I have been working on this blog post for several weeks, really struggling with my decision to specialize in a certain genre of photography. I know, you are going to read this and say “that took her several weeks?” YES…YES it did! I told you I have been struggling!
As a photographer starting out, I shot for a long time without charging anyone. Now, four years later, I look back on how far I have come and I am proud of what I have accomplished. When I feel down, I go back to the sessions I shot early on and I compare it to my work now. It is world’s apart on so many levels. I don’t do photography to be the next big, hottest, know-it-all photographer out there. I pursue photography and knowledge of photography because I LOVE it! I thirst for it, drink it up like a big tall
margarita kidding; how about lemonade; I don’t even drink. Seriously, I don’t!
Anyway, I have struggled with quitting my job to do photography full-time because I am that passionate about it…but then reality hits. I have a great job, I have a BA in Legal Studies and I work for 6 attorneys who keep me plenty busy. I am fortunate to work for a company that allows me the flexibility to do both jobs. I would be stupid to give that up. If I was a 20 something out of college kid, I might have taken the chance, but at 40, I am more worried about my pension, 401K benefits and health insurance. It’s hard juggling both a full-time job and photography; I also have a husband and family that depends on me, so I have to add that into the mix also.
So…here it is. I have changed my focus of photography. While I love capturing all the details of a wedding and seeing two people who fell in love pledge themselves to each other, I have realized it isn’t the path I want for my photography. I fall behind on blogging, albums and editing because I just don’t have the time it takes to devote to this genre of photography. I have always tried really hard to provide the best service and a quick turn around; but other people and responsibilities in my life have suffered.
I have always had a soft spot for teenagers and the hardships they endure going through high school. Bullying has become so prevalent these days, I mean there have always been clicks, but when I was in High School we still hung out with everyone. Those days are long gone and especially with technology taking over, it makes cyber bullying that much easier. This is such a crucial time for kids this age. The need for acceptance and fitting in while you are still trying to find yourself as a young adult makes things even more difficult. Please don’t delude yourself that it can’t or won’t happen to your child. I have witnessed what bullying can do to a child. It will strip them of their self-esteem and bring them to a level of despair that is unimaginable. This is why I have elected to focus on empowering teenage girls through my photographs. I want them to experience a session where they feel beautiful, strong and embrace being a teenager. This can be such a wonderful time in their life and I want to be a part of making it memorable for each and every young adult that comes to me for their senior photos.
This of course doesn’t mean that I won’t take a wedding here and there for friends, family or a previous brides referral, it just means that I am not going to be seeking wedding photography. I won’t be advertising or marketing weddings I have gotten a lot of inquiries in the last year, mostly brides who are price shopping and while those are great for some photographers, it wasn’t right for me. I was spending far more time culling and editing thousands of photographs and not having the time I needed with my family. A senior session yields far fewer photographs that I can really concentrate on and be creative with.
Let me preface this last paragraph with this statement…”I shoot for me, not to impress anyone else”. I see a lot of competition between photographers on social media and honestly, I am not a competitive person. I won’t get caught up in the crap storm I see other photographers go through. I am not trying to steal anyone else’s business or price gouge anyone, I just want to shoot to make other people happy. I shot a family session last year for a family who’s 5 year old daughter is dying of cancer – if that doesn’t put things into perspective for you; I don’t know what will.
On that note, here are a few of the amazing seniors I had the pleasure and privilege of photographing in 2013. I am honored that each and every one of them chose me to capture this time in their lives and I look forward to this year’s new group of seniors.
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.