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  • journeyeast

Why do I prefer shorter sessions?

Let's talk about session lengths.

If you're someone who likes to shop around, & get all the information before making an informed decision, you may have questioned why some photographers have differing sessions lengths.

The lengths of my session are currently advertised at 30 minutes for one package, and "up to" 60 minutes for the other.

"But, is thirty minutes really enough time?"

Let me tell you why I have curated my packages this way.

In the decade I've been doing photography, I have noticed something: session days can be stressful. When I used to photograph families, especially with young children, parents were stressed. Toddlers were annoyed. School-aged children were bored.

When I moved to specializing in animals with their people, mainly for my canine clients, I noticed similarities: pet parents can be stressed (will my dog behave? will they listen to me? will they be cute, or obnoxious, or not stop barking? [read about how your dog can show up as they are here] I hate having my picture taken, will I like my photos? etc). Dogs can be stressed (why are my humans so anxious? Should I be anxious? Where are we? Who is that? What is she holding? Am I going to get to run around like I normally do? etc.).

In addition to regular stressors of knowing you and your best ones will be in front of the camera, oftentimes, in unfamiliar situations, our animals' "brain batteries" run out a lot quicker than normal, because their mental load is so much more than it would be on your routine woods walk or neighbourhood run. Even if we are in a familiar place for your session, we are now asking of them something completely different than usual, & these seemingly small things can deplete the brain battery quicker.

When I used to offer 90 minute packages, I noticed a few things: I had more than enough images in the first half of the session, the dog is getting tired, and the owners are getting tired. Why? Because in general, photo sessions are hard on people and animals. Not because anything actually stressful is going on (sessions are often a lot of fun, & animal comfort is my first priority, always!), merely because they are something out of norm that depletes us a little faster than what our norm would.

So, over the years, I have shortened up my sessions.

I also want you, the human, to feel comfortable telling me your dog has had enough without feeling like you're not getting your money's worth because we "technically" still have 30 mins left of the session. I want your pet to enjoy this little window of time that you've carved out for you both to spend time together. I don't want anything about your session to feel heavy, or forced.

When I decided to shorten my sessions, I noticed an immediate difference in animal & human comfort levels. I am still able to deliver quality images, and I feel better knowing I haven't pushed anyone (animal or human) passed their limit.

This is what works best for me, my canine clients, and the type of session I offer. Photography isn't a one size fits all, and no one way is going to work for every photographer. I don't believe the way I do things is better than the way someone else may do things. Someone who focuses on action photography may need more time because setting up and recalling your pup from across the beach multiple times to get a good shot takes time. Every photographer has their own way of doing things, and that is something to be respected.

Maybe the way I do things isn't what you're looking for in a photographer, & that's totally okay! I want you to be comfortable with who you choose, & where you're spending your money.

And if you're not sure, don't ever hesitate to email me or message me on instagram to discuss your individual concerns, or needs. Asking me questions does not obligate you in any way to purchase something from me. I know that might sound obvious, but I also know it can be hard to navigate small businesses sometimes if we have a question, but aren't necessarily ready to buy. Just the reaching-out part can somehow feel transactional and that we now owe them something (maybe it's just me who is like that!? haha). As someone who is really uncomfortable with pushy, "salesman-type" people, I make it a point to not be this way toward my clients, potential clients, or anyone interacting with any aspect of my business.

I am a canine and equine photographer based in the East Hants, Nova Scotia area, serving areas such as Elmsdale, Enfield, Fall River, Shubenecadie, Stewiacke, as well as being willing to travel to other areas within the province, Maritimes, or beyond.


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