Friday, November 26, 2010

2011 Calendars! Available now.

Buy my art

The Alberta Skies calendar features landscape photos from close to home, and corners of the province, that show off the expansiveness of the Alberta sky line.

The paper and print quality of the calendars is stunning, and the turn around time was amazing as well.

I am working on two others: a collection of flora from my yard, and a set of seascapes. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Alberta Highland Dance Provincial Championship 2010

A lovely weekend in Calgary, and a great competition. The photos from the weekend, both the Provincial Championship and the Open Competition,

are posted here.

Enjoy, spread the word, and email me with any questions that you have.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ann McRae Photography is thrilled to be back as Official Photographer at the 2010 Highland Dance Provincial Championship and Open Competition. This year, we are offering three print packages at a 20% discount from the on line package price, if you pay for the package at the event.

The GOLD Package includes:
1 (10x15) print | 1 (8x12) print | 2 (5x7) prints | 4 (4x6) prints

The price for the individual prints totals $100. The Gold Package price for these same prints is $85.00 on line, and at the event an $85 print credit can be purchased for $70.

The SILVER Package includes:
1(8x12) print | 2 (5x7) prints | 2 (4x6) prints | 1 sheet of 8 wallets

The price for these prints is $60, when purchased individually. The package price, on line, is $50. At the event, purchase a $50 Print Credit for $42.00

The Highland Dance 10 pack includes 10 (4x6) prints, regular value of $50. The package price is $42.50 on line, and at the event a $42.50 print credit is available for $34.00.

Alberta Provincial Championship and Open Competition 2010 Galleries

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SmugMugPro Coupons, Events, Packages

I love SmugMug. To paraphrase Victor Kiam, I love SmugMug so much I took a job with them!

I have used SmugMug to host my photos on line since January of 2004. I love the clean, beautiful display of my photos, I love the security of the on line back up and the ability to use password protection and watermarking for my photos. I love the customer service and responsiveness I experienced as a customer, and love being able to provide the same now that I am an employee.

But, in addition to being a SmugMug Support Hero, I am still a photographer trying to earn some income from this passion of mine! Do what you love and it won't feel like work, right?

Well, three new features released in the last few months have made it so much easier for me to do what I love and increase sales, so that I can keep doing what I love.

Coupons and Print Credits - a great way to encourage sales, for sure. Print Credits are a great tool for an event photographer to use. Pre-sell prints, or print packages at your event, provide the customer a print credit and then they are able to pick and choose the photos that they want from the convenience of their own home computer. As the photographer, you've made the sale. And you have made the customers life easier by eliminating the line up and wait for your on site displays.

Packages - a great tool to combine multiple print sizes into one price. Perfect for a sport photographer, to be able to give customers a predefined package at a great price, and simplify the customer's decision making process. With a SmugMug package, you can again presell it via a print credit, and then send your client a link to their proofs, for them to pick their favorite and make their purchase!

And speaking of customers picking favorites, well enter the event marketing tool and favorites. Give your customers special access to a gallery or group of galleries by creating an event for them. This will provide them with a tool to identify their favorite photos, place those into a virtual gallery to more easily compare and choose the right shots, and then let you know which choices they made! This is another tool to make your customers overall experience easier, better, less stressful and this will translate into more sales for you!

Bravo SmugMug on the release of these features. SmugMug Pro's - you must start using these features! You will be amazed by them, and how much nicer they make your customer experience!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

SmugMug Easy Customizer

While I was lying awake last night, wanting to fall asleep, I planned out some changes to my SmugMug site. My site has needed a make over for a very long time, but when I was giving a tour of it to some other local photographers last night, this hit home very hard! I had different colors on different pages, different styles and overall a fairly unattractive mess.

I decided I wanted to maintain the color scheme I have always had, to keep some similarities with the old. I knew I needed consistency from page to page.

I work at helping people use their SmugMug sites, and have a pretty darned good knowledge of how things work. However, customization still scares the crapola out of me.

Easy Customizer to the rescue. This feature was released almost a year ago, but I had not used it, other than to be familiar enough with it to help folks on their sites! Well, let me tell you, it is amazing.

Once I knew the look that I wanted, I set about creating a background for my site in PS. I had already come up with a font for the logo when I made my last watermark, and of course wanted to keep my sunflower.

The rest was easy, and I have the basics accomplished in no time at all.

There will be some organizational changes to the galleries, and to what is public and what is not. But, I am most of the way there already - check it out:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 - Year of the Portrait?

At the end of '08 I made a 'resolution' to learn portraiture and lighting. I bought myself a set of Elinchrome studio lights with umbrellas, and added a backdrop a few months later.

I experimented with the lights, in our basement, before taking on my first assignment to do headshots for one of my hubbies work colleagues. It took me two sessions to get shots for John, and if I look at them now I am still not happy.

I took the lights along to do baby shots for my friend, and learned much about the difficulty of getting a great newborn photo.

I was able to do photos for M three more times over the course of the year, and do have some great photos of her.

Spring took a different direction for me, back to sports photography, as I was official photographer at two major events: Alberta Highland Dance Provincial Championship and the Canadian National Badminton Championships. These two events really pushed me in a new direction: on site print sales, hiring assistant photographers, major logistical challenges and overall a fantastic learning opportunity. We were so lucky to have the dance event first as it was our trial run for the equipment and logistics for badminton. Dance was a weekend long event, whereas Badminton was 6, 14 hour days. Delivering product from these two events took much of the next three months, and was a more demanding task than I could have imagined going in. However, the experience was certainly worth it.

I did my usual sports photography this year as well, action shots, team and individual shots, created collages, all the usual stuff that I love to do.

However, I also took on two new and major assignments. I was the photographer for a friends wedding! I have resisted requests for this for many years, but felt somehow that I was finally ready. This was a fairly small and informal wedding and was a great experience as well. Of course, the bane of most wedding photographers that I have spoken with is the posed family shots, and they were certainly the shots that challenged me the most. Overall, I consider the wedding shoot a success, and if I were to be offered a second shooter opportunity I would certainly do it again.

The other major assignment was a family reunion - family photos for an extended family of 40; 7 family groups, all outdoors in weather that went from drizzle to harsh sunlight. All in a really beautiful, but tiny garden. I have very mixed feelings about the results. I got the job done, but not without some considerable frustrations along the way. This kind of assignment requires more than 2 hours to do well, and probably also requires more space, and an assistant.

Both of these events were done with all natural light, and my Elinchromes sat in their bag in the office for months. They actually did not make a reappearance until late November, when I started practicing with them again to prepare for some family photos I would do for friends Christmas cards. I do believe that I got the lighting much better controlled for these shots, and am pretty happy with the outcome there. The lights finished up their year at Help Portrait Edmonton, as did the backdrop, and I have to say that was probably their best work of 09! :)

My comfort with lighting and posing for portraiture has increased, but I am not as far along this path as I wanted to be at this time last year. I know that I won't really get better at this unless I practice regularly and with purpose, and learn about angles and shadows and all of the detail that makes for fantastic portraiture. Looks like '10 will be the year of the portrait!

Happy New Year