I feel like I need to take a deep breath before posting this...
I don't know why I feel perhaps more than slightly embarassed to admit this, but I have started doing a little photography here and then. I even started up a little photography blog. I know, I know - not another blog. But hang with me for a second whilst I explain...
A couple of months ago I showed up at a Toddler Time (just a little Monday morning get together for mom's with similarly aged children in our ward) and was approached by one of the other mom's asking me if I had ever considered taking family pictures for other people because she liked the photos I tend to post on our blog. And once she spoke up, a number of the other moms chimed in that they agreed and would be interested in having me do their family photos as long as they could afford whatever I decided to charge if I even decided it was something I wanted to do.
And the thing is, I had thought of doing this for a long time before BUT it has always felt SOOOOO cliché. Because it basically IS so cliché - the stay-at-home mormon mom gets a nice camera, starts up a little blog and voila, suddenly has her own little photography business. And ugh, I am awfully uncomfortable with being cliché. As a side-note, I am sure that there are plenty of other things about my life that I have probably documented on here that are also cliché and I may or may not also be embarassed about those things, but ho-hum, that's life, I guess.
Anyway, after thinking it over for a bit I decided, you know, why not? Besides, I thought, it would be a good way of saving money for our next adoption. And that way I could tell these friends who had raised the concept that they could treat it more as a contribution to our adoption fund and pay what they felt they could afford and was appropriate for the product I could give them rather than me "charging" a set fee and feeling like I was gouging friends while I was gaining specific family photography experience (you know, as opposed to just everyday life photography like I typically engage in).
I have had a few photo shoots in the past couple of months since that conversation with friends (and I have a few more sessions in the works before December!) and it has been really fun. I certainly have been learning quite about and developing my skills with our camera and that feels good. And it is nice to have a little bit more money in our adoption bank to help with travel expenses when they come up.
And I am not as concerned about being cliché as I was at first. I know that in Utah and Arizona and probably most places with a significant mormon population the mormon mommy photographer is a dime a dozen, but out here, I just don't know of a single one. And sure, there are other photographers out here, but they seriously charge an arm and a leg and it is not surprising that people aren't too keen on paying that much for photos. So there is a void and it looks like I can fill that void as a less expensive option for some families right now. (As a side note, I would imagine that if any more established photographers are reading this post that I am driving them nuts because it is probably cheap mommy photographers who make their businesses that much harder. Fortunately, I don't know any "real" photographers in my area so I am not too worried about this.)
I've been trying hard to be very professional - scouting locations beforehand, studying up on posing and how to photograph young children, building up a website, improving my photo editing techniques, and making sure to deliver a good product as an end result with a labeled CD of 25-30 unique images. And so far I think my "clients" (it still makes me squirm just a little to think of my friends who I have done photo shoots for in that way) have been pleased, I think.
Well, anyway, that is what I have been spending quite a bit of my spare time doing these days and one of the reasons why my blog posts have been a little bit sparse (in my opinion) while I have been busy developing photos and setting up a little (and I do mean little at this point) business.
Oh, and if you would like to see some of the images I have taken, you can visit my still-in-progress photography blog at http://amynashphotography.blogspot.com.