So I have a confession to make.
I keep trying to quit photography.
Gulp. I have feared sharing that publicly for fear of sounding ungrateful because I know clients will read this, and I know on the other side of this computer screen is someone who would love to quit their day job to be able to have a photography business. And I’m sorry if I have made you roll your eyes, my intention is to not appear ungrateful. But my intention is to be truthful to you that being an artist who also has to wear an entrepreneur hat, it’s well, sometimes… just hard… Some days it is downright hard owning a business, and keeping up with nurturing it after you have birthed a dream.
As most photographers do, we turn our hobby into a business because it starts out as just that. A hobby. A love, a passion, that in the beginning, we have to keep pinching ourselves that people actually want to pay us to do this for them. “This is too good to be true,” we secretly think feeling as if we just hit the jackpot. “To get paid to do what I love, there’s nothing better!” we feel in the beginning.
Then tax season hits and takes all our hard end money that we confused for profit. Then that first upset client hits that forces you to evaluate if there are better ways to run your business. Then your equipment breaks and you have to use any left over profits to upgrade gear. Then photo shoot after photo shoot, editing becomes boring and monotonous, and all that newfound joy getting paid to do our passion becomes… well… a job. My fellow photographers out there, can I get an amen?
So in 2014, I quit cold turkey. I announced that my husband and I were retiring from photography for good. After 7 years of shooting, first on my own, and then with my husband, I was worn out and burned out. Stephen ventured on to find a career in sales, and I needed a break creatively. I needed a break from the pressure of photography being our only job that supported our married life bills, and how hard it can be to juggle those bills during the slower shooting seasons. To break up the creative monotony, I tried other things, like a clothing line, and virtually decorating homes. And while it was fun to try other things, I just never felt like those other things were meant to continue on in the way photography seemed to resonate so deeply in the heart of my clients. So in 2015, I decided to give photography another try, but this time, instead of taking on every kind of shoot, I tried to specialize in just one category. Senior girls. And I had a blast, a renewed sense of passion stirred inside of me creatively with how every senior session is like a mini fashion shoot in this day and age! Before I knew it, word spread throughout the local girl squads in each school, and I became booked every weekend in under a year.
But when I wrapped the end of 2015, with our baby on the way through adoption in the spring of 2016, I told myself again, ok, for real this time, I’m going to quit photography. I had waited 5 long years to become a mom, and I wanted her to be my absolute first priority once she arrived.
Then that cheesy quote kept playing out to be true… “If you love something, you must let it go, if it comes back to you, that’s how you know it was meant to be yours all along.”
After her arrival, photography kept coming back to me. More inquiries keep flooding my inbox. More texts from past clients hit my phone from those who want to hire me again. And well, I swear, I kept trying to quit photography. So during late nights rocking my sweet Bara Faith, it left me reevaluating if I should continue accepting bookings. If maybe, my time wasn’t over yet as a documenter of life.
It has all reminded me so much how this act of letting go is like our Christian walk. God asks us to surrender our ways so that He can bless us with His ways far beyond what we can ever imagine. I have found over and over again, He asks me to let go of something deep in my heart, sometimes to take it away for good to give me something better in it’s place, sometimes to give it back resurrected as a new creation.
I have been praying, “Lord, if photography is a gift you have given that you want me to keep pursuing that blesses others, then restore my passion. Because I don’t want to do this half hearted. I want to do this because I know it’s absolutely Your will for me to continue.”
And when I opened His word, He answered me with this:So now, after a maternity break soaking up the beginning days of motherhood, last weekend I dusted off my camera and stepped into shooting season again. With the addition of our sweet baby girl, I was able to take some time off to simply be a mom and transition to the joy (and exhaustion) I have waited so long for. But with this new season, my blog needed a make over to reflect a lot of personal changes (baby, farmhouse, mommyhood, oh my!). And with it, I am announcing I am now taking on a limited number of weddings and family sessions again in addition to my senior sessions. If you are interested in booking one of these with me, you can email me here!
For you reading this, I am continuing to keep a camera in my hands, and continuing to write from my heart. Because that’s what has always kept me connected to your heart in each season of your life as well. For those who keep asking me to photograph you, thank you for continuing to trust me to document your life’s most precious memories. And for those I’ve never photographed, but you have been a loyal blog follower all these years, thank you for continuing to let me share my heart with you, as you have trusted me with yours in return.