Senior Swank Event for 2015 Seniors with Nicole Pfeiffer Photography and Francesca’s

You may have heard the buzz… Nicole Pfeiffer Photography and Francesca’s have teamed up this year to host an Exclusive Senior Swank Event for all 2015 Seniors! We will be opening the doors after-hours to shop privately with wardrobe discounts and you could win free jewelry! We will have yummy free homemade cookies, free makeup demos and if you haven’t met me yet, you’ll get to chat with me! I will be offering specials to 2015 Seniors who book their session with me that night only, so make sure you bring a parent with you so I can get your date booked and on my calendar! Dates have already been moving fast this year, so after this Sunday, I am not sure how many dates I will have left open.

This is the event to be at – get excited about YOUR senior year! Here is your formal invite, come see what all the buzz is about! If you would like to attend, please contact me via email or text girls! You MUST RSVP to attend!

 

 

 

 

2015 Senior Spokesmodels with Nicole Pfeiffer Photography – Howell Senior Portrait Photographer

I remember my first year in business, living in a small (very small) apartment while I wrapped up my last year of college. I had been shooting weddings for a couple years, but loved working with people on a more personal level. I loved fashion. I loved being creative. I worked with two reps that year, one of them being the younger sister of a friend, who really got my foot in the door. She referred a handful of really great girls to me and so my career into senior portrait photography began! One year later, my husband and I got married and moved to Howell, where I had to start over after just really starting.

I worked with four Spokesmodels that first year, again meeting one really amazing young lady (and her family), who worked her butt off for me and got my foot in the door in a new area. These girls believed in me and that made all the difference. Since then, I have branched out into schools over 2 hours away, jumped from 4 models to 6 models to 10 models to now a whopping 18 models and stopped shooting weddings 2 years ago to work with high school seniors 100% of the time.

Officially introducing the 2015 Senior Spokesmodel Team for Nicole Pfeiffer Photography! (and two spunky 2016 seniors) After three weekends of meeting up, eating cookies and goofing off, I have a stellar team of ambitious, driven and silly-as-all-get-out young ladies. I CAN NOT wait to work with each and every one of you!

2013/2014 Senior Spokesmodel Fashion Shoot

I just wrapped up interviewing for this year’s 2015 Senior Spokesmodel Program. I am somewhat overwhelmed, blown away and honored. I never would have imagined that over 40 girls would apply, coming from schools and cities I have not even worked in yet. I am touched at the amount of excitement and pure giddiness that surrounded these late night phone interviews as I chatted with the girls and their parents. To know that some of these girls have been following my work since they were freshman is SO stinkin’ cool and also, somewhat makes me feel… old. I realized that this year, the girls I will be working with were born the year I graduated high school. I will let that sit for a minuet. And if you don’t want to take the time to actually figure out how old that makes me, I will continue to say I am 27 years old.;)

Planning for my spokesmodel program is what I look forward to the most every year! I mean, who doesn’t want to get together with a bunch of girls and do makeup for a photoshoot? But, it’s more than that! I welcome these girls (and their families) into my little photography family for an adventure. I hope I bring moments of fun, confidence and friendship into their lives, if only a moment. Last year, I had an amazing group of 10 girls who went out of their way to talk positively about their experience with me and were fully involved in making my program a success. Preparing for this year’s spokesmodel program started early – last fall actually – with a handful of girls contacting me about becoming a spokesmodel. I am so excited to welcome 17 spokesmodels into my program this year! I will not only be working in new schools and branching out once again, but I will be working with students who have non-traditional education (!) and with two 2016 graduating seniors to see where my program can go a year early! I can’t wait to see what we do this year girls!

Last year was the first year that I planned a large, full-scale, fashion shoot for all my spokesmodels. Trying to get 10 girls, their moms, 2 assistants, 5 makeup artists and the host together on one day was sheer LUCK. It was a fast paced 8 hours that I could hardly keep track of. And it was cold. Very cold. For me, it was too much shopping and organizing and freaking out. This year, especially with the number of people I am working with, I will be breaking up the shoots onto different days with different themes. Less freaking out and more laughing please! I can’t thank everyone enough for making that all come together! A big thank you to Corinne and her mother for letting me and this huge gang of giggling girls use their home and property!

Thanks to Enid & Edgar for giving me a discount on some of the vintage items purchased for this event! Cakesational by Amy for making the amazing cupcakes and cookies that were eaten up so fast, I only got one. She is my go-to girl for all things dessert. I heard it was because Carlin’s mom horded most of the cookies. Thanks to Jewel for assisting with all things fashion! Thanks to a great group of hair and makeup professionals – My Bella Blush, Bridal Makeup by Natalie, Trisha Ostrom and Danielle Woodworth. Thanks to the moms who snapped some behind the scenes photos for me!

Reflections on 2013 {what’s to come in 2014}

I haven’t blogged in about a year. Every year I tell myself that I will blog more.

I don’t.

I want to.

I want to share and brag and showcase. This year, again, I am telling myself to get with it and take the time. Starting now. With this post, I will not be going into lengthy lists about what I did right, what went wrong and what I need to change, like I have with my previous Reflections posts. I don’t feel I need to after last year. I feel content. What I will say is that last year was a huge turning point for me and my business. I changed almost everything and jumped in again like I was starting from scratch. I was scared and had a small panic attack before my first ordering session, but I will say that 2013 treated me well.

2013 was full of ups and very few downs! I connected with so many of the families I worked with last year and felt welcomed and appreciated more than I ever thought. I can’t say thank you enough to all the families who trusted me with such an important time in their child’s life!

  • I started off the year changing almost everything with my business – including my sessions, my pricing, my products and all of my policies.
  • In April, I started a new Spokesmodel program, taking 10 girls under my wing and planning a huge, crazy fashion shoot. I couldn’t have worked with a better group of girls! I tried something over-the-top and new and I can’t say I sailed through it, but it sure was fun!
  • I finally purchased the Canon 5D Mark III, a camera I had been waiting for since the 5D original came out.  Dream camera right here!
  • In May, my husband and I traveled to Italy for 11 days. A trip we had been planning since we got married and were never able to take.
  • In June I took on my first employee, handing off all my editing to another very talented artist! I was certainly scared to give up control of something that I had done for so long myself. But once I did it, I realized I had a small slice of my life back and the use of my right hand.;)Jewel was such a huge help to my workflow last year and I am very excited for the changes we are making this year.
  • For the first time, I had clients booking me a year in advance. In portrait photography, that’s a big thing. And I am honored.
  • I stepped on a bee right before a shoot and realized I wasn’t allergic to them. (this was the first time I had ever been stung) However, my reaction to bee venom being directly injected into the the arch of my foot did give me 3x the adrenaline that any normal person should have. Thank goodness for great clients who didn’t mind a super hyper photographer giggling and tripping the whole time. I would never wish stepping on a bee to anyone. The swelling and itch that lasted over a week was horrible.
  • I took one weekend off a month (mostly) for myself. Something I didn’t do in 2012. And though I was still very overwhelmed with work, I had more time to spend with my family. I was able to visit Lost Lake in August again, after 9 years. A place that I grew up loving and so very much missed. A year trip will be promised, if only for myself.
  • My husband and I took in a stray cat, Sammy, after months of feeding her on our doorstep. Yes, I am becoming a cat lady. No, I don’t mind. I have a huge heart for animals in need and we are so happy to have this sweet and caring addition to our family.
  • In November I had a random chance to attend The Kitchen Sink Workshop with Amanda Holloway. It was a fun experience that confirmed I am doing everything I need to do to succeed! I learned how to shoot in Kelvin from another workshop attendee and I am loving the results so far!
  • I had the most album orders last year to date. I was creating 4 albums a day for weeks, trying to make sure that I got them completed and sent off for draft approval before the holidays. I found that I gave up a lot of my time in December to finish these albums (when I wanted to be work-free) and I am still waiting for approval on many. I will be changing the type of album that I offer to be more streamlined and efficient on my end. I love making albums and want to have a better turn around time with less procrastination possibilities.

I am SO excited going into 2014. I have changed my Spokesmodel program again – making it bigger and better based on the feedback from last year. More shoots, more gatherings, more opportunities. I will be working with over 12 girls from schools all over Michigan and I am taking on two very special 2016 seniors to see where we can take this thang! I am in the process of re-branding my company to hopefully reflect who I am as an artist and photographer, and I am planning out a few promo videos to showcase what I do. I will be blogging when I can. I plan to start submitting my work to blogs and forums, to contests and magazines. I never put myself out there and I should. And I will. I will be shooting more concept and creative work for myself. And I will be experimenting with studio lighting more.

Big things. New goals. Stepping up. The idea is to keep getting better. Starting this year with a plethora of colorful images from last year! (in the order they were shot)

 

I believe in the print

I came across an article recently that really connected to my heart. After only a few years in business, I took a stand last year with my feelings as an artist and stopped offering digital files. Here is the article and below is my take on taking a stand! -> Michele’s article here

I believe in the print. I always have. In part, it might be because I come from a generation that only had the option of a print. And in part, I come from a background of working in a dark room with real negatives, real paper and real editing. I come from a place of appreciation for not just where I have come from, but where I am going as an artist. And for me… that doesn’t include handing over digital files to be misused by someone without that education. Because that is what you are doing when you hand over a digital file. You are handing over an incomplete service and product to your client.

I believe that I live and work in a digital world, where keeping up with technology is a necessity. But I believe that art, real art, is important. And the feeling of importance doesn’t come on a disk. Things have changed – where is the floppy disk now? Where will the DVD be in a few years? Will memory sticks even work? Laptops are now being built without disk drives for a reason. But a print, an album… those are forever. Those are guaranteed. Those are special. A DVD is not.

I believe in what I have done to become the artist I am. Choosing to study art and photography in college and jump into opening my own photography business shouldn’t boil down to uploading thumbnails online, posting images on Facebook or hoping a client prints one of the best images you have ever created on quality paper. I believe that what I do is more than that. And I believe that the clients that believe this too will find me.

Sometimes I felt that I was the only photographer dealing with these thoughts. How can you make yourself happy when both the industry you work in and the client you market to want something different than what you are comfortable offering. I felt uncomfortable handing over my work, not knowing what would become of it. I felt sick to my stomach and could never come to a rational price to offer digital files at because nothing made sense to me. It wasn’t worth it to me, at any cost. Sadly, over the years, I also watched clients who received digital files misuse, degrade and illegally copy them. For some it was due to lack of education, but for many  it was a deliberate act to get what they wanted without having to pay for it. The bottom line was that it was disrespectful to me as a person, to me as a professional and to my industry. I am an artist, running my own business and I should make the decisions on what is acceptable and what is not. Last year, I came to a point where offering digital files was not acceptable anymore. I took a stand.

I will quote the above article here in saying ” that for some it’s easy to take some photos, edit them, burn them on a disk and make a few bucks. I don’t and can’t operate that way – I care too much about my work, my clients and future generations that might have no photographs because I wanted to make fast and easy money selling files.” I believe in this. I believe in being more to my clients, more to myself as an artist and more to my industry. I will not accept that everything I have done is being reduced to a digital file that never gets printed. I respect myself too much. I respect the people I work with too much. I expect more.

Though it took me 3 years of really searching for what I felt was right in my gut, I am taking a stand too!

I am Nicole Pfeiffer, a professional photographer – I believe in who I am, what I do and the type of art I am willing to offer. No matter the world I live in. I believe in tangible things that you can pull out of your purse and giggle about with friends. I believe in photographs you cut up and hang on your wall because you want to see your friends faces everyday. I believe in albums that tell a story and force you to remember a feeling everytime you run your fingers over the pages. I believe in professional papers that display color and texture when a monitor can not. I believe in offering you my time so that we can talk about what size is correct for the image you love and whether or not that frame color works with your wall color. I believe in art.

Thank you Michele, for your boost of courage!

 

 

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