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where in the world has my portrait business gone?

wow! did i really just write that? uhm, yes i did and for good reason. it occurred to me, yesterday in fact, that my usual ‘fills up pretty darn fast mini session time slots’ are still all open. i know that not too many business owners would choose to share this fact, but, i’m not average (ask anyone who really knows me;) and it’s ok because it’s my own fault.
it just didn’t really hit me until…yesterday. four years ago i stepped into this portrait boutique business arena as kiwi street studios totally unprepared for how fast it was to grow. not until the end of the second year did i choose to sit back a bit and review what and where my business was going. it was all good, but i started to realize i needed to add in some boundaries for my own sanity. i did and all went seemingly well until…i started accepting commercial/editorial work…and got really spoiled. i won’t go into the why’s except to say i loved it, it was fun and i wanted more. my energies started moving in that direction. somehow i was still able to maintain a comfortable place with my portrait business just on word of mouth, past clients and reputation. after a year or so of both, i started to get…well, burned out? sound familiar? i really started to think about what sessions i did and did not want to offer.  you may remember starting to hear the music starting with this post, this post, then this post and finally this post. i guess it’s been a theme and yes, it was a journey. i cut back, took some personal time. worked on more than a few personal projects that i both craved and needed. it gave me room to explore and frankly be a little selfish with my time. yup. that’s when it all started and that’s when i really stopped trying to grow my portrait business from anything more than the comfortable place i found it to be in. i’m not going to groan about the cycle of events. i absolutely believe what happens is completely meant to be. i know that i am exactly where i should be and in fact, i love where i am now creatively more than any other time in the previous 2 years mostly because i am doing exactly what i want to be doing. there is one problem. aside from where i find almost all my time being spent…with my huge baby of a project 513{eats}, i still hands down love making images of children. i’m not even flinching. there is nothing, to me, that tops the innocence and rawness of making portraits of children. and i miss it. so… i carved out time where there was no time for what i thought would be a fabulous day filled with giggles, smiles, jumping…even shyness (which i love almost more) but, instead, am looking at an empty schedule with less than a week to go. why am i surprised? i haven’t been around for over a year except for styled shoots that i have put together or a random session here and there. it’s been my choice, but i am sad about the realization that i basically lost that end of my business. there lies the problem. i am so busy with the food/lifestyle/editorial side of my business (which is so rewarding and exciting on it’s own levels) that it honestly leaves no room for the portrait side. i have passed on head shots, full comps, senior sessions, family sessions, an engagement session and two weddings to other photographers over the past 4 months. yes, all my choices,  but i feel a little sadness too.
listen up, this is not a please feel sorry for me plea…it’s simply an honest place of where i find the evolution of my business to be, that’s all. i have been so lucky to be able to do this thing that i do and where my business is heading, i have no room for complaints. i am beyond thrilled and blessed about where i have been for the past 4 years and more recently the thrill of these past 5 months as well as what the rest of this year holds. i just miss me some beautiful, real, honest, raw, genuine children in front of my lens! and that’s the truth.

let’s wrap this post up with some images from past mini session years.  good times.

all photographs ©kiwi street studios


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April 14, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Brandy - Well, I saw your post on FB saying you were opening up a mini session and inside my head I said “if only she’d hurry up and move to Oregon like I told her a couple years back I’d snap a session up lickety split”. 🙂

April 15, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Ilene - I love seeing all the beautiful faces of angelic children that I know! Nobody captures the sweet innocence of a child as you do <3

April 16, 2012 - 12:10 pm

Natalie - Gigi, I have to say, “I too have missed those baby faces!” Nobody catches their heart like you do. How many times have I said, I want that picture of a complete stranger! Anyway, your commercial business is phenomenal. Love those pictures too, but I gotta say those babies steal my heart!

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