I love to donate to good causes whenever I get the chance. I recently came across Chelsea at @eastwillowgrove’s Instagram post. If you haven’t checked her out, you should. She runs a pretty rad business called @eastandwillow. In her recent blog post she talked about how a close family friend had lost their daughter to AML. Now for those of you don’t know, my cousin was diagnosed with AML last year. My cousins were my best friends growing up and still are today. We have such a strong bond.
When I read Chelsea's post, it hit me straight in the heart. Not only were their lives affected by AML, but they lost someone near and dear to them due to this horrible disease. Chelsea will be shaving her head on April 26, in hopes of raising $1000 for the cause. The money will be donated towards a fundraiser on May 4th in conjunction with Beaumont, Camerons Crusaders, Gilda’s Club, Ryan Rocks, Team Tessa and Team Leah.
I want to help her surpass this goal of $1000 and donate a percentage of each mini booked to her cause. Mini Sessions will be held on April 20 + 27 at my studio located in Macomb, MI. Limited spots available. First come, first serve.
$200 - 20 minute studio session. 10 digital images provided to you on an online password protected gallery. Option to purchase more.
And to read more about her cause and why she is doing it, please visit her fundraising page here!
If you haven't noticed Branding Sessions are quickly becoming a favorite around here. This past weekend I was lucky enough to work with the cutest and most happy person ever, Bella. Bella currently works as an Esthetician. She is a ridiculously hard worker and you can find her at LifeTime Fitness in Rochester Hills and Gowdas Plastic Surgery in Troy working her magic on all of her clients.
When I sat down and talked with Bella, it was clear that she truly loves what she does. She has a true passion for self care and it is completely expressed through her profession. I wanted our session to emulate what she loves about her profession. We talked about possible set ups, colors and what drives her the most - Family, Self Care + a Happy Lifestyle. When session time came, I had decided on a spa-esque set up as well as our standard simple head shot set up. Bella brought in a faux client to perform a face mask on and we got to work. We photographed for approximately 1.5 hours and after all was said and done, Bella was delivered over 100 images to choose from.
You read that right. 100+ IMAGES IN JUST 1.5 HOURS! BTB sessions are meant to provide clients with a large variety of content to make posting to social media accounts easier. Social media is so important for branding yourself or a business. And as most of you know it isn't an easy task to stay on top of posts and stories to keep your audience engaged. BTB clients have the option to choose packages based on monthly postings. Each package differs in the amount of time we spend together.
Do you know how many images we could capture in 4 hours? 8 hours? You're right! Enough images to last you months of posting! This is one business expense that will make your life easier and bring you a more clientele by captivating them with your incredible images.
Clothing: Hudson Jeans, Forever 21, H&M, Zara
Products: Vivier, Phytomer, Trish McEvoy Beauty
Sometimes I come across the some quality little shops. My most recent shop I have photographed for is HMarr Designs. HMarr Designs is owned by Heidi Marr, based in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Her shop is full of amazing custom apparel. We started talking and I had mentioned my son was having a dinosaur themed birthday party. She didn't waste any time customizing dinosaur t-shirts for my little loves as well as myself! They are such amazing quality. The fabric is soft, the printing is clean and clear, and the fit is wonderful.
So why am I telling you this? Well, for one, everyone should visit Heidi's shop or follow her on IG at @hmarrdesigns. Secondly, branding sessions don't have to be based around a person. Branding photos can be about your products. Do you own a shop or a business where you produce physical products? If you do, are you showcasing your products in the best possible way?
If you aren't, I would encourage you to seriously consider outsourcing your product photography. Having high quality, authentic images truly brings your products to life. Let me help you bring your website and marketing materials to life! And if you are a clothing boutique, don't worry I have models on hand that I can bring in to assist with making your product look the best that it can.
Want to see some examples of what your product shot could look like? Below I have added some shots themed around the dinosaur shirts I received.
Heide Marr's Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/hmarrdesigns
Goodie Bags: Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby
I will say this 1000x over, when another photographer trusts you to take their photos, it is truly an honor. I have known Dina for quite some time now. We met a few years back through a local photographer Facebook group (that I will be forever thankful for). This group has brought me friends, clients and loads of inspiration. I love how we truly embrace community over competition in such a saturated photographer market.
Dina is such an incredible example of community over competition. She is one of the most driven photographers I know, and her business shows that. She truly loves to help and watch other businesses grow, including mine. She has given me more inspiration, advice and motivation than I can even begin to explain. I am thankful that her career path crossed mine.
Dina has photographed families and weddings over the years, but I can tell you without a doubt her speciality is high school seniors. She excels in this photography niche and every senior she photographs is an indication she is truly talented at what she does. When Dina contacted me, she was looking for some headshots. We talked about things that she wanted her clientele to know about her and what she thought defined a bit of who she was. We discussed her brand colors and items we thought would fit her branding story we were going to tell.
When the day arrived, I think we were both overly excited to do this session. We drank coffee, made sure to capture all the details and even talked a little bit of shop. Her Behind the Brand session went so smoothly and I was ridiculously excited about all the images I had captured. To say I was on a high the rest of the day is an understatement. With that being said, I present to you Dina's Behind the Brand Session!
Hair + Makeup Stylist: Stephanie Tocco - Salon Bliss (IG: @stephanietocco_)
Hair Coloring: Lisa Bollinger - Salon Bliss (IG: @lisambollinger)
Let me tell you something about this little lady. She is one of the most kind people I have ever encountered in my life. It truly is a blessing to have her as a sister in law. She has been nothing short of supportive and I am forever thankful for her. A couple weeks ago, after talking about sessions and what we wanted to do in the future, she asked if I would take a few "quick" headshots of her. With out any hesitation, I said yes!
There was no doubt that the session would take place in her home studio. However, I wanted to expand outside of her studio and into her actual living space. I wanted a few more relaxed images and a few with her most favorite little human, her son. Each Behind the Brand Session revolves around the client and their profession. Whether it takes place in your space, my space, somewhere else or all three, I work to create an image that represents you and your business.
If you haven't seen Suzy's work, you are really missing out. Her style is bright and airy. It is natural and absolutely breathtaking. Her vision to pursue birth photography has me overly excited for her. She is a natural when it comes to capturing real life emotion and truly an artist. I couldn't imagine this industry without her.
Five years ago, I started this little company that turned into my full time job. You know it as Little Anchor Photo. Over the past five years, so much has changed and my company has evolved.
At the time Little Anchor Photo was created, I was just starting out on an adventure that I had no idea would become what it is today. I was a new mom, working a full time 9-5 job in payroll. I started Little Anchor as a way to let my creative mind run free.
I started out mainly photographing families and at the time, felt that the business name Little Anchor Photo represented exactly what I wanted to be. As the years went on, my client base continued to change. I found myself photographing more and more weddings as well as personal branding sessions. Little Anchor didn’t seem to fit the track my business was on.
There is so much to consider when rebranding, but I am thrilled that I finally decided to build a business around my name, Serena Gojcaj Photography. This change wasn’t an easy decision. I truly love Little Anchor, and will be forever grateful for the amazing start it gave me in this industry. But using my name as my business allows me to reach clients on a more personal level. I truly believe it attracts the clientele that my business has grown to service. It holds the longevity I want my company to have. I mean what holds more longevity than my name?
Lastly, the main reason I decided to make this change is because I love my name! It’s different and hopefully one you won’t forget! And if you’re wondering how the heck you are going to remember how to spell my last name, well sing it like the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song. G-O-J-C-A-J…that’s how you spell GOJCAJ! Haha! That was definitely corny, but I am ok with that.
PORTRAITS, WEDDINGS, PERSONAL BRANDING
February has began and that means that this months BTB sessions are officially under way. Remember how I told you that BTB Sessions were for every professional? Well, Gina is proof of that. Gina graduated with a BBA with a focus in Marketing, so she understands that branding and marketing a business as well as ones self is very important.
As a young professional starting her career, it is important that she has professional photos of herself for her business profiles, work head shot, business cards and more. Gina’s session was perfect in every way and completely reflected her lifestyle. Simple, crisp, clean. Three essential words that describe how this session went.
I asked Gina what are three things that describe you or that you want people to know. She immediately answered with: a healthy lifestyle, family and anything that brings happiness. I love that she was so genuine in her answer. I tried to incorporate little bits and pieces of these things into her session; whether it was a piece of fruit, an inspirational book or a photo of her family on the computer.
Branding photos and head shots are essential to get you or your business noticed. If you can do anything to improve you or your brand, it should be professional brand portraits.
It is so crazy how many entrepreneurs I know. I truly had not thought about it until one of my good friends, Ania, mentioned she was starting her small business, Everlasting Wedding Invitations. Be sure to click the links below to give her a follow and tune in to what she has available.
If you know Ania, you know that she is full of genuine kindness down to her core. I have never met someone as calm, collected and authentic as she is. These qualities will make her business grow by leaps and bounds and I could not be more excited to watch it happen. When she mentioned she was starting this journey, I immediately wanted to assist her with her branding. We set up a date and made it happen. After photographing her and her amazing products, it made me want to offer these sessions to everyone who owns a business!
And that is when the Behind the Brand Sessions were created. Are you a rep for a company? Do you own your own business? Are you part of a corporation that requires you to have headshots? Whatever your venture might be, this is the session for you. These sessions are styled to fit your business. We will take time to create a session that represents you and your business. Headshots, product shots, and marketing materials are just the beginning of what we can create during your Behind the Brand Session. Not to mention, I am venturing into the world of stop motion videos (you can see an example at the very bottom of the post!).
Each business and person is unique, why not express that through beautiful images that you can use for marketing materials, website design, social media platforms and more. Are you ready to book your Behind the Brand Session? For a limited time only, if you book your Behind the Brand Session, you will receive an additional 5 complimentary images in your package.
To inquire about Behind the Brand Sessions, please select the contact icon in the menu bar above.
Hair & Makeup: Monika - Mila Salon and Spa
Every year I make the attempt to begin blogging again. It always starts out strong and then my ambition quickly seems to fade as the year progresses. I find myself not sharing some of my best sessions and it drives me crazy that I didn't stick to the blogging throughout the year. Well, I had a little push to blog this wedding from my amazing second shooter, Megan, owner of Mulberry & Sage . So without skipping a beat, I am going to attempt it again this year.
Why try again, you might be asking? Well, two reasons. The first being the gentle nudge from Megan and the second being that the last session I shot was the Palmateer wedding. It was so incredibly awesome, that I have to share it with you. Every detail was fine tuned and executed amazingly. From the tiny ski boutonnières to the actual ski lift in the reception. There wasn't a ski detail left undone.
Plus, did I mention that Megan + Farmer Jim are the most adorable couple on the planet? Megan's energy and kindness is something I wish more people had. She is truly genuine to her core and it isn't a surprise that Jim asked her to marry him. The way they look at each other is something that is only found in fairytales, with such adoration. Both families were incredibly kind and all of their guests had smiles from ear to ear the entire night.
I am so incredibly happy for them and wish them a full life of love and happiness <3.