Wow, what a year I have had! 2017 brought so many blessings along with unexpected and amazing twists in both my personal and business life. It seems I end every year in a deep and reflective mood. I am such a goal-oriented person and tend to approach things in a direct and orderly method, I am a list-maker, a serious planner, box-checker kinda girl. It has served me well in so many areas of my life, as I do tend to stick to my plan until I achieve it, but on the flip side, it often boxes me in and allows little room for creative twists and changes, and boy is life full of those!
One of my main goals for 2017 was to dive into the world of film. I have always been fascinated by film and the stories that can be told through this form of medium. Just like so many of you there have been people and events in my life that have changed the way I see the world, and who I am as a person. Often times for me it is the painful moments in life that have really dug deeply and changed me to the core, but there are also the little things, the moments that people probably aren't even aware of that have brought on deep reflection and changes in how I see things.
Leading to my desire to really want to learn and develop in the world of film were two key characters in my life. My Uncle Norm, and my brother-in-law Keith. Both of these family members were the ones that were present at family functions with a video camera in hand capturing moments. I just remember feeling totally awkward when they would come at me with their cameras, and so found it a bit of an annoyance more than anything. Sadly, both of these family members are now gone. They have left us all with so many wonderful memories, and were both such positive and loving human beings. But you know what they really left that impacted me on such a deep level? Those dang videos!! My sister went to work on converting some of those videos from when her children were young, and as she did so and she posted them for us all to see. I was just in awe of how quickly they took me back to that moment in time. How they captured that moment just as it was, the voices, the mannerisms, the connections, they captured it all in film and what a gift their children and family now have.
I set a goal to invest in workshops to grow in this area and invested in three: one by the incredibly talented and inspiring Courtney Holmes, a birth photography workshop with Rebecca Coursey, and another as a study along with Hailey Bartholomew. (I was inspired years ago by Hailey's Gratitude Project) . I joined a group project with an incredibly talented group of women- 24 Frames: A Filming Project where we have a monthly theme. I still have quite a bit of growing to do in this genre, but have loved every single second of it and am committed to continuing to grow in this area.
As my year went on I documented clients that had struggled with infertility, families that had lost children and the very difficult process of trying to capture family portraits when they felt the very real void of that family member. I documented a family that wanted pictures with mom before she started chemotherapy and would begin losing her hair after a tough diagnosis. I documented families whose lives were forever changed as they welcomed a new child into the world. Every family I photograph has a story to be told and telling them has been incredible.
I made a documentary film of my parents life, and it was so incredibly rewarding. Hearing them tell their life stories and how they met, and being able to have that for so many years to come, and the ability to pass it on to my children and grandchildren is everything. Here is an excerpt from their video.
As I continued to delve into film, I continually found myself drawn to stories, and in fact it was a conversation with my sister that really made me realize that this is what called to me. My grandpa was a printer and storyteller and was so great at documenting our family's history. He made a book for each of his children and grandchildren before he passed to carry on that story. My sister casually mentioned that I too was a story teller, and it just kinda sat there, and then it dug in a little bit, and it really made me realize that I am completely drawn to the story. Human beings are amazing, it continually amazes me that every person walking this planet has their own story. A story that is woven and developed through their existence in this world, their stories interweave and touch the lives of those around them, sometime in positive ways, sometime not, but they are all meaningful and they are all just under the surface waiting to be told. I think that is one of the aspects I love about being a labor and delivery nurse and photographer. I get to be a part of such an intimate part of peoples lives, I get to be a part of their life story, and it still just reaches deep inside of me and just pulls right on my heartstrings. I am incredibly blessed in being given this opportunity in both fields.
I have had clients ask me about photographing births or Fresh 48 sessions, but have always shyed away from that, truthfully out of fear. So much of my identity has been as a labor and delivery nurse, and to be honest so many nurses and doctors have no idea that I have a photography business because I really do keep the two very separate, and the thought of them running into me in this whole other role seemed so strange.
Then I attended a workshop in Denver over the summer and ran into another photographer and we got to talking. I am attending a Conference in Florida in February with Clickin' Moms and as we talked, I realized I had signed up for a course she was teaching there. Angie Klaus is an incredibly talented film maker and photographer and her birth films are just so beautiful. As we sat and had a drink and talked about my fears, and goals, in that moment unbeknownst to her, she got my wheels turning. Maybe I really could dive into this world, maybe I needed to step out of that fear and think about my future in a whole new light? I have plans to retire from my nursing career in January 2020 (it will mark my 20 years at Summerlin Hospital), and what a time to really do this. I could continue to be a part of people's birth stories but in a whole new capacity! Angie agreed to mentor me as I delve into this area, and I am beyond excited to see where this goes. I plan to expand into birth and family films over the next few years.
I filmed a birth story for a client of mine that has believed and trusted in me as her beautiful family has grown. I am so grateful that she let me document her birth and it just completely cemented my desire to take this direction in my business. This will be where my focus will go over these next two years. This is just a portion of her birth video, (it will be posted in her entirety as I re-vamp my website)
Early in the year two of my long time clients graciously agreed to let me film a few clips during their family sessions even though I had had very little experience at this time! I have definitely grown since then, but here is a little look at their sessions:
So, in ending.. what does this mean for Little Loo Photography, you may ask?
As I approach this new goal of mine, I will be taking on less studio clients, and will be changing the services I offer over the next two years to concentrate my focus on birth photography and film as well as family photography and film, and will be re-working my brand. You will see changes roll out over the next few weeks, months, and years as those changes are made.
I am excited for all that this will bring, and sure hope you join me for this ride! I appreciate all of you who have believed in me and supported me, it means the world to me!