Mic check, Is this thing on? {Tacoma Portrait Photographer}

our SINCEREST apologies: I should probably start this post out with an apology and a thank you.  First, the apology.  I am embarrassed by how long it has taken me to visit this "place" to put up a post. The last six months for LHP would be enough for anyone to re-think if the "creative-self-employed-entrepreneur" route is the way to go.  Not that I am not thankful or tremendously grateful, but there were SO many moments where I thought I couldn't go on another day, let alone think about sitting down to write a blog.  That probably sounds crazy right??! How could something I love so much become such a burden??!  Well I'll explain that below under the header "blessing & curse."  So let me first apologize to those of you who have come back week after week to see the same pictures and blog at the top of the wall.  Those of you who have been loyal friends, fans and followers since we started our journey who might have lost heart because of my lack.  I promise that I have tons to talk about, tons that I have learned and tons to share over the next couple of months- and I doubt that there are anymore 3 month hiatus's in my future.  I know that the rumor is that blogging is dead- and I am sure there is some truth to that- but there is some joy in visiting someone's blog and getting the chance to get to know them on some type of personal level.  I think this blog has been running me INSTEAD of me running it and I am looking forward to taking back control!  Thanks for coming back to me and being avid readers. NO ONE EVER tells you your gifting might become your CURSE:  so on to the "why-I-despise(d)-blogging" conversation and really all things photography and LHP related.  Ever seen a hamster on a wheel??!  That's been Isaiah and I over the last 6 months.  Waking up to work, staying up to work, only to sleep and wake up and do it all over again.  The only conversations in our house were about what needed to be done, what hadn't been done and what was left to do.  Photography was the ONLY thing I was talking about and over time that thing that was such a blessing, that had saved me from myself was becoming the thing I despised the most.  I would shoot and be uninspired because everything looked the same.  I would edit and feel rushed because this person needed this, and this client wanted that AND wanting to do a good job and get those things out, I was in turn making more and more mistakes.  I would get a day off and just sit around because I was so happy to not have to touch the camera... the thought of blogging seemed unacceptable.  No one ever tells you that when you FINALLY get to embrace your passion, that like a good dessert-everything in moderation!  You think that if you book more, do more, create more that you'll never get tired because you love that thing so much- but YOU DO.  You get tired. You get burned out. You get uninspired and then it all crashes down on you and you start to HATE IT.  I started hating photography.  I started hating the very thing that I lived for.  How does that happen??!  When you forget that its just pictures.  When you forget that life keeps going on without you.  When you forget you have to pace yourself.  I would never want to dishonor God and the gift that He so generously and unselfishly gave me by complaining about it hating it.  So the last 4 months I have taken a break from this place and a few others to think and to reconsider and that time has given me the zest and energy to press on and to be excited about my 3rd love (behind Jesus and Isaiah, of course) and I AM BACK.

If I could give ANY CREATIVE advice.... DO NOT let your hunger for your gift destroy you- because just like any bad habit, it will overtake you and you will have to let it go to get your life back on track again.

What NEW for 2012:  So to create some balance in our lives we have decided to really hone in on the things we love to shoot AND we have for the most part!  a little bit of commercial, a few concerts here and there, weddings, families, high school seniors and engagements.  If you are looking for any of those types of things....  we are your peeps!  We are limiting the amount of sessions we are taking a week.  Last year, I was known to take on 8-12 sessions a week: a CLEAR recipe for disaster.  By taking on less, we will improve our turnover time, 7-10 days a goal we have been after for years that we can finally attain.  We will be able to introduce "in home viewings" that allow you as the client the opportunity to have a true  and full photographic experience, and you are happy because you get a AWESOME product more quickly then ever, and we are happy because you are happy.  We realize our turn around times and organization lacked in major ways this season and we never want to have another season like this (our clients are awesome, our organization- not so much).  In addition,  we are finding other things to do besides photography, for example, Isaiah is hobbying around with film and shooting videos and I am helping run a non-profit organization with Gospel Dream winner and recording artist, Melinda Watts, called The DreamGirlz Gathering (click the link for more info), that and hanging with friends, date nights and watching a little bit of BAD reality television every once in a while brings that perfect balance to a very unbalanced PAST life.

We are looking forward to 2012 and the products and services that we have put into place to make your experience with us one that you can be proud of.  We realized that we made a few mistakes and had to learn some tough lessons in 2011 and hope to never have to use our clients as lessons learned again.  We appreciate the grace and patience many of you have given us and we are so thankful to have you in our lives.  We hope that the new changes, the new look, the new experience will make us first in your mind when thinking about custom photographic services and we are EXCITED about all that we are going to do next year.

What's with the Polaroids?: Growing up there was rarely a camera in my house.  My grandmother was 51 when I was born and pictures were likely the least from her mind.  What I do remember, though, was her having a box of Polaroid camera's in the hallway closet.  On special occasions she would take the box down and pull out these Polaroid cameras, always surprised that the batteries were dead or the film was expired from the last time she pulled them (likely a 5-year gap in between usage).  When I look through the family photo albums- polaroid pictures are prevalent, littered with her handwriting, cursive, with the names, dates and special occasion that the picture was captured.  When I think of my childhood and pictures- I think of the anticipation and excitement of the loud noise of that picture popping out of the front of the camera.  Fanning it in the air as we waited and watch the image appear on the white background.  In November, I directed a camp for girls in the Poconos Mountains, called GLAM Camp.  I took a Polaroid camera with me- and do you know I had to teach a 16-year-old girl how to use it??!  She'd never seen one in her life!  Times have changed but memories stay the same.  This is one of mine and it seemed so appropriate to share it with all of you!

Travel: We are coming to Sacramento California area in January 2011 and WOULD LOVE to schedule a session with you!  If you are interested, please send a email to latasha@photomelatasha.com.  We are currently book weekday and weekend dates and cannot wait to shoot during that yummy golden hour light.

Thank you so much for your undying support.  For always coming back to read about the things going on in our life.  I am so looking forward to sharing our continual journey with you in 2012 and updating you on our adventures of 2011.

Until next time,

L.