Some call me The Photographer’s Copywriter. By some I mean me. I do actually say this. When people ask me what kind of writing I do, I tell them that I only write for photographers. It took me years to commit to that. Because I was afraid that if I got really specific, I would run out of people to work with. I was so, so, so wrong.
I’m writing this to you from a little room tucked back in the woods. I’ve been on a writing retreat for a few days, trying to finish a project that I’ve had rolling around in my brain for almost two years. More on that to come.
I deleted Instagram off my phone and only used it on my desktop when I was looking for resources necessary to finish this project.
Writing copy for photographers is mostly about convincing them to be, well, more them. I spend 50% of my time getting to know them, 30% of my time convincing them that who they are is the best “who” they’ll ever be, and maybe 20% of my time actually writing and editing.
I spent a lot of time this month thinking about my values, priorities, and goals. I decided that I couldn’t create daily disciplines without having the end in mind. Contentment is going to look different for everyone and part of this project is defining what it looks like for me.
I know Joni two ways. One way because she is an outstanding photographer, so I got to know her and her work through online groups over the past few years. The second way is through our dear mutual friend, Kera.
I texted Kera one day and said, “Would it be weird if I asked Joni if I could photograph her birth?” She promptly responded: “Absolutely not. Do it.”
I’ve been copywriting for photographers for a little while now. OK, 4 years. I’ve looked at hundreds of websites. Maybe thousands. And more often than not, they blur together. They all start to sound the same. Sure, the photos look different and I know for a fact that the photographer really has their own special (and wonderful!) personality, but I would never know it from reading their site.
This is a photo of me, finishing an insane work day yesterday with not a glass, but a can of rosé. I am currently very happy in my life, but also very, very tired. This post is for working moms who are happy and tired too.
This is me, committing to my role as a copywriter for photographers. I’ve been writing websites for the past 4 years. I’ve worked with almost 100 clients. WUT. And yes, this is the first time I’m talking about it. I’ve been so busy doing the actual work that I haven’t been able to share any of it. I’ve learned a ton along the way and it’s time to share the things that might be helpful to other small business owners. Welcome to my copywriting world.
At least once a year since 2011, Trav and I seriously discussed moving. As living expenses rose, the housing market reached volatile levels, and priorities shifted, we examined what we wanted and needed. And each year, I said, “Not yet.”
I have so many family blogs to show you that I should be embarrassed. Or at the very least, not admit it to you. I’m above that kind of pride though I guess (or perhaps just a foolish business woman?). It’s also 5:30 in the morning and I’m trying to stay awake with my child, so why not just blog some photos?
I’m just going to say it. There’s something that has often frustrated me about photographers—they don't want to pay for photography.
Some do trades with other photographers, which is fine. Great even. I'm all about bartering when you can. Some try to take their own photos, whether that's headshots, family portraits, or brand photos. Again, totally fine. But then there are the ones in most of my groups on Facebook that say, "My ideal clients can afford to spend way more than I can on photos."
I’m sure you’ve all heard about this new … trend? I hate calling this a trend because that implies that it’s going away. And really, I know most people are trying to make it a lifestyle. And it should be, for sure.
So baby showers. I ... don't love them. In fact, I kind-of think they are the worst thing ever.
Before I get assaulted by everyone, I get that I am on an island here. People have argued with me for years about how it represents support and community and love. But I have always had a hard time reconciling playing pin-the-bow-on-the-baby with the sisterhood.
I feel like I need to preface this post with an apology. None of you moms knew this (or worse, maybe you did!), but I judged you for something. Hard. No, it wasn't how messy your house was. Or your birthing plan. Or how you ate/drank/dressed/lived during pregnancy. It was how much energy you put into getting ready for your baby.
Maybe you noticed that somewhere around October I stopped posting as much on this blog and on social media. Or that when I did, my hair was up and my face had a beautiful greenish glow. Or that most of my words revolved around food or napping.
And maybe you're doing some math and realizing that I'm just now, at almost 20 weeks, posting about the first trimester, which technically ended two months ago. You're right about all of it.
We leave here in one week. That’s insane. In some ways, it feel like it flew by. In others, the days felt slow and long, like time actually moves at a slower pace here.
I thought I would write the entire time I was here. I thought I would be overwhelmed with words and thoughts and revelations—things I would share with people on this blog with everyone.
But here I am, a week from leaving, and writing something to share for the second time. The words and thoughts and revelations came, but they weren’t for sharing. They were for me. This season has been one of definite growth and change, but more than anything, it’s been a lesson in being present.
I asked (read: forced) Travis to write a blog for you all. I thought it might be a good idea to let you hear from him while we are in Kenya because he is, after all, half of this journey. He's also much smarter than me so who knows? Maybe I'll get some more engineers to follow along, ;).
I remember studying the planets as a kid in elementary school, maybe even making a diorama of our solar system, but I don’t remember truly geeking out over them. It was just another science topic and I suppose at that point in life I was too devoted to recess activities to think or feel strongly about the planets.
Welp, we've been here in Maai Mahui at Naomi's Village for a little over a week now. And that feels crazy to me. I honestly feel like we've been here a month. And not in a bad way, but in a very, very comfortable way. The kids welcomed us with wiiiiiide open arms on the very first day we were here. They instantly started referring to us as Auntie Rachel and Uncle Travis, and I did my very best to learn the names of all 81 kids (plus about 20 staff!) in the first week. And I did it!
Today is the day! I'm writing this blog from a cute little coffee shop in Salt Lake City. Trav and I just landed and we have a few hours to kill before boarding our flight to Amsterdam.
(If you don't read every word I write on all social media channels, I judge you and I have some news: Trav and I are heading to Kenya for the next four-ish months. We will be working at a children's home—him as an engineer, me as a photographer.)