Supporting a local business, how anyone can do it!

In this day and age where the world is surrounded by cell phones and computers, where finding a better deal is at the touch of a finger- even if it is a chain store or corporate store- a local business strives on the help from their friends, family, and clients/customers to help them out in order to survive. Unfortunately, the question is always the same: “What do I get out of this?”.

Think about it, recently, have you talked about a locally owned business unless you were getting a discount or a chance to get something for free? What happened to this word that we live in? What happened to helping everyone out instead of tearing everyone down?

The most common response a business gets is “I don’t have that kind of money right now” or “I would but your product/service is too expensive.” These responses are completely ok, and respected, as these business owners are not ‘rich’ and understand your struggles. Local businesses borrow money from their families, banks (if they are lucky), and search for other means of income/monetary help because these days it’s hard to compete with “Walmart’s low prices”- especially local artists, photographers, and musicians.

Artists, musicians, photographers, drafters; anyone who designs or creates something are highly overlooked with the ease for others to easily create ‘similar’ things themselves. These artists have lost their  though of what it means to ‘be worth’ something because they are constantly competing with someone who will always trying to be cheaper than them. For instance, a photographer like us will calculate our ‘worth’ cost, after considering our many years/hours of experience, schooling, research, cost of equipment and supplies, time on the field, and correspondence; but this is something that is overlooked by someone who is just ‘looking for a deal’ and they hire the first person who is $20 or less, most of the time being dissatisfied with the outcome.

Owning a business isn’t easy, and it definitely has it’s stresses. That is why I wanted to list 5 ways that you can help your local business- some will cost you money and some are completely free. There is something on the list for everyone! Please, remember to support your local businesses!!

But quickly, before I get into the 5 ways- please, please, please, remember…when you do any of the “5 ways” below, please do it in a positive manner. If you had a negative experience, or you just didn’t agree/like something, please just refrain from any of the below. Local businesses are most of the time either owned by 2 or less people and a lot of the time passed down through generations of family- by spreading negative, you can hurt that business owner, not only by destroying their self confidence but also causing others to not give that business a chance. If you have a problem with a local business, try to keep it private between you and the business owner- it’ll be appreciated!!

5 Ways to Help Support a Local Business

1. Talk about the business to your friends and family!
This is the best and most requested form of help you can give a local business. There are only so many people a business can reach by Facebook, newspaper, billboards (if they are able to afford them), etc. Everyone has a friend or family member. Even if that person may not use/go to that business, they may still spread the word to someone else. Don’t just assume that it won’t help, because it will!

2. Share the business!
This is a long the same route as #1, but more in a way that’s not direct. Share a business’s Facebook posts, hand out businesses cards/leave them at places (that permit it), play their music, hang their photos, etc. By seeing/hearing/using the business’s products, other’s will see it and ask you about it! (and please, do tell! 🙂 )

3. Buy something!
This one is easy! With my friends and family, if they are selling something, I try to purchase at least one small item. Or if I really like it, I’ll purchase more. In the same aspect with services- if you like a photographer but don’t have a lot of money, try a mini session they are offering at a discounted price.

4. Wear apparel/use items!
Some businesses give out/sell t shirts, pens, tablets, even candy! USE IT! Wear your shirt, use your pen- don’t just hide it in a closet or drawer somewhere.  

5. Offer to help out (as a family member/friend, without expecting compensation)!
This one also depends on the business, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that business owners get burned out and sometimes just need a small break. We have a few friends that help us by running effects or even just as simple as holding a client’s coat. Even just that little bit helps. And you are also helping that person by boosting their day that they get to talk to their friend/family member and show them what they do. 

I hope this helps to put a bit more perspective on “help your local business” and that this will help local businesses out a bit more. Please consider doing at least one of these once every month- you won’t believe how much of an impact you will make! 🙂

Experiencing a Hollywood Movie Set!

When your adviser, teacher, guidance councilor, tells you that you will make relationships in life that will create a network that will help you achieve what you want in life, you better believe it and put it to the best use!

Roughly the beginning of last week, my mom had asked me if we wanted to be extras in a movie that was being filmed at a nearby town (Clearfield). Andrew and I are not fans of being in front of the camera, we are always behind the camera. So we told my mom that we were going to pass, but asked who the director was to see if we knew the person. She told us that he was “a guy from California”.

A few days later, we read an article about the movie and saw who was directing it- Spencer Folmar of SpenceTF. The name was so familiar, so I asked Andrew if he knew who this was. Andrew informed me that this was the man he talked to about filming, while he was still in high school!

I said to Andrew, how awesome would it be if we could go on set and take behind the scenes photos? Then it clicked! I asked Andrew (since he knew Spencer) to contact him and see if it was even a possibility. That same night, Spencer said that would be great and put us in touch with the proper people to get involved!

I wrote the email that was necessary to Isaac March, the Unit Projection Manager. In two days, we received an email stating that we were permitted to come on set and take images, that they would add us to the ‘call sheet’! We were so excited!

We arrived on set, a little too early- but hey, we were excited! After getting all the legal paperwork underway and questions answered, we were good to start taking photos during the remainder of the evening!

The first thing we learned was about all the rules, regulations, and policies that are needed to film and protect crew, actors, and everyone involved.

We learned how some equipment was used, how a film crew works and how teamwork and patience is SO important when it comes to a film project!

The crew was so dedicated, many are deprived of sleep, have traveled across the country, and are away from their families, but they continue to be enthusiastic and positive throughout the process.

I will not list every single detail here, and some I can’t, but I did want to share some of the experience.

However, before I stop, I do want to list a few negative AND positive things we learned about working with a crew:

1. If a movie asks for extras, expect to fully commit. With a movie, the process doesn’t happen instantly. If you volunteer, prepare to be there past the time that is scheduled. ANYTHING can go wrong. If you leave early, you’re not only being rude to the film crew, but also not supporting what they are doing. It’s very subtle, but even with us only taking photos, we still felt let down that people were leaving.

2. Treat the film crew with full respect. If you have questions or concerns, address them in a calm, professional manner. For the most part- the issue will be resolved!

3. If something needs done, offer to help. But don’t be offended if you are told no. Some jobs (like finding a person, bringing water, etc) may be something you can help with, but moving of equipment is totally off limits.

4. Be sure to respect the location you are at. Offer to help clean up (don’t leave garbage) or give a tip to the attendees/cashier, etc.

5. Remember to follow all the rules- they are in place for a reason.

Again, we want to thank Spencer & Isaac for getting us involved. Val for answering all of our questions. Maurice for being so understanding with all of our questions. And so many of the crew members for welcoming us like we were a part of the family.

Unfortunately, we are unable to post any of the images we take until after the movie is released, BUT you can (and I fully recommend) to go like their Facebook page “Generational Sins” and follow their progress!!

 

 

 

 

 

Friends & family or just clients? Where does the line separate the two?

As a photographer, there is always one question that we ask ourselves that almost always ends up in a nightmare- what should we charge family and friends or should be give them a free service?

This is a forever occurring hurdle that we face in the career that we chose. There is a very fine, blurry line that separates friends & family obligations from the ‘business’ aspect of what we do.

I’m not going to lie, it’s unreal the amount of times a friend or family member invites us to come to their wedding or event with the subtle underlying invitation that “your camera will also have a seat at the table”.

Andrew and I are giving people and we love to offer our friends and family a discount, but where does the line between friends end and the line of not friends begin? With our clients we strive get to know everyone and we’ve become friends with A LOT of our clients, so we cannot in good heart treat one different than the other.

Don’t get me wrong, we would love to offer more discounts and free sessions, but where does the work end for us and we get to be a ‘normal’ person for a few hours? Where do we make our income that pays for our bills, rent and grocery bills?

Andrew and I have set boundaries for times such as these so that everyone feels like they are treated equally and there is no favoritism. Granted, we do have friends that are closer than others- but in business, either everyone is your friend/family OR everyone is your client. Being our career, everyone needs to be treated as a client when it comes to rules and protocols, but also as a friend/family when spoken to and conversation and emotional level.

As professionals, we have certain protocol that we need to follow that protocol so that no one gets hurt feelings or special treatment.

Please remember this when booking any professional, whether it be a photographer, a hairstylist, an electrician, anyone- this is the career, their livelihood, and they may LOVE what they do but that doesn’t mean that they are going to or are required to put their family’s well-being or business’ well-being for a discount or free services.

BOOKING:
When contacted about a session or event, we make sure we have the date available, then obtain a deposit and have a contract signed. This creates a safe environment for everyone so there are no misunderstandings.

EQUIPMENT:
During the session, we only ‘produce’ quality images, using top of line equipment that cost a lot that we worked hard to acquire. Just one event can take months off the lifetime of that piece of equipment. Yes, we have insurance, but if just one of our cameras break, we have months of grief to claim a replacement and paperwork.

SESSION:
Andrew and I have a strong artistic vision for all the images we take. If we tell you that something won’t work or that we cannot do that image, please respect that. Please respect that if a photo isn’t top quality, and we do not feel comfortable releasing it, that we won’t- no matter how many times it is asked.

POST SESSION:
We take pride editing the images. This takes many hours of our personal time such as date nights, time with friends, taking care of the household and making a simple grocery shopping trip. Please respect that this part takes time and we cannot produce the images overnight.

UPLOADING & SHARING:
Yes, we may be your friend or family- or you may be someone we just met; either way, please give us credit. If you painted a beautiful canvas or built an outstanding statue or building, you would want credit- we want credit too.
When we push you to have prints made through our site, rather than just printing them on your printer- there is a slight hint of business mindedness there, but we also want you to get the quality of images that last a lifetime. Home printer ink fades over time, slowly erasing your memories. (but this is for another blog post).

RETURNING & SUPPORT:
In the end, if we do discount you, please make a small effort of thank you.
PLEASE

DO NOT:
-Ask for free sessions or discounts
-Ask for more discounts
-Do something out of protocol
-Don’t complain about the outcome of the images or ask to have them re-edited
-Post un-watermarked images without permission

DO:
-Offer to pay or at least give a tip
-Offer to buy us a coffee or offer a bottle of water (on hot days, you have no idea how much we appreciate water)
-Give a sincere “thank you, we really appreciate it, how can we thank you?”.

As a business, we wish we could offer a lifetime of free service to friends, but it’s honestly emotionally and physically exhausting, not not financially possible for us.

We do want to thank everyone who has been our support team and helping us through our tough patches and there to praise us through our accomplishments. We would love to name who these particular individuals are, but we do not want to single them out.

I hope this gives a better understanding into the saying ‘never do business with friends or family’ and gives a different point of view for you.

THANK YOU ALL!! ❤

Our Big Change

We are very excited to announce that we are finally changing our business name! We have been waiting a very long time to finally decide to change the name of our business!

In 2011, my senior year of highschool, I dreamt up my idea to start a photography business and named it “Victoria’s Photography”.

A few months later, I decided to make a change and call it “Victoria Lynn Photography”, incorporating my middle name.

Early 2012, I became best friends with a male friend of mine and mid 2012 we changed the name once more to “Victoria Lynn Photography & Wisor Editing”.

Originally, I was the only photographer and Andrew did a lot of my editing.

A lot of assumptions were made that I, Victoria, was the only person in the business. Or that we took the photos are the edits were done by another company.

When we were married, we started talking about the business and making it “ours” instead of “mine” and giving it a fresh look from my 18 year old self.

We hope that with the new name, Wisor Photography, it will reflect our business as a husband and wife team, and give a whole new outlook on what we do.

With that being said, our social media names are being changed as of now, but links will stay the same. I am listing social media links below based on dates they will be changed and such.

Please continue to tag “Wisor Photography” (the page), Victoria Lynn Andrew Wisor (the profile) and now the hashtag: #wisorphotography 🙂

If you have any questions about this change, please ask!
We thank everyone for their support over this whole transition! 😀

LINKS:

As of 7-27-16
(All will be named “Wisor Photography” but VLPWE links will remain the same.)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vlynnphotography
Twitter:  @wisorphotos
Instagram: @wisorphotography #vlynnwisorediting
Regular Website: http://www.victorialynnphotography.weebly.com
Wedding Website: http://www.victorialynnweddings.weebly.com
Family Website: http://www.victorialynnfamily.weebly.com
SmugMug Website: http://www.victorialynnphotography.smugmug.com

As of 10-2016 / 11-2016
(All will be named “Wisor Photography” but VLPWE links will be changed.)
Facebook: TBA
Twitter: TBA
Instagram: TBA
Regular Website: TBA
Wedding Website: TBA
Family Website: TBA
SmugMug Website: TBA

Contest Policy Violations :(

REGARDING FUTURE CONTESTS:

While undergoing this lengthy change currently happening to our business and to our page, I was looking over some Facebook policies.

I found something that I was not aware of; it is against Facebook policy for a Business Page to conduct a contest using the condition of “share this to enter”. Only liking the page’s post, posting on the page’s wall, or sending a message to the page can be used as entries.

Because of this, we will no longer be conducting such contests on our page. We will be looking for other ways to hold a contest. We ask for your forgiveness for this mistake as we were not aware of this policy before now and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for the future.

We ask that you also practice extreme caution when entering said contests on other pages- being this action is against policy, Facebook may take action and may harm your profile’s reputation and could you could either be blocked or on probation (Facebook Jail) or deactivated against your permission.
(you agree to these terms when creating a Facebook profile)

For more information:

The exact wording from the policy is:

“3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).”
 
Full policy can be found at:

Why is the price so high??

Hello again, everyone! I apologize for being so absent these last few weeks!

This blog post is titled “Why is the price so high??” because that is the most popular question I am asked when we quote a price.

It is a common misconception that a photographer just schedules a date, shows up, takes some photos, toss them onto a disc and toss them into the mail. This assumption could never be more wrong.

With your one regular session you are paying for the service of us corresponding with you, scheduling your date, talking about what you expect from your session, travel time to your session, the time of your session, traveling home from the session, editing of said session, uploading images to Facebook and SmugMug, burning images to disc, getting the print release printed and filled out, packaged and a trip to the post office to mail your shipment.

But that is not all.

Let me start with this. Why do you or your significant other have a job? To pay for rent or house payments? To pay for utilities? To support your children’s sporting or dance activities? Saving back for that new car?
Let’s say you/your significant other had to work the same job for half or no pay. Are you still able to pay your rent? Your bills? Save for the future?

So when you ask, “Why is the price so high?”, just remember you are not only paying for the time and our services day of, but also making an investment in our education and purchasing of new equipment- so that your future sessions are better than the first session you had.

But that’s not all-just like your employer, you’re ensuring that we will have an electric service to edit your photos; internet service to have conversations with you and upload your images; food and running water to stay energized and healthy to lead your session or event photography; car insurance and gas money to travel to and from your session; investment in our education as mentioned above; investment in new equipment and props; keeping up to date with legal notices and insurance for your safety; and much more.

We also take a percentage from our earnings and donate to local causes, charities & events that we care strongly about.

With the little we have left over in our profit after taking out expenses and bills, we save that money (just like you do) to take a small, almost impossible vacation. We treat ourselves to a leisure activity like purchasing a new dress or a video game.

When you think a photographer is charging you too much, please remember that time you may have complained about your job not paying you enough to cover your bills. Needing to sell a personal item that you hold dear to you, whether an heirloom or gaming console to support your family. To pick up a night shift on top of your regular job just to take your family on vacation.

Photography is a service by passionate artists who want to provide quality images of your memories for a lifetime and create a relationship with you, all while sacrificing what we could have if we did not run our own business, because it’s what we love to do. We are not out to take your money for no reason- this is our job. This is our living. This is our livelihood.

Thank you all for your support! It is more appreciated than you could ever imagine!

Why Is It So Different?

While thinking up a new topic for this blog (keeping up with a blog is not one of my talents), I was hit in the face with a topic.

I was driving home one day and I pulled up behind a car at a stop light that was plastered with bumper stickers from different vacations they and their family went on. Whether it was Outer Banks, or wherever they went (I didn’t pay attention to that much detail).
[this is not the car that I saw, just a Google Image.]
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What do you see when you pull up behind this car? What do you think about? I know what I see- Hawaii (hmmm might be cool to go there), Led Zepplin (I haven’t listened to that song for awhile…). Do you see what I’m saying? People who put these stickers on the backs of their cars may see these stickers as personalizing their cars- bragging that they’ve been to Hawaii or Outer Banks or another vacationing spot.
I personally have a Hello Kitty with a camera sticker on the back of my car. Do people think “this girl might be a photographer!”? Probably not, they probably see “OH HELLO KITTY! SO CUTE!”

Which brings me to another part of the car…
decal-3.jpg

If you’ve purchased a car, used or new, you most likely have this sticker on the back of your car. You don’t really think about it, because it’s not hindering you in anyway- but I know what I’m thinking. In my area “Blue Knob Auto” is very popular on the backs of cars. When I see those, I think “that place is really popular” or “maybe that’s where I should get my next car.”

How many of you use or carry these items on a daily/weekly basis?


Whether it’s a bumper sticker, an auto dealer sticker, a Sheetz cup, soda can or plastic store bag- it’s all advertising. You can’t look at a Sheetz cup without thinking about that Sheetz coffee you had earlier, a soda can without getting thirsty (especially on a hot day), or the groceries you need to buy when you see a shopping bag.

That brings me to my last question of this post…
If individuals don’t have a problem sharing their vacation, auto purchase, food/drink choice or store choice, why is there such a stigma toward photography watermarks?
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Watermarks ARE meant to keep people from printing the image (as many think) but the WRONG people. The people who don’t pay for the image rights (which is for another article) and the people who want to claim the image as their own.

But there is another reason for watermarks- at least this is the reason for us. We watermark (that tiny, annoying text mark in the bottom corner) because it’s our way of advertising, meeting people and booking new sessions.

Just like looking at the bumper sticker and planning your next vacation, the auto logo and planning your next vehicle, or maybe using advertising to influence your next coffee, soda or store purchase- why not let a photography watermark help to choose what photographer to choose for your special memory and event? Why not proudly show your photographer choice and share with others for their chance to have the same experience?

If you choose a photographer you’re not pleased with their images and feel the need to crop off their name/business name- just opt not to share the images. But if you are absolutely in love with your images, keep the name/business name visible to help the photographer keep their job and their dream.

The next time you may think about complaining, seeing that watermark on a friend or family’s photo session album, consider the can of soda in your hand, the car your driving, the gaming controller in your hand, and even the cell phone you are most likely viewing this on. You’re advertising for a corporate company (Apple, PlayStation, Coca Cola, etc). Why not help advertise for a small business who isn’t quite as well known as the ‘big companies’?