When I was in college, our experienced Interior Design professors ingrained in us the importance of respecting ourselves and our craft as professionals. That meant charging everyone your full hourly rate, making very few exceptions, and certainly never giving advice for free--even to your family. "After all", they rationed, "people don't expect Doctors to diagnose without a co-pay!". As I saw their logic and more importantly wanted to be accepted as a young, thriving professional who was worth something, I took this advice to heart. Even as I incorporated freelance photography into my career, I found myself sticking hard to my guns. And on very few occasions I would agree to photo my friends and family. If they wanted a session sure! I'd hook them up with a discount. But as a creative in her early 20's I desired to be sought after and respected, and from what I had been taught, this meant simply not giving away talents. I now look back at my desperate attempts as being seen as legit and laugh. Sure, standing my ground and putting a monetary value on what I did makes sense, and it still does today. However, as the saying goes the best things in life are free, and now I 'd much rather have photos of my loved ones rather than a dollar to squander. I'd rather give my 'services' away to those I adore, because what good is a talent if you aren't going to share it with the ones you love? When sitting down a little over a year ago and truly reflecting on my purpose, I came to terms with the fact that money has never been my driving factor. Sometimes I wish it were, but I'd rather spend my days jammed packed with the things I enjoy rather than worrying about how much it's going to make me. Naturally, I need to get by but I have 150% confidence that if I am using my talents diligently, the Lord will provide. Cann'aIgettaAMEN?
When I traveled back to the East Coast to photograph Grace + Adam's wedding, I relished in a few extra days visiting with friends + family I hadn't seen in over a year--some two! And I wanted nothing more than to bring along my Contax and photograph everyone in sight--almost as if to make up for lost time.
Photograph the ones you love. It may not be your 'niche', the images may not win awards, or even pay your blog hosting bill, but in the end they'll be the worth the most.
Here's a family I am OH SO PROUD to call my in-laws, the Cartretts. I love Lora to pieces, we could talk all day...and put some red wine in our hands and it could go for WEEKS! Joe is forever making me laugh and making me feel at home, and little Otis will always have a special place in my heart. Can you believe that boy just turned SIX?!?! He's quite the baseball player, walking + talking like his Uncle Marshall (really, his 'Pops' Terry). He's a gem with an unfortunate affinity for Oakleys an Appomattox twang.
And little miss June (bug!) or, as Carolina calls her, 'Baby Shune". Forever poppin' her gum, clicking' in her heels and lover of jewelry + bling, that girl has her Auntie's heart...and since of style. :)
I'm sorry I can't take your photos more often, but I'm happy we snuck in a few before supper. LOVE YALL! xo
Shot all on film: Contax 645 + Fuji 400h