As I reflect over my first year as a business, I am absolutely blessed by the people that I've met, the things that I've learned and the growth I have made as a business owner myself. There are honestly times I just sit back in awe and am just amazed at the encouragement I've recieved along the way. And within that same moment, sitting and cracking up at some of the moments that have went on as well!
I have to say the most hilarious moment I've experienced this year was during a newborn session of a sweet baby boy and we have the best set up. Mommy and daddy are in attendance and we are wanting to capture this itty bitty baby with daddy's big arms. Perfect. So we lay daddy down on the ground and have him put his arms straight in front of him and mommy would put the baby in his hands and I would snap the picture. Well....if only it were that easy. :) Mommy does as requested, baby (nakie mind you) gets upset and THERE GOES THE RAINBOW! Not having a boy, it's completely different than a girl let me tell ya! So we get daddy and baby cleaned up (and dry)....take 2. Daddy is in position, gave himself a pep talk, baby gets placed in his hands and then....oh crap, oh crap, OH CRAP! Literally! Daddy's only response he could give, while baby is above him rather relaxed at this point (lol) is "Help me! Help me! HELP ME!" And usually I'm on it, baby out of the hands, whatever needs to happen, but this day...whew. Mommy was bawling, I was bawling, we were absolutely helpless! Without an absolute doubt, I will NEVER forget that moment and I can PROMISE you daddy won't either! LOL! I even got the finished product mounted because of the memory that was created and not to mention the finished product was flippin' amazing! So worth it! Right dad? ;) lol!
This year I had around 20 newborn sessions and I absolutely loved every single one of them. To be able to see new parents and although they are sleep deprived and adjusting to this new experience, the love and compassion I would see in their eyes was amazing. They would get peed on, pooped on, spit up on, cried at and within two minutes that child give us this sweet, sweet grin (yes, most likely due to gas but we'll take it!) and the parents beaming with pride, it is just every day confirmation for myself that we should never take those little moments for granted because one day they will be smiling because they ARE passing gas and looking for a high five for how loud it was!
Along with those little moments we should never take for granted, I had several sessions that pulled at my heart strings as well. I'm not even sure on where to begin with them because there were so many. What I truly love about being a photographer is that each and every single client had a story to tell. It was just up to me to help tell that story. Their story. This year I was honored to capture more than a few clients that had precious little ones that had death knocking on their doorstep. But those little human beings showed not only themselves, but us "big people" just how strong one person truly can be when we are determined enough. And to not just roll over and give in when something doesn't go our way. And listening to the families stories, I would just sit back and watch these little people play, smile, and love on their family, it truly gave me hope. Hope that even if life throws crummy situations your way, you truly can get through it. And not only get through it, but conquer it and live to tell about it, with a smile on your face! I have some strong clients that's for darn sure!
And then I have these little clients (and big people clients, let's not lie) that are just plain camera shy. These are the ones I particularly enjoy because I'm able to see them blossom right before my eyes. From the chin in his/her shoulder look to giggle a few times because who knows what mommy and daddy are doing behind me to get the kiddo to smile. To chasing and dancing and showing off their beautiful smile! I just love it!
And speaking of parents doing silly things to get their little ones to smile, one of my more recent family/sibling sessions, I'm just snapping away, the three brothers (if you want any sort of an idea, that should do it :)) and after getting several good shots, I just happen to turn around and look to see what mom is doing and she is turned around, booty back and shaking it side to side while doing a dance that I'm sure will embarrass the tar outta these boys in a few years LOL! I DIED! The things we do for our kids and boy it worked! LOL!
This year I was asked to participate in the Daviess County Wine and Cheese Festival and a few months later particpate in the local Fall Vendor Fest and they were both such neat experiences. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but in the meantime I was able to get to know some really great vendors. And one of the neatest experiences was having complete strangers come up to my booth and mention that they've seen my work on facebook and love looking at it. What a compliment! This county is full of kind, thoughtful people and I'm glad to have had the chance to meet a lot of them.
So, as far as 2011 goes, I would definately mark it up there as a successful first year in business! Several sessions with repeat clients and a lot of newbies as well! And it doesn't look like that's going to change for this coming year either! Already have several new clients lined up along with my beautiful, faithful clients. I couldn't do it without the continued support from you all, so thank you so much! Your support means more than you know! Yes yours ;) I have a few exciting changes going to go on in 2012 and I can't wait to let everyone know! So.....farewell 2011, you've been a great year. Let's see what 2012 has in store!