Beyond the Camera : Struggles & Delights

Last week I launched my updated website. The hardest part I struggled with (besides writing this blog!) was crunching numbers and reworking my packages. Not only was I confronted with 101 different ways I could decide to run my business, but with the fear of change as well.

Sales and money have always made me uncomfortable. When I worked in the restaurant industry, I never liked to upsell drinks, appetizers, etc. When I worked at a dental office, I basically refused to discuss treatment plans with the patients because it meant having to talk about how much they would have to pay to care for their teeth.

I understand budgets and I understand not being able to afford everything that you might want or need. With our circumstances at the time, I couldn’t even afford having a wedding photographer on our big day. Thus, I have always struggled in the pricing department for my services.

I started my college adventure seeking out a career in Journalism. I enjoyed the research and interviewing portion, but battled with the motivation to actually sit down and write the story. That’s when I decided to rekindle an interest I had gained in high school. Working on the yearbook staff opened a door of opportunity to create photographs that aided in  documenting memories to look back on years to come. So instead of telling a story through writing, I decided to pursue story telling through a lens.

Besides the creation of memorable art, my greatest delight in this career choice is the face to face time I get with my clients. I enjoy getting to know them as individuals. I love the fun facts, laughs, and friendships developed. With those I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, I’ve also had additional lunch dates, shopping dates, and even been treated to a root beer float right after a session! The relational part of my job is what I hold dearest to my heart. <3

I value these folks, their kiddos, their time, their life milestones, and their trust to work with me. Yet, in the depths of my fears, I have wrestled with finding value in myself. Coming to this realization is what has pushed the challenge to grow in appreciation and confidence in how God created me. He created me with both a heart to serve others and an eye and passion for art.

So how do I find balance in wanting to be a loving, but successful business owner? If I raise prices, then I fear I will lose clientele. If I don’t raise prices then I shall remain as just a “hobbyist”. In all honesty, if I didn’t have my husband’s income, I could not afford to do photography as my sole occupation. I would have to go back to a full time job and just taking photos on the side. I did consider this option, but knew it wasn’t my heart’s desire. I want to be able to give my clients and their photographs 100% of my all.

Therefore, in challenging myself to value the time, details, hard work, and heart I individually invest into Bear Fruit, I finally made changes. Changes to support my family and business I wish to keep afloat, as well as to provide more for those who invest in BFP. I want to now ensure that my clients are getting more than just quality digitals. I want my service to extend in making sure your memories live beyond the computer screen. They should be showcased! In the past, I have given recommendations for printing and have personally seen some of them put to use and it excites me! 🙂

Yet, life is busy enough- especially with kiddos! Many times, clients have forgotten to download their album online or haven’t found the extra time to go make personal prints.  Thus, I want to be more responsible in getting these high quality products to you!! My new packages will still include digitals, but now also a credit to apply to product ordering. Here are some of my product samples I’ve ordered to show my clients in person: Print sizes ranging from wallets to 16x20s and Canvas sizes ranging from 16×20 to 30×40.

I realize I have been a bit long winded, but I appreciate the chance to share Bear Fruit’s struggles and delights. 🙂 I understand that these changes may not be the best fit for some, but my faith must outweigh my fear. I have faith that I am able to gain and utilize wisdom. I have faith that God created me for a purpose and that he places people in my life for a reason. I am forever grateful for all who have entrusted me with priceless memories and have supported my passion for photography. I look forward to my future endeavors and photo adventures with those I am blessed to serve and get to know. <3

Much love, Michelle

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