Senior Photography in Ellicott City, Howard County

21 07 2011

Wow, I have amazing news that I’m excited to share with you!

As a business owner, you face many challenges of keeping up with the demands of running a business successfully.  And, by successfully, I’m talking about consistently delivering beautiful and high quality products, consistently providing great client service, taking care of the needs of your clients whether they are in your Studio, on location, on the telephone, or on the other end of an email, researching new equipment, maintaining current equipment, finances and accounting, creating marketing pieces, continuing education by scheduling and attending classes, seminars, webinars, and conventions,  keeping up with social media to keep your ‘name’ in front of your clients and potential clients, and giving back to your community.  If you are a business owner you know that I could go on and on with a much longer list but for the sake of getting to my exciting news, I’ll end it there! 😀

As a photographer, we may focus on weddings, maternity, babies, children, family, engagement, high school seniors and boudoir, in studio, on location….whew, it’s a lot! Each of those I LOVE to photograph but in reality, I’ve had to stop marketing for some for the sake of maintaining a high level of client service.  I made a difficult decision a couple of years ago to only accept a handful of weddings each year and concentrate mostly on the portrait side of my business.  My youngest was beginning Kindergarten and my weekends became even more important.  As much as I totally love my wedding couples, I had to make a difficult business decision and cut back on weddings.

Senior photography has been a passion of mine and I LOVE to photograph seniors, but I didn’t have a ‘formal’ senior program, couldn’t spend time marketing to them yet and wasn’t planning on rolling out my official senior program until 2012-2013. Well,…..and here’s the exciting news……I now have a fantastic Senior Program,…..here’s the more exciting news……I have the honor of introducing my lead Senior Photographer!!  A much sought after successful photographer is joining my team and she will lead our Senior Photography division into a fantastic year.  She has successfully run her own business for the last several years, has won numerouos awards for her work, has served as the President for the Maryland Professional Photographers Association and is currently the Chairperson for Maryland PPA, is a counselor for the PPA, Professional Photographers of America along with other accolades.  I am BEYOND thrilled to introduce to you, VANESSA ARD!

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Vanessa is Howard County’s premiere senior photographer and has made a great name for herself in the surrounding counties as well.  To say we are ecstatic is an understatement, we are absolutely thrilled that she is joining us at Pam Long Photography.  She is creative,  technically brilliant,  professional, fun and uber, super-uber talented and FANTASTIC photographer.

I’m so excited to be able to continue my passion of photographing high school seniors through Pam Long Photography!  I’m inspired by the creative potential as I get to photograph our clients in a new space and Pam’s gorgeous Garden Studio!  I feel a peace of mind knowing that our combined clientelle will be well cared for by Pam and her fabulous team!”

Here is a sampling of Vanessa’s talent as we introduce to you our 2011-2012 Spokesmodels:

To be able to extend part of my business because I have a wonderfully competent, exceptionally talented photographer joining my team is an unbelievable blessing!  Please join us in welcoming Vanessa to PLP team.





Print Competitions! Howard County Photographer

21 07 2011

Last year I decided to ‘man-up’ and start entering my images in our State competitions.  Nerve racking doesn’t begin to explain how I feel prior to and during the competitions.  For the past couple of years, I’ve sat through many of them as a spectator and it’s amazing what you learn when you hear the Master judge’s critiques and suggestions.  I knew it was time to bite the bullet and go for it.  As much as I learned from being a spectator, I knew I would gain even more knowledge by entering my own images.

So last year, I entered my first image.  My goal was to be awarded a score of 80…..I won’t go into the whole scoring process now, but that was my goal.  I thought I would have to compete several times before reaching that goal, so you can imagine how thrilled I was  when the score was called and it was an 80!   No way! 😀 I went home that night with a blue ribbon!!

And later, in our Annual Competition, I entered this image and received the Kelly Pierce Memorial Award, for Best Portrait of a Child!  I was beyond excited!

Here’s my first entry, titled “Chicks Dig Me”.

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This image is so special to me. Joseph, my adorable subject, is the son of 2 of my favorite people in the universe. Thank you, Sue and Cliff!

Last month, I competed again, still sooooo nerve racking. There were over 90 images submitted!  I found myself feeling like I was in second grade, sitting on my hands with my fingers crossed, avoiding eye contact with the teacher, hoping she doesn’t call on me!! Who does that??
Here is “Golden Statue”. I was thrilled to receive another 80 with beautiful Nahal as my model!  Thank you, Nahal!
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I also entered “Little Big Man” last month and it scored an 80 as well!!  How cute is he?! Thank you, Danielle!
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Now, I’ll back up a few months, I entered more images in another State Print Competition.   I was so excited about the scores and I came home with more awards!  BUT, I’ve got to take a moment to say, that I apologize for not posting these sooner. I really want to celebrate my clients, but it’s difficult for me because I feel like I’m praising myself when I put these up and talk about awards.    While I do want my clients and potential clients to know that I work hard to deliver beautiful, emotional and fun images and I’m continually working to improve, it’s still uncomfortable for me to say “look what I did!”  So for the family members and subjects of these next several images, I’m sorry that I didn’t announce these sooner.

Here are the winning images from a few months ago:

This sweet baby, I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow because she’s on my baby’s first year plan.  The baby to one of my wedding couples, this is “Peaceful on Grandma’s Blanket”. Thank you, KC and John.

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I love this family portrait.  Pete and Mary, two of my oldest (not in age but in # of years that I’ve known them!! 😉 ) friends and it was an amazingly fun time hanging out with them and their handsome boys!

Titled, “A Brilliant Family Perspective”. Thank you, Pete and Mary.

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Sweet, sweet Bella had so much fun at her one year old portrait session and I had a blast with her.  Thank you, Donna and Jeff.

“Ummmm, privacy please!”

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This beautiful little baby girl was the perfect, happy subject, simply titled, “Christmas Baby”  Thank you, Shawn and Brian!

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I will be the first to admit that it is extremely rewarding to be recognized for your work and to win awards.  But, it is even more rewarding to have wonderful clients that trust me to create beautiful and emotionally moving images for them to admire for generations.  I’m blessed to be able to document incredible milestones in a person’s life and I never take that for granted.  I always work to continually improve my craft.

Thank you! xo

For anybody who is interested in the Print Competitions and what the judges look for when they score:
(copied from the Professional Photographers of America website, http://www.ppa.com)

The use of these 12 elements connects the modern practice of photography and its photographers to the historical practice of photography begun nearly two centuries ago.

Twelve elements have been defined as necessary for the success of an art piece or image. Any image, art piece, or photograph will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior example will reveal obvious consideration of each one

The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance.

Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.

Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.