But first an update. It's long so please hang in there with me on this one. And yes I will get to the wine.
You might have noticed some changes on the page and with the studio. And if you missed it yes, there are some changes being made. Why? Well that's the long part..... let me tell you a story.
Ever since I can remember I have been good at anything I tried in my life. I aced school, was easily promoted at just about every job I ever had, and things naturally come pretty easy for me. And then came photography. I LOVE it. I eat sleep and breathe it. I put everything I have into it. But some days it's just not enough. This absolutely kills me. I have never had to struggle before but with this career I do EVERY DAY! I've been trying to keep up with it and some times do a really lousy job. I'll be honest here, I can't seem to do it all. I am late with orders, terrible at returning messages, or just overlook things. If I've done this to you I truly am sorry.
I've flip-flopped, started new projects only to quit them shortly after starting. Had big ideas I couldn't complete, and made lots of mistakes.
Trying to do it all on my own is EXHAUSTING! I've been tossing it around in my head for a long time trying to figure out the best moves going forward. And here's where it gets complicated. As much as I love it, the things I give up to do it, I miss more. I miss time with my kids. I miss vacations. I miss a steady paycheck. And I miss some normal structure in my life. And most of all I miss not having to struggle every day to keep going. And it is a struggle. The workload is tremendous and the pay is getting smaller & smaller with the industry changes. There are months it takes all I have just to cover business costs and just forget having a take home pay.
I do have some solutions, so don't stop reading here, thinking I am giving it up.
I've struggled with the idea that I failed. That I just wasn't good enough at it. And then it became clearer for me, that I didn't fail, I just missed some things that have been staring me in the face. What do I love about photography? Mostly, it's the people. Sure taking pictures is a ton of fun too, but the connections I have made have been the real bonus in this job. It's nothing for me to sit after a session for HOURS talking with my "clients". And some come in just to hang out. And others come to me for "photo-therapy" because of how I make them feel and how the images make them feel. And even more I now consider really great friends. That's probably most of you who took the time to read this, so thank you.
And I realized that I have this crazy tribe of ladies around me. They are all ages, different social statuses, and from every walk of life you can imagine. Some are married, some single, some work, some don't. They are all as different from each other as you can get. But they also have some things in common. They all want to feel important and valued. Sometimes they struggle. We all do. And we don't always know what to do at that point & don't always have the resources to make changes in our lives, or we don't know where to find them. Or feel like we can't.
Going Forward to New Things:
I'm being drawn through photography toward an even bigger purpose. I know, like I need to add more to my plate, but in a way I really do. I've been talking about it for years, and it's time to just do it. I feel this need to build a community & connection for more women. So that's what I'm going to do. How? Well, it's still all coming together, but there's a plan and a path in place for me to get started. The rest will come in time. But here's the start of it:
- For starters we will be hosting lots of EVENTS!!!! There will be a ton of events planned for the studio. Fun girls nights, DIY projects, jewelry, moms stuff, and yes WINE. We are even tossing around the idea of some small shows. So, I'd love to hear what you would like. Some events wine & refreshments will be provided, others it will be BYOB. But I'm looking to have a place where women can get together, do something fun, meet others, and just connect with others in the same place in life as them.
I hear it all the time with photography..... they don't feel connected, social media is draining and farther makes us feel like we don't fit in. They need more friends. The kids take all their time & they don't feel like they have anything for themselves some days. Well, we are going to try to fix that. Some events will be a charge and some will be free so that all are included.
- There's a new boudoir group for women to discuss issues, body positivity, girl stuff in general. It's a closed group so posts are private and all can feel comfortable posting. No, it's not just about boudoir photos, so join us there too. Join the Group Here
- And stay tuned for more, because I've got a lot of things in the works
I'm super excited about it & also a little scared. Photography is all I've known for a while & at my age starting new things is frightening, lol. I'm not stopping photography, just streamlining it so that I can do other things, live a "normal" life, and pursue what's been nagging at me for a while.
Here's our first 2 events. Check them out on my website or Facebook for more information.
I NEED YOUR HELP
Like I really need your help. lol
Building a community for women to feel included and connected is not going to be easy. If you feel the same passion for it, then I gladly will accept your help. I need contacts, resources, teachers, speakers, and a bazillion other things. Send me a message & we can talk. I know already I need a great website designer, businesses who would like to partner for events, and help with fundraisers.
Also, if you have any 8 foot tables or folding chairs sitting around, I would ask if I can borrow them for events until I can get some permanent ones for the shop.
The fundraisers are for cameras for kids who would like to learn photography. If you have an idea, or would like to donate, please reach out. More information will be coming soon on this.
If you have an event you would like to host, please get in contact with me. I'd love to hear about it.
If you are a speaker, teacher, DIYer, I need you. :)
How does that change things with photography? Several ways:
#1 You will have to get used to the new faces at the studio. I need help. I can't do it all on my own. As much as you might be used to me doing it all, I just can't. And these ladies are amazing, just get to know them. They are learning and ready to help and take on sessions. And, I've got their backs.
#2 No last minute scheduling. From here on out, I'll be scheduling a month or two in advance so that I can have a schedule, know my bills, and have just a little bit of my life back. This also gives you a chance to make sure I am the person doing your session if that's what you want by confirming I am available in advance.
#3 EVENTS!!! There will be lots of events going on at the studio. Fun paint nights, kids activities, and more. It's the start of building community here locally.
#4 Off Days. I'll be giving up the use of the place for events to others too. This gives me a little income to help get through the month, builds more community, and allows others to have a place to host their own gatherings & events. If you are interested in doing the same, just ask.
#5 Photography Pricing..... I'm trying to stay affordable because I know the competition is fierce out there & so&so can do it cheaper. But the price is the price. I've lowered a LOT of the events and sessions to accommodate. But please stop arguing that it's too high or ask me to lower it. I make about $3 an hour at the prices I have set now. And trust me, you get what you pay for with photography. (that's a whole other blog that I won't dive into today)
With these few changes I will be able to continue to keep bringing you more of what you've come to expect from my studio & hopefully more. And better service along the way.
Here are some of the sessions available this month.
In the Stream Water Sessions July 14th & 15th
Beat the heat with a water session. Be ready for some laughs & a little adventure, but it's worth it in the end when you see the images. One hour sessions with digital images. 8 spots available.
Fairy Sessions July 5th & 6th
Let their imaginations come to life with a fairy session. Dresses headpieces, and wings are all provided. We do a little hair, make-up & glitter if allowed too.
Fishing & Firefly also available for the boys. Jeans & white shirt or overalls needed.
And here's a link to the EVENT page of fun studio activities. Check back often as we add more.
****July's kids club theme is a choice of either fruit bath for the little ones or lemonade stand for the older kids. Pics are coming soon!!!!
July sessions are booking NOW.
If you want on the schedule for July, please contact me ASAP. I've got event days scheduled and have a little room left for standard sessions. I'll be posting a calendar every month so you can see what's available that month.
Here's the start of this month's calendar so you can see how it's going to look & fill in. Hoping within the next couple days to have more events & things on there for you to see & will update it on Facebook as it comes together.
I know I put a lot out here on this one, so if you made it this far reading, thank you!!!! Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.