Product resources for photographers | Abby Grace

I think Photog Friday might be my favorite series these days! It’s funny, I have all these little systems and methods for how I run my business, and many of them are so normal to me that I just figure everyone else already does what I’m doing. But every so often I’ll share one little thing I do differently, and it totally rocks someone’s world- we have those moments over and over at workshops and I LOVE IT! I love finding little ways to help simplify other people’s workflows and systems to help create more time for CREATING!

One area a lot of new photographers lose time stressing over is finding vendors. Who should you use for albums? What about print fulfillment? And should you send thumb drives? If so, who to order them from? All of those questions can cause serious angst when there are SO many vendors to choose from, so I thought today I’d share my favorite product resources! Here we go:

1) Leather Craftsmen (photo albums). I’ve been ordering from them since day 1, and I love the consistency they offer! LC’s books are beautiful, and I know I can trust the quality of their albums to last for years and years. These books are the sort of thin your children’s children will still be able to look through, and I love thinking about the fact that my couples will have their albums sitting on coffee tables or bookshelves for decades to come! The customer service department is GREAT, and if you ever have questions, all you have to do is call. They’re super helpful! (see more of my LC albums here, here, and in this video here!)

5 Product Resources for Photographers | Abby Grace Photography

2) White House Custom Colour (5″x 7″ prints). I started including a full set of prints with each Anniversary Experience session, and WHCC is where I get those- their ROES online ordering makes it SUPER easy to order in batches! Plus, they include a Tootsie Roll pop with every order. And that’s just plain awesome. (WHCC, if you’re reading this, the Pomegranate ones are my FAV)

3) Michael Chinn (proof boxes). This guy is amazing!! After researching the various options for print boxes, I was really struggling with how long it was estimated to take for delivery (6-8 weeks). Michael delivers within two, and the quality can’t be beat. He’s super responsive to emails and I’ve loved working with him! (see my proof boxes here!)

5 Product Resources for Photographers | Abby Grace Photography

4) Paper Source (envelopes and misc. stationery). I spend waaaay too much money at Paper Source, but it’s been that way from the beginning. I love their luxe blush envelopes, and their wall of color-coded thank you notes could keep me occupied for a LONG time. Also, the fact that they carry Kate Spade office supplies? Yeah, I have to exercise a LOT of self-control in that store.

5) FrouFrou Chic (ribbon). They are, hands-down, the best hand-dyed silk ribbon vendor out there. The price is reflective of that, but it’s just so pretty! I use this ribbon for when I’m sending out prints to my Anniversary Experience couples, and it’s the loveliest way to tie things together!

 

  • David Joseph - luv your images too! I would love to be as good as you one day!ReplyCancel

These two require no introduction. You may remember them from their engagement session, or maybe their wedding, or perhaps their darling Anniversary Experience session when they celebrated their first year of marriage! Phil & Megan have been two of my biggest cheerleaders (and one of my first Legacy Couples!) from the beginning- it’s hard to put into words how much I love this couple! The way he gently teases her, poking fun at her endearing quirks, and how she rolls her eyes at his razzing because she knows he’s just being silly, they remind me of the sort of couples who’ve been together for decades. A couple who knows each other inside and out, who embraces one another, flaws and all, the sort of familiarity that only comes when you’re with your soulmate. They’re just so easy together, and it makes photographing their love a dream.

Phil, Megan, the fact that this is our fourth time photographing together is an honor that isn’t lost on me. Knowing that you’ve entrusted me with your sweet memories since 2011 means more than you’ll ever know, and it’s been my joy & privilege to watch your love story grow! I positively cannot wait to meet your little Miss in November- you’re both going to be incredible parents!

Glen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace PhotographyGlen Echo, Maryland Anniversary Session- Abby Grace Photography

  • Jean - Sweet, sweet, sweet! Love these photos. Love her dress!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - Thank you for not only the beautiful photos but for making this preggo feel beautiful, for always being part of our most important moments, and for being an amazing friend. We love you!ReplyCancel

When your favorite bridal gown designer asks you to photograph her fall line in Paris, France, you say YES! without hesitation! I met Katherine of Katherine Bignon Bridal during dinner at the first iteration of Creative at Heart- we sat across from each other at dinner, and it didn’t take long to discover we had a mutual love of France in common. Her claim goes deeper than mine, since she met her very French husband in Paris and spent a year studying in the city, but the mutual love was there all the same. So when it came time to design her next line of bridal gowns and tulle skirts, the City of Light was her jumping off point, her muse and her inspiration.

The color palette was drawn from Paris’ skyline- those 5-6 story apartments with gray, metal roofs that so eloquently bedeck the city, the pale pinks, taupes and grays that you see in so much French architecture, the delicacy of lace and the subtlety of an open-backed wedding dress that perfectly embodies the modest sensuality that Parisians seem to evoke. All of it, every piece was perfect! We shot at the Musée du Louvre, since the inner courtyard was where Katherine and her husband shared their first date. It was gorgeous from start to finish, and I can’t imagine a more perfect place to capture Katherine’s newest bridal pieces!

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Goooood Monday morning! It’s been a little bit of a slow start over here- weekends away always seem to make it hard to get going for the work week! Matt’s birthday was last weekend and he requested a weekend away for just the two of us before wedding season began, so we hopped in the car on Friday and drove down to Virginia Beach! And after a last-minute decision to drop the pups at their favorite outdoor kennel in Richmond, we were totally on our own. As much as we love our four-legged children, it was really nice to be able to spend the day out doing whatever we wanted without stressing about getting back to let the dogs out.

Also, it has come to my attention that we don’t actually have a photo of our little family, the four of us. This sad selfie will have to suffice until we take a real one, I suppose!

Paris_France_annviversary_photographer_0009

As always, lessons learned/events that transpired over the past week!

  • Someone should invent a neck guard for wear during adult softball games. I was racing from 1st to 2nd base when the ball came out of nowhere and nailed me right in the jugular- it caught me totally off-guard and at first, I’d thought my jaw was broken! Turns out I was fine (woo!) but I do have a sweet bruise on my collarbone as a souvenir :).
  • I had my first waffle cone ever this weekend! It’s not that the concept of waffle cones were new to me, it’s that I never bothered to upgrade from a simple cake cone because, who needs the extra calories? But this weekend we went to Kohr Bros. in Virginia Beach, and I got the ULTIMATE waffle cone: dipped in chocolate, rolled in sprinkles. And it. was. awesome.
  • Speaking of sprinkles, let’s debate something: are they called sprinkles? Or jimmies?
  • Also, what’s the MERIT of sprinkles, anyways? They don’t taste like anything, it’s literally just food-colored, hardened sugar. Maybe it’s the crunch?
  • As Matt & I sat on the beach late Saturday night, dreaming and scheming about the future, I asked him a serious question: “If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?” His answer, without missing a beat: “Batman.” This it the man I married, folks.

There are some GORGEOUS photographs coming to the blog this week, my friends! Tomorrow I’ll finally be sharing my shoot with Katherine Elizabeth Bridal in Paris!

Katherine Elizabeth Bridal in Paris, France| Abby Grace Photography

  • Alicia - +1 for sprinkles, jimmies doesn’t sound like something I want to eat!!ReplyCancel

  • Morgan - +2 for sprinkles, for sure. I’ve never even HEARD of jimmies!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria Elena - I was just thinking that about sprinkles yesterday! I love the crunchy texture with my cold ice cream or drink (java chip is so good!). I love your blog and I love these Monday features. Looking forward to reading more :)ReplyCancel

  • Karen Field - Gorgeous dress! Great designer!ReplyCancel

How to organize Adobe LightRoom files | Abby Grace Photography

For those of you photographers who have yet to stumble upon the awesomeness that is Adobe LightRoom (LR), go purchase this program now! PhotoShop is great for minor tweaks and corrections, but when it comes to editing large batches of images, LR is the way to go.

LR has a way of organizing images called “catalogues”- it’s like an album within iPhoto, with low-res (but high-quality) previews of every image you choose to include in your catalogue. It makes batch editing much easier, due to the fact that you can sync edits on images, as well as copy + paste your corrections from one image to the next.

How to organize Adobe LightRoom files | Abby Grace Photography

Because LR doesn’t remove images from a catalogue until you intentionally remove a group of images, I choose to create a new LR catalogue for every event that I shoot. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. It makes locating a particular photo’s edits much easier if I’m only browsing through one event’s worth of images, rather than every photo I’ve taken over the last year
  2. My LR catalogues run faster without thousands and thousands of images bogging it down
  3. I can keep my catalogues in the same locations as the RAW files

So your LR catalogue will need the RAW files in order to be able to edit the low-res previews (unless you build Smart Previews, which is another topic for another time). And because I work off of 1TB external hard drives, it means that I can’t keep ALL of my photos I’ve ever taken in one location. If I only ever had one master LR catalogue, I’d have to copy that same slow-running file to every new hard drive I acquire. But because I create a new catalogue per event AND store it within the main folder for that event (see below), I only ever have to worry about having that one hard drive with me if there’s an event I need to edit! (see this post for more information on file storage!

How to organize Adobe LightRoom files | Abby Grace Photography
I DO keep a singular “generic” catalogue file for all my random images- I typically name it “RandomLR2015”. It’s where I’ll quickly edit previews from events that I haven’t fully edited yet, or throwbacks from previous work that I want to tweak before reposting to a blog. That LR catalogue is stored on my desktop so that I can access it whenever I need it!

Questions? I’d love to answer them! Post ’em up in the comments section!

  • Jean - Love the photo! Love that you and your friends share this kind of information with each other!ReplyCancel