When I started this photography journey, I knew I wanted to be “different” (don’t we all); I was looking to create the type of photos I wanted taken of my own family. I’ve always been drawn to natural expressions and unposed interaction, and have tried to make that happen for my clients. Then last year, a simple sentence spoken by Molly Flannagan hit me like a bus and made me question everything I had been doing during my sessions…”you can’t tell other people how to love.” Her words resonated deeply with me, and sparked a total shift in my head and heart. For awhile I had been feeling just sort of “blah” about my work. My clients were amazing, and they were all happy, but I felt like I was somehow missing the mark on what I wanted to deliver to them. I’ve never done much directing or posing during my sessions, and wanted my clients to “just be.” But what the heck does that even mean to people? I realized that when I uttered those words to the average person during a session, it often generated a now-I’m-terrified-and-have-no-idea-how-to-act sort of look in their eyes, and then I had to start giving direction…the very thing I was trying to avoid. In order to carry out the type of sessions I envision, I have to do a way better job of educating my clients before their session. And because it’s really hard to sell ordinary, that means I need to emotionally connect clients to my images. Fast forward a year.
In 2016 I’m done posing and directing during sessions, like 100% done, and it feels really good to say that. Have no fear though, when you book a session with me, we will now spend more time upfront so I can get to know you, your family, your experience, or your ideas better. This doesn’t mean a ton of work for my clients, and will amount to a few email exchanges and maybe a phone call. I’m confident that putting more work into sessions before they happen will allow me to deliver more authentic photos to my clients. If I’m telling you to grab a pile of books and go sit on your bed and read to your kids, then I’m directing the memory and the moment, and the authentic vibe is gone. I don’t want to be the director. Think about it for a few minutes. Think of someone important to you. Think of the memories you’ve created with that person. Now, how many of those memories exist anywhere but in your head? How will you pass them on to family and friends? Memories are what we have, and all too often they start fading quicker than we’d like. So let’s do something about that, let’s create tangible memories so you always have something to remember them by. My daughter used to have this exhausting, multi-step bedtime routine, and living in that season of life there were times I couldn’t wait for it to be over because I thought it would never end. I was certain I’d always remember it, but almost 3 years after the last time I sang those made up songs with her, I don’t. So, how are you going to remember bedtime routines, and quirky expressions, and backyard adventures, and all of those things that knit together this ordinary life?