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Posts from the ‘Commissions’ Category

Howard County, Maryland Photography Commission: Maisey

Recently, I photographed Maisey, a thirteen-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, who was recently adopted a little over a month ago after her first family had to relinquish her.  Maisey is quick on her feet and full of life!  Below is my favorite image from the photography shoot.

If you are interested in commissions and/or fine art prints, please find further information here and here!

Happy Wednesday!


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Updated Website —

I have made some recent changes to my website, including a new domain name, a new email address, and some stylistic changes and updates have been made as well — after much work!  My goal was to ‘freshen up’ my website with a slightly updated, modern look and feel.   My Dad helped me update my logo; my website host helped me make other stylistic changes; the company holding my domain name helped take care of  items on the back-end; and I made content updates.  This undertaking was a bit more work than I had anticipated; however, I am happy with the new domain name, look and feel of my website, which fits nicely with the blog.  After much thought, I changed my domain name because I wanted an artist’s website associated only with my name to share my work, and I wanted to secure the new domain name as well.  I believe developing your web presence, look and feel, is an ever evolving process.

The new domain name/address of my website is, and my new email address is  (The prior domain name automatically forwards to the new domain name; and my old email address automatically forwards to my new email address.)

And now, I hope you will go check out my updated website!

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!


Katherine Carver

My Ideal Commissions

I think that it is important to identify your ideal commission in order to attract these types of commissions!  During college I wrote down my ideal characteristics for a life partner.  I shared the list I created, entitled, ‘Guy Criteria,’ with my Dad, and he thought that the criteria was too high and together we narrowed down the list a bit!  (I still have this list at home!)  I never wavered from my list, and Doug appeared right after finishing law school and taking the bar exam!  Of course, Doug met every characteristic and much, much more than I could have envisioned as a college student!  However, had I not made that list, I may not have known or recognized that Doug was ‘the one.’  The funny thing was, I knew right away, and I vividly remember telling my Dad at a Starbucks in Maryland on one of my parents’ visits that Doug was ‘the one!’

I think that same idea rings true with identifying your idea commission, which is similar to attracting your ideal partner in life.  My ideal commissions are not a specific group of people, but people who have a few things in common, as outlined below.  I think we do our best work when it is for people we genuinely care about.  I have spent a great deal of time identifying the characteristics of my ideal commission, client, described further below.

1. Wants to work with me in particular

I want to do commissions for clients who cannot imagine having anyone else complete their commission.  Each photographer is different; each photographer produces different work; and each photographer uses different printing methods, i.e., papers and printers to produce their work.


2. Wants something different

I want to work with clients who are looking for something different — clients who desire layered images and who want images printed on high quality, fine art archival papers.


3.  Truly values photography and has a discerning eye

I want to work with clients who truly care about preserving memories via photographs.  I want to do commissions for clients who are particular, have a discerning eye, and have high standards.  I want to work with clients who truly value photography and will not settle for any photographer, and have done their research to help ensure a good match between the client and photographer.


4. Follows along on the blog

I want to work with clients who already follows the blog and therefore get to know me personally.  I consistently invest much thought and effort into my blog in order to keep people coming back for more!


5. Trusts me

Trust in any type of relationship is vital for success.  Thus, it is imperative that clients who commission work trusts me and my ability to deliver a deliverable that exceeds clients’ expectations.  I also want to work with clients who are looking to work with the ‘right’ photographer as well.  I know when I work with other artists, I only work with those artists whom I trust and I know will do a wonderful job.  I have interviewed some artists who I have worked with on this blog.  Therefore, it is important that clients’ trust me to ensure a good working relationship, which is vital for a wonderful client experience.

You can learn more about my Commissions here.


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Getting Acquainted With A Photographer Online

I enjoy doing commissions for clients in addition to working on my personal photography projects.  These days, most everything is done online.  Therefore, I do my best to showcase who I am, not merely what I do.  In addition to my website, my blog, a daily practice, has been a wonderful way to share more about myself and my work.

This is important because if a person hires a photographer, it is vital that the prospective client really likes and trusts the photographer and really likes the photographer’s work.  It is important that personalities align and the client is comfortable in the presence of his/her photographer.  A relationship with a photographer is unique — no two photographers are the same personally and each photographer’s work is different.  Below are a few tips to help a potential client find a photographer who is a perfect fit.

1. Perform Research – Photographers have have endless resources to create an online identity to covey who they are by way of their websites and blogs, etc.  It is important that a potential client does his/her homework in advance and learns as much as possible about a prospective photographer.


2. Send Initial E-mail(s) – If a potential client is looking to communicate with the photographer who is best suited for him/her, it is best to first e-mail the photographer a few times to see how the photographer responds over e-mail.  This will give the prospective client an idea of how quickly a photographer responds to e-mail inquiries, while simultaneously being able to obtain a feel and sense for the photographer to help make a more informed opinion and decision about the photographer.


3. Read the Bio/About Section – The bio section is a photographer’s opportunity to communicate to potential clients who they are and what he/she is passionate about.  The best photographers communicate this information well, and the bio section of a website becomes an integral component to ensuring the potential client and photographer are a great fit.


4. Ask Questions – A potential client should never be afraid to ask a photographer any and all questions.  A potential client should be able to ask the photographer whatever questions she/he needs to ensure that the potential client feels comfortable with his/her decision to hire the photographer to commission work.  A photographer should be able to fully and promptly answer a potential client’s questions.  A great client-photographer match/fit should create a relationship that will be professional and mutually beneficial, which affords a remarkable client experience!


Happy Wednesday!


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Commission: Engagement — Ann Arbor, Michigan

I previously wrote about my sister’s recent engagement.  While Doug and I were visiting Michigan recently to rescue and adopt Victory, I did an engagement photography session for my sister, Kassie.  For our photography session we had beautiful weather, light, and fall colors.  We went to the Law Quadthe ArbIsland Park; and we even found an old barn to use as well!

Kassie and Jason are having an October 2014 wedding at The Henry Ford Lovett Hall located at Greenfield Village — a beautiful venue for the wedding ceremony and reception!  We are very happy for you, and we look forward to being a part of  your wedding day!  Congratulations!

Some highlights from this photography session are shown below.

If you are interested in commissions, please contact me via e-mail at and visit my website at

Happy Monday!


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Howard County, Maryland Photography Commission: Family Photo Shoot

Recently, I had an opportunity to photograph a family who wanted current photographs documenting their family and children.  This family was a pleasure to work with and we were fortunate to have wonderful weather and light!

It is funny how quickly times flies by without even realizing it!  In our family, we had formal portraits taken every year around our birthdays!  (The photographs taken each year at school were always lousy.  Thus, my parents were diligent and hired a photographer take our portraits each year even if we were not so keen on it at the time!)

Some highlights from this photography session are shown below.

If you are interested in commissions, please contact me via e-mail at

Happy Wednesday!


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Baltimore County Photography Commission: Annaprashan Ceremony + Family Photo Shoot

I recently had the opportunity and honor of photographing an Annaprashan Ceremony followed by a custom family photo shoot!  An Annaprashan Ceremony is a Hindu ritual that marks a baby’s first food intake other than milk.  The feeding ceremony is often followed with a game, in which the baby is presented with a tray containing a number of objects.   The belief is that the child’s future direction and prospects in life are indicated by the object which he/she prefers to hold and play with.  In this case, the baby chose the jewel/coin representing wealth!

I greatly enjoyed working with this family — thank you Sudeep and Reena!  Everyone was very nice and welcoming!  We were fortunate to have wonderful weather and light!

Some highlights from our photography session are shown below.

If you are interested in commissions, please contact me via e-mail at

Happy Friday!

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Obtaining Client Feedback

In a previous blog post, I mentioned the importance of obtaining client feedback.  As creatives, we look for affirmation from others — specifically from our clients as we document a personal time, so it is only natural to desire feedback.  Additionally, I like to obtain feedback from persons I trust on my personal photography work and projects.  I think feedback can help us grow.  In college, I particularly enjoyed receiving feedback from my professor and peers during photography critiques, which were constructive.

My clients share feedback with me.  If, however, you are looking for ways to have clients express their feelings, it is best to establish a relationship before the photography shoot.  If your client interactions are largely transactional in nature without personal communication then you cannot really expect them to treat you any differently than other business interactions.  In most clients’ minds, you are doing what they hired you to do — regardless of how personal you feel it is.

If you would like feedback from clients, I recommend that you to find ways to care and connect with your clients throughout your working relationship.  This will yield stronger communication and personal conversations that lead to written responses you seek and desire.

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Managing Client Expectations

One of the greatest challenges businesses face is managing client expectations.  I suspect the very word “expectation” creates a wide range of images for all of us.  An expectation is defined as presuming the outcome of an activity.  Expectations are generally based on perceptions, opinions, and other soft parameters, often without a rational basis, and often because of a lack of knowledge.  Human expectation is skewed toward predicting the best outcome.  Most people tend to expect positive outcomes.  While it is certainly better to have high rather than low expectations, unrealistically high expectations will create disappointment.  A disappointment is defined as a feeling of sadness, dissatisfaction, or displeasure when something is not as you planned.

We all are aware at some level that client expectation is very important, yet we may do little to proactively manage it.  Many times our approach is reactionary causing us to gloss over expectations or to fail to listen to the client altogether.  However, I believe it is very important to manage client expectations to ensure that the client understands the terms of the business engagement, and so ultimately, the client is happy with your work and deliverable.

Below are some tips to help manage client expectations.

1. Build a relationship.

People like to work with people they not only respect, but also personally like.  Therefore, developing a personal relationship goes a long way in building a stronger business relationship.  Experience is everything.  My goal for each client is to create and implement a personalized, fun, and seamless experience that exceeds the client’s expectations and makes each and every client feel like royalty.

2. Regularly communicate and address problems directly.

I do not know about you, but when I am working with someone, I rather receive regular communication and updates from the person I hired to ensure expectations are being met, etc.  When communication is direct and transparent, trust forms and helps to create and build the foundation for long-standing relationships.  A lack of communication is usually at the root of most of the problems associated with clients.  I make it a practice to respond within twenty-four (24) hours to client e-mails and correspondence to mitigate any misunderstandings and to show my clients that they are important to me.  Clients want to know and feel important when they have hired someone to work with.  Therefore, I believe it is important to be prompt in responding to all client communications.

3. Agree on goals, timelines, and deliverables.

It is important that you and  your client at the outset agree on goals, timelines, and deliverables.  Therefore, in the written agreement to be executed by the parties, it is very important to clearly set forth the goals; scope of work; fees; the specific deliverables; the specific timeline when events and deliverables occur, etc.  This clear information, which is communicated to the client in a clear manner, will help to set expectations on both sides, and will lead to mitigating any misunderstandings leading to the client being dissatisfied.  This process should make all of the goals, timelines, and deliverables clear to the client and it really helps to set the client’s expectations.

4. Be a counselor.

When you offer your client advice, direction, and input, etc., you become a truly valuable partner.  This style of open dialogue helps to establish respect.  Also, as a counselor to clients, you can help explain your services and deliverables so that the client can better understand your services.  Not all people are experts in your area of business.

5. Be a good listener.

Listening is one of the most misunderstood and least used tools in managing client expectations.  Many clients are unsure of what they are trying to accomplish or are not very good at articulating it.  As such, you must have excellent intuition and listening skills in order to identify key messages being communicated by the client.  One of the best ways to help clients and to manage client expectations is to repeat what you heard from the client and ask the client to confirm the accuracy of key takeaways, which will ultimately impact expectations.

6. Be kind.

It is crucial to always be kind, respectful, genuine, and consistent with your clients.  Clients should feel valued and they should never feel like they are being an imposition.  I know that I do not like working with others who are not kind to me, and it tremendously negatively impacts the client experience and relationship.  Always remember the “Golden Rule” when interacting with clients.  Kindness truly goes a long way in building trust and loyalty with clients.

7. Anticipate your clients’ needs.

I believe that anticipating your client’s needs is crucial to any successful business.  Thus, it is important to put yourself in “the client’s shoes.”  Making your clients feel important is a tremendous step in building loyalty.  Clients want to know that they are valued by your business.  Clients are the lifeline of your business and should always be treated as such.  Though you may not know all the needs of new clients, try your best to read them and anticipate what they may need.  Therefore, it is important to stay very organized and attuned to each client’s needs.  Do not be afraid to ask what else you can do to make the client happier.  Additionally, anticipating your clients’ needs helps to foster a seamless client experience for the client.

8. Always deliver on time what you promise.

It is extremely important to deliver what you promised on time to the client.  One sure-fire way to not manage clients’ expectations is to not follow through on the terms of your engagement with the client on time.  If clients are like me, they expect that everything be delivered on time as promised.  This is really important because you want to have credibility with your clients.  Clients should always feel very important and they should feel that you really are “taking care” of them.  Clients should not have to worry about you delivering on your promises.  It is very unprofessional, and very unfair to the client, to over promise and under deliver.  Instead, exceed clients’ expectations and over deliver — this is a wonderful way to exceed clients’ expectations and have a happy and satisfied client who will refer your services to their friends and family!

9. Ask your clients what they think.

Once your engagement with each client has come to an end, ask the client what he/she thought of your services and deliverables.  This will make your customers feel valued.  Importantly, you will also gain valuable insights to use as a valuable tool in your business.  You may learn things from clients that will improve your business.  Thus, it is important to be open and listen to the feedback from clients.  After all, without clients, what do we have?

10. Thank the client.

It is important to thank your clients for their business at the end of the engagement with the client.  Everyone wants to feel appreciated.  Everyone loves to receive fun mail and paper thank you notes, which are quickly going extinct.  A thank you is a sincere and personal way to tell the client that you appreciate them and appreciate their business.  As a result, I think that it is really important to take the time to say thank you to each client expressing your appreciation, which is so often overlooked.

In the end, you will begin to attract clients like yourself — the ideal client!  Knowing your ideal client, regardless of your line of business, is a key component to growth and satisfaction.  The qualities of my ideal clients are people who (1) truly value and appreciate fine art photography; (2) are selective and cannot imagine working with and hiring anyone else; (3) wants to work with someone who is detailed and organized; (4) wants a seamless and fun client experience; and (5) likes my brand and my blog.  I think you achieve this type of client relationship by marketing yourself in a personal way.  Eventually, you start to only attract clients that desire you, your talent, and your services, which makes for outstanding client relationships!

Happy Wednesday!

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Howard County, Maryland Photography Commission: Nick

This past weekend, my parents came to visit and they brought along their dog, Nick!  Nick is a papillon mix rescue dog who is approximately six-years-old.  Anyone who has met Nick knows that he loves his Daddy!  Nick is his Daddy’s shadow and follows him everywhere…sometimes Nick is even disappointed that he cannot go into the bathroom with his Daddy!  Nick is smart and he does listen well.  Nick is quite vocal compared to Biscuit; Nick reacts to the slightest sound.  Most of all, though, Nick is devoted to his Daddy.  After our photo shoot, I took Nick to Five Guys for a little hamburger, which he loved.  (Little Biscuit has been on and he continues to be on a strict prescription diet and, therefore, he could not come with us).   Nick and Biscuit seem to get along well together.  By the last night of the visit, Nick sat in my lap without running away to his Daddy!

We had gorgeous weather for a photography shoot and Nick did not mind having his photos taken as long as his Daddy was near by!  I love the simple scenery that we happened to find!

Some highlights from our photography session are shown below.  If you are interested in commissions, please find further information here!

Happy Tuesday!


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