1.09.2012

a new year brings new things...

I hope the beginning of this new year has found you all healthy & happy and you all had a wonderful holiday season with the ones you love!

I've decided that's it's going to be my BEST year yet...I'm the one who can make it that way and I will!

I've re-written this post 3 times now, starting it off with a bunch of sweet rambling about the holidays and how we spent them, all to lead into what the point of this post is all about. I'm going to cut the sweet stuff (which I was trying to hide behind!) and save it for another day where I actually have pictures ready to share along with it and make this what it's really about...With the new year there will be a new ME and new things...

The past 2 years have been amazing and I'm so blessed and grateful that God has given me this talent that allows me to do something I enjoy so much, but it's time for me to make some changes and be the wife, momma, friend, photographer, & business woman that I.want.to.be.

I've worked with so many amazing families and children over the past 2 years and have captured some of lifes most awesome moments but I've also done things just because other photographers were so I felt I should be too, or I've taken on jobs that I KNEW weren't for me and in the long run I wasn't happy with them, but...can you imagine how hard it is to say no when someone is willing to pay you money to do it?! It's VERY hard but I don't want to have work out there that my heart wasn't into and I don't want to grow tired of this job I love so much. 

Please don't take this all as me complaining, it's not my intention to come out sounding ungrateful or snobby. I'm so very thankful for every single email, phone call, or message I receive with someone wanting ME to be the one to capture memories for them.This is just me realizing the changes I have to make to be better and more successful in an ever growing industry.

Last summer and fall were busy beyond belief between my regular sessions and weddings, but it was all at my families expense. I was often full of anxiety and on edge. With so much going on, NO ONE was getting the best of me...Not my husband, not my kids, and not my clients. While the money I made was an extra little income for is, it didn't make up for all the time, travel, and expenses I put into it. I was selling myself short.

So, this year the changes will be in full swing. First, I'm going to be taking on less clients during wedding season (3-4 per week) and only do sessions that I'm the RIGHT photographer for. There will be a pre-booking consultation done via email or phone to determine if I'm a right match for the job and then a pre-session consultation to come up with a vision on how to creatively tell YOUR story. [I will do mini sessions a few times throughout the year as well which is a great option for those who can't invest in a full session] Second, my prices and policies have changed as I want to and need to make more of an income - who wouldn't! And lastly, I have to force myself to stop doing freebies! It's just so hard to charge people you know but adding up all the discounts/free sessions I did made me sick! This is all very scary for me but after thinking long and hard and even talking with several other local photographers, it's what has to be done.

I know this will benefit everyone...my family will get more of me and a happier me, my clients will have more of my time, heart, and creativity put into their session and will be getting the best prints and products out there as I have been educating myself more on the importance of professional prints and products rather than throwing my images on a CD for an insanely low price and letting people print where they want. I've realized all the hard work I put into editing each image is for nothing when an image is printed on a drug store printer and comes out looking nothing like it does when it leaves me. Also, I know a lot of clients who never even print their images, not because they don't like them, but because they are overwhelmed with what they should print, what sizes, etc. I want to be available to help with this process and walk you through it.

With that said, I know I might lose some clients who mean the world to me which is why this is so hard, but I also know my work has a value and I don't want people to come to me just because I cost less then the photographer 2 doors down, but because they love me and my work and see the importance in quality, custom photography and having these fleeting moments captured for a lifetime as art in your home.

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this adventure so awesome for me!

I can't wait to see what's to come...Here's to an amazing 2012!
xoxo Kaley


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