Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

One Christmas Tree Farm mini session day down, one more to go. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t exhausted. Not tired exhausted…physically so. Between the moderate air quality, cold, rain, allergens in the air, cigarette smoke, and dozens of perfumes my lungs went into a frenzy by the time I got to my last session yesterday.

To be perfectly honest? I got lucky. My last session of the evening was a really beautiful couple. And when I mean beautiful, I mean inside and out. They came to me by chance to get their engagement photos for a little holiday announcement. What they got was me struggling to breathe. I captured a few photos – not near as many as I would have liked – but eventually had to call it a day. What did this precious couple do? They helped me pack up my car so I could get home to my nebulizer. I will be forever in awe of their kindness…and appreciative.

By the time I got home it took me 3 nebulizer treatments before I finally started to feel some relief. It was a close call, and honestly…we were close to going to the hospital there for a bit. Sometimes I just push myself harder than I should. But, I’ve prepared for the next weekend. I’ve ordered an adapter for the car that will allow me to use my nebulizer while out in the field until my pulmonologist can get a “portable” one pushed through insurance.

Lesson learned. I’m listening lungs!

Going into this year’s Christmas season I didn’t know really want to expect. Let’s be brutally honest here….I’ve never really done photography as an outdoor photographer for the Christmas season. The last time I worked a Christmas season was at Olan Mills? Now that was insane. I only got back into photography and started my page in June of 2018…so going into my 3rd year soon. Prior to now I’ve pretty much ignored the season. I’ve done an “in home” Christmas session here or there, but had never really thought much about doing mini sessions…..but then people started asking…then more asked…and then another….Finally once Trees from Dehart announced their “photographer days” I was like “Why not?”

I didn’t expect to be fully booked within a few weeks. For two…full…days…of…mini…sessions…

I’m so in awe. It is unreal.

General consensus has been that I undercharged for my mini sessions, and that is 100% true. However, when I decided to do this I had 0 understanding of the location, theme, nothing. I was going in 100% blind. The only mini sessions I had really ever done was the mini sessions I did for free for the seniors at the start of the pandemic. I had never really given any thought to mini sessions before….but now I have sooooo many ideas…so stay tuned for that one!

I may increase the prices for my mini sessions because they will always “stylized”, but I think for 2021 I’m going to do a price freeze on all “regular”, “extended”, and “wedding” prices. I just cannot justify the price increase when I see so many of my clients – some who have become friends – hurting because of the pandemic. Will I still have business expenses? Yep. Will I still be permitted? Absolutely. But this isn’t about, and never has been about, making money for me.

Truth is…I’m not the best photographer. But, I like to think I’m a good choice. Am I going to spend hours on end developing highly photoshopped composite photography? Nope. Am I going to try and sell you prints? Also, nope. Not into all that. I like to hear people’s stories. I like to meet new people (never thought I would say that as a natural introvert). I just like to be behind a camera, and maybe capture a good image or two here and there. It is what brings me joy. It makes me happy. And if I can be happy for 2 days out of the week? Then I will deal with whatever my lungs have to put me through. I will deal with the pains of fibromyalgia. I’ll deal with allergies and cold weather and rain. Heck, give me snow!!! I don’t care!!! Because as miserable as this body makes me…the fire inside of me lives in the click of my shutter button.

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