Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Penguin Plunge - Middletown Style!

Tis the season...for people to be FREEZIN for a REASON! :)

The Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics!

Once again, we were honored to be the official photographers at the plunge. This one was held at Crystal Lake in Middletown.


The costumes this year were so creative! It's amazing!!

Jackie took a little break from her work to hang with Rocky!
Yes, it is the Disney Princesses! I think cartoons take 10 lbs off....isn't that why they look so different?

At this plunge, everyone raised over $55k for Special Olympics! Wow! Especially with this economy, that's fantastic!

See you at Ocean Beach Park for the next plunge on Sunday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whirlwind weekend = whirlwind posts

What a fantastic weekend - it was crazy, but good crazy!!

Jessica & I started the day off at the Wadsworth Mansion, setting up for the bridal show. As we bring our photo booth to the Wadsworth shows, it was great to have an extra day to set up. This is our favorite shot from our testings of the photo booth!

Next stop was WedWork - a really fun networking event of local wedding vendors sponsored by ESTOccasions and the UCONN Alumni Center. Jessica, Dave F & I had a lot of fun indulging on some yummy food and meeting some new vendors. And we were thrilled to be the official photographers of the event...we did get a little sidetracked by the ADORABLE shoes everyone was we did a series of cute shoes! Can you match the vendor with the shoes??

Next post coming is Saturday's event, the Penguin Plunge!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Liss and Jess Collaboration???!!!

Flower Girl Dresses!

Here's a little tidbit of info about Parson Photography's wonderful second shooter Jessica!

So after paging through countless sources on paper and online I have finally found, quite by accident, the perfect flower girl dresses. I wanted some thing unique and fun but didn't want the girls to feel stuffy or way too made up. My dear friend Jessica (who is also a second shooter for Parson's Photography) MADE for her daughter a gorgeous white tutu dress and I fell in love! I searched online and found so many examples so the possibilities really are endless but the original design is so perfect! I can not wait to have her design dresses for my nieces! Here is a snap shot of her daughter in the dress. Other images of her little one can be found on my FlickR.

Jess is Soooooooo talented! She is such a sweet person and I'm so happy to have met her and to have met her beautiful daughter. LOVE THEM!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great Customer Serivice

Being that I have been in the service industry pretty much all my life (parents have always owned restaurants & liquor stores - my first job was pouring sodas at my dad's restaurant when I was 6...I charged him 5 cents a soda I poured...), I have a very high standard for customer service. When I go to a store or a restaurant, I expect to be greeted with great customer service. What does that mean?

"Hi! How are you today?" and a pause, waiting for the answer...eye contact is a must.
"Thank you for stopping by!"
"Did you need help finding something?" followed by eye contact again, waiting for the answer.
"Enjoy the rest of your day"

That to me is great customer service - you're taking care of your customer by showing you care.

I pretty much expect genuine service. One thing that has been driving me crazy lately are the stores that ask you (at checkout, mind you - I find that pretty condescending), "did you find everything you're looking for today?". when I answer "no" - I either hear crickets or the store turns code blue. No one knows how to handle it! That to me, is not great customer service.

In the past year, I've challenged my vendors, contractors, and other colleagues with some situations I've been in and I've seen some excellent examples of customer service that I feel needs a shout out!

~ The Hartford Insurance - I had a business claim. My agent not only walked me through the process, but she called to see how the replacement parts were working out. Wow! My claim was paid within 2 weeks of the filing AND she called to see how everything was working out! Amazing!! How simple was it for her to put a reminder in her calendar to call me up and ask? Did it make me tell other wedding vendors about their insurance? You bet it did! and they're the first on my post!

~ Smug Mug - these guys always get kudos from me! A "small" business (I think family owned) who remembers their customers. I have had some really out of the box problems happen a couple of times - last night to be exact. They emailed me right away and explained what happened and gave me suggestions to fix it on my end and then how to get the information back to them. Steve was responding to me at 11:00 EST last night to make sure I did it correctly! WOW! No matter where in America Steve was, that's still fantastic because it was after hours! Thanks once again!

~ Kaplan Computers in Manchester, CT. I had two computers crash in a row and lost some information in the transfer to the new computers (silly thing of switching OS from vista to Windows 7). They asked me to come in so they can try to retrieve my information - it ended up taking longer than they thought (I had my kids with me...), they asked us to have a seat on a couch, put a movie in, turned up the volume so they could hear, and brought me coffee. It made the almost two hour wait almost bearable with two small children! My tech repeatedly came out to give me updates. How simple is that? But fantastic because I'm talking about them!

~ Best Buy - I'm sure most of you are looking at the computer sideways on that...but this was something so simple! I bought a new computer at the store to replace the one in repairs. I put the computer on my Best Buy credit card and the clerk had to call in for an authorization code so I had to wait a few minutes longer. When I got home, there was an email thanking me for being such a great customer and that Best Buy appreciates my business and they were sorry it took so long to process my transaction. The clerk at the store didn't apologize, I got an email. That brightened my spirits a bit! I ended the day on a good note!

~ And to all of the sales clerks, food/bev servers, agents, etc who said my two favorite words: "THANK YOU" - the most simplest way to give the BEST customer service is to THANK your customer!
"Thank you for stopping by"
"Thank you for thinking of us"
"Thank you for buying something"
"Thank you"

I'm not going to mention any of the poor customer service I encountered in the past few months because this post is not to stress on the negatives...I don't think that we need to draw attention to the negatives, I think we need to stress the amazing! THANK YOU to everyone who have given me wonderful customer service and THANK YOU for reading this! :)

What does great customer service mean to you? feel free to comment!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kate & Dane's Engagement Session

What a wonderful morning this morning...a little chilly, but we still had an awesome time with Kate & Dane! Dave & I had the honors of photographing this super cute couple on the one year anniversary of their engagement - and also happens to be Valentine's Day!

Can you guess where we shot? :)

Definitely one of my favorite shots!!
They really needed a 40's style TV with this one!

Dave & I collaborated on this one! Started with something completely different but loving the outcome!

Another one of my favorites!

I love it when I give Dave a "you know what I mean" concept and he nails it! Thanks, Dave! I love the shoe shot!!

Congratulations, Kate & Dane! Next time we see you in downtown Hartford, it will be MUCH WARMER!

Don't forget to vote for photo of the year!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vote for Liss and Tommy's E-Session!

This is where we need YOUR help! Due to the fact that February is booked solid, my husband and I have to incorporate our E-session into an already existing event. Since Diane and myself are already volunteering to photograph the Penguin Plunge in New London on the 28th, I am dragging my husband along and Diane will photograph us in New London. None of us are too familiar with the area we'd like you to help us decide on the best location!

We asked for suggestions and you gave us some great ideas! We've taken the best of those ideas and are putting it up for a vote.

The locations are...

1. Private Beach
2. Downtown New London
3. The Lyman Allyn Art Museum
4. The Romantic Branford House on the water

Voting ends next week!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Liss' 6th Anniversary!

It seems a bit silly to me to be blogging about our anniversary dinner while we are planning a wedding but since it's a fact that we are already married I know you will all forgive me for my silliness. Our anniversary was February 5th and this year we celebrated 6 years of marriage!

I was so exhausted that am that I walked past the flowers and card twice before I noticed them... hello to being a mom! Like most women, I feel that I'm a bit more excited about the wedding than my husband and I know he could really care less about flowers, music and picking out food to serve the guests. So when I saw that the card read, "To the one I'd marry all over again", I really felt like it said all I needed to hear. To tell you the truth... I have no idea what the inside said because I was crying like a baby!

I think a lot of brides-to-be feel that the groom-to-be may not care too much about the wedding planning. It is important to remember though, that as much as he may not care about planning the wedding... he cares about the wedding and he cares about you. Thank you honey for that reminder!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So this is Liss and I'm part of the Parson's Photography family. AND... this is my ONLY wedding photo from 6 years ago!!! This is my official do over wedding announcement AND my very first blog post!

So February is a busy month for me as it is. My birthday, my oldest son’s birthday, Valentine’s Day AND my wedding anniversary! My poor husband! So to announce that we are going to have a wedding is probably the craziest thing to do right now but, if there is one thing I’ve learned from being a mom and a wife and a photographer… things will NEVER slow down! So just jump in! We made that jump by deciding on a date, August 27th, 2011. The rest is all up for discussion!

My husband Tommy and I met through mutual friends. I had grown up with the wife and he worked with the husband. It didn’t take us long to fall in love and move in together. We were twitter pated! I had a son from a previous relationship and Tommy had no problem with that at all, he loves kids. In fact, we decided that we wanted to have a family and a child of our own right away but he didn’t want to do things backwards. He wanted us to be married before we had a baby so we did! We jumped in! We found a great lady who ran a local photography studio (hmmm…) who was also a Justice of the Peace. She was great and we were married in no time! The following October we had our son, Thomas.

The sad thing about having the quick ceremony was we both missed out on having our family involved, having a party to celebrate with our friends and creating memories to share with our children when they got older. All I have is one disposable camera photo of my husband and I and Aiden, my oldest. It’s a cherished photo but not exactly something I would put on the mantle. It’s horrid, just horrid. My husband is a much more handsome man than what he is portrayed as in that photo. And like and addict, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I am Liss and I have a crappy wedding photo! HELP!!!!

Sadly, ever since then either one of us is not in the photo or… well that seems to be the problem! There are maybe 2 or 3 photos of my husband and I together since we were married. Obviously being a photographer I have a hard time being in photos but I never realized until now how few and far between they really were. I think we owe it to ourselves and our two boys to leave better photographic memories than that.

Luckily I have a husband who wants to give our family those memories. He wants to have the wedding I always dreamed of and I’m very excited after 6 years of marriage (on Friday), to announce that I will be having a wedding! I am officially a bride-to-be and will be Diane’s worst nightmare! J Speaking of Diane, I am VERY honored to have her be our photographer! The Parson’s team is a creative force and I would trust no other photographers with my special day! Will they be able to deal with me? Only time will tell!

Stay tuned for future announcements, this is going to be a blast to plan and I want everyone’s input as the countdown winds down. There are many special ideas floating around and when it’s time to make them public, I want everyone’s opinion! Shortly we will be announcing bridal party line ups and you don’t want to miss that! Big news! Of course as soon as Diane and I can find a 5 minute break in our schedules we’ll be doing our first engagement session!

Wish us (and especially Diane) luck as we get the ball rolling on this one!