Lesley Knox

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Talk with you later, friend! March 2, 2011

Filed under: Simple Blogs — Lesley Knox Photography @ 8:13 pm

You never know who is going to jump out and help inspire you about your own business.

I am writing this blog in memory and thanks to a good friend, Glenda Epperson.

I could never thank her enough for all she did to help me get my business off the ground. I met her at a bridal show while mentoring under another photographer. She was wonderful and I knew I had to get in touch with her. This would be the last show at the Scholar Ballroom. Her show had grown so much that it would not longer fit in their grand ballroom.

Glenda inspired me, as I assisted her with bridal show preparations and getting vendor emails sent and postcards & posters to them. She knew brides like the back of her hand and could tell you the best way to get them into your booth, WOW them and leaving them wanting to come and see more. I could not see why she would want to help me or why I was doing so much to help her. At one point we moved her office from the basement to the upstairs, sorted through nearly every piece of paper and de-cluttered. I normally do not assist this way with other people, so why with Glenda. Little did I know that in assisting her, that I would gain a friend. And not just any friend, a christian friend.

Glenda became a good christian friend to me.  When she was diagnosed with cancer that was growing in her back, I assisted her while in the hospital bed and listen to her talk about how great the Lord is.  She would tell me, “if the Lord is ready for me now, I would go.”  Her faith could move mountains and her beliefs for fulfillment could do the same.

Once day, while taking Glenda to her radiation treatment, she told me that she was not feeling full. Thinking about her conversation, I assumed she meant by her stomach.  It was her heart! She said that she would attend service, play for the music and leave not feeling full. Glenda’s love for the Lord was great!!!! But she needed more, I told her I would pray for her.

Each year, for four years, Glenda would call me the morning of the Big O Show to see what time she could pick me up. We would attend the O show together.  Glenda was always interested in seeing what new businesses were there and share information with all the vendors about her upcoming bridal show. She was a people person and loved to talk to them about their venues. The last O Show, this past October, Glenda told me on the way home that she was full. I was happy to hear this and asked how this came about. She told me about a new church she was attending, she was playing the piano again and she was FULL! I asked her where she was attending….Life Spring Church in Bellevue. This  was wonderful, and close to home for me. See my uncle is a pastor there and I just thought that this was a good thing for Glenda. I asked her about the  pastors, “there are two and they are both named Steve.”  She would tell me about how wonderful it was to hear them speak the gospel. I told her that Pastor Steve Hicks was my uncle. She did not think I was serious, but when she realized that I was telling  the truth, she said, “Our friendship just keeps getting closer and closer.”

Glenda worked so hard for all her vendors, she was eating, sleeping, breathing bridal show everyday of the year. It was her passion.  She loved her friends and converstations as well. Glenda was unique in this bridal industry and she was unique with her love for God.

Glenda passed away on Monday (February 28th), the cancer had gone to her liver with little warning. Glenda went home to her Lord.

I will miss Glenda and our conversations, I will miss attending the O Show with her. I will miss hearing Glenda speak her faith so freely. I will miss my friend!

For Glenda’s family, I hope to keep communication with them. I have watched her granddaughter, Sarah, many times and hope to keep this connection together.

To Glenda, Thank you for all you have done for me, thank you for the conversations and the laughter. Thank you for being you all the time!! Thank you for lending me so many books in the years and for sharing your faith with me. I know you are Home and that you are no longer sick or in pain. I did not get to say, “talk with you later,” before your leaving…..Never good bye, just talk with you later!!!

 

Not Just Your Wedding Photographer…. January 9, 2011

Filed under: Going Above and Beyond! — Lesley Knox Photography @ 3:43 am

When I  started in photographing weddings many years ago, someone told me “your not hired to be their friend, let the bridesmaids help the bride. Your just to take pictures!”

Well I find this statement to be completely wrong. I have gained so many new friendships and close ones too from my business clients. I love all my brides and mommies!!  I am blessed that they hired me above all the other options of photographers that they had. I owe them compassion and understanding as well a helping hand if I can.

I have in my BIG camera bag many helpful items for a bride or client. Some of these are: cork screw, pocket knife, safety pins, bobby pins, straight pins, double sided sticky tape, trash bag, Visine, and tissues. I have used all of these so many times and glad to take the few minutes to assist so that we can keep on schedule for the wedding day!

Often times I have held little ones of bridesmaids so that I could capture the entire wedding party picture.  A wedding guest captured this moment for me.

As well brought small toys for flower girls and ring bearers to encourage them to do a great job and they would take the gift home.

I take much pride in work and doing all I can to soak up any stress for a bride and groom on their day!!!

In the end, my product is that one that will last more than a life time but several!

In my latest wedding, when checking to see if the bride and groom had everything they needed to enjoy their meal, the bride asked if I would cut her chicken. Certainly joking but not wanting to get it on her dress, I did cut her chicken for her. Luck y to have an assistant to this wedding to capture me in action.

I do have many brides that would agree to my “going above and beyond” on their wedding date.

One wedding, in this fall, I wish there was an assistant, there was much happening when I arrived at the brides mother’s house for getting ready.  Mom was sewing her dress still and the bride was having troubles with her hair. I put down my camera and asked what I could do….”Can you sew?”  Thinking they were joking, I said yes. I made the brides vial on the wedding day, as well helped her with her hair, curled and pinned mom’s hair. As well at the ceremony/reception location I assisted in decorating the tables and getting the ceremony candles ready.

This is mom’s hair, I got it all done while she finished sewing:

As everyone was sitting to eat at the reception, I noticed that the wedding cakes were not out and the table not decorated. I cleared that table and decorated it as well made the cake topper. It turned out beautiful and all the guest thought the table was wonderful!

This is the table before:

The table after and the wedding cake with topper, just tossed together:

So if you are wondering if I am going to just show up and only be your photographer…….well I hope that is not the case!

 

Meet Toby December 16, 2010

Filed under: Creativity — Lesley Knox Photography @ 3:51 pm

I find that I have a terrible desire to own more and more chairs for the studio. Though some are about the same style, others are different. I have many other props in the studio as well and enjoy all the time I get to spend in the studio with my clients.

But when I think about the past year and all that I have accomplished and changed, the one prop that really is love the most by most clients (99.9% of them) would be our 7 year old Schnauzer. Toby is a very mild mannered dog. He is hypoallergenic and LOVES everyone. This may all have to do with his puppyhood days.

When Toby was about a year old, he was snatched in the jaws of a pit bull. This new neighborhood dog had just moved in the area from Council Bluffs after the city banning of the breed. Toby was a trooper and survived the attack and emergency surgery. Not sure of what his behavior would be like after this, we just kept him close to the family and nurtured him.

Toby loves people and ofter has a problem being around dogs that are too big (except Cooper, best friends Boxer). But he adores the attention from all the families that come to our home. But he also loves to have his picture taken. NOT the case is most other dogs!!

This year Toby has been an asset to the studio, even high school seniors have had their pictures taken with him and had wallets printed to share with friends.

 

So maybe the next time you come to the studio, you too may have Toby stroll into your picture for his shot and leave once the flash as gone off!

 

 

Location Location Location!!! October 11, 2010

Filed under: Learn as I Learn — Lesley Knox Photography @ 7:32 pm

Being a Photographer is wonderful! I absolutely love what I do and what I give my clients.

I had a wonderful time photographing Amanda Phillips and Elliot Harris’s engagements on 10.10.2010. The day was beautiful and Elliot had selected some wonderful spots for their session.

It was beyond wonderful truly! I love when I am behind my camera and can totally amaze myself with what I captured.

On our second location, the was were really well created with graffiti.  And I glanced and seen a wonderful rustic door. This was a hot spot for me. Then there was the wall of wonderful colored leaved that indicated the beauty of Fall. I had to use it.. this is what I captured.

 

amanda and elliot

fall in love

 

Now the area around us was not all that beautiful. Keep in mind that this was in an alley way. Keeping Amanda and Elliot away from the debris and catching the wall of fall behind them was easy to do, they had to just not look on the ground around them. This is what was in the remaining background.

Fall Time Alley Way

This was certainly a place for which on person rests their head at night. But with the beauty if offers, who would not want a bed room with such live and vibrant colors?  Truly a lesson, that if you close your eyes to the ground around you, you will miss the beauty that otherwise surrounds it.

 

Changes for 2010! March 25, 2010

Filed under: What New! — Lesley Knox Photography @ 3:33 pm

Hello all!!! Welcome to a New Year! There are so many changes happening around us with the government and economy….where does it all stop? I am creating a new price guide for portraits, one that will help you and me in this year of uncertainty~

First, I want to make a note about a comment that was made to me during a Senior Portrait Session…”You are not just a photographer, you are an artist too. Your job is not easier today because of digital, film was easier!” This client was to right about this. In the time of film, I would process the images and had off the proofs and negatives. With digital, lighting options are different and timing into the session take more. With digital all know the possibilities of what you can do with Photoshop or other editing tools. This makes my processing longer, offering up several imagine options for my clients. So there is more time that is needed to create the portraits my clients desire! This is all done as part of your session fee.

Sessions fees? or otherwise known as a Sitting Fee. There are some chain portrait companies that are offering your “session” without a sitting fee and your prints in 15 minutes…..but wait what if you son has a bruise of his forehead, our your baby has a stork bite from birth….or you have a blimpish that morning….all in your print! So why do I charge a session fee? For an hour of photographing you and your loved ones, I take about 2-3 hours to touch up any of the above or other issues. I create for you color and black and white images as well come creative portraits too. So your one hour session actually takes about four hours to have finished portraits to see.

Second, print prices are changing again. Some of the most credited labs for professional photographers are loosing on business because of lower cost prints through department store labs. Walmart and Target offer you low cost prints but what really is the quality of them. Your wallets are not rounded and actual wallet size! I do use a professional lab for my prints. I think that the paper and quality are great! As well they back up all the images I send them if I need to get them again. But from now on, on my prices Wallets will not be the term I use. These will be refereed to as Billfolds.

The change I will be making, affective April 1st 2010 is my print prices. Any prints ordered through me, Billfolds to 8×10 prints will have “LK” in the lower corner. Any sizes bigger will be hand signed. Remember that an artist takes pride in their work and wants it to reflect their creativity. A photographer can just take a picture and pass it along! There is a difference between them both. However, photographers can either just take a picture or take a great portrait! You can decide on which is best for your family!!!

New Portrait Prices: (these do include Tax!)

8 Linen Billfolds         $9.00

4×6 Portraits               $7.00

5×7 Portraits              $9.00

8×10 Portraits            $21.50

11×14 Portraits         $45.00

Another change that will be in affect this fall is my Session Fees will be changing. From November through March, an hour session fee for children and families will only be $95.00. From May through October they will be $125.

All Non-Profit Organizations will need to mail a letter to me for donations as well.

I hope that you have a great 2010!!!

 

What I Learned From My Audit!!! January 12, 2010

Filed under: Learn as I Learn — Lesley Knox Photography @ 4:21 am

It was something I did not expect to see in the mail…..a letter from the IRS telling me that I have to call to schedule an appointment to review my tax forms, receipts and mileage for an audit! I do not care who you are or how well organized you are…..you will cry, you will be mad and you will be stressed by it. I was all that in one day!!!

I do have a person who prepared my taxes for me! Prepared may not be the word, he puts all the numbers in and creates the forms for the IRS for me to file my tax refund. But I do all my books!

Thinking about the books, this is what I know: Who should do my books? ME!!! I am a small business owner, I should know more about where my money is and where it was spent. I should be able to look at a receipt and know exactly why I bought want I bought and if it was a supply deduction or an office supply expense (these are two different things!!)  I should also know where all my records are at and easy to access.

Which brings me to the who should I file all my receipts and other papers? Currently, I have a filing cabinet full of files for years of business. Each bride has their own folder because of all the information that I have to keep for them. Then each month of the year for receipts of the year. I also have other for donations, bank statements and such. But thinking about the month folders I have for all the receipts. Now, how one keeps these are all to their personal liking! But after being audits and asked to show my supply receipts, well okay! I fingered through a few files and the Auditor was shocked with all that I had filed for month to month folders……in the future, I will have year files for supplies, equipment, postage and such! This way I can grab the one folder and be better prepared! But another thing I had was the Simplified Weekly Bookkeeping Record. This allows me to log each weeks activity of the business…..do you need to use this? NO!! It really is your personal preference or your tax person (my tax guy loves these books!) But I also had spread sheets for the years being questioned. A:)Auditor was amazed the amount of time I put into organizing, spread sheeting and logging the years work records. B:) having the spread sheets backed up all that I had in the Bookkeeping Record. C:) Having both, kept from having to show all the little receipt papers and we just used the Bookkeeping to show how much I spent and were for supplies!  WHEW!!!

But then we had to review Contracted work! I log anyone I used to help with editing, shooting or hire to search my computer for lost weddings! Now something I was not aware of is that if you pay someone more than $600 a year, regardless if they have a business, a student or your dad! If you pay out more than $600 in a calendar year, you have to HAVE TO fill out a 1099 schedule. WHY? Because under Federal Law, any income more than $600 has to be recorded as income! If you have a copy of the 1099, you will have their social security number. This helps to track if those businesses or individuals claimed the earnings on their taxes. This does not mean you have to pay taxes for employees, but just to assure that they are paying theirs! I was under the assumption that this number was at $1,000, so I was careful to not pay anyone more than that so that I would not have to do this to anyone! However, those they reviewed will be dismissed and not asked at this time to show this! Auditor thinks that this was a simple, I did not know and they will not question more, but that this next years files will be watched for that….I did not contract much this past year, so I will not stress!

This audit did take 2 hours! I could not imagine how long this would of taken if I was not organized with all my papers….though my desk never looks organized, tax papers are! The auditor was reviewing my mileage records and was amazed that I keep all the locations and mileage so well. Asking if I write in the books each time, she laughed at how I really do it all. It works and you are welcome to use it too! I buy lots LOTS of post it notes! This are great! I keep a pad in each car. If I am going, let say, to get ink from Office Max. I pull out the post it pad and write down the date, location and the last 3 digits of the odometer. Then when I get back home, write the last 3 digits again. Now because this post it note pad stays in that car, I still write the vehicle on the page as well. When the pad is full, I take it in the house and drop it in the bucket near my desk! I do not use shoe boxes or other boxes. I use a bucket with a lid! Then once a year, I go through and file, spread sheet and log! It seems like a lot to do at once but think about how much time it would take to do it monthly!

Back to mileage – if you ever need to rent a car because yours is damaged – KEEP ALL PAPERS AND RECORDS OF THIS! As well did you know that based on the percentage of how much you use your vehicle for business reasons, you can claim a percentage of your car insurance and repairs?? New to me! As well if you are audited and they want to see mileage…..keep all your receipts for oil changes and other car repairs. The car care locations have to record you mileage, those will back up your logs with proper numbers!

The last thing is this! I asked about using a receipt scanner because of all the paper, files and such for business. You can scan or store your papers as you please, but you will have to be able to access and PRINT the documents if you get audited. They will not print or review digital files yet! So ponder if you want to do all that printing if you do get audited! The other thing that I learned is that if you are audited, they do not look at everything! They will send you a letter that tell you:  review will require paper and receipts for supplies and mileage.

I hope that my experience has helped you! I feel much better about it and know that if it happens again (which once you are audited for any particular years, they will not audit those years again!) I will be ready again and sure to pass with flying colors again……..

As for the error on my report, it was not one by me but one who enters the numbers in for the refund papers! They said the money was small and not worth coming after me to pay! My auditor will pass this audit on to another review with a request for no changes! Just remember that if you have someone prepare, check your numbers with the ones you have in your books!

 

Merry Christmas! December 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lesley Knox Photography @ 4:33 pm

I know that this is being posted after the actual day of Christmas. But did you know that there are 12 days of Christmas. For some religions, the holidays celebrations are prior to the Christmas Day Holiday. For Christians the celebration of Christmas lasts for 12 days starting with Christmas Day.

I hope you all have a great and wonderful Christmas Day. We were snowed into Omaha and could not travel the interstate. Right now we have about 26 inches of snow that has fallen in the Omaha area this month already!

May the New Year bring you happiness, success and love!