The Joy and Fear of Loving Your Job {North Louisiana Photographer}

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” - Abraham Maslow

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Heads up, I might ramble a bit, so I apologize in advance, but when you finish I hope you see why I’m being so detailed and open with you guys :) Don't have time to read my babbling? New things are in bold!

I don’t even know where to start! Changes are being made all throughout my business, starting with the minute detail of my social media watermark! It’s been two and a half years now since I’ve started this amazing journey, with the past year being all in, full-time, make it or break it self-employed!! Time has flown by! And with it comes the fun of assessing where things stand. Ah the joys of being a small business owner ;) LOL! I’m a creative, I don’t want to think about that, I just want to take gorgeous images! But, reality is, I gotta. And that’s ok :) And the scarier part was that I was beginning to feel like I was going downhill. It scared the living poop out of me! I was beginning to feel like I was losing the connection with my clients. I got to where we message, shoot, email a gallery link, they get digitals, and then I hope I made enough of a goofy impact for them to message me for the next time. 

Not ok. Maybe for some, but not for me. So I had to do something, and something big. Next week will mark one year that I have been at my studio on Main Street. Some of you might not know that I even had a studio! That’s ridiculous! How have I not been taking advantage of this amazing space and sharing it with ALL my clients, not just some when it rains or to do a quick meet up?? I have been missing out on the relationships built by face to face contact. And that’s where my main change is happening! I’m so excited to announce that I am officially transitioning into a full-service photography studio! Starting with a consult (either in studio or by phone), we will have the opportunity to discuss your session goals, what you hope for in the end product, and build your custom quote! The best part is that you will be able to schedule an in studio order session between one week and two weeks following your session instead of waiting up to, lordy I hate to admit, up to four weeks for an online gallery! Talk about a better turn around!

Some of my clients may have noticed I’ve been moving towards a more print based business, and this will definitely strengthen that. I know some may think I’m just trying to make a sale; maybe in some ways, I’m not going to deny it. I have to earn a living. (I have bills to pay, too LOL) But it’s not about the money with prints. With prints, that’s what I care about, and that’s what I want my clients to see. You get to walk by that family portrait every day; you get to relive hearing your son play his trumpet every time you see that image of him, even though he may be four hours away at college now; your grandkids will be able to laugh and cry as they go through all your old albums years from now. It kills my soul for clients to spend good-earned money on a session and then just leave the images up in their online galleries or in a folder on their desktop. I want to make sure the quality you get from time with me continues on through the canvases, albums, and prints you have framed in your home and office. I want to know that they have the highest quality of color and crispness to last for years. The best thing? Getting to hand deliver these products to my clients and see the joy on their faces when they see them in person! Seriously might be better than the session itself :D

With this, yes, my prices will change a bit, and I understand I risk clients leaving me because there’s always someone who will do it cheaper or even free! When I first started, I wanted to make sure to make everyone happy and be the one that no one had to worry about getting pictures based on price, but after two and a half years of busting my booty 12+ hours a day 7 days a week, lugging my laptop to edit while I hung out with friends, and never setting aside time just for my hubby (thank the Lord he never threw my phone in the toilet for constantly answering fb messages), only to end up making minimum wage and burning myself out on something I loved? I knew I had to make some changes!

The sad thing is that I freaking love my job, y’all!! So it was really hard to step back and realize something I loved so much was stressing me to no end. I’m beyond blessed that God gave me a way to share something I love so much with others, and I want to try my absolute hardest to keep from getting burned out by never stopping and enjoying the reasons we want to photograph our lives anyway!

Some might not like this, but after a LOT of sessions, editing, researching, and drooling over other’s work, I’ve decided instead of trying to be ok at everything, I’d rather focus my energy and try to be great at something! I relish my seniors, and I am choosing to dedicate myself more in this direction and finding more ways to make their sessions unique. I am still obsessed with my cake smashes, so no fear that those and family sessions will go away. And weddings are still moments I can’t express how beautiful it is to be a part of, so I will continue to build those relationships with brides and their future husbands! I will be referring out some amazing women for newborn sessions, as there are some that are just born baby whispers ;) Travel is one of my favorite things to do, so remember there’s no location too far!

I love you guys, and I'm so excited about taking this new leap into being able to give you full service from the moment we start talking to hanging your portraits in your home! Thank y'all for being so supportive! Keep your eyes out for updates to the website and studio {231 N Main St, Springhill, LA}

 

 

Taylor & Josh {Downtown Minden Wedding, Easley Studios Courtyard}

"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

It takes a strong man to be an officer, but an even stronger woman to stand by his side.

Nothing thrills me more than to be able to photograph a friend's wedding. It's such a joy to be able to see someone you've watched grow up commit themselves to another in the joy of love.

I graduated with Taylor's older sister, and living in in a small town, you definitely know everyone! The excitement is 1,000 times stronger when you know all those faces and truly see the glow behind each of them. 

We had way too much fun getting ready!! Taylor had to show off her self-tanned feet! LOL!

When the only thing the groom asks for is to wait until the ceremony to see his bride, a good woman knows to not let him see her ;) But, when you're so overwhelmingly in love with someone, the excitement is just unbearable!! So I arranged for them to have a few minutes together, but still not be able to see each other... They both wrote letters to each other, and the electricity from just passing a note made it feel like grade school! 

I could have watched these two dance all night... they were in their own little world! 

It literally rained right up to about 10 minutes before the ceremony, and I can't lie, I know everyone was on max stress level because we all were winging it! But God heard all of our prayers and it stopped long enough for the ceremony and started raining again as soon as we all got out onto the street! But that passed quickly as well and this gorgeous rainbow came out and then the sun decided to tease us just for a second!! God is so good!!

Disney Princess Mini Sessions {Day 1}

When you decide to grab a bunch of princess dresses and run out into the woods with some sweet little girls, you never know what to expect... I knew it was going to be fun, that's for sure!

First off, we are celebrating sweet Abby turning 3!! Today is her birthday :D And I'm pretty sure the excitement on her face says it all...

Harper was just a bundle of laughs, running and playing the whole time! One of my favorite things was how worn in her Belle dress was ~ knowing she basically lives in it, it means the world to get to capture these moments!

And you can't forget that cowgirl! Nothing like bringing out Moana and surfing to finishing up kicked back with your cowboy boots on! A daddy's princess is no other name than a cowgirl ;) 

And that's a wrap! ;) 

Introducing CJP's Senior Squad '18!

"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." - Coco Chanel

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This is year three for my senior rep program, and year two with the fabulous Callie Coe at Salon One Twenty! We push ourselves and our creativity each time and this year we wanted to channel Vanity Fair with our portrait session. From being dolled up, then stripping down to just raw individuals, we wanted to make sure to really showcase how beautiful these seniors are just being themselves!  

MADELYN WILLIAMS {CLAIBORNE ACADEMY}

KENZIE ELLINGTON {MINDEN HIGH}

GARRETT HEARNSBERGER {LAKESIDE HIGH}

CHLOE WHITEHEAD {TAYLOR HIGH}

ANNA GRACE NEAL {NORTH WEBSTER HIGH}

ETHAN FARRINGTON {NORTH WEBSTER HIGH}

JACII POWELL {MAGNOLIA HIGH}

KELLY JO WRIGHT {NORTH WEBSTER HIGH}

COLBY PITRE {TAYLOR HIGH}

ZOE LOYD {NORTH WEBSTER HIGH}

EMILEE SCHOMER {MAGNOLIA HIGH}

 

Make sure to keep your eye out for upcoming individual sessions showcasing these fabulous seniors! Now booking the Class of 2018! To top off your senior session and bring out your best features, you just gotta call Callie Coe at Salon One Twenty to prep with hair and makeup!

Fishing for Father's Day! {Mason's Surprise Session}

When Kindle messaged me about doing a surprise Father's Day fishing session for Craig, I screamed yes! It's always fun to get a little muddy for a session, especially when it's with a sweet little toot like Mason! We headed out to Lake Erling, in Taylor, Arkansas and had such a blast playing and splashing around the "fish" ;) Hope you can have a little bit of the fun we had by scrolling through the images; at least you won't get wet like I did! Happy Father's Day, Craig! 

Surprise sessions are so much fun! Contact me if you have anyone special you want to surprise with some fun silliness!