Thursday, October 17, 2013

Finding a balance....making it work!

I can't believe another year end is quickly approaching.  What an amazing ride this has been, and I only see it getting better as the months pass.  I have been beyond blessed with work and I can't thank YOU enough.  The positive feedback and returning clients gives me such a reassuring feeling that I am on the right path. 

In the past 5 years that I have been open for business I have learned so much along the way.  Before I was stuck in an office interacting with maybe 10 people.  Monday thru Friday, same routine, different day....boring! Now I meet a new family each day.  I am snuggling with precious new life photographing the details that seem to change in an instant.  I am watching your children grow up; capturing all the special moments for you to cherish forever.  Seeing how happy a family is after they view their images is the best feeling ever. 

However, despite the endless joy I have spending time with your family, I have spent some time struggling to try and find a healthy balance for mine.  Not too many people understand that the world of photography demands a lot of time.  It doesn't start and stop at the session.  There is prep work that goes into each session, whether it is setting up for a newborn session or communicating with each family to select a style, location and props.  There are also many emails going back and forth coordinating and ironing out details.  Then there is the business side; educating, accounting, marketing, products, billing...I could bore you with all the details but you get the point.  And finally there is the editing portion.  I seclude myself to carefully comb through and edit your session; selecting the perfect images to tweak and enhance that will eventually decorate your photo album or fill your wall space.  I don't have the luxury of clocking in and out of work; my hours are around the clock.

I say it all the time, I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it.  And I do, I LOVE all things photography.  But I have quickly forgotten in this whirlwind my original family!  William was the reason I picked up a camera in the first place.  I wanted to capture every moment with him.  Then Ryder came along and I couldn't get enough of capturing the both of them together.  I grew up with older brothers and in our own way bonded.  I LOVE capturing that bond between my boys.  I want to always be there to nurture that bond.  They are the best of friends, but also typical brothers.  I am sad when I think of all the things I've missed out on.  I have sacrificed days at the park, baseball games, birthday parties, play dates and weekend getaways.  This was all my choice.  I have no one to blame but myself.  I should have said no to scheduling a session and instead spent that morning at the park with my boys.  But I was afraid to lose the business.  I was worried that by saying no, I would lose a new client or existing client and never hear from them again.  It took me a while to realize, but I had a revelation.  It was time for a serious change!  Which is why I have decided that 2014 will be a fresh start to a new way of working and balancing my personal life and my work life.

Effective November 1, 2013 I am pulling the trigger on my prices below.  I'm not going to lie, I'm cringing a little because lets face it, raising prices is never an easy thing to do.  I truly understand the investment YOU make in me.  Which is why I will make the same investment.  Photography is full of endless knowledge and I will continue to do all that I can to improve my craft so that your images are the best!  My work has improved tremendously over the years, and the way I see it the sky is the limit and I can only get better.  My schedule will also be modified.  I will have a select amount of dates available each month.  Milestone customers you are already included so don't worry your sessions will be scheduled with no problems.  These dates are limited so please plan ahead.  Once they are full...they are full. 

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 In additional I am implementing a new referral program.  As many of you know, I don't advertise.  Facebook and word of mouth is the only way I get business.  As a sign of gratitude for spreading the word, you will have the opportunity to earn a referral credit to apply towards your next session.  Collect 5 credits and you get a free Outdoor Mini session.  It is important that your friends mention your name.  If they don't, how will I know to send you the credit?  If you are new and we haven't met but you are spreading the word, your friend will need to give me your email address so I can send you a credit.  That is one step closer to us meeting!
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As always, thank you for the endless support and faith in me!  

Emma turns 1!

Nia turns 1!

Emily turns 4!

The Schellstede Family

Abby - Maternity

The Payne Twins turn 1!

The Schwertner Family

Benette - Newborn