Good morning, everyone. What a crazy summer it's been! I have spent every moment I could with my kiddos and family, taking it one day at a time and loving every second. We still have a little over a week until school starts and after that I'll be back at the studio pretty regularly.
So in BIG news, the news I mentioned I couldn't wait to share! As you may or may not know, I have an amazing behind the scenes assistant/bestie/do-it-all-er named Tanya. She has been on my team for three years this September. She has given so much of herself to my business and to me personally just by being her. She is the type A to my, ahem, not so type A personality. She keeps me focused and on task and she juggles a family, a side business, being a wife and a mom and up until last month, being a preschool teacher in addition to her assisting me. After much prayer and discussion, I am happy to announce Tanya is starting FULL TIME with LG next week!!!! We are still looking for the perfect job description for her but nothing seems to do it justice. She's so much more than an assistant and will be taking over even more than before freeing up time for me to focus on the things I do best! I'll still be shooting and editing and answering particular email questions as always. The difference you might notice with this change is our response time. Tanya is working daytime hours only and will not be answering emails during her evenings or weekends off. We've worked out a system that she'll be checking email throughout the day and first thing in the morning to reply to anything that came in overnight. If you would like to contact us regarding your scheduled session, please try to contact at least 24 hours prior to give her the time to respond. We ask that you send an email or message to our Facebook page rather than text her (unless she texts you first regarding a session or question), as that will help keep all our messages together and answered during her work hours. We ask for your patience and understanding as we transition into this much anticipated change!
I promised a mid-month newsletter this time also to talk about Santa stuff! I know it's crazy to be thinking of Santa time in August but if you know how crazy it gets around that time of year, you understand why I'm doing this now! As you may or may not know, Santa is my uncle! (I know, I know! #BESTUncleEver) Anyway, he is a pastor at a church in Middleburg, PA. He has quite a trip to get to us every weekend and he can't do Sundays so we are at the mercy of Fridays and Saturdays with the occasional Thursday. Santa had an episode that scared us all like crazy this summer. They thought it was a stroke, it has a fancy name but thankfully I can say, by the grace of God, he's come out of it completely unscathed. I just spoke with him and he said he "CAN'T WAIT" to see all the kiddos and he's ready for whatever I'm cooking up over here! So I'm waiting to hear back from him about one thing I'm kinda geeking out about that will be super fun if we can pull it off. But, counting up the sessions we have to offer this year, we are cutting back some. I don't want to put so much on the busiest man in the world and if you've ever had a kicker or a screamer on Santa's lap, you know what kind of physical toll that kind of action takes on him. He won't EVER complain but it is physically and emotionally taxing and his well-being is my number ONE priority.
Last year, after craziness with booking ensued I promised I'd find a better way to do it. Let me explain.
For those who are new to this, I hear it's similar to trying to get the best Black Friday deal you can imagine and your anxiety and excitement over it are through the roof. To get an idea, we cut off allowing entries to come through after 2 minutes last year and we already had 500 names on the list. We had "sold" as many spots as we had available within 35 seconds. If you can imagine, on my end... I was thrilled! It was seamless, easy and unflawed and for the first time in years we didn't have any glitches. What we didn't expect was the backlash. If you're unfamiliar with a google form, every entry gives a time stamp to the name on the backside that we see. Everyone was flabbergasted when they said they were on right at 8pm and hit submit within seconds and they didn't make it in time. "How is that possible?" "You cherry picked who you wanted to have a spot!" "There's got to be a more fair way!" "I took off of work for this and I didn't get a spot... You just lost a customer for life!" "You should remember the people who got you started in your business, you should be ashamed of yourself for how you handled this!" Yeah.. that was the negativity I got for the one thing I thought was flawless and well thought out. Of course those who got a spot were thrilled and thought it was completely fair. Most of those who didn't were understandably upset but not angry enough to message me hatefully. Which brings me back to how are we going to book this year? The answer is, I don't know and I still have some time to decide. I know no matter what I decide, some will love it, some will hate it and some won't care either way. I have to do what's best for myself (my health and sanity) and my family and I've been thinking about this for 9 months and I still don't have an answer. Please know, I am a people pleaser and I take every word of encouragement and criticism to heart. I wish I didn't have to think about doing a different way but those words cut me to my core last year and I was really heartbroken over it for quite some time. Bottom line is: I can't please everyone and I have to be okay with some people being mad about it or at me over it.
What we have with my Santa sessions is very special. Santa is the real deal and I care so much about producing an amazing product for you that I pour every ounce of my energy into every picture taken. I believe that combination is what's made our sessions so sought after over the years.
So let me think on the booking stuff for a little while longer and let me just leave this here:
Tomorrow morning, Saturday August 26th at 10am, we will post our official 2017 AWESOME SANTA SAVE THE DATE on:
Facebook, IG and on my website!!!!
By the way, while you're here at my blog check out the updates my amazingly talented assistant made to my website for me! She's so stinkin' fabulous!
Thanks for listening and know I appreciate each and every one of you!!
P.S. Don't forget booking for October opens up September 1st at 8pm!!! Newborn spaces per month are filling up quicker and quicker. I only accept 10 per month and when they're filled I have to turn people away. Don't miss out, spread the word if you know someone expecting or you need a spot for yourself!