#OwningIt

“The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Buffalo Niagara Chapter is jumping into the autumn season by giving face to our members and Western New York’s women business owners. The campaign represents a myriad of professions and industries, from construction to coaching, marketing to manufacturing, law to technology.”

Our wonderful leader and president here at Custom Photo Props has been featured on the NAWBO website! I think I can speak for us all when I say that we are SO proud to be part of such a fantastic company that is run by such an awesome lady. Not only do I get to do arts and crafts all day, but I get to hang out with a bunch of hilarious, kind, and hard working women. Work is fun and Kerri made that possible.

Thank you, Kerri for your hard work and dedication in making this company successful enough to employ a bunch of wackos like us. We couldn’t be more grateful.

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Follow the link below to see the NAWBO post and check out Kerri’s latest project – our new website! www.customphotoprops.com

nawbowny.org/owning-it-kerri-seibert

Say No, Go FAUX!!!

Here at Custom Photo Props, we believe that Faux Fur is the only way to go. May it be a fur collar on your new jacket, the lining of those great winter boots, or your stash of photography props, faux fur is clearly the better choice. It’s less of a hassle and often times it’s even better quality!

Since we love to gush about why faux is better than real, we were searching the internet for some hard facts on the subject. In all of our researching, we stumbled across a very interesting article.

Basically, the article talks about how manufacturers will use REAL fur and market it as FAUX!!! WHY??? We ask you… WHY?!

http://www.today.com/money/rossen-reports-some-faux-fur-sold-stores-comes-real-animals-1D80374119

“So then why use real fur and say it’s fake? “Some of the good faux furs can be more expensive to use when making jackets or other garments than low-quality animal fur,” Gryzbowski explained. “They may use animal fur just because it’s cheaper.”

At the end of the article, there is a video that instructs you on how to tell if what you bought is indeed faux or not. It seems like the only sure way to tell is to burn a small section and see if it smells like burning hair or chemicals. UGH What the heck!?

I really don’t like being lied to and really don’t like having to set FIRE to my recent purchases to find out the truth. That being said, I’m sure you feel the same way and I can PROMISE you that our FAUX FUR is actually faux. It’s made of synthetic materials that are softer than just about any real fur you can get and so much easier to care for.

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https://www.customphotoprops.com/Faux-Fur-Newborn-Photography-Props-s/74.htm

Overstock SALE!!!

OVERSTOCK!! We have a BIG OVERSTOCK on some of our newest items!! We need to make room for our renovations and need to MOVE these items fast!! An unheard of 35% off select items for ONE week only!!

Butter Rum Faux Fur
Sugar Faux Fur
Brown Chaise Lounge
Ivory Upholstered Bed
Clay Upholstered Bed

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Our Faux Furs Help Newborns Sleep

We’ve heard it again and again! Our furs help babies sleep. 9 out of 10 newborn photographers purport that our furs really help them with their photography!

How to get newborns to sleep

The True Baby Whisperer Faux Fur

“3 week old Diesel would not sleep for nothing… then I busted out my new Baby Whisper Buttercup layer fur. And YUP! Thank you!”  Ambers Lil Angels Photography

“I purchased your furs for the first time at WPPI. I always want to “feel it” before I buy. Not only do I love them but they put my newborns to sleep lol. Love Love Love your products!” Mandi Mayernik

“Absolutely in love with their Baby Whisper in large rug size. Great quality, and quick shipping. All my babies have loved this and one of my toddler boys was so in love he kept rolling around on it. Will be buying more! Thank you so much!” Natalie Edmundson

“Can’t say enough about your furs!! This is what happens every time….wrap them up and settle them in on one of your furs, and they settle right to sleep! Please don’t change a thing!!”

“Michaela wouldn’t sleep for a thing at her newborn session. She was wide awake for over an hour and the parents really wanted sleepy baby photos! After trying several methods that didn’t work, we took out a fur from Custom Photo Props. I bet you can guess what happened! Almost instantaneously she fell into a deep sleep. I can’t thank you enough for helping me with my session. You made a happy photographer and my client very happy!”

“I just received my furs from your black Friday sale and I am EXTREMELY satisfied! The quality and look of the fur is absolutely perfect. I also ordered faux fur from another site on black Friday and was disappointed with the way their fur looked and felt once it arrived. Yours was above and beyond what I expected. I will for sure be a returning customer!” Anna Mann

When I lay an itty bitty onto your furs I can almost see them sigh  I love their softness, quality, color, wash-ability, price and the speed in which you get them to me:) Thanks for the great products and Happy New Year!!”

I would just like to say a HUGE I LOVE your stuff!! I have the lamb fur & todays newborn session resulted in a major #2 (like MAJOR!) I usually just spot clean that fur if I need too but today it had to go in the machine, was a very nervous delicate cycle & I needn’t have worried at all it came out looking as good as new!! :D Happy happy!!” Lauren Jones

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Variety in Styles

Most of you know that post-processing is a big part of a photographer’s job- especially newborn photographers. From composite shots to fading out those hard lines from the backdrop, a newborn photographer spends a lot of time in front of the computer!

Here at Custom Photo Props, we love watching our customers grow in to their art and develop a style of editing that is truly unique. These collages below show off our Honeydew and Frozen Faux Furs in various different temperatures and detail. All of our fur colors are custom made for our company and we’re very proud of having colors that are so versatile!! <3 <3

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www.customphotoprops.com

Exposure: Interview Series

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Happy Happy Friday!! Hope you all had a wonderful week have exciting plans for the weekend :)  Today for our Exposure Interview we’re happy to introduce Kelly Ross, a trusted colleague of ours. You can find some of her work on our own website as product photos. Scroll on down to learn more about her and her business!
1)      Who are you and where are you located?
I am Kelly Ross of Kelly Ross Photography. I am located in Agawam, MA and a second studio in Simsbury, CT
2)      Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
I have a 900 sq foot studio in Agawam, MA and a 1000 sq ft studio in Simsbury, CT
3)      What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
My specialty is Newborns I love everything about capturing those first photos of new little ones.
4)      There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
I shoot with a Nikon D700…. I upgraded in the past to a D800 and even tried out a D4… I still went back to my D700!!!
5)      While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
My go to Lens is the Sigma Art series lens 35 mm 1.4 … I use it for all in studio sessions. My go to for outside sessions is my Nikkon 70-200 VR2 2.8
6)      We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
This is a hard one for me. I ADORE natural light… my last studio space had 30 ft ceilings and a wall of 14 ft windows… the natural light is like no other (as long as you have a good day- overcast days can be killer) switching over to my new Agawam, MA studio I had to go to studio light- I use a Einstein with a 86″ PLM…. it is a nice replacement for natural light and very consistent… has made editing more consistent. In my CT studio I am able to do both studio and natural!!!
7)      How did you learn to be a photographer?
I always had a camera in my hand. I interned for a wedding photographer in college after taking some photography courses and always felt it was something I wanted to do. When I had my 3rd child in 2008 she became my every day subject and friends starting asking me to take photos of their kids. I took some classes to brush up on the new age of digital and by 2009 I started my business. Back then there were no posing workshops and for prop shopping you had to be super creative as Etsy didn’t exist. Finding shops like custom photo props has been amazing for my business!!!!  I have since taken many workshops as I am always trying to perfect my skills. And I even offering mentoring to many photographers starting out.
8)      What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
To pick just one photographer who inspires me would be impossible. My original passion for babies comes from Anne Geddes…. and I do like to credit my drive of being a motivate mama from Ana Brandt of Taopan. When I started you couldn’t even google newborn photography and find anything other than Anne or little video clips of Ana shooting maternity or babies in her home studio. I thought if she can make that space work so can I. I later became friends with her and consider her an amazing mentor!!! I also consider Sabine Brandt (no relation to Ana lol) from Living Dreams Photography Workshop to be life changing with my newborn posing.
9)      When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
My favorite part of any newborn session is when Mom or dad hand their precious week out little baby to me and almost every single mom says- he/she hates being naked and I hope you can get some shots. I love to then have them sit back and watch me work as I not only get some shots but 40-50 final images of their sweet baby in poses they never dreamed their baby would do!!!
10)   What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer? Any tips for somebody who is just starting out?
The biggest thing I struggle with is the business side of things in a over saturated market. Staying true to what I think my value is and offering the best I can even though sometimes parents are just looking at cost. My advice is to stay strong when starting out and never under value your time just because the person next door is giving it away. Take a business course- Heidi Hopes business workshop changed my world and helped me look at this from the technical side- the side we would rather think doesn’t exist. But to stay successful you have to make sure you are doing things the best way!
11)   Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
When working with newborns everything I do is pretty typical in terms of making sure moms and dads are prepped ahead of time to have the most successful session. If they follow my directions its almost always a win!!!
12)   Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
I would like to focus more on newborns only and be able to hire in a couple associate photographers to take over the children’s sessions!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                www.kellyrossphotography.com
Thanks Kelly!!
www.Kelly Ross Photography.com www.Kelly Ross Photography.com

365 Day Giveaway

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We’re doing a Daily Giveaway on Facebook! Bookmark our page, save it in a separate browser, do whatever you need to, in order to check our page every day so you don’t miss out. We’re super excited about this one and think it’s going to be a lot of fun for all involved!

Rules:

1.) Tag a Friend (or several friends) in the daily Giveaway post on our Facebook.

2.) Visit our website, www.customphotoprops.com and sign up for our newsletter. We send out coupons or new product info once a month. If you already subscribe omit this step.

3.) Search our website for a bogus listing. If you find it, you are to purchase the listing. There is only 1 Quantity so only 1 person can win a day. Prize will vary daily from $13.00 – $40.00! Winner must pay shipping at checkout. If you select First Class mail, shipping should be under $4.50.

Contestant is only eligible to win once per week.

Items will vary for the giveaway each day. Some items we may include will be overalls, headbands, faux fur, diaper covers, hats, etc..

We will try to post every 24 hours.

We also have the right to cancel this giveaway if we so choose.

Exposure : Interview Series

exposure
It’s Thursday, so that means the weekend is almost here! Who else is excited to go outside and enjoy some nice weather and eat some BBQ for Memorial Day??   Today with our Exposure Interview, I’d like you to meet Buena Farrell. I think we can all relate to her answer for number 10, and I know I’ll definitely be looking up that class!
1)      Who are you and where are you located?
Buena Farrell of Buena Farrell Photography in Ellsworth WI.
2)      Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
 I just moved into the most amazing building in my town.   It’s a 119 year old brick building with the original hardwood floors and tons of character.  Located on the Main St of my town.  It was a bank at one point and still have the 2 vault doors.  :)   I also shoot on location during the nicer months of the year which are really limited to May- Sept ;)
3)      What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
My primary focus is children and newborns.   Newborns are definitely my favorite though and if I could shoot them exclusively I would be in heaven.
4)      There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
I shoot with a Nikon D700.  When I first started I was shooting Canon and my best friend was shooting Nikon so I decided to switch so we could share lenses.  :)
5)      While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
 I always shoot with my 50mm 1.4 in studio and my 85mm 1.8 for outdoor sessions.   I started using a macro lens for my newborn session and I’m using a 60mm 2.8.  I have tried using the 24-70mm which is a beautiful lens but I’m a prime girl and I just couldn’t get use to shooting with a zoom lens.
6)      We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
 When I first started I was strictly natural light just because I couldn’t afford a light set up and I didn’t have any where to put it since I was shooting in my living room.  I have since switched to studio lights for when I’m shooting in my studio and obviously natural light when I’m outside.  My studio does have a good amount of beautiful natural light but I still prefer the studio lights especially on those gloomy days or if I’m shooting in the evening.
7)      How did you learn to be a photographer?
 I just did. :)   LOTS and LOTS of reading and researching and screwing up and then figuring it out.   I didn’t have any training on becoming a photographer but I have attended a few workshops to help me take my photography to the next step.
8)      What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
When I first started in photography I was in awe of Kelley Ryden and Tracey Raver.  They have so many amazing set ups.   My favorite newborn photograph would have to be Sabine from Living Dreams Photography.  I actually met her a few years ago at Kelley & Tracey’s workshop and it has been wonderful to watch her become this amazing photographer.  I love everything about her work!
9)      When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
When I’m shooting newborns I just love everything about them.  Their tiny little part, the way they smell and I love cuddling with them too.  When I’m shooting children I love just trying to make them laugh and have fun at the session.   Play silly games, sing songs and just have fun and be goofy.
10)   What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer? Any tips for somebody who is just starting out?
 I’ve struggled with the business side of things.  Every year I tell myself I’m going to be more organized but that doesn’t happen.   I took Rachel Benke’s online workshop and I’d say that was so helpful.  I actually wish I would have taken it when I first started and not 4 years into my business.
11)   Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
 Chuck the chicken.  :)  He’s a squeaky dog toy but man the kids love him.
12)   Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
Oh gosh this is tough!   I’d love to see myself focus more on newborn and babies.  I’m hoping that I can become a better business women and be more organized.
Thanks Buena!!
customphotoprops.com
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Gearing up for Family Photos

Today we were scrolling the Net and found something we thought might help some families out there who are ready to take the plunge into family photos!

http://blog.mpix.com/2015/05/5-things-your-photographer-wants-you-to-know-2/

Exposure : Interview Series

exposure
Welcome back to our blog, everybody! Today, I have the pleasure of introducing Traci from Pink Toenails Photography. She has some incredibly wonderful things to say about valuing your own talents and your time. Read on to find out more.
1)      Who are you and where are you located?
My name is Traci and I own Pink Toenails photography based out of Eau Claire, WI
2)      Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
 I photograph outdoors in the non-winter months, on-location and have a small in home studio for newborns.
3)      What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
 I mainly photograph newborns through the toddler age.  I also photograph births and maternity.
4)      There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
 I used to use a crop sensor 60d, that’s a canon. :)  I made the switch to a canon 5d markIII.  I needed a camera that was great in every lighting situation…especially low light.  When photographing births, this camera is a MUST as sometimes you are photographing at an ISO of 12,000.  This helps so you can still deliver your clients beautiful photos of their once in a lifetime event.
5)      While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
 I currently use a 50 1.8, but will be upgrading that to a 50 1.4.  There are a lot of lenses I would love to have, but the cost of them is a little more than I can currently afford.  One of those would be a 35mm and another the 100mm macro.
6)      We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
 I use both.  I love both.  Sometimes you need to use studio light.  When I photograph newborns I use natural light and enhance that with studio because the light coming in is never enough ( small window).  I do prefer natural light and love photographing outdoors because of this.
7)      How did you learn to be a photographer?
 I bought a point and shoot camera about 6 years ago and loved taking pictures.  I then got a job at CPI studios…otherwise known as sears.  I began loving it, especially that toddler age. I started my own business about 3 years ago, while working a full time job in the medical field.  I now only photograph…and stay home with my children of course!
8)      What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
 I look up to quite a few photographers.  I love Stephanie Cotta and her style for newborn, children, and family.  Like many others, my children inspire me.  I currently have a daughter, birthday is coming up and she will be 6, who loves to help me come up with ideas.  She often comes with to sessions as she wants to be a photographer and artist.  I have 2 boys as well, ages 1 and 3, who inspire me to love that toddler age even more…no matter how “curious” they may be.
9)      When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
I love getting smiles from my little clients.  I sometimes have to work hard, but I have never had a session without at least 1 smile or smirk….newborns included.
10)   What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer? Any tips for somebody who is just starting out?
My current struggle is working in an extremely tiny space.  My indoor lighting is a challenge because of this.  I really have enough room for a beanbag and 1 light, I use a reflector, but it stays against a wall providing a little extra light.
When I started, I did not know what I wanted to specialize in.  I did a little of everything and did not value my time.  After my third, and final, child I realized my time and skill was important and I needed to charge appropriately for that.
My biggest thing for people coming into this industry is to start off valuing yourself and your time.  Do not undercharge or give super cheap sessions because as you grow as a business, people will still want those prices and you will be considered a cheap photographer.  Something some clients do not understand is they are not just paying for that hour or 2 of your time, but they are paying for: your set up, clean up, use of your props, use of your camera equipment, use of your time for the session and editing, and use of your continuous learning/expertise.
11)   Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
To get my little clients to give me a more natural smile, I go back to my voice training days and have them say words that give a natural/relaxing smile.  examples:  “ice” “me” “peace”.  try them, I guarantee there will be no forced smile with any of these words.
When I photograph outdoors, I will often go shoeless.  Why?  because I choose areas where I hike up my pants and will hop in the stream with kids.  splashing is always fun!
12)   Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
I would love to do more teaching to other photographers.  I currently teach a class on photographing your toddlers.  I would love to take this to other towns/states and continue doing these workshops.
                                                                                                                                                                                www.pinktoenailsphotography.com
Thanks Traci!
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