Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Family Time

I am looking at life now and wondering where my babies went. Of course they have and are about to have children of their own. I'm fortunate enough to have them both living in Phoenix, but somehow still am surprised at how fast the time has passed since they were just learning to walk and talk. My oldest grandson starts school in 2 weeks. In  three months I will have a third grandson too! I am enjoying being a grandpa, but I am also realizing that my kids are not really kids. They are now enjoying their own families. We are looking forward to taking the "kids" out on Saturday night for dinner and a play. It should be a good time for us all to get together and enjoy being adults! 
I have also just finished my second bulk mailer of the summer. This one is geared towards families and children. It's hard for first time parents to sometimes grasp the speed at which their children grow up. It seems like forever before they can talk, then they can walk, then they are out of diapers....next thing you know school arrives, followed by them asking for the keys to the car. It may seem drastic, but you can ask most people with grown "kids" and they would tell you the same thing. I feel so honored to get to capture the portraits that represent the first year, the school days, and even that last year of high school. Every year since I got married (36 years ago if anyone's counting!) we have sent out a family portrait with our Christmas card. My wife has made a book of all the cards through all the years, and these are such a treasured memories. I understand not everyone has a photographer in the family (which is good for my business), but I work to stress the importance of capturing these images before the little ones become teenagers, and before the teenagers are living all over the country. 
I know I am glad I did, and I know my customers over the last 31 years are also very glad they did too! Take the time, make the time, and enjoy the time you have while the kids are still kids, before they become "kids."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Sessions

Today I had art class again. I really am enjoying being challenged in different mediums and with different subjects, but it is a challenge. Today was pencil art, which is one of my favorites. I am loving using my artistic abilities in a new way, besides being behind the camera. I am taking the class sponsered by the city of Scottsdale recreation deparment.
I also completed another project, and am off to the post office shortly. I have made a mailer card for the 2009 Seniors in the area, and I had fun doing it. It's great to get so much variety from being on location and being able to showcase some of it on the cards I send out. It seemed like everything was against me in regards to this mailer. The printing company took extra time which they have not done in the past. The CASS certification software completely shut down and wouldn't open again when I was trying to load the names. After an hour on the phone with techical support it was all solved, but I was exhausted. So now I am off to the post office. To deliver my large mailing. Hopefully I will hear from some more of the valley Seniors from this, I look forward to photographing the excitement that the High School Seniors have as they finish that final year of school!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Started today with two bank jobs..

Ok, so I might not be living a life of crime, but I am entertained by the opportunity to say I did a bank job. I have been photographing for this particular bank for a few years now, and this morning started off meeting at 7am to catch some outdoor shots before the temperatures got out of hand. The bank was having a portrait done of one of their employees with one of their clients. I really enjoy getting to meet people at these type of shoots. Today was the owners of American Valet. If you live anywhere in Phoenix, you're probably familiar with the company, American Valet. The owners, Mike and Shawn, were both amazing to work with and we had a lot of fun. I had debated bringing Kathleen along to help and I was very glad I did. I had to use a scrim for shade and the wind was blowing just perfectly against the flat side and towards the people and car for the portrait. She even had a hard time making it stay up on the stand! I don't want to think of what could have happened if I had just had it on the weighted stand!!
From there I went to the bank building just up the road. I worked in the beautiful lobby and actually even picked up a possible new client just from being there. The shoot went very well and we also had a great time doing it.
I have a short amount of time for turnaround on the images from today so I better get back to work, then off to Rotary!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bringing families together...digitally

I have not had a request to do this in a few years, but somehow I've had two in just one month. Most families have a few family members who live out of state. Recently a family of 17 had all but one person together here in Phoenix and so they decided to get the family portrait done. That's three generations and families from 2 different states!! The one not able to make it is in the Navy and currently serving our country. Of course I'd be able to add him to the portrait. 
The other family had 13 people in the image and one person at school in Chicago. Although we had done her Senior portraits, there wasn't really an image that worked well with the family, so we will be doing her session soon. 
I like that technology has allowed this to happen. Family portraits are a treasure, and it's often hard to get absolutely everyone together to be in one. Now instead of going without, there's an option to add the person in later, and I hope more people will think about doing that now. 

Our most recent family photo with my wife's side of the family is treasured. It was one year before her sister was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the battle for a year and got to see another Christmas, her favorite holiday! We were so glad that we had a portrait done while everyone was here and in good health. Since then we have also had another grandson join our family and my third grandson is due in October. Hopefully this time next year we will have another family portrait on the wall. Have to capture the moments while they are here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's a BOY!

I found out a week ago that my son and his wife are expecting a baby boy! The due date is set for Halloween, which was also my Father's birthday! So much excitement, can't wait to welcome another grandson!! My other two grandsons are about to have birthdays. The oldest will be 4 in August and the younger one will turn 3 in September. They are like little fish lately, still swimming almost every day and learning so fast. It's fun to watch the delight in the 2 year old's eyes when he swims across the pool, "I DID IT!" he squeals! It is amazing to see that energy and excitement!!!!
Now that Solstice has passed, summer is officially here. Although I love the Summers here, my clients are not as thrilled to be out shooting in the afternoon these days. I am definitely what you would call a morning person. So it works out perfect, I've started doing sessions as early as 7:30am and it's great! We get some great lighting, and cooler temperatures. The younger kids are generally awake and ready to start the day, and it works well!
We're still working hard to get word out to the 2009 Seniors. We have more availability during these summer months, and the schedules of Senior year can sometimes be busy. So, if you know anyone graduating this year, please have them call us soon to schedule a time for an unforgettable Senior Session!!! visit www.myspace.com/rickmueller

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

I had a wonderful celebration yesterday with my family. It is always fun to get together now that they are starting families of their own as well. My son and his wife are expecting their first child in October. Tomorrow we will hopefully find out if it's a boy, girl, or Golden Retriever. I have two grandsons so we'll either have a third grandson or a first granddaughter. My wife made a beautiful 4 course meal including Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce. It was all amazing. Saturday I spent part of the afternooon in the pool with my grandsons. It was my first time in the pool this summer, and it was a perfect day for it! They are 2 and 3 and just learning the independence of swimming. After a few months of lessons they can now motor themselves around the pool using a noodle to stay afloat. The three year old loves to swim underwater and we're working on getting him to use his arms to keep his head above the water when he needs a breath. The two year old will jump off anything he can climb up when he's on land, but is terrified to jump into water. In time I'm sure he'll be the first to do flips into the pool, once he overcomes that initial fear.

Early Saturday morning I photographed a beautiful little girl in the park. She's 6 years old and wore a darling beige dress with a bow in front. The dress was perfect with all the green backgrounds in the area. We had a lot of fun and many laughs. Her older siblings had also had sessions with me so it was fun to see Mom again too!

This week I will be working on production and with Kathleen on our future promotions. I'm looking forward to an exciting summer and getting ready for the class of 2009.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The First Blog

Well, here goes. My first time at blogging. I've been wanting to start this for a long time, but life just hasn't allowed it to happen. I appreciate your patience as I get started on here, I'm sure I'll have the hang of it soon.
There is no other place I'd rather be right now than here in Scottsdale. I am looking forward to the rising temperatures and laying in the sun when it's 115 degrees out. Those days by the pool are so much better than my childhood days of shoveling snow in Wisconsin.
As for my business, I have passed the one year mark since I moved out of the Scottsdale Airpark location in January 2007. I had been there for 22 years, and the transition was not easy by any means. I had made the decision because I received word from the landlord that the building would be torn down in June of 2007. I had one employee at the time and far too much overhead with the space I was renting, so I saw it as a sign to make a change. It was so difficult to part with so many amazing props, backgrounds, equipment, and memories that I had accumulated at that studio. One year later I have finally vacated the three storage sheds I was using to hold on to some of those items. I am so happy that I decided to make that move. As difficult as it was at the time, I now get to enjoy being on location entirely. I continue working with one employee, Kathleen. Having her here allows me to spend more time behind the camera, which is what I enjoy most about my business.
I have the privilege of going to my client's home, to see their style and capture images in their own backyard. The family pets get to be involved without traveling in the car. Some of my High School senior sessions allowed for things like turntables and book collections to be photographed, something that couldn't have been done in the old studio. I also love being able to capture those first portraits of the babies in the comfort of their own home, I'm pretty sure the mom's appreciate not having to pack up the car and drive across town for portraits.
As summer arrives, I'm looking for more of the early morning outdoor sessions or anytime indoor sessions. This is a great time for the publicity portraits where I can come to office locations.
I am also taking time to get back to painting. I have been taking classes to learn different mediums, and I absolutely love it. Maybe in the future when I put down the professional camera, I will be able to continue selling art in a different format.
I think I'm off to a start (maybe even good start?) on this blogging so it's time to get back behind the camera. This afternoon I will be scouting out a location for a family session that I have scheduled on Thursday.
Thanks for reading!!