April 23, 2008


human kindness.random acts.one good deed. give as much as you take.
that's what it's all about.

Ryan is a patient at a local hospital. Because of his health he was unable to make it to have his senior cap & gown portraits done. Amber (Ryan's nurse/client of mine) & had briefly talked at one time about giving to others and I told her if she ever came upon a family in need that could benefit from a session I'd be happy to donate my time. I couldn't think of a better example than Ryan's. It was an honor to work with Amber and Ryan's mom to make this session happen.

Congratulations Ryan!

This story was covered on the local news. See the News Coverage HERE!

April 17, 2008

40 days?

Yes...the days can be endless, but not quite that long. This is actually not realistic, but when a colleague and I started uploading images from a wedding we did recently the computer told us it would take 40 days to upload. I found it amusing.

April 15, 2008

senior prom

{sigh} to be young again....
Korrie and friends. Davidson High School.

April 11, 2008


a weed or a wish?

It's spring time! I adore this time of year. Not just the flowers and trees blooming and the warm summer nights, but a special southern treat as well; pink lemonade cake squares from Dewey's! I went out yesterday and played around with the camera. Something I rarely get to do anymore since it became apart of my "professional" life.

The dandelion is one of my favorite little treasures. My husband considers it a weed, as well as most people I suppose. It's hard to remember sometimes, not just with plants, that labels come with pre.conceived assumptions. Even a weed represents beauty through someones eyes. Yet why is it that "Weed" seems to be such an ugly word??? Don't be so quick to judge, because it usually turns out that you are wrong. Open your heart to reconsider something that is difficult for you to accept. Challenge yourself to change the way you think of a topic or even someone. Do some research, find out more about that "thing" that you'd normally turn your nose up at. You may be surprised and enlightened at the same time.

One of my most vivid memories is a field of dandelions in the Wyoming Mountains. Masses of them standing strong in the gentle breeze at the base of the Grand Tetons sharing a bed of full green grass. They don't quite grow like that around here, they seem alittle more scarce. I was excited to find a few today. They made me happy.

Notice the three standing together in the front center?
I've noticed lately, things come to me in threes.

Jones {wedding}

Each wedding is unique in itself. From the locations and details, to the people who make up the wedding party and the family. There is so much depth to the couples and the day that surrounds them. All wedding vendors (flowers,directors,cake,catering) work extremely hard to make a statement on behalf of the couple, but the photographer is the only one who really does the job that lasts {forever}. I always feel extremely blessed to not only have the honor of being chosen to tell a couples story, but to have the job of documenting the day for the couple as the only memory that they'll have. Any one who has gotten married can tell you it's a blur. It goes by extremely fast. So choosing your photographer is almost the most important decision (aside from who you marry) that you make on your wedding day. It only happens once between two individuals in a small amount of time within the universe. How do you want yours to be documented and remembered?

Andy & Amy are an amazing couple. I am lucky enough to know them through church, so there was a bit more emotional attachment for me to photograph this couple, in my home church, with our mutual pastor, Dan. I enjoyed getting to know their families, learning more about who they are and best of all...watching that firecracker Cheyenne (couples daughter) bring the party alive. No joking, she had every man at the reception up and dancing with her at some point throughout the evening. She is so alive and full of personality. The Jones family are blessed to have one another, they make a great threesome and bring out the best in one another.

The sweetest part of the whole evening; As we walked back to the limo after taking some photos I heard Cheyenne whisper to Andy, "can i call you dad now"?

The funniest part; the maid of honor dropping her sash into the toilet!

Ceremony: Parkway Presbyterian
Officiant: Rev. Dan Wilkers
Reception: Tanglewood Park at the barn Clemmons, NC
Flowers: Shanna Stoter
Music: First Call DJ
Catering: Little Richards BBQ
All images posted are by Sally Gupton
Second Photographer: Grant Blair, Idlewild Photography

April 7, 2008

good to know...

This is a good bit of information about what is involved in a session behind the scenes and why lifestyle photography is more of an investment. A resource from a website dedicated to Professional Child Photographers.

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

Digital technology is brilliant. The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and amazing amounts of control for the photographer, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur. With flexibility comes a price though. Camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into all of this.

Even though you pay $1.99 for a print at your local drugstore and paying for film is pretty much a thing of the past (although you still pay for memory) you may be wondering why you may pay upwards of $40, 50, 70, 90 for a custom photography print. Some photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

"How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at the local drug store?"

The answer is multifaceted and has a lot to do with the time, aforementioned equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer, expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.


Approaching it from a time standpoint, for instance let’s imagine if you will that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love and that is traveling an hour to your on location session. Time break down:

* session prep time (30 mins - 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
* one hour travel time TO session
* 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
* 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
* one hour travel time FROM session
* 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
* 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
* 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
* 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
* 2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
* 1 hour sorting through and checking order
* 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
* 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
* any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

As you can see, average client time for a session ranges from just under 13 hours to 19 hours dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to your session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.


Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run up $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.

Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success. Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.

Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip the intricate details. There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.


Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $25 for an 8×10 or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. According to several articles at the time, did you know that in February 2007 a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation? The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ "professional" prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough - those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10). The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait studios in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your "PORTRAITS" are considered the true "loss leader".

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, "SAY CHEESE" experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.


Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc..

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity. The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.

I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories. The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment.

April 4, 2008

Amanda's Sweet 16

Teenagers are always fun to photograph. They are so expressive and outgoing and have alot of fun ideas of their own. Amanda is turning 16 soon and this session was in honor of that celebration. Amanda and her mom decided to have the session at Castle McCullch in Jamestown NC. The remainder of the session (in the rain) was at a neighbors house that had a rustic atmosphere. Happy Birthday Amanda!!

sally gupton photography. copyright 2008.