Knowing When to Hold'em and When to Fold'em
(Disclaimer: Christal gave me full permission to share her story)
It was the first week of December and Christal contacted me for photos for her Christmas cards. She wanted to do them sooner than later. Part of the problem of shooting in December is the sun starts to set around 3:30. We decided we would hammer these out right after school. I met Christal at her house and she had picked up Ty slightly early from school. Ty got out of the car and you could tell, it was a long day for him. I think we forget how much energy it takes to learn all day. Christal wanted Ty to get into jeans and Ty HATES jeans. This was not going well. We tried to pep up Ty but Ty was tired, hungry (although we did get him snacks) and just not in a mood. Christal tried hard to turn it around.
We drove to our spot and it was a little windy, and about 40 degrees. Ty was done before it began, he was freezing, and Dutch, their full-grown still puppy was being silly. With tears in his eyes Ty got out of the car, Christal was desperate to make this work and it was then that I realized this wasn't going to work. I grabbed Christal and said, "We need to stop. This isn't going to work, let's reschedule." Christal felt awful, Ty felt awful it wasn't a good day. It was time to fold them. And you know what? I would 100% rather fold, then push forward and produce photos that aren't going to be great just because we wanted to get them done right then. It's okay to say it's not going to work. Children aren't robots and with two of my own, I know they have bad days too.
We rescheduled for a different time, and what a difference that was! It was unusually warm that day, about 60, Ty was back to his sweet, loving, joking self and Dutch was a little more mellow. Ty genuinely had a good time and Christal felt better and we all laughed. By the end Ty joked with me and asked we could have a picture of him throwing his jeans into the lake when we were done. (He really hates jeans!) I was able to get genuine smiles and I was so happy to make this work.
Life doesn't always go the way you want it to, even though you have it scheduled to work out a certain way. I understand that. I hope my clients know that without any additional fees, if your kiddo is really having a bad day, let's get a good nights sleep, some snacks and give it another try. Nothing to feel bad about, this is life and it has it's own schedule.