deep breaths

Oh my goodness everyone. I am tired. You know the kind of tired where you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is when you can go back to sleep? Or the kind of tired where anytime you sit down, you close your eyes for just a minute and find yourself nodding off? Where coffee isn’t a necessity to wake you up, it’s needed to keep you up?? Yep. That’s where I’m at. Yet, here I am, about 4 hours away from my alarm going off so we can get a head start on our 10 hr drive to our weeklong vacation spot, frantically trying to finish up some work that needs to get done! Knowing that even if I were to stay up all night, it still wouldn’t get done. Knowing that when I close down my computer, I must also pack it up and take it with me.

You see, it’s all starting to catch up with me. For almost 2 years now, I have been so, so lucky to have a packed work schedule. I still can’t quite believe the constant growth we’ve had, and I know I’m so fortunate to have seen so much success. But I can’t keep going at this pace, or I’m going to either suffer from massive burnout or land myself in the hospital with a severe case of exhaustion. So, once again, some serious changes are in order. After a lot of thought and consideration, I’ve made some hard decisions – and trust me, I am NOT good at making hard decisions. But, it must be done.

So, first – after scheduling all of my package holders, newborns, and some various auction winners/gift card holders for fall sessions, I’ve decided to not open up my October and November schedule to any additional sessions. This was really, really tough. But when I sat down and looked at the calendar, which is already looking pretty full, and then had a flashback to last fall, I realized that this was the best decision for me, my family, my clients, and my business as a whole. I am so sorry to all of you that were hoping for a fall family session, especially those of you who I’ve seen in the past, as I absolutely love seeing families again. But there is no way I would be able to see everyone, and I know that I’ll be able to manage this workload much, much better.

Also, for 2014, I will be placing a strong emphasis on newborn and maternity sessions and greatly limiting my regular family sessions. This was another decision that was super hard to make, however there are some pretty solid reasons for it. First, most of my newborn sessions take place during the week, during the day, which means that my own children are at school. Working multiple evenings a week and Saturdays is starting to take its tole on my family, and first and foremost, I must be a good mama to my kiddos. Second, I find myself being drawn to maternity and newborn sessions more and more as I grow in my career. I have dreams of teaching newborn workshops someday, and I think that starting to specialize in this area will really point me in that direction. Now, I’m not completely cutting out all other session types, just limiting them! I will open up a set amount of mini and full sessions each month, depending on how that particular month is going. Also, I will still be taking pictures of babies throughout their first year, so there are definitely options!

This brings me to the next change – the packages I offer. I love, love, love seeing babies grow. It’s always amazing to me to see how different little ones are at their 6 month session compared to their newborn session, and getting to know families in this special way is one of my most favorite parts of my job. However, economically, the way I’m structuring my packages right now isn’t making sense for my business. Also, I have found that some parents want to set up their own milestones, which might be different from the predetermined ones I set in my packages! So, as a way to keep my overall prices reasonable and affordable, I’ve eliminated the traditional baby’s first year package. In its place, you can now schedule up to 4 additional sessions within your baby’s first year upon booking your newborn session. This gives you priority booking and scheduling and guarantees you sessions for the milestones you want captured! Also, if you schedule 3-4 additional sessions within your baby’s first year, you will receive a $100 print/product credit at the end of that year.

The last few changes have to do with pricing, which you all know is my least favorite part of the business. First – the prices for 2014 have all been adjusted slightly. Take a look at the prices and packages page HERE to check out the new structure. The next pricing change has to do with deposits. How many of you have been at a session with me where we both know you sent in your deposit, but neither one of us can remember what the amount was for? Ahhhhhh!!! So, we’re simplifying the deposit process – to hold your session spot for any session type, a $100 deposit is required. Easy peasy.

Okay, I think that’s it for now. Whew. Please know how much I agonized over these decisions and how hard they were for me to make. But like I said before, I just can’t keep going like this. I love my job and the ways in which it has enriched my life, but it can’t be my whole life. I need to take a step back, give the passion a chance to flourish and grow, take some chances and risks, and develop this business even more. Thank you all so much for your support and business. I couldn’t do any of this without you.

I am going to leave you with some pictures of some of the gorgeous faces that I will be working on shortly. During this upcoming vacation week, I will be alternating between spending some much needed time with my family and kiddos and sneaking in time to work to get more caught up. Stay tuned!!

 

Thank you all so, so much again. Have a wonderful week :)

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