My Photography Specials

Growing up we were lucky enough to have professional photos taken by my parent’s friend, but we couldn’t afford an updated family photo every year. I believe I aged about seven years between family photos once. ii

Every Fall and Spring I hold photography specials in High Park. For an affordable price families can come to the park for half an hour and capture some great memories they can hang on their wall or send to family. I started this when I first began my business in the city three years ago. I now charge a lot more for normal family shoots and my schedule has become a lot busier, but I still hold these specials. Spring Special

I begin advertising for these specials 2 months prior to the dates because they are in high demand. I spend countless hours over that time sending emails, updating availability and trying to fit everyone in as much as I can. I have started to ask for deposits up front to hold spots and deter people from cancelling last minute. Apparently this has not helped.

I am extremely disappointed with the amount of no shows and last minute cancellations. To not give any notice that you won’t show up for a scheduled appointment when someone else wanted that spot is very unkind. On high demand days I spend 10 hours in the park with an assistant I have to pay. When clients don’t show up that doesn’t mean I don’t have to pay my assistant. I put on a smile and say “that’s okay” but that’s not true. It hurts me when I put so much time and energy into these events and this is what happens. 7 cancellations in two days is unacceptable. Due to this I will be changing these specials or not holding them at all.

For all of my clients who did show up this weekend, I truly appreciate you and could not run my business without you. I will always give deals to those I can count on…you know who you are 🙂

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15% Newborn Photography until February 28th

April-Marie Photography is offering 15% off our at home newborn shoots & maternity/newborn bundles! Not expecting until just yet? No problem! Book a tentative date and all you need to do is put down a 10% deposit!

Have us come to you! With our at home shoots we bring our studio lights, backdrops, and props to you! All we require from you is the baby.

Included in our session prices are all of the high res edited images on DVD, 5 (or 8 for 2 hour) fully retouched images of your choosing.

1 hour: Was $250.00+tax            Now $212.50 +tax

2 hours: Was $350.00+ tax         Now $297.50 +tax

 

All session times are approximate. You can expect an additional 30-60 minutes for feedings, diaper & wardrobe changes.

 

 

 

What it’s like to run a business at 23

A lot of people ask how I’m so young, running a photography business full-time in Canada’s largest city and can afford to pay my rent. The answer… a great support system, a passion for what I do and the drive to succeed. But I’m still far from where I want to be.

I started April-Marie Photography at the age of 21. I followed my recently graduated boyfriend to Toronto from Niagara while I still had a year left of school to complete. I drove back and forth several times a week, going to school in Niagara while holding a part-time job and starting my business in Toronto. I had very understanding teachers who knew if I missed a class it must be for a good reason, and it was.

During this time I charged $25.00 for a shoot….which turned into $40.00 which has now turned into $225.00, and my client base is still growing. I have some of the most loyal clients .They are constantly helping me build my business by advertising for me by word of mouth, through social media and by distributing fliers and business cards. I could not do this without them.

Family portrait from my most recent Fall Special

Family portrait from my most recent Fall Special

I didn’t come from a family who could afford a $500.00 photo shoot once or twice a year so I try to keep my prices as affordable as possible. I still offer my clients shoots for $75.00 at certain times of the year. I can only do this by booking 30-40 shoots in a week and having them come to me in a park where the overhead is nil. When the weather doesn’t permit for outdoor shoots, I rent a studio for a day and book every last minute of the rental time in order to break even.

I never wanted to be a family photographer and still have bigger dreams, but you have to do what you have to do in order to pay the bills.

Speaking of bills…

Living in Toronto is NOT CHEAP! I consider moving back to Niagara with my parents about 2-3 times a month, but I know it’s not an option if I want to keep my business. Here is everything I have to pay for that contributes to my session prices.

Rent

Apartment/equipment insurance

Car (and no I could not run my business without a car)

Car maintenance

Car insurance

Gas

Student loans (because in order to be the photographer I am today I went to school)

Camera equipment

Lighting equipment

Reliable Computer

DVDs/Ink/Packaging

Stamps/Envelopes

Props (because everyone wants the latest trends from Pinterest)

Backdrops (A $70.00 role of seamless lasts about 4-5 shoots)

Internet

Advertising

Vendor Shows (Bridal and kids events)

If you’ve seen my car you know I’m not rich, and if I’m late for a shoot in the winter it’s very likely I’ve broken down or my car won’t start.

A photo from one of my first weddings which was actual a civil ceremony! Got me my first big wedding!

A photo from one of my first weddings which was actually a civil ceremony! Got me my first big wedding!

At 16 I shot my first wedding and was paid $100.00. It was a nightmare experience and I vowed never to shoot another one as long as I lived. Ya right…In 2014 I shot over 15 weddings and am on course to book 20+ in 2015. I’m always thankful for those couples who took a chance on me in my early days (I know I know, in 10 years these will still be my early days).

Not a day goes by that I’m not running my business. If I don’t check/answer my emails at least once a day I get more emails asking if I got the first email. I only have one phone line so often I receive texts and phone calls from 6am-12am! I rely on free advertising on sites like Kijiji where I post my ads at least 3 times a day to keep them on the first couple of pages. On top of this I have hours of editing and deliveries to make on any given day. Even when I go on vacation I edit and stay connected. I never realized how much time and energy goes into running a successful business.

 

The negative effects of running my own business….

Insomnia due to stress about money and not having a regular paycheck

Back pain from carrying my camera and equipment

Bad eyes from staring at a computer screen all day editing photos

OCD about checking emails and needing to stay on top of everything

No social life…my clients and their babies are my friends

 

How April-Marie Photography is getting better!

Come the spring time I will be hiring an assistant! Everybody wants their kids to be looking at the camera and smiling but sometimes I’m just not funny enough.

More backdrops & more props!

More locations for our seasonal specials! If you have a park or scenic area in your neighbourhood that you’d like me to hold a special at let me know!!

 

What you don’t know about April-Marie Photography

I donate my time and services to charitable organizations

I donate money to homeless charities in Toronto

I donate shoots for fundraisers in the city

I create customized photography packages to clients who ask for them

I will do anything to keep my clients happy including rushed orders, special deliveries and more

I give discounts to returning customers and those who give referrals

I am very excited to go into my 3rd year of business and hope to see each and every one of you again in 2015! If you ever have any questions, suggestions or ideas you know where to find me 🙂

April-Marie Photography 2015 Wedding Special On NOW!

Photo-330In light of our first wedding show in less than two weeks, we are offering all brides getting married in 2015 (or 2016 if you’re really ahead of the game) 10% off their wedding package. This offer expires December 31st. Book before this date and you will also pay NO TAX!

What do you get when you book with us? Besides a relaxed and enjoyable experience on your big day, you will receive two shooters, all of the edited high resolution images on DVD, a slideshow, an online gallery and a little gift from us to you! We offer an easy 3 part payment plan and 2 consultations to go over Wedding Packagesyour wedding details. Upon booking your wedding with us you may also take advantage of our discounted engagement shoot! only $125.00 for a 1 hour session at the location of your choice!

DON’T WAIT! Our 2015 Summer and Fall dates are booking up quick! Fill out the contact form below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring & Cherry Blossom Photo Specials!

         Spots are over 50% sold out!

           Spring is finally here! With warm weather and blooming cherry blossoms just around the corner, its time to start booking your spring photo shoots. This year April-Marie Photography will be offering 2 Spring Specials and a Cherry Blossom Special for our clients. Spring is the ideal time for photos in the park. With beautiful flower beds and warm…but not scorching temperatures, it is the perfect time to plan your family photos. Image

What do you get when you book your Spring shoot? You will get a mini 1/2 hour shoot in High Park, all of your edited images on DVD (35-50 images), and 4 fully retouched images of your choosing all for $75.00. Refer a friend and receive 10% off your shoot. Spots are limited so don’t wait to book. A $20.00 deposit is required upon booking. If you are looking to book for a large extended family 2 time slots will be required. Click the photo to book your shoot     >>>>>

 Location: High Park (Toronto)

 Dates: May 2nd, 3rd & 4th (Spring Special #1)

              May 8th-11th Tentative (Cherry Blossoms) … Based on the dates from 2013*

              May 19th-25th (Spring Special #2)

Mini sessions are $75.00, tax included. Weekend dates are highly desired and won’t be available for long. Contact April today to book your shoot! Summer Special will take place this July!

*The dates of the cherry blossom special are tentative and depend on when the trees bloom. If you wish to book a shoot for this you must be flexible with dates. Early morning shoots are recommended to avoid the crowds. More dates may be added if the response is great enough

Family     Engagement    Maternity     Friends