Christmas money? Christmas pictures

I’ve been scheming with an idea in my head for awhile. All involving me taking family photos for friends and family of them, their kids, their dogs, whatever and try to earn some extra cash.

In a previous life, I was a pretty good photographer. People brought their families and their children to me so that I could capture all the happy memories for their family. I haven’t done this in a few years – and people have been asking why I’m not doing it anymore.

I’m thinking what I’d like to do is start up my own mini little business where one or two days in say November, I set up the house and do photos for people. Now comes the hard part – how much do I charge? And should I do prints, or give people the right to have the photos printed themselves? I’ve always been a firm believer that people should have a bit of the ability to get whatever sizes and stuff they need for their prints. Therefore, I lean more to sitting fees.

The studio that I worked in had sitting fees to begin with but soon did without to set them apart from other studios. It seemed pretty fair, considering the fees covered the cost of the photographer – and the portrait fee paid for the equipment and prints. To be honest, I have no idea how they made any money after they got rid of the sitting fees. But it worked – we had so much business that it was easy to grow the company.

To be honest, I do miss the creative opportunities within that field. But at the same time, it was very exhausting. Making people smile every day isn’t easy. Amazingly no matter how mad or how sick or how terrible they treated me – I needed to continue to smile and continue to be happy. I realized that it wasn’t the new childs fault that the last one had spit in my face, and it wasn’t that the baby hated me when they puked all over my clothing. The parent wasn’t really angry with my behaviour when their child chose to run around screaming because they didn’t want to sit still. It was a hard life – but I loved creating memories for people. It wasn’t about the pictures – anyone can do that. It was helping people capture that moment – the first Christmas, the first tooth, the four generations, the cousins, the birthdays, the family time. It was precious to be able to be there for these people and see their smiles when they see the finished product.

I love walking into someone’s house only to find that there are pictures in frames or on the fridge of a smiling child or family and you know that you took that photo.

So this year, I’ll talk to my mom – see about using her tree and her fireplace, decorating a little early perhaps – and helping capture some memories again. Good times. Good times.

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