All New Signature Albums! A Treasure for Connecticut Family Portraits

My new Signature Albums have arrived. I am absolutely in love with them and can't wait for my clients to get their hands on them. They are a generous 10x10 inch size so that when you open up your album you get a lovely 20 inch spread. They come in an array of luxurious cover materials and leathers. The photo pages are super hard, quite thick and lay flat with no gutter in the middle. These are hand constructed by artisans in the USA and will last for generations due to their archival-quality construction. 

Quality tangible albums are probably your most important memory investment. Did you know that your digital photos are risky business? We risk leaving our grandchildren or great-grandchildren with what archivists call a 'digital dark age'.  Digital formats are becoming increasingly more obsolete as technology swiftly changes and leaves our most precious images behind. Many of us will not have any photos to pass on if they are kept as digital pictures, and you can bet your great-granddaughter will not be searching through CDs or your social media pics. We all know it will be a whole new technology in 30 years. But this beautiful Signature Album will still be as good as new! Especially if you store it in the acid free archival box that it comes in.

Please let me know if you would like to set up a time to view my samples and discuss ordering your own Signature Album for your precious memories. The standard size album fits your favorite session pictures (15-20) and the large album with extra pages fits your favorite pictures from two or three of your sessions (20-40 pictures). This investment truly is a gift for the whole family for years and generations to come.
This is no trend item. It's about as much of a heirloom treasure as you can get! I absolutely love designing these pages so that the various family portraits from your gallery compliment the others on the page. Let me create one for you today and you can enjoy it for always.

A Signature Album of your precious family photos would make a luxurious mother's day gift! If you have had a session with me in the past 2 years but never purchased an album, please enjoy the one time offer code: ALBUM for $100 off of your Signature Album now through April 22nd, 2014. Contact me for more details and price guide! denise@denisegammellphotography.com

Treasure or Trend? {Review of Photo Cubes}

Because I have a family, a house and all the belongings that come with it; I'm finding that LESS really is more. I try to avoid filling my home with stuff that will get thrown out in a year or two. A space with beautiful and quality items can nurture and fuel those that live in the home. There is much wisdom in the old adage: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” -William Morris 
  
So with this "less is more" value in mind I'm going to start a series of posts about products that many photographers offer and just tell you straight up if it's going to be worth it in the long run. If the item isn't beautiful and doesn't stand the heirloom test of time, then I'm doing my clients a favor by simply not offering trend items. My new photography product offerings will be narrowed down to luxurious treasures that can only be purchased through a professional photographer. Items that will matter most to you 25, 50, 100+ years from now.

First up are "Photo Cubes." These are 4" cubes that have a laminated photo adhered to 5 wooden sides. I have never had these on my product offerings list before but thought I'd order some from one of my professional photography labs just to see what they are like. They are pretty cute, and my kids played with them for a few minutes stacking them on top of each other. I did notice after my little guy dropped one that the edge did get a tiny bit banged up. These are going to get a lot of handling since you really have to pick them up to see all the sides, so a dent after one drop tells me these won't last but a few years.  Great for an office or a kids room. After seeing that Shutterfly offers Photo Cubes for less, this one is a no-brainer. It does not meet the treasure test so these won't make my new luxury heirloom-only photography product listing.
 Up next with "Treasure or Trend?" are my new Heirloom Albums. I'll give it away now that these definitely are treasures, but I can't wait to show them off with my own images inside.  Remember when I shared how I searched through hundreds of various albums for the very best during a professional photographer conference? Well I just finished designing my very own. They should arrive soon from my professional album company and I know you are going to absolutely love these.



Baby Brother Meets Big Sisters {CT Newborn Photographer}

This is a very special family that I have had the privilege to watch grow. We've enjoyed several family photo sessions through the years. I photographed big sister #1 when she was a tiny baby, as well as big sister #2 when she was born, and now little brother! I admit I did go back to my 2008 and 2011 files just to catch a glimpse at any little baby similarities between siblings. I get a bit emotional thinking that one day that will come too soon I'll be taking this little guy's one year old pictures, first day of school pictures, and high school senior photos.  It's really an honor for me to be the one that hands over those treasured memories, those timeless albums, and helps to hang up family pictures for years of enjoyment. It's a honor to capture these moments. Isn't it beautiful watching life unfold? Love multiplied.

Artist Headshots {CT Photographer} My Selvaged Life on Etsy

I love the goodness that Etsy has brought to the world, giving artisans an online storefront and lovers of handmade goodness a creative marketplace to peruse. I am an Etsy addict. So when my friend Heather, from the shop My Selvaged Life, approached me about doing a studio and headshot photo shoot for her shop, I knew I was the one for the job! I had found her jewelry shop years ago while searching Etsy for local Connecticut results. That is another beauty of the site. Not only can you purchase handmade items from anywhere on earth, but you can also shop specifically for local handmade or vintage goods. Perfection!

You have to take a look at the unique combinations Heather comes up with in her jewelry pieces. I always get compliments when I wear mine. Heather's studio is an inspiring and inviting place full of artwork, drawers of beads, and special vintage pieces. I wanted to sit down and start firing metal with her. Check out her shop to hear more about her creative process or do a little Valentine's day shopping. I'll be getting some of these for someone dear to my heart.

If you are an artist, blogger, or business owner in the Connecticut area and you're looking for modern headshots that capture the real you, please contact me. I am truly inspired working with fellow entrepreneurs.

Graduation Pictures {CT Senior Photographer} Litchfield, CT

What could be more thrilling than graduating and getting ready to make your start in the world in a different country? When this beauty asked me to take her graduation portraits before she sailed away to new far off lands I got her booked as soon as possible (winter can't stop me)! I was so excited to help her plan the Connecticut snowy photo shoot of her dreams that personified her classy, vivacious self. We had a blast together at a magical location: Topsmead State Forest.  I could have taken pictures of her all day, doesn't she just shine? Her personality is just as sparkling as her beautiful eyes and smile.

If you are looking for a CT senior portrait photographer, be sure to check out my current promotion for the Class of 2015. Applications for my model team are already filling my inbox.  Now booking spring sessions for current high school Juniors. Contact me to book your session today!

Professional Photographer Conference {Imaging USA '14} Brand New Luxury Albums

I just got back from the marvelous Imaging USA which is the largest annual convention and expo for professional photographers. The long day of flying to Arizona from Connecticut was surprisingly relaxing and useful in planning all of my business goals for 2014. As any parent knows, simply getting to sit and have your own thoughts for an entire day can really be a luxury! The plethora of celebrity-status photographer speakers did not disappoint, and I was definitely a little starstruck (especially seeing Kenny Rogers!- he is so charming & has the most amazing stories from photographing celebrities). I gained tremendous insights in the pages and pages of notes that I took during the seminars. Mostly, I loved being around other visionaries and creators who love life and their work. It's a beautiful thing.

I learned so many useful nuggets for marketing, photographing, and creative inspiration. Some of the photographers around me were voicing confusion in how each of the speakers had their own business methods that they were promoting- and they often seemed to be the direct opposite of what another speaker was successfully doing and promoting as the "best/only way." Here is my take: those "photographer mentoring programs" and the Secret Menus to Successful Pricing for $199 are simply A WAY that worked for someone, not the only way as they are made out to be. When photographers who are just starting out approach me for professional advice, I will share openly what I have tried and learned. But I also tell them that only they have the answers for their photography journey. Sure, ask around and have conversations, but be true to the path before YOU. Take as many workshop classes as you can and be your own mentor. Do the hard work and read, shoot, think, READ, critique, and try again. It's a journey, it takes time to learn and hard work to execute. There is no quick fix class, no magic pill. Each of the Master photographer speakers that presented had their own unique journey and I was super inspired by the vast differences between them.

On a totally different note: One of the most exciting things that I would like to share with my clients is that I have found THE most beautiful albums in the universe for you! My 2014 products and collections will be simple and elegant (but that is another blog post) and 2014 will be the year of luxurious albums. I spent two afternoons in the EXPO room combing through all of the album possibilities offered through various professional vendors. Comparing, pinching, bending (you name it). Let's just say that these albums I will be offering look nothing like anything Shutterfly or any other consumer photo lab could possibly produce. I know my clients deserve heirlooms on their bookshelves and coffee tables and nothing less. These brand-new luxury albums are stunning and I can't wait to have some samples printed to share. 

Here are just a few phone pics from the trip. A trip to anywhere with palm trees during the month of January is always a good idea!

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” - Edmund Lee

Senior Sessions- Class of 2015- High School Senior Portrait Photography for CT

Hey class of 2015! Can you believe that your year is almost here? Eek, so exciting! I've been working with Seniors from all over the Connecticut Farmington Valley area since 2008, but THIS year I'm changing it up, I know what Seniors really want for their Senior Portraits. I'm confident that with me you will have the best Senior Portrait photography experience you could possibly have in Connecticut.
 Hear me on this one: It's not about picking from a blue or black background ladies and gents, it's about the location and style that fits YOU the best. I tailor all of my sessions to you, every single aspect, so that you get photos like no one else's.  I come to you, not the other way around. I capture what makes you unique, your awesome essence in a photograph in a REAL outdoor setting.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: I'm looking for a few class of 2015 girls who would like to join my team as Senior Models. Models get a generous discount, a free app of your Senior Portraits to share with whomever you choose, cash and/or prizes for each referral you send my way, and an invitation to join the FREE VIP styled photoshoot complete with fashion, hair and makeup styling. BUT I will only be accepting applications until February 10th, 2015 and there are a LIMITED number of spots for each high school, so apply now for the best chance. Spots fill up quickly!

I wish everyone could be a part of my team, but I will be choosing just a few class of 2015 Seniors per school. I will be announcing those who make my model team as soon as the first week in January and then on through the cutoff date. Good Luck!