Tips for Clients | Why Prints?
I always encourage clients to purchase prints. Sometimes, though, I get questions about why prints are needed when digital files are so much easier to come by and are in such high demand. I thought I'd take a few moments to explain why prints give clients the most bang for their buck and why they are so important to have.
Puppy Love | DachtoberFest 2014
Sometimes most challenging part of writing blog posts is the beginning. I want to get the intro just right to set the tone for the rest of the piece. When it came to DachtoberFest, I just didn't know how to start. There were so many great things about the festival!
I asked Cliff for a little help. His response was perfect.
"Because puppies! What else do you need to say?"
Seriously? What else do I need to say?
Spending a day surrounded by these pups and their owners was such a joy! Cliff and I both agreed that the best part was knowing that we could pet any dog, anywhere, and not only would be not have to ask, but our affection towards them would be welcome.
DachtoberFest patrons, please see the note at the end of this post. Enjoy!
Life without a limb | Update #3
I'm writing this with a huge smile on my face. Today we got the news we've been waiting for: Dad has been cleared to get his prosthetic!
For those who don’t know, you actually have to get a prescription from a doctor to get a prosthetic. Dad’s first prosthetic appointment will actually be a consultation. His second appointment will be a fitting. From there he’ll get a temporary prosthetic before graduating to a permanent one.
Dad still has a great deal of hard work and therapy ahead of him, but this is an exciting step forward. (Yeah, that pun was totally intended!) Phase 3 of this journey is just around the corner, and I know my Dad’s going to do great!
A Silver Spring Wedding | Amina + Brad
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love love stories and that's the kind of fairy tale relationship Brad and Amina have. They met in high school and never looked back. Brad proposed on a day trip to Great Falls.
What I loved about this wedding was how the bride and groom made the conscious decision to employ local vendors (all listed below) to make their big day special. By working with friends and neighbors, they were able to include crazy-unique details throughout the event. For starters, Amina gave a nod to her Pakistani heritage with a custom dress with help from Stitch and Rivet. Her entire bouquet was grown in local gardens. And she and friends spent countless hours making paper flowers that acted as both decor and accessories.
Celebrate | Shala Graham
Sometimes -- sometimes -- posts about head shots can be boring. Not this time. There is nothing boring about Shala Graham.
Celebrate | Referral Program!
Life without a limb | Update #2
As promised, I've got an update on Dad's progress. Unfortunately, the news isn't what we hoped for. More on that in a minute.
To recap, due to complications with what was supposed to be a minor surgery, my father had his right leg amputated below the knee in July. He amazed doctors with his positive attitude and ability to demonstrate mobility just days after the surgery. Since August, he's been living at home where he's kept to a strict regimen that includes core strengthening.
This week, he was expecting to receive a definitive timeline from his prothsetist and orthopedic surgeon about when he would receive a temporary prosthetic, get fitted for a custom one and begin out-patient therapy. It's been nine longs weeks since Dad was moved out of in-patient therapy and he's eager to, well, get back on his feet.
However, at his most recent appointment, he learned that the residual limb is not healing as it should. The skin around the incision is folding in and to correct the problem, the doctor had to create an additional incision. Dad has been given specialized wound dressing material, called TheraBond, which he will use until his next medical appointment in approximately two weeks.
Before any amputee can receive a prosthetic, the residual limb must be completely healed. This means no bleeding, no open sores and no use of products like TheraBond. This setback could delay Dad's timeline for a prosthetic by anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. He's disappointed to say the least, but I know my dad get through this. He's strong and determined. It helps so much that friends and family from all over the country have been so supportive of him as he tackles this new journey in life.
If you'd like to leave a message for my dad, please place it in the comments below. I'll package them together as individual mini scrolls and send them as a care package in a few days. I know he would really appreciate hearing from you. xoxo
Cliff and I recently took a huge step in life. We bought a condo!
We've both heard horror stories about property buying gone wrong. Somehow, some way we had none of that. Our entire experience, from looking to closing, was as smooth as Michael Jackson's dance moves. But that doesn't mean we didn't learn a few lessons along the way.
1. Everyone knows a good realtor.
I thought photography was a competitive industry, but it seems like a walk in the park compared to the real estate industry. Anytime we mentioned to anyone, anywhere, that we were in the market for a place of our own, we heard the same line: I know a really good realtor if you need one! As much as we appreciated the help, we essentially stopped telling people that we were looking. We got really tired of the thanks-but-no-thanks game. That said, if you're in the market, I do know a pretty good realtor ;)
2. 1960s architecture rocks my socks.
Buying a place is scary no matter what. But one of the real concerns Cliff and I had was finding a space big enough to meet our -- well, to keep us completely spoiled rotten. You see, the apartment we previously occupied was 970 square feet... and it had only one bedroom. You could hold a three-ring circus in there.
We already knew that our apartment building was built in the 60s. The more we researched property, the more we learned that 1960s-style architecture suited our needs. (And, frankly, I would recommend it to anyone). Characteristics include spacious floor plans, plenty of storage, and solid construction. Seriously. you can't go wrong.
3. Don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain.
Before we made an offer on our unit, Cliff and I did as much research on the property as possible. Among other things, we learned that it had been on the market for more than 100 days and we were the only people who showed serious interest. (I know! We couldn't figure it out either!) We used that information to our advantage and put in a really low offer. There was, of course, some negotiation, but we were able to purchase the property well below the seller's asking price. We feel like we got a great deal!
4. Don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain.
We did ask the sellers to pay some of the closing costs, but because we put in such a low offer, we were afraid to ask that they pay full closing costs. Now that things are said and done, I wish we would have asked for it all. There's no guarantee the sellers would have agreed, but because we didn't ask, we'll never know.
5. Know your rights.
I wasn't going to this story, but I was inspired by Justine LaViolette. Like Justine, I suffer from anxiety. Attacks can be debilitating, but thanks to a strong support system and great health regimen, I'm feeling good these days. Part of that regimen includes Louie. He's more than just a pet. He's a friend and companion animal. When I have flair-ups, he can sense it. He becomes much for affectionate--which helps me find the balance I need to feel better.
Our condo building's policy on pets is confusing at best. Technically, pets aren't allowed, but under the ADA, landlords and building managers cannot deny service and companion animals. Because I wasn't fully aware of my rights under the ADA, I ended up divulging much more of my medical history than I needed to (and was comfortable with). In the end, though, everything worked out. Louie's been welcomed into the building. I'm happy. Cliff's happy. And I'm positive Louie is happy :)
6. Beware of the "hidden" costs.
It costs a lot more to purchase property than I ever could have guessed. Cliff and I actually started this process two years ago, but put everything on hold -- twice -- so we would have more time to save. It's amazing the amount of time and effort that goes into purchasing property -- all by people you never even meet! Even though we worked with a lender who constantly sent me spread sheets detailing every cost from attorney's fees to taxes, there was still a great deal of sticker shock when it came time to write that final check. We have zero regrets, though!
7. No property is perfect.
Let's face it. Cliff and I are young do-gooders. I work full-time at a health non-profit and he's an educator. We don't make a lot of money. We decided long ago that if we were going to drop most of our savings on a down payment, the place had to be perfect.
We're in love with our condo, but the bathroom is a little small and the unit has more hallway space than I prefer. I started focusing on those things relentlessly. It wasn't until our realtor reminded us that no place is perfect that I realized we had actually found the perfect property for us. Our condo meets every requirement we laid out for ourselves when we started the buying process: balcony, nice kitchen, two bedrooms, wood floors, lots of space. We almost didn't put in an offer because we were missing the forest for the trees.
8. We are fortunate.
Purchasing property hasn't made me a different person, but it has made me look at the world differently. I was blessed to be raised by parents who included me in discussions about current events, social justice and economic equality--or in this case, inequality. As a result, I've always been aware and have tried to help those who are less fortunate. Now, though, I am even more aware, especially of our area's homeless population. While Cliff and I have a home to go to that we've purchased, so many don't have any kind of home to go to at all.
This acute realization makes me feel obligated to help homeless when and where I can by offering to purchase for them food or water. Such a small gesture can make a huge difference. Please, if you see someone who is homeless, don't ignore or treat them with disrespect. They are human beings, just like you and me.
Photography Baiscs for Small Business and Non-Profits
Monday, October 13 | 9:30 a.m.
8121 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
I'm so excited to announce that on Monday, I'll be contributing to Creative Colony's Creative Boost series with my presentation In Focus: Photography Basics for Small Businesses and Non-Profits.
The lecture will focus on how small businesses and non-profits can get the best images with limited resources. I'll cover a wide range of topics, including why photography matters, how to take appropriate photos for your organization's needs, my favorite: a list of don'ts, and when to hire a professional. You wont want to miss it!
I've got to thank Creative Colony for this wonderful opportunity. The Silver Spring-based co-working facility is dedicated to giving artistic professionals a comfortable, creative space to do what they do best. As part of their committment to the communtiy, they started the Creative Boost series earlier this year to help spur inspiration and bring creative professionals together. The best part? It's Free! You can reserve you seat here.
Preview | DachtoberFest 2014
I think it's safe to say that October has officially become my favorite month. I seriously cannot wait for the next DachtoberFest! I had so much fun photographing this adorable breed and the owners who's hearts they've stolen at the Frederick Fairgrounds last weekend.
The festival boasted a costume contest, parade, and dog show. But my absolute favorite part were the races. As fun as it was to see these tiny, four-legged friends dash from one end of a room to another, the bit that got me were the racing categories. There were races for little links (puppies), bratwursts (adult dogs), senior schnitzels (seniors), and -- wait for it -- hot dog carts. You know, those little guys with the rolly wheels that help them walk? Or in this case, run?
If you haven't squealed with delight yet, don't worry. You will! Stay tuned for more coming soon!
As a reminder to all DachtoberFest patrons, prints of all photographs taken at the Fest by jhPhotography will be available for purchase soon. Learn more about the DachtoberFest deal here.
Hey there! I'm Jonna! I'm a family photographer serving Silver Spring, Maryland and beyond. During the Covid-19 crisis, I'm using my free time to document the lives of friends and neighbors as we live through a pandemic. Learn more.