Prout Portrait Studio » Simply the best

As promised, here are the sneak peeks from this year’s Spring Minis!

One question I get asked every single year is – “What animal are you going to be using?” and my answer for the last few years has been “no animals”. There is a good reason! Check this out:http://www.southernbellestudios.com/blog/2012/2/bunnies-and-chiclets-and-children-oh-my
Plus, this year I have decided to keep on trend with my “less is more” vision and kept things very simple and I LOVE THE RESULTS. What do you think?

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  • March 3, 2015 - 3:00 pm

    Marcelle Raphael - Great job getting the word out about not using animals in Easter photography. These works, without the props, are even more stunning!ReplyCancel

Over the weekend I was a vendor at the Here Comes the Brides Bridal Show at the Soaring Eagle Casino. This wasn’t technically my “first” show, I have had booths at county fairs and small venues, but this was my first major show. I was impressed!

I’m so glad I participated in this show as I learned a few things and I thought I would share with my fellow business owners and clients!

1. As a vendor, donate items to be included in the grab bag. For this particular show, the first 100 brides got a grab bag and they were lined up at the door an hour in advance to get one! The thing is, as a business owner, you need to be a bit creative. Giving away 100 gifts can get pricey, and you don’t want to do just any ol’ thing that is going to get tossed in the trash can. Think about all of the trinkets you have acquired from local businesses… do you run to your junk drawer (everyone has one!) and check out your stash of pens when you need to hire a professional? Do any of you really use those thin weak magnets on your refrigerator? I ended up donating $1 scratch offs and attached instructions to contact me if the ticket was a winner. I gave away a prize to each winner. Fun for me, fun for you! Who doesn’t like a scratch off?

2. Truffles. Seriously! I made truffles to have at my booth instead of mints or candy and they were a huge draw! So many people stopped to grab a truffle and somehow that translated into talking about the truffles, then talking business. Which is the point as a vendor. Magic truffles! Message me if you’d like the recipe!

3. If you are a bride attending a show, bring pre-printed labels with your name, contact info, and your wedding date. It was so helpful when I was talking to brides and could just grab a label. Plus, it saves you from repeating the same information over and over!

4. At one point, one of the heads of the show was speaking on stage and she said something that really stuck with me. She was telling brides about how the vendors at the show are the real deal. They are legitimate, established business owners who have experience and treat their clients with care. After all, they have paid to be there, to cater to you! Photography is such a saturated market, but it’s kind of like this: a little car and a limousine are both vehicles, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing. One may cost more than the other, but there are reasons behind that. You want to be sure you’re hiring a true skilled professional and you’re likely to find that at a larger show.

5. As a vendor, walk around and make friends! Pass out business cards, take business cards, and introduce yourself. You can make some wonderful connections with other local business owners that may lead to something great down the road. It’s so awesome to have friends in the same industry as you.

6. If you are going to donate any prizes for a drawing or have a drawing at your booth, be sure you are giving away something that brides actually want. They also paid an entry fee to come see you, so treat them right! Who knows, you may gain a lifelong client. Don’t try to “hook” them with a prize that has tons of strings attached. Plus, it feels good to just do something nice for someone!

7. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who stopped at my booth but I truly enjoyed speaking with every single one. I loved hearing about their wedding plans! As a vendor, I now know how important it is to stand the whole time and smile! Be approachable! Don’t hide behind a table.

8. Don’t wear heels. Just don’t. Especially if you are 8 months pregnant. Bring water to drink. My throat was so sore from all the talking!

9. Image is important. You are your brand. It speaks volumes to me when dealing with a professional service if things are clean, and well put together. That goes for people too! I expect to see someone well dressed, courteous, and professional. Your booth should also be appealing to the eye and inviting!

10. If you are a bride, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and not just about price. Some of my favorite questions were the specific ones such as “are you insured?” or “how many images will I get?”. When you just ask “how much is it?” you’re not getting a clear idea of what it is you are actually paying for. Also, any photographer worth their weight will gladly schedule a consultation with you and go over any concerns you may have.

You would think as a photographer I would have remembered to bring my camera to take photos of my booth…buuuuuut I didn’t. So, cell phone it is!

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  • February 17, 2015 - 4:55 pm

    Belinda - Awesome post! I have avoided bridal shows for a long time after hearing reviews from other photographers referring to them as a pool of budget brides. One question for you, as a first time bridal show participant how much money did you invest in putting your booth together?ReplyCancel

    • February 17, 2015 - 5:26 pm

      admin - When everything was all said and done, I probably invested about $1,500 total. That includes the booth rental, examples (prints/albums), literature, raffle gifts, gift bag gifts, and decorations/supplies. Next time I won’t have as much invested as I’ll already have most stuff I need.

      I was out of budget for a few of the brides, but most were very receptive to my prices. I even booked a couple consultations! Plus, I made it a point to speak with as many brides as I could. I did not, however, hand out my literature willy nilly. I only gave it out to those who I spoke to that seemed legitimately interested. Reason being that my welcome packets cost me about $6 each and I would probably die a little inside to see it in the trash can!ReplyCancel

  • February 17, 2015 - 6:47 pm

    Allie - Great tips, and awesome booth! I’ve never been able to bring myself to commit to a show, but it sounds like this was a great investment (and it shows that you took the time to do it right).ReplyCancel

  • February 19, 2015 - 3:12 pm

    Sarah - Wonderful post!! And it was fun to read. Thanks for sharing all these bits of wisdom!!ReplyCancel

  • February 20, 2015 - 3:27 am

    Kim - Awesome post! I’m kind of scared to commit to doing a bridal show but if I ever did I would definitely hit this post up again for tips!!! And the truffles!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • February 21, 2015 - 6:52 pm

    Jesamin - Your Booth looks pretty awesome!! I hope you are able to get a great ROI from your display and presence. xoReplyCancel

It’s so hard to believe this little girl is 1 year old already! It wasn’t that long ago that I was taking her newborn photos and oohing and aahing over her thick dark hair… what a difference a year makes!

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  • January 28, 2015 - 2:05 pm

    mary - What an absolute doll. I love her little outfits and your snowflake set. I would want every image blown up on my walls!ReplyCancel

  • January 28, 2015 - 7:45 pm

    Kristy Berends - Love these! She is such a sweetie and I love how clean your backgrounds are – keeping her the focus! Great work!ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2015 - 1:14 am

    Heather Kanillopoolos - Absolutely gorgeous work!! I love the lighting- and how crisp and clear the images are!!ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2015 - 8:25 pm

    Rayan Anastor - Such a sweet little girl and amazing photos of her! I love this age!ReplyCancel

This little man was born to my friends Wendy and Steve on my son’s birthday!  Kaysen slept like a champ but really reaalllly didn’t want me to move his hands or arms! Regardless, we got some gorgeous shots of him and I can’t wait to get the 20×30 canvas his mommy and daddy ordered in! It’s going to be beautiful!2015-01-11_0015PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0016PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0017PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0018PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0019PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0020PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0021PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0022PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0023PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0024PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0025PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0026PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0027PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0028PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0029PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0030PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0031PINIMAGE

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  • January 13, 2015 - 2:29 pm

    Mary - What a beautiful session. I love how you keep things simple and classy. These will be timeless. What a cute baby too!ReplyCancel

  • January 13, 2015 - 6:56 pm

    Anna Sodziak - So precious! the baby looks so comfy and natural. you have a talent lady!ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    Allie - Beautiful baby, and beautiful photos! These will definitely be cherished :)ReplyCancel

The big question I get asked about maternity sessions is “what in the world do I wear?” My answer is, a maternity gown! I have a few in studio, including this beautiful soft pink one that Ciera totally rocked during her session! Huge thanks to my sister in law, Maureen, for making it! You’ve got a beautiful baby in that belly… show it off!

You can also wear your maternity pants and a fitted top, like Ciera did. That works great too!

I’m so excited for Ciera and Troy. They are going to be welcoming their little girl into the world any day now and I think her mommy and daddy are SO ready to meet her! I can tell this is going to be one super adored and loved little baby!2015-01-11_0001PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0002PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0003PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0004PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0005PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0006PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0007PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0008PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0009PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0010PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0011PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0012PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0013PINIMAGE2015-01-11_0014PINIMAGE

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  • January 11, 2015 - 7:21 pm

    mary - Wow I love the maternity dresses. Beautiful mama-to-be too. Great pictures as usual :)ReplyCancel