Let me take a few minutes to talk about my sessions, something I'm sure I'll probably say again on this site because they're just things I feel strongly about. 1 Creativity. Before each of my sessions, I set aside time to brainstorm just for that session. I think and think and think, and I come up with new things for each family. One thing that really sets me apart from a lot of family photographers -- even a lot of on-location photographers -- is that I hate using the same location twice. So far, I have yet to do that. I also don't have a lot of go-to poses I run all of my clients through. I think about your family individually and come up with new ideas just for you. I don't want any of my clients' photos to look just like another clients' photos.
2 Spontaneity. While I spend a lot of time planning for my sessions and show up with ideas in mind, I don't let that stop me from catching other moments or improvising when external forces aren't going perfectly, like the weather for the first half of this session. Whether it's a ladybug crawling on someone's clothes, a father comforting his daughter after she fell in the creek, a wrestling match between a mother and her son, or kids stopping to check out a dragonfly, I don't want to miss it. It's all a part of your family's story, and my goal is to capture a story during our sessions. This is exactly why albums and books are such ideal products for my clients, so they can flip through and see their story -- all the details, all the memories, all the laughs we had together during our session.
3 Perfectionism. I am a perfectionist with a capital P. I notice every tiny detail of every one of your photos. I will never forget a conversation I had with one of my clients a few weeks ago after her session. As we were chatting, I asked, "What does your husband do for a living? I was editing out a small tanline on your husband's face from sunglasses, and while I was doing that I was wondering what his job must be." The look of surprise on her face was priceless. There have been times I've had a family all set up during a session, looked through my camera, noticed something wasn't right, and said, "Okay, let's move over here. This isn't going to work." Sure, it would be easier to leave everyone there and pretend nothing's wrong, but I wouldn't be able to stand it.
While I never think to myself, "I'll just fix this in Photoshop," (with the exception of zits and scrapes and things I can't fix with my camera) I am a perfectionist when I edit my clients' photos as well. You have no idea how I agonize over every photo. Although it would save me a lot of time, I don't just run everyone's photos through standard or purchased Photoshop actions. Each one is scrutinized and dealt with individually.
And it's pretty much guaranteed that after I post photos here or in your gallery, I'll go back through, fix something minuscule no one will ever notice but myself or another photographer with an acutely sharp eye, and re-upload it without anyone being the wiser. If it winds up in your final photos, it was meant to be there. I am insanely critical of my own work, which I hope I never lose because it means I get better with every single shoot. The day I find a photographer who's as much of a perfectionist as I am and remotely in my price range is the day I can actually have family photos taken of us. It's a blessing and a curse, I suppose.
4 Fun. People always tell me that my clients look like they're having fun in their photos. That's because they are. I don't think most people realize how many technical and creative thoughts are constantly cycling through my brain throughout their entire session for all the laughing and joking and running after children I do. But I also know when to step back and shut up -- sometimes I don't want to interrupt a child playing or a romantic moment. One of my favorite moments from a session was hearing parents of three say as they were sitting underneath the tree, "This is really relaxing." How many people describe getting family photos as relaxing?? I considered that mission accomplished.
5 Professionalism. I handle my business very professionally. I provide my clients with luxuries that they won't get with part-time, on-the-side, cheap photographers. Everything offered and delivered to my clients are of the highest quality, no expenses spared -- from my welcome packets to boutique packaging on orders to unparalleled quality of prints and products from professional imaging labs that don't work with the general public. At the same time, I do not nickel-and-dime my clients with hidden fees that they'll be surprised by when they receive their invoices. I want my clients to feel spoiled, not only with beautiful final images but with their whole experience working with me as their photographer.