“I want to bask in the glorious greatness of basic-ness. And I want to revel in “going over the top” when I want to because there is white space in my life to do so.” –Emily Ley
My business has always been my baby. I worked my tail off, around the clock, nurturing, growing, driving, traveling, shooting, learning, missing family events, everything…for a solid 5 years straight with no stop. 3 of those years I was working a full time nursing job & shooting 25 weddings a year on top of it. And you know what, I loved it. I love photography, I love weddings, I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t want to do it. Plus I’m a person that thrives on the busy + time crunches + deadlines so I felt like I was handling it just fine.
But it has taken me over a year to admit something aloud: I love my life + our little girl more than my business and I don’t want to run myself into the ground anymore.
And that is okay.
I’m saying this as a question as much as a statement because it’s a scary thing to say aloud as a business owner. I never wanted to say this in public because I didnt want to be perceived as weak, slowing-down, losing my drive, losing my edge, settling into the “mom” title a little too much, or worst of all: not caring about your wedding.
However, it’s a freeing realization to not feel defined by your work. Or define your personal version of success by the industry standard OF success. For many years, I have glorified the busy and based my success on all the fabulous locations I could go to shoot a wedding and how many publications or blogs those weddings could be featured in. It’s funny because those things happened. I photographed weddings in really gorgeous places & was published in places I never thought would be possible for me and yet it didn’t feel like I thought it would.
Over the last year, I’ve had a long internal battle with my soul on what makes me really happy and what really matters to me. Both in my personal life AND in my business. These are the things that make me feel like I’m winning at life:
- Serving 18-20 brides & grooms every year and doing it real gosh darn well
- Making portraits that mean something, feel something, & aren’t cookie cutter
- Being home on a Wednesday night to play in the yard with Charlotte while Justin grills
- Lazy Saturday mornings with big breakfasts & PJs that linger till 11 with spontaneous plans to follow
If you notice, being published in The Knot or Style Me Pretty isn’t on that list. Or shooting a wedding on some island I cant pronounce. Both of those things are fabulous and what a cherry on top they would be. But I’ve shifted from valuing the pretty & the notoriety to valuing the people & my time the most. I have invested more effort this past year into getting the most real, authentic expression out of plain ordinary PEOPLE than anything else. Because pulling out hilarious, soulful expressions between you & the people you love is so satisfying to me. And it’s challenging! And rewarding! And that is what my clients WANT!
I’m still a major lover of the pretty details because hello I’m a girl, I love aesthetically pleasing anythings, and pretty things are delightful. But invitation suites & high end shoes don’t make me tick. Getting portraits like this (see below), gets me real. freaken. excited. If it just so happens you have great taste in details, WONDERFUL, but it’s not my priority.
So breaking news yall. I love being a mom pretty much more than anything else in my life. Don’t get me wrong, my job & my clients rock. REALLY rock. But experiencing the ordinary things with Charlotte and growing our family is THE BEST. EVER. So why am I rambling about all of this in the first place?
One, it’s been quiet around here this year and I thought you should know why. I haven’t blogged as much because I have been navigating how to be a full time stay at home mom with a full time business while shooting 20 some weddings and way too many sessions. AND adding a whole other branch to my business while trying to design a new website to accommodate it…during peak wedding season. Smart right?!
I’m so excited for what 2018 has in store.
Hopefully back to more blogging.
More fab brides.
FAMILIES WHAA WHAAAAT!
And boundaries to produce more white space on my calendar for MORE LIFE in between it all.
And grace. Grace on grace on grace.
Thank you to everyone who has continued to support my business & my dreams through this transitional time in our life. Your love & patience really means everything. It’s taken me a long time to accept that it’s okay to love my family more than my business, like a normal human being. I guess I wanted to say it aloud because I think, well I know, I’m not the only gal feeling like this and I wanted you to know…you aren’t alone! Over a year later…I’m getting a grip on life and I’m so excited to feel at peace with myself & the future of my business. Just in time before we welcome a baby boy into our home come May. I’m going to act like I have it all together until then. So come talk to me in June and remind me that I got this ;)