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I hate my photography website

When people ask about scheduling and I'm forced to send the link, it's all I can do not to send an apology. Something like, "I haven't updated my site or branding in six years, but I hope you can imagine how much better it could be." Or, "WARNING: mute your computer, the song I used to love which is now nails on a chalkboard comes out of nowhere. Not recommended if you're at work or holding a newborn. And if you make it through the first two songs, there's a super irritating third one at the end by that Hawaiian guy singing Over The Rainbow. You know the one we all thought was awesome for five minutes until every photographer in the universe used it as their gallery backdrop and it became a cliche?" Yeah. I have no idea how or why the kind people of this town are still scheduling with me. 

So my new years resolution is to update and overhaul everything so that it's a more accurate reflection of my current work and esthetic. 

That's a total lie. 

The truth is that I might not get to it this year... (yay for low-bar setting!). Because as much as I love studio work and being on location, I feel like there's something missing when people are dressed up in their cutest outfits smiling at the camera. For sure there's a place for that image. I just think there's a lot more to the story. And I think the other parts are equally, if not more interesting. Like the pictures of Annie and Emily above when they had no idea I was there. I want to be more of an observer, and less of a participant. I want to tell the story of your family in a more real way. 

What would this look like? Well, I've been really inspired by two photographers lately: Erika Ray can make a tossed scarf and a peeled orange seem somehow reverent. She makes the ordinary so beautiful that you suddenly become aware of how much of it exists in your own world. And Christine Pobke. Her overnight sessions are the kind of pictures I want for my own family. I don't have words to describe them; you just have to see.

So this is what I'm thinking for a new kind of session, which is basically me stealing Christine's idea minus the sleeping over part. I'd arrive at your house early enough to capture your family routine, brushing teeth, eating waffles, basically be your personal friendly paparrazzi. Or stalker... however you want to think of it. Then you and your fam can get dressed in your cutely coordinated outfits and we'll do a normal-ish session on location somewhere. That way you have the best of both worlds, including the usual of everyone smiling at the camera. For now, until I get overwhelmed, the pricing will be the same as my normal sessions. Do you love it? Me too. Want to schedule? Let me know: admin[at]relishportraitstudio[dot]com

I'm traveling a lot over the next few months, so we're probably looking at April or May right now. But I do hope to hear from you because 1. If you're reading this, you're probably one of the long time hard-core readers who has stuck it out with me throughout the last year of non-posting. For that, I love you. And 2. I miss stretching myself in different ways creatively.

And in the mean time I will at least delete the god awful music on my website. ...You're welcome.

In other news, I'm leaving for Alt Summit tomorrow. Are you going? If so, let me know. Epiphanie is sponsoring a "Dinner With" on the 18th, and a photobooth on the 19th. If you're going to be there, come have your picture taken! Or at least come say hello. Because I've never been, and that insecure feeling is starting to kick in. You know the one where you're in class and you look down to realize that you're not wearing one item from etsy or a thrift store? Yeah, that one. 

Changing the subject one more time. Have you guys been watching OWN on Sundays? Because I'm addicted. Last week, okay maybe I was pms-ing but, I cried through a marathon of Undercover Boss. But my favorite is Super Soul Sunday. It's just like church, only you don't have to get dressed or have a fight in the car. Yesterday, she interviewed Jill Bolte Taylor. You know, the Neuroanatomist who had a stroke. It was so inspiring that I pirate-recorded this part on my iPhone so I could play it the next time I'm having a bad day.

Y'all, our negative thoughts are just a peanut. 

Untitled from maile wilson on Vimeo.

My other favorite part of this video was when she said that scientifically speaking, all humans are 99.9% the same. Crazy to think that all the arguments and conflict and wars in the world are started by .1% of the parts of us that are different. You can watch the whole video here. Might be a nice way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

See you soon. :)

Reader Comments (14)

As far as making a kick ass photography portfolio site, Squarespace is coming out with some amazing ways to do that in the near future. Keep an eye out. I've had a sneak peak at what's coming, and you will love it. I would even tell you to hold out doing anything until you see what they've got.

PS. Squarespace doesn't pay me to say these things. I swear. I just love them.
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie
You would rock these sessions. I am totally interested, but I'd have to save my $$$ first :) If you don't mind emailing me what you'd charge I can start saving now! ;)
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy C
Umm woman, no apologizing or confessing. You have been BUSY!!!! You can't have everything perfect. Sometimes, you need to step back and evaluate. Maybe find someone that you really trust and ask their opinions about stuff. Sometimes, it takes a second opinion or an outsie observation.

I was looking at the Alt Summit site the other day, and the line-up looks super fab. I wish I could go but work is very hectic right now.

Although, I would probably freak out about the white party. White does nothing for my big ass.
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie {Angry Julie Monday}
Hey lovely! I love those photographers you mention, documenting the real life is so my thing. I'd come and photograph your family in a second. You will rock doing the same for others....
Can't believe you're going to Alt Summit, it looks amazing, so wish I was going... maybe next time? Go get 'em, you will be fine... the line-up is brilliant. Miss you xxxx
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterxanthe
I love your ideas. I still love your site. I will always cry over that Hawaiian dude singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I love that you get to hang out with Melissa this week. Oh......I love you too!! *smooches*
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen Heff
This kind of session is the reason I became a photographer. But I haven't found a way to make it resonate with potential clients (in truth, I haven't found a way to make much of my work resonate with clients, but *that's* another story). But, I think you're sensing a change that's happening in the industry and you're wise to tap into it. People want to tell real stories. They want a way to have their lives truly captured and reflected in a beautiful way, but they don't know what to ask for. Best of luck to you as you transition. You have nothing to apologize for. Look how much you have accomplished!
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda
I heart Erika Ray so much. I hadn't seen the Christine Pobke overnight sessions till now and wowie! Love your idea of having the best of both worlds and I look forward to seeing what magic you work in those sessions.
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly
Thanks for writing this. I've been looking for some inspiration lately, and I feel much more inspired to get back to myself, what I was doing with a camera instead of focusing so much on the simple sessions as I have been lately. I used to do a lot of that -- standing back, more observing, less participating, definitely papparazzi / stalkerish type photography (in a non-creepy way, I swear!). I used to do that. I miss it. I think I'm going to do that more, make it more "lifestyle" again. It's funny how people aren't comfortable with that, with being themselves. Sad too. Anyway, thanks for reminding me.
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkoreen
You should also look at Tim Coulson, a photog in Australia. He does exactly what you're describing and his images are breathtaking and intimate.
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
I'm sitting here thinking, "Hey, that's my name. Yep, that's me."
My day just got insanely better.
You could come to my house at 11 a.m. and it'd still look like morning. I rocked a robe all day yesterday. And the bed head. And the morning mouth...

thanks again.
And you're welcome for the inspiration. ;)
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentererika
Hello darling girl! No apologies! I think you might be the busiest person that I know!! :) You are extraordinary and I love ya dearly!

Have a blast at Alt Summit, see you in a month! XOXOXOXOX
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrachel
I went and checked out those overnight sessions and burst into tears over their beauty. The shots of the family all snuggled into bed together...those just got me. If we lived near you and not in Ohio. If we had the $$. I would so sign up to be your test case!! Our son bursts into our bedroom each morning for "lovins" and demands snuggles before bed. It is just so my family. And he must be in the middle. We thought this stage would end at two, then three, then four...he will be five in four weeks. I pray it never ends:)

Can't wait to see your matter how small!
January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen
The first pics of your girls are just beautiful!! And, I love Christine's idea... the picture of the sweet girl walking down the hallway is priceless!! If you're ever in the las vegas area shooting... you will have to let me know.
Oh, and one more thing, I completely agree "no apologizing" you've been busy and life happens!!
January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauna
I would do that session for your family! Summer, 2012 will have Peta and I in the states for the book!
January 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

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