Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saying goodbye...

to blogger! I finally made the switch over to Word Press! The new blog is up at - please be sure to follow that one! This one will remain up, but I will no longer post on here.

I'm hoping the new blog will streamline our photos and new slide shows. Pop over and tell me what you think!

Friday, January 28, 2011

#11 My Children Will Do it Differently

I have two kids - two girls, to be exact. Alexandra, my oldest, is 6 1/2 and Evanthea is 5. My kids are my inspiration - and not just creatively (they do give me some great ideas!). The fact that they look at the world uncensored amazes me.
We, as adults, are trained to think before we speak (well, some of us are...but that's another post altogether!) - kids aren't. They speak what pops in their minds. Some times it's off the wall, but some times it's really cool!

I actually ask my kids their opinion on things - not that I think they should run my business (although my 5 year old is ready to take soon as she can stay up past 7...), but they give me an honest answer. I ask my husband a question, and his response is generally "I don't know" or "sure"...but my kids - they'll say something's cool and get excited about it...or give me "that" look.
How will they do things differently? I hope they keep this uncensored raw instinct....but learn the fine art of negotiating with manners. I think they'll run their own businesses much more successfully - they already have technology down!
I hope they follow their dreams and do everything they want - even if it hurts them (after all, we learn through our mistakes, right?). I hope they keep their dreams big (Alexandra wants to marry her best friend, be a paleontologist and live in NYC; Evanthea wants to be a dentist and a photographer). I hope they keep reaching for the stars...and I hope a lot of people tell them they can't do anything - because that will push them to can do it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

#16 Empower Your Best Customers

I firmly believe that as a business owner, I should find that delicate balance of finding new clients as well as make my current (or past) clients just as happy. As many of you know, weddings is my main focus as a photographer - so how can I make current or past clients happy?

First of all, I meet or beat ALL deadlines - that nonnegotiable. I tell them their proofs are ready in 6 weeks and email them in 3 or 5 saying they're ready. If I ask for an additional 4 weeks for their album design and it's ready in 3. I set my own bar high and I meet it. I have never missed a deadline - never.

Next, I don't treat my clients like soon as they sign a contract, they are a part of the "Parsons Photo Family". We welcome them to the family and make them feel like they're a part. About 80% of the Parsons Photo Family can tell you at the drop of a hat what's going on with my kids at this moment. That's cool, isn't it? :)

And they stay a part of our family - my favorite joke turns out to be true: "all weddings lead to Mallory". Mallory, our bride of the 2009 photo of the year, has directly and indirectly introduced us to at least 4 of our couples! And I photographed her little baby, Aiden's newborn session too! (I still plan on bringing their photo to bridal shows because we have found that at least one person knows her and we get a kick out of it!)

The photo at the top of the blog is a bridal show sign. Not mine, though! It's After Hours DJ Entertainment's sign but it's our bride - a wedding we did together. And not just any wedding, Amanda & Todd's wedding. I love Amanda - I tease her because she probably gave me the biggest challenge this year...she told me she didn't like the way she looked in her engagement photos. I know she was being self critical, but I took that as a challenge for her wedding....and I have to say that her wedding was probably my best work. We both won on that one! ;)

How do we empower these customers? Many are secrets that only our clients know of - we have fun games, incentives, secret sales, and giveaways. ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bride's Choice 2011

Wow...Jess and I are speechless at this point! We are so unbelievably humbled to have won two of the highest industry awards in one week! First, we found out we were chosen as a pick for The Knot's Best of Weddings for 2011 (that makes a 4 year run!); now we find out that we just won Bride's Choice from Wedding Wire!


Thank you so much to our amazing couples that voted for us this past year. We truly enjoyed working with you and becoming a part of your families! Thank YOU for letting us in to your most intimate time of your lives! We are blessed!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

#33 Idea Making and How I Make Something

My life is governed by ideas - I am fortunate to have a career that is built upon creativity and I LOVE IT! I have to constantly keep fresh and keep up new ideas. A lot of people have asked me how I do it - where to do I get these ideas.

Some ideas are from other photographers - I see a shot I really like, I save it to my computer and then I study it. I then try to put my own twist to the idea and make it my own. I do give credit for the really creative ideas that I mimic - as I feel other photographers should.

Other ideas are from my kids - both of my kids are pretty creative and they come up with some fun ideas!

Sometimes I'll just randomly Google things when I don't feel like getting stuff done. I come across some fun marketing ideas that way.

But my favorite ideas stem from negativity of others - yes, you read that right! All my life, I have always taken "you can't do that" as a challenge of how I can. Most recently was my random thought of having a bride and groom do snow angels during their reception...I was told I can't. Well, I think the photo says it all! ;)

How do I make things happen? I open my mouth for starters! Those of you who know me, know I am not afraid to ask or talk. If I need help, I'll ask. If I don't agree with something, I have no problems either saying something or excusing myself from the situation. I think that's the best way to get things done - use your brain first, then your mouth! :)

Keep an eye out for some of our new ideas coming up this year - see if you can figure out how I developed that idea!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

#5 Technology That Empowers Me

There are many things I can list - but truly it's technology that keeps me going day to day: the computer I'm typing on right now, my TV that's showing a slideshow set from my computer, my DSLRs, my back up hard drives, my portable drives, my off side backups...shall I go on?

The one technology that empowers me, oddly enough is the same technology that I griped about yesterday! My cell phone.

Most specifically my Verizon Droid X - this is truly the first phone that I can run just about my entire business up on! Thursday night, at the fashion show, I was able to book 8 sessions, schedule those sessions, send the clients email, accept their credit card payments, email them receipts, deposit check payments into my account, and email Jess my schedule. How cool is that? :) That was all before I updated my Facebook status!

So, as much as I hate to say it - the technology that empowers me has got to be my Droid! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

#10 Somebody Has to Say It

Cell phones make our society stupid. There...I said it.

Yesterday, I was at Ocean State Job Lot, a quirky store that is massive in size and has just about anything you want...but the aisles are so tiny, two carriages can barely make it through. One lady parked herself in the middle of an aisle, leaned on her carriage bar and was concentrating on her cellphone (texting? web browsing? who cares - it was annoying either way). So many people politely said "excuse me" to get by her. She ignored 2, glared at one, and scoffed at another. She could have very easily moved her carriage aside and then took up her task on the phone.

The other thing that brings us down with our cell phones is general courtesy. I can't stand it when I'm speaking to someone in person, their phone rings, then they grab the phone and say "oh, it's so and so" and picks it up. No "excuse me" or push the mute button. Or when you're at the store and the people gabbing in the checkout line - hang up, finish what you're doing and call them back.

And this one I'm guilty of - who knows anyone's phone numbers any more? I don't know my husband's cell phone number. Why should I? It's programed on my phone - I just push his face and it dials...easy!

Now, our phones take us to where we want with navigation (men everywhere are dancing - now they don't need to ask for directions!!), pretend to be photographers (don't get me started about cell phone photogs at weddings...), they schedule our personal and business appointments in a matter of seconds, they allow us to track our kids, they allow us to accept payments, we can even shoot pigs with angry birds (some of you might not get that one...)!!!

But in general - I think cell phones make us stupid...just look at the statistics of car crashes caused by cell phones/texting.

[side note, the child in the photo is not using a real cell phone - this is a Tinker Bell plastic one. No child was made stupid for this blog post! And the photo was taken by my 5 year old - pretty cool technique!!]