I started this post mid last week and couldn't muster the energy to write, so tucked it away for later. It was supposed to be all about how it's August and still warm, but winter IS coming so we need to talk about what we can do this winter for sessions! Here we are August 14th though and oh my goodness, drastic weather change, eh? I am sitting here freezing while I write this, ha! So, now more than ever I think it's important for me to explain what sessions I offer in the winter and why documenting your family doesn't have to stop because you've got a toddler that hates the cold!
It seems that every winter my sessions drop off (hey, always trying to be transparent) and I'm left with little work. I think this mostly has to do with the fact that no one wants to hang out in negative temps for an hour getting family pictures..or every one is just after that Christmas card picture. I ain't about that life, folks. I will NOT stand in negative temps for an hour trying to get pictures of your toddler who has frozen snot pouring down to their bottom lip while they rage over their mittens. Nope. Why? Because inside I FEEL like that toddler. I want to scream and cry and let the snot roll because being cold isn't fun..holding a camera when you can't feel your fingers? Not fun. SO, I don't offer full family sessions outdoors in the winter. I'd rather just not get paid and sit by my wood stove all day contemplating how to hustle some money...hahaha. That doesn't mean we CAN'T have sessions though! In fact, I feel like the winter months help us to get a little more creative and offer us the ability to get a little more cozy/real.
When I say in home sessions I think everyone's blood pressure spikes a bit. They imagine their home looking horrid in their pictures. Toys thrown everywhere, clothes, haven't mopped in a month, dust particles floating in the frame, pictures. Amiright? Of course I am. I get a slew of excuses every time I say we can shoot in home..to name a few.
"I hate my house".
"My house isn't clean enough, I hate my decor".
"The light is horrible in my house".
"There's nothing to do in my house".
"This isn't our forever home, I don't care to remember it".
So. Many. Excuses. Stop.
If you have all of those excuses running through your head when you hear "in home session", I'm going to need you to listen up.
First things first, I don't care if this isn't your forever home. It's your home RIGHT NOW in this season. I can remember every single house/apt I lived in as a child. Were they forever homes? Heck no. Were they the prettiest? Not really. Do I remember them and have fond memories of them? Yes. It's really not about the house per se, it's really about the family IN the house. So, if this isn't your forever house it doesn't matter. Your kids will remember it and they'll have memories in it, so why not document it?
Lighting..if you haven't noticed I shoot DARK. I love shadows, mood, and I really love a good challenge. I will FIND the light I want in your house and I will use it. Light isn't really your issue, so stop making it so! Also, stop freaking out over your unclean house. 9/10 your house IS clean, you're just being paranoid and overanalyzing. My shots are usually pretty intimate, they're close up. 99.9% of the time you aren't even going to see what's happening in the background or what's on the floor, you're not. Shooting so dark also hides A LOT. And if you're really that dang worried about it, I actually go through your home before your session and move anything/everything I don't want in the frame. These are your pictures but they're also mine..I have a look and idea in my head the second I walk in, I'll make it what I want and I'm not afraid to get bossy because this is what YOU hired me for. I'm confident in my work, I can make almost any situation work.
Now, let's get to the "there's nothing to do" excuse. Quit that. My sessions can go a million different ways. Sometimes we plan for lifestyle but end up with a documentary style and vice versa. Lifestyle sessions are nothing but a big fat cuddle fest. Cuddle on the couch, cuddle in the bed, cuddle on the floor, cuddle while reading, cuddle while playing, etc. CUDDLE. There's giggles, smiles, hugs, lots of touching, etc, etc. I lurve them. <3 Documentary sessions are just that, documenting. We'll plan an activity (or activities depending) that your littles love to do, because we want to remember what our kiddos loved the most. Cooking, art, reading, hanging out in bed, sink baths, playing with toys, hanging out with fur siblings, blanket forts, hide and seek, the list goes on and on. Just think of what you do on a snowy day as a family, and there's your answer.
We CAN go outside! Little's usually love short spurts of snow play and so do I. Even if that means we go in your yard and play, let's do it. This IS Alaska!
Also, being home isn't the only option. I've got quite a few sessions lined up this winter where we're going sledding + getting hot chocolate after. Let's go to your favorite coffee shop or cafe!
Okay, okay, I think I'm done with my educational rant (lol). I just want you to know, winter mini sessions for your christmas card are not your only options this winter. There's so much more to be documented than that cheesy smile you send to grandma and grandpa.
Now, look at this sweet home/outdoor session I shot a few weeks back when summer was here. Looooove. <3