I have been debating writing this for a long time now, and I just feel like this is all something that needs to be seen and read. There is a HUGE chance that my opinion is not going to be loved among the extremely successful people in this industry, but thats okay.
I have seen and read so many posts about “how to find your ideal client”. You know, those people who will go to the foggy cliff sides of Yosemite for their elopement. Those people who will bring a donkey for their portraits. Those people who will wear the cute flat brimmed hat as part of their wedding attire. Let me be the first to say that those people ARE out there. They are wonderful, beautiful and I am sure they would be so much fun. I will also say that I would be the type of person to wear a flat brimmed hat to my wedding. So please, do not think this is me discrediting any of those people by any means in any way.
Social media tries to make us think that there is only one kind of “ideal client” and if you are not booking those clients, you are doing something wrong. If your images aren’t taken on a mountain at sunset, you are doing something wrong. I have spent the last couple of years feeling like I was back in high school. Like I just didn’t quite fit in. I felt that since I live in Lubbock, that there was no way I would find these so called “ideal clients”. I have felt that my business wasn’t reaching its full potential because I have yet to go to Joshua Tree.
I just wanted to spill my heart for just a second and tell you about my ideal clients that I have had all along.
They dance to country music. They invite me over for a girls Christmas party. They tell me that they felt that we have been friends all along. They are the people who let me talk about being a mom and the hardships it comes with.. even though I am supposed to be taking their family pictures. They bring me coffee. They have wine dates with me. They invite me out for their birthday celebrations. They are the family that tells me that they would be so much more comfortable in jeans and a cowboy hat as opposed to what I have in my client closet. They are the grooms that make sure I have gas money. They are the people who come play with the puppies I am currently fostering. They are the people that sing with me as loud as we all possibly can. They are the people who give me advice about raising two girls in this world and don’t judge me for my mistakes. They are the people who give me the opportunities to show my sweet children how different and beautiful every human on this planet is. I have been there for the birth of babies. I have been honored to hold and love on a baby the first hours that they were earth side. They love on my babies. They invite me to their family table during the dinner at a wedding. We have cried together as we said goodbye to their beloved pets. They play Cumbia music at their reception. They grieve with me when I have lost family members. They go hiking with me. They take me to Jamaica. They share their hardships with me. They take me to Cancun. We have laughed. We have taken shots. We have cried together. We have danced together. We have had dinner together. We have all made memories together. These are my people. These are my ideal clients. I promise to all of you, no matter what genre you fall into.. no matter what kind of music you listen to or who you marry.. no matter the color of your skin, your age or your social status.. I promise you that I will do my absolute best every single time. I will not NOT put in an effort just because we are not on the same path in life. I will give each and every one of you 100% of myself.
Just because I haven’t made it to Joshua Tree does not mean that I have not made it. I have met so many amazing people that have shown me so much love. I have gained more friends in the last 3 years than I have ever had combined in my entire 28 years. I have been down more times than I would like to admit because social media has made me feel like I just wasn’t quite there yet, which has been the case for the majority of my life. I have just never quite fit in. Until now. I fit in with so many different families and people who are all on different walks in life. I have unfortunately let the lonely side of this business get the best of me. I have felt so alone for a really long time and I have finally realized that I am so far from being alone. I have so many people that have shown me so much love and I could never ever ever repay any of you for that right there.
If you wear cowboy hats and two step, you are my clients.
If you prefer to wear jeans over suspenders and flat brimmed hats, you are my clients.
If you are a woman marrying a woman, you are my clients.
If you are a man marrying a man, you are my clients.
If you don’t drink alcohol or dance at your reception, you are my clients.
If you do drink and dance, I can promise you that I will be dancing with you.
If you elope, you are my clients.
If you get married at your house, you are my clients.
If you get married in a field off of the access road.
If you just want pictures of your dog.
If you are black, white, brown, pink, purple or orange.
If you want posed pictures.
If you want to run and play.
If you just want to sit and cry together.
Every single session and every single wedding has brought people into my life that I am so unbelievably thankful for. You don’t have to go to the mountains to make memories. You don’t have to follow along with social medias standards and trends to make it. I have made it. I have met more people than I can even count that I sincerely just love with all of my heart. I am so thankful for every one of you for letting me into your life and for trusting me with your moments and memories. You have all made a person that has felt not enough her entire life, feel so completely whole and welcome.
I cant tell you how many people have mentioned that they were nervous because they just didn’t feel like they reached these standards that we see every day. Let me tell you, that makes me heart so sad. You are all so beautiful and perfect and I am here to document YOUR LIFE. In YOUR WAY. I have learned so much about so many different people and I am such a better person because of each and every one of you. So, thank you. Thank you a million times. You have all made me feel so complete and worthy. Don’t ever stop being you, don’t ever stop being ideal.