When I arrive at a client's home, I am always very happy to see neutral color painted walls. They are insta-backdrops. Good natural lighting may be found in unexpected placed - this pic to the left for example, was taken in the stairwell, which had a sky light.
These were taken on the 40D. I feel like I need to point camera body out for all my photos now, as though I only use the 5D for shoots, I am still editing photos taken pre-5D. I admittedly use my 50mm f/1.4 prime lens much less now, as the combination of 5D and 24-70mm f/2.8 L is very powerful - 5D gives that lens low-light power that it didn't have previously, and the zoom makes framing much easier.
Happy high photo season! Weekends booked through mid-November. I suppose this isn't obvious to, well, anyone besides family photographers and those who have hired us in the past. I receive emails asking for a session "this weekend", or even "next weekend" and I have to nicely say there are no openings until late November. When I do email a list of available dates, I add: Let me know ASAP as openings are booked up on a daily basis. I'm not sure that it is believable, or maybe it sounds like an advertising ploy because I am often not always responded to ASAP, and sure enough, often that opening is gone when I do hear back. Earlier in the season, I emailed some repeat clients to warn them of my swiftly filling schedule. It's a fine balance between being a helpful photographer or an annoying photographer, when it comes to such customer alerts.
It would be So Useful to have a digital Client Manager - where I can plug in info: names, ages of babies/kids (which would automatically update as the children get older), due dates for maternity clients, contact info, dates / locations of previous shoots, address (and automatic calculation of travel fee), thumbnail pic of whole family so I can be quickly reminded of who they are, notes on preferences (all candid, kid likes X song, have dog etc), referred by whom, permission to use pics in portfolio, and get automatic reminders to send my clients reminders, and then have my driving route mapped out on my iphone on the day of shoot. There's so much info to keep organized, most of which I store in my Very Precious Notebook (as in, pen and paper notebook) and I also refer back to emails. If you know of a useful (and affordable) Client Managing program, do let me know.