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In my experience the Pizza Delivery Drivers, many if not all, are, for the most part, disrespectful of traffic conditions and traffic control personnel. Last night while I was directing traffic around an accident I had the pleasure to witness their total disrespect for other people. Yes, there are other drivers that do the same thing, but not one pizza delivery driver took the directions to slow down and move over very well. When I’m standing 2 feet from a lane of 45 mph traffic I hope that drivers will do the right thing by slowing down to a safe speed going by me, or better yet, move over one lane. But in my experience, including last night, not one pizza delivery driver did.

And to top the evening off, I had a car coming at me in the center lane at a minimum of 30 mph. He finally realized there was an emergency vehicle there with their light bar strobes going, and a person in a high vis vest and traffic wand, and turned back into traffic within 15 yards of me almost colliding with another vehicle. Just after he passed, another motorist slowed down and yelled that the guy driving that vehicle was “wasted” and needs to be pulled over and stopped. Unfortunately, by the time I could turn around to try to get their tag number the were way to far to see it. And within 30 seconds they were out of sight since this was on a hill. So there was no way that I could radio in and let dispatch know the direction of travel (there are several roads merging just over the hill), tag number, and vehicle description (a light colored minivan).

So please do me a big favor… when you see flashing lights (yes, you have to stop texting to see the lights and you also have to pay attention to driving) SLOW DOWN and MOVE OVER. I really don’t want to end up a traffic fatality.

Acc

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Everyone can do something that helps their community. As a photographer I have 2 communities that I volunteer in. In the community where my studio is I take the police officer portraits at no charge and I volunteer many hours per month with the police department assisting officers. In the community that I live in I take the officer portraits at no charge and when they ask for volunteers I usually jump right in and help. I believe that it’s good to support the community in any way you can. There’s always something that needs to be done and could use volunteers. For instance, in August there’s National Night Out. It’s a great event and lots of fun. I’ll be volunteering in the community that I live in and helping the police distribute information throughout the evening. It’s not hard work, but it’s something that will help the city.

I enjoy doing these things and am always thinking of other ways to help. I’ve got several different photo projects in mind and hopefully will get them done this summer.

Visit Casual Elegance Photography® and also like us on Facebook!

Hope

Hope

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This is a blog I wrote over a year ago, but I felt that I need to re-post it because I have been receiving calls from potential clients who have had bad experiences when doing a boudoir session with another photographer in the past.  I told them that these are the things that they should ask right up front.  I know that this isn’t positively going to make sure that the photographer is the right one, but it will help with the short  list.  I’ve sent them this list of questions to help them get started.

I received a call from a potential client back a while ago and I was actually very delighted that she had such a good list of questions for me before she would hire a photographer – especially one that was going to take intimate photos for her. She had done her homework and said that she wanted to be sure she was dealing with a professional and a real business. Here are some of the questions she asked and the answers I gave her.

1. Do you have a business license? (yes – in Sandy Springs where my studio is)
2. Are you a corporation and in which state? (yes – Mark L. Anderson, LLC – Georgia – DBA Casual Elegance Photography®)
3. Do you have insurance? (yes – liability and loss of property)
4. When did you start the business? (2000 – I have been specializing in Boudoir and Intimate photography since 2001. I don’t shoot weddings and have not just added Boudoir photography to my menu of services.  I take the business of Boudoir and Intimate Photography seriously and professionally.)
5. Do you have a Website? – she was referred by a friend (yes – casualelegancephotography.com and my email address is mark@casualelegancephotography.com)
6. Do you have a studio? Can I meet with you ahead of the shoot and see your studio? (yes I have a 15oo sq ft studio in a small quite business park – I encourage that you come in ahead of time to discuss a shoot.  It’s always a good idea to see if you click with someone.  You can see examples of my work and we can go over ideas.)
7. Do you have a Makeup Artist? (yes – I utilize the services of several in the area but work closely with 3 – all licensed estheticians. They all believe in cleanliness and ensure their equipment and products are cleaned between uses. These Makeup Artists and I have worked together for over 10 years.)
8. Can I bring someone to the shoot with me? (YES – I highly encourage you to do that)
9. Will my photos be sold or used by you? ( NO! I do not use client images. If a client wants me to use an image I require them to sign an agreement for me to do so. I don’t even allow anyone other than the client to order prints or a CD)

Another few questions that should also be asked are:

1.  What forms of payment do you accept? (I accept most major credit cards, checks, and cash)

2.  Do you provide Prints or just photos on a CD?  (I can provide either or both.  I can also provide books, calendars, and canvas prints.)

3.  What are your hours of operation?  (I’m by appointment only and have appointment hours 7 days per week and on holidays)

She had a bunch more questions but they were related to the process, the shoot, and the timing. As I said, I was delighted that she was taking the task of hiring a photographer so seriously and I gladly answered her questions. It made me very happy that I had followed all the right steps to build my business correctly, and that Casual Elegance Photography® had all the right answers.

Visit our website to learn more about Casual Elegance Photography® and read our client testimonials.

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Last week I did a photo shoot with some good friends and their family. It’s always fun to do a shoot with friends, but when kids are involved it’s even more fun! Children have a way of getting into a shoot like no adult can. They’re not shy or critical of the images, and they just plain have fun. In these days children are very accustomed to seeing the images right away – a far cry from when I was a child. I think that’s one of the reasons that kids have more fun at a shoot. It’s not like they are posed, the photographer takes some photos, and weeks later they see the results. It was a formal process then, not a light and lively session like it is today. At my studio they see the images on a 19″ monitor almost as we shoot them. Their antics and silliness are captured and displayed in a matter of seconds. I believe that this has an impact on the overall mood of the shoot. The parents and children have fun, we capture the true nature of being a child, and we get images that will be the memories of tomorrow. Although we do some posed photos, the majority of the shoot is unplanned images of the interactions between the kids and parents. The real thing. A family of real people and not a posed stiff portrait. Yes, portraits do have their place, but the images of the real family are sometimes priceless.

Visit Casual Elegance Photography ® to make an appointment today.

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I had a very interesting shoot a couple of months back. A client had used a photographer for her wedding that was a good deal as far as cost. She had not checked to see if the photographer was a real business, had insurance, etc. but their previous work looked really nice. Well… not one of the photos of the wedding turned out. Seems the photographer had the camera set wrong and the photos were all out of sync. The client wanted me to take a few shots of them so they would at least have some of her gown and his tux.

A few posts back I wrote about a client who called me and asked a series of questions before even considering Casual Elegance Photography ®. I’m a firm believer in knowing the business you are dealing with, especially when the images are very important to you. This goes for Boudoir images too. I’ve had few clients come to me after having paid another boudoir photographer for a shoot. They were very disappointed in the photos and felt like they had wasted their money. At Casual Elegance Photography® I am so confident that you will love the images that I offer a guarantee. I’ve never had anyone who wasn’t completely satisfied with the exception of one client who, when they walked in the door, said “I have NEVER liked any photos of me and probably never will.” Although she wasn’t “completely” satisfied, she did like several of the shots and said that it was the first time. I did not charge her for the shoot and refunded her deposit.

When shopping for a photographer ask questions, look at samples of previous shoots, and if you feel like you need to, ask for references. I also recommend meeting with the photographer ahead of the shoot to be sure that your personalities will work well to get the images you want.

Visit Casual ELegance Photography® and call for your photo appointment today.

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Now that you’ve decided to do a boudoir or artistic nude photoshoot, for yourself or someone you love… what’s next?

 Boudoir actually means a woman’s bedroom, dressing room or private sitting room.  Your boudoir photography session at Casual Elegance will reflect a sense of intimacy, sexiness, and femininity.  The key to getting your images to look great is comfort, and relaxation!  Nerves will show in the photos every time.  If you read our clients comments you will see that without exception they are comfortable and relaxed in our studio – even if they have been completely naked for artistic nude photographs! And most of them are surprised by this!  We have robes available in the studio for your use before we begin shooting and during set changes, but we always recommend to bring your own robe with you because it will be familiar and comfortable to you. It always surprises me that halfway through the session most women aren’t even bothering with the robes anymore! I am glad that they are that comfortable because we get exceptional images as the comfort level goes up.

Remember, this is new to you, but as the photographer, I have done this hundreds of times. I use digital imaging and shoot directly to the computer – so we can see the results as we shoot. I have never had anyone say that they didn’t enjoy their shoot once the photographs start appearing on the screen! Most say that they cannot believe how beautiful they look, and seeing their images on the screen helps them to relax more.

There are many things you can do prior to the photoshoot to calm yourself if you need to. Take a relaxing bath, listen to soft music, meditate… just spend some time keeping the nerves at bay.   Then just come in and let us do the rest.  From the moment you arrive you will start to feel like part of the family. You will have fun, and get some fantastic images as a bonus!

Visit Casual Elegance Photography ® to read the testimonials, view samples of our work, and set up your appointment today! You can also read our Boudoir FAQs on our links page.

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Where has the time gone? It feels like Memorial Day was just the other week.

I did a head shot shoot today with a new model. One of the reasons I keep my prices low on head shots is because I went it to be affordable for a model, actor, or anyone that is just starting out. I believe that it’s hard enough to start in the business and that in today’s economy people just don’t have the big bucks to spend to get quality headshots. So my pricing takes that into account. Besides, I actually enjoy doing head shots. It gives me a chance to meet new talent and for them to learn a thing or two about working with a photographer. I always advise them to get an agent before they spend lots of money on a portfolio because the ultimate decision about the model/actor’s venue will be by the agent. And if the portfolio doesn’t match their ideas, it will be a waste of money. I’m sure that I lose business by not selling a portfolio package, but I feel better knowing that I am being honest about it.

Next week will be a crazy one. I have a few personal things happening so I’ve got to plan any business related things carefully. I’m getting a Blue Light (PDT) treatment on my entire head to try to get rid of some cancer, so that will tie up an entire day and maybe a little of the next day if I’m still sore. But at least I will be doing what I can to get rid of this stuff. 🙂

If you need head shots please give me a call. You can’t beat the price for the quality of images that you will receive! Visit Casual Elegance Photography ® to see samples of my work and read the client testimonials.

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