Being a family photographer during the beginning of the year is kind-of the best worst thing in the world. Every year, my thought process goes a little something like this:
January 2 … “Oh my gosh I have so much time! I’m going to get SO much done! I will organize all my receipts, do some accounting, implement some systems, take some classes. Thank the good Lord I don’t have people booking!”
January 15 … “I’ve done everything. I’m so accomplished. SO happy for this slow season. Maybe I will read a book or five.”
January 30 … “I’m bored. Maybe I will take a little trip.” Proceeds to spend money on getaway.
Februray 12 … “Should I offer a Valentine’s Day special? I’m a family photographer. Families don’t need Valentine’s photos. But I would like to make some money.“
February 29 … “It’s leap year day thing. Will people hire me now?”
March 1 … “IT’S MARCH. WHERE ARE THE CLIENTS?!”
March 15 … “I quit. This is too hard. No one will ever want photos ever again.”
March 16 … “You’re better than this. Get creative.”
It’s at about this point in the process where I start to brainstorm. I start to think of personal projects and reach out to prospective clients. This year, I didn’t have to look further than my own family.
I used to complain that photographers who were mothers had built-in content. They could just take beautiful photos of their kids all day long and never run out of things to post. This is not and was not a valid excuse. I have soooo many friends who have children. I could have been doing this same thing for years. But I didn’t. I was lazy and thought I could just work when I was getting paid.
But where is the fun in that? Where is the inspiration and creativity in that? Where is the practice in that?
The truth is: this is slow season. It is for almost everyone. (If it’s not for you, HIGH FIVE! You deserve it.) And in this season, I need to be a bunch of things: patient, calm, organized, and intentional. It’s really easy to binge-watch TV shows for a few months while grumbling about the lack of work. Trust me, I’ve done it. But I need to find some intention, for every day.
So two weeks ago, I started a project. Just a little one. One that fit pretty easily into my everyday life. I started photographing my niece and nephew (who just moved here in February). Every time I went to my sister’s house, I brought my camera. And every day, I would upload the photos onto my drive and edit just one.
This project is about patience. It’s about focusing on my weaknesses and sitting in them: low light, shooting through a scene without moving, waiting for moment, capturing the reaction. There are many things I can work on as a photographer. Why not use this time to improve?
So every day this month, I will be sharing a photo from this project. You’ll see the imperfect photographs, the beautiful faces of some of my favorite little people, and hopefully growth in my work. Follow along on Facebook; I promise it will make you smile!