My passion for photography has been a long and interesting road. I started in the 50s. In the 70s, I was making money at it. While the passion has always been there, the activity has ebbed and flowed depending on where I was and what I was experiencing.
When I had little babies to care for, I did less photography for others. I did more for my family. As my children grew, so did my business. Now they are all grown with babies of their own. And now, it's time to make a few more changes.
I did a lot of weddings back in the 70s. I did not aspire to be a wedding photographer, but I did them because it was a time to pay my dues, to learn, to grow, to experience the stresses of covering a major life event that can never be rescheduled. After a few years of doing that, along with other wedding photographers who went on to do mostly weddings, I weeded weddings out of my activities.
I did continue to do some gigs as a second shooter, and found those to be fun, but never again would I be the principal wedding photographer, by choice. (Well, there was one time when the principal photographer quit in the middle of a wedding and I had to step up to the plate, with the wrong gear for the job, but somehow I pulled it off as my last hurrah as a wedding photographer.)
I have done model shoots, and product shoots, and I have shot for magazines and newspapers and stock agencies. I wish I had kept track of all of the family shoots that I have done. Over the years it must number in the hundreds, possibly nearly a thousand.
When I first went into business (other than as a wedding shooter, or a magazine shooter), but when I first claimed some space in the photography world, it was as a child photographer. I had a business card with a cute kid's face (thanks Liza) on it and my name, and under that, "Child Photographer." And that is what I did.
I had graduated from college with degrees in Fine Arts and Child Psychology, as two separate majors. But the two merged so nicely for the role of a child photographer. I had fun doing this. I would go play in the backyard with the kid and we would look for caterpillars and dandelions, while the adults chatted inside. Those were good times.
I was talking to my husband recently about how I often feel fragmented by the pull of three talents, like demanding triplets. Photography, art, and writing. I have done all three, and seen all three published. Now that I am well established in my 60s, I think about what I want to do when I grow up.
There are some things that I want to retire or semi-retire from at this time. I want to semi-retire from editing other peoples' books. I want to semi-retire from writing to spec (writing assignments that must meet the editors' demands for the editors' purposes, as opposed to creating something that comes from the vast universe within me).
I want to retire/semi-retire from traditional family photography. Gasp? What? I know there is a lot of demand there, and hardly a day goes by that I do not receive an inquiry from someone looking for a family photographer. Some of you reading this may have had some family portraiture done by me only recently.
So, I will explain. First of all, it is the most physically demanding of all of the photography that I am presently doing. It wears me out immensely.
Secondly, while it is possible to be creative with family photography, the parameters are still pretty much set. It tends to favor the line-them-up-and-shoot-them style of photography which I try to avoid.
Thirdly, I hang out with a lot of photographers, and many are very talented and up and coming young people with lots of energy and motivation. I would like to refer most family photo sessions to them from here on out. Will I not ever do another family session? I will never say never, it will depend. If I like the situation, I may agree to do one.
But my fourth reason for retiring from that aspect of the business is in order to do more photography for my own family. I am behind. Kind of like the shoemaker's children always being barefooted.
And my fifth reason for phasing out the family group sessions is in order to focus more on the things that I want to do more of while I still have time.
I need to write more. I need to draw and paint more. I need to do more creative photography. I need to play more.
Where do you, my clients and future clients come in?
Well, I want to do more fine art portraiture of you. So, I will emphasize more pencil and watercolor portraits. If you want more creative photography, of yourself, your baby, let's talk! If you would like a photojournalistic session of your family, I am totally there! If you want me to play with, and photograph your adorable kid, I'm there.
As for the writing, well, for the most part, that is a solitary venture. However, I am wanting very much to do more books that include photos, art work, and text to memorialize your family life, your loved ones. Imagine pages of collage, art, photos, and text in books that you will want to keep forever and hand down to the next generations. I am so there!
After talking to my husband to help refine my goals and thoughts, I worked on one of my own personal photos and the words to accompany it came from the wellspring within that has had to lie dormant far too often. It made me happy.
So, I am not leaving the business, but I am refining what I do more carefully.
If you have any questions, please feel free to talk to me. If you have a need for a kind of photography that I am not wanting to do anymore, I know of many to whom I can refer you. If we match up, then I will be very excited to do the work! Sound good?
Oh, and I lowered my prices on what I am offering, and I realized that in some cases, my prices had gone way up for the kinds of sessions that were becoming so much work. With those gone from my pricelist, I was happy to lower prices all over the place, to do work that I would love to do!
I will be upgrading the website, soon, but in the meantime, you may request a copy of the current pricelist at any time and I will send you a copy.
Thanks for listening!