Virginia Children Photographer, Virginia Family Photographer » Virginia Beach based children, tween and family photographer

Masthead header

On Being the Client…a study in TRUST | Virginia Lifestyle Photographer

If doctors make the worst patients, then photographers might make the worst clients.  At least that was me a few weeks ago…

A little over a month ago, for my husband’s 40th birthday, I gave him our FIRST professional family portrait session as a gift.  I suppose we waited to finish having kids before doing “family portraits”, and so it seemed like the perfect gift.  Little did I realize until the session was over and I sat down to a quiet cup of coffee, that I had been thinking about it subconsciously ever since I had booked it.  What a lot of stress for the non-stressed gal that I normally am!! Perhaps I had more to obsess about than the normal client, but then again – perhaps not.

I had been thinking about my house… everything “wrong” with my house.  I was worried.  My house had a pile in every single corner.  My piles gave birth to multiple piles on a daily basis, and at that rate I would probably need a week without my kids, dog and husband to get it under control.  AND for what? Just in time so they could come home?  Even with my recently done Martha-Stewart-organized pantry I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago, I’ve already had to go and put it back in order.  A clean house is over-rated right? Maybe so, but it is a contributing factor to whether I am a sane or insane person.  The bottom line is that I strive to find balance (don’t we all?) between my home, husband, children and work.  It is an unspoken agreement I have with the universe, to please help me turn a blind-eye, so that I can enjoy my life with my children, husband, dog and friends, and to help feel the joy so great that I will not find myself at fault for every single item being in the wrong place.

I tried to think about the good, wonderful things about my home.  Great light, great windows, great old-house-charm.  Ever since we did our renovation, I’ve commented that the house is now a natural light photographer’s dream.  So, I knew the piles would be blurred out in the background and would not be the main focus at all…Of course we could move anything on the actual day of the session, depending on where she wanted to actually shoot… Certainly my amazing photographer didn’t care if there was a pile (or two, or three)… but for whatever reason, I was still nervous about the outcome.  What? Why???  Funny now that it was my home being photographed, it suddenly seemed to matter! If I had a nickel for how many times I told myself that I knew better- that the light in my home was especially dreamy, that it was all about the kids and our dynamic as a family.  It didn’t really make it go away… There were still piles and there was still an underlying STRESS.

Next, would you believe that I worried about what not to wear.  Again, I chuckle because I love to help my clients with styling and feel very comfortable in this department.  I always work to tie it all together in subtle ways, and I am not afraid of prints, colors and textures, (because I happen to love photographing them.)  Yeah, um… ahem… so picture me, the night before our session, at 6:30pm on a Saturday night, with David, on a mission for style at the mall… We end up at Gap for Kids.  There we were piecing new outfits together for the kids as if we were literally in a Tim Gunn reality TV show.  I haven’t had that much fun in… gulp… well let’s just say I haven’t been shopping much lately (and I love me some shopping!)  We had such a blast choosing their outfits- styled to represent each of our kids as individuals but also tie us together as a family.  So after that I should have been relaxed right??

Of course not.  I was totally procrastinating on figuring out myself.  How many pounds could I lose in four weeks?  Maybe we should have waited until the baby weight would *hopefully* come off in another couple of months??  Of course not.  No one should wait.  Don’t wait.  Truly no one will look at these images and see anything but the precious moments from a time long passed.  I knew that.  So, I should be relaxed right?

I wish. The list was endless…  I had just gotten my hair trimmed/highlighted.  So which was best? Up or down? Half back or down? Big earrings or small? Necklace or earrings? Black top or white or both? Glasses or contacts? Red Lipstick or light lip gloss?

Four weeks to exercise everyday, to put away the piles, to put together an outfit (or two). Four weeks to get a pedicure.  Four weeks to plant some flowers and clean off the porches.  Four weeks until we document permanently and forever our life as we knew it on June 26th, 2011.  Our happy, crazy life.  Our happy, crazy, messy, life just exactly as it really was… Yes, that was my goal for the session- that LAUGH OUT LOUD true-life photography starring The Cardon Family.  I actually heard the light bulb CLICK.  Incidentally, we have those old light bulbs in our old closets- the pull-the-string kind… so my “a-ha moment” had an audible CLICK:)  True-life-lifestyle photography.  That was the focus.

During the actual session, I found myself listening to my three and a half year old misbehaving a bit (just not really listening to the photographer), and let me tell you, I wanted nothing more than to go and ask him to listen.  To bribe him with something later… Um, H-E-L-L-O ?? I always ask my clients to trust that I want to handle their children and their behavior, whatever it may bring, as it is all perfectly expected and normal.  In fact, every child you’ve ever seen on my website was just being a kid, being themselves.  I always ask to be given ‘temporary custody’ in order to gain trust and develop a connection with the child(ren).  Not only do they establish a relationship with me but inevitably with my actual camera as well.  That is why you can see their true spirit in my work… I always expect the unexpected, as children always do their own thing, and that is usually when I catch the moments and expressions that I am looking to capture.  OH YEAH! MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE I AM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?   I realized during my own session, that the real reason I wanted to intervene was to make sure my child was not doing something embarrassing or disrespectful.  I knew NOT to interrupt her.  My brain YELLED AT ME: “He is a good kid… he is only three. He is doing just fine… She knows I am a good mom, and his behavior is in no way a reflection of me today during this photo session… she is working it out with him, and this is not about me! CHILL OUT ELYSE!”

TRUST the professional photographer, that she would be able to determine the most flattering light, which would smooth out imperfections… not to mention her awesome editing.  TRUST my professional photographer to capture the specialness of each of my children and their varying personalities, as well as all of us together.  Total TRUST. I got it.  CLICK.  It is easy for me to invite my clients to TRUST me,  but so incredibly hard to actually let go and TRUST, even when I know I love the photographer’s work.  CLICK-CLICK-CLICK… I got it.  And of course, she, my photographer clicked too and GOT IT.

And this is TRULY how I feel when I am in your home… the kids can really do no wrong.  The individual spirit mixed with the family dynamic is what I need.  The genuine belly laughing, downright honest emotion is what I need.  That is what fills me up as a professional photographer.  TRUST me…That is what you will want to remember in ten years when your little princess is a a grown teenager.  Memories are memories because of these very images.  Most of our memories stem from photographs.  Own them. Be them.  Do not stress over them like I did for four weeks.  RIDICULOUSNESS!  Do your research.  Examine portfolios.  Do you like their style? Is there consistency?  Can you imagine your family in a similar photograph?  Take the time to find the photographer that you know will capture the spirit of your family for you and then you will easily make the investment. TRUST in your decision.  And do it again…and again.

I truly enjoyed being on the other side of the camera.  I was able to be a part of a process that will become a treasured piece of art in my family forever.

And for my future clients, on being the client- I know for sure I will be an absolute pro in explaining to you how to relax about all the details.  I will capture YOUR inner beauty, YOUR best angles, YOUR beautiful home and YOUR unique family dynamic and always, of course, ALWAYS in the very best light.



Below are the items we picked from the GAP for our two older girls. They wore them for some of the shoot, and then we changed it up a bit to be more casual on the bed for our family shot.

P.S. If you would like to share this link ( your page or blog, you are welcome to do so, of course, keeping the information in tact.  If you thought this was a good read or helpful, please leave a comment below! Until next time…

Pin It

Leilani - Piece of writing writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with
then you can write or else it is complicated
to write.

Le Hobbit la Bataille des Cinq Armées dvdrip - Votre site de ont une page de contact ? Je vais avoir
un moment difficile localiser , mais , je aimerais
envoyer shoot -vous un e -mail . Je ai quelques idées créatives idées pour votre
blog, vous pourriez être intéressé audience .

De toute façon , une grande place Blog et je ai hâte de le voir développer Développer croître au fil du temps .

World Of Warriors Trucchi iphone ipad - Fine way of describing, and pleasant article
to get facts on the topic of my presentation topic,
which i am going to present in university.

game room - Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found
that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers! - Other Icaros call the spirit of Ayahuasca to open visions
as though exposing the optic nerve to light’.
The benefits of exercising is like a tonic,it gives you a physical lift.
And the drink didn’t just help Sam, but all his friends to the best of my
knowledge: an arthritic Rottweiler, a cat with cystitis and a dog with digestive problems, just
to name the first three who tried the aloe drink.
Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them
pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of The Lord; and
the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and The Lord will raise him up; and
if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Moonstone:
It helps to promote happiness and long life.

car parts online - What’s up, yup this post is in fact fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.
thanks. - I like thee helpful information you provide in your articles.
I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
I am quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!

Good luck for the next!

google - Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months
of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to stop

how to cure a fungus toenail - Hi there, of course this piece of writing is really good and I have learned lot of things from it on
the topic of blogging. thanks.

medileen - Hello There. I found your blog using msn.
This is an extremely well written article.
I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful
information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

Cube World Download - Every weekend i used to go to see this web site,
because i wish for enjoyment, as this this web site conations really
good funny data too.

Susan Bore - What a great picture of your family–and a great blog to keep to go with it down the generations.

Deanna - I think it’s good for all of us to get inthe otherside once in a while to remind us of what our clients go through! Excellent writing!

Kim Hill - I can relate to soooo much about what you wrote. The trust factor, the piles that breed more piles, the wanting to turn a blind eye just so you can enjoy your life…I get it. In the end, it seems to all have worked out well. Your family is adorable and I really love the way you all look so happy on the family bed. This is a memory that you will have with you the rest of your lives. Enjoy it! :)

tamsen - wow! great article- it definitely helps to be on the other side of the camera to help us understand a client’s perspective :)
cute outfits too, love it!

Michelle Chissler - Such a great family photo! I love that it just captures every single one of you perfectly. It’s not stiff. It’s not posed. It’s you. And, look at those smiles!! Love, love, love it!! :-)

Stacey S - Love your post and portrait!!

Laura - Very well written! A clean house is over-rated indeed, spending quality time with our family should be a much higher priority than the laundry pile :) Beautiful family photo and love the wardrobe recommendations!

veronica starr - love love love family in the bed shots!!! beautiful image and all the colors are so crisp and clean :)

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



s u b s c r i b e
f a c e b o o k