Over the past 12+ years of ARP, I've spoken to many photographers about why I love our Baby Story. Some of them are confused as to how I can get clients to come see me 3-5 times in one year and why my clients continue to make an investment.
My answer is always this - it's NOT about the images; it's about the relationships. It's about being asked to tell the story of that little one's first year. It's about getting just as excited as the parents do about those first smiles, chubby legs that continue to get chubbier, baby teeth, and meeting milestones one right after another. Being asked to be part of that is a big deal, and I'm so thankful for it.
What happens over that first year is pretty magical! My long time ARPfamilies know I will love on their babies like they are my own. I put a great deal of importance on developing special relationships with all of my ARPbabies. Parents hear me say often in the beginning, "If you're an option, I'm not - and I need to become their favorite person when they're here." And over time, guess what? That's what happens, and it truly is one of my favorite parts.
After the Baby Story is complete and that first birthday has taken place, it's not all over — more sessions happen. And when they do, our ARPfamilies know that we're going to design custom pieces for them, we're going to help them figure out where those should go, and, in many cases, we're going to hang those images for them because that just makes life easier. Our clients know we're going to take care of them, and they trust us to do that.
Our design process is one of the key things that makes our studio different, but I'll say it again - it's not all about that. It's about the little visitor who pops into my studio while he's out with his dad. He asks if he can stop by and see me — and, of course, hugs are willingly and spontaneously given! :) That little boy loves it when we have sessions together. And if his sister is here for a session just for her, he can't imagine why I wouldn't want to take a picture of him too! When that little guy is older, he'll look back at the images of him and his family on their walls and remember those sessions fondly. He'll attach a memory to those photographs. He'll think about what was going on when they were being taken. Was it fun? Did we laugh and act silly? Did Ms. Allison balance a stick on her head? Umm, probably so!
It's not forced or fake - it's real. It's a relationship that takes an investment of time. It creates a fun and comfortable place for moments to happen and be captured. So, yes! I love our Baby Story, but my favorite part of that journey would definitely be the spontaneous hugs. :)