Two years. That’s how long I’ve been in the photography business. Really, I’m just a rookie but I’ve learnt so much, mostly about myself. Along the way, I’ve fluctuated between extremes, from impassioned artist focused on creating the next best image, to moments of frustration related to running a business. And here is the ugly confessional – some days, I’ve let my business take precedence over everything, even my family. I’ve been so focused on developing my client base and delivering the best product, that I’ve given more time and energy to this pursuit than to my family and the reasons why I chose to be a stay-at-home parent.
All of this really hit home when an experienced photographer friend asked me a couple of poignant questions: (1) what is your definition of success and (2) with your current business approach, do you think it will be sustainable long term? I realize she’s not necessarily asking questions related to business profit. She’s asking me to think about the value of my time as a mother and wife, and how much of that I’m willing to contribute towards my business, and what that time is worth. She’s prompting me to think about what I want my business to provide for me personally. It’s taken me some time to get here, where I’ve concluded that success is not all wrapped up in the number of shoots I have per fiscal year, but in my ability to create meaningful family photographs for myself and for others, while keeping my role as a mother and wife as priority. So I’m putting my big girl pants on and taking a step towards creating an approach that I believe will be more sustainable over time, both for business’ sake, and for myself personally.
This is a big scary step which has required much courage, but here I am, raising a glass to my idea of what successful sustainability can be like! I have recreated my website as a way to share with you stories of family life that have inspired and moved me. Images that represent not what family or newborn or birth can look like, but what they can feel like: simplified and raw, tethered to love and chaos. I have increased my pricing and changed my product collections to carry more long term meaning to families that I photograph, with the hope that they will understand and see the value too. I sincerely hope you will take the next step of this journey with me.
To commemorate this, here comes the fun part! I have decided to do a contest to give away ONE FULL FAMILY SESSION in the form of a FUSION SLIDESHOW and a COFFEE TABLE BOOK ALBUM with all the images from the session, a value of $1,500. Just fill in your ideas for an authentic family session in the comment field below as: Please come and photograph my family __________. (e.g. Please come and photograph my family building our tree house in the backyard or Please come and photograph my family at our cabin on Pitt Lake). The prize will be awarded to my most favourite idea, so get creative :)! Please take note that if there are travel fees required for your session, you will be responsible for them, unless I already happen to travelling there anyway, then we’re good! This Giveaway will close on July 7th, 2015 and the session will need to be claimed by June 30th, 2016.
Without much further ado: