This photo above was taken a few months ago awhile second shooting a wedding. Yes, she’s an Emily Blunt look alike and a stunning bride, and that bouquet was to die for. I love the lighting most of all, but what’s happening in this moment is even more significant. While waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin, this bride was able to remain in the bridal suite and view a live broadcast of the guests arriving. There was a mounted monitor and she got to watch with anticipation each guest who walked through the chapel doors. And her expression wasn’t for the camera… that was genuine JOY as she smiled seeing those family and friends that she loves so. But we all know that behind that smile is a knot her in stomach and jittery nerves as she’s about to embark on the biggest moment of her life.
That’s kind of where I am today, looking ahead to 2012, except I’m wearing sweatpants and I’m merely gazing upon my computer screen. I have SO much joy and anticipation for what’s coming next on my journey that my enthusiastic thoughts keep me awake in bed some nights. It’s the best feeling to want to hurry into the next day because you can’t wait to get to work! (even though “going” to work for me means walking into the other room…). I often have this huge silly grin on my face when culling through images for the first time. It’s one of the most rewarding professions. Although running your own business is hard work and definitely has it’s shares of frustrations and burdens, I absolutely love what I do and I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I realize that I, Leslie, am a wedding photographer. I am humbled and so unworthy, and I’m still amazed when people trust and choose me. So my nerves still make an appearance before every photoshoot, but during my drive I always say a prayer and give the session up to the Lord. I couldn’t do it without Him. In an industry of self-promotion I must continually abandon myself, my pride, and just focus on my Clients and letting THEM shine through. I want my images to reflect their personalities… their love… their stories. So although in business I need to keep “Leslie Savage Photography” a constant in your newsfeed, my intention is never to boast, but rather to share my art and share a bit of my heart. I am passionate about my work and always striving to be better.
So while on the road after new years, headed back here to Texas, I let my mind wander a bit and dream up some ideas for the new year, while also evaluating what I currently offer and make a few adjustments.
A few changes:
–All print and product ordering will occur IN PERSON (with the exception of out of state clients). I have an office at home designed specifically for having clients over, yet I haven’t hosted a single one here yet. When my friend came over recently to view her photos for the first time – even though they were unedited – she was in tears. She could choose her very favorites, which saves me hours of time overediting images that clients will never purchase. It was also interesting that she chose a few images that, upon left to my choosing, I would have eliminated. But parents know their children better than I do, so even though in one image the smile wasn’t as prominent, it showed off some dimples, much to mom’s pleasure. Also, this way I can show sample products to clients, and once you hold something in your hand, it makes you want it all the more (no, this is not a sneaky effort at making more profit, but an attempt to add value to the images and get more photos printed – and printed in larger sizes!) – I still don’t know why so many play it safe and stick with only 4×6 and 5×7′s! Walls are BIG and need big, beautiful images on them!! :) I know when I personally receive Client orders and hold the images in my hands I suddenly fall in love with the images all over again. PRINT your photos! If we don’t, we’ll merely have a Facebook Timeline or external hard drives of files to pass down to our children and grandchildren someday.
–Remember Wedding Client anniversaries. After sharing in this special day it would be wrong of me to let the celebratory day go unrecognized!
–All sessions are now $300 (with the exception of the 2-hr Senior option which is $350). This eliminates the Senior softcover book. The gallery books will be available for purchase in addition instead of automatically included. This saves me some potentially unnecessary work and brings my session fees down (from $375 and $425). This also adds the benefit of Seniors being able to purchase higher quality leather flush-mount albums – when the gallery book was included there were never any additional album purchases after the fact. Also, going back to clients ordering in person, I might not have 30+ images to fill a book with – rather just the highlights my Clients have chosen that could be more beautifully showcased in a leather album.
–Offer styling advice/consultation for our sessions. I haven’t determined an exact way to do this yet, but maybe pointing more clients to Pinterest for inspiration or something. Make it unique and make it your own! And gosh darn it, send me some children wearing Matilda Jane clothing already! (it’s that or having a daughter of my own, and I know THAT can’t happen just yet, so… just dress YOUR kids well) ;)
–Be out of bed by 9am. Take our new puppy, Beasley, for a walk everyday and take a shower afterwards. You laugh, but really!! Without the need to punch a clock or care for a child, I would often wake up, go downstairs, have coffee and breakfast, and then feel like it’s already almost 10 and rush into my office and begin working. But then I’d work all afternoon and never make any time for myself when it comes to exercise, bathing, and functioning like a normal human. Todd would come home from work and I’d just then finally be taking a shower… at 4 or 5pm (that late in the day, what’s the use?!). Yes, I shower daily, but the FedEx man has seen my jammies 10 too many times… ;)
(I’m currently failing at the exercise and showering since it’s rained the last 2 days. DOH!! I did great on it this past weekend, though!!)
I’ve also got some monthly promotions up my sleeves:
JAN: Engagement Session Giveaway (winners will be announced this Saturday!)
FEB: Valentine’s Promotion & Giveaway, partnering with Crochetmonstershoppe – details coming soon!! (I’m also headed to WPPI for the first time in February. Yay!)
MAR: Launch In-Home Sessions. No, not in my home, but a special type of session that will happen in yours. Stay tuned!
APR: Begin my Senior Rep recruitment. I love love love my Seniors and want to continually grow in the number of Seniors I reach and photograph each year!
That’s as far as I’ve planned as I’ll have a handful of spring weddings, bridal portraits, engagement sessions and family portraits in the meantime. I also expect to come home from WPPI with new inspiration and motivation, so who knows, all these changes might change again by then!
But for now, that’s where I’m at. Looking ahead to this new year. Last year was epic. This was my end of the year Facebook status from 2011-
“Thinking back on highlights of last year. 2011 was the best!! I photographed a destination wedding in JAMAICA, went skydiving!, got engaged in California!, sea kayaked the Sea of Cortez & served in missions in MEXICO, enjoyed countless trips home to Ohio & Arkansas, got married to the man of my dreams at the wedding of my dreams, honeymooned in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!, quit my part-time job and went full-time into my photography business, photographed my first celebrity, adopted our first puppy and saw the most beautiful redemption story lived out before my eyes. GOD IS SO GOOD and I am beyond blessed! What adventures will 2012 bring?!”
So here goes nothing. Thanks for joining me in this adventure!! :)
Previews from a recent shoot, still yet to hit the blog-