Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Fourth Anniversary to Gronde Photography!


First of all, we wanted to say Thank You all from the bottom of our hearts for even reading this blog post whether you subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter,Google+, Instagram, or any of the other 500 social media sites we seem to be a part of.  (It’s really a full time job just keeping up with all of them)

If you would have asked us 10 years ago (or even 5 years ago) if we thought we could build a photography business that would be this successful, we wouldn't have believed you.  It really has been an amazing four years growing this business to what it is today and we feel like during the next few months and the 2014 wedding season, it will grow more than it has in the past four years combined.  We found some amazing photographers to mentor us into taking what we already have and make it thrive even more and we have learned SO much about the business side of photography.  We've changed so much of what we do and offer already.  We have loved the response we have received via reviews from our recent brides and clients!  We don't want to just offer you amazing photos on your wedding day; we want your entire day to be better because we are there.  For our family clients, we want to provide you with timeless art for your home that fits the style of your family, personality, and story of your lives.

We are so very excited to start our 5th year at Gronde Photography and see where this road takes us.  With Brandy leaving active military service with the US Navy soon, there are multiple options open for us and where we can go or what we do from here.  Brandy may have the opportunity to go back to school and earn another degree, find an awesome day job being the incredible administrative assistant that she is, or possibly be full time with Gronde Photography and operate out of the studio we may set up in our home.  This would let her take family and newborn clients during the week and allow us to include more of those during our busy wedding season.

We are putting a large push this year to ensure our clients have their photos on their walls; however, unlike a large majority of other photographers, we will otherwise be offering in person consultations/ordering sessions to show you the difference in the quality of prints and products we offer from our new vendor this year and show you samples of how great they will look on your wall.  So many clients get their DVD and never take the time to have them printed and hung on their walls.  Even we have fallen into the trap now and again with our OWN family photos!  We feel this is simply because we were not offered prints by the photographer and just never got around to doing it ourselves.  Our new prints are printed on 3mm styrene so that they are more durable and don't bend as easy, they also have a protective UV coating that makes them smudge resistant, fingerprint resistant, fade resistant, and even water resistant! (dare we say child resistant?)  This also, means, for your most important images you can frame without needing UV protected glass or glass at all! (a large portion of the cost of framing)  Our new prints are more durable, last longer, look better, and are more affordable to frame than what you can get by taking your images to CVS or ordering from Shutterfly.  One of the other changes, that will start very soon, is that we will no longer be providing DVD's with our packages.  Instead, we will turn to USB drives.  Technology has gotten to the point where many computers no longer have optical drives in them and that limits where you can view or upload your images and the last thing we want is for your images to stay on the DVD and not be shared with everyone (word of mouth is our #1 marketing tool!).  Even some tablets have USB ports now.  We know this is a great move for us and a great service to provide to you, who have often requested this change!

We've taken a long time to research what USB drives to offer so take comfort in knowing we are only offering the best!  In addition, we will be offering 2 types of files: 1. Print quality - These will be the files that you can use to print IF you decide not to order our fabulous prints.  2. Online quality - These will be watermarked images that are specifically formatted to display on social media but are NOT large enough to print.  What files you receive will depend on what package you purchase, but rest assured all photos will still be up to the standard you have grown accustomed to from Gronde Photography.

Thanks for reading!
Chris & Brandy Gronde

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{April Fools} Gronde Photography, LLC has Been Acquired by Facebook

     It is with heavy hearts that we must inform everyone that Gronde Photography, LLC has been acquired by Facebook for $1.2M.  Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook recognize the quality of our work and the impact we are making on Washington, DC and the country as a whole.  It is definitely exciting to think about the future of what Facebook has in store for our company and for you, our client base and fans!

     On the heels of acquiring other companies like What's App and Oculus, Facebook has decided that wedding photography was an industry that they wanted to add to their portfolio and saw that opportunity in us, Gronde Photography.  "We want to make wedding photography social again," commented Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, "and Gronde PHotography had the same vision for wedding photography that we originally did for social media.  They are about the experience and so are we.  $1.2M was a steal!"

     Some experts in the industry are already beginning to speculate on what this merger will mean for both sides of the deal and what this power house could bring to the wedding industry.  Facebook just purchased Oculus, which develops completely immersive virtual reality headsets.  They could easily use this technology to allow those who can not make it to the wedding, or want to relive it, to see the photos in full 3D as if they were standing right there at the ceremony.  "This is a breakthrough for the wedding industry!  It's like you can reach out and touch a bridesmaid," said Tom Spradley of Wired Magazine.  Others considered integrating instant uploads of photos from Chris and Brandy Gronde's cameras directly to the bride and groom's facebook feeds so that their friends and family could instantly have their newsfeeds filled with over 2000 wedding images continuously throughout the evening until the point where they actually long to have a Candy Crush game request or melodramatic breakup post from a friend.

     Chris and Brandy Gronde said, "We are super excited for what Facebook is going to do with our company and being on their team will also allow us to expand our business further into Destination Weddings as we set up our new home and studio location in Cabo San Lucas!...Oh yeah, and Happy April Fool's Day!" ;-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{Fashion Show} Gronde Photography at the 2013 Canadian Embassy Fashion Show

2013 brought a lot of firsts for Gronde Photography.  We have had a lot of requests to blog about one of those firsts and we never really got around to doing it so here it is!  Chris had the chance to photograph an annual fashion show at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC.  It was a few days before the event and we got a message sent to us through LinkedIn of all places!  So many people ignore that particular social network as being pretty useless, but Chris tries to keep up with it as much as possible and connect with people in the photography, fashion, modeling, and event industries.  This particular time it paid off, as we were contacted with a last minute requirement for a “step and repeat” photographer for the Canadian Embassy Fashion show.  Basically shooting the “red carpet” as the guests and designers come in to the show for the Embassy.  Then Chris had the chance to go inside and actually photograph the show himself (although there was an “official” photographer for the show itself; Chris had a GREAT vantage point for this part).  Below is a couple of the highlights from the best dressed guests to some of our favorite outfits from the show itself.  Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments section!  Enjoy!

DSC_1133  DSC_1183  DSC_1225


DSC_1231  DSC_1267  DSC_1289
DSC_1333  DSC_1342


DSC_1393  DSC_1386  DSC_1412

DSC_1398  DSC_1464  DSC_1472
DSC_1475  DSC_1478


DSC_1519  DSC_1524


Thanks for reading!
Chris and Brandy
Gronde Photography

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Gronde Photography Wedding and Portrait Bucket List!

We see these all the time on other photographers' blogs and decided it was high time for us to have one of our own.  Everyone has, or should have, some kind of "Bucket List".  Most people have one for themselves but we, as a business, have one for us!  This list is made up of all the things you absolutely have to do before you "kick the bucket".  So, this list for us is comprised of all the things we want to shoot or accomplish as photographers before we put down our cameras for the last time (hopefully a VERY long time from now).  If you are reading this and you can help us accomplish one of these things (even if we've already crossed it off, we assure you that you will not regret it!  Do you have something you think we should add to our list?  Be sure to tell us :-)

Wedding on a Baseball Field
Military Wedding with Sword Detail
Wedding in Vegas (must include neon graveyard)
Comic Book Themed Wedding
Wedding with snow
Wedding at the Plaza Hotel in NYC
"Celebrity" wedding
Destination Wedding somewhere tropical overseas
Barn Wedding (with animals hopefully)
Disney Themed Wedding
An Elopement
Photoshoot at a Disney Park
pinup session involving real WWII planes
1940's inspired engagement session
1920's inspired engagement session
Trash the Dress shoot in a waterfall
Trash the Dress using colored chalk or paint
Shoot in Paris
Photoshoot involving horses
Photoshoot of a couple painting the inside of their first home together
50+ Anniversary
a Proposal as it happens
Have a photo on the cover of a magazine
Master of Photography Degree from PPA

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gronde Photography 2013 Year in Review! And 2014 Spoilers!!

The first thing we want to say to all of you reading this is Thank You!  Whether you are a repeat client or this is the first time you have seen our blog.  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to consider Gronde Photography.  Looking back at this past year, we can not be more excited for what we have coming in 2014! 

This year we changed the status of our business to an official LLC!  It's a huge step for us to really turn this passion into a fully thriving and self sustaining business.  The average time it takes for a photographer to make a profit on their company is 3-5 years.  We launched Gronde Photography in April of 2010 and in only four years, during a very dismal time in our economic state as a country, we have had a substantially profitable year!  We've seen photographers who charge $5,000-$10,000 a wedding not have a profitable year in less than four years, so it just feels great and has really put an inspiration in both of us to charge ahead full speed into 2014! 

We also welcomed a new crew member to the family!  Liam was born in July, which put us out of commission for a large portion of the end of wedding season, but was some much needed time off to get adjusted to our new bigger family! 

Here's a few facts about our past year here.

Last year we shot:
37 Family/Children Sessions
1 Maternity Session
5 Newborn Sessions
7 Engagement Sessions
9 Weddings
We traveled approx. 2,165 miles

Places Gronde Photography was published in 2013

Crystal and David's Engagement featured in In Bliss
Crystal and David's Engagement featured in The Bride Link
Kathryn and Nic's Wedding featured in Borrowed and Blue
Kathryn and Nic's Wedding featured in Fit for a Bride
Lauren and Wills Engagement featured in Melissa Hearts Weddings
Lauren and Wills Engagement Featured in Bisou Bride
Marie and Alex's Wedding featured in Savvy Deets Bridal
Marie and Alex's Wedding featured in The Red Dirt Bride
Marie and Alex's Wedding featured in Melissa Hearts Weddings
Lauren and Matt's Wedding featured in My Hotel Wedding
Some of Lauren and Matt's Wedding photos featured on Bridalguide.com
Di and Nates Weddings featured in Rural Bride

Social Media Presence

1,253 Facebook Followers
301 Twitter Followers
17 Google+ Followers

Be sure to add us to all of your social media to make sure you never miss what's going on here!

So here's the good part!!

So, what is our "New Years Resolution" for Gronde Photography?  We have a LOT of things in the works for this coming year.  More than we have ever had planned in the years past!  When we started Gronde Photography we didn't just want to provide you with unforgettable images that would capture your most important memories forever; we also wanted to provide you with the best photography experience you've ever had!  In 2014 we are concentrating on providing you with the most personal, attentive, stress free, amazing service you have ever had from a photographer.  There are tons of photographers out there and many of us have images that are just as good as the other, but it's our service that is going to set us apart.  We're improving everything from our photo sessions pricing and packages to the way we package our products to send to you (some of you have already received the new packaging)!

Starting immediately (for the past few weeks actually) we now accept all major credit cards!  So, one of the ways we kept our cost to you down was by only accepting cash and check.  We were kind of like that gas station you see that is always $.15 cheaper than everyone else but you never see anyone using because they don't accept credit.  Eventually we had to realize that photography, especially wedding photography, is a large expense and not everyone has cash and who uses checks anymore?  We did a LOT of research on the best possible way for companies like us to accept credit cards but do it in a completely secure way!  (Chris having an IT background is very into the security aspect)  So now, although we can still accept cash or check, you can pay via an online invoice we email you or even right on the spot at your consult!  We can accept all major credit cards and we are backed by the most secure mobile payment system out on the market, Paypal.

In early 2014 we are going to start renovations to include a studio space in our home!  It's going to give us a greater range for the possibilities of photos, especially when the weather prevents us from going outside.  It will give us a safe, secure, and consistent environment for newborn sessions if your home doesn't have the space for us to set up our mobile studio.  It will also give us the opportunity to provide a comfortable environment to expand on doing more boudoir sessions without having to use a hotel room or large commercial studio.  And It will also give us a space where wedding clients can come and view samples of products, from wedding albums to canvases, and see what their images look like on large screen and up on a wall rather than just the thumbnails on the online gallery.  We want our clients to be excited to see their images and excited to have products they can show off in their home rather than just a CD of digital images in a drawer somewhere and we want to help you with those decisions. 

We also spent a lot of time redesigning the online gallery to make it simpler and better looking for viewing your photos easier. We made it easier to purchase your favorite print images with the best vendors in the business for long lasting perfect photos. The new event sites will have NO time limit, so no more requesting us to reopen your gallery after it has been live for 90 days.  For our wedding clients, we make it even better by giving your gallery it's very own personalized website domain!  So you will just have to type in something like bridesnameandgroomsname.com and there your pictures will be!  We will be taking down the old event site soon to make way for the new site, so if you have a gallery you still want to order from please let us know so that we can import your photos into the new system.
Our wedding photography is having the biggest transition this year!  New prices and new packages which offer even more than they did in the past.  More packages include a wedding album from a new vendor which is just the absolute best in the business!  We haven't seen another wedding album like these before (and can't wait to order some samples!).  These are albums your grandchildren will be able to flip through like they are brand new!  Every package includes an engagement shoot!  We want you to have that engagement shoot and have that opportunity to have a relaxed fun photo session to tell your love story; whether including a theme of your favorite movie together or go back to the place where you first met or got engaged.  It also gives us a chance to see how you interact and get a chance to know us and our shooting style and see our photos so you are completely at ease on your wedding day, knowing your photography is going to be perfect!  Every package also includes Thank You cards to send to your guests that will feature YOUR photo on it!

Another addition to our wedding service is our new branded welcome packets that Brandy and I have spent SO much time perfecting before their first launch!  Some brides come in knowing exactly what they want in their wedding and exactly how it is going to go from beginning to end, other brides come in and immediately tell us they have no clue where to even begin with planning their wedding.  All they know is they wanted to book their photographer early. (Which is good advice from whoever told them that!!)  So, we put together a packet that is just bursting with great information to make your wedding picture perfect, from information on our FAVORITE vendors to work with, what to wear on your engagement session, whether or not to do a first look, to a checklist of what you should have planned and how to stay on track.  We are still working on the possibility of adding even more information to the packet as the year goes on; as well whether or not to start one for portrait sessions as well! (perhaps a .pdf version?)

This is honestly just a taste of what is to come!  These are just some examples of some of the bigger changes we're making here at Gronde Photography!  Please continue to follow our blog and our newsletter and all of our social media outlets to make sure you are "in the know" of everything going on and please share us with your friends and family!  Especially if you know someone who hasn't had photos of themselves or their family in a long time (or ever!).  Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for your support in turning our passion into a reality.  Whether you are just a fan of our work or a repeat client!  We couldn't have done any of this without you!  Happy 2014!!  See you soon!
Chris and Brandy
Gronde Photography

Sunday, November 10, 2013

{Real Wedding} Lindsey & Jameson - Northern Virginia Wedding Photographers

This was our second back to back Navy wedding at Fort Belvoir.  This particular wedding was extra special for us because in January of this year we photographed the wedding of the Groom's brother, Matt which we absolutely loved!  It is awesome to think that our photos are such a big part of this families lives.  You could tell how much Lindsey and Jameson were completely in love with each other and it showed in every single photo!  They were such an amazing couple to photograph and we loved the fall colors Lindsey chose for their wedding!  One of the most touching moments was when Jameson gave the flower girl, Lindsey's daughter, a ring of her own to make sure she knew that he was not only choosing to be a part of her mom's life, but he chose her as well.  Her face lit up just as much as any girl that has ever been given a ring... especially by a good looking guy in Navy choker whites!  Good luck Lindsey and Jameson!  We hope this is not the last time we take photos for the Puckett family!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

{Real Wedding} Rebecca & Brian - Northern Virginia Wedding Photographers

Being Sailors ourselves (both prior and active), it was absolutely wonderful to have the privilege of photographing this wonderful Naval wedding!  Brandy, being active duty, had a difficult time referring to Brian as anything other than 'Sir'; this became an issue during the formal photos when there were many 'Sirs' in the shots ;-) The weather on this day was rather gloomy but the love that these two share was enough to brighten the atmosphere.  We loved the opportunity to try something new with the gazebo and loved the resulting photos!  Congrats Rebecca and Brian; we wish you a long and happy life together. 

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