Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why I'm Different . . .

Why I'm Different
By Melissa Brewer

Owner, Operator and Photographer
Snapped With Love Photography
Wall Candy Photography

In today's market, you can virtually find a photographer lingering around every corner. It has been a hobby for some, for some it has been a long time professional goal or a dream that has blossomed over the years. And for some it has been an instant career choice or switch that has been made to accommodate a rough economy. I know there is a choice.... a vast choice in a huge pool of people who are all doing the same thing.
Or are they??

I graduated from Texas A&M in 2002 with a Bachelor's of Science in Photojournalism with a minor in Anthropology. I was a photographer for the Battalion at Texas A&M. I started on an old Chinon Ce-4 35MM Manual Camera, burning through endless rolls of TMax 400 film trying to get the settings right and learning to develop my own prints in the dark room. Do you have any idea how many chemicals I spilled on myself trying to load film onto the spool in complete darkness?? I ruined just has many rolls, shaking the canister too much or not enough.... Then let's not forget the countless hours you can spend enlarging and processing and making prints.
Further down the road I began shooting a manual Nikon, often carrying both cameras with me- one for color and one for black and white film. I began taking on small projects for the paper, then moving to bigger projects and doing shoots for people for practice. My fiance and my cat were my two most popular subjects. About a year before I graduated I was asked to do my first wedding. I was terrified. So, on Mother's day in 2001 I walked backwards DOWN the steps of the administration building at Texas A&M carrying TWO cameras shooting a picture perfect bride as she made her way down the steps. I prayed I wouldn't fall. It all went well and every picture I took that day was awesome. 2 weeks later, I got a call for another wedding. And so it began.

Toward the end of Graduation I began exploring the possibilities of my career. I spoke with and had an informal interview with National Geographic. It was my dream. But so was marriage and a family and taking a position working 4-6 months on and 4-6 months off seemed to be a really bad idea. My family was more important, so I opted to not pursue that path. Over the next few years I worked random positions here and there, in accounting and IT and recruiting. Still pursuing photography on the side and as a hobby. After the birth of my second child, and coping with a life threatening illness and nearly losing her I was laid off. Some serious soul searching led me back to my true love and here I am today.
The Owner of Snapped With Love Photography
and Wall Candy Photography.

When you hire me, you are getting so much more than someone that takes pictures. I had the advantage of learning the old fashioned way, and as nice as my DSLR's are..... there is something simply fabulous about the medium of a true black and white darkroom print.
My company is called Snapped With Love for a reason. I love what I do, with a passion and fire that runs so deep I actually feel like I see life through a camera lens 100% of the time. I see beauty in all things. Perfection is not always having every hair in place and your make up perfect. Beauty and perfection come from within.
I establish relationships with my clients, learn whats important to them, what makes them happy and I use that to capture true beauty and personality in every image I process.

When you hire me, you get ALL of me.

I become friends with every single one of my clients. You are no longer a business contact, you are a friend and I hope to keep you for life.

We are very involved in our church. First and foremost I owe my talents and successes to God and because of that He comes first.

I am a wife, and I have two small daughters who keep me very very busy.
I clean my own house, mow my yard myself and manage the household.

I don't have people working for me. I don't have interns or anyone doing my editing. As nice as that would be, I am too concerned with the quality of my work to hand it over to anyone else. I hand edit each image, I don't have a program that does it all. I color correct, remove blemishes, stray hairs (if deemed necessary), smooth complexions, brighten eyes, remove background distractions etc.... all by hand. One image at a time. It takes time. Sometimes during busy season it can take longer than expected. I just ask you have patience. I personally believe the time I spend editing each image makes me stand out among others. I want to give you a perfectly flawless product sometimes this takes time.

"Picture Day" is a much anticipated, event. Meticulous preparations are made. Clothing is matched, smiles are practiced, bribes are made. You do your best to make it happen. Picture day is often dreaded. It should NEVER be that way. I aim to make it fun and fabulous. I hope you leave your shoot feeling happy and full-filled. I hope the anticipation of seeing your preview online feels like a kid on Christmas Morning :)

I also have to admit... looking at what the "market price" is for photographers, when you hire me, you are getting a heck of a deal.
  • You will get an online preview within 72 hours of your shoot. At LEAST 10 images....
  • You will receive a CD with 35-40 mages on it for a standard session. For a wedding you will receive a lot more.
  • Each image will be retouched by hand as previously discussed. You can get a copy of the Print Release if needed to print your images.
  • I have printing services available at VERY reasonable prices.
  • I believe in Quality and Quantity. I want you to get the most for your money and time. I don't believe ANYONE gets anywhere by being greedy and I do believe that if you are generous in your efforts you will reap the benefits later in life. Will my prices ever go up?? Yes. But I can promise you I will never overcharge. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did that.
If you have an idea, a pose you MUST have or a location you have been dreaming about for years, let me know... I will try anything for a great photo, and am willing to travel nearly anywhere :) Bring me your idea and I can almost always accommodate your needs. I am always up for a challenge and love new ideas!

Please understand, busy season is every season, EXCEPT January and February. I am usually booked up 2 months in advance on weekends. I usually have a handful of weekday spots available if I can accommodate you that way. Please don't wait till the last minute to try and schedule. I am only human, and I am only me and I can't overbook!!! If you want to book a session, call ASAP and get it done!!! :) I do have wait lists for certain days, in the event of a cancellation you will be notified.

On occasion, balancing it all feels like too much. But I would not change a thing. I am blessed each and everyday by my family and friends and my clients. Nothing thrills me more than bringing joy to someone by capturing a perfect photograph for them. This is why I ALWAYS have my camera on me. Even at the grocery store.
You never know when the perfect moment will be. :)

I hope this little blurb gives you more insight into ME and why I am doing what I do and why I love it so so much.

Thanks for Stopping by ~ Melissa

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Melissa, you are absolutely amazing in all that you do! I look forward to many years of fabulous photography to come! You are in inspiration to us all!