As I sit down to gather my favorite images from 2011, I am overwhelmed by all the amazing sessions I had over the past year. I would like to thank my wonderful clients for picking La Mia Bella to photograph your precious memories! I am so thankful for each and every one of you, because without you I would not be where I am today. 2011 was such a blessing and I am SO VERY grateful for the continual growth over the past 3 years.
In the past year, I photographed 71 photo sessions, 2 births, 4 weddings, 8 military homecomings, 1 retirement and 1 pinning ceremony. I also took off the entire months August and December to concentrate on family time. A lot of people ask me, “how do you take a WHOLE MONTH off work?” and my answer is simple….time with my family is worth so much more than any paycheck or any amount of business. With another deployment in 2012, I knew we had to take advantage of the time we had together before my husband was taken away from us….again. As most of you know, my husband was deployed for 6 months last year. Therefore I took time off in August after his homecoming to just enjoy having our family complete again. We took a week long vacation to Gatlinburg, TN with our extended family and I think it’s safe to say we ALL had an amazing time. We also finished some long overdue home renovations and enjoyed the last few days of summer before the kids went back to school. In December, my husband had to leave again for 12 days in preparation for another deployment. After his return we DROVE to Chicago to spend Christmas with his side of the family. This next year, I will spend another 6+ months without my husband…my kids will spend another 6+ months without their daddy here to tuck them in each night. Please do not think I’m telling you this to gain your sympathy, I am simply trying to emphasize the importance of spending time with your loved ones.
I said all of that to say this…..recently there has been an article (or blog post) floating around the online photography community. Many of you may have seen this article shared on facebook, but if you have not I HIGHLY recommend you read the article. It can be found by clicking here. I read this article and as tears poured down my face, I realized I have dropped the ball with my own family photos and even with random candid snapshots. On Christmas morning, I took 6-7 shots and my kids said “mom, put down your camera and open your gifts”….and I did. Now I regret that I have less than 10 photos of my kids opening their Christmas presents. I think I have been so involved with taking pictures of my clients that I have been too busy to take pictures of my own family. That is going to change. In 2012 I will take as many shots of my kids and husband as possible, no matter how much they gripe and complain….even if it’s with a little point-n-shoot. I won’t care about exposure or composition, but only about their beautiful faces!
I also realized that in today’s digital age that many of the photos I DO have of my kids are stuck on my computer. Sure I’ve shared them on facebook with my family and friends, but I have not printed, framed or displayed these beautiful photos in my home. Nor have I printed and mailed copies to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. And I KNOW I am not the only one guilty of this. I have had numerous clients tell me they have done the same thing. They purchase the CD from their photo session and never have the images printed. I’ve even had my clients’ family members contact me and complain about this. Which leads me to ponder……should I no longer offer digital files to my clients? should everyone have to purchase a printed image before they can purchase the digital copy? should I stop sharing sneak peeks on Facebook? These are all questions that require serious thought and I want to make the best decision for MY CLIENTS.
I would love to hear from my clients and from other photographers about this. Surely I’m not the only one with this debate, right?!