Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 to 2015 - New Years Resolution

After a very joy filled holiday season, with many surprise visits from Santa.  I'm sitting in the Lady In Pink Photography headquarters contemplating on 2014 goals achieved and goal setting for the 2015 and beyond.  

Lady In Pink Photography Headquarters.  Suzie's office.
2014 was a monumental stepping stone for Lady In Pink Photography, the LIPP team had planned and worked hard to make sure that many goals set back in 2008 were achieved.  WE DID ACHIEVE EVERY SINGLE ONE SET! The goals were set during a business course taught by Don Sheffield at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.  Mr. Sheffield actually cared about teaching industry standards in business and in trade of photography.  He had a wealth of knowledge.  In our last business class Sheffield had each of his students write out a goal list, address a stamped envelope, and turn it in.  He then years later mailed out each letter.  The day I got mine was shortly after starting Lady In Pink Photography.  By that time half the list was checked off.  Today I start a new list. 

During Lady In Pink Photography's BNI - Platinum Professionals' lunch meeting, our president - Chris Cosma - asked for New Years resolutions.  The first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Keep on doing what I'm doing".  After saying it, I felt powerful, excited, finally ready for the New Year.  What am I doing already that is working out for success?  Achieving goals early, taking the proper steps to achieve them, setting new goals regularly, and helping others achieve their own goals.  

2015 is going to be a year full of memories made!

Leave a comment with one of your New Years resolutions, looking forward to ringing in the 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Event Planning 101: Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most magical and stressful parts a bride has to plan for.  When shopping for the right dress many key factors come into play.  Style, color, size, accents, budget, alterations, and the list of things to think about keep going.   

Special features of blushing bride Ashley's dress, pockets!

The most important factor is how the dress makes a blushing bride feel when she puts it on.  My wedding dress was even more of a challenge, I wanted something with color.  After photographing weddings for 11 years, I knew my dress had to be different and reflect me and my fiance too.  

Special feature of blushing bride Charlotte's wedding dress, orange sash sewn on by mother and sister of bride and Grooms cape worn by Charlotte down the isle.  
After 6 months of looking and trying and discouragement and days wasted on just not right, I finally found it. . . The perfect dress.  It twirls just right, fits just right (NO Alterations needed!!!!!), and was well within my budget, which ladies... this means... I get to splurge on my accessories!  So the question every new bride to be planning her wedding asks, "How and when did you know the dress was THE dress?".   I've asked past and future Lady In Pink Photography brides the same question.  They just simply knew.  My "know moment" was when I twirled.  As soon as I finished the twirl, I knew the jewelry and accessories I would need to find, and hair style that would work with the dress.   I could picture how I would look with everything put together too.

Special feature of blushing bride Chyann's wedding dress, she wore the color blue!
Some of the best features our brides have raved about their wedding dresses; pockets, bustles, detachable train, built in corset/bra, cleaning service provided by the bridal store post wedding, the alterations made to make it perfect, and the compliments they received during the wedding day.

Special feature of blushing bride Chelsie's wedding dress,intricate bead-work, slit up front, and corset top.
To help make finding your dress easy, here are some of Lady In Pink Photography favorite locations in Lee County to find the perfect fit.  

Alfred Angelo - every style and color for each unique bride.  Should have an appointment, but they do accept walk ins. Love working with the staff.  (Ps.  they have mirrors EVERYWHERE!)
Special feature of blushing bride Janelle's wedding dress,
found at a second hand thrift store and had altered to perfection.
For the Bride - caters towards making the bride feel special and beautiful.  Designer gowns.  Must have an appointment to try on wedding gowns.  We had a blast!
Saks Fifth Avenue Bell Tower Shops - Jimmy was amazing to help find the most unique and beautiful designs on the floor.  He also took my information to let me know when new designs came in, he has sent me handfuls of e-mails with new arrivals. I felt like a princess with my own personally dress shopper.  Great place to find brides-maid and mother attire.
Goodwill Boutique Downtown Fort Myers - They are always getting in wedding dresses.  Some antique, some modern.  Every time we went in they had something new.  We found a close runner up there, it was 4 sizes too big and could have been altered down.
Neiman Marcus Last Call Mirimar Outlets - This is where we found THE DRESS!  It was so magical too!  The staff members were helpful and happy to be there.  The dresses were simply elegant!  I had my 2 junior bridesmaids pick out 6 beautiful dresses.  Each one had to be unique and different from the other, the girls were a joy to listen babble about how each dress looked.  The thing about 9 and 10 year old ladies, they are honest!  They would make faces at the bad dresses and oooooh and awwwwwww over the best ones.  They crossed fingers to hope "This dress is the one!".   In the end, Neiman and Marcus had the perfect fit, find, and flair for me.  It's all in the twirl.

Special feature to blushing bride Rebekah's wedding dress, bustled easily to make the perfect dress for an outdoor celebration and dancing after a rainstorm. 
We're curious at the Lady In Pink Photography headquarters to where you found your wedding dress.  Leave a comment with a photo of you in your wedding dress, where you got it, and WHY you loved your dress too.  Happy posting.   

Monday, October 13, 2014

Something Blue Boutique: J.R. and Ashley

Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Ramsey September 20th 2014
"Distance is to love like wind is to fire...
it extinguishes the small and kindles the great!"  ~Anonymous~

J.R. and Ashley are two souls meant to have found each other in this life.  Their story starts far from home and is only beginning of their tale to be told.  
Talk about fairy-tale love!   

They met in a land far far away from Ashley's home, Ohio, in Colorado.  A simple miss-understood question turned into a night of dancing while Ashley was visiting a dear friend. With just the one evening of dancing, J.R. and Ashley were left dizzy and giddy.  Just like every fairy-tale ever told, there is a twist... Much like the prince in Cinderella, J.R. was left in Colorado with nothing more than a memory of a girl who stole his heart and a small clue to find her.  Instead of being left with a shoe he was left with a name, a wrong name.  He had miss heard Ashley as Emily.  Ashley's poor prince searched the world for a girl who he couldn't find, he searched and searched without any luck in finding the girl of his dreams.  As many love stories - this one has a happy ending too!  When Ashley went back to visit her friend, J.R. and Ashley reconnected.  The rest is history!  They traveled long and far to grow the love that began with a simple evening out.  

Please enjoy part 1 of 3 of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey's wedding day memories.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey's wedding day was full of love, laughter, tears, and romance.  Please enjoy their proof slide-show, keep a tissue box handy... You'll need it!

Part 2 of 3, Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey's wedding memories.

Thank you for enjoying their wedding slide-show.  The romance and celebration felt during their wedding day was contagious, the LIPP team was honored to have celebrated with Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey and loved ones!  

3rd and final part of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey's wedding day memories.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What is a Professional Photographer?

Way Too Tall Torrie, Lady In Pink Photography,
and mentor Maryellen Montana LSHS
Recently Lady In Pink Photography and Lehigh Senior High School teamed up to create the LIPP Intern program and Photography Kidz Club with the Explorers program.  A question was posed by a young student, last time Suzie Dugan went into speak about being a photographer professionally.  "What is a professional photographer?"  Very good question.  Instead of answering the questions, Miss Montana and Suzie Dugan opened the question up to the class.  

"What is a Professional Photographer?"

Some of the best and most interesting answers appeared from the student body. Such as:

"Wears a uniform."

"Uses a DSLR camera"

"Has more than one lens"

"Understands lighting and posing"

"Provides clients memories printed on unique products and pro-grade papers"

The answers they came up were fantastic!  Loved everyone of them.  When we opened up another question to the class, such as, "What kind of uniforms do photographers wear?".  The answers were just as good again.

"Polo shirt and jeans with logo" - many school photographers choose this method for their branding and durability.  I've worked with Smile Studio House of Photography for years, our uniform is the company logo on a black or white polo shirt worn with jeans or nicer pants.  Jeans are perfect for photographing preschool children.  We work hard at posing children carefully.  We need to be able to move easily and know our cloths will withstand the constant movement.  From experience, we need new jeans within months. When we go on location to a fancy event we match each other and dress in professional attire appropriate to the situation.  

"Matching Attire" - this answer was from a Lady In Pink Photography Intern.  LIPP asks interns and LIPP team members to wear black and pink when out on location photographing.  We have branded Lady In Pink Photography with the colors black and pink everywhere!

"Matching Uniforms" - many themed photography booths at medieval fests, comic conventions, historical sites, and themed parties will ask their photography team members to wear age appropriate attire.  This helps the photographers blend into the atmosphere.  

Lady In Photography is excited to have a partnership with the school that set Suzie Dugan, owner of LIPP, on the path towards running a photography company.  Yes, Lehigh Senior High School produced a young female entrepreneur!  GO LEHIGH LIGHTING!  Thank you for having educators who thought outside the box with their guidance.  

Many of the youth who come through the LIPP internship program have been inspired to go after their dreams.  Lady In Pink Photography is currently mentoring Sachima, her dream is to open up her very own photographic studio.  She has been one of the leading founders of what the LIPP Internship Program is today.  

Lehigh Senior High School students really summed up what a professional photographer is.  "A professional photographer has a brand, understands their equipment, and provides clients with memories printed on quality paper or products that won't fade."  Couldn't have said it better.  Professional photographers are hired to provide you with the memories you want to keep, we let you live in the moment.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Q and A: Lady In Pink Photography

Suzie Dugan in costume, do you know about October 4th 2014?
Click here to learn how to WIN a FREE Boutique Session
Recently many great questions have come in from Lady In Pink Photography fans and friends during conversations.  I've taken the time to combine the questions that were asked the most.  Here are the top 5 questions asked over this past summer:

Q: I've placed my product/print order with LIPP.  I'm too excited, when and how do I get my order?

A:  Lady In Pink Photography has two different delivery methods.  Your memories will arrive within 2-4 weeks from order date, depending on item.  The moment your memories come in, one of the LIPP team members will call you to come into the LIPP home office to pick up your memories.  Lady In Pink Photography also gives you the option to ship your prints and products for the cost of shipping.  

Q:  We just finished our Boutique Session with Lady In Pink Photography, we love our sneak peeks.  Now, how do I view my proofs and pick out my poses?

A:  Post production on most LIPP Boutique Sessions is 2 weeks.  A LIPP team member will call you 1 to 2 weeks after your Boutique Session to set up your viewing session.   Viewing sessions usually take 1 to 2 hours.  1 hour is standard for 2015 Grad Boutiques, My Family and Me Boutiques, and Perfect Pets Boutiques viewing sessions.  The only time 2 hours is standard for a viewing session is during a Something Blue Boutique Session.  Brides and Grooms on average have 600 images to sort through, an album design to approve, and an average of 20 poses to print.   Lady In Pink Photography opened their home office in January of 2014 in order to provide fans more availability.  We are located in Fort Myers Florida, conveniently by Tanger Outlets, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, and Bunche Beach. Please call 239-896-3785 for address and directions.

Q:  What paper type does Lady In Pink Photography use?

A:  Lady In Pink Photography prints all memories on metallic photographic paper.  Albums are printed on fine art matte paper.  We also have products that are printed directly onto metal.  Lady In Pink Photography has samples of each product for you to view, touch, and even try on.  Try on you ask?  We added fine photographic jewelry January of 2013. 

Q: I like what I see, and want a Lady In Pink Photography Boutique Session.  How do I book LIPP?

A:  Easy as 1, 2, 3.  
1.  Call Suzie - 239-896-3785, tell her how you heard about LIPP.  
2.  "Pic"-out the best print package for you. Set Date, Time, and Location for your Boutique Session.
3.  Print out, fill in, sign, and return contract with 50% deposit to hold your date.
Once you book with LIPP, and even before, you can earn free prints and products.  Ask Suzie how!

Q:  What happens if it rains?

A:  Good question, the answer is a LONG one.  Florida is full of Summer surprise showers,  including severe lightning-storms.   Lady In Pink Photography asks that you at least give rain a try, some of our most romantic or memorable sessions have been in the middle of a rainstorm.  Understand that we are a small photography company and we are in high demand, in order to meet everyone's demands we do not reschedule for THREAT of bad weather.  Florida's 7 day forecast usually says it is going to rain.  In order to provide you with stress free photography, let the LIPP team members worry about the rain and weather. The Lady In Pink Photography policy states, "In case of severe weather, LIPP will reschedule at no fee for next available date and time.  If client chooses to reschedule within 24 hours due to THREAT of rain, LIPP charges another 50% to hold next available date and time."  The reason LIPP put this policy in place, many of the locations that are available for photo-sessions outdoors have overhangs or indoors that we can use too.  As long as there is no lightning there is no threat to being outdoors.  Florida rainstorms are over sometimes within minutes and provide dramatic backgrounds, sometimes even rainbows.  When we come to the hour before your Boutique Session  and the weather is too severe, you will NOT lose your deposit.  Weather is not something we can control, you can reschedule for a date that looks to have a better forecast.
Mia's 2013 Grad Boutique Session, was wet and rainy the full time.
We stayed primarily under the bridge at Centennial Park Downtown Fort Myers.

Mia's 2013 Grad Boutique Session, was wet and rainy the full time.  
We stayed primarily under the bridge at Centennial Park Downtown Fort Myers.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Everything Happens For a Reason

As many of you know, Lady In Pink Photography, is... TURNING 6 YEARS OLD!!!!   I want to shout it from the rooftops, I want to dance in the streets, and I want to shake everyone's hands to say "Thank you for choosing Lady In Pink Photography".  

I firmly believe in two things; You create your future and everything happens for a reason, positive or negative.  Today I sat down with one of our very own vendors for Lady In Pink Photography's October 4th event, Amanda of Totally Unique Ideas.  After our meeting, I was even more inspired for the goals set for the next 6 years.  

There are so many things I want to say to everyone who has chosen LIPP, I can't find the words.  After meeting with Amanda, I wanted to check out a video she mentioned on her Youtube page.  The first video I saw on Amanda's Youtube page was Totaly Unique Ideas 6th Birthday.  I had to click it and find out more, my jaw dropped as she said everything I was thinking and feeling, her voice flows with gratitude and it is exactly how I feel too.  THANK YOU!!!!!  Please take a moment to watch her videos on Youtube too, it will make you smile.   

October is right around the corner, are you ready?


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Event Planning 101: The reception - Dance songs

Music is so important!  Music sets the mood, music keeps people active, and music can slow you down too.  When looking for the perfect songs for a wedding reception think about who is going to be there.  Where the event is located.  Also consider well in advance what song to choose for special dances.  Make sure to REMEMBER to speak to your DJ about which songs are special ones and why.  

Lady In Pink Photography second photographer, Charlotte Dugan, during her first dance as husband and wife.

Right now, I've been on the hunt for music of all kinds.  To keep everything in one place, I've been using a Spotify account with folders for each category.  Today... wedding playlist.  The father daughter song has stumped me.  My fiance and I have already chosen the song to dance to during our first dance as Mr. and Mrs. I had a few songs picked out, Mr. Knerd in Shining Armour dismissed all suggestions on my list when he saw the Elvis song.  He wouldn't even bother hearing the other songs.  To be honest, it was adorable!  

Here is the list of songs for our first dance that I had chosen:
Come To Me performed by the Goo Goo Dolls
Home performed by Phillip Phillips
The Way I Am performed by Ingrid Michaelson
Rhythm Of Love performed by Plain White T's
Can't Help Falling in Love performed by Elvis Presley  
Radiant Diamonds performed by NEEDTOBREATHE

Thomas Dugan, my father as St. Nicolas
Father daughter dances are special, little girls look up to their daddies no matter how old.  I admire my father very much, he makes me laugh, he has helped me build a business, and he also makes an amazing St. Nicolas!  He really is my dream daddy, last year he came jingling and ring-a-ling into our house on Christmas Eve donned in his St. Nicolas costume all the while "Ho Ho Ho"ing away.   I felt 6 years old again and there was a Christmas magic flowing in and out and around our family.  We finished our evening with St. Nicolas reading The Night Before Christmas, an original copy from his childhood.

Here are a list of my top favorite father daughter dance songs:
Father And Daughter performed by Paul Simon
I Loved Her First performed by Heartland
Butterfly Kisses performed by Bob Carlisle
Somewhere Over The Rainbow performed by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole
Red Robin performed by Clark Richard

I know my dad has a list of songs he'll want me to hear before we make our dance choice.  Can't wait to hear what we'll dance to.  

Leave a comment with your father daughter dance song, maybe you'll help us make a choice or even someone else in need of the perfect song.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Event Planning 101: Going to venues

I take you back to the poor overwhelmed couple two weeks ago with our first post on venues, we are ready to take the next step.  We have done our research and now my fiance and I are starting to call venues.  To make life easier we taking baby steps, we chose our top three locations.  Time to see who is a available.  

We just checked out Lakes Park in Fort Myers.  My fiance and I live close by the park, we are an outdoors couple, in fact if it does rain on our wedding day we've already agreed to still get married outside.  I personally think it's romantic!!!!!!  Lady In Pink Photography once photographed an engagement in the rain, and it made me cry so hard!

Lakes Park is one of Lady In Pink Photography's favorite local parks to photograph in.  It's perfect for any family session, engagement, wedding, or updating professional portraits.  I thought I new this park in and out, but they keep adding things so every time I'm there I find something new!   

 I could take up more space with plenty more sessions from Lakes Park, but instead let's get down to business.

When it comes down to Lakes Park, here are a few reason's my fiance and I love the location for us:

It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
We can put together an event on a budget
There are places to cook and store our own food
Our family is big and has TONS of kids, it would be easy for us to entertain everyone.
We are an outdoor couple.  We find we will walk for hours together, especially at Lakes Park.
There are restrooms close by and available
Plenty of parking
Two pavilions for shelter with tables!!!!!
COUNTLESS locations to choose to host our ceremony
TRAIN RIDES!!!!!  Train rides!!!!  Did I mention... TRAIN RIDES with a TINY LITTLE VILLAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Play ground(s) (this bride will be swinging and sliding too!!!!!)
and two water features on the far side of the park...
and more... more more more

We have a very solid theme for hosting our event at Lakes Park and know our guests would enjoy their day there too.

This morning I took the first step... Called to book!  With my fingers crossed I was told, to my disappointment, that I have to wait 6 months before the date of event to book any spaces.  The "Go Get It Done Girl" in me almost teared up on the phone knowing I had to wait... Wait up to September to book our location...  Sigh.  BUT this means that they are available!  The plan is to keep looking at different venues and make our final choice in September.

Here is a little video from our visit to Lakes Park, warning there is a very cute guy in this video.

Now that we have dates, possible venues, and themes, time to start designing save the dates and sending them to out of town guests.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Event planning 101: Bridal Show Mania

Me, My Fiance, junior bridesmaids and matron of honor.
As a bride, a bridal show sounds like tons of fun!  It is, and very overwhelming.  Many vendors, loud noises, and "win this, win that, win it all" attitude.  Yet, I went home with too much information, no prizes, and really cute memories of the future Mr. Knerd in Shining Armor making sure to take ALL the info packets he could fit into our tiny plastic bag.  By the end, it was almost a game to see how much information we could go home with.  

We were attending the bridal show hosted by B103.9 in the Harborside Event Center.  

After the bridal show, many things are much clearer than before and in ways much more confusing than ever.  We now understand where our budget is, we know what we do not want or do not need to spend money on.  In other words... things are coming together.  We found many more venues to choose from, ranging from "Break the Bank" to "Saving $$$".  We also discovered many great venues are booked...  We ran into Lady In Pink Photography's friend Sara from The Forest Country Club in Fort Myers.  Please see our post last week featuring this really beautiful local Fort Myers venue! Click HERE to visit last weeks video blog post.

The first step my fiance and I did together was take a few days and look at everything.  We ended up recycling more than 2/3 the packets picked up.  Monday morning I'll be calling our three favorite possible venues to find out more information and to see if our chosen date is available.  As for other vendors I want to contact, I've already entered their information into my smart phone with details to why I want to work with them.

Each venue we chose has something to form a different theme.  I'm working on a video blog for Lakes Park in Fort Myers Florida.  As we go, I'll share our feedback with you.  My future Mr. Knerd in Shining Armor is making a cameo in the next video blog.  I'm excited!!!!!
In other news!!!!!!!!!!!    A great big shout out to UaStar Photobooth!  They are going to be at Lady In Pink Photography's community event in October.  We loved everything about them and can't wait to pose in a photo with everyone there to celebrate with me!  The filmstrip above is what we went home with from the bridal show, LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  Please take just a few minutes to check out their website and friend them on Facebook.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Forest Country Club

Photographing weddings and events is a true pleasure and joy!  November 2013, Lady In Pink Photography walked into a venue, The Forest Country Club, with bride, Chelsie, for our final meeting.  This was my first time in the country club.  The minute we walked in and sat down to talk about all the little details for Chelsie and Mark's upcoming wedding day, someone came up and made sure we were okay or if we needed anything.  They even brought us coffee!!!!  So experience #1 was AMAZING!  

Day of the event...  Could not have been more impressed with everything!  The staff was courteous to the guests AND above and beyond that to the Lady In Pink Photography team. They made sure we had plenty water or coffee (THANK YOU!!!! The coffee picked me up to get me home after a long and joyful day.)  Some staff members even made suggestions for good locations to photograph at.  The Forest Country Club really puts in 120% for every event they house.  

Time passes, present day June 2014...  Chelsie and her husband have already received their albums, photographs, and memories.  Lady In Pink Photography get's an e-mail from Sara at The Forest Country Club (Side note, she's amazing!) asking for a photo or two from Chelsie and Mark's wedding day.  First thing I did was contact BOTH bride and groom and make sure it was okay to hang up their beautiful portrait in the Country Club... They said "YES!"  

While delivering the 16x20 portrait to Sara I took a small cellphone video of the Forest Country Club to give you an idea of how beautiful it really is!  Enjoy your sneak peek of a beautiful local venue.

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