time to get out of the pool

I don’t usually edit my photographs this way… but I was trying new things and when I saw the photos this way… I knew that’s how my mind’s eye was seeing it that day when I took them. Why hadn’t I tried editing this way before? Why hadn’t I seen that new tool in the software before?  All it took was taking the time to experiment and learn and a willingness to try something new.

As I look forward to 2011 one of the things that I will be reaching for is to try new things… or try doing things in a new way. For YEARS now I have felt as though I’ve been treading water in order to keep my head above the surface of work schedules, deadlines, the next big shoot, workflow, equipment needed and bills needing to be paid. I’ve told many people that I felt like I jumped into the deep end of the photography pool before really learning how to swim….this is especially true in the area of weddings.  SOOOO much is available to young photographers now, workshops, live streaming of those workshops, online tutorials, mentoring, DVD’s, you name it!  But I think when I first started it was just sink or swim unless you had big connections or big money. And so as things became available I found myself hungry to learn but not having any time to sit and eat.  There wasn’t any time to change or evolve in my business because we were always booking or shooting or editing…  throw in my day job as a hairdresser and you pretty much have a gal who loves both her jobs but is continually stressed out and getting weary of treading water.

The past three years have been a slow but steady process to where I am at this year. Slowly backing off responsibilities, learning how and when to say no  and adjusting our lives to a lifestyle that can be sustained on my husband’s income alone. (which really shouldn’t make sense when you’re adding a child each year to your expenses)  But I knew something needed to change and that I/we weren’t living the lives we wanted to.

I wasn’t sensing beauty around me because I was always preoccupied with the massive amounts of images that I needed to edit for someone else’s beautiful day or family. I wasn’t enjoying my friendships as much because I dreaded the phone or my inbox because that often meant that someone needed something of me. I certainly didn’t have the time to really invest in my family, I was there if they REALLY needed me and if I needed them I’d ask. I was finding myself wishing the babies would nap longer and longer because I needed to work and even after that would get them up to a messy home that I didn’t want to work on.  I wanted more.

So, here it is 2011. Things are changing. They have to.

Already as I’m coming to peace with some of the changes I’m making I’m finding myself enjoying my home, my loved ones and my little ones so much more. I’m seeing beauty again in places that might go overlooked before.  I’m wanting to know my family and friends again and invest in their lives just for the sake of loving them more and building a greater heritage for years to come. I’m falling back in love with photography as an art form…. verses the job it’s been for so long.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I’ve been super blessed to have had the clients and families and weddings that I’ve been a part of the past 7-8 years. I’ve been able to share my passion with my two closest friends and work along side of them at countless weddings. We’ve made some amazing art and captured moments that will be treasured for decades to come. I love that I was able to work doing what I love to do.

But for this year…. It’s time for others to shine and step up and embrace doing what they love to do.

As for me, I want to have time to treasure my little ones before they grow up (as I’ve been told many times happens way too fast!!) I want to invest in lives that will still be sitting next to me at thanksgiving dinner  20 years from now. I want to re-learn some things in photography and shoot for ME!  I want to make my apartment a home that I delight in making beautiful and livable. I want to learn to knit… write calligraphy….make hairbands… build bookshelves… tell stories… learn to teach…. eat cleaner…..camp out…. snuggle way more… and laugh daily.

In order to do that I have to stop treading and climb out of the pool, wrap myself up in a big towel and bask in the sun, cheering on those in the pool who have been taught in the shallow end and now are excellent swimmers and ready to dive in!

This year I won’t be shooting much. I’ll still have some passion projects I will work on and from time to time if my schedule allows will take on some specialty shoots. I have an awesome wedding coming up that I’m super excited to shoot… but after that I will be 2nd shooting for weddings as time allows and opportunity comes.  (I kinda have someone super amazing to 2nd shoot with this coming year that I can’t wait to showcase to you!!! but you’ll have to wait just a few weeks!!!! 🙂  So Brides… still bring on your wedding requests because I will hook you up with a beautiful and fabulous photographer!!!

The rest of you…. I hope you start seeing a better, deeper satisfied, more beautiful and abundant life living me!!!

What are some things you’re sensing need to change? Are you afraid to let go? Do you know who you are without those things? What has to change for you in 2011?

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