You know what's hard? Saying NO. It makes you stand out and causes you to be vulnerable and can just be plain uncomfortable. But I have begun to do just that. I have begun to say no to shoots that I truly don't feel will help me grow my business or ones I truly don't feel I have the best skills for.
One thing I have begun to say no to is family portraits. You'll notice that most of the "family photos" on this blog are not so typical and I like it that way, and that's the type of client I want to attract. I have begun to say no to the standard, stand together in the desert, arms around each other, say cheese family portraits. No disrespect if that's what you like or that's what you shoot, it's just not what I'm about. And frankly, I don't think I'm that good at it. I feel awkward and unnatural and I'd rather just watch you and your family interact, be silly, messy and joyful. I am saying YES to those types of family portraits.
Do you have traditions that you and your family do every year for holidays, summer, birthdays? I want to photograph the giggles and the blackened feet, the story times and the sticky fingers and popsicle stained faces. The hands clasped in prayer and the hands covered in mud. If you want me to photograph your family in home or in a special place doing something special, I will most likely say YES.
The Gouge family had me over at their charming home where I saw faces covered in Nutella, big splashes in a pools, fierce hugs and hand made crafts hung in beautiful light. They ate brunch, giggled, played, splashed, hula-hooped, smiled big, talked sternly and softly and loved. I loved capturing it.