May 18, 2020

Why Not?

Class of 2020 Seniors

As we are all very much aware, nothing about this time in our lives is normal. Especially for the Class of 2020 Seniors. Due to Covid 19, they had so many things taken away from them. Senior Prom, Graduation, Grad Parties, and for us in our little hometown, Drive Your Tractor to School Day. Yes, it's a thing and I love it. Because of all they have lost, or in spite of all they have lost, I wanted to do something for them. So, I offered to do free Cap & Gown Sessions. That's right, free. The only thing I asked was for them to give me a donation to the Ashville Food Pantry, if they felt led to do so. You see, I was raised in Ashville, I graduated from Teays Valley, and I chose to raise my kids here. This community has loved and nurtured me so I wanted to do something to give back. Why not, right?

Well, plenty of people have had very strong opinions on me "giving away my work" along with other issues, including my editing style. I'm not going to talk about my editing style today but I do want to talk about "giving away my work." Yes, I am a legal business. Yes, I am registered with the State of Ohio and I have a Federal EIN. No, there is NOTHING wrong with working for free and giving back to a community I love so dearly. I was told I am devaluing the industry and I will only attract clients that want something for nothing and these same clients will never pay for a full price session therefore I will never make any money. I am not even going to bother to address the first line of thought but I will talk about the second.

First, not everything is always about money. Yes, the primary goal of a business is to make money. I have faith that I will do so. Should I charge for these sessions? Probably. Okay, yes. But I don't want to. I want to help out these Seniors whose lives have been totally upended due to something out of their control. Second, do I want these clients to return to me for family photos, milestone photos, Senior photos for their younger children, or any other type of photo session they might like? Absolutely, I do. I love working with each and every client. Will I regret doing these sessions for them if they don't? Absolutely, I will not. I will never regret giving back. As a matter of fact, I am going to do these sessions through the end of May so if you are reading this and your or your Senior want a Cap & Gown Session, I will absolutely do it for free. No matter what anyone else thinks.

Congratulations, Class of 2020!!