For more information or to schedule your pet's session, call 571.432.0561 | Jeanne Taylor Photography
Published and awarded pet photographer serving the Charleston SC area with seasonal appointments in Northern Virginia.
Blog -- Things That Rattle Around in my Head
December 7, 2023 | While my September post noted some upcoming changes for 2024, I want to quickly address just one more! I have been very lax about charging clients for edits, although it is noted in my guide and on my site that while minor edits are complimentary, extensive edits (i.e., head swaps) will be charged at my currently hourly rate with a minimum one-hour charge applied. Effective immediately, I will be implementing this policy. So before we start your session, check that mirror and be sure that’s your “correct” look!
Also, I am committed to NOT overscheduling in 2024 as I will be spending some of my work time on a very important community program and there are really only so many hours in a day. So if you want to book your pet(s), it's going to be best to reach out sooner than later to secure your preferred date and time slot. My personal goal for 2024 is to be more present in my own little world, and that means I'm going to have to cut back on long work hours a bit. Wish me luck as this is going to be unfamiliar territory! :)
September 11, 2023 | While I want clients to surround themselves with printed photos or wall art or albums they can enjoy throughout their home because that is what I love, I have come to realize people run out of wall space or want to have everything at their fingertips. In response, I’ve expanded my digital offerings. And for those of you who want ALL THE THINGS, there will be additional incentives for discounted digitals when you order any album too, so you can have the best of both worlds.
I’ve also made the decision to do away with a minimum ordering requirement, making it easier for you all to clear your galleries and enjoy the photos you have paid me to lovingly create for you! This will go into effect with sessions held 1/1/2024 and later. I’m currently working to update gallery pricing profiles and my client guides, so bear with me and do reach out with any questions.
Planning Ahead Note: On 1/1/2024, my session rates will be going up for the first time in more than five years, but those sessions, including outdoor, studio here and mobile studio, will now also include a number of upsized digitals with the sitting fee, creating even more value for you. Stay tuned!
April 3, 2023 | I always encourage humans to participate in their pets' photo sessions. Why? Because YOU are a part of their story! Now, here is the catch: STOP GETTING HUNG UP ON WHAT YOU SEE IN MAGAZINES OR SOCIAL MEDIA! Know that those people have laugh lines too! Their skin has aged like everyone else. Some have had fillers and botox - for goodness sakes, in most cases, you can actually tell pretty easily! Your pets love you and you love them - THAT is what I am aiming to capture: the bond; the most genuine unconditional love you will ever know. So when we start a conversation and I ask what you are hoping to achieve, if you say, "I trust you," then this is what we are going for - so if your main concern is something different, speak up before we start shooting. I will do some light skin filtering, but I am not a magician and I won't compromise the look of reality in favor of filters. So put the heavy app and cell phone camera options out of your mind because they aren't REAL. Be in the moment so I can get that natural expression of love!
September 30, 2022 | I wish I had more time for things like sharing my many thoughts here! :) Hoping I can rectify that in 2023 with a goal of actually taking solid control of my schedule. Part of that means committing to my "Jeanne-uary" plan of using the month of January to take time to reboot for the year ahead. This year I have had some projects that really spurred my spirit and I'd love to have more of that in the next year - and I'm planning some things so watch for model calls locally!
I would also love to pursue helping people take better quality shelter photos. If you are a local volunteer interested in this, please contact me. I work with all of our local shelters and can surely find a convenient spot to meet you and get started.
April 16, 2022 | Haven’t blog-posted in awhile thanks to a crazy busy schedule but I have something to say about custom pet photography. Any custom work, really – please read.
As with any trade, there is a value assigned to one’s time and skill and general level of effort. A client may physically see a photographer at a one-hour session, for example, but that’s not all there is by any means. Consider also that there is planning and coordinating time invested in advance of meeting with you, paperwork and waiver or invoice preparation, then there is travel time to and from the appointment, plus the actual hour that you see. Let’s add to that the editing time and follow-up communications to send your proof gallery or to finalize images if it’s a shoot-n-burn type of situation. There is bookkeeping and workflow to be considered too. So that one hour that you DO see is – at least with me – typically more of a five-hour investment of my time before we even discuss what you want to order.
You don’t go to a restaurant and ask a chef what stove they are using because it produced a great meal for you, do you? The same logic applies to someone having a camera! Do you hesitate to spend the menu price when you go out to eat a meal that is essentially “rented”? (it’s true, if you think about it …). If not, why would you then hesitate to invest in a legacy product that will honor a loved one and your relationship with them?
Meal or bar tab = consumable = ONE TIME USE!
Custom photography = lifetime legacy products
There is so much time and energy and practice and trial and tweaking and learning and modifying that goes into any creative work. There is generally an evolution of style and presentation too because it’s usually an ongoing work for the creator. We have to respect that. And that’s before you add in all the small business expenses that go along with it!
Any custom work – whether photography for your pets, your family, or maybe someone is designing brand collaterals for you, or a commissioned piece of art – all of these outputs have a time and skill investment by their maker that is invisible to their patrons. Food for thought.
December 20, 2021 | As this year comes to a close, I have a lot of opinions I plan to share! But I'll wait until next year and parse it out so as not to overwhelm you! For now, I'm just tweaking my business and adjusting my 2022 work schedule. It's been an insanely busy year and I'm proud of the work I have done. I'm definitely looking forward to 2022 though - meantime, Roux and Gracie, Jack and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and offer all the best wishes for you and your family in the new year!
September 22, 2021 | Note for Professional Procrastinators Regarding 2021 Holiday Ordering Deadlines
My 4th quarter photo fundraiser schedule impacts the time I have available to prep orders for delivery so following are ordering deadlines for this year’s holiday season.
Prints and Products (tangibles): Orders must be received and paid by November 22, 2021 to be guaranteed delivery for Christmas.
Orders for digital images must be placed and paid by December 20, 2021.
Requests for gift certificates must be placed and paid by December 23, 2021. (They will be sent electronically for your gift wrapping and giving.)
No orders will be processed 12/13 – 12/19.
I have no wiggle room here so please plan accordingly. Thanks!
July 22, 2021 | I’ve posted about this before: pet photography is a niche and you have to consider what type of session you want as that should drive what genre of photographer you choose. If you are more interested in family photos where your pet is in a few of the photos, sometimes not engaged or really looking at the camera and this doesn’t bother you, then choose a family/portrait photographer to capture your memories as they will be more focused on the humans.
If, however, you want a session that is focused on your pet AND your relationship with them, choose a pet photographer. The difference in the output is identifiable (to me anyway). A pet photographer will work to ensure their personality comes through - he or she will quietly study your relationship and watch for moments, anticipating them so when you see your gallery, you see what you *feel* at home: nothing but love and good times. You will have posed shots too, of course, but generally speaking, you will not get this same output from a portrait (people) photographer. There are photogs who will take every job that comes along – weddings, events, portraits, seniors, boudoir and yes, even pets. To me that is not a specialist. I’m so happy to be able to say I’m not in that camp! Maybe that’s the benefit to almost two decades in business. My work is focused on animals – your pets, shelter and rescue pets, and related businesses and events. It’s a good feeling to commit and stay the course. It has allowed me to hone in on methods and practices and really nail down things that work both outdoors and in studio. Outdoor sessions are tied to weather, light and temps, but I am definitely happy with my location list and experience with the varied spots at different times of day. I’ve always kept my studio home-based to keep overhead down, so I don’t have to pass that expense along to clients. (Have you seen the lease rates in downtown CHS?! Yikes!) I haven't joined associations with hefty annual membership fees because, again, these costs get passed down to the client. I do venture out of the pet zone for certain magazine project requests, but that's about it.
This town is full of photographers and amazingly talented people. Some are hobbyists, others new to the game, and still others quite seasoned and established. Across the board, you will find a wide range of rates and offerings. Bottom line though, you first have to decide what you want out of the session – is it about the pet and you, or is it about you with a pet in some of the photos? In the end, do you want a couple of photos of your pet or a wide selection of images of your precious furry to view? Only you can answer. And I'm certainly not saying my style is for everyone and if it's not, that's cool - just ask me and I will actually refer you to other local pet photographers whose work I enjoy and who may be a better fit for you.
July 1, 2021 | Here we go! I'm getting ready to really pare down my load for the summer and I couldn't be more excited to have time to do FUN stuff and just relax! I haven't had a good break from work in about ... 18 years ... so it's definitely time. Have a fantastic summer, everybody - I know that's my goal!
March 3, 2021 | Finally! In February, the long-awaited annual issue of Mount Pleasant Pets magazine hit the streets in print! This was a work of heART for me, truly, from organizing content to participating in writing and photos to arguing with the publisher about timing for release! So check it out online or go grab a copy at your local Harris Teeter or other local racks. Feedback is always welcome!
January 2, 2021 | HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I am entering 2021 with a new schedule in mind, and allowing myself time to pursue personal projects (and a little downtime) rather than feel like I’m always working. I hope whatever goals you set for your new year are achievable, maintainable and that all good things come your way!
End of Year Recap - 2020
I know 2020 was a terrible year for so many people, but as I look back, I had quite a few things to be proud of and thankful for:
In spite of (or because of?) Covid, people really turned out to support local rescues and shelters as soon as the coast was a little clear and guidelines for safe distancing made sense. Adoptions and fostering have been solid and I hope this trend continues long after Covid goes away.
Our little family stayed healthy this year (knock on wood), including Roux and Gracie! And while March was strange when the lockdown really kicked in, my work activities didn’t suffer this year and for that I am very thankful!
November 7, 2020 | Scheduling Notes - Holiday
If you intend to order items as holiday gifts, THERE ARE DEADLINES for guaranteed holiday delivery.
1 – Order requests for print items (tangible products) must be received and paid by November 23. NO EXCEPTIONS.
2 – Digital requests buy you a little time – those must be received and paid by December 10.
3 – Gift certificates may be purchased up until December 21.
March 18, 2020 | Notice of Policy Change: While I don't rush people into making decisions, from a workflow perspective, I do need to "close files". As such, effective April 1, 2020, initial orders must be placed within 30 days of the date you received your proof gallery access. If, for whatever reason, this is not possible, please let me know. Note, your gallery will be safely stored and redundantly backed-up, but a $25 re-post fee will then be applied when you come back to place an order. I have had this simply as a courtesy request within my Client Guide, but it will become policy as of 4/1/2020. The only waiver for this will be legacy session clients. Thanks for your understanding.
January 1, 2020 | HAPPY NEW YEAR! Looking back at 2019, my year in review looks like this:
I don't make resolutions, but every year I do make it a goal to be the best version of myself, whatever that means. So whatever YOU decide for 2020, I hope all your wishes come true!
November 17, 2019 | Things I like to think set me apart a bit:
-- Independent/Solo – I shoot, I edit, and I finalize the images to produce your ordered items. That means you aren’t paying for a staff or for outsourcing. It's my name on my business so I control EVERYTHING. And that savings is passed on to clients.
As with all creative endeavors, photography is certainly subjective, so once you find a style you like, your next step is to find the right person within your budget.
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