Why pets?

I wanted to cover this topic because I feel like I can't accurately put it in my About section and do it justice. My whole life I've struggled being me, who hasn't?  I've struggled for fit in, to find my place and find people who get big old complicated me.  When I'm around animals, I don't feel this way.  Maybe its because animals function on a far more base level than us crazy emotional humans.

Most domesticated animals work on the principal of are you nice to me, do you feed me, do you treat me nicely?  If I answered yes, to any of those questions, then I like you.  I don't just like you because you wear a size 2, you have a great car, you go to the right church, and you say the right thing.  I don't care if you have a big pimple on your nose, a little curvier than you should be or have grey hair.  I love you for you and the fact you feed me.

Anyone who has ever had an animal in their life knows this principal.  We don't save an animal by bringing it into our lives, they save us.  They save us from ourselves.  They remind us that we are worthy, we matter no matter what the fashion magazines say or our exs say about us.  To the pets in our lives, we matter.

Pets improve our lives.  Science has proved that having an animal in your life lowers your blood pressure and makes our lives better.

Our pets deserve to be remembered, they deserve a legacy too.  What's a legacy?  Our legacy is something that lives on long after we are no longer on this planet.  Our interactions with our loved ones, our history, our time, our lives are our legacy.  Our life legacies include photography.

I know I can hear my husband laughing from here. He'd say, Honey you want to photograph people and pets, let's not get too heavy with this.

Yes, he would be right, I do want to photograph people and pets.  But I also want to help create something that folks can hold on to when that pet is gone from our lives.  Animals don't have a long time and the time we have together is brief.

Recently my youngest cat (who is all of 11 and a half years old) was sick.  The thought this was the end of our time together and it was quite frightening.  We've been together since she was a kitten and the thought of losing her was unbearable.

Do I have a legacy for her?  Sort of.  Should I do more?  Yes.  I should cuddle her more, I should photograph her more and brush her more because she shreds so much.  But then again she's a cat so as her staff, it's just expected I do these things. 

Famiy Photographer Wichita KS | A little sugar leads to better behavior...

When working with children, you need to be flexible. As a Mom, I know you want your family portraits to be great and as a photographer, I want that too. Kids, however, don’t always follow this theory! If there is a day that they are not into being photographed, its always the day your session is scheduled. Been there, done that. Sometimes we need a little sugar to encourage better behavior! Positive attitudes and a little encouragement work well to provide for a happier session.

As a parent, I know sometimes I have needed a little sugar to help life go by without a fight, for both me and my kids. I take the same stance with my portrait clients. A little sugar (*cough* bribery) helps a portrait session go a little bit easier.

When you have a positive environment, you get honest smiles, eyes filled with laughter and the child(ren) will look forward to getting photographed again.

With the thoughts of encouraging a positive environment for my sessions, I created the Treasure Box concept to help add a little persuasion into my portrait session mix. The Treasure Box is filled with toys, candy and trinkets to encourage good behavior.

During our initial consultation, I ask about what types of topics (i.e. activities, colors, books, TV shows, TV/movie characters) your child(ren) in interested in. I do this so that I can get down to their level and talk to them about what they like. This helps to keep their attention and focus. It also helps children who might have any anxiety about being photographed.

Using the children’s ‘likes’ my clients tells me about during the initial consultation, I try to stock the Treasure Box with toys, trinkets and sometimes candy (parent approved of course due to food allergies) that will appeal the child(ren).

At the start of the session, as a group with parents present, the child(ren) get to preview the Treasure Box. I let everyone know that if we do really well during the session at the end of session, they get to pick a prize (with parental approval of course).