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It’s time for 2016 scheduling changes!
My husband – who is traveling for work again this week – just sent this to me. At first it was funny, then reality struck me and it almost made me sad. I have never read something that has rung so true to me. I have been saying this since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. “I just have to get through this week…” then life will get less stressful….
This fall/Christmas season I made the mistake of overbooking myself. In the last month we have photographed 52 sessions. I don’t work Sundays, and I took 4 days off for Thanksgiving. That means that Monday-Saturday, I have photographed at least 2 sessions each day…. some days 3.
 
My husband has been out of town for 2 weeks over the past month leaving me to be a single mom to 5 amazing kids who have as many after school activities as the average american teenager.
 
I LOVE what I do. I can’t imagine a life without photographing your life.
 
As much as I love what I do, I LOVE my family even more. The day that Two Color Photography becomes more important than these beautiful children and my very patient, supportive husband, is the day that I must close my doors.
 
Don’t worry, I’m not planning on shutting my doors – it’s just time to make a few changes that will help with my stress levels (especially at a time of year where I should be enjoying the magic of this season with my kids) and allow me to continue to show my family that they are #1 to me.
 
As I’m sure you know, newborns are my true love.  They are the subject that brings my heart the most happiness and the most peace when I am photographing them.  This year I SURPASSED the goal I set last year to photograph 104 newborns (doubling the newborns that were in my studio in 2014) reaching 106 newborns!!  This makes me truly so happy!
For 2016, I am going to continue to specialize in newborns, to do this most effectively, I will be instigating the following changes.
  • I will be limiting the number of family sessions I take to 3 sessions a week.  I recommend booking your family session 6 weeks in advance.
  • I will schedule Saturday family sessions only twice a month – and only ONE session per day each of those 2 Saturdays.  I have missed out on so many family activities that happen on Saturdays. I can’t miss watching my kids grow up.  I would never forgive myself.  If you would like a Saturday session, I recommend booking your family session 8-10 weeks in advance.
  • I will no longer be offering family sessions in December.  I can’t begin to accurately express how overly stressed I am in a month that should be magical and fun.  I have an adorable little 5 year old, and a beautiful little 8 year old (as well as some equally beautiful and handsome older children) you know how absolutely magical every single day of December is to children that age.  I’m missing the magic.  I’m missing out on the t.v. Christmas specials, the treat making, the book reading.  I shoot all day, edit all night, and sleep seldom.  I am beginning to feel emotionally and physically worn down.
  • I will schedule children, toddlers, and older babies up until the 10th of December.
  • Newborns will still be scheduled up until December 20th.
  • I will offer 1 Sale Price Session Quarterly to accommodate multiple families in a Saturday.  These usually fill up before I advertise them, so if you’re interested in a Sale Price Session, contact me for details.
  • I will adhere more strictly to my office hours.  This has been something I have struggled with so much this year.  My clients have all become my friends, and I want you to always feel how important your friendship and your business is to me.  This relationships I have with my clients turns into a problem when a client calls or texts late into the night.  If you need to call me, please call between the hours of 9:00am and 6:00pm Monday thru Friday.  If you need to reach me after hours, send me an email or fb message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  All calls made after hours will be allowed to go directly to voice mail.
  • All order pickups will need to be scheduled 24 hours in advance.  I can’t have clients just dropping by hoping I’ll be available.  I don’t want to ruin the relationships I’ve created with my clients, but having a home office creates a unique challenge. When you enter into my business, you are entering into my home.  For the sake of my family life, there needs to be a more distinct line between work time and family time.  When I’m with my family, I need to be with them 100%.  Just like when I’m with a client during a session, I am with them 100%.  My kids deserve to have their mom around more.
  • Starting in 2016, all clients MUST purchase a minimum of $75 in the gallery in order to receive their digital files.  2015 was the first year I instigated the minimum print purchase policy.  I was very lenient in this policy, especially with past clients.  I feel so strongly the importance of printing images to have on your walls.  How many of you still haven’t printed images from your last session?  In 20 years, will your kids have a physical image of themselves as children?  Something they can touch and hold.  Will it be lost on a hard drive of a computer?  My print prices are very competitively priced, and top of the line in quality.  I want your images printed in a way that portrays the vision I had while creating them.
  • Maternity, birth story, and newborn sessions will need to be scheduled in advance.  I leave 1 day each week for a last minute newborn booking.  On average,  I turn away 1 newborn per week because I don’t have a time slot set aside.  I can’t begin to stress the importance of booking your newborn session while in your 2nd trimester.  All newborn information can be found here: All about Newborn Sessions!

I can’t begin to express how much each of my clients mean to me.  I work in an industry that is all about family.  Family portraits, newborn portraits, senior portraits, children, babies.  They are your family, and when I spend an hour or two with you, I feel like part of your family. Family is what it’s all about in the long run.

This year I have spent more hours with your beautiful families, then I have with my own beautiful family.  I guess that makes me a hypocrite.

In 2016 my main goal is to be with my family more while still serving your families.  After all, look how beautiful they are!  (Photo taken in 2014 – more proof that I’m not putting my family first.  We didn’t get a 2015 family session.)

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