I know there are many homes, especially here in New England where the cost of living is so high, that both adults need to work to pay for all the things of life. Being single until I was in my thirties, I had to work for a number of years in order to survive. So, when I got married well into adulthood it felt weird to think about NOT working (and, for many years into our marriage I needed to work too!) even though my dream forever had been to stay at home with my kids. However, even after having kids, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should be contributing financially to our home. Photography has given me the opportunity to both be at home with my kids AND make some money.
When I decided last April to take a break from the business for an undetermined amount of time (read: close my business), it was to be more present with my family and I didn’t think I’d miss it, even though creating images is fun. One thing I knew I would not miss is running a business: it was taking sooo much time away from my family as I would spend hours editing photos and marketing and taking classes and communicating with potential clients. Even though I enjoy all of those things, I do not enjoy doing them at the expense of my family.
So, after setting down my camera for months (literally: I did not pick it up once, even to take photos of my own kids), I decided to take it with me on vacation in August. The effect was to take me from thinking I was going to CLOSE my business to realizing that I desperately missed creating beautiful pictures. So, after much prayer and discussion with my husband, I decided I would keep doing it, but with several changes. Many of these changes won’t affect you at all, which is awesome! But, some are more noticeable – let’s talk through them and if you have any questions please ask!
Change #1: I no longer have a studio in my home. I converted the studio space at my house to a play room for my kids. I wanted to have a space for them to play and keep their toys separate from the living space. Partly so we could have conversations as adults in our house that has an open floor plan.
Now when you come here for a session, instead of having everything available for you in the studio room, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the comfy living room couches and watch TV (or take a nap) while I work with your newborn in the next room.
Change #2: I’m only doing part of the editing for any given session. For portrait sessions, more often than not I’ll still be editing them myself. They’re a fairly easy and quick edit because my goal is to get it right in camera as I’m taking the photo. So, then editing is mostly culling the images down to the best ones. Easy peasy.
For newborn sessions that are much more time intensive to edit, I’ve found another company that I have contracted out to edit these images. I still have final say over how they look, so no need to fear – they will still look like my images, but they’ll be finished a whole lot faster AND I’ll not need to ignore my children for hours on end – it’s a win/win!
Change #3: I’ll be limiting the number of clients I have even more than I did before. I love y’all and I love taking photos, but I love my family more. I’m trying hard to schedule all sessions while my kids are in school. So far, with most sessions this fall I’ve been able to do that thankfully! I know there will be exceptions to this rule (in fact, the next newborn I have coming will be on a weekend since I have so many other sessions this month already – I wasn’t able to accommodate her on a day when all the kids are in school based on her birthdate.) – and that’s fine once in a while. It’s not okay for my family for me to work every weekend.
Change #4: I’ve stopped doing the reveal appointment after the session. This was a hard one for me to decide to do – it’s absolutely my favorite part of the whole process: watching you see your images for the first time. I love knowing how you react to them and which you love the most and why. This has been so helpful for me in learning how to take better images! But, I also know that without this appointment I will more than likely be left to wonder how you feel/think about your pictures and that’s when the doubts and criticisms in my head kick into full gear about my abilities as a photographer. So, help me out with this one: let me know what you love and why!
Change #5: This one is related to change #4 – without the reveal appointment, it’s harder and more time consuming for all of us if you are to choose which images you love best. So, I have started to include the digital images with each session. Don’t let this be an excuse not to ask for help in choosing which images to display and share though! I’d love to connect with you and talk through your images – and even help you decide what will look best on your walls and which form. I still offer all of the amazing products that I did before – and if you’d like to purchase those for your family, you absolutely can!
Change #6: Back in April I also deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone. I’ve decided not to add them back! So, I’m online much less than I was once. All this really means for you is that I post much less and take longer to respond to things.
I think those are all the changes I’ve made. It’s made a huge difference for me and my family already, but I think you’ll find that not much has changed for you! Probably the biggest thing is to remember to contact me early if you want to get in for a session so that you can be sure I still have the time!