Oh ’tis the season of meals and deals. As photographers we are inundated with a flood of emails for all kinds of steals this week from software to gear and to digital products that solve your dire pain points. I know some of you are jumping for joy and scouring the inter-webs for the best deals.

But before we get to spending our hard earned cash on the greatest new gadget or a must have action set, pause first to assess your business needs. Is this an item I’ve been looking to implement into my business and planned on purchasing it this year? Do I have the funds to purchase it without having to carry debt or cause other items or client orders to be affected? Will I have time to implement it into my workflow or will it be lost in my download folder?

Look over your cash flow and assess how much spending, if any, is a wise business investment at this point in time.  Notice I used the word investment and not purchase. Whether you purchase a new camera body, or a new set of actions, there needs to be a correlation between the purchase and how you generate revenue. If the new item will save you time, that means you’ll have more time to do other things (that’s a win). If you purchase equipment, what will it allow you to do? Also have a plan for selling off your older equipment and props. This can help offset the cost of your upgrades.

Have a plan when shopping. I know I get caught up in the buzz and the excitement, but having a plan (aka shopping list) of what you’re actually in the market for will help keep you from going astray and over spending. Oh and check in on your tax deduction strategy… can your purchases be written off this year?

To help you with your financial strategy download the free PDF budget worksheet from our sister site Business Juice.

A list of deals from vendors I love and use:

Fundy – huge sale off the suite and the modules
Totally Rad  –  save 35% off all their products (I love RadLab, Replichrome and ProRetouch).
SmugMug – save 40% through 11/30 (after 11/30 save 20%)
Creative Live – 25% off 1000+ classes
Squarespace – 20% off your site on #GivingTuesday 12/1

Want more deals?

Check out these two huge lists collected nicely together for you from Photographer Black Friday Sales and Behind the Shutter

What deal is right for you?


Kristie and Aaron love story began over a bank transaction. Kristie was working as a teller at the bank when Aaron, literally walked into her life. Their business transaction evolved into a relationship and then into an unbreakable bond. The two celebrated their one year anniversary by renewing their vows and hosting their friends and family for the wedding celebration they waited a year for.

The morning rain cleared and a cloud studded sky provided the a picturesque backdrop. More from the celebration coming soon.

wedding, reno, sparks, red hawk golf resortKristie Aaron sneak peek 1Kristie Aaron bride getting readyKristie Aaron sneak peek 2Kristie Aaron sneak peek 3Kristie Aaron sneak peek 5Kristie Aaron sneak peek 7



Are you ready to wrangle the crew together for the annual photo session? Here’s three tips to help you prepare for a great portrait session.

  • Plant the Seed Early

Tell the family as early as possible when the photo session is scheduled. You may get resistance off the bat, so the more time you have to create buy in the better. Have family members suggest things to do on the shoot or a location they’d like to do the shoot at. Turn the session into a family outing rather than something ‘they have to do’. Therefore, as the event gets closer the more willing each member will be to participate (and don’t forget bribery goes a long way).

  • Pick outfits that make your family feel like a better version of themselves

Oh the dreaded, what to wear conversation. I know this all too well. I tell my clients to turn the style up two notches from their casual wear. Be relaxed but refined. When pulling together clothing, lay it all out in one place. That way you can see if all the pieces go together but are not too matchy-matchy. Use accessories like scarves, jackets and headbands to bring in textures and color. If one person is wearing a patterned top with lots of colors, use this piece as the inspiration and pull clothing for the other family members in similar color tones. This will create a great overall look and retain the personality for each family member.

You can also use color to create a mood and feeling.  If you want a natural feel, use light greys, oatmeal tones and soft pastels. For more vibrant folks, look to add pops of color and mix patterns like dots and stripes.

Find more what to wear inspiration on my Pinterest boards here and here.

  • Have Fun

Play with your kids and your spouse/partner. Play tag, pick one another up and swing them around, play chicken. The object is to have fun and break the stiffness that comes over us when we are plopped in front of the camera. Not only does the photographer want to capture authentic emotions but that’s ultimately what you will remember every time you look at the portrait on your wall. You’ll hear the laughter and you’ll remember what was said that got everyone cracking up.

  • Bonus Tip

    Eat before your session and have snacks on hand. Kids and adults get cranky when hungry and become unwilling participants when their bellies are rumbling.

  • PLUS – It’s not too late to book your session and get your family’s buy in. Check out my holiday session schedule and details.




couple image holiday card

It’s Holiday Portrait time!

Have you been putting off wrangling your family together for an updated portrait? You’re not alone. Being a photographer means that I’m the last one to get in front of the lens and most likely the last to send out cards. On top of finding a date I have to manage, convince, … bribe my husband to go with me. Yes it’s true, bribing husbands, boyfriends, relatives with candy works just like it does with kids.

For you and your family, I’ve got the candy covered and making the process of making the holiday cards simple. I’ve teamed up with Minted.com, who has a plethora of options for card designs that can be personalized to fit your needs. They’ll even address all the cards and send them out for you. Super awesome, right?

To book your session email me, shelly@waldmanphotography.com your preferred date and time. If your date and time is open then we’ll work out the location (so it fits your family’s vibe), I’ll send over the contract and invoice and then we’ll be ready for our shoot. (Note that because Hanukkah comes early this year, it’s best to spend out New Year’s cards).

NorCal dates:

Sunday Nov 1st – 10am in the SF area

Sunday Nov 8th – 10am, 12pm, 3pm in the SF area

Sunday Dec 6th – 10am in the SF area


SoCal dates:

Friday Nov 20th – 10am. 12pm, 2pm and 4pm within 10 miles of Claremont

Package Details: $525

  • up to 1 hour session on location (within 15 miles of Richmond, CA or Claremont, CA)
  • up to 5 people, $10 per person after
  • online gallery to view your images and pick your top 10
  • your favorite 10 will be uploaded to Minted.com to make creating your holiday card easy-peasy!
  • PLUS all 10 images will be yours as a digital download sized to 8×12, 300dpi digital images electronically transferred to you with a personal use license for printing
  • 20% off a la carte pricing on all other products. Perfect for making holiday gifts and updating the family portrait wall.

Time and dates are limited so send me your preference and snag a slot today!



This week’s prompt is SCHOOL…

Although there’s still over 25 days of summer before the autumn season is upon us, school has begun. The yellow buses are once again rolling through the neighborhoods and the mall is filled with back to school shoppers. Backpacks in all kinds of patterns and colors fill the aisles of Target and the walls at Tilly’s.

What reminds you of school? Is it the copious amounts of books, pens and pencils, notes, folders, lockers, brown bag lunches, or hoody sweatshirts with college names stenciled on?

Shoot and share your school image on Instagram with #wpmyview!

About the image above:
These two girls rocking their Vans shoes were a part of my personal project Kids in Vans. We played at a nearby high school and shot on the stadium bleachers as well as in the halls. Do you remember your first locker?

If you have a kid who loves their Vans, I want to photograph them. Email me at shelly@waldmanphotography.com.


How to See Other Poster’s Images

See what others are shooting by clicking over to the gallery! Or check out images in the Instagram app – click the magnify glass, click photos and select hashtag then type in #wpmyview. All the tagged images will appear for you to scroll through, like and add comments to. It’s a great way to ‘meet’ others in our SFADA community.

Be Featured on My Instagram Feed

On Sunday your hashtagged image(s) may be featured on my Instagram feed as part of the #FabFour, so be sure to follow me @shuttershelly.

Share the Seen From A Different Angle weekly photo prompts with friends and help others jump start their creative juices.

Happy Shooting,