The Portrait Debate

I love portraits. I really do. I also love my family. I am known easily saying yes to portraits and no to my family. There is something severely wrong with this thought. In my restless search for balance in my life I have finally figured out how I will be able to achieve balance. I must say no to certain shoots and yes to my family. I have this idea in my head that this summer I’ll go to the pool more, take monthly trips to the zoo, have a date night once a week and only shoot a small number of portraits. In the past I have said big things like “no more portraits” and then took it back and took on more then I wanted. I think we sometimes make big decisions like that in hopes it helps but in the end it didn’t. So here it is, here is what I like to do and am willing to do.

Seniors. I really like shooting Senior portraits. They are fun, casual, typically laid back and willing to do whatever this photographers heart desires. If I say climb a tree, they typically do it. These are some of my favorite shoots in my business, no time constraint just straight chasing the sunset. I also prefer girls, unless you’re Max & Brock who made shooting guys so much fun. I always shoot these at either sunrise or sunset, its the best time of day to shoot. I also prefer at least 3 outfits, gives us a chance to mix things up! Jorgi’s photos were taken at sunrise… they were amazing. I almost prefer a sunrise shoot over a sunset, the lighting is longer and better. Then again, a sunrise in the fields of Indiana’s cornfields is pretty dreamy. You’ll also notice her accessories… I love when we mix an outfit up just by adding a scarf or necklace!

Families. Okay so this is what I have struggled with… I love family portraits but what people don’t realize is that I am a shutterbug. I do not like shooting family sessions in the home… unless you know your kids better then I do and they’re amazing. I have only had 2 family’s that were amazing at shooting inside and they know who they are… their kids are like aliens so well behaved and perfect for the camera. Give me 20 minutes with those kids and I have over 200 photos. Here on earth with normal kids, inside photos aren’t the best! I love shooting at parks, familiar parks are good for them, at sunset after they’ve eaten… so much fun. I love getting the mix of photos of the whole family, each kid with the parent, the kids individually and together… I love all of that. Its never just a simple little shoot, I love catching the dynamics of the family and the personalities. In the photos below the Stephens family has had me as their photographer since Sullivan {their oldest} was under a year old. She was the cutest blue eyed baby I had ever had! I was so excited when her sister Sawyer arrived, they are the sweetest family. Photos are important to them, and Megan reminds me that everytime. This family makes me love my job even more. So this shoot in particular was shot at the park behind their house. We chose this park because they go here almost everyday in the summer. Their house is right behind the park so it means something to them. I loved capturing them in their family park, they were so at ease.

Maternity. I love Maternity sessions. Always will love them no matter where my life is heading. I love the glow of a woman carrying a baby. There is so much hope and love in the photos, I love them.

Newborns. They are the sweetest gift to us as parents. We were blessed with our own newborn in 2010 and I wish we would have gotten someone to come and take her photos. She came 4 weeks early so we were a bit unprepared and she also didn’t sleep through the night for a year so life was a blur. When Molly was a little over a year, just a few months after she started sleeping through the night 🙂 we decided to try for another baby. In 2012 we were pregnant with our 2nd baby and over the moon! 13 short weeks later I lost our baby just a day before a wedding and at that moment our life shifted. You don’t expect or even think of a miscarriage after you’ve had a perfect little girl. It really rocked our world so we waited to try again until the next year. On my 29th birthday we found out we were pregnant with our 3rd baby. The peace that came over us that day was pretty awesome, we were so excited. I also felt different in the sense that I wasn’t sick but just one day, only a little nausea here and there and I felt amazing. The week of Mother’s Day we had planned to find out what we were having so before my Doctor’s appointment that Wednesday morning I picked up a big white box to have a wonderful gender reveal with balloons and lots of pink and blue desserts. With my starbucks in hand I went into the Doctor’s office with not a care in the world. I was 15 weeks along that day when I found out we  had lost our baby girl. I felt like my world shifted again, I was no longer in this category of just one miscarriage but 2, now I knew something was wrong. But what came over me that day was hope so named our little girl Hope. I know this is may be sharing too much but this is our life and this has been what we’ve been going through. In October we finally got that positive pregnancy test we had been praying for but as soon as we got it I miscarried that next week. Its one thing to miscarry at 15 weeks but its another to miscarry just a week after getting a positive pregnancy test. This miscarriage brought no hope, it really did make me rethink having another baby. So what does this have to do with newborns? Everything. Yesterday I was editing some newborn photos and I felt like I was going to fall out of my chair. I am thankful for the business but this is when I choose not to say no and think I’ll be okay. I wasn’t okay yesterday and so this brought on my decision to no longer shoot newborn sessions. I have just one more session next month and I’m so excited to do it, Coty has already agreed to edit the photos for me which is amazing. After that session Henry Photography will no longer do newborn sessions. I’m happy to pass along those sessions to some friends who are amazing at what they do. I don’t ask for pity but I do ask for understanding.

So to sum up what all I just wrote, we shoot weddings, senior portraits, family sessions,maternity, headshots & some commercial. The kicker is, we will be limiting our monthly shoots during the summer due to weddings. It takes me 2 weeks to get the photos back to you and they’ll be sent via hightail. I always edit our photos and give the printing rights which not a lot of photographers do these days. During the months of May-October I can only shoot portraits Monday-Friday unless we have a Friday wedding. I will not be shooting any portraits on Sundays. I will be booking sessions a month ahead of time but during the rainy months we need to be flexible. If you’re wanting those amazing sunset photos, we can’t take the pictures when its cloudy… not the same! As for mini sessions… I will only be doing those for my current clients who I know I can get the photos we all want during that 25 minute timeframe. I only shoot current clients because I know them, they know me, we’re all comfortable together. I have done new clients in the past during a mini session and by the time the kids got comfy with me, it was over. I always do new clients on their own day and time slot so we have enough time together. Another tip about me, I shoot fast, I move fast, I talk a lot and I want us to have fun. So if you session is 30 minutes, let me refer you to some of my past clients who can contest that I shoot hundreds of photos during that 30 minutes. Never base a session off the time but the quality of the time. Two of my favorite girls to photograph are Ella & Kate… I literally only need like 20 minutes with these girls, they’ve got the photo taking down to a science! They are funny, sweet, pose themselves and have fun! I really love my job but I also would like to still love my job in 10 years. Finding my boundaries and making them stick will be hard but I’m excited to share where we want to go from here.


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