Omigosh, you guys! I don’t even know where to begin, so I’m just going to try my best.
In short, I have lost my balance. I can’t seem to find it….balance between my family and my business. I know everyone struggles with this, but mine has no separation. My little guy isn’t in daycare. He’s my sidekick and I really like it that way. In 2 short years, he will join the ranks of the big boys in elementary school and my buddy will be gone. I started this business to be something I do alongside of being a mother. My little thing that was all for me. And boy is it something so awesome that I love so much, BUT (there is always a but) it has become something I’m doing instead of them. Totally not cool and super stressful. I have to make a change and prioritize things a little better, so I have made 2017 my year to find balance. Just a little bit of sanity…..which seems a little rare these days 😉
2016 was an AMAZING year…in so many ways. Personally, my father underwent triple bypass surgery and was recovering most of the year, we sold our house then it fell through and we made a decision to redo a few things in our current home to make it our forever home, we lost a pet we had loved for 17 years, gained a new pup, took the big boys to one of our very favorite cities to date, and we juggled life and sports and a toddler with work and more life.
Professionally, I was on the news, opened my first studio, celebrated 5 years in business, and had the busiest year yet.
While it was such a rollercoaster, 2016 was nothing to complain about and I’m so grateful for all it had to offer, it also brought feelings of being stretched too thin, feelings of being burnt out, a lack of creativity, and just a general sense of not doing my very best work…..as a photographer and as a mother. Just a feeling of making it through each season and that’s never fun or good for anyone. I missed all but one of my sons’ soccer games, I didn’t get to enjoy lunches with them at school even when they asked, I missed out on enjoying evenings with good friends, and barely took any pictures of my own children unless it was on my cell phone. I’m not proud 😉
SO what does all this whining mean for you….
1. No more weekend sessions
A big part of our problem is weekends. Richard works all week. I take care of the kids and work on and off all week then when the weekend comes, we end up working more. On top of working, we are juggling sports and as the boys get older, it just becomes more involved. Recently, I was walking down the stairs after putting Declan down for a nap and Corbin said….are you going to miss another one of our games???? Just stab me in the mommy heart why don’t ya? In my defense, I had hired a sitter and was actually going to the game. To fix this problem, we will no longer be offering sessions on the weekends. If you absolutely have to have a weekend session and there’s no way around it, there will be a premium on those days. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but my kiddos come first and we need the time to recharge together as a family
2. Fewer family sessions available
As the newborn and maternity pieces of our business have grown in the last few years, it has made the times of the year that are usually slow become a little more hectic. This isn’t a bad problem at all, but it made the spring and fall that much harder. Throw in three crazy kids and the juggle is real, you guys. And so is the burn out. I love family photography. I love all the families we have become close to over the years, I love having something Richard and I do together, and I love capturing that close family bond. The hard part is making sure that each session has that personal touch that makes it special for your family. When we are just trying to make sure we have covered our bases, it isn’t good for anyone. With fewer sessions, we hope to be able to make every session tailored to capture all the unique aspects of your family and add special details that will make our sessions more of a boutique experience.
3. Fewer mini sessions
The past few years we have offered 2 mini sessions in the spring and 4 in the fall. This year we will only be offering one mini session in the spring and 1-2 mini sessions in the fall. These outdoor mini sessions will be available on specified weekend dates. If these book in full, we will offer a waiting list. We will also offer 1 weekday Christmas PJ mini session.
We have put together a secret Facebook group where all available family sessions and mini sessions will be posted. I am currently putting together a 2017 calendar and ALL dates will be announced in this Facebook group as soon as it is done. 2017 pricing will also be announced in this group. A 50% deposit is required for full family sessions and a payment in full is required for all mini sessions. Please join the group by clicking this handy little link to be informed of all family sessions for this year. They will NOT be posted on my business page on FB.
I know that’s a lot to read….sorry! LOL!! My hubs likes to warn people before I tell a story 😉 I really appreciate every one of our clients and I am grateful for your flexibility with all these changes. I can’t wait to capture your families this year….I’ll leave you with a few pictures I did take of my kiddos this year, so you won’t be too mad and see my reason for a little bit of balance 😉 Those little faces tho….
charlotte | fort mill newborn and family photographer.
email@example.com | 704-807-6626 | www.alissabrayphotography.com