It’s hard to believe that the last blog post was almost 3 years ago during the pandemic. So much has changed since then…but so much has also remained the same. Over the years I’ve settled into my pricing and my various mini niches of photography at JBP. Typically capturing newborns, outdoor maternity, outdoor family, in-home newborn, 6-month and 1-year milestones, births, as well as mini sessions.
However, over the years since the pandemic, I’ve slowly removed items that didn’t bring me joy. Do you guys remember that show by Marie Kondo? I took that approach to my business and wanted to really hone into what brings me the most joy.
During the pandemic, births was the first outlet of photography that had to go. I love capturing births! However, it wasn’t feasible to be in the room any longer. Clients could only go in with one other person. And that obvious choice was not their birth photographer. Additionally, I wasn’t comfortable being near sick people and any potential exposure to COVID. So, I no longer capture birth photography. And it will definitely be missed! Read here about a birth story here: Katy | Houston Birth Photographer
After the pandemic, I really evaluated what I loved to capture, and what was popular among my clients. Milestones are fairly difficult. Dare I say more than a newborn session. The level of energy to quickly capture their attention, prevent stranger danger, get them to smile, then get them to sit in a bucket/on a stool/not run away…no longer brings me joy. The images are spectacular, but the effort to achieve them outweighs the joy. So Milestones will no longer be a part of my line up of available services. Milestone sessions have never been a large part of what I capture. But I will capture them as a special service for my newborn clients.
I capture maternity sessions outdoors for my JBP clients. The light and airy mossy tree vibe is always so ethereal. This area has declined over the years, as my studio maternity sessions over at Sanguine Portraiture have skyrocketed. These vogue style maternity sessions bring me so much joy. Also there was a time when I was capturing a maternity session outside in a field and my client pulled a tick off my pants. Yeah…that was the last time I was in that field. I was paranoid the whole ride home that other bugs were on me that my client didn’t see. Lol!
So, I am going to keep my focus on the fine art side of maternity. It is what I love to do. I often create looks and make couture dresses out of fabric. the design and creativity is where my heart leaps for joy. And there are no bugs…and a nice air conditioned environment to do it. A win for me! Now Sanguine is definitely high-end portraiture. So the cost point is double, but the images are resoundingly amazing!
This is another area that clients booked me for on a lesser scale. I think I enjoyed the challenge on in-home photography more than the actual aesthetic. Yes, it is very personalized. Yes, they can have more of an Architectural Digest feel. But to be honest, it wasn’t a popular item on my menu of services. So, it was an easy drop to remove it from the line up.
I very much enjoy capturing families outdoors…especially ones with littles. I do not have the space or really the capability to do them in studio. And…I reserve that space for my Sanguine styled family sessions which are more vogue. So they aren’t technically removed from my line up, but they will be offered during special sessions in the Fall…and maybe the Spring.
Holiday and Special Sessions
There will generally be 3 opportunities for “special sessions” annually. Special sessions are my way of providing shorter sessions for about half the cost. They aren’t really mini sessions, in the typical understanding of the word. But they are shorter. So a mini session is generally 15 minutes on a designated day, and you churn out clients back-to-back. I have never been successful with that business model. I like to engage with my clients that I haven’t seen over the year, I like to ensure we get the images they want, and I honestly don’t like being rushed.
So my special sessions will be 30 minutes to 1 hour options. Sessions will be at an off-site venue. There will be limited spaces to book. And I will typically do a holiday, fall, spring, and Mother’s Day series. So those will be the opportunities available yearly.
2023 Holiday Sessions
For 2023, I have fallen in love with a venue that actually creates the set designs. This year, the spaces are open for 2 full months (instead of 2-weeks). So I’ve offered this opportunity to my clients. What was not surprising was that the venue booked out pretty much every weekend within the first few hours of opening. Instead of this being a deterrent, I focused on clients that may want a midweek session.
Surprisingly, lots of people have booked Lavish & Light… and it has been completely stress free for me. So I found joy in special sessions this year. 1) I didn’t have to plan the set, 2) I didn’t have to run around purchasing set elements, 3) people tell me the date they want that works with their schedules and I book it. No more stress of randomly choosing a date and having everyone ask for a different date, or a better time, or extending the setup outside of when I want to do it. Total joy!
My Original Love, Newborns
If you’ve made it this far down, then you wrap up this blog post by reading the best part. A blog full of areas I no longer capture…and the smallest section on what I will. Haha! My joy of capturing newborns. I recently updated my website. I changed my galleries to only focus on the 3 aspects of newborn photography I want to capture.
Florals for both boys and girls is pretty much always part of my workflow. Whether it’s pretty flowers of pinks and yellows, or rustic greens for the little guys…you won’t find many sessions without these elements. I’m also really a creative, so when client’s tell me a little bit about themselves, I like to incorporate meaningful props for their babies.
As much as I live for overly floral and creative designs, I love the pure simplicity of a newborn image. An amazing black and white speaks so profoundly to me. Can you tell I am both left and right-brained? Haha. So the second part of my workflow includes a baby focused image. No fuss, not flowers, just your baby.
Lastly, family portraits! These are important times in your life. Yes, baby weight is still a factor. But your baby will only be this tiny once. So it’s important that my clients take the time to get in the photo. We only need a few. But the way I pose babies in your arms shows off all the best parts of you and your baby. So I’ve given families a dedicated gallery on my website.
I spent a lot of time adding information, captions, my own quotes to reflect why I have been doing newborns since 2011. In my about section I explain how I became a newborn photographer. It was important to let people understand what drives my passions.
Why did I want to be a newborn photographer? It boiled down to I wanted something beautiful and creative for my son. Back in 2010, I was surprised at the cost of newborn photography (approx. $800) and thought I could do it better and cheaper myself. That’s how my journey as a photographer began. But boy was totally wrong back then! Newborn photography is one of the hardest avenues to pursue, and so many other photographers don’t touch it because of the level of safety, patience, and props you need.
One of my small tiny regrets is that I didn’t pay the photographer her worth and get the adorable posed images I saw years ago. Now, I am thankful to the journey…because look where I am now. When people question the costs, I am not, nor have ever been, upset. I know they just don’t understand the business and what it takes to do what we do. And I almost smile because I was them at one point.
However, for 2023 and going forward, my goal is to connect my story to theirs and not let them walk away without getting the ethereal images they were drawn to in my photography. Because I know…they will always think about how they should have spent the money… just like I did. I don’t remember the photographer’s name back in 2010, but I remember the image I was drawn to.
Babies are only small once, and investing in their portraits is important in documenting the changes in their life.