Two weeks ago, I spent 3 days at Photo Native in Santa Barbara, California. I attended mostly because I wanted some warm sunshine and palm trees in my life during dreary, North Carolina February. #honest
Most of the attendees appeared younger than me, and shared that they were mostly green in the industry. I learned I am part of the 2% of photographers who make it past year 10…. 60% quit after just one year.
There was lots of philosophical talk about “your why.” (which honestly, makes me roll my eyes…. real hard) Why do you do what you (I) do? But that’s not what this post is about…. you see, at breakfast on the last morning I was chatting with a few others and I shared the story of why I had wanted photos taken at a specific point in time, and it’s not the mushy-gushy “capture the moment” crap either.
(I hate myself for not closing the laundry room door in these photos)
First, the photographer. It was late 2012 when I booked the session with Jonathan Canlas. I had fallen in love with his work and when I found out he was coming to Charleston, SC I jumped at the chance to book a shoot with him (He resides in Hawaii). I had read his book, Film Is Not Dead and wanted to absorb all the information he had to offer…. I felt like, what better way to learn from him than to have him photograph us, and bonus, we’ll have beautiful photos afterwards.
Second, and more importantly…. we were building a new house, with massive wall space. I wanted beautiful photographs to fill them. When picking outfits for Jeremy and I to wear, I specifically chose pieces that would coordinate with the decor of the house. I reverse engineered my own session without realizing it, knowing “my why” before having these photos taken, before Jon ever landed in Charleston or pushed the shutter once. Before I ever saw the gallery, these photographs had a purpose.
I share this story to ask you what is your why?
Are you just looking for good photos to share of your family on social media? A quick Christmas card or birth announcement? Or do you have a bigger plan? Are you wanting prints to fill a void, and beautify your home? Are you looking for an heirloom book that can be passed on for generations? I challenge you to think about what you want the photos for…. before you ever book your session.
Fun fact about that session we did with Jon…. I bought six 11×14 prints, and not a single digital file. I do not regret it at all.