When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was still learning how to run a successful business without having to work twelve hour days/ seven days a week.
Then my baby girl arrived. And then it was our first Christmas. And I was still working like a mad woman and still doing sessions well into December.
Then I had an epiphany. Ok, more like my husband told me he was tired of me being a frazzled mess during the holidays.
I decided to say no to clients that wanted sessions the week before Christmas. I worked my booty off in November, then took time off to enjoy my family. It was hard at first (I’m running my own business and of course I see dollar signs and future opportunities), but now seeing how quickly these years zoom by, I know way too soon the day will come when my kids think Elf on the Shelf is dumb and they’d rather go to Candy Cane Lane with their friends.
I can’t believe this will be my fifth year doing holiday sessions. I feel super fortunate to have a ton of repeat clients. What a cool perk to watch babies turn into little humans and families trusting in me year after year to document their lives.
For those of you that have been asking, here’s the information for this year’s holiday mini sessions:
Although I try to include all the significant information on my flyer, I still get asked the following questions:
The session is $185.
Yes, the digital images are included and can be downloaded straight from your gallery.
Yes, you can order holiday cards elsewhere. Yes on Shutterfly. Yes on Tiny Prints. Yes on Minted.
Yes, you can have them printed elsewhere.
If you decide not to spend a little more for gorgeous, professional lustre prints from your gallery, that’s your prerogative. But if you’re paying for a professional photographer, it’s apparent you appreciate photography and these pictures are important to you. Please, please do not cheapen the images by getting them printed at Costco. Or Target. Or anywhere that costs a few cents for a picture that you’ll have on your walls (or above your fireplace) for decades to come. Have them printed somewhere that is known for creating quality images. I try my best to choose locations that will work for all types of families, and I hope to put a smile on your face every time you look at your family pictures. Treat them like art.
The session is mini. This means it lasts 15 minutes. This also means if you’re running late because your husband is having a bad hair day, I’m sorry. The show must go on. I book sessions back. To back. To back. Out of respect for everyone please be on time.
If it rains on the day of the session- you better bring an umbrella.
Depending on on how heavy it’s raining will depend on whether or not the sessions will be cancelled. I’ve had mornings where it’s poured, and then the sun comes peeking out and the afternoon sessions work beautifully. If I do need to cancel, I will definitely reschedule another day as close to the initial session date as I can.
The turn around time (when you will receive an email letting you know your gallery is ready) is approximately 7 days. I try my best to under promise and over deliver and most clients are pleasantly surprised how quickly their gallery is up.
The session includes minor editing. I fix exposure, color, contrast.
The session does not include major editing. No, I cannot Photoshop your daughter’s braces off in all the pictures or make you look forty pounds thinner. (But I am great at changing angles for the most flattering pictures : )
No, I don’t accept food stamps. But I do take cash, check, debit, credit card or your first born child if they’re interested in babysitting two crazy rug rats.
Harter Park is not really a park, but in the residential area off Via Colinita and Miraleste Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. It is actually located at the beginning of a hiking path, and has a beautiful picturesque background. If you’re heading down Miraleste Drive towards San Pedro, make a right on Via Colinita and it will be immediately on the right hand side. There is large sign that says “Harter Park”in front- you can’t miss it.
Hopkins Wilderness Park is also a beautiful spot located in Redondo Beach on Camino Real. Once you walk through the gates, it feels like you’re in the middle of Big Bear. It has a ton of trees and natural surroundings as well.
No, I’m not doing beach sessions. Fortunately in past sessions the weather has worked in my favor, but that may not always be the case and it’s too risky during the winter months. Plus wind blown hair and babies eating sand doesn’t make for beautiful Christmas cards.
No your entire family does not need to wear white shirts and jeans. Here are some good tips I found on Pinterest in regards to session attire. The main objective is to coordinate, not necessarily match perfectly.
This was our holiday card last year:
And because it’s almost the weekend, (TGIF y’all!) I thought I’d include the only professional picture my family ever took.
1978, people. The days of big collars, itchy turtlenecks and even itchier navy blue acrylic tights.