Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sara Mac Photography…Her story
 “What should people look for when searching for their Photographer?”
Written by: Sara McClure
First of all I would like to thank Events by Ashley ( for having me featured on her blog. What an honor. It totally made my snow day!
About 10 years ago I packed up the things I considered important, and headed East to Nashville, Tennessee. I had a little 2 door Chrysler Sebring packed with enough clothes that would fit for the fall, pictures that made my heart smile, and myself. I made the 12-hour drive with my best friend / soon to be roommate with no clue of what the future had for me. I had enough money to live on for about 3 months. No job. No plan. I was ready to live in a big city!
Were my parents proud of my move? No, my dad left all of my things outside in the rain “on accident.” My mom, yes. I remember talking to her when we were a little past St. Louis and she said “Sara, there is a song on the radio and she is singing about a bird {}.” She said she was proud that I was strong enough to move to a city where I only knew a handful of people and that the song reminded her of my spirit and journey to the unknown.
Once I arrived in Nashville, I became part of the Jonathan’s family {} in Franklin, Tennessee. There I would find life long friends who would later be my biggest fans!
What does all of this have to do with photography? It’s my story of how I became a “photographer.” I was a typical 25 year old kid daydreaming while driving to work one day and I heard a commercial for Nossi College of Art and Digital Photography. I thought to myself, hmmm “why not?”
I called the school right then, set up an interview and called my dad and told him I had found my purpose. He told me I needed to find a job that I love and that I wanted to do everyday. If that was being a photographer, he was happy for that.
So fast forward from 2007 to today. I graduated from Nossi College of Art with a Digital Photography Degree. I worked with some of the best photographers in Nashville. Ace Photography ( & Evin Photography ( were my two favorites. They taught me the basics of what I needed to know before moving back to KS.
Why did I move back to Kansas?
Momma Mac (My mom) was diagnosed with stage 4 incurable lung cancer in October 2008. After finding the cancer was untreatable we also learned that it had progressed to the brain and she had 26 legions on her brain. WHAT? Cancer was what she called “her wake up call.” She didn’t let it get her down and I often joke that I took 2010 off. In 2010, I got to spend all of my time with my mom, even some fun vacations in between. During my free time I shot weddings that summer, including one in Hawaii and Charleston, South Carolina. I was blessed to be able to run back to Jonathan's to fill my piggy bank up when it was low. But I got to spend the time taking care of the one person who was the most important part of me. My mom.
 This slideshow was from some images from a photo session with my mom. The photo shoot was her idea. She wanted “NO PHOTOSHOP” done afterward. I can remember this day like yesterday. We had so much fun taking the pictures! Enjoy this little slide show
 I didn’t plan on being a full time photographer. It just worked itself out that way. I tried and tried to get a “big kid- grown up job” upon my arrival back in to Wichita. It just didn’t work out to my favor. After one last sales interview job, before walking out the door the nice gentleman asked me, “Sara, one last question, how motivated are you?” I thought to myself. WOW. Here I am sitting, waiting for someone to see how awesome I am (so I think), and this guy reminded me that life isn’t handed to you. You have to hustle to make it work but I wasn’t making it work!
The question Ashley has asked me to write about today is:
 “What should people look for when searching for their Photographer?”
 Photographers today are everywhere. They all have different price tags and different products. Be sure to shop around for all the details that come with the photographer’s session fee.
Ask questions like:
*Ask your photographer to see his/her pricelist before your shoot
*$150 for a session fee. What is included with the session fee?
* Do you offer phone, e-mail, or a private consultation’s for wardrobe, picture styles, and products that your studio offers?
*How do we view our photos after the session?
*I would prefer to see printed proofs in person. Does your studio offer this?
*Does an on-line gallery come with my session? How long do I have to order?
*What happens if I can’t order all at one time or by the time provided?
*Who can access my gallery?
* How can my friends and family see my photographs and is there a web friendly way to share my photos?
* What are digital images vs. web sized images?
* What does copyright mean?
* What are web-sized files in comparison to Digital Files?
While searching for your photographer, keep in mind that every photographer has a different style and approach to their job.
What defines Sara Mac Photography {} ?
I prefer to shoot outdoors. A typical photo session for me is outdoors (with exceptions to newborn photography). My style is modernly rustic, with a vintage feel, and always fun! I put babies in boxes, pose families on old wood crates, and bust out blankets older than my dad! I live in the country and I love wide-open spaces, old barns, dirt roads, and the simplicity that the country offers.
So often people search photographers based on price. I totally understand this idea. I often ask myself ,”Sara, what is the value of what you are about to purchase.” Ask yourself this question when searching for a photographer. Sometimes it’s okay to splurge on the things that will be passed down from generation to generation. 
 When choosing a photographer:
Rule # 1: Style?
Does this photographer shoot the way you see? By this I mean if you are looking for someone to capture that pretty evening light in an outdoor setting, does this photographer have that on their website? 
 Rule #2: Expectations
Something that is very important when picking a photographer is discussing expectations. Say you have a photo collage you need updated. Is the photographer willing to work with a“shot list” for you keeping in mind what photo orientations you need. Be sure and pre-discuss a timeline of when you will see proofs and after the session approximately how long it will take to receive the final images.
 Rule # 3: Details
If you are into details, make sure your photographer is too. This mostly applies to weddings. Sometimes photographers can get caught up in the technical side of things and lose site of the “little things.” As for me, details are my favorite part of a wedding day. A bride and groom don’t get to see their wedding day happen together. They get “their side of the the story” until after the wedding when they get to sit down and view their images together. My job as a photographer is to tell their WHOLE story from beginning to end and not skip any “details”. I picture couples sitting together looking through their wedding photo’s and laughing, crying, and saying you did WHAT? You cried… Awww, how cute.
Here is a link to my most recent wedding from November
 Rule #4: Be reasonable when setting up a photo shoot
Most photographers’ book out about a month in advance, sometimes more than that. If you want to get on the books with your favorite photographer call ahead!
Rule #5: Have fun
Pictures don’t have to be boring!! These pictures will be with you all your life. So, show up, be ready to smile, and have fun. If you have a party pooper, bribe them with something that makes me them happy! 
 Rule #6: Forecast
Imagine yourself One year from now where do you see these photos?
 I have enjoyed sharing a little bit of my ideas with you. If you would like to keep in the loop of what is going on in my world please feel free and follow me. I enjoy each day given to me for sure!
To get to know Sara Mac follow her:
Twitter: saramacphoto