WARNING: This post is all sorts of honest and full of venting.
Can I just tell you what a relief this is going to be?? Getting completely caught up on sneak peeks so that after I drive back to St. Louis today, I can WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK. I have a couple shoots over the next two weeks, but NOTHING like what the past
year two years has been like for me. I will actually have time to get caught up so I can actually start returning emails with, “oh why yes, your pictures are completely finished” and not my stressed out, “Not yet, give me a couple more days!” and then it’s like another week or so because something ALWAYS happens and something always keeps me from getting a gallery done on a date I said it would be ready.
I can NOT wait to change stuff around for next year. New pricing, new scheduling, new shoot types, etc. I want to be able to get galleries to clients in 2-3 weeks and not 5-6….sometimes 7, let’s be honest. I want to be able to get CD’s and prints to clients right away. I want to be able to return emails at a normal rate. I want to be able to have some free time and not feel guilty about not working because I’m so behind. There is just so much going one, so many people pulling me in so many different directions, so many special requests, things to get done and it’s all just piling up into mass chaos. It’s all totally my fault though- I’m not good at telling people no. I’ve gotten MUCH better over the past two months and that’s why I have these next few weeks open for editing and catching up. Had I stayed on my “oh sure, I understand you forgot about getting pictures, I’ll squeeze you in!” path…I would NOT have any editing time until after Christmas. That would be horrible.
So basically, I just don’t want to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I know busy is good and I’m super grateful for it, but things are not running smoothly and I find myself getting more and more stressed and angry….so all though I want busy, being this busy is not working out. I want to be more creative in my shoots and not so rushed. People, you would NOT believe the ideas and things I want to do. You would all shoot me for keeping them all piled up inside my brain and not actually putting them in action. The only thing I can say is that I haven’t had the time that I need to plan and execute all those ideas and new approaches. I WANT THAT TIME!!! But here’s the thing…..people have to be willing to pay me to plan and execute those ideas….and I’m not talking about a $60 mini shoot or a $150 1-hour shoot. I want to step up and quit letting people walk all over me and get away with more than what they’re paying me for. I want to reward my AWESOME clients who value my work and continue to use me and be patient with me. I want those clients to be the ones I use all my creative and extra effort on. With so many photographers out there, you will always have those clients who go from photographer to photographer. They will stay with a photographer until they raise their prices or their turn-around extends, then they’ll move on to a new photographer. They just want cheap pictures. I’m just fine not having those clients :-) I’m not saying that I’ll get rid of my quick, less expensive shoot packages, I’m just saying that those are going to be approached in a different way. I understand that sometimes you want some quick pictures and you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on them, so that’s why I’ll keep that little shoot type, but the guidelines for them are going to be tightened up.
I’m so excited to change stuff around in a couple months. I’ll get the clients that value me, the clients that I value. I’ll have more time to be creative and not so standard. I’m done being swamped, exhausted, rushed and feeling completely un-creative. Things are changing :-)
OK- so now that I’ve got all that off my chest, let’s get to some sneak peeks :-)
First up is Miss Brynley and the Heeren Family. Holy smokes, one of the happiest baby girls I’ve ever seen!!! Both her and Benson were busting out all sorts of smiles for their Christmas Card pictures :-)
Vogt Family! Ummm……it was just a tad bit cold out. It was a lot of throwing on and off coats, running inside to warm up and bribing with Cheerios. Kudos to the whole clan for trying anything and everything to get a picture of Jack & Eva together, but those two were NOT having it. But we did get lots of other cute pictures. I absolutely LOVE the pictures in the doorway. My favorites :-)
Miss Addelyn came in for her Christmas Card shoot and as usual she had an assortment of pageant outfits. It’s always fun to see what new outfits Tasha has for her :-) It was HYSTERICAL when Addelyn started busting out all her pageant faces and waves. She’s such a funny little girl!
Next up is the Davis family. Once again…..FREEZING and windy as all get out. I always feel so bad, but it’s SO MUCH better than going inside for pictures. I just love outside pictures :-) Everyone did awesome and I think I was the only one complaining about the wind, ha!
The Fowler Family! Once again, it was freezing, but this time we found a spot that blocked the wind a little bit more, so we were good! This shoot was so easy. Everyone smiled, no melt downs from the kiddos and no rain. The whole day it looked like it was going to rain, so I would panic a little here an there. This time of year, rescheduling shoot’s isn’t as easy. They have to get done, rain or shine. It’s typically for Christmas card or it’s a big family shoot that can not be rescheduled because it’s the one time throughout the whole year that the whole family is together. So you can’t have your heart set on any one location or idea for pictures, because you could very well have to switch locations or sometimes even move inside. So yes, I was very thankful that the rain held off :-)
Next up, Miss Kaelyn! Is she not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen??? Her eyes just amaze me :-) She was so happy for her shoot and we FLEW through it. Her parents stopped by on their way out of town, so I think they were thrilled when she did so well and they could get back on the road. AH- I can not stop looking at her pictures. She’s such a little baby model :-)
Next up, the other Davis family :-) The wind had finally started to die down and this point and the sun was actually coming out!!!!! Thanks goodness for a little warmth :-) I think it helped, because Dax did awesome for his shoot. He’s gotten so tall, it kinda made me sad :-( That’s the fun part about being a photographer, you get to watch babies, kids & families grow throughout the years. Time really does fly by. Such a cute, happy family!
Oh where to even start with the Westhoff family…..I walked into the building where they were all waiting and I think my exact words were, “holy crap!” I guess it can kinda give me an idea of what it’s like for strangers to walk into our family?? Kids EVERYWHERE…I Loved it :-) I was so bummed that we didn’t get to do their shoot out at their farm like we had planned, but it was cold AND rainy, so we had to go inside. It’s like what I was talking about earlier, it was one of those deals where you can’t reschedule the shoot because it would be a long time before everyone was together again. Beth used her connections and had friend who let us use the atrium of the Fine Arts Building at Truman. Thank you very much to Lori Shook :-) So although we didn’t get to do the farm, we still got a picture of all of them together, which is a battle all it’s own. Can you imagine getting the timing right for that many people??? Kudos to the Westhoffs :-) The kids were AMAZING and I still can’t get over how cooperative they were. I was in shock :-)
Next up is the Bison girls! I’ve taken pictures of these girls every November for the past 3 years. They just make me giggle every time :-) I think they would make very good assistants for me some day, ha! They love pictures, they love posing, they love looking at their pictures on my camera and they love hugging each other. It’s adorable :-)
Oh, Mr. Reed. You are TOO flipping cute!!! I adore his frog hat, it’s perfect for him. I LOVE the one of him giggling in the metal tub. Just looking at it makes you laugh.
Last but not least, we have Miss Violet and her 1-year shoot!!! You are going to love her outfits, her hair, her piggys, her thighs, her little teeth, her big smile, her sparkly eyes (I’ve always loved Voilet’s sparkly eyes) and on and on. She wasn’t super happy with us about half way through the shoot, so we took a mid- shoot snack break and she was a bit better, but still not super thrilled with us. SO we moved on to the cupcake portion of the shoot and um………………..someone was all of a sudden absolutely giddy :-) Oh she was SO funny with her cupcake. She would stick her chubby little legs straight out, wiggle her toes, scrunch up her face and just get the biggest smile on her face while she squished the cupcakes with her fingers. Babies make me laugh when they get sugar :-)