for the love.

family portrait session | santa barbara, california

for those of you connected to me on facebook, twitter, and instagram, (i'd love to connect if not!) you've heard me share a bit about being in santa barbara last week for a photography conference called UNITED. 

what started as a nerve racking and lonely venture of joining into an unknown community, quickly turned into an amazing time of challenging and exposing myself as a photographer and of connecting to some pretty wonderful people in my industry. i'm feeling so thankful.

our time at the conference was divided between gathering for helpful talks and going on shoots together. i have to be honest. i was a little weirded out by the idea of going on a shoot with twenty other photographers. i've worked solo for so long now, i couldn't imagine how it would work. would we elbow one another for shooting room? would we compete for the model's attention? i just didn't know and wasn't sure. 

i also didn't know how to feel about shooting models as opposed to clients. the connection to people is SO important to me as we form a relationship before our shoot, during, and afterwards. i want to support and nurture the families i work with. 

willing to give it all a try, i signed up for a few shoots while i was there: one bridal portrait session, two senior sessions, and one family shoot. i thought if nothing else, i will love to see how others work with clients and i will love to get to know especially the family photographers in the group. 

and i did learn those things. but what i walked away with was so much more. first, i realized how much i love shooting with other photographers and being in COMMUNITY with other professionals. (that could have a LOT to do with the fact that this particular community is so openly supportive of one another.) second, i remembered the LOVE for photographing people that got me started in this business in the first place. 

there were three families on this shoot that we did and i spent most of my time with this one.(featured above)  and seriously, i wish i could see them again. we laughed about the chaos of having multiple kids. their oldest, Carter and I shared a quick bond as he told me about having two sisters, demonstrated his skills in martial arts, and explained how he loves to work with his rainbow loom. their sweet youngest hid her face every time photographers came around so we enjoyed playing peek-a-boo together. (seriously, i would probably hide too with that many cameras! ;)

my experience working with this beautiful family within this beautiful community confirmed in me that i do this job FOR THE LOVE. it's a business and i want it to grow, but so much more than that, it is my heart. i care deeply about my clients so by all means, let me know if you'd like to be one of them. i'd love to nurture your family this way. 

we all need encouragement and community. i'm thankful to YOU for being mine!! xo.