Applying Blush is a Maine photography blog that showcases the award-winning style of the Blush Imagery photo studio. Our studio offers classic weddings and stylish portraits from our beautiful space in downtown Portland, Maine in the historic Old Port. Our photographers offer creative, custom Maine wedding work with a full suite of wedding services for engagement, creative bridal, and wedding day work. We share our work and news daily.
Our sweet baby, Maggie, now not so much a baby at 6, attends St. Brigid’s School in Portland, Maine. We love the school for so many reasons.
When your child attends a private school, you are expected to do a lot of volunteer work to help the teachers and staff with concerts, fundraisers, class activities , etc. Luckily, Brian and I are able to use our technical skills as photographers to help the school. Brian does some pro-bono commercial work for them and I do, frankly, whatever they need. And luckily for us, too, we are not the only photography couple in the school. Our pals Tige & Bethany Cunningham of Cunningham Photography have older kids who attend. Beth and Tige take on WAY more of the class and photo load than us newbies. :)
Anyhow, this is the cutest thing — ever. I shot this picture as a class project for the school. We created a final canvas as a donation into St. B’s Spring Auction.
How it was done: We took the two classes of Kindergarteners (like 40 kids), a 9-foot white seamless back drop, pro lights, a ladder, camera gear, me and, oh yeah, the awesome organization of K-teachers Mrs. C and Ms. G. to get this accomplished in just over two hours. Kids came in to the classroom where I set up, whipped their tiny tennis shoes off and I slid them around on the background (to their total delight) until we go each letter shaped right. By the end, I was a sweaty mess! But what fun!
I worked up a simple design using one of the hundreds of our wedding album templates that I use here at the studio and woohlah— cutest poster ever. Congrats to Caden’s family, who won the final custom canvas at the auction. It sold well and raised a good amount for the school. Brian and I had a wonderful time at the Spring Auction event and to boot— this may be the cutest image I have ever made. I was delighted by the whole thing!
FYI, my Maggie is the yellow sprite in the “M” and the “Z.” Cute kids rock!
I can count on my two hands my Maine clients. Most of my weddings clients come from out of state to marry in Maine. So my clients that become local friends are very dear to me.
I can also count on both hands how many baby sessions I’ve done in the last 7 years since moving to Maine. Portraits have not been my thing for a while now. Our studio actually started a portrait line a while back but found the photographer we brought in for the project did not have our same work ethic so the line was short-lived. Bummer! Cause babies kind of ROCK!
Alas, when my past brides ask me to personally photograph their new bambinos, I can not resist. Take a look at 2012 Blush couple Mike and Jessica Rock’s, new baby boy…. Carter! What a love… and slept the whole time for me. (And, to boot, see that cutey bear hat… that was made for Jessica by one of my Maine brides too… Jennifer. Small town, great connections.
Welcome to the world baby boy!
Congrats Jess and Mike. Brian and I love you! Thank God you live down the street so I can snuggle your cutey-patutey baby!
Ok, this is the last 2013 Inspire Photo Retreat post, I think. Shortly after I wrapped up speaking at the conference to photographers, the staff supplied me some feed back from the students in class. I got some great notes. My criticism were minor; mostly about the room being cold or running a bit too long. But… the “what was most valuable part of the course comments really made me happy. The class took away so many of the points and really connected. It doesn’t get better than that! It was a great class and I’m happy with what they took away from it and so many photographers went away from Inspire with a way to improve their life and career. Awesome!
(This was for my “Competing in a Competitive Market” course)
Beth’s Speaker Feedback: The most valuable part of this course was….
importance of branding, consumer personalities, how to respond to leads
specific tips and tricks
Beth’s straightforward attitude and realistic approach.
I can’t pick one there were so many details to build on that I’m excited to work on/toward.
I appreciated how realistic and applicable all of the tips were. Very straightforward and actionable. The 3 questions we answered where the 3 words should match was a great exercise and I have action points from it.
Beth was frank and honest.
Lots of tips of what I can do.
Understanding consumers better and how to appeal to them.
“Ask shitty questions, get shitty answers” section was hysterical.
Related to the speaker, she was awesome :) OMG, you are hilarious!
All of the info was fantastic.
Define your value and message.
The exercises b/c they gave me a chance to reflect on my biz and how to apply Beth’s suggestions.
Takes a hard no nonsense look–loved it!
The process/thoughts behind the work.
Lots of specifics for website, packaging, and knowing your clients.
Beth’s honesty and sense of humor.
Self awareness in relation to how I’m handling my business.
It’s just nice to get a kick in the ass. Also, I appreciate that she created a pdf of her slides.
4 personalities of consumers.
Perspective on: Do your website, ideal client, and photo style match. I just thought this was eye opening.
Consumer personality profiles and other tips for website. Time management.
knowing I can trust myself
advice on how to set up a structure+outline
OMG, This made my year guys. When you give, you get so so much back. Thanks INSPIRE!
And a special thank you to Maureen Cotton who I met there for sending me this great postcard! It was rerouted so I just got it and it meant so so much to me! Thanks for everything you gave at the conference. Hope to see you next year! HOW SWEET!
Here is brief overview of state sales tax for Maine photographers. Photographers are so afraid of sales tax, but it’s really not hard to do right. In fact, it is super simple.
NOW UNDERSTAND, I am not a tax expert, guys, and state laws change. Ask your tax professional or the Maine State Department of Revenue what it is right for your business. But here is the starting info and docs about Maine State sales tax.
If you are selling tangible goods in Maine, you must charge Maine sale tax. In the world of photography, that means prints, albums, digital files, and other products. Any and all goods that you sell and deliver in the state of Maine is subject to Maine sales tax. The Maine sales tax rate for a photography good is currently 5%.
Read the laws for yourself, decide what is right for your business and confirm with the state and your tax pro, if any doubts.
You take in the money for state tax from the client … and now you need to that money to the State of Maine, right? So how does that happen?
GET REGISTERED WITH THE STATE OF MAINE
To set up your business to properly report and deliver sales tax in Maine on goods you wish to sell, here is what you do.
1. Apply for a retailer’s certificate with Maine Revenue Services.
Easy, peasy! Here is the form; mail it in. Click on pic to download.
2. The State of Maine will then send you a letter back with:
a. your registration number
b. your business code
c. a certificate to display in your shop (if you have one)
d. instructions with a website where you will file your sales tax payments to the state online that you took in… like that $10.00 you took from the earlier sample client.
3. You’ll simply report online what you took in for Maine and send it in according to their instructions. The state will tell you how often you how often you must do this. It is based on how much money you typically take in.
4. If you have any questions, just call the Maine state tax payer personnel them at 207- 624-9693 during business hours to help you. They are super nice and will answer all your “dumb” questions. When you call the State to get more info, be sure to write down the name of the person who answered and gave you advice, the time and the date. In case that employee is wrong, you can prove late that you were just following State advice.
Yeah! I know you feel better already! You are helping the state better serve its families with roads, schools and cops and such… and bonus, you are in compliance with the law!
In mid-February, I went to teach a class at the Inspire Photo Seminar held annually in New England. I knew that I was giving this class for months. At first, I was totally pumped to teach, but after taking a breathe from the long 2012 year, frankly I found myself exhausted. I didn’t want to go, to learn to teach or even be around people. Rare for me— a hyper social person. I was just tired.
After one night at Inspire though among friends, I felt revived. Maybe it was the a killer keynote speaker (Amy Deputy… LOVE!), or the relaxed nature of the staff there. This seminar has a no-rock-stars-no-drama-no-egos kind of vibe that I love. Or better yet, the younger photographers so eager to learn, meet the speakers and have a great time— but it just worked for me. I was reminded why you MUST go to seminars, workshops and keep learning in your off-season as a wedding professional… IT GETS YOU OUT OF YOUR POST-SEASON FUNK!
I had been to Inspire I and it was awesome. This year was Inspire IV and it was awesome to see how this event has grown without loosing it’s intimate, down-to-earth way. I learned so much! FYI, most of these Inspire pictures taken by Andrew Henderson Weddings.
Speaker Poster for Inspire 2013:
I had a cool seminar room with kind of amphitheater style seating. It was a great room to lecture in. I have to say, it was amazing. My class was Competing In Competitive Market.
Speaking! Sure, I have man hands, should have curled my hair and put on more makeup, but whatevs, I got to wear a Brittany Spears mic and that thing on my hip (see that cord below)… and I was in heaven! Love teaching and public speaking!
My class was great. I like when the class becomes a discussion group and it did. Photogs always like that I cuss a lot. It’s a cheap trick, but I love it too.
Thanks for all the kind words and feedback about the class on the Inspire FB wall. THANKS!
I started with one, one-on-one mentee, my Michelle Girard (left). This young women is amazing. We partied like rockstars all weekend. But I ended up with another mentee Jessica Pegg (or JPEG for short, an awesome photographer and karaoke singer, here at right). I met and critiqued more than 15 people’s work during the weekend. Let me tell you, the future of photography looks good. These guys are better, faster, stronger than I could have imagined.
Love to new friends Tara, Nicki, Tani, Mary Beth, Laura, Kayleena, Chris, David, Catie, Lana, Amy, Maureen, Jaimie, Kate, Meri, … gosh and too many more new Inspirites to list who shared their work or good times with me this year! Thanks for sharing the pug pics Joleen!
FYI, stellar photographer Eric Laurits was my original mentor at my first Inspire Retreat and it was so good to see him again this year… still rocking it, of course!Me working with JPEG. (Jessica Pegg)
At night, it’s about buying each other drinks, dancing, kareoke without judgement … people are truly free to have fun. That me, super nerd, singing Usher’s YEAH! with the help of new friends Mary Beth and Laura!
There is a wrap up party where generous sponsors give away a ton of photography-related gear and prizes. I won two (crazy!) and gave the gifts right over to my mentees, Jessica and Michelle! Yes, I am a suck up!Thanks staff of Inspire… Fantastic, fun, productive event! Great job! Speakers 2013 picture: