C Family

This great looking family is another of our Denver clients, and this time we got to meet even more of their family in an extended family session! We had a gorgeous cloudy day in Colorado for these sessions, and absolutely love photographing these kiddos each year! 

G Family

Four or so times a year, we get out to Denver and schedule sessions. We've been capturing the G family for about 3 years (before they even had this beautiful little girl and baby boy!) They are so special to us, and this has been one of my all-time favorite sessions! 

What We Care About: A History of Lady Grey Photography

I first knew I wanted to take photos on a family trip to Las Vegas in elementary school. I remember taking a perfectly balanced photo of the Coke Museum, framing it in the shot with some other manmade structures. When we had the photo printed (yes...the days of film) I remember my mother telling me it was so perfect and looked just like a postcard.

Me (Kitty) Year 2014
Flash forward to middle school, when I saved up to buy my very first digital camera. It was a point-and-shoot Canon Powershot, the size of a couple decks of cards. I researched and research and picked that camera because it had the highest optical zoom I could find in my price range (around $180 as I recall...which was a lot for me back then) and the highest photo quality I could find. As I recall, it took a whopping 3.2 megapixel photo. It was amazing.

In high school I started taking a photography course in school. I learned on an SLR (a film SLR) and developed photos in a darkroom. It was one of the most amazing experiences I can think of from high school. Not only did I learn real photography technique, I learned about exposure and had the darkroom experience many photographers never get. I cannot be more grateful for Omaha Public Schools for offering such a fantastic opportunity to their students.

In college I saved up my sophomore year and bought my very first DSLR. It was about $350, and was about 3 years older than the current models, because that was what I could afford. As always, I stayed with Canon because I was sold on the brand. That was the moment I started being asked to take photos. Whether it was portraits, engagement photos for friends or even a bridal session... back then I (and my friends) believed the major factor in good photography was just having a nice camera. All my sessions were free at the time, but most friends gave me a gift card or starbucks drink at the end. I was so uncomfortable charging anything for taking photos for people.

I started a craigslist business on that premise as well. About a year in I realized I needed to get out of "auto" and learn what really made a good photographer. By then I was doing photography as a way to make a little money on the side while I was in law school. In law school, they discourage you from having a job....and yet I needed a way to make money. My first sessions were advertised at about $30 for a 2 hour session (see image below, this is really my post on Craigslist I used in 2011). You may be thinking that was such a terrible business practice, and clearly it wasn't sustainable, but you know what it got me?? Experience. Business experience, photography experience, working with clients, advertising, marketing and tax experience. To this day, I still do everything myself (with the help of my husband at times). From communicating with clients, building my own website, running my own social media, booking sessions, I still only have ever used free means of advertising (word of mouth and Craigslist...but I did stop Craigislit about 5 years ago), we do our own taxes. Even more so, I got hours behind the lens...and that is what I needed at the time. I couldn't have become proficient at everything required of a photographer without it.

In 2012 my husband and I got engaged and started talking about wedding plans. It was at that time we started looking at photographers. That is when I realized....I could not afford these photographers. I mean, some of the photographers were more than I even wanted to spend on a wedding. That was a big drive for why my husband and I eloped. Early 2013 we went to Europe for 3 weeks, paid an amazing photographer in Paris to have a 4 hour session with us, and returned for LESS than my favorite photographer in Omaha would have charged to capture our wedding.

Seriously. I spent 3 weeks in Europe and hired a photographer for amazing photos under the Eiffel Tower for less than 1 day with an Omaha wedding photographer.
Photo Credit: French Grey Photography

Now, a few years and a number of Canon cameras later (I'm loyal to Canon and they have never let me down) I no longer charge $30 for a session. As I recall, even my first wedding I charged something like $250 and the bride was in shock. One even told me "no, that's way too little, we are paying you more."  However, today we still make a point to capture photos for our clients that are great, and reasonably priced.

This is NOT a dig on more expensive photographers. There is A LOT behind the scenes you don't see from a photographer. If I counted up all my hours I spend running the business (communicating with clients, building the website, capturing photos, driving to sessions, editing photos) and combined it with all of the expense that goes into running a business (camera equipment, editing software, computers, props, gas, vehicle use, and paying taxes) I make about $9 an hour. If you are trying to live off being a photographer, you often need to charge much higher prices than I do because of that fact. However, I keep another full time job in addition to being a photographer, which allows me to keep my prices more reasonable.

So that is what it comes down to. I love what I do, and even if I could double my prices this year...I won't. I'd rather see the same family 3 times a year because they can afford to capture photos more than just on an annual basis. My husband and I have a passion for helping people get and stay out of debt (see our personal blog here for more on that), but we don't want clients to miss out capturing big life events or even little life events just because they can't afford a photographer. I do value my time, and do charge for my services, but I love my business.

It was around 2013 when I changed my business from "Kitty Vogt Photography" to "Lady Grey Photography." After getting married and changing my last name, I wanted to start something new. It was that time we found our little fur baby, Lady Grey, and decided to name the business after her.

Old Facebook Cover Photo for our business under its prior name

Over the years, we've come to focus on these items:

1. We want to capture the things you care about and the way you remember them, whether it is your dog, wedding, or 1 year old. That means we interact with our clients to make sure they are comfortable in front of the lens. We sing with little kids, laugh with awkward seniors, talk business with dads, and ask about the first few days of becoming a new mom. We also keep our editing natural in our photos, and don't go overboard with making a photo look unrealistically perfect.

Most recent photo of me, Kitty, your photographer
2. We want you to find an option you can afford. We offer a variety of session packages, and plan to always offer a session that is under $100 that you can be happy with. During off times of the year, we run specials and group sessions together to allow us to accommodate as many clients as possible.

3. We want to have fun with you. That means I am always struggling not to overbook myself. I pride myself on a fast turnaround for sessions (48 hours) because I never want to book so many sessions that I get bogged down and it isn't fun anymore. I have turned away clients advising them that our personalities don't quiet sync, and suggested they find a new photographer. If I can tell they aren't going to enjoy working with me, I don't want to put a client in that position.

Some of you reading this may laugh and remember when I used to charge $30 for sessions. That is my favorite part about what I do. I still have clients that have been with me since that first DSLR, and they keep coming back. I've seen their families grow, seen them get married and have kids...it has been an amazing journey.

C & L

September seems far away....until you are planning a wedding! We had the opportunity to capture engagement photos of C & L before their upcoming fall wedding, and we are so excited to be celebrating with them in a few short months! 

G family

This amazing family came all the way from Virginia to visit us for photo sessions! (Okay, so they were in town already, but we were thrilled to have them back in Omaha this week!) Madison is 7 months old and just the cutest little girl there ever was! 

B Family

The B Family were just great for family photos! We drove up to the lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. B and captured the entire family, grandkids and all for their family photos!