Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kindred Spirits

I photographed the wedding of Dan and Michelle Kindred yesterday at Belhurst Castle. It was a perfect day meteorologically and emotionally as they said their vows on the back lawn of Belhurst. The ceremony concluded with an Indian prayer in memory of Michelle's late father, followed by a butterfly release. It was a beautiful symbol although the butterflies were a little cold and didn't feel much like flying. Congrats Michelle and Dan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

West Ave. Construction

For the second year in a row, West Avenue in Canandaigua is closed for a construction project. I don't doubt that repairs are needed and that last years project looks great, but I can't imagine what this is doing to Dobb's Sunoco and Morey's Pizza. Both are small family run businesses that are dependent on the traffic traveling down West Ave. Even though the sign says that those businesses are still open, the inconvenience to get to them has got to be making a huge dent in their business. As a small business owner myself, I'm asking you to lend a hand to a neighbor and go out of your way to get gas at Dobb's or a pizza from Morey's.

Doing Business the Right Way

I've been reading a lot of books this year, in fact more than I have read in my life. It's very satisfying to finish a book, especially if it's a really good one. Some of the books I have read have been on business and marketing, including The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Micelli. Since reading the book, I have been taking mental notes on what certain businesses do that either make me remember them in a negative or positive way. Most businesses just go about their daily routine without leaving much impact at all. That may be acceptable when things are going well, but in a down economy that's not the wisest decision.

There have been a few companies, or employees of those companies that have left a positive impact on me. I want to acknowledge them for their effort and influence.

1. The first goes out to the drive through guy at Tim Hortons on the north side of Canandaigua. He greets you with the enthusiasm of Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam. You can't help but smile.

2. I'm not a big fan of used car commercials, especially the ones that yell at you. I don't care how HUGE you think you are, it's a turn off. One Saturday morning, I came a cross an infomercial for Used Car King out of Cicero, NY. The guy was so calm and honest, it was refreshing. If I needed a car I would certainly give them a look.

3. Eric's Office Restaurant on the north side of Canandaigua is one of the best. Eric personally checks in on us to make sure everything is cool and the food is always perfect. The strawberry shortcake margarita dessert is the best I've ever had.

Then there is the other side consisting of companies that seemingly go out of there way to repel their potential customers. I went to a pizza place in the Adirondacks. When I walked in, all the employees were in a back room making pizza. No one was at the front counter. Half of the lights were burnt out and the stools at the counter looked like they had been eaten by rats. I was too hungry to leave, so I got someone's attention and ordered my pizza which was actually quite good. While I was eating though, four different sets of people came in to the pizza place and three out of the four left without ordering. Imagine doing business where you turned off 75% of your potential customers.

I consider my business to be successful, but I am always striving to go to the next level. I want my clients to have an experience above and beyond their expectations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blogless in Seattle

It's been a few weeks since I've blogged. Think of it as a blogcation. It's been crazy busy here with seniors. I will be posting a ton of cool blends from each senior on here and our senior blog. Weddings have been on a little hiatus lately but we're gearing up for a very busy October with weddings. I did a bridal show in Marlborough, Massachusetts with Rich to get the New England studio up and running. It went very well. We met a ton of great people and made some nice connections with other vendors.

Last week we sat down and discussed some of our marketing goals for the next few months. Look for more formal announcements of each one, but for now, here are some of the ideas we tossed around. We will be doing Fall Foliage Family sessions through October and finishing October with our second Pet Week. We want to do both with plenty of time for holiday gifts and to make Christmas cards with. In November we want to do Chop Shop sessions for people with custom and classic cars. We are doing our Santa photos in November again this year, but we want to add a few things to it. One of them will be Harley Santa photos and the other will be a classy Breakfast with Santa at Simply Crepes in Canandaigua. In December we will be doing Family photos in studio with a Christmas backdrop. In January we will be doing Just For Him sessions to be ready for Valentines Day and in February we will be doing Kids Say the Darndest Things books with fun kids photos mixed with text of the answers they give to certain questions. By the time March comes around, we'll be thinking Spring already and gearing up for another class of seniors to begin. Wow, where did the Winter go?

Friday, September 11, 2009


On Wednesday, Amanda and I photographed the wedding of Jillian and Jason at Belhurst Castle in Geneva. Normally a Wednesday wedding would be unheard of, but I actually got quite a few calls for this date since it was triple nines. Jillian and Jason had a great wedding, with only 10 people attending. It was very intimate and emotional as the tears flowed on the back lawn of Belhurst. We went down to the tracks and we were treated by a passing Norfolk and Southern freight train that stopped to pose for pictures. Congratulations Jillian and Jason. You guys are awesome.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Erica and Mark

I love discovering new places in my home area that I had not known about before. Amanda and I did the wedding of Erica and Mark on Sunday at Gatherings at the Senator's Mansion in Churchville. The mansion and surrounding grounds were beautiful. The wedding took place in front of the gazebo on a gorgeous late summer afternoon. Erica and Mark were awesome. It was an honor to photograph them since they both have given back so much for our country. They met in the Army and Mark returned from both a tour in Iraq and Afghanistan recently. Many of the members of the bridal party were Army as well. We thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts for your service.

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