I cannot believe that I have been photographing this little guy for 3 years. It seems like just yesterday that we did his newborn session. And, now he has a little sister! Happy birthday, big guy!
Welcome to Pictures by Whitney! My name is Whitney Marzullo. I am a custom newborn & family photographer based in Southern York County, Pennsylvania. I love everything photography, but my passions are newborns & families. I love photographing families & watching them grow. I believe that you don't need to have a special occasion to have a session, because every day is a good day to capture a smile!
So, we’ve figured out the awesome location for your session. The next question asked is “What should we wear?” Ugh! It is fun for some and scary for others.
Here are some guidelines I will share with you, but there are no hard and fast rules. Pick a color palette or color combination. Your son has a plaid shirt that you love? Pick the colors from that shirt to pick out colors for everyone else. I usually tell people to avoid white shirts or black shirts for everyone; however I love the black, gray, white combination. Do you Love the color blue? How about everyone wears a different shade of blue? Navy, baby blue, white, blue and white stripe . . . and maybe a pop of some color? Whatever you decide, wear something that makes you feel good and you find comfortable in because it will show through in your pictures.
Need a little more help? I love Pinterest for clothing and color combinations. I have created a Pinterest Board to share with you with some clothing inspiration, you should check it out.
You probably think I am going to talk about real estate, but I am going to talk about picking the best location for a session done outdoors. A little bit ago, I had a client who told me she loved sun-drenched pictures. We picked a location and a time for the session. The start time of the session was a little bit later in the morning than I would prefer, but she said she loved sun-drenched pictures, so I wasn’t too concerned. Some of my favorite pictures in her gallery were the sun-drenched, soft and dreamy pictures. A few of them had a little bit of sun flare, too. She didn’t like those pictures at all. She even asked me to edit out the sun flare. I took a few lessons away from that session. It’s all about learning and improving, right?
This is hands down one of my favorite locations. When I started out years ago, I never ran into anyone at this location. But, the word is out and I see more and more photographers using this location. Can’t blame them. It has a little bit of everything.
Picking a location is one of the most important things when planning the session. If you pick a location because it has special meaning to you, you need to consider the time of day and the time of year you are doing your session to make the most of your session. There are some locations that I prefer to shoot in the morning and there are some locations that I prefer to shoot in the evening. There are some locations that make better Spring/Summer locations and some that make better Fall locations. Do you like wooded locations? How about an open field? Or, what about a playground because your kids just aren’t the kind of kids who like to sit still and are on the go? What about a place that has a pond or stream? Do you need to pick a location that works with your kid’s schedule? Do you prefer mornings or evenings? Ideally, outdoor sessions are best done within 2 hours of sunrise and 2 hours before sunset. Do you need a place with fewer distractions? I love shooting during the Fall, but that can also be tricky. I often will tell clients that even though a location may be picturesque, it doesn’t necessarily make it an ideal location for a portrait session. I know it sounds like a lot to consider, but I’ll do my best to help you pick the ideal spot.
Every once in a while I get an email or phone call from someone who wants to schedule a mini-session. They don’t need a lot of pictures or they don’t want to spend the money on a full session, but the problem is that you don’t really schedule a mini-session unless I am offering one. I can appreciate that not everyone needs a full session and I can appreciate a good bargain which is why I love a mini-session. Unlike a full session, a mini-session is planned by me (some for family portraits and some for a holiday) on specific dates and locations, and sometimes for a specific theme.
Bottom line . . . are you going to raise the price? The answer is no. I haven’t raised the price for 2 years and I am not ready to raise the price this year either. Not to get all business on you, but I do need to increase my bottom line and improve my efficiency. So, I have tweaked the mini-session that benefits everyone.
So, here it is-
The new mini-session is a 15 minute session and your images are available to you via digital download (usually 8-12 images). There are no more prints or products offered with a mini-session. It doesn’t really get more simple. Although one of my favorite parts of my business is the cute packaging, it just doesn’t make good business sense for a mini-session (all that money I spend on CDs and packaging and postage really add up). Also, with the new ordering website, you get your images that much faster and who wouldn’t want to get their images faster?! As an added bonus, there is more time to offer more mini-sessions and sessions, because last year I had to turn some people away and I don’t like to say no to anyone. So there you have it . . . the mini-session makeover.
One of the things I did when I started my business 5 years ago was a discount policy for clients who came back to me for future sessions and a discount for clients who referred new clients to me. Last year, I discounted over half of my sessions. So when I sat down to look at what was working for me, what wasn’t working for me and what I could make work better . . . I decided a new client loyalty and referral policy would work better for me. As a one woman show, it helps for me not to have to keep track of all those discounts. And, since I was taking away the client loyalty discount, because not everyone will win a free session, I opted not to do a price increase on most types of sessions.
But, I still want to show my appreciation to my clients (and future clients) so I still want to do something. For all those clients who refer a friend, your name is entered into a drawing for a free session; and, when you schedule your own session, your name is entered to win a free session.
Burlap and Bunnies Mini-Sessions | Southern York County Pennsylvania Newborn and Family Photographer
Just had to share a few pictures from the Burlap and Bunnies Mini-Sessions from this morning. I am so ready for Spring! Getting ready for this mini-session really made me excited for warmer weather and greener grass and flowers and birds chirping . . .
This was a fun family newborn session. It was one of the coldest days of the year, but it was warm and toasty in the studio. We took a lot of pictures, and it was hard to pick just a handful of pictures to share from their session because we got some family pictures, some individual pictures of big brother and baby, and a few of mom and dad, too.
I can’t believe that I am celebrating 20 years of marriage. It has been a lot of hard work to stay married this long, and it has also been pretty dam wonderful.
I often see posts in my Facebook feed people who proclaim they are lucky to have married their best friend. I did not marry my best friend. I married the love of my life.
Our relationship has very similar qualities I share in my relationships with my best friends, but he is my husband not my best friend (kind of like I am not your best friend I am your mom mindset that I have with my kids.) I think our partnership is a good one, but it does not serve the same purpose as my best friends.
With my best friends, I share a history. A history made up of surviving high school and college, dating and heartbreak, road trips and late night phone calls. I continue to make new friends that I don’t share the same history, but we still have our adventures and inside jokes and support for each other. My best friends- old and new- are the ones that call bullshit on me. They get pedicures with me. We talk about girl stuff like being a mom and a wife, and who you’d leave your husband for in your fantasy life . . . Ryan Reynolds I am patiently waiting for you. They let me be myself because you can’t always be yourself in the real world. We complain about our husbands (and in some instances ex-husbands) and our children without the need to fix something because sometimes we just need to vent (outside of social media). And, they understand that we are all busy and we don’t have the energy for those late night phone calls right now. I know that if I needed them, I could call them and they’d be there for me no questions asked in a way that a friend would be there for you (because they know if I am asking for help that I honestly and truly need it.)
I love my husband unlike I love my best friends. We’ve experience a mutual growth through some significant life changes that I also share with my best friends, but in a totally different way. And, my husband and my best friends have navigated me through those changes in their own way. I feel so lucky that I have all of them in my life- my husband and my best friends.
When I purchased 12 S. Main Street to be the new home for Pictures by Whitney, it was also an opportunity to take a neglected building and take care of it. Obviously, that means there will be times when a little bit of TLC is required to keep modernize the building, but also preserve the character. Last year, there was a new roof and lots of brick repair and a fresh coat of paint and new gutters/drainage. Many of you know that the heating system is a pre-1929 steam boiler system. Perhaps, not the most efficient heating source. Let’s not forget to mention that it didn’t have central air-condition which is a must have because it is situated on a busy road which means the windows are letting in cool breezes and photographing during those summer months! So, the new heating and air conditioning system are going in this week.
Here is some of that character . . . radiators. Part of the contract includes removing them, but I want to keep them even if aren’t functioning. I guess I am sentimental that way.
Here are a couple pictures of the attic space which has 2 sides to it (as you can see from the doorway in the one picture). The one side is what I would consider partially finished, but the other side is not. That new heating and air-conditioning unit take up a lot of the unfinished space in that little room. It is almost like someone knew at some point in time that that little room would need to be there in the future. I look forward to utilizing the partially finished side because now it will have heat and air conditioning!
And, here is a picture of the pre-1929 steam boiler system. I also told them to let it sit in the basement. I have no plans for the basement, so what would it hurt for the old steam boiler system to sit there and tell a little piece of the the buildings story. And, there are the units sitting out back.
Easter & Spring Mini-Sessions at the Studio | Southern York County Pennsylvania Newborn & Family Photographer
One of the things on my to do list for Pictures by Whitney is to offer more seasonal mini-sessions since I have the studio space to offer them. Who is ready for their close up?
If you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 717-814-9088.