My Process | My Mission
In a world of a million artists… why choose me?
If you want, a quick 10 minute session with mediocre images, an impersonal experience, or the cheapest way possible to get some photos... I'm not the photographer for you! Some might call it "bad business" to turn away clients.
But see... it's not about being "busy" or the "Almighty dollar!" When you book a portrait session with me... yes you might pay a little bit more. But that's because you're not just purchasing pictures... you're investing in an experience.
A portrait session with me is going to be a little bit different! Because right up front I ask you to do something vulnerable. I ask you to tell me your story. That's right... YOUR STORY... to someone you've never met. I want to know where you’ve been, where you are now and where you want to be. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. This is a critical part of the process for me and I want my clients to spend some time together here and be thoughtful in their words... not just mindlessly fill it out.
As I read your story, it inspires me to create a session that will best translate who you are in my images. Everything from location, to outfits, social cues during the session itself, will be used to tell your story... past, present, and future... in my images.
See, I want these images to speak a message of hope. Something that every marriage and parenting relationship needs. Because even though these relationships are two of the most amazing relationships of all time… they are also two of the most frustrating relationships of all time.
But I have found that when you recount your story you experience healing, freedom, hope, and encouragement. You are reminded of why you chose this life and be inspired to KEEP choosing this life each and every day.
My why is more important than “pretty pictures.” While I do strive to provide my clients with an incredible experience & gorgeous photos… the real service I strive to provide is the overwhelming hope that is found each time these images are viewed.
Storytelling isn’t easy.
Storytelling requires preparation, plenty of time observing the subject. Plenty of alone time. Self-awareness. Reflection. Quiet. A diet rich in reading and reflection. Oh, and my camera.
“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. The same can be said of compelling photos. My best photos resonate with something that is more than pretty, more than technically perfect, more than the “perfect pose,” and more than award-winning.
What causes me to click the shutter at first is a combination of the moment, the light, the composition… But what makes me KEEP shooting is my connection with my subjects and the environment.
Don’t settle for “pretty pictures.”
You deserve unparalleled service. From inquiry to photo delivery… I am here to serve you every step of the way.
Step 1: Learn
Before your session I take the time to learn. I learn about your struggles and your strengths. Your highs and your lows. Your loves and your hates. I discover your past, celebrate your present, so that your pictures can influence your future.
step 2: preparation
Nervous about something. Don’t be. I work with the BEST of the BEST. To provide you with everything you need. Want to know what to wear? No worries, I can help. I can even shop with you! Not sure how to perfectly cut that wedding cake? Don’t fret, I’ve taught countless couples. Get ready for unparalleled service every step of the way.
Step 3: session
For me… all sessions are equally important. You have been vulnerable and honest. We know each other now. So during our time together, expect nothing less than relaxing, stress-free, and even FUN (yes, I’m talking to you husbands). No awkward poses or stiff bodies. When I take photos I make it my mission to accurately depict the happiness, love, and laughter that surrounds you and highlight the connections you have with each other.
Step 4: Photos
Ahhhh!!!! Your photos are ready and you are so excited to see them. You’ve already seen a sneak peek but you are ready for them all. But don’t open that email just yet! This is when I encourage my clients to pause, turn off the tv, and sit down and look at them together. :)
“I will never use anyone else for photos.”
“I have worked with lots of photographers and Ariel has exceeded them all.”
“Booking was simple and easy. Every step in the process was organized and efficient.”
“If you live in Central IL, you’re going to NEED to book a session with her. You won’t be sorry.”
“We are enamored with every. single. photo. “
“She was so helpful in styling our session from outfits to location and made us feel at ease in front of the camera.”
“The photos were beyond what I ever imagined.”
“Hire her! You will not regret it.”
“Unforgettable experience that leaves you with pictures that will make you cry.”