Hello there!

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My name is Susan, and Designs by Prater is what you could call my creative outlet that pulls together my photography, art and graphic design endeavors! The most important thing you should know about me is that my life revolves around my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, my family (especially my husband Todd, son JD, and puppy Lexie), family and friends. Other than that, I am pretty much obsessed with photography, Coca-Cola, and the color green (and all shades of green for that matter, especially teal). I love sports but cannot play them worth a lick. I would not trade my time as a college student at Mississippi State for anything in the world. The friendships and memories made there will stick with me forever...Hail State and Go Dogs! And I am very picky about my chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheeses, and shaved ice (gotta be SnoBiz watermelon flavor).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Out of Hibernation

I can admit it! This blog has been pretty silent since last November/December. :) We've kinda been hibernating just a bit this winter...recharging our batteries, taking a good look at our first real year of business, and looking ahead to what we want to see come from 2010. So you may see some changes in the next few weeks, but we think you'll agree they are all for the best! Here is just a bit of what we've been thinking :)

Updated Promotional Materials
We're going to be running another contest on our blog later this week to help us select your favorite wedding and portrait images from the second half of 2009. Your top two vote-getters in each category will be highlighted on our new marketing materials and in updates to the blog and website. Plus, the lucky ones featured in those photos will once again receive a complimentary 11" x 14" of their winning image. So stay tuned to the blog later this week to see what images are in the running!

Simplified Sessions and Packages
We can also admit that we MAY have gone a little crazy in setting up our packages this first year of business! Looking back I can see that sometimes too many choices can actually just confuse a client more and keep someone from hitting the GO button. So after hearing feedback from our clients, we will be simplifying our sessions and packages. A FOCUS portrait session can be used for any type of photography, newborns to high school seniors to newlyweds, etc. One session fits all! (NOTE: We will still offer our weekday vs. weekend sessions to fit the amount of time and date of the week that works best for you. And we'll also still be offering our Shutter Squared sessions with Jennie Lee Photography and a more simplified baby plan package.)

Digital Portrait Packages
Most of you are already familiar with the fairly recent trend of photographers offering sessions that include all your photos on a high-resolution DVD with a print release. Later this week, I'll also be posting my thoughts on why we have been a bit reluctant to offer these packages in the past and what has changed our minds, as well as unveiling our new digiFOCUS sessions that we feel are worth your money as much as they are our time. If this is something you have been waiting for, please stay tuned to the blog!

ALL SEASONS family portrait pass
This is where I need to hear from you! What holidays and/or seasons would you love to have family portraits centered around? Looking ahead to 2010, we are contemplating offering an ALL SEASONS family portrait pass in which we'd charge an up-front fee that would cover 4 30-minute sessions to be used throughout the year and digital downloads of your top 10 images from each session. While one person might want to use it for Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, another person might choose to use them for photos in the snow for winter, in a garden for spring, in a cotton field in the fall, and at a Christmas tree farm in the winter. You'd have the freedom to redeem your 4 sessions at your desired times throughout the year! Send me an email or leave a comment on this post if this is something that would interest you!

Well, that covers a lot of what we have been working on so far this year! And because no post looks good without at least a few photos, here are some of my favorites from some sessions that I got to be a shadow on with Beth of b.mo.foto. You can see the rest of them HERE!

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