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Dear all Photography By K and In Focus Properties clients, friends and family…This fantastic journey wouldn’t have been possible without you! However, after sincere thought and consideration, I’ve decided to set my sights on new goals and am closing my photography business.

As many of you know, Jason and I moved to Florida last year. At that time, I made the cognizant decision to focus solely on real estate photography and run this northwest Ohio ship remotely from Florida. My heart is heavy as I sadly announce that the time has come to once again refocus my efforts here in my new home…and wherever that journey may lead, I want to make sure I’m giving it 100% of my attention, care and love.

From the bottom of my heart – Thank you! Without you, I would have never been able to realize the dream of owning my own business, watching it grow and evolve, and turning that dream into a full-time job. Even though this chapter is ending, I plan to continue writing my story by doing what I love. Life’s too short to do it any other way!

Drinks All Around!

 

Well, the Photography By K studio is still without heat.  Yes, it’s been a week.  Yes, it’s a bummer.  We have a little teensie reprieve, in that the rest of this old, old, building is on a boiler system.  Half of my space on the second floor is actually connected to that boiler, and the gas line (and subsequent heat) have been restored to that portion.  I have my office sealed up as much as I can, in order to force the heat from the radiators to come into my work area.  The actual studio though…is still as cold as ice.  Pretty soon, I think it’s going to sacrifice it’s love.

You may be wondering, “Why the liquor bottles, Kathy?”  Isn’t liquor mandatory when one is going through a stressful situation?  (Note, actual photo taken at a holiday party for a local company. And I didn’t partake. I swear.)  I say, “yes!”  Thursday evening, I had 1 or 3 long island iced teas.  To be quite honest, Jason suggested dinner, and I suggested a bar.  I compromised and went to dinner where there was a bar.

Friday evening, I met a friend/client/co-worker (Kristie from REfineToledo.com if you are curious) and had a martini.  In case you need to partake in just one drink…go to J. Alexander’s and order the Ginger Martini.  You won’t be disappointed.

Yes, I’ve had a few drinks this week.  Yes, they took the edge off of the stress.  But, just in case you were wondering, they didn’t actually fix the heat.  Super bummer!

The saga does continue – today I received a call from my downstairs neighbor who arrived to work smelling gas.  He called the gas company right away and they headed straight out.  He called me, knowing that I don’t have gas yet, but to suggest that if I get over here, maybe they would test and turn on my meter (since the required work is now complete).  I quickly got dressed (PJs at 10:15 am on a Saturday are mandatory apparel in my book, but the gas company peeps may not agree) and headed in to work.  I met the gas company outside and levied my request…which was quickly denied, because they can’t do anything other than what is on their order.  Super duper bummer.  So…now the building has a new leak. The gas will most likely go off again. And, the gas company isn’t scheduled to turn my meter back on until next Friday anyway. Where’s my crystal ball?  Are there more drinks in my future?  Oh, wait, I can just use this empty vodka bottle over here……..

 

TheHeat

The Heat.  No, not the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy flick.  The actual HEAT.  The gas has been off in my building since Monday.  The gas company shut us down on Monday, siting a leak in the service line outside of the building.  Not so much “sited” as just showed up, turned off the gas, and left without so much as a word.  Seriously.  There are 5 tenants in this building…me, a flower shop, a women’s clothing boutique, a newspaper, and a resident.  Yes, there is a person who lives here, and the gas company shut off the gas and LEFT.  If you haven’t already done so, please put your thumb and forefinger together and rub, playing your teeny tiny violin for us in the most dramatic fashion possible.

On Monday, another tenant discovered that we no longer had heat, and spoke to the crews in town (because it was a service line issue, we were not the only building affected).  They (the gas company crew) guaranteed us that they would correct all of the issues and we’d be turned back on later the same day.  We all went about our business as usual.  Monday was a mild day.  I think it was close to 40 degrees.  Cue end of business…no gas, but we all left, assuming that we would get a fix early on Tuesday.  After all, we have a resident living in our building…the gas company surely wouldn’t ignore our issue and move on to others, right?

On Tuesday, a crew did come back and proceeded to dig a hole UNDER this lovely brick building that was built in 1887.  Yes, the whole building was vibrating.  Yes, I stayed as close to the stairwells as is humanly possible.  End of business came and went.  Another tenant discussed us leaving with the crew, who claimed that they would be finishing up in the wee hours of the morning and would lock the door where the meters are (were) before they left the premises.

On Wednesday, I arrived feeling cautiously optimistic.  The thermostat was not so positive.  It now read about 50 degrees.  Not so bad…we can wait this out!  (If you’ve ever tried to sit still in a cold room and type…you should try it!  It’s invigorating for about an hour.  Then, your hands cramp.  Then, your feet get a little chilly.  All of a sudden, and very much without warning, your body is shivering and your teeth are chattering and you have to put on your coat and scarf and gloves and drink hot cocoa because you are SURE that you are on the verge of hypothermia.  I am exaggerating of course, but it does get a tad uncomfortable after a while.)

I had a few meetings that took me outside of the building (oh darn!), and when I got back, I found one of those bright yellow hang tags with a 1-800 number from the gas company.  “Call us!” it said.  “We tried to get in to re-light everyone’s systems but no one was here!” they claimed.  I looked at the date.  Tuesday.  Of course no one was here in the middle of the night when they finished.  Duh.  It’s a commercial building with only one resident.  Of course they only tried the BACK door which doesn’t lead to the resident’s unit.  Duh.  I called.  The gas company was now insistent that I give them my “service order number”.  Wait, I didn’t order the gas to be shut off…did I?  No, this was a SERVICE LINE issue that we were not even aware of prior to shut off.  We got that cleared up.  Then, they wanted the account number of the gas line in question.  NOPE; again, this was a WHOLE BUILDING problem.  I reminded them that we have 5 tenants here (of which I am one), 1 of which is a residential unit, and we also have a building owner to whom we all pay rent.  We got that cleared up.  Then, they wanted to know when they could get into the garage to access the meters.  Garage?  WE. DON’T. HAVE. ONE.  Oh, this is fun!

Ok, so fast forward 8 hours.  It’s now 8 pm on Wednesday.  Me plus one other tenant are still here waiting for the promised gas company crew (who have now given us THREE of those 30 minute call aheads…apparently, once they call you, if they are called off to an emergency somewhere else they are not required to call you back to tell you they are no longer headed your way.)  More fun!  They do eventually arrive.  They replace the meters.  They test the lines.  Oh, wait a second.  There are leaks.  Just leading to my furnace though.  The rest of the building isn’t affected (Yay!  Oh. Wait.  Do you still have those tiny violins playing?)  Hold the phone.  There are valve problems with the hot water heater.  They can’t turn that on either.  Oh, and one of the other unit’s furnace is also in need of a service/cleaning before they can give that a green light.  So the end of my story?  Well, we haven’t gotten there yet.  Today, I’m awaiting a heating crew to fix my leak before I can call the gas company back out to turn on my meter.  The same heating crew will see if they can’t get our hot water heater in working order again. Until then…I’m left sitting here in front of my little electric space heater, longing for The Heat.

It’s time to start thinking about that special lady in your life – Mom! Make this year’s gift one she will never forget! Sign up today for your photo session with Photography By K. See all the details below –

All About Mom

This weekend, I was asked to photograph a benefit for Aaron Mazur and his family.  Aaron is currently awaiting his THIRD liver transplant.  Yes, that means that he’s already had one.  And then he had another.  Now he has to have yet another.  Crazy!

I don’t know Aaron.  I don’t know the Mazur family.  I was asked to participate through a friend of a friend of the family…and I’m so glad that I was!  This guy has support.  I mean, it was absolutely AWESOME to see the amount of people who came out for this benefit (the count was in the hundreds).  There was a spaghetti dinner, a silent auction, a bake sale, raffle drawings, a 50/50 raffle, T-shirt sales, a DJ, card-making tables for the kids to make Aaron get-well cards, a guest book and message poster…I’m sure that I’m even forgetting some things.  Wow.  Just Wow.

Read more about the aMAZing Mazur Benefit and Aaron on the Facebook page here.

Here are just a few images from the event.  Please join me in saying a collective prayer for Aaron, his family, his friends, and his supporters!

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Toledo and the surrounding areas have many scenic options for your photography session. Alley ways, downtown store fronts, or even an old brick building make for great backgrounds. Or even your local college campus or shopping center.  For example , this client is at the BGSU campus. It is fun to think outside the box!BGSU

MetroparkToledo and surrounding communities provide natural scenery in the many metro parks located in the area. With Wildwood located within the city limits and surrounding parks such as Oak Openings , Pearson, Farnsworth, etc. the possibilities for diverse backgrounds are limitless. In addition to the many parks, Toledo benefits from being situated on the lake shore . This provides us with additional scenic options such as beaches, marinas, and other Lake Erie amenities.

I prefer to work with natural light as much as possible, so whenever possible you should plan for your session to be outdoors. I have met clients in a variety of locations in and around Toledo.  As an example, today I’d like to highlight Historic Downtown Sylvania.  The BIG perk to shooting in Sylvania?  My studio is located right on Main Street.  If the weather is questionable, we can quickly move indoors.  Downtown Sylvania also offers a variety of photo opportunities, from the serene parks to the historical village to the urban scene.  Your session can be as unique as you!

Downtown Sylvania

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Q: What should I wear? Can I change clothes during the session?

A: Families – I recommend simply trying not to clash! Matching isn’t required, but make sure that your colors complement each other. With large groups, the same rule applies, and the smaller units within the group may want to match, with each separate unit complementing the others. When planning for groups, the one and only rule – the person in the brightest color will always stand out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if that person is meant to be the center of attention for the day, but always keep that rule in mind when choosing attire.

Children – comfort is definitely key! Kids are happiest when they can run and jump and sit, so just make sure to bring an extra outfit or two (just in case!).

Seniors – feel free to bring as many clothing changes as you’d like. I’ll help you pare down a bit on the day of the session. Typically, you’ll want to bring something casual, something a bit more dressy, and possibly even a shirt/tie/jacket for guys and a dress/skirt/blouse for gals.

Ultimately, you should think about where you want your photos displayed before deciding on your clothing choice for the day. If you are trying to fill the void above your fireplace, and you have a neutral palette in your home, then a punch of color may be just the ticket! If you’re aiming for a framed print to give as a gift, and the recipient’s home is decorated in burgundy, then please don’t arrive in day-glo orange from head-to-toe! :)

People ask me this question frequently, and my one and only rule-of-thumb? Be comfortable!

Read more of Kathy’s FAQ’s on the Photography By K FAQ page!!!

20142014…and I finally, FINALLY created the new website!  I was supposed to get that done in 2013, but better late than never, right?!?  I’m excited about the new, clean, look and feel to the site.  I’m just as excited to hear what you think about it, too, so let me know!

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