I have been writing this post in my head for weeks and the time has come to put those thought into written form. The truth is I have been facing growing pains for quite a while. One of the great things about taking time off every January to recharge at the PPA national convention is it gives me the chance to review the weak links in my business. I have to humbly admit I have many weak links in my business chain. But the good news is I have identified the issues and am ready to rebuild. It is going to take me the whole year of 2012 to build a foundation from the ground up to fit my current lifestyle.
2012 marks many huge milestones for me, 11 years ago I quit working for other photographers and solely worked building English Photography. The biggest milestone that took place 11 years ago was I gave birth to my oldest child. 2012 also marks the year my youngest child will enter kindergarten. For a working mother that is a HUGE change... the day when all your kids go off to school. I need to dispell the myth that life gets easier for moms when her kids are all off to school. I want to raise my kids with as few regrets as possible, of course some regrets are inenvitable, but I don't want to look back and say, " I wish I had.....". Being an involved parent is something I don't want to miss out on and that means putting in time and effort to better the world around my children at school. I have spent the last week over my head with science fair projects, teaching art lessons and fundraisingand a million other small projects. These are all things I wouldn't dare give up because this phase of my life will pass as quickly as the last 11 years have past.
So I stand here needing to make BIG changes to in order for everything to work in this new phase. I feel like a snake who is wiggling to free themselves from skin that no longer fits. I realize that to many you may never see the changes. The artistic integrity of my work will stay the same and probably grow with increased efficiency. It is the financial part of the business that must be over hauled. I take full responsibility for taking a relaxed stance on the business end of things in the last decade. I had to because it fit my lifestyle when I had babies in my arms. But that is the case no longer and I need to be more responsible for not only money but the value of my time. Honestly, I value time more than I value money. I can always find more money somewhere, but no matter how hard I try I can not create more hours in the day or more energy in which to accomplish things. So it comes down to the simple statement: Am I using my precious time wisely?
I want to have it ALL, who doesn't? I want to have everybody like me, who doesn't? But mostly I want to stand before my children knowing I did the very best job I could being their mother. That's doesn't mean I am not going to be working, it is quite the opposite. I want to be working smarter. So throughout 2012 I will be rebuilding my business. To some of my favorite clients, my new policies will be a confusing adjustment. But I love each of you to pieces and I am asking you to understand and respect my desire to be the mother I want to be by creating the business I need to be. I will give full disclosure on the blog as new policies are put into place so that no one is uneducated on the changes. Because all of my clients become heartfelt friends this is a hard pill to swallow.
So here are the first policy changes of 2012, I will be updating the website immediately with all policies once they are listed here.
-- Session fees will be due at the time of scheduling via credit card.
--There will be a $275 dollar minimum reorder on all sessions. This fee will be due upon receiving proofs and will be set aside as prepaid credit toward any reorder. I can not delivery Image catalog or post online ordering galleries without reorder minimum paid in full.
I realize that 2012 will be filled with a million tiny little changes in order to get my business transformed into what my husband is lovingly referring to as English Photography 2.0. I am upgrading myself in order to provide an even better portrait experience for the wonderful clients who have become part of my heart. Thank you for cheering me on throughout this year as I become the mother and the business I want to be. I have been in business for over 17 years and I intend to be in business for another 40.... at least, I am sure this will not be the only time I reinvent myself during my life.
Finally posting my favorite trio of teens, my nieces and nephew. I think next to my own kids, these guys tug at my heartstrings the most. Talk about reinvention... all three of them have started new schools in the past year. If making changes for me is as successful as it has been for these guys... I am making the right choice.
Love you guys!