Last year was full of many ups and downs. I had some amazing clients last year and appreciate everyone who trusted me to capture their family memories. However, juggling a full time job, a family, young child, and a growing photography business left me wondering if I should continue. I thought long and hard and almost gave up on my little photography business. It is hard to find the balance between shooting to record my family memories as well as other people's families.
So I decided to do some soul searching and discover why deep down I still have this need to continue with my business. What I found is that I need to continue down this path for a few different reasons. Of course money is a small part, way at the bottom of my list of reasons. Any extra money helps, but we could live without it. Plus I would have extra time to work on personal projects around the house, so money isn't why I want a photography business. Next reason is purely curiosity. I feel that I need to know where this path leads, that it is too soon to quit now. If I give up now I will always wonder 'what if I had kept trying just a bit longer? That lead to me to the real reason I can't quit my business - YOU! I do this for you - my clients.
Whoever you may be, I do it for you. Maybe you are a working woman with a full time job, kids, husband, dogs, the list goes on. Maybe you get depressed every morning when you get ready for work and hate how your clothes make you look in the mirror. You think if I could just loose 5 or 10 pounds, we could get some family photos taken. But then you go to work, take the kids to ball practice, eat out for the third time this week, and finally make it home by 8:00. By the time you get the kids in bed you are way too tired for exercise, so you collapse in the recliner to watch your favorite show instead.
However, you are missing the truth - the truth is, your family loves you. They love you just the way you are. Your kids don't see those 5 or 10 extra pounds, they see their mother. The woman they can come to when they fall down and scratch their hands, or when they are hungry and can't get the granola bars, or when their favorite toy breaks and its the end of their little world. They come to you for comfort and reassurance that in the end everything will be ok.
In 20 years, they aren't going to look back at family photos and worry about what you should have looked like. They will most likely laugh at everyone's hair do's and clothing choices, but hey we can't control everything :). What they will really enjoy is looking at old family photos (the ones that have actually been printed) and seeing that dad actually had hair! Or that they used to be shorter than mom. Or remembering the family dog that is no longer around (pets are always welcome at my sessions).
What will you see when viewing the images from your session? You will see how beautiful you are when you laugh. You will see the love and affection on your face when your kids and/or your husband hugs you. You will see all of these things that the mirror cannot show you. You will also see the look in your kids or your husbands eyes when they look at you. Moments happen so fast that sometimes we don't even notice something until it is frozen in a photograph.
Now I have been talking a lot about family photography, but capturing your life as a couple (dating, engaged, married with or without kids) is just as important. On of my biggest regrets is not getting more professional images of my husband and I in the first 5 years we were married. I cannot believe how much we have changed. Like seriously, I thought kids were the only ones that changed so fast, but I look at our wedding photos and then at our maternity photos and am like 'wow, how did we change so quickly!' So I wish I had made my husband get some professional photos between that time. I can capture your pure love for each other, the emotion and passion you all have for each other. I want you all to look at the images and feel the love you have for each other. I want you to get those images printed and hang them on your wall. So that when you are stressed from work or school or money, you can look at the images hanging in your house and remember that you have each other and everything will be ok.
So maybe you are thinking 'all this sounds great, but how are you going to do this for my family? The kids won't sit still, the husband hates his photo being taken, I don't have the energy to figure out the outfits' Well the good news is - the kids don't have to sit still, hubby doesn't have to be all of the photos (if all else fails, give him a beer haha), and I am here to help you choose the outfits. I am here to make your photo session as stress free as possible. Maybe you don't want to spend your only Saturday off posing for photos. Well, you don't have to pose. Just think of it as fun family time - because I want to have fun at sessions, so you will too. We will be out in nature (unless you want an in home session and that's great too). We can laugh and chat. It will only take an hour max and during this time you all can stop worrying, I will take over and tell everyone what to do. Let me guide you and your family through a fun filled minimal posing session. You all can hang out and I will capture your family being a family. Bring the kid's favorite toys and let them play. Soak in the beauty of your surroundings and just be.
Shauna Hargis Photography is a portrait photographer serving the Livingston, Cookeville, and the Middle TN area. Shauna is devoted to capturing authentic moments in a simple and timeless way.