WOW. Just wow. What a year 2017 has been. For us, it has been a year of many changes, lots of “ups” and a few “downs” a lot of “firsts” and a couple of “lasts”, but definitely lots of CHANGES!!
In January I took my first (and likely last) plane ride when we went to San Antonio TX for the annual Imaging USA convention. Yeah, it was also my first full blown panic attack. You can read all about that another time though haha. I’m still not ready to relive that. Here are a few photos from our trip- although they have been posted in a previous blog-
FEBRUARY was spent doing various planning for the year, and setting up our Easter scene. Easter is a big production for us, but we will get back to that in a few. Mostly we spend Febraury plotting, planning, eating way too much, and pondering the correct pronunciation of “worcestershire” sauce. The local Daddy/Daughter Dance came around and my oldest decided she was now too old. Tears flowed. You know, just random-ness. And George Michael died. I had such a mega crush on him as a little girl. So sad.
March is when things started to pick up for us. It usually works that way because- well, EASTER. But this year we also started early on lots of Senior sessions. I will tell you a not so big secret- I SUCK at decorating. This makes it REALLLLY hard to set up holiday scenes for me. This past Easter was particularly difficult in that respect- and also quite a big financial undertaking. It’s so hard to know what clients will think looks good or what will just “flop”. I decided to go with an outdoorsy “pond scene” with ducks (instead of the usual chicks). Of course we also had our lamb and bunnies as well. After rebuilding and changing out decor multiple times, I finally got it set and was happy with it. Wouldn’t you know bird flu came about and we couldn’t use the ducks (due to USDA regulations). So, photoshop to the rescue on that one lol. I dunno, I’m not gonna sit here and say Easter sessions had a huge turnout, but I’m gonna say it all went just fine and well, I wont do that idea again haha. Just always know that no matter what the idea for the scene is, Easter is a HUGE undertaking on a photographer. Not only is there a lot of hard work involved by several people, but there are lots of logistics, ANIMALS, and money. (I think I spent a couple of weeks worth of paychecks at Hobby lobby on flowers!) And let me just say THANK GOD for Jessica, our WONDERFUL animal handler. There’s just no way I’d do Easter sessions without her. Here are a few :
This one below- I don’t know if you can tell that I had just had a crying fit in the bathroom, but I had. This was taken right after we found out that we would have to take the entire scene down that night after sessions because the studio house had been rented out the following day. So, after doing 8 hours of Easter sessions- we had to spend a few hours taking everything down and packing it up in our studio upstairs, only to set it all back up a few days later. And that’s all I have to say about that.
April! Most every spring break we go to Panama City Beach for a “Work-ation”. This year was no different. We spent a week at the beach doing senior sessions, and it was great! I LOVE doing senior sessions, even if it is during my “vacation”. Love them. LOVE them. I mean, how can you NOT- look at these beach photos!! DAAAAANG!!! (if I do say so myself!)
I don’t like to dwell on sad things, but from April- October, Lonnie lost all three of his grandparents. His grandmother died 2 weeks after his grandfather right at Easter, and then his paternal Grandmother passed on Halloween. It’s never easy to lose a loved one, but it was extra hard for Lonnie to lose all of them in one year.
May brought about full tilt wedding season, and also a whole lot more high school seniors! Weddings kept us busy for the majority of the year- which brings me to the first huge decision we made this year. We’ve decided that in 2018 we will only photograph 10 weddings. We do love weddings, there’s nothing like them – but we also love our two little girls- which we didn’t get to see much this year. Also, let’s be honest- Lonnie and I are not spring chickens anymore, and a 10 hour day of wedding photography wreaks havoc on our bodies. We need to start passing weddings on the the younger crop of photogs. Let me tell you, it is a WHOLE lot more physical than you would think, I promise!
With that being said, we also have a lot of fun times- because we work with some of the greatest vendors and families. Proof Below:
June was another month of weddings, but we also had to figure out how to squeeze in the sudden awesome flood of Seniors we had! I’ve always known I loved shooting senior portraits, but we decided this year that it’s what we really want to specialize in. i can’t WAIT for next year. SO MUCH FUN.
July is usually uneventful but this year was different. We found out at the last minute that we had the wonderful opportunity to move our studio to an official retail location downtown!!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!! I waited for this moment for a decade!!! When I say last minute, I mean, like we had a week between finding out and having to be completely settled and back open for business. WHEEW. BUT YAAAAYyyy!!!!
August was a blur. We worked. and worked, and worked some more. Not only did we have a 1700sq ft new space that needed a complete remodel, but we were in the midst of the busiest senior season of our career! The building was already great, thanks to the previous tenant, but for what we wanted, a lot had to be changed. Things are still coming along here at the studio, but we have totally changed it up and I LOVE it. I can’t say it enough, this new studio is everything I have ever wanted! We couldn’t have done any of it without our wonderful clients, and definitely without the help of my dad and brother Donald. He’s super. You can’t have him.
A few before and afters:
It’s come a long way! More coming soon and we do plan to have a grand re-opening maybe in January 🙂 Such good stuff! I would show more progress photos, but we are kinda in Christmas disarray right now with Santa sessions going on and such!
September was more of the same. Work, studio reno, work, studio reno, hahaha. ‘Tis our life that I love.
October was the start of my mini mid life crisis! Yay! I cut off nearly 8 inches of hair and dyed pieces of what was left blue.
And I bought myself a scooter. Ahhh….the last year of my 30’s. It’s swell. I’m trying to handle things well. I may or may not be doing well with it. It’s ok. Moving on.
November as usual was Santa session prep, and fall sessions- Along with many more senior portrait sessions. We have been absolutely slammed! Here is my most favorite capture from the month. Leah’s senior session at Berry College:
And here we are approaching December! Santa sessions are in full swing:
Our Santa is seriously THE BEST.
And I guess that’s a wrap for 2017. We have exceeded my expectations this year by a long shot. We are LOVING high school senior portraits and can’t wait to roll out our 2018 Senior model program soon. We have taken some AMAZING portraits this year, and I have to say I am pretty proud of us. We have had the chance to photograph SO MANY outstanding families and seniors- we really do have a wonderful life.
What an exciting year of changes . During the midst of all this Lonnie and I also finally kicked a bad habit of smoking. Sure, we are slightly fatter, but our lungs are happier! We have a few loose sessions to tie up , a couple of Santa dates, and we will excitedly await to see what 2018 holds! Thank you all so much for allowing us into your lives and supporting our American Dream!
( a few of my faves from this year- but definitely NOT all! These were already on my desktop haha)