Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Up North.

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Keeping my promise to blog more lifestyle pictures of our family, we headed north for a long weekend in the Land of 10,000 Lakes this weekend and I brought my camera with. I didn't even realize at the time how much I would love the images I captured this weekend. I mean, I tried to cut them down but it just wasn't happening.

I hope you can feel the peace that comes with being up north on a lake in the woods without anywhere to be or anyone to answer to. Except my two year old, who remains demanding no matter where you are.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time to rest

I have sat down to write this post about ten times over the past month. Although it’s taken all of those tries, and then some, to get it done, I will confess that I feel a sense of relief in finally thrashing it out in print. So here goes nothing….

Over the past four years I have had the privilege of photographing over 50 amazing families. I have become friends with many of you, gotten to know your children, and watched them grow. I have had the immense honor of photographing many of you not just once but two, three, and four times over these past four years that Kathryn Shores Photography has been in business. It has been, without a doubt, my pleasure.

After this past fall’s busy season, however, I was left with a strong sense of wrongness. Something about this business, about the way the business interacted with the rest of my life, just wasn’t right. When the 2013 shooting season was over I was left drained. I had successfully juggled another busy portrait season along with my “real” job as an attorney, my two boys, and my husband. I had created portraits that I was more proud of than ever before. I had confronted my goals to use light more purposely and capture more interactive images. But, despite all that, I had a nagging feeling that no one was getting the best of me. Not my clients. Not my family. Not my job. Not me.

I passed off this feeling for a while, knowing that after every fall I am drained; that is just the nature of fall portrait season. Fall portrait season is why God made winter: so photographers can use the snow and cold as an excuse to rest their brains and their souls and gear up for another year of making beautiful art again in the spring. But even as winter progressed and spring crept up on us (oh sooooo slooowly), I wasn’t feeling recharged and ready to tackle another portrait year. I wasn’t spending my nights updating my website and working on my SEO. I wasn’t creating my spring marketing materials and brainstorming new location ideas. I watched as fellow photographers (and friends) in the area did these things, but I couldn’t find the desire. Instead, I found myself reveling in things I had not done in a long time. Watching TV. Playing in the yard with my boys. Reading books. Doing projects around our new house with my husband. All of these things that, ordinarily, I would have put off because I needed to edit pictures or update my pricing materials or do some other unseen chore that comes with running a photography business. I was doing these things instead, and loving them. My computer went untouched for a week or more. My camera was pulled out only to capture muddy hands and breakfast dates.

“Do I not want to do this anymore?,” I began to wonder? No. Certainly not. I love being a photographer. I love creating these beautiful images of sweet faces and new life and families loving on one another. I love having this outlet where I imagine something in my brain and then see those imaginings come to life in my camera and on my computer and in print. I love that moment when a session hits its high point, its nirvana; when I know that every single image being captured during those fleeting three or four seconds will be my absolute favorites ever. Until the next session when they are usurped by new absolute favorites ever. I love the rush that comes with editing those first two or three select shots from a session, and then sharing them with others to see whether the images fly or flop. And then the giddy relief when they fly. I love seeing my work in real life in the form of prints and canvases and albums and cards. I love all these things about being a photographer. I do. I really do. So what gives then?

At this point you can just assume there was a lot of thought and prayer and discussion and soul searching and chocolate and also wine. And what came out on the other side of all that (wine)? This:

I love being a photographer but I need to take a break from being a photographer in business.


Are you judging? (Because I am now one of those photographers who couldn’t cut it in the biz for the long haul?)

Do you hate me? (Because you’re a client and now you’re going to have to go searching for a new photographer?)

Are you disappointed? (Because now you know that, in fact, I can’t do it all?)

I am ALL of those things. All of them at the same time. And I am also relieved and hopeful and happy and sad and conflicted and resolute and tired and rejuvenated. And, apparently, schizophrenic.

But the bottom line is that as much as I have loved being Kathryn Shores Photography over the past four years, I need to step back and take some time to just be Kathryn Shores, photographer. I’ll still be shooting. I’m looking for new challenges. I want to shoot film. I want to capture better lifestyle images of my boys. I want to find joy in photographing something other than people, like landscapes or sports. And I’d love to share these things with you, if you’d like, either through this blog or my facebook page. I hope some of you will stick around to see.

But to my dear clients: I am sorry. I realize now that I delayed making this decision for so long because I didn’t want to disappoint you. I have reveled in your kind words and praise over the last four years. I have taken such pride in seeing your photos displayed in your homes. I have felt incredible satisfaction knowing that you chose me year after year (after year). Thank you for all of that. But I am not the only photographer in the world. Not even close. There are so many wonderful photographers out there—some of them friends of mine—and I know that they will take great care of you and your families. A few of my favorites locally are Jessica Weinstock Photography and Stephanie Kelley Photography and Bella Jackson Originals. Check them out. Book them now while they still have space. You won’t regret it.

And I’m not saying this is absolutely the absolute forever and always the end. I will be honoring all auction sessions purchased in 2014, so if you have one of those hanging out there, please feel free to contact me to book your session. In addition, if you are a former client and want to order prints or files from your past session, you can still do so through the end of this year. I also have a little something up my sleeve for a special set of mini-sessions in the Sunshine State this year. And who knows, once I’ve taken some time off to recharge my batteries and my perspective, I might be back at it sometime. Because I can’t just let it go entirely. Could you? ;-)

Here’s a little looksie at some of what I’ve been up to these past few months when I haven’t been running a business.

 And so for now... my thanks and my love. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 Fall Mini-Sessions are Open | Lake County Family Photographer

The Fall Mini-Sessions are back for their FOURTH year running! This year's mini-sessions will feature sunrise and sunset sessions in a relaxed "green space" setting in Lake County. The simplicity of mini-sessions makes them perfect for capturing your family's unique personality, and their affordability makes them a great way to update your family's photos just in time for the holidays.

This year, mini-session participants will get TEN high-resolution digital files--more than ever before--delivered on a USB drive for easy transfer to your computer or online accounts. Participants also get extra "goodies" exclusive to the mini-sessions and a discount off print orders including holiday cards! 

Session space is very limited, so contact me ASAP to reserve your mini-session.

Hope to see you outside in October!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Album Love | Chicago Custom Photographer North Shore

Did you know that every KSP digital package comes with a custom coffee table album? In addition to your custom portraits to print and enjoy throughout your home, you get a gorgeous album using your favorite photos from your session. Your album has thick, lay flat pages filled with the faces you love most. Add in a luxurious padded photo cover and you have the perfect keepsake to display in your home. This is one family photo album your friends will WANT to ooh and aah over. That is, after they stop oohing and aahing over the gorgeous portraits hanging on your walls!

Here's an album from a recent session. I love that Mom picked a mix of classic portraits and fun, personality-filled photos. Especially those last two :-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Florida Mini-Sessions are BACK! | Central Florida Photographer

So excited to announce that after a great year of Florida mini-sessions last year (including these and these), I am headed back to Central Florida in September to do it all over again!

Day one will feature "green space" mini-sessions in West Orange or South Lake counties (think, Winter Garden, Clermont, etc). On Day Two I'll head south and west to Pinellas County (Clearwater, St. Pete) for some sunset beach sessions.

So which one will you pick? Green and gorgeous or sandy and sensational? Book 'em now because space is limited!

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Around Here | iPhoneography | Chicago Suburbs Photographer

"If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders."

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