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Photo by Fogel Photography

About Sara Desjardins Photography

Thanks for stopping by! I am a Portrait Photographer in Toronto, ON. I specialize in Families, kids and newborns. Feel free to look around. Check out the Information tab to answer most of your questions about sessions with me. Oh...and follow me on Facebook for exclusive offers!
(416) 826 0422

Archive: ‘Business’

Hello world!
{Sara Desjardins Photography – Toronto Portrait Photographer}

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Oh world, you have no idea how long I’ve struggled to get here!

This isn’t actually my first blog but it is my first professionally created blog. I started with a blog but nothing I did made it as pretty as some of the other blogs out there! Then I discovered the secret.

That’s right. allows you to have custom themes, colours and backgrounds out the yin yang. Of course, you have to have it hosted through Go Daddy etc. (That was a whole other issue this past week)

For now, I’ve tried a free theme from SLR Lounge because it allows me to try out this customization thing without too much investment. So far it’s been quite easy to customize and I’m thrilled with the results! The part I’m most excited about is that my husband is going back to school for Web Design and Programming. That means even more customizations down the road.

First things first, though. Besides getting my blog up and running, the next thing on my To Do list is to hire a designer to create a new logo and brand for my business. One of the most important things I’ve learned about business over the past year or so is that Branding is key. A business needs to be identifiable across the board. Website, Facebook, Blog, packaging, stickers, bags, colours. It all needs to co-ordinate so anyone can look at all of the sites, packaging etc and know immediately that YOU are behind it.

I’ve had a logo for about a year now (I made it myself!) and I’ve done my best to get it out there to become recognizable. However, I’m not a designer and I need to hire a designer to get the job done right!

In the coming month or two, I’ll be turning to you, my fans, friends and family, to help me with this process. It may mean helping me answer the designer’s questionnaire, or helping me look at the bigger picture to find my ‘style’.

This should be fun and I’m excited to be able to include you in this process :D I’m nothing without my loyal fans and you can count on being rewarded when the whole project is complete!

Talk to you soon!


My Husband got a Kindle and it got me thinking… – {Guest Post by Blair Blanks Photography}

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Awesome post by Blair Blanks Photography: “My husband got a Kindle and it got me thinking….”

My husband just got a Kindle and it got me thinking…I have a lot of clients who understandably are confused as to why professional photographers charge what they do, for digital images or for prints.

So here goes…

Books, up until recently, were just paper and ink…people bought books not for the paper and ink, but for the ideas, the creativity, the insight, the wisdom, the artistry, the experience contained within those pages. Now, books are going electronic. E-readers are all the rage. But the price of an e-book is still only slightly less than the cost of a bound paper book (and e-books are MORE expensive than used paperbacks, and you can’t lend out an e-book to a friend)…why is that? Stupid question, right? Everyone knows the money you pay for an e-book is for the ideas and artistry contained within the words of the book, so you can have them to read over and over again and enjoy for many years to come. Book authors surely deserve to get paid for the products of their hard work, right? Right!

It’s the same for digital photos. Some people wonder why professional photographers charge for the digital negatives of the photos they create. I’ve even had people tell me they would be happy to kick in $2 for the cost of the CD! That is like telling an author you will pay him for the cost of the paper in his book, or like telling him that the e-book should be free since there is no cost to the author. When you buy a digital photo, or even a print, the bulk of the price is not for the cost of the CD or the paper the photo is printed on. Both of those are very small costs. You are paying for the years the photographer has spent learning and perfecting his or her craft, the way she knows how to get your cranky baby to smile, the way she has learned to pose you so you look your best, the tens of thousands of dollars worth of camera bodies, lenses, lighting, backdrops and props in her studio, her studio rent, utilities, insurance, taxes (we self employed photographers fork over 30% or more of our profit to Uncle Sam), her computers and massive hard drives needed to store so many digital files, child care, marketing, continuing training and education, and so much more.

Consider that for every shoot in the studio, which, with me, lasts up to three hours, a photographer will spend around four or five more hours before and after the session, communicating with the client, preparing for the shoot, then after the session, sorting through all the shots, backing up the files, editing the images for the perfect crop, color, saturation, removing imperfections, blogging the images or posting sneak peeks on Facebook; then, during the ordering process, creating a proof gallery and publishing it to the web, uploading orders to the print lab, packaging prints and shipping them to you. It’s A LOT of work! The session fee only compensates the photographer for a fraction of the work she does in creating your images. She depends on sales after the session for her income. It’s kind of like the waitress who gets paid less than minimum wage by her employer, but earns her living off tips. Her tip income depends on how well she does her job, and a photographer’s print sales are the same. (I do offer a Time and Talent session, which is a flat fee all-digital session that takes into consideration all of the many, many costs of producing and executing a photo session.)

In the marketplace today, there are many hobby photographers who will photograph you for “fun money.” Many are just starting out, inexperienced, working off the books and under the table, and do not yet realize all the true costs of operating a portrait photography business. I was, about nine years ago, one of those very people who thought I only needed to charge just slightly over my lab costs in order to be successful, until I realized just how much my “business” was actually costing me and my family.

So, remember, you pay your photographer not just for the price of the paper your images are printed on, or the CD they are burned to, but for her artistic eye, her creative heart, and the hours of her life she spends making portraits that you will cherish until you are old and gray and bouncing great-grandkids on your knee. And she’s worth much more than a $2 CD.

Interested in Bartering with me? | {Toronto Portrait Photographer}

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

{Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know who may be interested using the little buttons ie Facebook, Twitter etc, below}

 Hello friends  ♥ 

Over the past several months I have been astounded. Why, you ask? I have seen some truly amazing talents from my fans and friends! 

Knitters ♥ Motivators ♥  Organizers ♥ Life Coaches ♥ Fashion Consultants ♥ Teachers of various courses ♥ Handy People ♥ Florists ♥ Gift Basket’ers ♥ Marketers ♥ Small Business Consultants ♥ Accountants/Bookkeepers  ♥  ETC!!!

You’re all so creative and full of talent :) Some of you actually have small businesses and some of you just do it for fun. Either way, if you have a service, skill or a product that you think might be of interest to me, I’d LOVE to hear about it. I’d like to do some more Bartering this year (trading services for services) with the people in my community – are you up for it? :D

What does this mean for you?

If you like my photography (and I hope you do, given that you’re reading my blog ;) and would be interested in doing a trade, contact me! This may include photo sessions and products or even my artistic prints! Send me an email at with your proposal. You can also contact me on the “Contact” tab above, or through  Not all businesses, crafts or talents will be of use to me personally, but I still appreciate your work and may be able to refer some people your way as well if you have a small business :)

Ideally you’ll live in Toronto or willing to travel to Toronto at your own expense to do this trade. This may be a trade for time and/or products. I haven’t Bartered before, so if you have and have a system that works, great! Otherwise, I think the best way to exchange is straight time for time or COGs for COGs? I’m open for other suggestions, too!

Have a business you’d like to promote?

If you have a business (whether or not you’d like to do a trade), I’d LOVE if you shared your website or fan page here :) However, for obvious reasons, if you’re a photographer in Ontario, I’d rather you didn’t leave your link (conflict of interest and all ;)

So, leave a link and maybe even a brief description of where you live (because I have fans from around the world!) and what your services or products are and maybe we can just help each other! Lastly, if you feel comfortable doing it, I’d also be super appreciative if you shared this page with your friends, or even used the little Facebook button below to spread the love around :)

You’re all so fabulous and I want to thank each and everyone of you for supporting my passion. 2011 is going to be an amazing year….I can feel it!



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