November 4, 2009

Facebook for Photography by Kat

I usually read a whole bunch of photography and photography business related blogs in my "spare" time, and while doing that tonight I read a post that went like this: "oh hey btw I have a Facebook Fan Page for this photography dealio, thought I should share that." and I went...OH RIGHT!

So on THAT note: Photography by Kat, me, this blog, has a Fan Page on Facebook. Did you miss the link? Here did you miss that link? How about Now?

Join! I know you want to!

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program...or Phillies/Yankees game.

GO PHILLIES! (Yes, I'm remaining optimistic until the VERY end).

October 28, 2009

The Johnson Family

So I spent sometime tonight creating a template for laying out a bunch of images as one. Not sure if I'm 100% satisfied with the template yet...but I wanted to at least share the Johnson Family (well at least the siblings) pictures.


It's been a LONG while since I've posted anything to my blog..not that I haven't had ANYTHING to post to the blog, in fact things have been so busy between my day job, photography gigs and then trying to have a personal life in all of this that when it comes to updating the blog...well it just has fallen a bit by the wayside.

Part of my problem is that it's SUCH a pain to add a bunch of new pictures to the blog that I feel lately like I can't be bothered. My #1 wish list item for the Blogger setup is that they would improve the picture settings. I'm also waiting for my website company to add in a blog service that would help with the SEO on my site. It would be nice to have my blog traffic automatically push through my site and vice versa.

In the meantime I've been meaning to create a template in Photoshop so I can quickly comp together several images with Photography by Kat branding ...would make sharing images easier as I can then just upload one picture to the blog ...and could also easily send these to clients to have as an email teaser. There's also good things to be had there with use for future promotional items.

On the business side of things, it's really taken off. I've seen a large number of bookings come in since the start of August, and it makes it overwhelmingly difficult to stay focused at the day job when really what I'd rather be doing is editing or shooting pictures. I have a steady stream of bookings until early December, and I'm considering tossing in a Christmas portrait session blitz for the month of November. ..the question I really that insane? How crazy do I want to be?

Wedding bookings for 2010 are starting to come in, there have been both ups and downs here. It's such an emotional roller coaster thinking you're going to get a booking and then having them book elsewhere...I'm hoping as things get busier that this becomes less of a derailing thing...the having a potential client book elsewhere... and more like a water drop off a duck's back.

As I'm writing this I'm realizing how lucky I am, how far things have come in almost a year...this isn't a state of the blog address...that's slated for early December; and just how much I've grown in my business and photography skills. There have been MANY learning points (you might also call them mistakes, learning points feels a bit gentler) and that's good. Hard Work U might be in Missouri, but I'm definitely enrolled in the distance ed program.

My first ad is slated to come out soon, I think in a month? and I'm hoping that generates a lot more buzz and business there too.

And as I'm writing this I get a phone call from some business development avenues that I'm pursuing. This also means I'm at the start of doing market research and on my way to creating a business plan. When I say there is a lot coming down the pipelines...there's A LOT coming down the pipelines. It also means that priorities that I had a year ago at this exact time are VERY different to the priorities I have now. I feel like the Goldilocks of business growth: some days it feels like things are going too fast, other days it's just right and still others it's just not fast enough.

So with all this buzzing around my brain, here are some blog posts I want to make in the next little bit:
-Pictures from Two Trash the Dress sessions
-Pictures from two family and one baby portrait sessions
-Pictures from a Thanksgiving weekend wedding
-Info and pictures about canvas prints
-Info and pictures about albums and guestbooks
-Info and pictures about metal prints (not metallic prints)
-My new client zone
-Decoding photography terms for the non-photographer
-State of the blog address and wrap up of Year 1 of my goal
-Announcement about Year 2 of my goal

...there are probably a lot more posts that need to/will be made as my brain is just buzzing with stuff. There will again be some more business related posts, as that's a huge part of what this time of year brings for me and what I've been obsessing about lately.

I've also been having this huge urge to run out and drop serious coin on some new gear. I'm drooling over a: D700, 70-200 2.8 VRII, 24-70 2.8, 14-24 2.8, 85 1.8, an Epson P3000, and the new Einstein 640 from Paul C Buff. Yeah...they're all fairly big ticket items and all my money is being diverted into other things, like paying bills and what not. Yeah that was a complete aside, as I was thinking I was wrapping up this long post, but then got distracted by my daily thought of "It'd be nice to have {insert product name here} ...sigh".

Okay really, that's it for now. Head out of clouds. Back down to earth. Time to get real work done.

More soon...

September 17, 2009

Thank you Mr McNally

I've never met the guy but in some ways he's like my photographic Messiah... yeah a little sacreligious I guess.

Was having one of those "HOLY COW I CAN"T TAKE A PICTURE TO SAVE MY LIFE!" moments today and it was if Joe knew it.

Read through his blog post today and came across this gem (which for anyone who follows Joe's weird, wonderful and wild photographic ramblings knows...he's got a lot of em):

"There are times I am so completely bereft of inspiration and ideas I say to myself, “I wonder what a really good photographer would do right now?” I’m not kidding, or being self effacing. There are some jobs I just feel like I’m standing there, the last human in a horror movie, and the zombies are closing in.

So you have to be confident, to be sure. (Or project confidence even while inside your head the insecurity meter has gone to DefCon Five.) But a healthy dose of anxiety and self doubt (”I’m using a 200–maybe I should go wide?”) are also important tools in your bag. Causes you to double check yourself and remember how fragile photographic success is, and while your last frame was Fat City the next one might be a ticket to Pismo Beach. The fact that you rarely have THE answer is a good one to remember. No need to focus on it to the point of paralysis. Just remember it. You are only as good as your last job. The next one may just eat your lunch and your soul."

It helps to know that a successful photographer who's been shooting for 30+ years still gets the same feeling that I have today.


Ready, Set, Confidence, Shoot!

More soon...

September 9, 2009

For Anna & Adeeb

May your lives be full of love and happiness.


August 24, 2009

Testing Light Tests Friendships

Okay they don't really test friendships...well actually maybe after all the pics I'm posting of him, they might test the friendship, but I got together with my friend Mike to basically fool around with lighting and grip gear and shoot a pile of lighting tests. I had a Profoto 7a pack for the weekend and two heads (lighting heads that is) to play with and pooled that with Mike's Elinchromm Ranger and a whack of Pocketwizards. Did I mention that Mike is a griphead? Dude has more stands, booms, arms, and clamps than anyone I know (he doesn't have a Justin Clamp yet, so I have him beat there!).

So we filled a good chunk of one of the patios at his place with our assorted kits, cameras, lights and gear and just fired away. (I forgot to grab a shot of all the stuff lying out everywhere. It looked like a studio had thrown up on the patio).

Really we're not going for award winning cover shot material in anything, and we're not TOO worried about composition or "getting it right," it's basically just a time to exercise our photoing muscles and see what we come up with, or how to solve a problem.

Then the fun part comes when I take the pictures home and I get to test out different editing looks. Exhibit A: Mike's nice guy edit. Exhibit B: Mike's "Not With My Daughter You Don't" edit

If you're of the photography group who follows/reads this bog, try a deconstruct of this picture below. I'd like to see what everyone comes up with. Sorry no prizes or any added incenvtives, just some fun reverse engineering a shot.

This one took me a bit to figure out setup wise. Wanted to pick up some of the texture and the conture of the bench behind Mike. I'm fairly happy with it.

Of course, after a long session like that, you need some reward...nothing like some dinner, beer, and of course my Starbucks.

August 21, 2009

Anna and Adeeb's Wedding!

Anna and Adeeb's wedding day was pretty much the hottest, most humid summer day Toronto has had this year. At 12:30pm, when I arrived at the Old Mill Inn to take pictures of Anna and her girls getting ready, it was already too hot to move, which meant it was even hotter out when Adeeb, Anna and I went outside to do their portraits.

Anna looked gorgeous in her stunning red dress and it was so much fun hanging out with her and her girls while they got ready.

It was so good to see both a couple and a family that lived their faith, and loved each other. Thanks Anna and Adeeb for having me be part of your day! It brings me great joy to know both of you!

August 20, 2009

Partnership: Bella's Bon Bons

It is with a lot of excitement that I announce the partnership of Photography by Kat with Bella's Bon Bons.

A Brampton, ON based company offering trendy and ready-made bonbonnieres, scrumptious and intricately detailed edible goodies and gifts and accessories for every occasion.

Carolynn T. Gomez, the owner of Bella's Bon Bons, named the company after her daughter Ava Isabella and started it after she recognized a need to work from home, reduce the stress brought on by her job as the owner of DejaVu Events. Bella's Bon Bons allows her to combine her love for special events, her background and education in business management and her creative talents.

So how does this parternship benefit you?

Customer's of Photography by Kat qualify for a 10% discount on their orders with Carolynn and Bella's Bon Bons! Pretty yummy isn't it!?

August 18, 2009

Anna and Adeeb's Mehndi

On Friday night, I was honoured to photograph Anna & Adeeb's Mehndi ceremony in Mississauga, a ceremony that was full of time honoured traditions, wonderfully scented jasmine, delicious food, beautiful colours, deep-rooted faith, and loving family. The above picture is what I assumed happened at a Mehndi ceremony. A bunch of ladies having their hands and feet hennaed. Yup, definitely not, but I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Adeeb's face glowed when he caught sight of Anna. In that moment, he was the happiest man on earth. It was difficult to not get caught up in the excitement and joy of this night!

One thing that I wish I could share with you is how intoxicating the jasmine were that Anna wore. Everywhere she went, the scent filled the room, and Anna was blown away that her groom's family had brought her real jasmine to wear.

This family is deeply religious. You could see that they lived their faith. It was visible in how they treated me, how they interacted with each other, how they spoke and how they conducted their day. I must admit that I'm ignorant to a lot of things outside of my Christian faith, but I enjoyed seeing how prayertime was incorporated with the evening's events.

August 7, 2009


I'm in Moncton, New Brunswick tonight and had an interesting moment visiting an indoor amusement park after I grabbed a bit to eat. The park was practically empty save for a few kids and adults enjoying the rainless indoor fun.

Vintage carousels, and swings were mostly empty and the garish fun of such a place was the perfect setting for me to wander with my camera....myyyyy camera.....???? ohhhhh Crap... left it in the hotel room when I decided I was going to leave my shoulder bag there for the evening since we were "Just going out for dinner"... sigh. PERFECT and I MEAN perfect photo opportunity GONE. I was annoyed with myself. Still am.

One thing I SHOULD know by now having spent many a day/evening hanging with my friend Mike and having him TELL me the same thing is: "NEVER GO OUT WITHOUT YOUR CAMERA!!!" yeahhhh...fine. You win.. Lesson learned... stupid me.

Now I DID however get some really great pictures of the world's longest covered bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick. Plus some really fantastic portraits of my sister, and my parents...and the obligatory "WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE WE NOW!" Christmas portrait. This year we've decided to shoot several of these on the trip and then we'll all pick the best one (can you tell my family is obsessed by design, details and good imagery?... we must all work in a magazine or something.)

Hoping to get some great scenary shots tomorrow as we cross from New Brunswick into Prince Edward Island on Confederation Bridge. We're definitely stopping to snap some pics there!

More soon...

August 5, 2009

I'm off again!

It's been a summer of never being home...which I'm not complaining about, but I've been on and off the road since early June. Makes for exciting, adventurous times! But I'm having a little trouble getting my bags packed tonight.

Early tomorrow morning I'm heading off on a roadtrip to PEI for a day job related trade show. This time my camera is coming along (so I hope to have some cool pictures from the road to share with you all) and a massive stack of magazines and books that I've been meaning to read.

The very same day I'm back from PEI I've got a crazy schedule full of photo shoots starting with a Mehndi ceremony for Ana and Adeeb's Wedding!

By then I'm hoping to also have some albums, and cards ready to share with ya'll AND some announcements about some fall photography incentives...just in time for the Christmas season. Yes, I said it CHRISTMAS season! I aren't even back in school yet.

But, enjoy the summerish weather while we've still got it, and I promise a more photographers related post in the next little bit, haven't really done one of those in a while.

More soon...

August 3, 2009

Photography by Kat on Mississippi Photographers Showcase!

A few days ago I was contacted by Tanya Grossie of Mississippi Photographers Showcase to see if I'd let her feature my work on their blog. Of course I said "YES!" any chance for free promotion and networking with others in the industry through the web I'm going to jump at. Besides good mojo always comes back around to you.

Take a look at Tanya's post here

Thanks so much Tanya for supporting Photography by Kat and for the link love!

More soon...