Some of you who follow me on Facebook may know that a couple weeks ago our family took on a challenge. I had been feeling increasingly bothered by the amount of time our family was spending using “technology”. It wasn’t just the t.v.- it was the ipad, the ipod, the laptop, the desktop…. if it had a screen, our family was in front of it and I had reached the end of my rope with it all. So I decided we needed a week “unplugged” from it all, some time to reconnect with each other and get back to what our family loves- slow, lazy dinners together, family board games, arts and crafts, baking, and all that “good stuff” we had been neglecting. We had a family meeting and I laid out the plan, which quite honestly was met with some moans and groans. But overall, everyone was on board and even a little excited about our challenge for the week. I wasn’t exactly sure what we would learn from our time “unplugged”, but I planned at our next Sunday night family meeting to discuss how we felt about it and if we saw some changes we’d like to make permanently. I was quite confident we’d have some revelations along the way.
The rules were simple- my husband and I could only work during work hours, for me that meant 8:00-3:00 while the older girls are at school. This was going to be tough… I discovered my habit had become to edit photos and return emails all morning, afternoon and evening, a little here… a little there… without ever having a “stop time”. I was just constantly squeezing in time on my computer in between all my mommy jobs. So the idea of a “stop time” of 3:00 each day was a little scary, and yet thrilling at the same time.
So day 1- I got the kids on the bus- raced to my computer and worked like crazy. I was taking the week off of Facebook (gasp!) and t.v., so without any distractions I knew I could get lots done and thought I’d probably have some free time before the girls got home. Wow- time to read or think through dinner (or even take a bubble bath? Hey-one can dream) . I was shocked to look up and see the clock read 3:06, I could hear the brakes on the bus outside, and I wasn’t even through half of my editing and still had several emails that I never even had the time to read! The rest of the week went the same way. I walked away from the computer at 3:06 and fully devoted myself to my family (and LOVED the break from work), but found that by Friday I was so far behind at work that I knew I was going to have a rough week ahead of me with lots of extra hours to put in. Ugh- not the result I was looking for. Not even close.
So, by Saturday I knew I was going to need a drastic change in the way I do things. Being a mom of three and working full time + was just not going to work for our family. Having a whole week with parameters on my work time made me realize just how much time I was spending in front of my computer and how little time that left for my family. And then the “lightbulb moment” came… I need an assistant!! Someone to help return my emails, schedule my sessions, hunt people down for orders, place the print orders, and ship out CDs. Then I can do what I love- PHOTOGRAPHY and someone else can help run the not-so-fun part of owning a business. Brilliant! Almost immediately I knew I need to call Danyel. I knew she’d be perfect for the job and prayed she’d agree. 🙂 Danyel is a college student who lives nearby, and has assisted me in the past for photo shoots. She understands the craziness of my life and I knew she’d help me get it together. By God’s grace she said “yes” and started that very week.
So I know you may be asking, “What’s with the long-winded story about why you want an assistant?” Well, because at my core I am a people-pleaser and wanted to fully explain why the Emily Hernandez Photography pricing for 2012 will have a slight increase (and yes, my husband often points out it takes me forever to get to the point). This is the part of running a business I hate, because truth be told, I wish I could just work for free. But alas, it just doesn’t work that way. So… drumroll please- the new pricing details for 2012 are:
~CD’s are now $75.00
~Session fees will remain $150 🙂 However, I will now be charging for any group larger than 4 people an additional $20 per person. So if you have 5 people to be photographed during your session the charge will be $170.
Prices are effective March 1st, 2012. If you previously booked your session before today’s date- you will be allowed to pay the old rate for your scheduled session.
Now, because I don’t believe in ever writing a blog post without a photo, here is one of Danyel- my newest assistant! I’m sure you’ll love her as much I do…I’m so grateful for all of my clients who have supported me these past four years and continue to hire me as their children grow. I feel blessed to get to do what I love every day and call it “work”. Thank you, thank you, thank you!