Happy Fall! The season for family photos has officially begun with the Woodard Family. You may remember mom, Keilah, from my recent personal branding session with her. And if your local and her face is familiar it’s because she’s the awesome mom behind Sacramento Sidetracks, a website that keeps Sacramento families up-to-date with all the latest events and kid-friendly activities.
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ― ANAIS NIN
November the 24th will be the date of my final session for Memories by Michelle.
In the last 10 years, I have photographed so many wonderful families, growing as a photographer and a human being in ways that I could never have imagined. Photography has opened the door to so many incredible people, relationships, and places.
In this decade of exploration, I have had the incredible privilege of being chosen to capture engagements, weddings, births, a baby’s first moments, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, international adoptions, and a soldier’s welcome home.
I have been proud to be chosen by Make-A-Wish to photograph their brave, young wish recipients on multiple occasions, as well as by the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters to photograph the relationships between children and their mentors. I have also fulfilled a life-long dream of being published as a writer and photographer in various local magazines and seen my images grace many covers.
On the personal side, I have learned so much by being part of incredible creative projects like Sham of the Perfect (which also sunsets this year) and taken more photos of my own daughter than is reasonable. (But which, I’m sure, I’ll never regret being able to look back on.)
And yet, in many ways, Memories by Michelle never grew the kind of strong roots I dreamed of.
There comes a point in a business’ life-cycle where, if new customers are not flowing in regularly, you have to decide if you want to invest more time and money trying to generate more bookings so you can cover expenses and come out on the other side with some money in your pocket. And then (having a full-time job) whether you have the bandwidth to devote to those lead-generating efforts as well as handling any additional business you generate.
Ultimately, the conclusion I came to was, sadly, no.
For these – and many other reasons – it’s time to say goodbye.
Leaving behind MbyM offers an opportunity to create space for something new. Which may or may not be photography related. Last year I dove into acting classes for the first time (so fun!) I also miss the swing dancing lessons I used to go to weekly and would like to get back to them. I have still never truly fulfilled my dreams of being a published writer with a book on a bookshelf. I’d also like to enjoy weekends around my favorite season – Autumn – just exploring with my daughter, who I only see 50% of the time these days. Time is precious. Opportunities and dreams abound!
Inshort, I don’t have a plan for the space in my life that Memories by Michelle will vacate. The plan, itself, is to create some space and see what happens next!
As to what I’ll do with my cameras and equipment… they won’t sit idle. Once things settle, I’d like to pursue some personal, creative ideas, and I may still take-on the odd photography commission if it works financially and seems like something that would be creatively fulfilling too. If you know of something or have something in mind, especially if it’s commercial or non-profit related, I’m open. But I won’t be booking regular sessions after this November.
I have loved and appreciated beyond words the time I have spent with every one of you, the trust you have given me, the intimate spaces of your life have welcomed me into, and the support you have shown for my photography.
If you would like to join me one more time, this Fall, for a family photo session, please see Fall 2019 details, below.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone – families, individuals, charities, and companies – I have worked with and who have supported me. The moments we created together have been rich and fulfilling and I will carry them with me forever.
Riley is a Senior graduating from Casa Robles this year. We celebrated his upcoming next chapter with a session in Old Folsom last week.
I had never met Riley before but know his mom, Heather. I found him to be charming and sweet, although I’m sure no teenage boy wants to be called sweet by one of his mom’s friends. He definitely has an “edgy” edge to him too that made him fun and easy to photograph, a cool swagger, comfortable in his own skin. But underneath you get that the essence of him is… sorry… yeah, sweet.
I tried to capture all the sides of Riley: sweet and savory.
Here are some of my faves.
Limited Availability this Fall
I have limited spots available through November 24th for sessions. Please get in touch soon if you would like to schedule a session for your graduating Senior, or your family this Fall.
I met Keilah through her online business, Sacramento Sidetracks, which provides reviews and recommendations for families looking for fun things to do in the Sacramento area. I even photographed her family a few years back in this adorably fun session.
But now, when Keilah isn’t making sure local families are having fun on their days off, she’s busy making sure they find the home of their dreams as an agent at Lyon Real Estate in the Land Park office.
Keilah is full of positive energy and that comes out in how she markets herself; she has awesome promotional chops. When we met at a local coffee shop recently to catch up, she let me know that she would love to get some photos for her real estate career that helped clients get a sense of her warm and fun personality, with a variety of images for different marketing pieces like the custom oil paintings.
A couple of weekends ago we met at the Lyon Land Park office and ventured around Land Park’s beautiful neighborhoods to make that happen. Here are some of my favorites…
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Get in touch and let’s discuss how we can help you sell your / your company’s story through beautiful images.
OMG, Jon is just the cutest five-year-old boy ever and the son of my much-loved hairdresser Jess (shoutout to Jess who is continually reinventing my hairstyle and hair color, appointment-by-appointment.)
Initially feeling a bit shy when he got out of the car for our session, Jon quickly warmed up with some fun games and, before we knew it, he was jumping, dancing, running, and making up his own poses.
But, like all boys his age, you can’t beat a good fart for a total belly-laugh. (See last photo.)
Got a kid whose milestone birthday needs celebrating and commemorating?
Get in touch and let’s schedule a fun and playful session just for them!
I'm Michelle and I love vampires (before they were cool), peanut butter and that deliciously off-balance feeling you get when you step off a plane in a new country. I'm also a mum, a writer and a visual storyteller.
Click here to learn more about all that.
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