Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jeff and Megan - Update

On Saturday, I had the privilege of shooting Jeff and Megan's wedding. Tonight I was still downloading pictures from the event, and they reminded me of just how absolutely gorgeous their entire wedding was.

I am in the process of putting together the Slideshow, and was hoping to have it done first thing tomorrow morning, but won't be able to finish until tomorrow evening. Sorry about that guys!!!

Have a good evening!


PS: Here are some of my favorites of Jeff and Megan...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Real Simple Blog Entry

I found a really good link from a fellow photographer's blog. (The photographer's name is Penny Noell... she is extremely talented!) The link is to a blog entry from Real Simple.

Many moms take great pictures... however, how many of you can get a picture like this with your daughters when you are behind the camera?

When I take pictures, I purposely do not have a limit on the number of people that can be in the shoot. This way we can turn "milestone" pictures of a child into "milestone" pictures of their relationships with their family members. In fact, if I have one major fault, it's not warning the entire family that they are all game on picture day!

Hope you are all having a good night!


HIRED!!! (Take II)

Okay, did anyone notice that I had two shoots in the last 24 hours, and they are both already edited, blogs updated and about to be submitted to the lab???

Tristan, if you are reading this, YOU ROCK!!!

PS: Anyone know a good maid service??? I am getting addicted to this "hired help" thing...! ;)

Expressions (Possibly the funniest ever???)

Okay, I literally had tears in my eyes from laughing during this shoot. This little lady is possibly the most charismatic person I have ever had the honor of photographing...

She was telling us a story about Tinkerbell and her Dad and her were debating the validity of some of the facts in the story. Well, this little lady tells stories with her hands... and man, did I ever click that shutter like lightening to catch them. (For the record, crying during a shoot is less than ideal because you can't see squat...!?!!) I wish I could have video taped what she was saying. It was hilarious!

Anyway, here are my favorites from the session. If I had an award for funniest shoot ever, it would go to this girl - hands down!



Her little brother. He didn't like my frog's sounds... (he was really funny too...)

A tender moment with Daddy... (I love this shot!)
Storytelling with Mommy... (So cute!)
She was demonstrating Ballet's "first position"... ;)

Easter Trivia...

I did a First Communion shoot yesterday evening for a friend of mine. Her daughter was absolutely gorgeous! This young lady did very well considering she had to be posed over and over again. (Parents think it's a lot more work to let kids loose in the studio or outdoors and chase them... not so much! Kids hate to stand still!)

One of the pictures below is of her hands, dress, and the rosary. While I was posing her, the little lady was commenting on how I was even "posing Jesus" (I was moving the rosary into position for the shot)... And then, without hesitation, she said, "Mom do you think she knows that Jesus died on a Friday and not on a Sunday?". I had to hide my smile so that I didn't embarrass her. (Sooo cute!) I explained that it was a very good question, but my father is a Presbyterian Minister, and so I pretty much have the Easter trivia covered... but I was still grinning when I was editing the pictures today. Too funny!

Happy Easter everyone!



This rosary was her mother's... very cool!

Friday, March 21, 2008


I have a new employee, and he is the best thing that has happened to my business in a long time.

His name is Tristan and he is an extremely kind, bright and energetic individual. He did so much in one day... so much that I think I might get my life back soon!! (Whooowee!!)

For those of you that are professional photographers that are still struggling though your workflow yourself - HIRE SOMEONE! The feeling when you see them step into your studio and say "what can I do?" is priceless. The only thing better than that is when they say "okay, I'm done... what should I do next?"

; )


"Okay, Beth, we're going through BM Blog withdrawl here..."

...'nuf said. Beth's been slackin'!
Contrary to what it may seem like, I have not been bored! I have five shoots this weekend. It’s really busy – but very fun as well.

Here is the shoot from this morning:

Cutie-pies from the Birmingham Early Childhood Center. Linda McGuire is the Director there and she does a wonderful job… When I walked in the kids were singing with the teachers, playing with play-doh, playing dress up with silly hats, and just having a wonderful time. It was a truly happy place, and made me want to be four years old again.

Thank you so much to Linda and her staff for letting me photograph such a wonderful place!
Here are my favorites from this morning... (I am posting more than normal because I think they are hilarious!)




I love this girl's eyes...

...and more hats!
The Little guys went out for a brief ride through the park to get a breath of fresh air before nap time!
I love this little girl's giggle... too cute!
Such a tender expression. I remember this girl fondly from last fall...

A quick cooking lesson...
The Bear song (yes, there are adorable little gestures that go with the song...)

This little girl was comparing spoons with the boy next to her. She decided she needed the pink spoon and he needed her green spoon! This picture was taken seconds before orchestrating the spoon swap deal...
More from the cooking lesson...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Sessions and Vegas Update!

It occurred to me late yesterday that I should post a note about Spring sessions... folks, we are filling up fast! June is actually starting to book up now. There are still a couple of slots open, but if you want an outdoor session this spring, I do suggest you call soon!

I hope all is well in Detroit. Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day in Vegas. If you thought people were crazy on a normal Vegas Day, you should have been here. The strip was very green, very loud, and... well, let's just say Vegas consumed quite a bit of green beer yesterday.... :)

Well, I am off to another class!... Hope all is well in Detroit!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

So tomorrow afternoon I am off to the airport, on my way to yet another photography convention. HOWEVER, this one is a little different. Instead of 40 photographers, there will be ten thousand, and instead of the peaceful ocean, we are in crazy Vegas.

You have never seen something so funny as a room of about 5,000 people sitting and listening to a speaker where everyone has their cameras out, and is taking pictures of the speakers slides. First slide... "click" as people take a picture of the slide... second slide, 5,000 more cameras go "click" all at the same time. I literally laugh every time I see/hear it.

But it is amazing to be surrounded by so much talent. Many of the best photographers on the planet travel to the Wedding and Portrait Photographers (WPPI) Convention. This is where I learn about new products, so for those of you asking about albums (and there are quite a few of you...), I should have a lot more information when I return next Thursday.

As far as gambling goes, I am a wuss... I think last year I spent $5 in the Lucky Lemmings slot machine. The thing is, I would pay just to watch the little lemmings jump off the cliff into the water. (It's worth the $5, trust me...! It's really funny!)

However, my family got wind that I was Vegas-bound, and decided to come also. So, they will be exploring Vegas while I am in class. But, I'm sure we'll be out and about during the night, so I'm sure I can grab some pictures then and post them for all to see.

Okay, time to do laundry, pack, and get those last-minute orders in!

Have a great evening!


Thursday, March 6, 2008


Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Ruthmann, a former Detroiter who is a wonderfully talented photographer. She is just one of those people that are way beyond their years in terms of knowledge. She just knows so much about so many things!

Well, I just checked out her blog... (I have become addicted to blogs after spending a week with 40 photographers)... and she has a wonderful little perk she offers her clients: Cool desktop wallpaper photographs. What a great idea!
Many of you have commented on the sunset pictures I recently took in North Carolina. So, here they are... I have resized some of them for usage on a desktop.

To download any one of them, click on the images above, right click on the next image you see and select "Save As"...



Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Today Show Segment

The Today Show did in fact come through... in a very big way.

Here is the link to the Today Show Segment. I want to warn my readers that it's a very powerful story, and might trigger some strong emotions.

So many people ask me how I do it.... it's simple: I do it. Period. And I don't over analyze the situation. I feel very strongly that God has blessed me with an ability that I have an obligation to share. And it's that simple. I have an obligation. If I don't show up to the shoot because I am intimidated, who is going to help these families?

I called three hospitals today that were not fully utilizing our services. All the hospitals were excited to hear about our services. My hope is that families will be told about this by hospitals and friends, and that the 40+ NILMDTS Michigan photographers will be able to assist immediately.

Is it a sad story? Yes. But it does happen. And we are here to help the families that need us.

God bless...


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Today Show

Many of you ask about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS), the charity organization I am involved in. I am the coordinator for the Detroit Area. Well, it seems that the Today Show is featuring a segment on a NILMDTS session in Minnesota. Here is the e-mail I got from the NILMDTS staff:
Tomorrow (Wednesday Morning) in the 8:30am Half-Hour
Dear NILMDTS Photographers, Families & Friends,
Provided all goes as planned, tomorrow morning the Today Show (NBC) will profile an NILMDTS photographer and family out of the Minnesota in the 8:30am half hour.
Today Show Reporter Kerry Sanders phoned me this afternoon to say he's been told to get on a plane and head to New York City to "front" the story he and Producer Vicky Collins put together out of the Twin Cities. As of this writing, he's currently sitting in a terminal in Miami awaiting boarding for his NYC flight.
The Today show invested a lot in this story - they went to Minnesota multiple (3-4) times for various aspects of the show, even shooting it in a "film" look. By hiring a Producer, a local Photographer and Sound/Audio person as well as all of the follow up editing trips, by my educated (former life in TV news) guess, they spent thousands of dollars on this story and as you'll hear Kerry say, it's one of the most powerful he's ever done.
As you receive this note late Tuesday in your inbox, I've confirmed with Kerry that all is a "go" and unless there is breaking news or a big political story tomorrow (for instance if someone drops out of the Presidential race), the story is scheduled for the 8:30am half hour.
There's always a chance it could still get bumped and rescheduled despite the fact they're flying Kerry to NYC specifically for the story, but at this point, it looks like it will air Wednesday morning. I'm of course gambling with the fact I may have to re-send this if I learn later that it's been delayed, but I figured it was better to get this to everyone during business hours as possible while you're on e-mail so you have a fair heads up.
I'll update if I learn of any changes in advance.
I'll definitely post the link if it airs and they provide a webcast of it.
Have a good night everyone!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Shameless Bribery!

I am going to tweak my website just a bit, and I am trying to solicit comments from current clients that have dealt with me in the past. In the past, some of you have said nice things about what I do, and I would like to put those quotes on my website.

That said, I am shamelessly bribing you guys for your comments! If anyone would like to send me a quote that I can use on my website, I will send you a $25 gift certificate in the mail. (Is that terrible to bribe folks? Probably. Am I going to anyway? You bet!)
I have lots of really nice e-mails, but I never know what folks would and would not be comfortable with me posting on the website, so I hesitate to use any of the comments. I will probably set up the comments like this “Beth Merritt is one of the most patient people I have ever met” – Sally S., Troy (Actually I get this actual comment a lot as parents are leaving the studio after a shoot. It always makes me laugh.) But I will be hiding the last name and only using the last initial and city. So anyway, if any of you would like to participate in my shameless bribery, I would appreciate it so much!!!
Thank you!

PS: I'm working on a website to show off my wedding photography a bit more. It is way too hidden in the current website... More to come!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wilmington, NC

I am sitting at a restaurant (working on my fourth cup of tea) in beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina. Last time I was here, my friend was getting married on the beach as Hurricane Ophelia was coming ashore. (No, I’m not kidding)… Thirty-five mile an hour winds were pelting sand horizontally to the point that people were covering their faces with their wedding programs,. To make matters worse, halfway through the ceremony a huge wave came ashore and wiped out the first six rows where the guests were sitting. Attending a wedding in hurricane force winds is really not so wonderful, but the memories of it still make me laugh.

But anyway… this time it’s a mild 55 degrees, and no hurricanes are approaching. (Once was enough!)

I am here in the restaurant collecting my notes from the 4 ½ days of classes I just went through. (Whew!) I learned SO MUCH at this workshop. I feel more inspired and energized about my photography business than I have in a very long time. Not only did I get a chance to sharpen my photography skills from some of the best photographers in the world, but I got advice on how to get my life back. The workshop theme was largely around time-life management. This, (along with the fact that it was taught by four of my favorite photographers!) is the reason I went. Many of you know that I work long hours, but I bet you didn’t know that I had THREE days off between October and December 15th of last year. Three days, that is all. That’s just insane. I started my photography business while working full time, getting my MBA, and moving to our new house in Troy. I mean seriously, who does that to themselves? I don’t know anyone that crazy!

So, after this workshop, I have made a decision to take Sundays off. I will no longer be accepting any appointments or taking calls on Sundays. I am going to try to spend Sundays with my husband and cat, and make an attempt at having a life outside of work.

I will also be hiring a local high school student. I am swamped, and need help. If anyone knows of a dependable, creative student that wants to hang around a photographer and learn about really cool photographs, let me know. I will be training them in Photoshop and possibly some camera techniques, depending on their skill set. I have posted the advertisement on Craig’s List, so any interested candidates should check out the ad there.

So, things at Beth Merritt Photography will be changing. The customer service and attention to detail will still remain at a very high level, however, if another voice answers the phone when you call, don’t be too alarmed…!

I fly back to Detroit tomorrow… talk to y’all on Monday!