Posts in Business
Transformation Photoshop Editing // Noah Beck // Wilber-Clatonia High School // Southeast Nebraska Photographer
 
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Every once in awhile, I like to share a behind the scenes look at the editing process so clients can see truly how much magic goes into the edit of your images. It’s not a drag and drop quick change and sometimes I can put hours into editing a session. I just hope others enjoy the images as much as I do capturing them and processing to create the magic I first see when I’m taking them!

So. To break down a little more what I all did while editing this picture (cause hey, I know some photographers are on here and want to learn too!). I first always cull my images in Adobe Bridge software. I star rate my top favs and what I plan to edit. Then as I edit, I change the star rating so I can see progress and know what I have left. After sorting, I pull into Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and start working in there. Lighting, I adjusted the exposure, upped the contrast slightly, pulled the highlights down a little, lighted up the shadows, bumped the clarity a tad bit. I also did a slight bit of sharpening (I typically sharpen in Photoshop instead of in ACR). That’s the basics of my edit. From there I pull into Photoshop and will run a few actions as needed depending on what I want the final outcome to look like.

There it is. There’s my workflow on an image! Sometimes I will batch edit the ACR files because I shoot with the same settings and then will tweak individual’s as needed but I try to keep my workflow consist and quick paced. These are the basic editing that happens to all files clients see. Since I do IPS (in person sales) with my clients, I do 90% editing before they view images and then smooth skin, remove minor blemishes and liquify as needed once we choose which images you want to purchase. That saves me the extra time working on details that aren’t necessary.

I hope this is helpful. And, as always, if you have questions drop them in the comments or email me! I have been tossing around the idea of a few business geared mentoring or workshops and would love to know if people would be interested in that. I feel there are so many fantastic other photographers out there that can offer posing or editing but I don’t see a ton of things about running your business so this is something that’s really important to me.

If you're interested in booking a senior portrait session check out the HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR INFORMATION page! 

Want to get a discounted session? Contact them to ask about a referral discount!

 
Fall Outfit Inspiration

It’s finally fall! And with fall comes the exciting family picture planning but the dreaded searching for the perfect outfit. Look no further and let us take the stress away from it! We’ve created the perfect mix and match stylized board for you to check out with outfits for your whole family.

We tried to create outfits that can easily be dressed up with accessories or dressed down for a more relaxed, laid back feel. We also included plenty of outfits that can be re-worn for daily use do you don’t feel guilty purchasing all new outfits for your session. ;)

Think Patterns.

When picking out your outfits consider choosing one or two patterns and try to keep everything else fairly basic. Think less patterns more textures. What that means is choose maybe one floral shirt or even maybe a little dress for your baby and then pick some textures to mix in. Dad in half zip pullover sweater, brother in a waffle knit shirt with potentially a puffy vest. Mom could toss on a flowy top and a cardigan. Toss in some accessories, (check out Madison + Barrett Jewelry, they’re always my go to for accessories!) and you have yourself outfits that are picture perfect!!!

What I typically do (and let’s be honest, it’s because I always over-shop) is I like to purchase 2-3 options for each person. I then bring it all home and lay it out. I pick my favorite outfit for each person and lay them all together to see what they look like. If something looks off, I go to the second option that I purchased for them. Sometimes that means swapping out dad’s shirt so we don’t have two button up shirts or maybe switching the babies vest so we aren’t all wearing vests. Then I pull accessories and shoes. Boys are fairly easy but us girls always have too many options. ;) Think cute wedges for yourself, maybe your little girl have some taller boots and the babies always look cute in moccasins. Once you’ve got what you think finalized, put them aside for a few days and then pull it out to look again. You’ll have a fresh eye for them and really it’ll help you decide for sure that you love it.

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So that’s it. Now you can stop stressing about outfits! Focus instead of then fun you’ll have during your session. And as always, send us your outfit choices! The more we plan ahead, the less you’ll have to prepare the day of. We love taking a look at outfits, it truly helps us feel inspired to scout locations that’ll flow with your theme and colors. Reach out if you want help with specific styling, we’re all about using what you already might have so you don’t need to purchase all new outfits either of course!

(*We tried our best to create only links of clothing that will stay in stock for awhile. While boutiques have super cute and stylish options, sometimes the stock doesnt stay for very long but we always recommend shopping local and supporting the small business’ around you!)


2018 Cutest Kid Contest :: Dirt Road Photography :: Southeast Nebraska Photographer

It's August which means we're going to be running our Cutest Kid Contest again this year! We absolutely loved see all of the adorable submissions from last year so we're going to go ahead and create another contest to see how much those cuties have grown as well as see some new faces.

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E-mail us your entries at kelseynerud@gmail.com and follow the directions as listed below.

The photo with the most votes/”likes” will receive a free mini session with five digital images included! The photo with the most "shares" will receive a 25% discount off a session fee from a session of their choice.

- Accepting photo submissions from August 1st - 14th. 

-- Voting will be from August 15th - 29th.

--- Winner will be announced August 31st.

Check out last years contestants, we cannot wait to see all of this years submissions!

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CONTEST RULES:
- Photo’s submitted cannot be taken by a professional photographer
- Free session does not apply to any booked or past sessions
- Previous contest winners cannot participate
- Free session applies to children or family session only
- A fee may apply for any winner with over five people
- Free session must be redeemed by December 31st, 2018
- Digital download five images and limited print release is included
- Winner has the option to upgrade the session to include a full session

Nebraska Photographer :: Cutest Kid Contest 2017

It's August which means we're going to be running our Cutest Kid Contest again this year! We absolutely loved see all of the adorable submissions from last year so we're going to go ahead and create another contest to see how much those cuties have grown as well as see some new faces.

E-mail us your entries at kelseynerud@gmail.com and follow the directions as listed below.

The photo with the most votes/”likes” will receive a free mini session with five digital images included! The photo with the most "shares" will receive a 25% discount off a session fee from a session of their choice.

- Accepting photo submissions from August 1st - 14th. 

-- Voting will be from August 15th - 29th.

--- Winner will be announced August 31st.

Check out last years contestants, we cannot wait to see all of this years submissions!

CONTEST RULES:
- Photo’s submitted cannot be taken by a professional photographer
- Free session does not apply to any booked or past sessions
- Previous contest winners cannot participte
- Free session applies to children or family session only
- A fee may apply for any winner with over five people
-Free session must be redeemed by December 31st, 2017
- Digital download five images and limited print release is included
- Winner has the option to upgrade the session to include a full session

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Nebraska Photographer, Nebraska Newborn Photographer, Nebraska Family Photographer, Nebraska Senior Photographer, Nebraska Child Photographer, Wilber Nebraska, Dorchester Nebraska, Crete Nebraska, Friend Nebraska, DeWitt Nebraska, Plymouth Nebraska, Roca Nebraska, Sprague Nebraska, Martell Nebraska, Kramer Nebraska, Lincoln Nebraska, Milford Nebraska, Wilber Nebraska Photographer, Dorchester Nebraska Photographer, Crete Nebraska Photographer, Friend Nebraska Photographer, DeWitt Nebraska Photographer, Plymouth Nebraska Photographer, Roca Nebraska Photographer, Sprague Nebraska Photographer, Martell Nebraska Photographer, Kramer Nebraska Photographer, Lincoln Nebraska Photographer, Milford Nebraska Photographer

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To book a session please contact us!
Dirt Road Photography
910 County Road 1500
Dorchester, NE 68343
Website: Dirt Road Photography
Facebook: Dirt Road Photography
Email: kelseynerud@gmail.com
Phone: (402) 826-9245

Nebraska Photographer :: 2k Fan Mini Session Giveaway

What a fun time to celebrate reaching a milestone of 1,000 "likes" on our Dirt Road Photography page on Facebook! With milestones, comes gratitude for those who have helped me get there. So, I'm wanting to thank all of you for helping me!! I've got a few fun things going on so make sure to check everything out, there's a little something for everything.

I'm opening this giveaway up to everyone! You can enter over on Facebook to receive your choice of a family, baby, senior or couple photo session. Check out the Dirt Road Photography page for more info on how to enter. You must follow all instructions in order to win. Winner will be drawn August 5th. Mini session must be redeemed before the end of 2017.

- RETURN CLIENT DISCOUNT -

That's right! I actually retired this discount as of 2014 but I decided to pull it out for a special appearance for hitting this milestone. That means ALL previous Dirt Road Photography clients will automatically receive a 15% discount off of their session fee if booked before August 5th. This is a great way to get a little bit more off your session fee. I do ONE discounted session fee sale a year so if you're wanting something discounted, this might be your only chance to get the discount! Make sure to mention it when you're booking and deposit must be paid in order for the discounted price to count.

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Nebraska Photographer, Nebraska Newborn Photographer, Nebraska Family Photographer, Nebraska Senior Photographer, Nebraska Child Photographer, Wilber Nebraska, Dorchester Nebraska, Crete Nebraska, Friend Nebraska, DeWitt Nebraska, Plymouth Nebraska, Roca Nebraska, Sprague Nebraska, Martell Nebraska, Kramer Nebraska, Lincoln Nebraska, Milford Nebraska, Wilber Nebraska Photographer, Dorchester Nebraska Photographer, Crete Nebraska Photographer, Friend Nebraska Photographer, DeWitt Nebraska Photographer, Plymouth Nebraska Photographer, Roca Nebraska Photographer, Sprague Nebraska Photographer, Martell Nebraska Photographer, Kramer Nebraska Photographer, Lincoln Nebraska Photographer, Milford Nebraska Photographer

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To book a session please contact us!
Dirt Road Photography
910 County Road 1500
Dorchester, NE 68343
Website: Dirt Road Photography
Facebook: Dirt Road Photography
Email: kelseynerud@gmail.com
Phone: (402) 826-9245

Business Budgeting - How To Focus On Setting Budgets & Staying On Track
 
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I've always done a decent job at budgeting for my business and I typically set limits on the amount I spend per year on specific "areas" in my business but this year I decided to take full financial responsibility of my business and really focus on profiting more and running it smoother.

So, what was the easiest quick tips to give someone interested in doing the same? Let me break it down!

 

Find out your Cost Of Doing Business (CODB)

This might seem obvious (and intimidating) but some people really don't know exactly how much it costs them to run their business. For me, I purchased a guide and found a quick spreadsheet that helped to break down exactly what you needed to pay as well as breaking it down to exactly how much I needed to make per session to get the desired salary I wanted. Here's a quick link to one I found online (not what I used but looks fantastic and easy to use!) https://nppa.org/calculator

Some things we all don't think of are the hidden costs. The extra business cards we order, the printer ink we use to print invoices, the transaction fees from our credit card readers, maybe the repair/maintenance costs of getting your equipment checked out annually (come on, I can't be the only one who does this way less than I should right?!) but those tiny things can add up to easily over $2000+ of expenses we really don't budget into our expenses for the year.

So, focus really hard, if you have some form of software that you use for accounting that can be pretty easy to calculate with a little work. I love that the worksheet I used let me input how many sessions per year I had planned on booking to break down my costs even more which really let me put down goals of exactly how many sessions I wanted to book!

 

Create a Worksheet for Budgeted Expenses (and stick to it!)

Once you've figured out your CODB sit down and really start to focus on budgeting and what you need to earn per session to make a profit while still setting aside enough to upgrade business expenses. I like to set aside $XX each year in certain categories for my props and equipment upgrades. These categories include backdrops, newborn outfits/wraps/blankets, boxes/bigger props, and camera/lens upgrades. Each year I use a specific savings account and dump a percentage of that months income into the account. Then, I keep track of my purchases and can purchase the props I've had my eye on with that money. I of course keep track and limit the amount of things depending on what I've already spent in that category.

If my backdrops limit is a max of up to five per year and I've already purchased three by March then the rest of the year I can get two more or find creative ways to diy my own. I do give some wiggle room, so if I were to sell an old drop I don't use I put that money into the account and can then purchase an extra if it's something I need but I really focus on keeping it all within limits.

Same with equipment. I am set up to purchase a new camera body every three years and then lens' on the off years. It's nice to have that in the budget knowing I'm slowly upgrading and swapping out for newer and sharper products. If I were to lump purchase them all, I'd go broke but by spreading it out over a period of time and keeping them rotating through it's super helpful and less stressful on the account.

 

Set up Auto Transfers for your Budgets

This seems simple when you think about it. Say your budget shows you're putting away, $25 per month for your props fund and $50 a month for camera gear. Set up your business bank account to auto transfer over $75 to a savings account on a set date every month. Just like the website/subscription fees that are being taken out you really won't realize it as a big expense coming out and eventually you'll just budget around those coming out, leaving cushion in the checking account for transfers. 

 

PAY YOURSELF A SALARY!

Again, tough to do when you're starting out (I've been there!) but seriously, find a way to pay yourself a set amount and don't "dip" into extras. It might mean you have to set yourself on a personal budget with your spending habits but by establishing a salary for yourself you can then calculate it out to pay yourself weekly or maybe monthly. Then it's easier to plan ahead and know exactly how much you're getting paid so you can adjust goals if needed.

 

Find Attainable Goals

Keep in mind that budgeting and finances can be extremely overwhelming so start small and scale as you go. It's taken me quite awhile to establish a solid CODB as well as pushing aside "slush" money funds. When I first started I didn't realize how much it actually costs to run my business, I just transferred over my salary to my personal account and paid bills as they came. By sitting down to create budgets and CODB it really opened my eyes to realize that being pro-active about my business accounting, I could live debt free and afford things that I couldn't before.

Be realistic about your goals. If it's not in the cards to purchase new props every year, that's ok. Focus on building the business the way you want/need to and slowly slip in a few purchases when you can. Maybe it's easier to take some cash out every once in awhile instead? If it works, go for it! (I actually pull every $5 bill that comes into my posession and drop it into a mason jar, then cash it in a few times a year, works great for Christmas funds when it's time to purchase gifts!)

 

So, there's a few helpful tips/tricks that will hopefully help you take control and not feel like you're constantly just paying your business bills. My biggest goal for this year is to pay for a workshop retreat at a resort in the Carribeans and be able to pay it all in cash by February using my business savings account. This would be so amazing to enjoy a vacation (while learning) and write it off!

What are your goals for your business and how do you budget? I'd love to hear what works for you personally!