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Rhode Island Baby Photographer

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Mommy and Me Mini-Sessions: Rhode Island Family Photographer

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Bethany O Photography_0139.jpg

Back in June I ran a promotion for a Mommy and Me mini photo session day.

It was an awesome opportunity to meet new clients, make new friends, spread the word about my business, and build my portfolio.  Each family who came that day truly touched my heart, and I am so grateful to have met them.

Will I do it again?  This, I am not sure.

I am still navigating this photography business thing.  Here are a few thoughts factoring into my thought-process regarding mini-sessions:

1)  They are a good thing for the reasons above, and for serving clients who have either recently had a full photo session and want updates or for working with potential clients who either want to "try" my services at a lower financial commitment or who don't have the budget for a full session.

2)  Many fellow photographers and industry experts discourage the idea of mini-sessions because they encourage clients to wait for a "deal," can devalue your work in the eyes of clients, and can lead to the all-too-common "photographer burn-out."

3)  On a more personal note, how do mini-sessions affect ME?  The reason *good* photography is not cheap is because there is a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work involved.  Was the sudden barrage of a very heavy workload good for my life balance?  Do I feel I can put forth my best product when we only have 30 minutes to shoot?  (Often we are just getting warmed up at the 30-minute mark.)  How does decreasing my rates affect my self-esteem?

I intend to build this business around honesty, authenticity and openness.  So those thoughts are me being real with you.

If you want to weigh in on this debate, I'd love your opinion.

Okay, on to the photos!  :)

(Many thanks to my fabulous and oh-so-helpful assistant, Audrey, for all of her helpful help that day!!)

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Bethany O Photography_0128.jpg

First up was the incredible Kelly LaChance Guertin of Bellani Maternity.  Kelly has been such a valuable resource for pregnancy and parenting information for me over the last five years; it was an honor to photograph her with her dynamic, kind, intelligent children.

Kelly recently won a few awards for being an outstanding businesswoman in Rhode Island.  If you're a parent, regardless of whether you're local, you'll want to be a part of the Bellani community.  Here's their facebook page.

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Bethany O Photography_0129.jpg

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Next up was the fun and lovely Bridget, whom I met for the first time that day by means of a mutual friend.

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Bethany O Photography_0130.jpg

Isn't it wonderful how good people have a way of connecting you with good people?

My fav of these photos is the bottom right.  Aint nothin' like the safety of a Momma's arms, especially at this age.

I love capturing that bond.

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Bethany O Photography_0131.jpg

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I mean honestly.  These two!!!  BAM!  BAM!  BAM!  One great shot after another.

Jenn and I were in high school and at Boston College together; it was so nice to see her again.

Such an effervescent soul, she is.  Baby, too.  (OBS!)

I so appreciate the passion and enthusiasm Jenn brings to her online business as well.  Wellness Enthusiasts:  check her out!!

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I met the kind and loving Lindsay thanks to a friend sharing my mini-session announcement on Facebook.

These are the joys of Facebook.  (Thank you, friends!)

Hard for me to choose a favorite here.  I think I'd go with the one above, and the top two in the grid below, since their emotions are so unharnessed.

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Bethany O Photography_0137.jpg

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Mike was a random passerby who asked me to take a photo of him with his dog when I was in-between sessions that day.

He really loves that pup.

"Fred" is an awesome dog name.

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Bethany O Photography_0138.jpg

I used to think it sounded very southern when people used the word "dear" to describe a friend, but I can think of no better word to describe my dear friend Linsey.

The shot of her two boys snuggling together below is one of my fav photos ever.

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We did

one other mini-session that day

, which I'm going to share as its own post because the light was so very magical.

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If you want to weigh in on my mini-session debate from the top of this blog post, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

Any favs from these pics?  :)

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The Truth.

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bethanyo.com_0017.jpg

I've come to realize I have a physical response to truth.

When something strikes me as fundamentally pure, truthful, soulful, brave, or kind, I get chills.  Teary-eyes.  My heart skips a beat.

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My son, in one exaggerated swoop of his arm, wipes a pile of papers onto the floor.  When I exasperatedly ask, "WHY???!" he blinks at me, genuinely confused.

"I don't know why," he says, and I believe him.

The pureness of his honesty makes my heart stumble.

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bethanyo.com_0018.jpg

Waiting in the grocery line, I overhear a man boasting about his granddaughters.  His love is pure and palpable; the tears in my eyes are, too.

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A confidante shares a "secret" that has been poisoning her insides for forty years.  I get chills - not because her secret is remotely juicy (group therapy has taught me that secrets are mostly only juicy to their keepers) - my arm hairs stand to attention because of the pureness of her courage.

Perhaps these sensations are not just reactions to truth - perhaps they are my body's way of telling me when I have seen a glimpse of a person's soul.

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bethanyo.com_0023.jpg

I have seen their soul and I am touched.

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I've heard it said that people today have keen noses for B.S. (we can smell a rat from a mile away)--but I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for how perceptive we are in recognizing GOODNESS, too.

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Our bodies have a sense for when things are pure and true.  They are reliable and consistent sources of guidance; it's just up to us to pay attention.

I know I haven't been paying enough attention.

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bethanyo.com_0027.jpg

Of course I've known that my eyes water a lot, but I've never stopped to think, why am I getting chills in this moment?  Why did I just skip a breath?

What is my body trying to tell me?

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bethanyo.com_0030.jpg

When somebody does something courageous or selfless or honest or good and we get chills, that's the universe's way of saying, "Did you see that?  That was good.  See how it gives you goosebumps?  You are connected to that.  You are good too.  Go that way.  Do more things like that.  You are not alone."

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This is why, when a twice-bereaved father runs towards the explosions in Boston to pinch between his fingers the severed arteries of a man whose legs have been blown off, our entire nation vibrates at a higher level.

We are one with that cowboy-hat-wearing Patriot.  His fiber is our fiber.  We are capable of that valor.

We get chills when we see him because God/Universe/Spirit is telling us:  "Go that way.  Be like that."

We are also one with the man in the wheelchair who is shocked and afraid.  If we can see ourselves in him, then we, like him, have no choice but to be valiant in the face of our fears.

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Isn't it remarkable how much soul can come through a photograph?

When an image captures the essence of a person, I inhale sharply.  My eyes water.  I get chills.  Not because it is beautiful - many photos are beautiful - but because it is true.  

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As a photographer, I have no interest in taking a photo of what a person or a scene "looks like."  Taking that kind of picture requires zero talent.  It is boring and unremarkable.

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I have even less interest in photographing who a person wants to pretend to be.  I spent far too many years thinking I had to be someone I wasn't in order to be lovable; if you want a contrived or "perfect" or super-posed photo, please find somebody else to take it.  

Pretense makes me shiver.

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bethanyo.com_0020.jpg

When I push the shutter on my camera, my goal is to create a photograph--not of what my subject looks like, but of who my subject is.  It's no easy task, because people generally feel uncomfortable with a lens in their face, but--quite frankly--bringing out who YOU ARE in a photo is my enjoyable challenge and my specialty.

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I catch your light and I show it to you.

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bethanyo.com_0021.jpg

I aim to show you that your truth--your soul--your ESSENCE is extraordinarily, vibrantly, and wildly beautiful.

Because that, my friend, is the God's Honest Truth.

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I'm currently running a photography special:  $470 worth of photos and services for only $165.  Details here!

FYI, I changed the name of my photography business.  I now operate as Bethany O Photography.

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