will be lightening my shooting schedule a bit for my family shoots so that I can focus on my newborn work and baby planners. I will still offer family sessions, just not as many. Not only will this help with balancing my work/life, but it also means that I can dedicate more time to workshops and education (there is always something to learn or room for improvement). This means I can become a better photographer and focus more on each individual session to help personalize it and make it “your” session.
There will be some pricing structure changes coming in early 2013. If you haven’t already booked your session for 2013, go ahead and get that on the calendar so you can lock in the 2012 rates! 2013 will be my 2nd full year of being in business, so the pricing I used while building my portfolio needs to change. I know pricing is always a sensitive subject, and I understand completely. Custom photography is an investment. We just had our family pictures taken this fall, and to me it’s a great investment. I love being able to see the beautiful portraits of my family all over my walls. To better understand why custom photography can be expensive, I find that a little information can help. Let me just break down SOME of the expenses involved. You can google the cost of custom photography for a much more extensive and detailed list. These are some of my main expenses though.
Taxes – First of all since I am a taxpayer 30% of what I charge goes right to good old Uncle Sam.
Equipment – $3500 camera, $4000 worth of lenses, studio lighting etc
Computer equipment – Macbook Pro, external monitor, external hard drives for backups, software (photoshop, lightroom)
Education – workshops/classes run from about 300 – 1200.00
Business expenses (business cards, thank you cards, packaging, marketing materials etc, permits, business licenses)
Props – Many of you come to me because you love my props. I love my props. Those props however are not cheap. Say the average newborn hat is 25.00 (and that’s low – some of the fan favorites like the monkey hat are 50.00 each!!!). The adorable Very Hungry Caterpillar set that you all love – 85.00. Then the blankets – those run about 20.00 – 70.00 each. Headbands, buckets, holiday items etc. You can see it all adds up quickly. While I continue to look for new and unique props for your loved ones, I will be working on keeping my prop stash under control in 2013 =) Some of you have seen my studio and stash, you know I have an addiction.
Gas – driving to and from sessions
Insurance – equipment and liability insurance
Web site hosting/maintenance
CPA – Someone needs to make sure everything is being done correctly and legally.
Time. While you can’t really put a price tag on this one (well technically you can if you want to add up everything and divide it by hours per session), this one is most important. Time spent with each session is more than you might realize. There are emails, phone or in person consults, preparing for session, setting up/cleaning up for newborn sessions, actual session time, editing time, placing orders, packaging orders, delivering orders etc. All time that I am not spending with my family.
I love my clients. I especially love my newborn clients. It is my passion. I feel it is where I do my best work. I want to focus on it and continue to do it, but in order to do that I also need to make sure I’m covering my expenses. In order to help my existing clients to be able to return to me, I’m also setting up a great referral program in 2013. You’ll be able to earn free prints, session credit, or even a complete session by referring your friends and family to me. So if you know someone who is expecting, send them my way and make sure to let me know you sent them! Referrals are almost 90% of my business so I want you all to know and feel appreciated!!
Thank you again for an amazing 2012, and here’s to hoping 2013 will be equally amazing – if not better! Happy New Year!!
And because what’s a post without a picture, here are a few of my favorite newborn images from 2012. I wish I could have included them all!