Over the weekend I shared with my Instagram following that I'm moving away from family photography sessions in 2023. This causes a small amount of shock anytime I bring it up because I've always offered family sessions! I'm not sure if it's something about the kind of people I'm attracting to my business or if I just took off rose-colored glasses along the way but in the last six months or so I've just found family sessions leave me more and more drained. At the same time, I've noticed engagement photography, wedding photography and boudoir photography all keep me creatively invested, entertained and proud of my work. So at the end of 2022 I decided that I'd begin shifting my niche a little bit.
Here's the good news!
I will continue to offer family sessions if it feels like a good fit for newer clients throughout 2023 and once we reach 2024 I will continue to offer family photography to existing clients. That includes previous family clients, newlyweds growing their families, so on and so forth.
TLDR? Book with me sometime this year to get into that exclusive group!
Why are you moving away from family photos?
Like I mentioned above, I'm not sure if it's something about the kind of people I'm attracting to my business or if I just took off rose-colored glasses along the way but in the last six months or so I've just found family sessions leave me more and more drained. Unfortunately, I feel like a majority of family sessions have a lot of stress tacked on.
Sometimes it's because they're cramming to fit them into a busy season for holiday photos or struggling to make a time work with their extended family. Sometimes it's because the client expects everyone to look and act picture perfect, which results in scolding kiddos for not having patience during sessions, teens fighting, parents being passive aggressive-- as a recovering perfectionist, it's just not energy I enjoy being around.
If you've followed my business for a while, you know that I emphasize fun, go-with-the-flow, enjoying each others company and playfulness. For a long time I believed that my own goofy, easygoing energy would be enough to negate the feet-dragging and impossibly high expectations that can be brought into family sessions, but I have found that just isn't the case.
Again, 2023 is going to be spent carefully selecting the families I work with. But another way I'm hoping to improve family photography sessions in 2023 is by introducing 30-minute photography sessions. These sessions are designed to get in, get out and do it all before anyone burns out and throws a tantrum! These 30-minute photography sessions will still yield a healthy minimum of 15 professionally edited photos and is recommended for small families or families with babies or toddlers who may burn out.
30-minute session for photography in Flagstaff yields a minimum of 15 professionally edited photos. This type of session is recommended for small families or families with babies and toddlers who may burn out with a longer photography session.
I decided to offer this because I've gotten to a place in my sessions with families where I know exactly what prompts and poses work best, which means we can move through the must-have shots quickly and efficiently. There's no need to fart around and keep shooting and trying to keep spirits high for 60 minutes when it can be all said and done with in 30.
Another temporary solution is just talking openly about this. I know that my clients and prospective clients prefer I continue to offer this service and maybe if I'm just more transparent and guiding for families I'll be able to turn the tides and rediscover love for family photos. Family sessions used to be so fun and something I looked forward to! The uniqueness of bonds, the memories we create together-- it's bittersweet to have to make a post like this and create new boundaries. Oftentimes people don't recognize how their energy effects those around them and dampens an experience that's intended to be positive and easy. Maybe if I shine a light on that it can help families take a big, deep breath and celebrate the imperfections that families are.