The New Focus of My Photography Business: A letter to my clients, old and new

When I started this business four years ago, I never dreamed I would be where I am today.  I put a post of facebook asking if anyone would let me take pictures of their kids so I could practice.  So many people responded and the rest is kind of a blur.  I have been so blessed to work with so many wonderful families and all of your amazing referrals have helped me grow this business into something sustainable.  Two years into the business, I had a couple ask me to photograph their wedding.  I had to really consider if this was something I could do.  I was terrified and excited all at the same time, but I wanted to see if it was going to be something I was good at, enjoyed, and was a good fit for my family…they will always come first.  Well, it turns out I LOVED photographing weddings and it helped me realize what I really love about photography.  Emotion!  I love to capture life as its happening.  There is something about capturing genuine, authentic emotion that brings me so much joy.  I connect with these types of images and its what make me want to keep on photographing.lm

 

Within the last two years, the wedding side of things has really picked up and between the months of May and November it seems near impossible to put my family first because of the busy photography season.  Last year, I was overwhelmed and I felt guilty of not providing every client with full attention or getting images to them on time.  And I felt even guiltier that I was not an attentive mom to my children as I sat at the computer for hours on end editing.  I’ve been feeling a tug on my heart for a while, but I have been so scared.  I mean, what happens if this plan is a huge failure and I lose everything?  But I realized that God has gifted me with specific talents and it is because of Him that I have this business.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without Him, so I started praying and asking for guidance and a clear direction for the business.  I am fully confident that I will not be alone in what happens next, so this allows me to be excited about what the future holds.

I’ve had a couple friends who have recently come into the photography business tell me what a cruel and competitive business this is.  I mean, it feels like I hear of someone starting their own photography business every other day.  People are shopping around for the best deal and don’t fully understand what goes into creating beautiful images.  And that is ok because I don’t understand all that goes into many other types of jobs, but it has helped me realize that if I’m only in the business to stay ahead of my competition then its just not worth it.  I do this because I am a creative person and I have a desire to not only express my creativity in this way, but to also serve people with this gift.  There are so many photographers and each have their own style.  Some love creating sets, backdrops and props and some love to manipulate images in photoshop–creating art, similar to paintings.  I’ve realized that I have my own style and look and I don’t have to be like every other photographer.  My favorite compliment is when someone tells me they chose me to be their wedding photographer because they love my style and how I capture emotion.  Yes!  Thank you!  I want to photograph people who make a connection with my work and want to not only invest in captured memories, but me as a photographer as well. ga

(I love how my husband describes Andy and Becca above.  “They look like two kids who are giddy in love.”)

So, I have decided to focus my business on wedding and lifestyle photography.  I want to spend time capturing what a family is all about–what makes them, well, them.  It gets pretty mundane posing people a certain way and asking everyone to look at the camera and smile.  And many times its parents getting frustrated with their children because they won’t cooperate.  Trust me, I get the frustration part, but it doesn’t have to be like that!  The purpose of a lifestyle session is not merely to update your yearly Christmas card.  I can get you 20 good images within 10 minutes at a mini session if this is all you desire.  But, if you want a stress-free, fun session of you and your family interacting with one another, capturing the love you share, creating a story–then that is worth investing in.

I’m going to hire a photographer friend to capture my family this year.  I just can’t capture the full dynamic of our family on my own.  When it comes to getting the four of us, it involves setting the self-timer, throwing a stick in the direction of the camera, while yelling at my kids to smile.  Even then, I still don’t have anything that really captures the essence of us or the emotions we experience/express when we are all together connecting and interacting.  This is an investment and obviously is not something most people can do every year, but this is because you are creating a story of a day together as a family or of a particular event that you can have in an album to look back on for years to come. eb

Hopefully this new focus will give me more time to spend with my family, more time to advance my photography skills and more time to serve people that are in need and may not be able to afford pictures to preserve special moments in their life.  The Destiny Rescue Fundraiser we did last year impacted me so much and really showed me how God uses every little gift we have to serve the people around us if we allow Him to use us in that way.  I’ve got a few projects in mind for the next year and I am excited to let God use me how He chooses.

Now, for all my current and previous clients, I know you may not be able to afford the new price, but I will still offer mini sessions a couple times a year.  If you want to receive notice of them before the public, please subscribe to my blog through email here.  This will allow me to send you special discounts and keep you informed of photo events.  And, of course if you simply like reading my blog or following my work and want to be make sure you don’t miss any updates, then subscribe to the email list as well.  Thank you to my many supporters/clients.  I am so grateful for you and how you have helped shape my photography business!  Now, check out the updated website (get the full effect on a computer) and pass on my info to any brides you may know:)

Thanks for reading,

Jen

P.S.  Anyone who has something already booked with me will still receive the old pricing at the time you booked.

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