It’s been such a challenge living in lockdown, I won’t lie. Part of me is really enjoying some time off work, you know how sometimes you wish the world would just stop and you could get off for a bit?
And then it actually happened … the world stopped … and we all know how that feels now – UGH!
There are only so many dog walks you can do and cakes you can bake. I did the sourdough thing but now looking after my starter is becoming a chore and I secretly wish I could throw it out but I can’t bring myself to.
So to keep myself occupied I decided to make some changes to my business – lots of changes!
It was time to say goodbye to:
Yes – a new business name. I never loved using my name for a business, it felt a bit too much ‘out there’. Lovetales Photography became available, and l jumped at the opportunity. I spent many happy weeks browsing logo fonts and pulling my website theme apart and putting it back together. It turns out that wordpress themes aren’t as flexible as they used to be and you can no longer switch them on a whim LOL. It was great to have a huge clean up and delete lots of old files.
Then l decided to re-paint my studio. Hubby has been painting the house (another common lockdown activity!) and l knew it was perfect timing even though l dreaded the thought of pulling my studio apart. We’d never painted the quad trim after laying the floating floor, and there were marks all over the walls and ceilings. Not to mention lots of nail holes, and a wall that l once painted with sample pots for a quick backdrop for family photos LOL.
And it was while pulling everything out that l realised how many props l had, how much stuff l’ve collected. This is just the tiniest part of it, the only photos l’ve got left.
(a quick side note: I am a BIG fan of The Minimalists and their lifestyle, I also adored Marie Kondo-ing our house a few years ago, so this decision was something that really excited me!)
I never even thought l had many props. Compared to other photographers, my collection was very small & compact, I’ve always been happy to on-sell things I’m not using any more. But l knew l was stuck on the ‘prop buying roundabout’ – it never ends, and it’s a huge trap. You are always searching for the next new thing, the latest colour, more backdrops, more bonnets, different wraps, more flowers…and it goes on and on. Only a few years ago l spent way more on props than I earned from my bookings that year.
I decided to sell the lot, and concentrate only on neutrals for my newborn sessions.
It’s been both a scary and an amazing experience, and l’ve realised that although I was apprehensive, l’ve always wanted to do it.
One of my earliest newborn photographer ‘crushes’ back in 2014 was Danielle Stahl, a newborn photographer in QLD. I used to browse her website and admire the photos. I loved her pure white studio, there was not one scrap of colour in there, and she freely admitted to chopping up op-shop jumpers for her newborn wraps. I thought that was so refreshing!
And then somehow l ended up on the ‘coloured props’ merry go round, and went off in a different direction. It’s been lots of fun, I LOVE collecting props, but l’ve never really felt that l’m very good at styling different colours. It’s always a lot of work for me, a bit of a struggle – and I often spent a full night before a session trying different ideas, often not really feeling the love, and wishing I was relaxing with my family instead.
When I looked back on the past 4 years of newborn photos, it was all the neutral ones that I loved the most. I remembered what l wrote on my newborn info page:
l’ve always thought that babies are beautiful all by themselves
It was time to remember why I wrote that sentence.
So the selling started…
I sold things every day, for about 3-4 weeks. I didn’t do too many items every day because l wanted to make sure l didn’t get everyone’s parcels mixed up LOL. Mostly l made up co-ordinating coloured bundles, and l thought it would be done pretty quickly. But every day l walked into my studio and found more things l knew l could live without.
The giant Ikea shelf l bought for my props is looking very lonely. I no longer need my wrap stand, and l even sold my favourite dark timber floor backdrop. (that hurt, l’ll admit it!) I even sold things that l’d just ordered a week before. That hurt too but l knew l was doing the right thing.
3 rolls of packing tape, 3 packets of jumbo bin bags, countless Sendle labels and paypal requests, and lots of walks to the post office, l am just about done.
I have a tiny stash of pastel colours left, but l’m going to hide them in my office to be bought out only on request. I figure it’s a big step to take and l have to make sure my clients want this too LOL. But I’m pretty sure l could let go of the pastels eventually.
Watch this (cream and white!) space LOL