I’d like to take a moment to talk about something personal. Business related, sure. But yet, something that I feel the need to share with you all so that you might have a little insight into my head, and my heart. After all, that is what having a “blog” is all about, no?
Over the last year spent creating, nurturing, and growing this business I have been pulled in many directions. Most of you know that I also have a full time day job, some of you may not. I also have a wonderfully supportive husband, and am Mommy to two small children who I am sure you have seen pictures of, well, everywhere. They are Kyleigh (2 and a half) and Stella Ann (16 months).
Most days I am Wife/Mommy…Worker Bee…Wife/Mommy…Photographer. Other days that order changes. Some days I am only one, and others the lines all blur.
At a time when a large number of people buying DSLR’s are trying their hand at professional Photography, it can be a daunting task to establish your presence, business plan, and create a product that sets you apart from the rest. A few months back I became convinced that every image I posted on Facebook, or printed for a family album had to be professional quality. Had to be perfectly lit, well placed, and run through PS5. I found myself frustrated that my children wouldn’t pose together, stand still for justonesecond, or keep the pretty dress on. I went to birthday parties and family events and beat myself up because the pictures just looked like snapshots. Oh my goodness…NOT SNAPSHOTS!
And then…I stopped caring. I also stopped stalking other photographers websites, blogs, and forums. I realized that my work as a professional, was not the same as my work as a Mother. That in order to get the picture of my girls holding hands in the backseat of my car, I would have to take it with my camera phone. That I was missing really great life moments with family and friends by spending more time worrying about f-stops than how awesome the birthday cake was. And that while the picture of my youngest wearing her first pair of jeans had the ISO set way too high, I didn’t mind.
All of a sudden I realized that in life, there is no good light guarantee. You can always make the most of what you’ve got. But I had to stop comparing myself to everyone else. The obligations and stresses in my life are completely different than those I so admire. When I am on a job as a Photographer, I give it 110%, every time. My mind is on the camera, lighting, and framing. At night when the babies are in bed and I am editing, I am focused on the task at hand. This wasn’t something I started for additional income, this was something I started because it made my heart sing. I have put in ridiculously late nights, hours pouring over manuals and help screens and tutorials, and drank many, many cups of coffee. I am still learning every single day. Someday, I hope it is my sole career. But for now, my imperfect snapshots, will go up right alongside of my professional portraits.
When I started my 365-A Picture a Day project I had to decide if I was going to post the images on my personal or professional facebook page. They went on my personal one. Those pictures are taken by me as a Mommy. At moments when my girls are doing something that I will want to remember forever, no matter what the atmosphere. Are they professional? No. Are they incredibly meaningful and beautiful to me? Yes. I encourage everyone to pull out whatever camera they own and take pictures of their family. As often as possible.
Of course though, now that Easter is coming up, I will be pulling out the dresses…begging them to pose together…and waiting (patiently) for them to sit still for justonesecond.