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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How did you find yours? Referral? Yellow pages?<br><br>
Do they come to you or do you go to them? (I suppose it could be either, but what is more common?)<br><br>
Does anyone know of a good one in Portland that's not an arm and a leg?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I found mine through recommendations. In Portland, you're going to have your pick! She came to me, but photogs do both. Depends on what their "niche" is. I liked being in my own home, but the session takes way longer so if you're not someone who wants a 3 hour photography session then going to a studio where everything is already set up and ready to go will be faster. I felt more comfortable getting completely naked in my own house where I knew no strangers were going to randomly wander in just as I was stripping! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
It wasn't cheap. The total cost for the session, my prints, and CD for web use was $600. I got a HUGE wall portrait and then the package I bought was 20 5x7's in a leather bound album and one 11x14. I would happily have bought more if money was no object. It would have been $350 without the larger wall portrait.<br><br>
She was awesome. She's not the 'best' in town by any stretch (there is a photographer <a href="http://www.sugar-photography.com/" target="_blank">here</a> that I think is awesome but she's also outrageously expensive and booked out for over 6 months at all times). But she did an awesome job, had good equipment, and most importantly she made me really comfortable. My prints are gorgeous!
 

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I'm a (just starting out) photographer myself, so I knew mine through local networking and liked her work. But you can google maternity photography portland OR, for example, and see what comes up. People will have samples of their work on their site, so that will give you an idea of how good they are. Of course, it is possible to steal someone else's pictures and pass them off as your own, but I think that is pretty unusual.<br><br>
Another option would be to go to your finding your tribe area and ask if anyone has a recommendation. Or ask other moms, at LLL meetings, playdates, etc.<br><br>
And you can certainly look in the yellow pages, and hopefully that would lead you to a website so you can see their work.<br><br>
There are so many different styles out there, you really have to find one that you like (by looking at their work online). I prefer intimate, natural-looking photography, and definitely wanted to do nudes. Not all photogs are comfortable with nudes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">.<br><br>
And like Chantel said, some have studios and some come to your home. It really depends on the photog. Mine comes to her clients' homes, but she also has a portable studio with backdrops, lights, etc., that she brings with her. That said, she prefers natural light (as do I), but that isn't usually doable in the winter where we live ... it's just too dark and gloomy. Thankfully, yesterday was sunny and my house has a ton of windows, so we were able to use natural light, which I was really excited about.<br><br>
I paid a lot less than Chantel, but because I know this woman and she sees me as a sort of peer, she is doing me a friendly professional favor. I am set up to print with a pro lab, so she is giving me the digital files and I will order prints straight from the lab myself, which will save me a lot of money. This is unusal, though, and not something I would expect (or ask) from a photog I didn't know. She is doing me a HUGE favor! (FYI, the reason most photogs don't part with their digital files is they want to have complete control over the product so they can ensure its quality. Photogs calibrate their computer monitors to match the lab they print with, so they're sure that what they see on the screen is what they'll see on the print. If they hand over a CD and you print pictures at Wal-Mart, the color may be all wrong, and then when you hang it on your wall or show it to people, that's just bad advertising! Also, the mark-up on prints pays for the time they spend in front of their computer processing them in Photoshop, etc.)<br><br>
Honestly, though, good photography is not cheap. It takes a lot of time ... way more than just the time for the session. There is a lot of work going through the pictures (e.g., my photog took ~150 pictures yesterday, and she has to sift through all of those and pick the good ones (will probably end up with 30-50), which is a lot more time-consuming than you might think). Then there is post-processing in Photoshop, which can also be time-consuming (depending on how good the pics are to begin with, the photog's Photoshop skills, and how detail-oriented they are). I am not taking paying clients right now, but when I was I didn't charge a lot because I was just starting out. Let me tell you, when I figured out what I was earning per hour, it came to something like $5 ... it was ridiculous!!! And that was without any overhead or paying for new equipment or the various costs associated with running a business. I have a lot more understanding for the prices photogs charge now (for sessions and for prints), because I know what goes on behind the scenes to make those beautiful pictures!<br><br>
And if you do find someone who is willing to hand over a CD, it's very unlikely they will be doing any Photoshop work on the pics. I can't stress enough how important the Photoshop is! I didn't realize it until about the last year or so, but even the greatest picture straight out of a digital camera does not achieve its full potential until it has been processed in Photoshop. The original file is like a negative, and you go into Photoshop and process it the way you would take a negative into a darkroom. I would personally be willing to take unprocessed files because I know Photoshop and can do it myself. But most people don't. So if someone is offering the files, ask if they will process them in Photoshop or not. It's likely that they won't.<br><br>
But if money is an issue, then you might be able to find someone like me who is just starting out, and is willing to sacrifice their profit in order to build their portfolio (you will have to sign a release form saying they can use your images on their website, for advertising, etc.). Newbies tend to be more willing to make concessions on price and cut you a deal, because they need the business to build their portfolio and reputation.<br><br>
And another thing to keep in mind is that you'll want to do this soon. My photog recommends taking pics between 30 and 34 weeks ... closer to 30 if it isn't your first pregnancy.<br><br>
Good luck! It is so worth it. I will treasure these images for the rest of my life <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. I really regret not doing it with dd!
 

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Perky -- I know of someone in the Portland area who is AWESOME, and I think her rates are pretty reasonable. If you would like her info, pm me.<br><br>
Amy
 

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I want to do this too! Shanana, too bad we're not closer! I think we're about 5.5 hours from Detroit.<br><br>
We have someone who is willing to do it, I'm just not sure how much she charges. I do know that she gives you the negatives and the rest is up to you. Is that a bad thing? She did my SIL's wedding and did a nice job. I don't know if she's done pg photos though.
 

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I'm not sure about doing photography, but I've been modelling nude for a group of life drawing artists, so I'm hoping to be able to get a piece of work from one of them.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cj'smommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10800728"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I want to do this too! Shanana, too bad we're not closer! I think we're about 5.5 hours from Detroit.</div>
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That is too bad, except I am too <i>hugely</i> pregnant to take on clients right now anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. I did my last session right at the end of my first tri, and even then it was tricky. I try to experiment with different angles, etc., and lying on my stomach was definitely a challenge <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cj'smommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10800728"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We have someone who is willing to do it, I'm just not sure how much she charges. I do know that she gives you the negatives and the rest is up to you. Is that a bad thing? She did my SIL's wedding and did a nice job. I don't know if she's done pg photos though.</div>
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Now, when you say negatives, do your mean <i>negatives</i> (as in old-fashioned film)? Or the digital files? I'm going to assume you mean the digital files. In answer to your question, it really depends <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. Like I said before, she probably won't be doing any Photoshopping to them -- you'll have to ask to find out. I personally find Photoshop to be invaluable. Here, let me show you exactly what I mean:<br><a href="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2157/2345304241_d2807183e6_o.jpg" target="_blank">Photo 1</a><br><a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1400/831278796_4576b22a9a_o.jpg" target="_blank">Photo 2</a><br>
Photo 1 is the original picture, straight out of my camera. It really doesn't get any better than this! The focus is spot on, the white balance is correct, the composition is good, etc. It's just a great picture! Photo 2 is after I Photoshopped it. Lots better, right?<br><br>
So even a "perfect" picture can be made better, and I don't mean by fixing problems with it, etc. The digital camera just does not "see" the world like our eyes do, and Photoshop helps you tweak the picture so that it more accurately represents reality (or whatever vision you want it to ... I would say I "pushed" the colors in the Photoshop version to be even a little more vivid than in real life, but I like the way it looks).<br><br>
So. That is what PS can do for a picture, and I'm not even that skilled at using it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. There are all sorts of amazing things that can be done. That is why I find it to be invaluable, but some people would be perfectly satisfied with Photo 1 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. In fact I was one of those people until about 12-18 months ago when I finally pulled my head out of my butt and started learning PS <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.<br><br>
I also think it is helpful if the photog has experience shooting maternity. That said, I had NONE when I started doing this, and I've always been happy with my results. Some of my absolute favorite pictures are from the very first session I did (like <a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1320/538260909_fe22582c74.jpg" target="_blank">this one</a> and <a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1179/539923279_4730dbd108.jpg" target="_blank">this one</a>). So experience isn't everything, but it really depends on the skill of the photographer and if they're able to break out of their niche (e.g., weddings) and do something different.<br><br>
I don't think I've really answered your questions, but there are no easy answers, unfortunately <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. Good luck!
 

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I could see why it would be difficult to take pics now!<br><br>
I mean real, old fashioned negatives. She doesn't use digital for the exact reason you mentioned....the camera doesn't "see" like we do. From the pictures I've seen, she always does a good job but as you said I've only seen her Wedding pics.<br><br>
Yes, I see what you mean with photoshop. DH can dabble around with it, but I don't know how much he could do. We do know someone who does that for a living though, he might be able to help us if we need help.<br><br>
I love all of your pictues!! Wow! You did a great job.<br><br>
I think DH wants to use her mostly because she's affordable, she does so much work for my SIL and her friends that she gives the group a discount. Budget is tight (when isn't it?) but he knows how much I want to do this. Of all of my pregnancies I want to do this one the most, because I think pics with my two older boys would be priceless. Plus this is my last one, and not that the other two aren't special this one is just....different. I'd rather go with someone who has a lot of experience (though I haven't asked her if she's done it before) but I'm willing to compromise as well. I told him I'd give up my birthday present - tickets to Wicked - to get this done.<br><br>
So yes, you have answered my questions! Thanks!
 

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Found our photographer through our midwife.<br><br>
The photographer contacted the midwife and wanted a chance to capture midwifery...so that meant prenatals apt.s, the homebirth, the postpartum care, etc. I was so blessed to be connected with her. She didn't charge me at all as she was doing this as a project for her master's degree and I agreed to let the pictures be used for her class. This time (that was my last pregnancy) I am paying her but I'm so glad to have her capturing these special moments. It's worth the money for us. She's giving us a great deal.<br><br>
So check with area midwifes in case they know of a photographer. Also, you could check with photography classes for someone interested in doing some maternity pix for you at a reasonable rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shanana</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10805377"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some of my absolute favorite pictures are from the very first session I did (like <a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1320/538260909_fe22582c74.jpg" target="_blank">this one</a> and <a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1179/539923279_4730dbd108.jpg" target="_blank">this one</a>).</div>
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I love love the first one!!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mary-Beth</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10807618"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Found our photographer through our midwife.</div>
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That's a good idea, I'll ask at my next appointment. The project you did with her sounds neat!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Chantelhayes</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10784375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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She was awesome. She's not the 'best' in town by any stretch (there is a photographer <a href="http://www.sugar-photography.com/" target="_blank">here</a> that I think is awesome but she's also outrageously expensive and booked out for over 6 months at all times). But she did an awesome job, had good equipment, and most importantly she made me really comfortable. My prints are gorgeous!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/tiphat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Tiphat">:<br>
I just wanted to say that this is me...and I *wish* was booked out six months in advance! LOL!<br><br>
I also don't think my pricing should be considered "outrageous"..it is where it is so I can balance demand with what time I have available. I could easily be shooting 7 days a week if my prices were lower, but my time with my family is valuable (and about to be even more so). It's a balance.<br><br>
There are photographers all across the board with all sorts of pricing. Some are good, some are not. Find someone's style that suits you and you'll be thrilled with the results, regardless of the cost. I have several families that I know pinch and save to afford my services, and this is the highest compliment I could ever receive. Those sessions mean so much more to me than the high-paying clients that pay my bills.<br><br>
There are always photographers willing to do free "portfolio building" sessions to hone their skills, and will offer discounted prints as well. You run the risk of your images not being the best they can be since they are still learning, but you're not paying much for it, so if that's something you're interested in, go for it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The sayings are true...you get what you pay for. I don't work for free, and neither do you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As for the original question-I advise that my mommies book their maternity session between their 32 and 34th week (sooner if they are having contractions). They want to LOOK pregnant, but also be able to get up and down off the floor with ease.<br><br>
Here's a <a href="http://eddiebonfigli.com/ilp-profiles.html" target="_blank">listing</a> of photographers nationwide<br><br>
Also-anyone that volunteers with <a href="http://www.nilmdts.org" target="_blank">this organization</a> is a good soul, so I recommend looking here as well.<br><br>
ETA: if you're in Portland, you NEED to call <a href="http://www.soulprintsphotography.com/" target="_blank">Cindy Bizal</a>. She is amazing, and is hands-down, the best in the area.
 
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