When I started Exhale, I pretty much just wanted to capture memories for family and friends. When I was just beginning, nearly all of my clientele I knew from other facets of my life or because we had friends in common. I wanted to stick to what was safe. Most of you probably don’t know this, but I am an extremely anxious and shy person. I may come across like an outgoing person (because I am working so hard to become that person), but inside I am constantly in knots when I have to meet new people or am in pretty much any social situation. So naturally, having to work with people I didn’t know was enough to send me into a panic.
As this business grew I began taking on new clients – people I didn’t know. I would be driving to my studio and feel literally sick to my stomach because I was so nervous about working with new people. I always left those sessions so thrilled that I had met such great people, but it never failed, I was just as nervous at the next session. I was afraid they wouldn’t like me. That they wouldn’t like the work I offered. That they would leave unsatisfied.
In the past couple years I have been very intentional about shooting only what I love and only in the way that I love to shoot. I’ve put myself out there more on social media. Before, all you saw was pretty, perfect pictures. You didn’t see any of the craziness that is my person life. I put out this persona that I had it all together and that my life was perfect. Not anymore. Now, you will frequently find me on my Instagram sharing my crazy kids, my messy house, my extreme dislike of laundry and my addiction to candy and caffeine. You will see in my captions stories and heartfelt thoughts about my clients. No more of that “She’s the cutest baby!” I want people to know that I am genuinely invested in my clients. I WANT to get to know them on a deeper level. I want them to know that when we’re sitting in that 80* studio for three hours putting your child in buckets, that I’m listening to what you say – that I’m interested in you and your story.
In doing this, in putting myself out there, I have found the most incredible clients. I am working with the most amazing people I’ve ever worked with. I am leaving sessions sad because they are over. I am leaving sessions wanting to go out for drinks (unfortunately, noon is probably a bit early for that) with them and get to know them more. This family right here is one of those families that I didn’t know before they hired me. I didn’t know a thing about them. I’ve worked with them four times in the past 8 or so months and I’ve honestly come to adore them. They are friends now and I feel so lucky to have them as clients.
Take a peek into our most recent session! Sweet little Addison is six months old now and full of so much personality!
This shot cracks me up!! It’s like an exact replica of the face I have when I find out someone has eaten the last of the ice cream.