I’ve always been curious how a photography business would start. I have several friends with obvious talent in photography. Some have no interest in making a career or income of their photography, preferring only to use their talents with their own family and friends.
Others, with the prodding of friends, encouragement of family, and occasional outrage at current pricing have struck out on their own. Forming your own small business is a daunting enterprise with great risk. One such risk-taker is a good friend of mine, Heather Mott, owner of With Grace Photography.
How did With Grace Photography start?
Heather tells me she has always been interested in photography. When choosing electives in eighth grade (over ten years ago) her first choice was photography. After finding the photography class full, she settled for another favorite, floriculture.
Nine years later, after high school, a stint in the Navy, marriage, and a beautiful baby boy, she encountered the world of newborn photography. In her own words,
“After having my first child, I refused to pay the outrageous prices for portraits of my newborn and decided to do his shoot on my own, in the comfort of my own living room, working at his pace and comfort, rather than that of a pricey studio.
I was very happy with the outcome, but even more so when a friend saw his portraits hanging on the wall and asked where I took him to have them done. She thought they were so impressive that she wanted to go to the same “studio”. She really opened up my eyes to the idea that I had some true talent.”
A few years later she purchased her first DSLR camera, a Nikon D5100.
Her first paid shoot came as a favor to a coworker looking for an affordable wedding photographer. Afterwards, she found that she drastically undervalued her services, but viewed it as a welcome learning experience. After shooting the wedding and delivering the prints, and ecstatic bride and groom taught her another valuable lesson – a lesson about believing in herself.
With Grace Photography was founded in 2006. Since then Heather has done school portraits, baseball team pictures, wedding photography, and newborn sessions. In addition, she dabbles in landscapes as a personal hobby. Although she has experience with most types of photography, Heather specializes in event and portrait photography with a focus on natural lighting. She still offers lower than average pricing in an effort to help people in various financial situations.
What is With Grace Photography’s service area?
I suppose I should mention here that Heather is a busy mommy with three boys. Her service area varies slightly depending on her schedule, but she normally works within a 30 mile radius of Milford, Delaware. If she is going to be traveling out of state, she is glad to schedule portrait sessions wherever she may be. As with most photographers, scheduling early is suggested if you want to reserve a particular date.
With Grace Photography is a small but growing business. Heather has a natural way with children that allows her to create very unique and special portraits that capture a child’s personality and life.
Supporting this type of small local business supports your local economy while getting a great product without sacrificing value.
Here are a few more samples from With Grace Photography
Thanks for reading,
Quote of the day – with photography for a subject no less.
“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t turn out – just take another shot.” ~~ Unknown
We’ve all seen someone throw a tantrum. Maybe it was the child in the grocery store who lies kicking and screaming in the floor. Maybe it was the disgruntled friend who wouldn’t attend the wedding because he wasn’t asked to be a part of it. Maybe it was the mother-in-law who avoids her daughter-in-law like the plague because her turkey and stuffing weren’t properly complemented. Whatever the age or gender, no one looks good throwing a temper tantrum.
Most of us also know someone we would consider a “Drama Queen.” Someone who is reduced to tears at the slightest hint of opposition, who whines, cajoles, berates, stomps, whimpers, and generally does whatever is necessary to get their own way. They huff and puff their way through life, wearing their emotions on their sleeves for all to see, expecting you and I to acquiesce to their every whim.
In my opinion, we’ve had the opportunity to watch a colossal temper tantrum thrown by a major drama queen this week. Who is this drama queen? President Barack Obama.
Our president apparently LOVES drama. At the drop of the hat he drops the “race card,” insinuating that the only reason one would have for disagreeing with him is his race. He blames every budget crisis on the pro-life crowd, claiming that conservatives don’t care about women’s health. He proclaims to all who will listen that conservatives don’t care about the middle class. He does everything possible to shift and divert attention from real issues while forcing his wishes on the American people.
At no point does our President seem to interested in representing the American people or their best interests.
For a little idea of just how well our President is representing America, you can participate in a poll currently being run by Newsmax. According to current results, 80% of those polled support Republicans in shutting the government down to defund Obama-care. 57% believe that Obama-care should be repealed completely. 68% of Americans believe that President Obama is primarily responsible for the federal government shutdown.
As the country voices its disappointment and opposition to the President’s healthcare law, the House of Representatives is, for once, attempting to represent its constituency. Over the past couple weeks, the House of Representatives has passed several different budgets. They have offered compromises on several fronts, holding to only one major point. The House Republicans want to delay, or even better defund Obama-care.
Understanding that Obama-care is neither desired by America nor in its best interests, our leader has vowed to veto any budget which in any way interferes with his pet project. After years of promoting it to the American people, he is unwilling to accept their desires. He fully intends to push his agenda on the entire nation.
Now, having failed to pass a budget, the government is in a partial shutdown. Our President’s response is typical of a three year old in the grocery store. As the prospect of being deprived of his favorite legislation looms, he is lashing out loudly and without reason at anyone who might oppose him. This includes the you and me, the average Americans. Here are some of the things he is doing.
- He has miss-appropriated government funds and personnel to keep citizens from viewing normally unmanned, open-air monuments. This includes keeping veterans from viewing the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. and shutting down national monuments such as Mount Rushmore, even going so far as to keep motorists from pulling over on nearby roadways to view this national treasure.
- He has forced the closure of privately owned and run businesses on government property. You can find one good example of this here. This business owner is being forced to close his private business during peak season.
- He has even attempted to close off 1100 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean! According to this article, ”this is not about saving money during the government shutdown; Just the opposite, the NPS is spending more man hours and tons more money to make sure Americans don’t enjoy those things they (pay) for with their taxes.“
As you can see, our President is acting more like a petulant child than a mature leader.
What role can you play in this presidential drama?
As any concerned parent knows, allowing tantrums does nothing to help a child. This needs to be stopped somehow. While I am not certain that President Obama will listen, we need to unite our voices in a nation-wide cry of disapproval. Contact your representatives and let them know you support them in their stand against Obama-care. If they support this legislation, kindly make sure that they know where you stand on the issue. Contact the White House. Be involved.
Right now, Obama has the strongest mandate of his Presidential career. America does not want Obama-care. Raise your voice, be heard, make a difference.
Thank you for reading,
A Quote for the Day
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
~ Edmund Burke, Irish political philosopher, often regarded as the father of modern Conservatism.
I have written several times about the problems with our economy. I have tried to point out flaws in various plans that I have been made aware of. I am totally opposed to the systematic government takeover of entire sectors of business (Obamacare and the healthcare industry).
However, I also remember telling others to do more than complain, to “Be the solution.” It is my contention that we should do more than complain about the current state of affairs. We should be actively trying to improve not only our own situation, but our surroundings as well.
What is the solution for our current economic woes?
I am not a trained economist. I can’t tell you all the measures that should be taken to fix our economy. There are a few things, however, that even I know.
- I CAN tell you that America was once a manufacturing juggernaut, out-producing every other nation in the world by a comfortable margin.
- I CAN tell you that we have shifted heavily to the “production” of luxuries and services.
- I CAN tell you that no economy will thrive when based solely on the luxury and service markets.
So, in my opinion, we need to see a shift back to more of a production based economy.
In acknowledgement of this fact, I am going to do a series of posts highlighting small businesses I know of personally that are seeking to provide a unique quality product.
Why small business?
I believe that small (and growing) business has always been the engine of our economy. Pilgrim families knew that their livelihood depended on the success of the family farm. Trappers knew the value of each pelt they took, and carefully calculated how many furs they would need to buy salt, bullets, trade goods, and other supplies. Early American entrepreneurs modeled the characteristics of thrift, efficiency, ingenuity, and innovation. Men such as Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and many more rose from humble beginnings with the application of these traits.
Now, in the midst of all the rancor against big business, big government, and the entitlement lifestyle, there is beginning a rebirth of the American Entrepreneur. Men and women who are combine carefulness with opportunism, thrift with innovation, and determination with a willingness to dream.
These fine ladies and gentlemen, in my humble opinion, are being more than just “good citizens”. They are affecting real change and being a part of the solution.
Thank you for taking the time to peruse my deliberations,
A Quote for the Day
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas Alva Edison
While listening to news of the debate still surrounding the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) I was struck by the thought that President Obama currently has the strongest mandate of any point in his presidency.
We all remember hearing the results from the past two elections. In each case, Mr. Obama claimed that he had received a mandate from the American people. This was a mandate which he apparently believed to be a rubber stamp of approval for his agenda.
Over the past couple of years, it has become increasingly obvious that our President now has a real mandate. Sadly, it is equally obvious that he is ignoring the wishes and best interests of the American public he claims to serve.
What is a mandate?
According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, a mandate is an official order to do something or the power to act that voters give their elected leaders. So, by electing Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States, we, the citizens, gave him a mandate by giving him the power to act on our behalf. However, that is not the only mandate he has received from us. According to the Constitution, there are several jobs which fall specifically to the President. These also are a part of his mandate; official orders received from his employer(s), the citizens.
Now, the President (and Congress) has received a new set of orders, a new mandate. Unfortunately, it seems to be being ignored.
President Obama’s Newest Mandate
The American public has become very plain in their disgust for Obama-care of late. Even liberal allies (such as the major labor unions) of the President have expressed concern, and in some cases even asked for exemption.
Health care providers decry obvious problems with the idea of government regulation of medical pricing. They have to pay their bills too.
Contrary to the campaign promises that were made, families and businesses have already seen health care costs rise dramatically, and many of the taxes created by Obama-care haven’t even gone into effect yet.
Insurance providers understandably balk at the idea of offering new coverage to those who are terminally or chronically ill. While I understand that everyone has certain needs for care, I don’t believe that insurance companies form and offer their services for the purpose of losing money.
As so many sectors of the American public and the American economy are opposing the implementation of Obama-care, I believe that our President has received a new mandate. In fact, I believe that this new set of orders from his employers are the strongest he has received yet.
America does NOT want government control of healthcare, does NOT want socialized medicine, and does NOT want the Affordable Care Act.
What is our government doing with this mandate?
Right now, a group of about 52 elected men are thumbing their noses at us. 51 elected senators and 1 elected president are effectively blocking the will of the people. The House of Representatives has passed a bill which would render Obama-care nearly powerless. This was done with overwhelming support by the general populace. The Senate has refused to budge, refused to compromise, refused to represent their constituents. They have voted to block the wishes and efforts of the American people.
Also, our President has promised repeatedly to veto any bill that reaches his desk with provisions to repeal or de-fund Obama-care.
In short, our elected officials are ignoring us.
What can we do about this?
We, as American citizens, have a several things that we can do to encourage proper representation by our elected officials. These options are available to those who support Obama-care and those who oppose it.
- First, we can call, write, tweet, etc our elected officials and make sure that they know what we want.
- Second, we can educate ourselves and those around us about current issues and debates. We shouldn’t stop with just education tho. There should also be a call to action encouraging those with whom we have contact to contact their representatives also.
- Third, we can keep record of those officials who ignore their constituents and vote them out when their terms are over. This is the most drastic measure, and requires the most effort from us, but as employers we have every right and reason to fire those who fail to work in our behalf.
I hope you are being a proactive part of the solution to our countries current woes. Work hard, pay your bills, be a responsible citizen, and encourage your elected officials to do the same.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts,