I want to share something with you that has been on my heart for quite some time. When I first got into photography it almost just happened for me. I realize it doesn’t happen that way for everyone, but for me it did. I have always loved to take pictures and when I received my first DSLR, I was beyond excited. I charged minimal prices for shoots and slowly built my portfolio. I really didn’t do any marketing, just word of mouth.

When some friends of mine got engaged, they asked me to shoot their wedding. Again, I wasn’t pushing weddings, I was simply happy shooting portraits and trying to learn my camera. I was nervous and thrilled all at the same time to shoot their wedding. As that first year began to unfold, I dedicated myself to trying to learn how to shoot better and market myself better. I was asked to shoot another wedding almost a year after my first one. It was then I thought perhaps I could make a go at this whole wedding photographer thing.

I began second shooting with various local photographers and I learned even more about shooting and engaging with the client. How to act during a wedding and exactly how important my role was as a photographer.

I’ll be honest though, weddings are terribly long days. I come home tired and sore and ready to just crash on the couch and watch a movie with Jon. I’d have this nagging feeling that I couldn’t do this every weekend. But, then the next day, as I’d sit and sort through all the images, I’d get excited all over again and begin the long process of sorting, editing, re-sizing, posting to Facebook, writing a blog post, and the list goes on and on and on. It really took up a lot of my time. Which was fine, because it was just me and Jon.

Again, I really didn’t think much about weddings. I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to shoot a wedding. The images you get from a wedding are timeless and so much fun to create! I grasped at every opportunity I had to second shoot, mostly unpaid, just for the experience and opportunity to learn alongside another photographer.

But, that nagging feeling always kept coming back. It wasn’t until my son was born in April, that the feeling came full circle. My time is extremely more important now that I have Wyatt. Every time I shoot a wedding, that is an entire day away from him. My husband is self-employed and works most Saturdays, which means, I need to find someone else to watch Wyatt. I am so thankful for my in-laws who live close who always love the opportunity to watch him. My sister is also a big help, but now she has a 2-year-old and 2-month-old twins.

What I am getting at is this: I want my focus, as a photography business, to be on family and senior portraits. That is my goal for 2013. I will still shoot weddings and I will still second shoot weddings. However, I feel like I am more in my element as a family photographer than as a wedding photographer. Maybe that will just come with time and more experience, I don’t know. Please know that I love weddings and would love to shoot your wedding, so don’t be discouraged by what I’m saying.

I am working on a new approach for marketing to families and seniors. I’m also working on a business plan and incorporating a sales session into my workflow. I want to shoot a session for your family that is unique and incorporates things you love as a family. So be prepared to have some input and contributions to your session. Along with shooting families and seniors, I would love to see clients purchasing prints and albums that showcase their family. Like I mentioned, I’m working on making the ordering session easier and it is my goal to be as helpful as possible in doing that.

Part of my business plan is making it easier on my clients to decide what to order. I will still be offering prints, but I’m focusing on three basic items:

SQUARE PRINTS:

These prints will either be a 10×10 mounted print or a 12×12 mounted print, sold in groups of three. The purpose behind this idea is functionality. You can display them on a small easel on your kitchen counter or coffee table. Or you can still frame them and hang them up in your home. I feel like this offers a flexible way to display your prints without having the permanent feel of hanging up a print. You can swap out your prints as often as you like to keep it fresh or just stack all three on the easel and allow guests to flip through the images. You really have a lot of options here.

LARGE CANVAS OR PRINT

I love the simplicity of allowing a large piece of artwork speak for itself. I have found a canvas company that offers a beautiful product, and still allows me to keep it affordable for you. If a canvas isn’t your thing, think about a large print. This option allows you to have one frame, but you can simply add another picture from your session next year. To be honest, this is what my mom did with us kids growing up and it’s a habit that I’ve picked up on a well. Each year when we get our family pictures taken, I place my print in front of that past year. It’s always fun to look back year after year to see how much has changed within our family.

LUXURY CUSTOM ALBUMS

I love photo albums, who doesn’t? This is a way to have all your images from your session professionally designed in a gorgeous linen album. I’ll be honest, these aren’t the albums you can purchase at Shutterfly and Snapfish and that’s on purpose. I want to create something unique to your family, something you can’t purchase just anywhere. Virtually any size is available and I look forward to creating one for your family.

So that’s it. That’s what has been on my heart lately and I wanted to share it with you. Hopefully soon I will post some pictures of each of these items so you can get a better sense for what they look like. I’m working on some more marketing pieces and I’m excited about this new direction. Maybe ‘direction’ isn’t the right word, it’s more of a mind shift for me. I’m shifting my focus to families and seniors.

Have a wonderful weekend!