Tiptoe Opinions

Soooooo we just had an outstanding weekend with 3 Tiptoe weddings!! WHAT 3 weddings in 1 weekend??!! I know!! It is pretty amazing! We all know how much time and preperation goes into getting us ready to shoot 1 wedding and we were able to pull off 3! Well I will just give us a big pat on the back! BUT, the real reason for this post is not to pat us on the back, its to thank and praise our 2nd shooters!  I mean we were able to call on our former Tiptoe gals and they SHOWED up in a big way for us this weekend! We, as the owners of Tiptoe, are so blessed to have such an amazing tribe! I know we say it again and again but once a Tiptoe lady always a Tiptoe lady! So thank you Chasity and Ande for being so capable, impressive, and everything we needed you to be! You all are the BEST!

On a side note because I never would want to leave out a Tiptoe gal, Lindsay we know if you weren't half a world away, we would have been able to call on you and had you right by our side too!! 😉

And let me not finish this post and not have said something equally as amazing about how incredible our Beth is!  She was one of the lead photographers this weekend and we are always impressed by her and her way with people! She IS and has been what Tiptoe embodies, and we couldn't be more proud as Tiptoe parents! LOL!

So thanks all of you all for listening... I am just overly joyed and thankful to be a part of this team, and wanted to share this with all of you, our amazing clients!   #teamtiptoeforever #tiptoetribe #loveus 

And I am pulling out some serious oldies but goodies here! Which is probably the reason I'm being so sentimental! See why pictures are so important?? (*wink, wink*) Remembering the good times!! 

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Christmas is almost here! And I just want to give a huge,huge shout out and THANK YOU to our loyal clients! We love you guys! We have had another AMAZING year. We have grown leaps and bounds again this year!  Thank you all for believing in us and thank you for being so loyal! We cherish YOU all (and all of your babies!!) I know we all say it all the time but it really is the best thing in the world to get to see you all each year! We love to see the babies grow up! We are so happy to say that we now have a big handful of families that started with us as an engagement shoot, to the wedding, to maternity, to newborn, to first birthday, to baby number 2! We also have one family that started with us as high school seniors then all the following!!  How amazing is that, we have literally seen them grow and now they are raising babies of their own! There is nothing more we could ask for out of this business! When we started Tiptoe, we said that our ultimate goal was to be LIFE photographers to our loyal families, to be there to capture all the important times in their lives, and now we can say we have done this (and want to continue to do this) for some!  Whenever I get to feeling like, man my workload is really getting to be too much (like this very busy holiday season right now, lol) I think about this and it makes me be forever grateful that this is the way I get to spend my life, capturing others most meaningful times in their lives. What is more important than the images of your wedding day or your perfect newborn baby? And for Tiptoe to be the one you trusted for those memories is EVERYTHING to us! Thank you again, and again, 1000 times!

So Merry Merry Christmas to you all! And we can't wait to see you again in 2016!! 🙂



hardwood2 hardwoodSo as lots of you all know, we have been in our house for almost 2 years now. When we decided to build, first thing my husband and I did was search the internet high and low for a house plan, I mean we literally spent hours and hours searching for something that was going to suit us for the rest of our lives. We knew the house that we were going to build was going to be our FOREVER house so it had to have all the "things" we needed from a home.  Our main priorities were a first floor master bedroom, so that when we get too old to walk the steps we didn't have to worry how we were going to get to the 2nd floor,  seperate closets for him and I, I don't think I need to explain too much there (LOL), a space for the kids outside of our living room, a garage, and an island in the kitchen.  Not to much right?? Well it was! LOL...  Finally after a long, long time of looking, we found the perfect set of house plans for us! Now a harder part, finding a builder that was going to build a great house and not be over our budget... So after meeting with a few companies we went with Third Day Builders. They are a local company and after viewing several of the beautiful local homes they had built, we decided they would be a great fit for us!  And for anyone who has built a home before you know that just when you think you were getting to the easy part, because nothing should be more difficult that deciding on a home and finding the perfect people to build it, you find that you are spending every waking hour deciding on cabinets, knobs, countertops, doors, trim, colors, ahhh the list goes on and on... And me being a terrible on the go decision maker, I would want to go and see all the options and weigh out how each one would "go" with the other, then wait a couple days to see if it still felt "right", until it literally was driving me nuts... But the one thing that I knew I was sure of was dark oak hardwood floors! The decision for that came so easy!! And now 2 years into that decision, well lets just say, it was not one of the "smartest" ones I made. Don't get me wrong these floors are beautiful when they are freshly cleaned, but with our busy, busy lifestyle, mopping honestly only happens once a week! And even when it does happen they only stay sparkling for about 3 seconds, because here comes baby Tre with his sippy cup that leaks, and goldfish crackers, that are way funner to stomp on when he drops them, than to pick them up and eat them.  Ahh big sigh, there goes my clean and beautiful hardwood floors...  LOL! The best things I can take from my easy decision of the floors is that "we live and we learn" and they won't be babies forever, so enjoy every last goldfish crumb I have to sweep up....


Hey guys... So we are thinking that we want our blog to be an open forum for you ALL, our audience? What do you want more of? Personal posts, education posts, advertising specials??

Have photography questions for us? Just send us a quick email to tiptoestudios@yahoo.com and perhaps we can start an ask us section on the blog!!

What would a blog post be with out a shameless plug!!

We have a couple seats left for our Tiptoe teaches class... Now that the kids are back in school learning new things, it's time for you to invest back in your education!! You will not regret it!! And also in case you didn't know, we end all our Tiptoe Teaches workshops with us "shooting" you for a brand new headshot ($150 value)! Now that sounds like fun!! LOL!



Hey guys... So I was thinking, there are so many new photogs in the area! Which is awesome !!! I love that so many people are interested in taking their love and passion for photography to a BUSINESS level! (We offer classes and booklets to help teach new photogs!! Check out Tiptoe Teaches on our website... I know, I know, shameless plug) Anyway I wanted to hear from you, can you, the general public, tell the difference between professional and an amateur photographers, in their quality, posing, lighting? Or does the price difference between professionals and amateurs make more of a difference to you?

I am just curious y'all... there is no right or wrong answer. And go....


Next class date!! Check it out!!

Many of the residents of Jefferson County are familiar with the All Good Festival which took place this year at a privately owned farm along the dinky backroads of Summit Point.  I live on those very same backroads.  In fact, I could see the festivities from my backyard!

I've heard a lot of negativity regarding All Good, but I've also heard a lot of positive outlooks on it as well.  I can't say that it was one or the other, because there are pros and cons to every situation, but I can share my individual experience as an up close and personal resident of the Rippon/Summit Point area.

I began to see changes about a week before the festival started.  "EXPECT DELAYS" signs were aligning Rt. 340.  An absurd amount of "POSTED", "NO TRESPASSING", and "PRIVATE PROPERTY" signs were popping up in nearly all of my neighbor's yards. (By the way guys, All Good is over sooo you can take your signs down now...we are beginning to look like the least friendly neighborhood in all of West Virginia lol). And the seemingly endless, serene field that I admired nearly every day slowly became enclosed by fences, uprooted by trucks, and disbanded by people.

The first day, I left my house in the midst of action.  (This girl's got places to be and things to do!! I will not be deterred!)  With my neon yellow "LOCAL TRAFFIC" sign in hand, I braced myself for the worst.  My backroads were fine, but a friend informed me Route 340 was impossible to maneuver that day.  I, however, had no difficulty getting to where I needed to be all week long via backroads.  (And a huuuge thanks to the PoPo for keeping the local routes clear for locals only. You guys did awesome!)

The second day, I decided to grab my #rideordie girlfriend and dive into the action.  I mean, I had free week-long passes because I lived so close, so was I gonna hit that up?? Uhm, YEAHHH! And honestly, I'm glad we did.  The music was fabulous, the food (or at least the hushpuppies there) were great, and ohhh my gosh, don't even get me started on how magnificent the people watching was...  As day turned into night, more people came out in the yard area to grab a bite, listen to great tunes, and nurse a beer (or five).  My friend and I ended our night by watching a talented group of fire dancers perform before starting on our quiet walk back home.

For the remainder of the festival, I was stuck at work, but I do plan on attending next summer. And as for the field, well, it's working it's way back to looking like the rolling green hills I know so well.

Crappy phone pics for your viewing pleasure...




Last week we completed our 2nd class in the 3 part series, Let There Be Light! It was fan-tas-tic. We sat inside, munching on snacks, talking about light and what we look for when we shoot as natural light photographers. We touched on metering, white balance, and focus points and said what they mean in our business.  I really feel like we are helping these ladies figure out what it's like to be photographers, and they have such wonderful questions and feedback. Gahh, I love it!  It is such a powerful thing to be able to share your craft with people.  On that note, we were also able to go to Washington High School this week, and go over the basics of photography to 3 classes.  We all know how nervous I am speaking in front of a group, so I don't know if it was all the essential oils Tara had me put on before hand or all the prayers I was sending to Jesus but definitely something came over me and I did it! I did it without shaking, tunnel vision, ringing in my ears and my heart racing. (Thank you Jesus!!!) With all this positivity that has come from our teachings, I know we are on the right path in our business.  A path of being mentors, teachers, and inspirers.  I feel like it is filling a place in our business that has been lacking.  Our goal now is to reach more, so if you are a mom with a camera, a high schooler, or a new photographer that needs some guidance and someone to help you work out your photography issues, WE ARE HERE, and we want to help you.  I personally love the way I feel when we leave such an awesome coaching/teaching session. It fills my soul!  So after hearing the message from Pastor Shawn (at NDMC, my church) where he told us to be better, be bigger, be an inspiration to someone, fulfill what He has called you to do, I feel that these workshops are allowing me the outlet to do just that! And it's AWESOME.

If you are interested in learning through one of our classes, check out our Tiptoe website and click the "Tiptoe Teaches" tab for the next date and our workbook info.

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Let's be honest this is going to be a super hard post to write or even talk about for that matter. Our pricing... Eeeekkk! So let me start off by saying that this is not me complaining or talking about any other photographer out there, this is strictly why our pricing works for us and how we have come up with our prices.  I absolutely love, love, love what I do. There is nothing better in this life than to wake up each day getting to be a creative, to be an artist, and actually make a living at it. There is not a day that goes by that I am not truly thankful for this as my career!  I just want to shed some light on why our prices are higher than the "100 images for $30" photographer, and why we could never charge that and make it in this industry.

First off, we have BILLS, we maintain a beautiful studio on the main street in downtown Charles Town, this allows us a place to shoot newborn, some maternity, and boudoir sessions, it also serves us as a gallery for our work, a place to conduct ordering sessions, consultations, our new Tiptoe Teaches photography series, and our regular meetings.  Tiptoe now consists of 5 photographers, so it is imperative that we have a space like this to call home. Does it come with a heavy price tag? Yes, between rent, electric, trash, internet, insurance, maintenance, etc, we are paying dearly for what we love and need!

Secondly, we are an official LLC. We are registered to pay taxes, carry insurance, have an accountant,  pay for lots of equipment, and a rash of other things that come with the price of doing business OFFICIALLY, and again we couldn't have it any other way. Our goal going into this business has always been to be official and to grow... a Tiptoe Studios franchise in every state! LOL! As much as we would love to do this as a hobby, that is just not the kind of photographers we are. We are serious about it, it is our career, it is our baby.  I feel like our clients, especially wedding clients, should have some peace knowing that we are going to still be in business and going full steam ahead, by the time your wedding rolls around! Not here one day and gone the next.

Third and maybe most important, we spend TIME with and on you. On average, a Tiptoe client (for a regular session), from start to finish takes us anywhere from 7-12 hours to complete. From the initial contact, to the session, to the editing, to the ordering, it really does take us hours to make sure the client has had the Tiptoe experience. So if we were just charging $30 per session, after bills, we would probably be making something like 10 cents and hour. Is making a couple dollars per session worth hours upon hours of my time away from my family? Nope.  So when you see our hefty price tag of $40 for an 8x10 or $1300 for a session CD remember you are paying this for our expertise, our style, and our artwork.  You, the client, would never be able to go out with another photographer and EVER capture the same images that we did, organically.  Each photographer sees things a different way, and that is what makes it ART.  Tiptoe is not the walk-in studio that has lights everywhere and 15 backdrops that get used over and over again with the same 4 poses (not that there is anything at all wrong with that, it's just not what we are trying to achieve). Rest assure you will get something unique when you come to us!  At least that is what we are hoping for when you choose us as your photographer. *wink*wink.

In closing, does it bother us or even hurt our feelings when potential clients turn their nose up at our pricing? Well the answer is, of course, YES! As an artist we always wonder if they are saying that our ART isn't worth that?   We have to keep reminding ourselves that we know we are a high-end studio that may not be everyones cup of tea. We want the clients that will appreciate the moments we want to uniquely capture for them, so if pricing weeds them out, that is okay with us. Generally speaking, we are all people pleasers at Tiptoe and we hate to have anyone out there that genuinely LOVES and appreciates our style, but they just can't honestly afford us. So many, many times a year we do things like our mini sessions, picture parties, school portrait day and giveaways, so that these potential clients can use us and get a great deal!  It may not be the complete Tiptoe experience but you will still leave with some really great images.  However, even after offering what we think is a great solution for those clients that don't want the hefty price tag for a session, we still get the occasional neigh sayer.  We think highly of our work and know that it is worth every penny you may pay for it.  So like a lot of artists, whether it be a beautician, graphic designer, interior decorator, and even photographer, you are paying for an individual and their talents.  I would never go to my beautician and tell her that she isn't worth my $45 trim because her scissors only cost a couple dollars.  I know going there I am paying for her talent and because I love the way SHE does my hair. Again, not everyone may be as particular as me, but regardless I feel like there is always something out there that people would pay more for because they are getting something personal and geared just toward them.

I sincerely hope that I have not offended anyone, as this was not at all my intention. I really just wanted to be able to voice why we charge more than some other photographers. I hope this post comes off that way! Please feel free to leave us a comment and let us know what you think!




So, we have had quite a few newborn shoots lately, and while I love love LOVE  doing them, boy does it mess with my mommy hormones, lol.  As I was rocking my two year old Maverick to sleep tonight, I had that moment.  The moment I think all of us mommies get when we realize our babies aren't babies anymore.....baby fever!  My baby just turned two a couple weeks ago, he is dangling off my lap, reading books with me, Maximus is now 4 and another year of preschool is coming to an end.  I can't help but get that little itch, ahh another baby...and it doesn't help that Maximus keeps begging for a little sister.  He keeps saying "mommy, we can just go to where we got Maverick and get my baby sister"  and I respond with "oh buddy, if only it were that easy!"  Now, I'm not saying it's completely out of the question, it's just not in the cards right now, or at least not for a couple years, and even then, who knows.  I'm just thankful for newborn shoots so I can get my baby fix.  So any mommies out there getting ready to have a baby, give us a call or shoot us an email and ask about our maternity/newborn package.  Bring your babies to Tiptoe, I need my fix! 🙂

Soooo... I personally have had several of my mom friends call me, right after they got their proofs back from the school, to say thank you for doing their kid's school photo this year.  Which was awesome because they really appreciate what we at Tiptoe do!! We are PHOTOGRAPHERS, we don't do backdrops where everyone will have the same photo year after year, we don't just make the kids stand there and snap a pic not caring what they looked like, we take time to see that real smile and make sure we capture it, in every student! We don't just want "persons" in our photos, we want "personality".  Whether you come to us for a 5 minute school session or an hour long regular photography session, we put our all into capturing YOU each and every time.

So all of this really got me thinking... I can't ever say that I "get" their displeasure because we have been lucky enough to be the photographers for several preschools in the area.  I have been there  to take my own child's school pictures since she started school! Woo hoo! However this year she started kindergarten (unfortunately Tiptoe cannot compete with the incentives of the company that our county uses for portraits) and I knew that I wouldn't be the one to take her portrait, which sort of birthed the idea of opening up Tiptoe School Portrait day for any kids who may not want that typical school portrait.  This school year we held a fall and spring session, and it went fabulously!! We had so, so many kids come out and take advantage of the Tiptoe school pricing which is comparable to the pricing you pay for the portraits offered through the school.  Tiptoe school portraits are really such a great idea. Let's be honest, these "school" photos are the ones you use most to chart their growth and see all their changes, and honestly these are the ones that you end up keeping FOREVER.  Heaven knows I still have all of mine downstairs!  So why not make them fabulous? Let these precious photos show off your child's personality and real smile!

"Just a thought, not a sermon!"

Check out below some of my favorites from our Spring Tiptoe School Portrait Day!!

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