album design and whatnot.

I feel like I'm still coming up for air after a whirlwind of holiday business. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining or anything....after all, that is how I purchased my pimp camera. But in the midst of the chaos I never had time to show a few pages of each album and that's just not fair, is it? Plus, I like to look at these to gear up for another wedding season/warm weather/pretty colors/flowers/etc. I just love it a lot.

First we have Michelle, who just so happens to be my new cousin. Remember when I blogged about their wedding? We ran their photo booth and had a ball. She adores purple in case you couldn't tell:)




Then we have Christy who is basically the sweetest person ever. She is the sister of a previous client and they both used SJ Macky as a photographer, who is also the sweetest. Sweet, sweet, sweet.


christy4 copy



And lastly we have a very special album and one that I think is a FABULOUS idea for all daughters out there. Stacy contacted me to make her parents a 30 year anniversary album. She did lots of work on the front end by gathering up photos and letters from her parents' friends and family. Then she sent everything to me and I worked my magic:) The end result was a super cool album that Stacy surprised her parents with over their anniversary dinner. Some of the letters from their friends made me get a little weepy. Thirty years together is freaking amazing and I hope Nate and I maintain friendships over the years just like they did. And if my Mom wasn't album obsessed and already made her own variations of their lives together, I'd be all over this one. Enjoy!



Of course, all of these albums are now up on my website in their entirety.

I'm going to be honest here: I feel like my little business is at a crossroads. I've gotten to the point where I have to turn clients away because I simply to not have the time. I've experienced some intense deadlines which obviously strips me of my creativity. I feel torn between focusing even more time and energy on the biz in hopes that it grows enough to allow a decrease in my 'real career' hours. How freaking sweet would that be?

But honestly, I don't make near enough money on these albums to drop a day at's just not realistic. Another option would be to quit the biz altogether so I can spend more time with my new camera and possibly training for another marathon [gasp!]. I am slowly realizing that I only have a few precious hours each evening that I can devote to myself....the rest of the day is sucked up by work, the gym, dinner, chatting with the hubs, and sleeping. Album design used to be my creative outlet and now with the new camera I feel like album design can sometimes feel like a 'job' and not as much fun as it used to be.

I just don't know, you guys. I'm torn. I have to make a decision one way or the other pretty soon just to appease myself. But either way I won't be accepting new orders until April or later....I've already got about 6 albums lined up in front of me again! Any suggestions for a struggling business owner?

Anyway......onto another album: our 2008 everyday album is officially complete! It was a whopping 87 pages which basically qualifies as ri-DONK-ulous. I think the largest one prior to this baby was around 50 pages. But then again, this covered 365 days instead of just one day:)

I'm quite proud of it and cannot wait for it to arrive. Here is my front's a take off from that blog post everyone did about 'a picture for each month' or whatever.


And then because we all need a shot of four seasons, I included some more of my favorite pages for your pleasure:











What a year. What an amazing year, huh? Man, Photoshop has really been earning it's keep around here lately. And my head kind of hurts now...but you likey?


  1. You are so awesome, I hope you don't quit! Maybe you just need to charge more!

  2. Totally understand about the business, I am coming to similar conclusions about the wedding blog. Can you move to Chicago so we can just go out for coffee and discuss things? Thanks.

  3. Your albums are so awesome. I'm not sure if I have ever told you that. I have half finished "year in review" albums for the past 2 years...I really need to buckle down on them.

    and we made your album (the bloggers)! yessss.

    as for the album business - if it isn't really fulfilling and not worth giving up your free time anymore, I say ditch it. Or why not keep it around, but lower your work load by like half..or more. Just be up front with people when they ask when they can expect their album to be done. It would be nice to still have that extra money coming in, you know?

  4. LOVE it! And I'm somehow happy to see that not only did my work make it into your album, but also my face?! hehehe. Great job as always.

    As far as the biz's my take on it. I know what you mean about being swamped. Right before Christmas I seemed to have 3 sessions always on my plate to finish editing. Since everyone wanted their pictures for the Holidays, I was rushed. I made the decision to tell everyone it would take 2 weeks for their final product [after Christmas, of course]. I also made a deal with myself to never overbook again. I've seen some photographers commit to 2 weddings a month and that's it. Maybe you just limit the amount of albums you work on in a month's time? If someone really wants to hire you [which they will] they'll wait their turn.

    And I also agree that you need to charge more. Girl, you're GOOD -- you need to charge a fair wage for your time and talent. Again, I understand though...I just recently started charging for photos. I was dead set against it but soooo many people told me I was crazy. I finally agreed to charge a price that was a steal to the customer but enough to make it worth my time and also to give me a little fun cash to play around with.

    I know you know this, but don't ever let a fun hobby turn into a chore. I think these are normal growing pains of a business. You just need to reevaluate your resources which is your time and energy. You can make it work if you really want to -- just need to shuffle your business model around a bit :)

  5. Since I am ALL about free time and having enough to keep from going crazy, I would offer the suggestion (as someone else did) that you up the time you are taking on albums. I don't remember what your time frames are now, but a couple extra weeks or month might make all the difference for you. Or less orders at a time. Maybe people are willing wait longer for a totally sweet album. I know that I would be! :)

  6. I love the everyday album!! Of course the other ones are great too!

    As far as the work balance, I would say you just need to cut yourself off when you feel comfortable. Sure you will feel bad turning some people away, but it sounds like deep down you really do want your freetime. And really do you want to be one of those vendors that makes their clients wait forever for their stuff?? No way! Don't let your popularity kill your creativity.

  7. WOW! You are so talented, great job!!!

  8. I love your albums! If I were you, I'd keep doing them, but maybe take on less at a time. I feel like everyone needs some sort of creative outlet, and if you have a market for it, share your creativity with the world.

    You have people who want to pay for your services. That's not always the case for everyone out there who has a creative bone in their body. But always make sure it's not a total chore, or else you'll come to resent it, and I know what that can be like.

  9. I think your albumbs rock! I love the everyday album, I think I may have to start doing that :-)

    I agree with the others who have said to keep doing your thing, but don't take on as many projects. Set a limit that you feel comfortable with. People will wait, you are really talented!

  10. LOVE the photo pages, girl! Wow. And yes, I agree, just raise your prices again! If no one buys, then you'll know they're too high. But until then, get what your time is worth!

  11. I love it. What a great idea to make an ablum every year! Your kids will love and appreciate this, and it's making me want to do it as well!!

    As for your booming business, only continue to do it if it makes you happy. Like you said, when it becomes another "job", it takes the fun out of it. And if photography is your new-found passion, go with it. Maybe down the line when you have more time, you can get back into the albums.

  12. Love the 50th anniversary album. What a sweet idea!

  13. Julia- Your albums and designs are amazing. I wish I had an ounce of your creativity. I hope you find a way to keep doing what you love. Whatever decision you make, it'll be the right one.


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