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The Happy Togs | Category Archives: Everything Else

Reset Maternity Shoot Out… FUN!

This past weekend, Jess and I had the privilege and honor to be break out speakers during the RESET CONFERENCE.

Part of our fun, was hosting a maternity badocams.com shoot out for attendees. With 10 “new friends”, we headed out to the field behind the conference center, and had a BLAST!

Many people ask “WHAT IS A SHOOT OUT”.  For Jess and I, it isn't one thing.  It's a handful of wonderful events that make it all come together.  Of course, the shooting and portfolio building that goes with it… but there is the CONNECTION that we find the most fabulous.

You get to see how your peers work… angles, their viewpoints.
You get to work together, in a non-competitive fashion, helping & guiding each other with tips & techniques.
You get to see how your peers edit, and their creative outtake on the same model… scene… lighting. It's AMAZING!
You get to walk away feeling inspired, refreshed, and energized… with new friends AND fun fabulous images in your camera.

If you haven't experience a shoot out event before, I highly suggest it… they are remarkable.

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the Happy Project

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We at the HAPPY TOGS, started something called ‪#‎thehappyproject‬… and each week, in our group on FB…
We each share an image that, simply, makes us HAPPY!

Something we shot, during this particular week… so here is a sweet share of a few of my favorites from this weeks album (so far!).

Want to join us? https://www.facebook.com/groups/thehappytogs/

Please… photographers tag your images.. and share the HAPPINESS!

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Do what makes your soul happy!

I have a firm belief through my photography travels…

SHOOT WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY… forget the rest!
If it's shooting nature.. DO IT!
If it's shooting your own children, and not having clients… DO IT!

If you see that perfect sunlight coming through the tree line, grab your little model and SHOOT!

Don't let a chance go by, or doubt yourself.
Not every shot will be perfect… but it will be perfectly you at that time & place!

Let your heart guide your shots, and compare yourself to no one but YOU <3

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the Pricing Monster!

What is custom photography? 
Custom photography is a plethora of things wrapped up into one phrase.  To keep things simple, let’s talk about it this way. 10 years ago, the client walks into a mall studio portrait place, picked a backdrop, and sat in a typical pose… SMILE. SNAP!  Typically 10 minutes of set up and snapping, than select your image, order and go!
In today’s photographic society, and client demand for amazingly gorgeous custom images of their precious memories… things are much more complex than simply walking into a retail mall studio…  but we are here to help. In a friendly, non-competitive, and hopefully HELPFUL way.
“How can I help my clients understand my pricing?”

“I feel bad charging $300 for my session, it seems like a lot of money! “

“My client doesn’t understand why I charge the amount I do, for my session… they said I was too expensive.”

Share this article with them… link it on your site if you wish.  I believe that education is key… for both photographer & client.



Present time & custom photography… as a client, you choose a photographer based on their style (do you want posed, relaxed, in your home, etc).  Discuss a setting, a theme for your image (toddler, baby milestone, family, etc)… head to your session, have your photographer pose you in a plethora of settings… moving around your location and positioning you in the most flattering & artistic way given.  After your session, you than wait for your photographer to gently edit each and every image; creating a piece of art work, with your family as the center piece.

Now… take into thought everything else that goes into custom photography.  The equipment cost of the said photographer (who is a self employed, not by a giant retail studio).  The artistic vision of your photography (this IS art).  The reputation of the photographer, experience, and education.  The time put into each and every single edit from your session… there is so much more.   You are NOT paying for your 60 minute session, you ARE paying for all of the hours before your session and all of the hours AFTER your session.  Here is a better break down…


*Add in other per session costs for the photographer such as: gas to and from location, childcare for their babes, paying for parking, etc… 


Now let’s add in legit business costs, for that session alone.  

Because, again, photography is a job and as any small business professionals, we run our business as just that.  A LEGIT BUSINESS.


Want to really make yourself sick? Here is a break down: 
Photographer charges $75 for session… they are making $.84 CENTS per hour
Photographer charges $150 for session… they are making around $7 per hour

See where I am going with this?
The session and the time shooting your images are NOT the only time spent by your photographer… that session time is only a fraction of the work put into giving our clients the unforgettable images we capture. _dsc1762-tj

Next time someone scoffs at a photographer for his/her pricing… share this article with them… and remember… these ARE JOBS too… many of whom work for supporting their family, sole or main income. Food on the table for their babes… rent or mortgage, children in school, etc.  We would not ask you to give a product, time or service for free… so please respect ours as well.  With all our love… PHOTOGRAPHERS WORLDWIDE! 


PHOTOGRAPHERS… Wanna learn how to price yourself? 
Grab this link >>> THE PRICING MONSTER <<< and snag our super cheap Pricing Formulation Spreadsheet… it’s worth it!



Don't be a Rude-Tog this fall…

Remember the song when you were young,
“This land is my land, this land is your land, this land was made for you and me”…

Let’s all keep that in mind this busy fall season.

I think we all can agree, THERE ARE A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS out there… our industry has BOOMED tremendously over the past few years.  And with a boom like this, it means one thing…  THINGS GET TIGHT, and can get heated.

The #1 issue I hear photographers complain about during a busy fall season, LOCATIONS.  You know, the prime ones that all the “locals” like to shoot at?  Where we all like to take our clients for a unique natural backdrop, and ESPECIALLY during the busy fall season of family portraits and holiday cards in the making.

Let’s keep things in check, and lemme say a few simple things, reminders we’ll call them, for the Happy Togs out there….

  1. Public land is just that… PUBLIC, So anyone can use it… any person, any photographer, ANY ONE.  Be polite, you do NOT own this land, and have no right push or bully any other photographer off of it.
  2. Be respectful of each other.   If you are shooting in a shared location, keep your eyes open for other photographers. Do NOT place your clients in their line of shooting.  I remember a local photographer telling me that she was shooting at her favorite “barn location”, and had her clients placed and posed, ready to shoot.  As she pulled the camera to her face to take the shot, another photographer walked into her frame (behind her posed clients), and seated her own clients right in place.  NOT COOL, R.U.D.E.   Keep your eyes open, and pay attention to your surroundings
  3. Don’t be a big mouth… and by this, I mean don’t be a giant distraction during shooting.  I think we all giggle, make insane noises to get attention of little ones, and act visit this site a plain ole’ fool during our family sessions… HOWEVER, keep in mind of the others around you, trying to achieve the same shots.  If you are making a ruckus loud enough for the entire park to hear, you are going to spoil the good times for other families.

Now be a HAPPY TOG… choose friendship vs. competition… and keep this fall busy season FUN, CHEERY, AND POLITE!
Maybe…. just maybe… you will even meet a new tog-friend when out shooting at that primo location.. YES!



Be good to each other…. ignore the hate, move past it… remember that you are talented and you are a human being deserving of all things good and happy.

And to those who Sexual Performance Fast hurt you, those who try to bruise your ego, and turn your “glitter” into something less than positive…   YOU ARE AMAZING.

*warm fuzzies to all*


Focus on the good… Unlike the bad…

Sharing this from our sister site, PROP INSANITY… great words of HAPPINESS!

In our photography industry, there are thousands and thousands of talented artists, and if you are anything like myself… I love to follow as many as I find on Facebook.  Talented, inspiring, awe inducing and creative artists that makes my heart skip a beat… then I want to see ALL they have to offer!  Photographers & Vendors alike.


However… I have found one thing, through my years at Prop Insanity, and as a professional photographer myself… some of those artists and pages I follow, have also turned something “sour” in me.  Maybe it was a photographer whose work I admire, but whose kindness to others is less than admirable.  Possibly a vendor who I saw tease another vendor because they found their pattern to be unappealing.   Bully togs, big egos, pompous attitudes, and artists who focus more on popularity then the true art they are striving to create.   They can leave us with a feeling of  “ugliness” vs. the beauty they may capture in their art.

The art they create is still awe inspiring, and makes my heart flutter… but the thing that has changed (or maybe I have just noticed) is that attitudes don’t always match the beauty they create.

For instance, I used to follow a “celebrity” photographer for many MANY years.  She had over 100,000 Facebook fans… and her work was (and still is) so stunningly beautiful it leaves me in awe. After a while, I found myself obsessed with checking it (and my feed) NOT for the art, but for the negativity she would post.  An attitude of self worth that was to the point of true self center, & abusive to others she found not as “worthy” as herself.   I found that I was not following her art as much as I was following her hostility and self infatuation.


So, I STOPPED FOLLOWING HER.  I felt guilty… I felt mean… pushing that “unlike page” button made me feel cruel.  HOWEVER, I did it for me, for my own sanity. I needed to exit that page, and remove myself from the negativity… even though her work was truly stunning.  In addition, I highly doubt she even knew that 1 fan dropped out.  I still was able to go check in her page and see her work (just not in my feed).  After a few weeks, I found there was no more interest in checking her negativity, and I felt a wee bit of weight lifted off my shoulders.  I will now check it once every few months or so.  Simply for the ART.

By removing this from my newsfeed and unfollowing, I put in more positivity to my life.

There are thousands and thousands of amazing artists out there… so choose them wisely, and select those who make you happy ALL OVER – INSIDE & OUT.


I have seen different aspects of this… whether its a bully tog, or someone who that may focus on their celebrity and their need to be “top” vs. being kind to others and respecting a newbie artist… maybe it’s an artist that I compare myself to so much, that I start to self doubt myself or feel inferior.  Either way it is, there is a way to fix this. STOP FOLLOWING THEM.

If the page has become anything but pure positivity, if it gives you any “blahs”… simply unfollow the page.  Fill you life with positives, and nothing that gives you any pessimistic or unfavorable feelings.


And with all that said… make sure to follow us on FACEBOOK.
We are a happy place… always & forever!

BE KIND, BE HAPPY, BE POSITIVE, and don’t feel guilty if you need to unfollow a page because it makes you feel any less that HAPPY <3