Monday, April 23, 2012

I Wanna Talk About Me

Wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number 1 on my, me, my...Sorry, if you're a Toby Keith fan you'll know what I'm talking about.  ;)

I thought maybe I'd share some information about me, how I got started in the photography world, and why I love what I do.  I have always loved photography.  I remember being 17 years old and taking my younger sister, who was 11, down to the park and the river for "photo shoots" with my little kodak.  When I was 24 I bought a Canon SLR.  I spent so much money on film and batteries, but just couldn't get the hang of things, and I'm embarrassed to say I really was too young to be bothered.  After a couple months the camera went into my closet and it still sits there to this day.

In June of 2010 I left my full-time job to stay at home with my babies.  My husband suggested that I buy a digital slr.  I didn't have the confidence in myself, or the experience to feel comfortable marketing myself, but at his insistence I put some feelers out in our church and among my friends.  My first ever session was for a girl I went to high school with.  I took pictures of her kids and was SO uncomfortable giving direction.  It was fun, but I didn't get many good shots because I knew NOTHING about the basics.  I'm embarrassed to admit that for a LONG time I shot strictly in auto.  I did pictures for a senior at our church, as well as another family from our church.  Family photos for a childhood friend.  Then I got a couple calls from other people who had been referred to me.  It was at that point that I started doing a lot of studying online, following some amazing photographers, and doing a LOT of practicing with my kids and my sister.  I watched a lot of tutorials on youtube.  I learned so much, but I still have so much more to learn.  I hope I never stop learning and am always striving to be better.  For a while I struggled with comparing myself to other photographers.  Especially local photographers.  I soon learned that the only photographer I should compare myself to is the one that I was yesterday.  As long as I am continually learning and growing that's all anyone can ask.

So, why do I do what I do?  Photographs have always been an extremely important part of my life.  Whether they are just snapshots with no editing whatsoever, or fancy portraits.  I love that they freeze a moment in time and that when you look back at them days, months, or even years later you can remember that moment like it happened yesterday.  You can remember how the sun felt on your face, the sound of your child's laughter and the feel of their arms around your neck.  You remember the excitement you felt as you were pronounced husband and wife and you shared your first kiss as a married couple.  You remember the exhaustion and sheer joy you felt as you held your brand new baby for the very first time.  The smell of your infants head after a bath.  You remember how your stomach hurt from laughing so hard after a night out with your very best girlfriends.  Nothing else in the world can conjure up those feelings like a photograph can.  I take pride in capturing not only a moment, but a feeling for my clients.  I love their excitement when I post a sneak peek on Facebook.

I want to be the photographer you call for all of your memories, but I don't want you to call me because you feel obligated because I took pictures of your family that one time.  I want you to call me because you value my work, because you know that I genuinely care about you and your family.  Every time I meet up with a new family for photographs I feel very honored that I am being allowed to be a part of that family, for just a short time.  I take my job very seriously, but at the same time, I have so much fun at every session.

I recently announced a rate change effective June 1st.  I hope that my past and future clients will see the value in what I do and realize that it's more than just an hour of shooting time and then putting the photos on a cd.  There is a lot of behind the scenes work, a lot of time away from my children and husband.  When all is said and done and typical family session will take up between 5-6 hours of my time, and after I take out for taxes I am making between $10-$15/hr.  I feel that I am worth more than that, but at the same time, I believe that everyone, regardless of income, should have beautiful photos to display as they see fit.  I do offer payment plans if you cannot afford the entire amount at once.  If you like my work, don't be put off by the cost and think there is no way you can afford it.  Contact me and I will work with you.  All I ask is for a chance to make time stand still for you.

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