Garmendia Photography » mcallen texas photography + wedding, family, newborn

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From God’s Arms, To My Arms, To Yours

So many wrong decisions in my past, I’m not quite sure
If I can ever hope to trust my judgement anymore.
But lately I’ve been thinking,
Cause it’s all I’ve had to do.
And in my heart I feel that I
Should give this child to you.

And maybe, you could tell your baby,
When you love him so, that he’s been loved before,
By someone, who delivered your son,
From God’s arms, to my arms, to yours.

If you choose to tell him,
If he wants to know,
How the one who gave him life
Could bear to let him go.
Just tell him there were sleepless nights,
I prayed and paced the floors,
And knew the only peace I’d find
Was if this child was yours.

And maybe, you could tell your baby,
When you love him so, that he’s been loved before,
By someone, who delivered your son,
From God’s arms, to my arms, to yours.

I know that you don’t have to do this,
but could you kiss him once for me?
the first time that he ties his shoe
or falls or skins his knees.
and could you hold him twice as long
when he makes his first mistake
and try to tell him that he’s not alone?
Sometimes that’s all it takes.
I know how much he’ll ache.

This may not be the answer,
For another girl like me.
But I’m not on a soapbox,
Saying how we all should be.
I’m just trusting in my feelings,
And I’m trusting God above,
And I’m trusting you can give this baby
Both his mothers’ love.

And maybe, you could tell your baby,
When you love him so, that he’s been loved before,
By someone, who delivered your son,
From God’s arms, to my arms, to yours.

~Michael McLean~

dayla is one of the strongest people i know. i have always believed in adoption…always felt that when mothers unselfishly give their child a family who can offer them more than they ever could…and seeing a couple who has been unable to have a child and has waited, sometimes years, for a child of heir own, and seeing the aching that comes with the emptiness…i truly feel that adoption is God’s way of healing both hearts. and to witness that first hand is an almost indescribable experience. the spirit in the hospital room when dayla placed the baby into her new mother’s arms was the sweetest feeling i have ever felt in my life. it was amazing to see a family begin and the joy radiating from the new parents. and the words dayla spoke were ‘i always knew she wasn’t meant for me. i am so glad i could be a part of completing a family.’ how many of us could be that strong or unselfish? to realize that maybe you aren’t ready to be a parent, and yet continue to carry a child so that someone else’s family could be complete?

dayla you are such a wonderful young woman. words cannot express my love for you and how much i worry and care for you and your future. you will do and have done many great things in your life. your smile brightens my day, and my family adores you. remember you are a daughter of god who knows all of your desires, fears and hopes and listens when you pray. remember who you are and that you are loved by so many.


































baby joaquin 3.5 months

cuddly, chunky, lovable rolls…joaquin has them all! i love grabbing his baby chub :) he is so cute he almost has me convinced to have another baby…almost, but not quite! i love all of his baby pictures from this session. he has so many facial expressions we could likely do a collage. of course, my faves are the last two. nursing is probably the only thing i miss from having a newborn. late nights, no sleep, poopy diapers, no sleep, crying, no sleep…i am happy to leave it all. but i do miss that quiet time with each of my babies, just cuddling them and nursing them into a drowsy sleep…where they are so drunk on milk they can’t even move and they lie quitely in my arms and i could stare at them for hours…yeah i miss that :)

















wendy & edgar e-session

wendy and edgar are our first bride and groom of 2010 and i know gerardo was really excited to take their engagement pictures. he was a bit nervous at first because earlier in the afternoon it was raining and thundering, but the skies cleared up and gave him a perfect window to shoot :) wendy and edgar…hope you like!

















angela & angie

angie and angela are a mother daughter duo that are celebrating a birthday and college graduation at the same time! they wanted to do a photo shoot together to commemorate both events :) we can’t wait for the big party in august!







why does custom photography cost more?

February 27th, 2008 by admin
Professional child photographer

The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art.

We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

“How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?”

The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

The cost of TIME
Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:
session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)

one hour travel time TO session

15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home

90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject

one hour travel time FROM session

30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer

30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images

2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images

1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering

2-3 hours time with client for ordering images

1 hour sorting through and checking order

30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery

30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped

any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours complete time for your session.The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500. A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer.

Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows the lab is integral to their success. Photography labs dedicated to the professional photographer often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for you, the discerning client.

Discussion other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. There is of course much more: including costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.

Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 leased photography retail space by a rather well known discount department store that started in Arkansas closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation? The reason is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10). The whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.


Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the photographer’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? They often neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc..

Being of sound reputation, a better professional photographer knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work good equipment, reliable equipment, back up equipment is a necessity. The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalelled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.


Snagged this off of Tiffany’s blog. Thanks Tiff I think it sheds light on the subject perfectly. I must say that I am lucky to have clients that appreciate the value of photography. So THANK YOU to all of you! I mainly posted this because the people that I see struggle most with the value of photography are photographers! I hope that photographers can carefully consider how much time and money REALLY goes into running a photography business and try to price themselves accordingly. Place a high value on your art! Don’t give out the high-res discs so easily for such a low price. Help bring up the industry!! ~ Rebekah Westover

Thanks Rebekah! I totally agree and posted your words as well because I 100% agree with them. we are also blessed to have wonderful clients who appreciate our time and talent. Most people don’t realize how much time, energy, thought and preperation goes into each shoot…before and after. Couldn’t have said it better myself :) ~angela garmendia