you've made it to the last post in the series!)
My biggest goal of 2020 was to end the hiatus I️ started when I️ had my last baby and to jump back into birth photography, full force. I️ became a certified professional photographer back in November 2019 and reinstated my LLC - all in preparation for this goal. And then covid hit! And all of a sudden, I'm not allowed in the hospitals anymore, as "Mom to be" is only allowed one person to be in the birthing room with her. Talk about a hiccup in my comeback!
A Little Vision Casting
I️ mentioned in Pt 3 that there are a few hurdles ahead of me. While I'm not allowed in the hospitals at the moment, I've been sharpening my portrait skills and I'm ready to rock it. I️ want to provide an experience that is hard to find anywhere else in our area. I'm not there yet, but ultimately, I️ see a small studio space in the Granger area where I️ can provide a relaxed, comfortable, inviting atmosphere with refreshments and a hair and make-up artist on-site. Each photo session will be 2-3 hours with about 5 wardrobe changes because we will take as much time as we need to get the images we love. The goal will be quality over quantity. The goal is you take home a picture that speaks to your soul. The goal is that your family loves that image so much that it’s passed on for generations.
Before Covid, I offered three genres: bellies (maternity shoots), births, and babies (Fresh48 sessions). Occasionally, someone could talk me into photographing a wedding.
Moving into studio portraiture opens up more possibilities.
These are the different studio sessions I️ want to be able to offer in addition to my current menu:
Maternity Portraiture Think Vanity Fair style
Generational Portraiture Think Grandma + Mom + Baby. Think soulful portrait of Grandpa.
The Portrait of the Year When the goal is to get one amazing portrait to represent this year of you.
Limited Edition / Imagination series Think session at the lavendar or sunflower fields, think make believe - princesses, flying airplanes, pirates.
As past clients, you hold a special place in my heart already. You are the ones who took a chance on me before I became a Certified Professional Photographer. For anyone who has already invited me into the birthing room, what you've found with subsequent births is that I always offer to shoot the next birth for the same price as your last birth, even if I've raised my prices. I️ do my best to treat everyone the way that I️ would want to be treated, even if the downside is on my end.
One of the things I️ accomplished during my soul searching was finding exactly what it costs me to have my doors open, especially if my goal is to be in my own studio. You may notice that my pricing and what I️ have to offer looks different than it did before my hiatus. I️t was a lose lose situation back then. I️t wasn't enough to sustain a business and I️ was left feeling like I️ couldn't give my clients the experience or products that they deserved. And the simple solution was locking myself in a room until I could tell you what I want to offer and what it takes to be able to offer it. I️ am confident that I️ can provide a wonderful experience from start to finish and I️ am confident that what I️ ask for it is both reasonable and within industry standards.
With that being said, not everyone needs my biggest package. There are some ways to save some money on photography, and here are a couple ways I️ can help.
I'm pretty excited to be offering mini sessions. I've done these in the past, but there were two reasons why I️ haven't been crazy about them in the past - The typical format is to pack them all into one day and shoot them one right after the other in 20 minute increments. Talk about a whirlwind. The other reason I️ didn't care too much for them was because the time it took to shoot/edit the images was not proportional to what it costs me to be able to offer the service.
Here's my solution. I️ am going to offer one mini session set up based on the holidays - but not for one day. That one mini session set will be available to book for the entire month. No more cramming everyone into one day, feeling flustered, waiting for your turn with restless kiddos. Now you can choose any 20 minute opening throughout the month, based on what works for your schedule, and before you leave, you'll get to choose your images & we'll have them professionally printed next door at Gene's Camera Store. The other solution I'm excited about is that these will only have a basic edit to them - essentially white balance corrected & horizons striaghtened. More extensive editing will be available for an additional cost.
With new sessions available + new studio wardrobe arriving + new props arriving - These are things I️ will perpetually need to be creating sample images of to market with. All model calls are free and include the images created from the day (usually about 6-10) + 5 of my favorite printed and matted to a 5x7 size. These will be announced FIRST in the monthly newsletter and/or the website resource section thats available to email subscribers and then on Facebook.
When hard things happen in life that you're not expecting, you can wallow in self-pity and let it paralyze you for any given length of time. Or you can accept it as something exciting and let it push you into something you never would have done otherwise. I️ can't tell you how thrilled I️ am to be back, doing what I️ love full time.