As promised- today is the day! Epic announcement number one! (and make sure you go all the way to the bottom for a special deal!)
After a lot of soul-searching this fall and winter, I’ve decided it’s time to shift my business. I’ve been sitting on this for some time, held back a little by fear, but I’ve decided I can’t hold it back anymore.
Last year was a year of change. And, ironically enough, it was all kicked off my a personal project, designed to take me back to my roots.
My 365 project started out as a way to break out of my creative rut. It snowballed into so much more. All along this journey, the universe was giving me gentle nudges. People I didn’t know very well would stop me to talk about my project and what it meant to them. I dug deeper into storytelling, which has been my deepest passion since I was a small child. Blending these two together fueled my creative energy.
Once the year was wrapped up, there was no question on continuing it. Looking back over the year, reading the stories of our lives together- the joys, triumphs, and set backs; the tears and smiles; the life lessons that I didn’t realize were hiding behind a simple interaction or conversation.
What started out as taking a photo each day of my kids playing evolved into stories about what motherhood means to me, recording all the little details of my children as they are in this very moment- celebrating those little moments that will be nostalgia a year from now. Digging in and truly celebrating moments over milestones.
When you look back at your childhood, what do you remember? Is it the big milestones of life? Birthday parties and posing in front of the Christmas tree? Or is it lazy summer afternoons climbing trees, building pillow forts in the living room, simply enjoying getting lost in the land of your imagination?
Yes, celebrating milestones is very important. Getting a family photo for your Christmas card is important. But I believe we are overlooking an equally important facet of our lives: the magic in our every day moments.
I am building my legacy. I’m binding these photographs and their accompanying stories in an album. We won’t have to rely solely on our fading memories to recount the little stories in life. To cherish the way my preschooler runs through the house, with wild bedhead and fierce eyes, fighting invisible dragons. The way my son gets lost in his legos, making loud sound effects for everything and his habit of spinning backwards in circles when he talks to me. My oldest daughter’s bookworm nature and her artistic tendencies, the way she mothers her siblings. Toast and cereal in bed, lounging on the couch in that specific way each child likes to snuggle down into me. This is my love story to my children, an heirloom for them to cherish when they are grown with children of their own.
I couldn’t help but notice the dissonance between this deeply-rooted passion, and the work I was delivering to clients. Families, dressed up in new clothes, sitting in the grass at the park, smiling at the camera. Coaching children through new games to get them laughing, posing without knowing they were posed, for the perfect family photo. Kids sitting on little chairs in a field, laughing because Daddy was acting like a monkey behind me.
The photographs were lovely, for sure. But is this leaving a legacy for your children? Is this truly representative of who you are? (would you typically dress up to hang out in a field together?)
I sat on this a few months, feeling my way through my turmoil. I’ve always offered in-home sessions. Other than newborns, few people took me up on it. It’s easier to get photos done at the park, for sure. You don’t have to clean up. You don’t have to worry that you aren’t in your dream house yet. Maybe you feel your house is too small, too cluttered.
So I looked back on my own life for the answer. Before we moved into our current home, we had 4 of us crammed into a tiny townhouse. The bedrooms were just big enough for the bed and to have a narrow path to walk around the bed. Toys cluttered every space. Baby accessories took up most of the room- jumpers, swings, playmats. I felt cramped and frustrated, and when I had to opportunity to have family photos done in the house, I didn’t hesitate to say no. Let’s go outside. Outside is pretty. My house is not.
But you know what? Looking back, I treasure the few photos I did take inside. I like seeing my life as it really was as the background. It’s nostalgia. I see my now 10 year old, as a baby who just learned to crawl. I have a photograph of her in the window, playing peekaboo with the curtains. That was her THING- one of her favorite activities. I have another photo of her as a toddler, standing by that same window, clutching a picture frame in her hand and kissing it. It’s a photo of my husband and me on our honeymoon, and she loved to give it kisses every single day. Those moments are long gone, and these photographs are all I have to remember it by. Each stage is so brief in retrospect, even if every day feels so long while you are living it. In the moment, you may only be able to think about cramped rooms and sleepless nights- but there is so much more beauty in your life. It’s just harder to find it when you are exhausted and stressed out. Let me help you see the deep beauty in your unfiltered life.
And don’t worry- if you are still thinking about clutter and how that could possibly make a good photo- I’ve got you covered. In most of my photos from my 365, my house is a wreck- it’s just creative cropping, or stuffing the clutter into another room, ha!
Let me help you tell your story. Create a legacy for your children.
Now to answer a few questions.
But I love outdoor photos for my Christmas card! You don’t do those anymore?
Outdoor photos are a lot of fun, and they aren’t totally gone. However, I’m changing the way they work. In order to devote most of my creative energy to my in-home storytelling clients, I’m going to do outdoor sessions once a month. I’ll pick a different park for each month, and several appointment times for each one. You can select your session based on the month, or based on the park- it’s up to you. I’ll have each month and park published in advance, along with rain dates, so you can plan.
But what about silhouettes?
Silhouette sessions have not changed! They still take place during summer break, right at sunset, in Forest Hill.
How are Signature Storytelling sessions different than outdoor sessions, other than location?
Outdoor sessions are all-inclusive. One flat rate gets you the sessions AND your edited digital images. Signature Storytelling sessions are more intricate, to more closely tailor your experience to your needs. I shoot video at these sessions, and combine the video clips with your photographs to create a movie for you. There are several packages available with prints, albums, wall art, and digital images. Each package includes your personal movie. I can make you albums with places for you to write with your kids, or we can work together to type up your story to be printed. (How sweet is it to include your child’s handwriting in your legacy?) I travel to you when your images are ready, so we can go through the images together. I can hold up different sized prints to your wall so you know you love the way it looks- no guessing on what size would look the best. It’s much less overwhelming than watching an online gallery flip past because you can hold the printed proofs in your hands when comparing different images.
I’ll be updating my website to reflect this change over the next month, and to show you how much you will love these sessions, I’m offering a deal! For the next month, all Signature Storytelling Sessions are $100 off! Book your session by March 17 (but the actual portrait session can take place later) to take advantage of this deal.