Why I Chose A Portrait Experience Over “Shoot And Burn”

One of the hardest things about starting your own business is finding yourself. In order to build a business from the ground-up, it is said that you must know yourself and your beliefs. Those beliefs and your personal values will be the cornerstones of your business. Things that you love will also play huge part in the aesthetic of your brand, as well. For example, the hues of my brand are cool blues, pinks and purples, inspired by Indian River sunsets that always occur around 5:30/6:00. Many of my portraits you’ve seen of beaches and rivers have been right here where I live and I just fell in love with the way it looked. A large part of my website is pink because over the years, people have complimented that pink has always paired so well with my red hair. Plus, I’m a sucker for love. What better color to represent love than the color that emulates blushing cheeks, warm hugs, fresh babes and soft kisses?

What I also believe in is the value of both meaningful consumption and art. For the sake of the environment and our bodies/health, we hear that organic and fresh is better than generic and processed. If you look in the right places you’ll find clothing that is eco-friendly and made by women in other countries where there isn’t a lot of job opportunities and if unemployed, they would be treated as objects in brothels to make money just to feed themselves and families. The opposite and more common way to buy clothes is from third party websites whose products are made in sweatshops by children and adults alike. Organic vs. processed. Home cooked vs. fast food. Local vs. mass production. Bike/walk vs. car/bus. The options are clear and are everywhere. One is conducive to fast, instant, gratifying, and disposable. The other is self-sufficient, fulfilling, intuitive, and long-lasting, even enduring.

But, Kailee, what does this have to do with the way you conduct your client experience? Well, to be honest, what I chose to make a living out of is worth more than instant gratification. And so are you. What I’ve found is that some people choose to approach their portrait experience like a fast-food restaurant. Approach, order, pay, receive. Which is just fine and dandy if that’s you!

But it’s not me.

Take a moment and think of all of life’s greatest achievements. Graduation, because you worked 13 or more years to finally get that high school, college, or career diploma. What about that big job promotion? You probably worked years, climbing the ladder to get to that hot spot. Birthing and raising children? That’s an achievement from the start. You wait and grow for months beforehand, labor for hours, sacrifice comfort for the stretching pain of birth, and then raising them for the rest of your life….it’s not an achievement because it happens in a few weeks or years, it’s an achievement because it took time and investment to grow to fruition. Let’s even hit home for some of you and think back on that time when you labored and prayed over the souls of the youth or a particular group of people. Then suddenly a move of God happens and an outbreak of healing and salvation pours out. It can happen either way (long-suffering or instant, at the Lord’s discretion), but do you remember praying for so long for that one thing and when it finally happened, you felt more fulfilled and satisfied? Yes, you did. And it was glorious.

No, having your portrait taken isn’t supposed to be hard work like birthing a child or graduating high school. That’s for me. I want to find the best way to make your experience enjoyable and easy, which is very different from fast and instant. I want to spend time crafting the best results for you, I want to get to know you and walk with you through your shoot as a friend, not as a stranger that knows how to wield a camera. I will invest time, effort, resources, and joy in working with you to create meaningful, intentional, memorable images that will last for years to come.

There are plenty of photographers out there who will book you 2 days ahead of time, or charge you $25, or just email you your pictures sometime. Which again, is GREAT if that is what you need! This is often called “shoot and burn”. But that’s not the kind of photographer I am. I like to grow slow, so there’s room to bloom. 😀 Did you get that? Let me hit you with it again.

Grow slow, so there’s room to bloom.

Take your time. When the hype is gone, when the craving has died out, when the impatience turns into anticipation, when the other plants have ceased blooming, there is all the room in the world for it to open wide and be beautiful.

I don’t want to charge you more. I don’t want you to buy more. I want you to take a little more time to plan your shoot and get to know me, and the portrait that hangs on your wall in your home or in your office will hold so much more meaning and purpose than a messy selfie taken to gratify a social need for self portraits.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me questions. As I’ve said before, I loved people before I loved the camera, so let’s be friends, eh?

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