I had the honor of being the Graduate Assistant in a recent Dale Carnegie course. I originally took the course several years ago and have been invited back to help out several times now. I love the training and believe so highly in the work they do that I am looking into getting my bachelors degree so I can become an instructor of these courses a few times a year. I feel I grow every time I go through the Dale Carnegie Training! So happy they let me bring my camera and take a class portrait at graduation each session!
Doesn't it seem like the older we get, the faster time moves? I remember being a kid and a school year would drag on for a decade, or so it seemed. As an adult I found time to be moving faster and faster with each year and then I had kids! The rate seemed to multiply. Days turn into weeks and weeks to years. I find myself looking back on portraits of my kids and choking up. The cliche 'they grow up too fast' is exactly how I feel. I wish for those days of them as itty bitties, full of wonder. I have so many portraits of them and day to day snapshots, but a few sessions I wanted to do and never did...and time I will never get back.
Today I was chatting with a client about my membership program. It's still fairly new, but the handful of clients who have become members are really loving it! My client mentioned she was too busy and that's what got me thinking about this whole topic.
Why can't we all slow down more? Do you think our older generations felt the same or is the feeling of being 'too busy' made more prevalent by the onset of social media?
If you are thinking of getting portraits done to commemorate your child's birthday and want a family portrait sometime over the course of the year, the membership program might be a great fit for you! It includes several petite portrait sessions over the course of the year (family, each child's birthday and your anniversary) as well as all your prints and products. You can even add digitals for only $25 a month! The best thing is it's easy to build into your family budget as you pay monthly and not in one lump sum. Please contact me if you would like more information! I would love to chat with you about how we can freeze time for you-at least in your portraits.
Photo credit goes to Tracy Copelen Photography.
I recently posted on my personal FB page (shoot me a friend request if you like!) about how I almost quit being a photographer this past summer. 15 years of being self-employed and I was burned out and ready to quit. Then I had a boudoir session with a woman in August, and that day, everything changed. Melissa and I really hit it off and by the end of her session she asked me to hang out for a bit and told me she was a business coach. I told her my challenges and before I knew it, she had solutions for my top 3. I was astounded. I asked her to be my coach and she has made a tremendous impact in my life since.
Here is one of my favorite portraits from her family session. Her schedule is pretty crazy and so it took awhile to be able to get together and look at them but I know they all loved them. The kids even all cozied around my laptop to ohh and ahh and laugh at what fun we had that day.
The weather was great, the location and colors were on point. She had everyone styled perfectly! It was a beautiful experience.
In the time since the session, Melissa has become one of my closest friends and I love her so much! She has a heart of gold and I am a better person for having her in my life. I am SO blessed to have met her and re-ignited my love for being a portrait artist!
Robin wanted her session to be somewhere unique so she picked a brand new bar her friends opened recently in downtown Peoria, The Bearded Owl. We had a blast using all the different backgrounds and spots in the space. I got to meet the owners and hear a little about the background of the bar since it was just getting set to open. I always love when a family is up for something new and different! What a great group to work with!!!
If you have followed me for any amount of time, you have noticed I am often the volunteer photographer at local events and fundraisers for various charities. This is my 'why'
As a child growing up in a very small Iowa town, I don't remember my family volunteering. I remember my parents being Jaycees for a time but that's it. The first time I heard about volunteering I was so confused. 'Work for no money? Why would anyone do that?'
I have learned there are a lot of amazing reasons people volunteer. One of the big reasons I do is fairly selfish! It feels good!!! I love being able to help out using a skill I have. Being able to provide something for a non-profit, like professional portraits for their marketing or covering an event, is just plain good.
One recent event I photographed was called 'Gimme Shelter' It was for South Side Office of Concern to raise money to help with homelessness in the Peoria area. Participants of charity fundraisers often get all dolled up, eat a fancy meal and bid on awesome items donated by local businesses. 'Gimme Shelter' is about as far removed from that as it can possibly be! Participants get dolled up all right...in their warmest winter attire and prepare to spend the night sleeping outside the Peoria Civic Center in a cardboard box. There are short workshops for learning and activities to keep participants occupied, but it's a cold 6pm-6am event! This event really opened my eyes. No matter how crummy my day may be, I can look around and know I have a warm and safe home to live in.
Do you volunteer? What local organizations have you fallen in love with?
January is always when we photographers can slow down for a minute. October-December is sheer chaos and I welcome the slower months of January-March and making plans for the new year.
So much excitement to share! On Friday of this week I am heading to Nashville for the annual Professional Photographer of America convention. It's a gigantic bunch of photographers all there to learn and network and it's so fun. I wasn't thinking I was going to go and then everything worked out (with the help of my amazing husband and some family members) so that I could attend. Going to miss my family but I am excited to be able to continue my education and learn the newest and greatest things in the world of professional photography.
February brings our family vacation and we are all happy to get a break and bond for over a week. Driving to the Nashville area (wasn't I just there?!?) to see family and then to Charleston to take a 5 day Bahama cruise. Anyone who knows me knows I love nothing more than a cruise and we got such a great deal on this one it was practically free!
Tomorrow I am going to look at some studio space for rent in East Peoria. I have wanted to have a dedicated shooting space for some time but didn't jump since I won't use it all the time. Still want to go to client homes if they want. But this spot opened up and it the right location and a great price. Plus, I can open the space for other photographers to use and then I wouldn't feel so much like I am paying for something not being used every day. Fingers crossed!
I also was recently invited to be a Graduate Assistant for the next Dale Carnegie training. I feel my life improves every time I attend one of these 8 week trainings and I can't wait to meet the new classmates and spend Tuesday nights with them.
Crossing my fingers that this more mild weather sticks around. The temps around zero were too much for me!
This is the third time I have done school portraits and it's SO exciting to see families come year after year and the kids to have grown so much. Had some new families that I was excited to see as well. This is always a favorite of mine because for the one time each year my mobile studio is set up in MY living room. I am usually bringing it to my clients and school pictures are the only exception. Any of you who know me realize my house is a major project house and so this year with the new roof and siding I finally was excited to have people come here!
The Worsham girls are so adorable! Their clothing was perfect (great job mom!) and I loved getting to know each of their personalities. They had never had a family portrait with all 5 of them and so we went out on a beautiful afternoon for their session in the garden.
The family recently found out their oldest, Faith, has to have brain surgery so we did the session right away because they realized tomorrow is not promised and they wanted a portrait of their beautiful family now. After the session, mom and the youngest, Hope, both had health scares and it really shows how good of an idea it was to take these and not put it off.
Myah, their middle daughter was so bubbly and outgoing and giggled and smiled so easily! Hope was feeling tired after a fun slumber party but still managed to get some great smiles and Faith is your typical almost 2 year old. She gave out smiles sparingly and as soon as she did, she needed to run off some energy! Reminds me of a session years ago in Iowa-haha (Ann Fish)
If you would like to read their story and learn more about the medical challenges Faith is battling, you can check out their GoFundMe page here: https://www.youcaring.com/faithworsham-88821
This location was really great. Not sure where we were though as it wasn't in Peoria. I just love how engaged the kids are in my silliness to get this portrait :-) #TripDownPhotoMemoryLane2011 #FamiliesChangeButPortraitsAreForever #DontMissAMemory
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