Monthly Archives: January 2014

Anything great starts with a surprise.

Alright, 2014, I don’t know if I’m 100% ready for you, but let’s get crackin’, yeah?  There’s a lot of incredible things standing at the top of the chute – like a line of 4 year olds – and I’m standing at the bottom, excited while also praying I don’t get kicked in the face.

For those of you that have participated these past few days, thank you!!  Giving things away was, I think, the most fun thing I’ve done in this business.  You sent photos of your reactions and messages of kindness I never saw coming.  It was fantastical!

If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, you should go do that here.  It’s the biggest giveaway of them all and you have until 11:59pm on February 1st to enter!  So, go.  Go check it out.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait. 🙂

Last year was my first official year doing this job full-time.  Over 150 of you graced the other side of my lens and it was ab.so.lutely magical.  I tripped a few times, learned a *lot* (like good night, a lot), and did my best to keep moving forward.  There’s a quote in Rocky Balboa that really helped these past 365 days: “It’s not about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and still keep moving forward.”  If you ever want to learn intimately about yourself, start a business.  You learn your faults, whose really got your back, how to say no and what you really really love.

My love is people.  I am overjoyed to chase kids with a camera and wear ridiculous costumes and help keep brides sane in an effort to show folks how incredible they really are.  It’s a great job and someone has to do it! 🙂

As I’ve learned a lot about this biz and myself, 2014 feels like a new page with a chance to treat others (and myself) better.  Our new pricing is an attempt to do part of that.  As always, win-win situations are at the heart of my drive.  Everyone deserves stunning photos!  I will believe this forever.  Today’s surprise is part of my effort to treat others better.  Specifically, brides and grooms!

Every wedding photographer is different and it’s an *incredibly* important day.  If you hear nothing else, hear me well on this – pick someone who fits your budget and fits YOU.  Cheap and inconsiderate photographers lead to bad photos.  Pick someone you LIKE.  Ok, thanks for hanging in there. 🙂

We offer only all day coverage with at least two photographers.  The end.

No, but seriously, I attended a friends wedding in Georgia a few years ago and she came up to me, panicked.  “Amaris, can you capture our exit?  Our 5 hours ran out 15mins ago and we don’t have anyone!”  No bride should ever have to experience this on her wedding day!  So, we always show up about halfway through the brides hair appointment and we are there until the bride & groom leave.  We spend the whole day with your families.  We capture the whole day.

All of our wedding day coverage includes an engagement session, as well.  This is a great way to learn how we work together, get you somewhat used to a camera and have some fun!

We meet with our couples at least three times before ceremony day to discuss schedule and see how our team can help.  Every couple has found this helpful.  We are also always present at rehearsal, in order to meet your families and capture some images on (what is usually) a more relaxed day.  A goodie bag for the bride comes with me to her hair appointment and images post in 6-8 weeks.  Every image of yours is hosted in an online gallery with rights to print for personal use.

For 2014, wedding coverage for us will start at $3300.  As always, we are totally down to travel!  We’ve got bookings confirmed already and I’m excited about this year.

Heres the surprise. 🙂 I might love this more than yesterdays.

This year, we are inviting 3 couples with 2014 dates to have us as their wedding photography team and pay what they are able.  Yep, 3 couples will pay what they can for full wedding coverage!  We hope it will allow an incredible couple who might otherwise not have photos to get a great experience or allow a couple to sign with us who are a great fit, but just can’t get the budget there.  I am so excited!

Each couple will need to apply, letting us know their date, location, number of guests and estimated photography budget.  Just be straight with us.  We will help, if we are able!  To get started, click “Who We Are” right up top here and fill out the form.

A few of our favorite wedding images from 2013 are below.  We *love* what we do and are excited about the possibilities!  Ok, 2014, let’s get started.

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Birfday.

New York, NY.

New York, NY.

Yep, that’s my arm in one of my favorite places on earth on my favorite New Year’s Eve of. all. time.  That day is a whole ‘nother story and is best done in person for the facial expressions and accents.  Also, it’s not the point of today’s blog.  What’s written on my arm is the point.  I got this tattoo (my only…so far) in my own handwriting because I wanted a daily reminder of what my life was supposed to be about.  Like all of us, sometimes I forget.  And, sometimes, I chase my Momma around the kitchen pointing at my ink to point her back to what it’s supposed to be about.  She laughs, but it works. 🙂

My daily hope is that you won’t see my brokenness or all the ways I am messed up, which are many.  I know you will see these things, but my hope is that you will see that Love is what holds me together.  It is goodness and joy and patience and gentleness and kindness that are woven throughout me and that is not my own doing, no, not at all.  I call the type of love I have received “Love with a capital L” because it is that grand.  And didn’t God say that’s what He was?  So, I capitalize it, like a name, because it is one.

Today’s giveaway is my favorite one yet, all wrapped up in love and tied with a pretty string.  And though I, typically, loathe over-processed and insanely marketed holiday hoopla, I hope you’ll indulge yourself just a bit with me.  For today’s giveaway is, count ’em folks, one-hour sessions – with a couple of catches (that I don’t think are all that big!).  We will be hosting all of the sessions together, on Saturday February 22nd, at one location in Raleigh, NC.  Please keep this in mind when you enter!

This is where you come in.  We want to see who you love and WHY!  Send us a photo of someone you adore and tell us all about what makes them special.  We will choose five of these folks and each will spend an hour with us laughing as much as I can get them to and feeling as special as we can manage.  Husbands, show us your wives who need some gorgeous photos to remind them how beautiful they really are.  Wives, tell us how much you love your husband and let us show him, too!  You can nominate your best friend, your daughter, your co-worker, it is entirely up to you.  You’ve got three ways to tell us all about them and you can start now and cannot be any later than 11:59pm on February 1st:
*Share the photo and story on our Facebook wall: www.facebook.com/AmarisPhoto
*Send us an email with the photo and story here: talktous@amarishames.com
*Send us a real live letter with your photo and story to here:
Amaris Photography
514 Daniels St.
#137
Raleigh NC 27605

Winners will be announced on Thursday, February 13th right here in this space.  Don’t ask us how we are going to pick because, frankly, I have only a small idea.  It will probably require other people because I would want to pick ALL OF YOU.  True story.

Speaking of winners, let’s chat about yesterday, shall we? 🙂  Yesterday’s giveaway was four full sessions at half off 2013 rates.  Sessions must be used during the 2014 calendar year and are limited to within 300 miles of Raleigh, NC unless you’re willing to pay travel expenses.  Because, let’s be real, I l.o.v.e. to travel!  All of these sessions include at least 36 edited images with rights to print for personal use and should be FUN!  With that, Jon Schweitzer, Amanda Millard, Bissy Cook and Clare Sifford, get in touch with us!!

Every day, as I’ve gone to choose winners, I’ve been downright GIDDY to do the random number generator and figure out who got picked.  THANK YOU for spending time with me these past few days and I look forward to reading your stories!  Weddings, we’ve got a special something for you tomorrow, so be on the lookout.

And yes, it’s my birfday today.  So, go share this blog with everyone you love so they can brag on people THEY love and I’m going to have my portrait captured by a great friend.  Let’s get real, there will probably also be bourbon involved today.  Because it’s my birfday and I can do what I want. 🙂

Tons of Love,
amaris

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It’s day 4!

Happy Saturday, y’all!

Being able to stay at my Momma’s through my birthday has been super great (and I don’t just say that because there are cinnamon rolls baking in the next room) (ok, maybe a little bit).  Add it to these five days of giveaways and so far, 2014 is off to a pretty great start. 🙂

Yesterday, for day 3, we gave away 3 one hour teaching sessions for folks who wanted to learn more about photography or take their camera on a date or just ask me a thousand questions.  Included in this is a one year subscription to one of my favorite photography magazines – winner’s choice!  Though I failed to mention (womp wompppp), winners can redeem these hours anytime in 2014.  And three one hour sessions mean three winners – eep!  So, drum roll on the table – Amy Crouch, Lora Schuldt and Lauren McKay – congrats!! Simply email us to get on the schedule: talktous@amarishames.com

Joel.

If you haven’t figured out yet, the number of presents matches the date of the giveaway.  Since today is the 4th, yep, we’ve got four things to giveaway today.  Have you thought about purchasing a session with us this year?  Are you having a baby and want a newborn lifestyle session?  Does your family want photos in the early fall for Christmas cards?  Does your kindergartner want a spring photo?  Well, we are letting four full sessions go at half off our 2013 prices!  Read: Four full sessions at $165 each to be redeemed anytime during 2014, provided the date is available.  As always, our full sessions will include at least 36 edited images with rights to print for personal use and will be hosted in your own online gallery.  *Sessions are limited to within 300 miles of Raleigh, NC unless you are willing to pay for travel.  We will always travel!* For gallery examples, simply click here to see how ours work!

Portrait_Danny107Engagements_DaveJuliette227

The fine print, as promised:
*To be entered for the day, simply share the post!  On Instagram and Twitter, be sure to link back to our accounts.  If on Facebook, use the “Share” button.  We’d love to save you a *lot* of notifications.
*Then, comment below!  *You gotta comment or we don’t know who you are*
*You’ll have until 11:59pm EST  today to enter.  On tomorrow’s blog, we’ll announce today’s winner!  We’ll be using a random number generator to pick a winner (because I would want to pick all of you).
*If you win, get in touch with us here: talktous@amarishames.com

mattbrookefletchito101

Tomorrow’s giveaway is a doozie and will be all wrapped up in love.  Because it’s my birthday.  And at the end of every day, I hope that Love remains my top priority. 🙂

Get to sharing!  And then, tell us about it!
xoxo
amaris

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Day Three!

I love this.

My hope is that you love this just as much.  Who doesn’t love a giveaway?! 🙂

Yesterday’s prize was two-fold and, if you’re just joining us, we had two mini sessions to gift.  Our mini sessions are up to 1 hour in length with 1 look at 1 location and include at least 12 edited images with rights to print.  Because I just *knew* that I would be terrible at picking, Alison did the random number generator for me.  And our two winners are Mimi Disfraz and Sarah Sugg!  (Did you just dance in your chair a bit?  I sure hope so.)  So, ladies, shoot us an email here: talktous@amarishames.com – we’ll get you started!

Traffic these past couple of days has been absolutely crazy pants and I am straight loving what this is turning into.  Y’all are the BEST. 🙂  Thank you for sharing and loving and believing.  It’s amazing!

At the moment, Alison is reviewing the copy for Sunday’s blog post and it is a straight doozy.  It is my favorite of this whole thing and I always save favorites for last – it’s why we’re holding on to it until my birthday!  I really hope you’ll be around for that one.

For today, we have a minor change.  After a couple of conversations, we learned that it was possible we weren’t seeing all of the shares.  We don’t know if that’s true or not, cross your fingers!  But, to make sure it’s an even playing field, *please comment below after you have shared*.  That way, you’re all in fairly!  Thank you for the patience as we try to make this as fun as possible.

Today’s giveaway is for any of you that really love photography.  If you have a camera you wish you knew how to work better, or want to take better images, or would like to ask a professional photographer 149.6 questions – this is your day!  In 2014, our available products will include teaching hours and I am SO excited to give away THREE 1-hour teaching sessions.  These are in-person only and normally priced at $65/hour.  I’m happy to do this for anyone in a location I will be traveling to this year – and with Raleigh, DC, Charlotte, Nashville, NYC, Prague, Budapest and London on the agenda, we could do this almost wherever!  For each of the 3 winners, we will include a year subscription to one of my three favorite photography magazines for new photographers.  It’s winner’s choice!

Fine print, as promised:
*To be entered for the day, simply share the post!  On Instagram and Twitter, be sure to link back to our accounts.  If on Facebook, use the “Share” button.  We’d love to save you a *lot* of notifications.
*Then, comment below!
*You’ll have until 11:59pm EST  today to enter.  On tomorrow’s blog, we’ll announce the today’s winner!  We’ll be using a random number generator to pick a winner (because I would want to pick all of you).
*If you win, get in touch with us here: talktous@amarishames.com

So, what does one post on a giveaway like today?
Pictures of me & my team at work, duh.
I hope this lets you see that we like to keep it *fun*.  Share away, friends!

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Happy New Birthday – day 2!

Y’all, I am already in love with this process.

I generated a number from yesterday’s entries, went to the spreadsheet to see who that was, and did a little EEP when I saw that it was Amy Phillips Smith!
Why I haven’t done this before is beyond me. 🙂
So, Amy, shoot us an email and we’ll get you all of the details for your full session.  If you’d like a certificate to give away, just let us know!

This whole idea has had two side effects I just didn’t see coming.  First, my Facebook exploded!  The second has been all the kind words written over the past 24 hours.  You all are incredibly generous with your praise and I’m so stinking grateful for such love.  For real.

With that, let’s get to today’s giveaway!  If you shared the link after midnight last night, I saw you!  You’ve been entered for today.  Remember that sharing on Instagram or Twitter gets you an extra entry!  However, you have to link back to our Instagram or Twitter accounts to be counted as we otherwise have no idea you’ve shared.  Additionally, please use the “Share” button on Facebook.  We want to make sure everyone gets entered that wants to and, if you want to make sure, just shoot us a message once you’ve posted!  I hope that works for everyone.

Fine print, as promised:
*To be entered for the day, simply share the post!  On Instagram and Twitter, be sure to link back to our accounts.  If on Facebook, use the “Share” button.  We’d love to save you a *lot* of notifications.
*You’ll have until 11:59pm EST of that day to enter.  On the next day’s blog, we’ll announce the previous day’s winner!  We’ll be using a random number generator to pick a winner (because I would want to pick all of you).
*If you win, get in touch with us here: talktous@amarishames.com

For day 2, we have 2 mini-sessions for the grabbing.  Hey ohhhhh!
Our mini-sessions are up to 1 hour in length with 1 look at 1 location.  They include at least 12 edited images with rights to print for personal use and were priced at $180 during 2013.  These are most successful for families with wee ones, as they’ve got limited attention spans and I can only chase a 2 year old for about an hour before I’m just exhausted. 🙂
*One session to be redeemed between Feb 1 and June 1.  The other between Sept 1 and Dec 1.  Location is limited to within 150 miles of Raleigh, NC unless you’re willing to pay travel expenses.  We will always travel!*

The images here are some of our favorites from mini-sessions this past year.  Incredibly grateful for the clients that brighten our days. 🙂
Share away, y’all!

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Happy New Birthday!

Hi, friends!

It’s officially 2014 and I absolutely love this time of year.  We have all survived the holidays (don’t lie, the stress got to you at least once, too) and it feels like a clean slate with new beginnings.  I am a firm believer that anything and everything is capable of redemption.  A new year is always a new chance to do things better.  With all this newness also comes my second favorite day of the year – my birthday!

On January 5th, I turn another year older.  Yep, I was one of those kids in school whose birthday sometimes fell in the midst of the Christmas break and, quite often, I wasn’t really able to have parties due to where it was on the calendar.  Everyone’s recovering from the Christmas mayhem, still out of town, broke, the list goes on.  When I turned 21, I decided to change things and make each year amazing, somehow.  As I get older, each year is my favorite.  This one is no exception.

For a few great people are coming to eat great Mexican and drink tequila with me and a dear friend is road tripping to hug my neck.  I’m excited!  However, my way of making this year really great is to bring all the goodies to YOU.
Whaaaaaaaaa?
Crazy, right?

We’ve got a lot of newness around here ourselves, and you’ll see some noticeable changes starting January 6th.  We will also be announcing one of my most favorite ideas ever on Monday (and it’s about weddings!).  However, in these first few days of a brand new year, the presents are all yours.

Here’s the fine print (skimmers, pay attention starting now!):
*Each day, just after lunchtime, we’ll post a blog with the days giveaway on all of our social media feeds.  We’ll be using a variety of images representing all the kinds of portraiture we love to capture.  All of the information about that prize will be listed.
*To be entered for that day, simply share the post!  On Instagram and Twitter, be sure to link back to our accounts.  If on Facebook, use the “Share” button.  We’d love to save you a *lot* of notifications.
*You’ll have until 11:59pm EST of that day to enter.  On the next day’s blog, we’ll announce the previous day’s winner!  We’ll be using a random number generator to pick a winner (because I would want to pick all of you).
*If you win, get in touch with us here: talktous@amarishames.com

And don’t worry, we will make sure to post this fine print every day, just in case you want a reminder.  If you’re curious, yes, a twitter share and a Facebook share count as *two* entries!

Still with me?  I hope so. 🙂  Because today is day one!

We decided to start the New Year off right by gifting one full session.  Our full sessions include 2 hours of time & talent, 2 looks, 2 locations.  We use these for individuals, families, and engagements, amongst other things!  Included with the session are at least 36 edited images with rights to print for personal use.
*Session must be redeemed between February 1 and June 1.  Location is limited to within 300 miles of Raleigh, NC unless you’d like to pay travel expenses.  We will always travel!*

The images below are some of my favorite in 2013 from a few of our full sessions.  We have some great clients that aren’t afraid to laugh!

Thanks for all of the support.  It means so so much.  Have a gorgeous New Year’s Day, wherever you are. 🙂
Now, get to sharing!

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