What Your Photographer Will Never Tell You | Danielle Jackson Hampton Roads Family Photographer

What Your Photographer Will Never Tell You | Danielle Jackson Hampton Roads Family Photographer

"Love grows from stable relationships, shared experience, loyalty, devotion, trust" -Richard Wright

What if I told you there are things as your photographer I would absolutely love for you to know but would never actually tell you! AND what if by knowing these things it could really make a difference to your annual family portrait experience. Well, I’m ready to lay it out. Here are ten things I would never tell you, but really want you to know. 

  1. All families are a little crazy. Yep, it’s true- yours, theirs, and of course mine. Each family has a combination of unique personalities and are prone to feel pressure when they feel they are on display or when they feel they need to present in a certain way. All families bring their crazy with them and relate to one another differently. Truth is, I love families and the challenge of bringing everyone together for a beautiful authentic moment that is unique to them. It’s fine really. Embrace the craziness of your family and know that I am too.
  2. Oh, but you ARE beautiful Momma. I know, I know, believe it or not, I am as guilty as the next mom who thinks I could ever look good enough in a picture. Alas, I’ve come to learn that family pictures are not just about me. They are about everyone in the picture and the memories of a time together. I know I would never look at a photo of a loved one and think, “well, it’s a great photo of us, but I would have really liked it if so-n-so had a weighed five pounds less.” It is your photographer’s job to pose you and help you look your personal best. Trust me when I say I can see the beauty your loved ones will see. 
  3. Simmer down Dad, it’s going to be ok and if played right you can even reap great rewards from this. I do in fact already know that family picture  day is not typically on any Dad’s top list of favorite things to do. Still, I can’t stress enough how vital your participation is and how much it can impact the energy of your family. Just going along with this brief time will bring your wife so many more moments of happiness that can be recalled again and again each time she sees the loving way you handled your family during this time.  Trust me when I say the rewards of her fulfilled heart when she has these memories in print will be well worth your few hours of patience to get through this. I promise to do my best to make this process as painless as possible.

  4. Butterflies abound. Yep, because I care so much about my work I get nervous before each and every session. It’s not just you, it’s me too.

  5. Let me run the show. From the minute I start a session I am assessing my surroundings, lighting and observing your family determine how to best compose each image. I know what an authentic smile looks like, what makes for a pleasing setting and where the light is best. While I always like my clients to contribute to their portraits, I can create better photos when I can lead to a specific location and posing.

  6. I know your portraits are important to you. Truthfully, they mean a lot to me too. I genuinely care that you have beautiful family memories to cherish. There is nothing I love more and I want you to have the same for your home. I can actually get downright giddy when I create a beautiful memory of your family. My own family can even attest to my professing of love for other people’s family photos. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but I’ve said more than once I’d like to have a huge wall portrait of someone else’s family above our fireplace.

  1. More time than you know. After your session, I spend hours upon hours looking over the images, culling and editing each photo in your proofing gallery. I do this because I want you to have the best of the best and I want them all to be beautiful moments you will be delighted to see each day and not bothered by small imperfections. All this time can seem like a long waiting game on your end, but know I am working on your images to make them beautiful and the careful attention is the only way I would treat my own family portraits and want the same for you.
  2. Questioning my prices can cause hurt feelings. Putting a price on my photography is something I’ve worked hard to ensure is an excellent value. I know it’s not possible for everyone to know what is involved in running a small photography business, but like any other business, I have to pay taxes, buy and update new equipment,  pay assistants, website fees, packaging, marketing, and the list goes on and on. While my work is definitely my passion, I can’t justify all my time and business costs without proper compensation for my family and be able to keep the business going.
  3. Being an easily distracted creative is tough! It’s highly likely if I see something cute (a squirrel) or shiny water when I’m with you I will be distracted. I struggle with organization and keeping things orderly as I enthusiastically “see” the beautiful things I’m excited to capture. I’m continually on a quest to do better and I wish these weren’t a part of what I bring as a creative, but it’s what I’ve been blessed and cursed with at the same time. On the brighter side, I have endless energy and passion for life and my job. I absolutely love people and it’s how I am able to capture the happiest most beautiful moments for your family. Please be patient with my creative heart when working with me.
  4. I’m waiting. I know, photography is not on everyone else’s list of things to do each day, but it really is on mine. I am genuinely excited about you having your family pictures and from the moment I deliver a gallery I am waiting to hear what you think. After all the time and energy I’ve spent in the processing, I’m completely invested in knowing that you have your pictures and are happy. Sending me a quick message means the world to me.

So there it is friends…. it’s all I want you to know but not saying! I’m so happy you’ve taken the time to find out how we  can work better together. I know I will rest easier knowing I’ve shared what I would never actually tell you! Please feel free to comment below and let me know what surprised you or what you never would have known if I hadn’t said so. 

With Love,

Interested in reading on what inspires me as a creative? Feel free to spend some more time hanging out with me and read about that here.

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