Sunday, October 30, 2011

Great Gift Ideas

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Can you believe Christmas is less than 2 months away?  It seems to arrive quicker each year.  Have you started making your shopping list... figuring out what you're going to get for the people who are special in your life?  I'd love to offer some great ideas, and if I can help you with any of them, please get in touch!
  • Photography by DonnaKay Gift Certificates... perfect for young parents, expectant mom's, teenagers (they LOVE having their photos done!) - actually, photos are perfect for just about anyone!
  • How about gorgeous custom designed Christmas cards to send to those special people in your life?  Not the typical photo cards that are sent every year... but something beautiful and professionally printed.  A typical card that you would pick out at Hallmark would be well over $4 - but you can have custom designed cards made just to your specifications with a family photo or even opt for a few different photos designed into the card... all for around $2 per card.  
  • Family photos...GREAT gifts for grandparents!  They LOVE photos of their kids & grandkids!  But also great to send those friends and family who don't live so close and would love to see how the family has changed since last Christmas.
  • Gorgeous custom Organic Bloom frames!  Great to go along with that custom photography... but if you have other photos (how about the kids school photos?) that you plan to give, how about making them an extra special gift by putting them in one of these gorgeous frames - available in so many colors and sizes.  Photography by DonnaKay is a retailer for Organic Bloom frames, so contact me to get more details.
  • There are many options for custom gifts... if you've had a photo session this year with Photography by DonnaKay you can choose your favorite images and have them made into a custom calendar that is professionally printed... something that would make a perfect gift that will be treasured all the way until next Christmas!  And there are many other custom gift ideas. 
And don't forget those special family get-togethers over the holidays.  It's a GREAT time to schedule a custom photo session to get pictures done with the entire family!  Nothing holds more memories that you will treasure for years to come than photos of the family together.  Please get in touch if you would like to find out more information about scheduling a special session.  We can discuss custom designing the session that would be perfect for you and your family!

Christmas will be here before you know it.  So start making your shopping list soon... and make sure to contact Photography by DonnaKay for help with any of your photography gift needs! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Boundaries in Business??

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Running a business is tough... and this year has seen lots of tough times with starting a new photography business.  It means the world to me to have other photographers, clients and fans from all areas of the world stick along with me on this journey. It has been one decision after another, finding what does work and what just doesn't.  Deciding what kind of photography business I wanted to develop was half the struggle (whether I wanted to be a shoot & burn photographer {no}, studio photographer {no} or my final option to be a Boutique Photographer offering unique custom photography for clients to proudly hang as Wall Art in their homes {YES}.)  Then came the tedious job of setting my prices.  Fortunately I've had some awesome professionals help me with that... giving me advice and guidance, teaching me that there is, afterall, an actual formula set out by the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) to guide with setting proper pricing for your photography business.  And always remembering that I want to retain dignity and integrity in the world of Professional Photographers.  So I painstakingly set my prices by that guide... I didn't look at everyone else's prices and find a happy medium, but I set fair prices to run a Boutique photography business. 

Working with people is tough sometimes...but it is what I love so much, and the reason I went into this photography business.  In running a business I have to understand that things do happen: emergencies come up, minds change, and seriously that hard-to-please person comes along once in a while.  Life has taught me much patience, but life has also taught me the importance of boundaries - and boundaries are important in both personal and business life.  

My prices are not the cheapest.  I will be the first to tell a client that from the beginning.  I put a lot into my business: I use only top-of-the-line equipment (from camera equipment to props), editing software and the best products available.  I take no shortcuts.  I search out unique and special locations, and customize each session to that particular client.  It would be impossible to compare what I am offering a client price-wise to what they would get at Walmart, Sears, Portrait Innovations, JCPenney, etc.  Unique is my personality (I like shoes/purses & clothes that are different from everyone else, I like jewelry that is different from everyone else) so it would only make sense that I would run my photography business to be unique and totally custom.  Boutique.  And I deliver above and beyond every single time for my clients.  So this would be one of my business boundaries: setting the pricing that will work to support what I offer my clients, being clear on my pricing and sticking to it.  If someone comes to me and their budget clearly won't work with what I offer, I will try to find any compromise possible (maybe a mini-session that would work? Saving up for the package they really want just a little further down the road?) - but if there's simply nothing I can offer that will work for them, I will offer them alternative photography options...I'll do all I can to refer them to another photography studio that might suit their budget needs.  And I'll hope that at some point in the future they will still become clients of mine!

Another boundary in my business (and in most businesses that are service oriented) is a schedule.  I respect that clients are most often having to rework their schedules for their photo session.  Many times the client(s) has to take off from work to get the session time that is best for the pictures they are desiring.  I always want my answer to be YES to my clients or potential clients, but the fact is that sometimes the answer has to be NO.  And I have to learn better to feel comfortable with saying "No, I'm sorry... that's not available, that's not an option but let me offer you another option, etc." and move on from there.  And I will trust my talent and my art... I will trust that my clients will continue to share with their friends how much they absolutely loved their experience with me and the products that I provide.  And I will always offer my absolute very best to each and every client.  My desire is that they have the most awesome framed portrait or collection hanging on their wall or Album on their coffee table that is priceless to them for many years to come.  

Boundaries are necessary in all aspects of life... but in my business they are never set selfishly - they are set to offer respect and the very best service to all of my clients. 


Monday, October 17, 2011

And the Winner of the Giveaway is....

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

And the Winner of the Giveaway is....



You won a Free Organic Bloom
mini-frame ornament 
(holds a 3x3 photo) 
AND for the SURPRISE....
I'm also including a $15 iTunes Gift Card OR Starbucks Gift Card (it's your choice!)!

Please send me an email at:
to claim your prizes within 24 hours
and I will send you further information
in a return email!

if you entered the Giveaway... 
and please stick around because
I love giving stuff away!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You have to "LIKE" me if you really like me!

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @ 
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Just when we get used to things one way, they always have to change.  Wow - isn't that just the way it always seems to be?  Now facebook is shaking things up for business fan pages.  If you aren't active with that page ("liking" or commenting) then you will just no longer see that page... which in turn means you may miss something really special on those pages!  I'm getting more active in "liking" or commenting on the pages that I want to continue seeing, because I know that in my busy life it often does prove to be true "out of sight, out of mind."  ..........What can you do?  Go to my facebook fan page Photography by DonnaKay - make sure you have "liked" the page at the top, and then leave a short comment - even a simple "hello" will do... then visit often, click and "like" when you like something or even better leave a comment!

NEXT - I want to remind you of the giveaway that I'm hosting to celebrate that I'm now a retailer for Organic Bloom frames.  I hope you'll read that blog (go ahead and click that link to go straight to the blog to enter!) and see how easy it is to enter to win a free Organic Bloom mini-frame -- and I'm even throwing in a special "extra" surprise in the giveaway!   
  • If you are a client: These frames are beyond beautiful... they come in so many unique shapes, and the color choices are unbelievable!  I can work with you to find the perfect frame to coordinate either alone or in a grouping with several other frames.  With special software we can even take a look at EXACTLY how the grouping you are thinking about would look in your home, and I can even offer you options to consider.   
  • If you are photographer: I would love to talk with YOU about your needs for your own clients, and work with you to supply Organic Bloom frames.  Just give me a call or drop me an email.
Thanks for following my blogs... I hope to hear from you soon!  

AND Click to find out how to ENTER TO WIN A FREE FRAME!!  If you don't want it personally, it would make an awesome gift!  But I bet once you have it in your hands you will fall in love with it - and want more of these gorgeous frames!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

True Love.....

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @
... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

What do you have hanging on the walls in your home?  My home is personal throughout... it's where I spend the most time in my life and I want it to feel comfortable and full of love...true love.  There are pictures hanging on most every available wall, but not all of them are photos.  A lot of what is hanging downstairs is artwork: large water colors, paintings, etc.  Each piece of this art has some special meaning to me.  But then everywhere through my home you will find photos...upstairs they are hanging in groupings all over the place!  There are enough photographs of my kids around my home that you could put them into a large album!  But they make me happy.  Each photo holds a special memory.  


This is a grouping of the beautiful Organic Bloom frames... I would LOVE to help you find a perfect grouping for your home, either for existing photos you have now, or added to a print order from a session with me that we customize just for you.  Either way, you will love having these hanging in your home.  And they come in so many sizes and colors!!  Please contact me if you would like more information.

Look around your home and see what your house says to someone who walks in the first time.   Does your home tell the story of your family - the story of you?  

Please visit my past blog where I'm hosting a giveaway of a mini-frame from Organic Bloom (much like one of the small frames in the picture above) - and it's SO easy to enter!  I would LOVE for you to have a chance to have one of these beautiful frames in your home.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Organic Bloom...YOU can win a FREE ornament mini-frame?

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @ ... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Kensley in a tutu
Sweet Blakely

New ventures are almost always exciting... but it is even better when you continue on that venture and the excitement not only stays but grows!   As I am building my photography business into what I dream it will be I want to offer things through my business that will benefit and excite my clients.  My style is unique and customized to each clients' photo session - and being able to offer frames that are also "not your average frame" has also been very important to me.  So I am so excited to introduce you to what is newly available through Photography by DonnaKay... frames by The Organic Bloom.  They come in funky shapes, all kinds of sizes from the smallest to the largest, and can be ordered in SO many different colors to mix and match so that you can custom design something perfect for your home. 
                                              How special to create a display for your nursery wall with a maternity photo along with photos of your sweet baby... it tells the most precious story!

So when you schedule your next photo session, let's also talk about some gorgeous frames to showcase those captured memories...

Would YOU like to win a FREE Organic Bloom mini-frame ornament?  
 It would be a GREAT gift - or even better to keep for your self!   
And this is an AWESOME gift to win whether you are a Client, a fan or another Photographer!

It is simple to enter: 

  1. Go to Photography by DonnaKay - Click "Like" and leave a message that you are entering to win the FREE Organic Bloom mini-frame ornament (if you already "like" the page, just leave a message on the fb page that you are AAF and are entering to win) and
  2. Click to Follow this blog.  Then leave a comment on this Blog that you have completed steps 1 & 2.   
To enter the 1st time, you MUST do both steps 1 & 2.

If you would like an extra entry (you can have up to 2 entries) then simply share Photography by DonnaKay facebook page as well as this Blog with your friends, and if you even have one friend "like" (for fb) and "follow" (the blog) and leave a message that you sent them then you may enter by leaving another comment for another chance to win (they can also follow the steps to enter if they choose!) - just remember to comment once for a 2nd chance to enter (ex: "your name" is entering for another chance to win the OB frame - friend {include their name} liked fb page/joined to follow blog) -- It's really simple!! 

The Winner will be chosen at random on October 30th and announced on October 31st. ***The date of the drawing has been changed to Sunday, October 16th - with the winner being notified and announced on Monday, October 17th!! 

**This is only applicable for US residents due to shipping costs.  Shipping is FREE to you if you are the winner (it is part of the prize)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @ ... 
a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Change is never easy.  Maybe that statement isn't true for you, but it is very accurate for me!  I love my comfort zone very much, although I am willing to go outside of it when it's necessary.  Obviously it is only natural that as much as I don't like change I would have a tough time implementing it in my business to affect others.  When I first made the decision to start a photography business I knew there was a lot of competition out there.  First problem: I am not a competitive person. that meant I would have to do something a bit different.  So starting out I knew I wanted to develop into a boutique photography business.  Not just the typical photographer, but rather offering something very unique, personal and customized to my clients.  Many people will have an initial thought "why should I pay that much for pictures when I can go to Sears or Walmart for a lot less?"  Simply - they actually can go there if that's where they want to have their pictures taken; they will probably be very surprised when they see what they get for the advertised price and what they actually end up paying in the end; and they will definitely not get the same custom work they would get from Photography by DonnaKay.  

Question: do you keep things that most people would throw away?  Can you believe I have all of the packets of pictures that I bought from Kinderfoto when my kids were little?!  I just recently cleaned that out!  And in most of the packets there was also the receipt showing how much I paid.  I was amazed at the high price I paid back then for very average (most often below average) pictures.  In fact, except that my gorgeous children are placed in those pictures, they look like any other persons pictures from back then. There is no personality, no customization, absolutely nothing unique about them.  THAT is where I offer something very different to my clients.   

What I would implore you to think about is this: How often do you have real professional photographs taken (for whatever reason: family photos, newborn, engagement, Senior photos, etc.)?  My guess is that it's not usually even always a once-a-year thing.  But wherever you are in your life, think of the times that you may already look back and think: wow, I wish I had some really gorgeous photos that captured those memories that could hang in my home as Art or sit on my table to show off in a gorgeous custom Album... images that are of my significant other in my life early on, my children as they went through this stage or that stage, my child as a newborn baby, or (if you are a woman) a collection of photos with my children along with one in the collection of me pregnant?  A story being told right there for you to see every day.  Then try to put a price on how much those memories are worth to you.  

My business is evolving...and the direction it is growing into is a boutique photography business that offers something unique to my clients that they can't get just anywhere.  Whether is it a photo session or a landscape for Wall Art for a home or office, I want my work to reflect special moments that were captured.  I want to decorate my clients' homes with custom Wall Art, Portrait Collections and Albums that hold memories that are exclusive and intimate to them.  So for me to be able to do this effectively I love developing relationships with my clients that will last a lifetime.  I don't want to just be a no-name photographer to my clients, but rather I want to be there to capture the special moments along the journey of their lives, and there is no price on such memories.  When we meet up for another photo session, or just to share a cup of coffee and chat, I am a friend that they are comfortable with and love to share a part of their life...and their children are excited to see me.  Photography to me is very personal.  I am asking my clients to show me a part of their heart and soul to be captured in a photograph in return I share a part of my heart and soul with them as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Change is sometimes tough...but usually necessary

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @ ... 
a way to get to know a little more about me personally...

Who doesn't hate change?  After all, it's kind of scary!  Everyone has been up in the air about the changes on Facebook - including me at times.  I've been accused of being very inflexible when it comes to change in my life at times -- I just like my comfort zone and don't want to feel the growing pains that are so often associated with change.  But that's what it often is... growing pains.  And that is what I am implementing in my business now.  Photography by DonnaKay is going through major growth, and moving up to a new level.  

At the After Dark conference that I attended earlier this week I really concentrated on classes in business.  Everything from Pricing and Knowing WHY for your prices (down to a formula to figure it all out! Who knew?!) to Writing out a Business Plan.  But not a Business Plan to take to a bank for a loan (which if some changes didn't happen soon might end up the case!) - but rather a Business Plan to follow day-by-day in running my business.  To run a business that can grow and support itself.  Honestly, I have felt lost many times since starting my photography business.  I want to be nice to everyone - I LOVE my clients so much!  But then there have been so many times that I have realized I didn't make enough on a Session and Sale to even cover my costs... much less to run a business!  I'm not a big believer in "destiny", but if I was I would say that After Dark was a necessary part of the destiny of Photography by DonnaKay so that this business can really start to grow and flourish.  

I'm sure I have your attention and interest by this time - whether you are another photographer in business (whether you are getting ready to start a business or you are already an established business) or a client... especially if you are a client.   And I can assure you - it's nothing to be afraid of!  But there will be some necessary adjustments in order that I can offer the VERY BEST to all of my clients... changes so that I can sustain and grow in my business to be here for my clients for years to come.  

Two questions that were put in front of me were WHY and WHAT.... WHY do I want to have a photography business?  And WHAT do I want to accomplish - WHAT is my dream for my business - WHAT do I want to offer that makes clients want to come to me, return to me and refer to me.  And as simple as the questions sound, the answers were just as simple and the changes only necessary. 
I trust that my clients love my work enough to follow me to the next level... to evolve with me as my business grows.  In fact, my hope would be that they would be excited as well.  So hold on tight... this journey is taking a leap...I am reaching for the stars and making my dreams come true.  And I am so glad to have you along with me!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maternity Session WINNER!

Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @ ... 
a way to get to know a little more about me personally...


You won the FREE
Maternity Photo Session
(Value of session over $100) 
You will be notified by email in the next 24 hours
and we will begin making arrangements to 
schedule your session just for you!

Thanks so much to the others who did enter...
and to those who were not from my area who entered, 
I was more than flattered!  I wish I could travel to 
each person and do their maternity photos.

A 2nd name was chosen just in case the winner should
change her mind... you will be notified by email with 
an offer for a special session at a GREAT price!