Okay, so it’s not the end of summer by any means, but once it’s after the 4th it seems to fly even faster. Today was my daughter’s last day of softball for this season. I spent the day in Mason City at the Newman High School softball field. After a whirlwind month, I am getting back into the swing with high school senior pictures.
This year has been eventful. I have had to make some decisions in my personal life and in my business. I am continuing to spend as much time as possible at my kids’ activities, and being the best mom that I can be is my top priority, as I mentioned in February. This has meant cutting down on the number of sessions that I am shooting this year. Unfortunately, this means I have had to turn down some jobs. I wish that each session was as simple as just the photo shoot… For me to do my job as I have been doing it (and the way I wish to continue it), there are several steps to each photographic session before we arrive at the final prints. First, I meet with each client ahead of time to decide what they would like from their session. We discuss clothing selections, tips for good images, and just get to know each other a little before the shoot. Next, is the actual session. After the session, I edit the images to the best ones. Of these, I retouch some, add special effects, make some black and white… This, by the way, takes a while when I am working on h.s. senior images. Then we meet and my client watches a slideshow and we decide what images they like and figure out the best products for them. Next, I retouch the client’s favorite images, crop them to desired sizes and order them. Once the portraits arrive, I carefully go through each item, make sure everything looks perfect, and then I beautifully package the images. Anything that is 16×20 or larger is also hand-signed by me. Once everything is ready to go, I call my client and let them know that their order is here and we arrange a pick-up time. All together, that is 7 steps for one photo shoot. I have a wonderful assistant that comes and helps me during my sessions. She helps with the lights, steams backgrounds, and is fabulous with the little details. Everything else I do on my own. This set-up is the best one for me and my family. I got to the point in my business where I either needed to get bigger and delegate some responsibilities, or become somewhat smaller in order to try to achieve that “balance” that I think all working moms are trying to achieve. I am very grateful for my clients. I am very grateful for my family. I will continue to strive to do my very best for both of these areas in my life.