Newborn Photographer, Maternity Photography – Chandra Lee »

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    Newborn Photographer, Chandra Lee

     

    Newborn Photographer, Chandra Lee is an International Multi-Award Winning Portrait Photographer specializing in Maternity, Newborn, Baby and Child Photography in Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. Her unique style allows Chandra Lee to create flawless portraits that are cherished by families for a lifetime. Newborn photography sessions are never rushed, giving each client the time and attention they deserve. Babies are given all the time they need for feeding and changing and Chandra Lee is a specialist in soothing and caring for your newborn. She has been a full time newborn photographer for seven years and photographed 700+ newborns. The studio is fully equipped with the hats, headbands, wraps, props, fabric backgrounds and flooring that you see in the galleries. The babies displayed here are 10 days old or younger. The best time to photograph your little one is between day 5 and day 8.

    Contact Chandra Lee

    If you’re looking for professional infant photographers, Chandra Lee can be reached by telephone at 905.449.2200 or by e-mail at info@chandraleephotography.com. Maternity and newborn photography sessions make a wonderful baby shower gift.+

Are You Looking to Improve Your Web Presence?

For the past three years, my web presence went from being very strong to being non-existent.

I went from holding the number one place for newborn photographer in the Toronto area to having a page 8 ranking.

No one usually looks beyond the first page of Google when looking for a photographer. Fortunately, I had been in business for several years and received enough business from existing clients that the removal of my Google ranking was not as bad as it could have been.

In any event, I went on a journey to restore my Google ranking, a journey that took three years.

Some of the restoration tactics were naïve and made things worse. Researching search engine optimization became a part of my business module and daily work tasks. It was an overwhelming task to say the least. I read dozens of books and literature on the topic. Some of the recommendations made my ranking worse.

I began to feel like this was a task that I could never accomplish. Being very tenacious and hardworking, I refused to give up on the issue.

During my initial business start up in 2008, I hired the services of a search engine optimization company.   The company is located in the Durham area and has an outstanding reputation. The name of the company is Search Engine People. They came highly recommended to me from my business growth coach. I trusted my coach and immediately retained the company’s services to improve my web presence.

The initial investment was approximately $500 per month. At the time, I considered that to be a lot of money. My business was just in the start up phase and I had so many expenses including advertising, equipment, business registration fees, supplies and props and accessories, insurance, etc. I had left my 10-year career behind me of being a law clerk to embark on a new but unknown path of newborn photography.

Because I had such a wonderful experience with Search Engine People, I contacted them again to inquiry regarding their services. The same service was now approximately $1,200 per month plus HST. As a small business owner, that was not a fee I could allot in my monthly budget for advertising.

I looked to other companies for assistance and most said that my web site was hopeless and that I should throw my web site in the bin and start over. Start over? My web site had aged five years and I had clients and followers that looked to my web site again and again with bookmarks to thousands of pages.

I did not like that option so I hired a company that said they could restore my Google ranking for Chandra Lee Photography.

I invested close to $10,000 over the next 6-8 months and I put 150% effort into fixing my SEO problem.

The $10,000 was ultimately wasted and did not improve my ranking.

Now what do I do?

Heading back to my own research I developed a SEO business initiative with monthly tasks. I knew this task ahead of me was tremendous and daunting but took on one task at a time and to my surprise, within 3 short months my Google ranking was restored.

I admit I have let things go over the last 6 months; however, I am just happy to have improved things on my own and have a better understanding of how the entire process works.

 

Some Things That Helped Improve My Search Engine Optimization

  • Making my web site easy to navigate

 

  • Cleaning up social bookmarks

 

  • Receiving natural links to my web site

 

  • Participating in social media

 

  • Making my web site useful for my clients

 

  • Removing spam

 

Thinking Outside the Box for Your SEO Plan

Many photographers questioned my tactics including hosting modeling calls for my photography.

I held modeling calls to build my portfolio. This got people naturally sharing and linking to my web site allover the Internet. My latest modeling call reached 100,000 local Toronto moms and received 2200 entries.

Yes, this was a lot of work but it has also been so much fun. My husband helped with the events and we had as many as 12 families and 14 children in my studio in one day. We got the studio ready, had coffee, tea and cookies and muffins from Tim Hortons for the parents and children and set to work.

Not only did this help my ranking, I was delighted to meet so many new families and expand my photography skills practicing new lighting and camera techniques.

I purchased new props and backgrounds and made the modeling sessions part of my business plan. I met a few families who have never been able to afford professional portraits of their children and I realized that this was something I wanted to continue to do. This made me happy to give families a gift of photography.

If you are looking to improve your own web presence and SEO, start reading books on the topic. Chapters’ bookstore has a plethora of literature on the subject. Look for reading material that is current but remember to take everything you read with a grain of salt. You will learn through trial and error what works and what does not work.

Pay attention to what Google says and the latest algorithm releases. Listen to what Matt Cutts from Google says. From my understanding, Matt Cutts is an engineer at Google and an authority figure whom I trust on search engine optimization issues. I believe at Google, they are not trying to mislead people in any way and when I started to pay attention to what they said and not read too much into things, my ranking began to improve again.

If you have been looking for recent posts on my web site and wonder where they have gone, you will find recent pictures from newborn and other sessions on the Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/babyposing.

Here is a recent image from a newborn session. I will post more images of this sweet new baby soon. Until then, have a wonderful day and I look forward to sharing more of my world of newborn photography shortly.

 

Search Engine Optimization and Newborn PhotographyPINIMAGE

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There are several elements that work in tandem to produce a high quality professional printed photo from a digital image.

Professional photographers receive training on how to produce the best quality image “in camera”.

In today’s world, the industry of professional photography is changing. Since I started my newborn photography business in 2008, my clients have evolved and the demand for printing digital images has increased tremendously.

Many photographers have resisted this change. Yes, we love to provide our clients with high quality products. Knowing that our clients have a beautiful hard cover story album to showcase to their friends and family professionally printed by a trained photographer is what we strive towards.

The industry has in fact changed and more and more individuals are requesting digital images only. There is an increased desire for social media sharing, digital frames and smaller living spaces.

Whatever your need is for a photographic image, we understand that you are still looking for beautiful images of your children and families.

Perhaps you are only looking to share your images from your mobile device. Maybe you are living in a condominium in downtown Toronto and don’t have the need for a 24×36 gallery wrapped canvas on your wall. Many clients express to me that they love scrapbooking and displaying their photograph art in a keepsake album where they can make a story of their own for their newborn.

Whatever your needs are, I want to assist my clients with achieving better results from printing their own digital imagery.

Following in this article are some tips from Chandra Lee Photography on how to acquire an enhanced quality photo printing on your own.

 

How Do Photographers Process Their Images

Firstly, let us try to understand the process that a photographer uses to produce their final product.

  1. A professional photographer knows and understands how to create a great quality photo straight out of camera;
  1. Whether you shoot in auto white balance or custom white balance, your photographer “should” know how to correct for white balance or capture a corrected white balanced image out of camera. At Chandra Lee Photography, you will see me using a grey card while I photograph. This is so I am capturing a correct white balance image straight out of camera;
  1. The photographer that you choose to hire should know about proper exposure. The highlights and shadows should be captured correctly while shooting. Although these things can be corrected in Photoshop during post processing, it is always best to “get it right” out of camera. Every photographer has a different style. There really is no “right” or “wrong”.   Although there are technical aspects to photography, one photographer’s style may be using dramatic lighting. Another photographer’s style may be using more even lighting;
  1. Some photographers shoot in RAW and some photographers shoot in jpeg;
  1. You need to convert a RAW image in order to work with the image in Photoshop;
  1. Before editing begins, computer monitors should be calibrated. The device I use is called a Spyder Pro Elite and it attaches to my computer screen before each editing session. It measures the light in the room and makes sure that colors are balanced based on settings you input into the program like “gamma” and “white point”;
  1. A color profile is created within Photoshop that matches the color profile of the lab where the photographer will print his or her images.

The steps above are necessary so a photographer knows what their prints will look like from their printing lab. Without taking these steps, it is like editing in complete darkness.

 

How the Market has Changed and the Need for Digital Images

The market is changing. The industry of photography is becoming increasingly over-saturated on a daily basis. DSLRs are more affordable and within reach for many more individuals. With this change, I have observed the change in the marketplace during the last 7 years. More clients are expressing a desire to have “instant” access to their images. It is becoming more and more evident that many photographers need to know how to capture a correct image out of camera.

My post processing is minimal in most situations. I want my subjects to look real. I want the images I produce to look sharp and not fuzzy. That’s just my style. I primarily photograph newborn babies; however, I have expanded my talents over the years to include maternity photography, family portraits and photographs of older babies and children. This past year I have devoted much time to modeling sessions to practice new lighting techniques with children 3 years of age and older. This weekend will be an event I have looked forward to for several months photographing teens and children from the ages of 11 to 19 years.

Many of my clients have viewed samples in my studio of professional photos I have captured and printed through my professional printing lab. There are matching photos printed at local labs. Clients are able to view and see the difference that can take place when printing on your own. Whites may be blown out. Shadows may be darker. Babies may look orange. Colors vary drastically. Photos may look over saturated. The point is that the end result may not look like a professional photo at all.

 

Tips for Obtaining a Better Quality Printed Image on Your Own

If you can find out your photographer’s color profile including what their gamma and white point settings are, this may help you produce a better looking image on your own. Many labs (not all) have a color profile listed on-line listing these specifications.

If you want to know what my settings are and you are a client of Chandra Lee Photography, just send me an email and I will let you know.

Following are some suggestions from Chandra Lee Photography on how to print better quality images on your own from Chandra Lee Photography.

Disclaimer:  A photographer cannot guarantee the quality of images when you print on your own. You may obtain poor quality images printing on your own and results vary drastically from lab to lab.

 

Some Printing Options

You may need to download the ROES printing software to print with professional printing labs (please check with the lab directly).

I will be adding to this list over time to assist clients in printing their own digital images.

If you are a client of Chandra Lee Photography and have a lab that you love to print your images from, please add the name of the lab to the comments below. In time, I hope to test out various labs and add them to the list here.

 

www.mpix.com

Mpix.com has the same color profile as me. They have a parent company called MpixPro that I use for some of my products including the boutique 5×7 scalloped edge birth announcement and holiday cards. This lab is located in the United States. MpixPro will only provide service to professional photographers; however, Mpix will provide services to the general public. You have to inquire about their fees regarding shipping. I incur a standard fee of $30 for one-day air service. I believe it is the only option available from this lab to Canada. Duty charges may also be applicable so you need to check and be aware of the possible duty charges. I receive a duty charge of approximately $30 for one set of 5×7 folded cards ordered through this lab. You will also be required to pay tax so you need to check on that also. Print prices are reasonable or less than local printing labs.

 

www.pikto.com

Pikto is a professional printing lab located in downtown Toronto in the distillery district.  They have reasonable print prices or less than local printing labs on professional paper and reasonable shipping charges or free pick-up.

I hope this article will help my clients and others produce better quality images on their own from digital images.

You always have the option to order prints or products directly from Chandra Lee Photography.

Printing better quality photos from your digital imagesPINIMAGE

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BETHESDA HOUSE FUNDRAISING
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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful time with family and friends over the holidays.

Today, most of us are getting back into our regular routines as we drop our children off at school this morning for their first day back after the school break.

This holiday season, I took some time off to spend with my daughter Madison. I am back in the office today full-time.

This year, Chandra Lee Photography donated $4,446.39 to Bethesda House, a local women’s shelter in Bowmanville.

$2,400.17 was donated in the form of a bank draft to support the shelter.

$1,000 was donated in Walmart gift cards.

$1,046.22 was donated in the form of newly purchased toys for boys and girls.

My daughter Madison, my husband and I went shopping and we picked out the toys together. Madison and I had the cart for the girls and my husband had the cart for the boys.

Everything was dropped off to the Bethesda House on December 18th.

Each year Bethesda House arranges 100 gift baskets for boys and girls in our local community.

I wanted to help Bethesda House fill up the baskets with toys for the children this year.

Chandra Lee Photography donated $1,000 and our goal was to double or triple that amount to $2,000 or $3,000 through fundraising sessions.

With the help from everyone who came out for fundraising sessions, we were thrilled to raise a total of $4,446.39.

100% of the proceeds of sale from these fundraising sessions were donated in toys, Walmart gift cards and a certified bank draft from Chandra Lee Photography to Bethesda House.

Everything in life happens for a reason and I am grateful for all of my experiences good and bad. My family has more than we need and all we really need is each other and to be together and that we should always give back to others and be grateful for what we have.

My mother once gave me some very valuable advice that “there is always someone else out there who is in a less fortunate circumstance than yourself, always remember that and be grateful for what you have”.

I am very grateful for all of my life lessons.

My daughter was a part of this and that makes me very happy. She helped to pick out the toys for the children, she picked out the gift cards and counted to 40 and passed them to the cashier and she waited for me in line at the bank to donate the remaining funds in the form of a bank draft.

My hope is that each year my family will be able to continue to donate to others in need through my photography.

Each year I have always donated a small amount to charities mostly through my daughter’s school including food drives, the Jump Rope for Heart Event or the Canadian Cancer Society.

Over the years, I have also donated entire newborn and child photography sessions to local charity auctions.

This year Chandra Lee Photography hosted its very own fundraising event and I worked for an entire 3 weeks and donated everything made to one cause that is important to me. I am so very grateful that women and children have these wonderful resources to utilize when needed.

Thank you so very much to all of my clients who helped raise funds for this organization.

Below are some of the images taken of our shopping event and donations for the Bethesda House.

Bethesda House is a local shelter in Bowmanville who supports women and children in our local community.

I love seeing the children smile and photographing them.

http://www.chandraleephotography.com/ | 905.449.2200

Bethesda House Chandra Lee Photography Fundraising Newborn and Child PhotographyPINIMAGE

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BETHESDA HOUSE AND BOOKINGS FOR DECEMBER
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This year, Chandra Lee Photography is donating $1,000 in newly purchased toys for boys and girls to donate to Bethesda House, a local women’s shelter in Bowmanville.

My daughter Madison and I are going shopping and Madison is picking out the toys and we are dropping them off together at Bethesda House before December 18th.

Each year Bethesda House arranges 100 gift baskets for boys and girls.

I would like to help them fill up the baskets with toys for the children this year.

It would be lovely if we could double or triple the $1,000 we are donating to $2,000 or $3,000 or more.

In order to help reach our goal, I am offering the following for new bookings made today until December 15th. The sessions must take place in the month of December:

2 Newborn Session Specials
4 Boutique Maternity Sessions
Unlimited Holiday Session Minis

100% of the proceeds of sale from these sessions will be donated in toys and gifts from Chandra Lee Photography to Bethesda House.

Everything in life happens for a reason and I am grateful for all of my experiences good and bad. My family has more than we need and all we really need is each other and to be together and that we should always give back to others and be grateful for what we have.

I love seeing the children smile and photographing them.

http://www.chandraleephotography.com/ | 905.449.2200

Bethesda House Holiday Mini Session FundraisingPINIMAGE

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Chandra Lee Photography will be offering holiday mini sessions this year on Saturday, November 22nd and Sunday, November 30th.

Spots are limited as these are the only two dates available for holiday sessions. Please book your session soon if you would like a spot.

The backdrop will be decorated for the holidays. The focus is always kept on your family and your children’s smiles and expressions.

The preparations for the studio backdrop have begun and to give you an idea of what’s in store, think neutral tons, cremes, whites with a mix of silver or gold. A studio wall is being painted this weekend and a window frosted and decorated with tulle suspended from the ceiling with an accent of holiday decor.

The holiday backdrop with accommodate families of 4 or 5 with children being 6 months or older. Children under 6 months can also book in for the mini session event as long as they are photographed being held by mom and dad.

Two package options are available including digital files and a Facebook timeline cover. The second package choices comes with 24 holiday wallets.

All digital images will be available within 7 days of your session by digital download. Holiday wallet cards will be available for pick up within 5 days of your image choice.

If you would like to book a holiday mini session, please call us at 905.449.2200 or email us using the contact form.

Holiday Mini Sessions 2014PINIMAGEIt is that time of year again when clients and families begin to inquire for holiday session portraits.

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