Busyness, Barrenness, Business

On November 19, 2016 by admin

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Hello friends and clients alike!

This time last year, I announced that I was taking a step back in photography – taking on fewer sessions, fewer new clients, and fewer weddings. It’s crazy how much changes in a year. For those of you who prefer short and condensed when it comes to big news, here you go:

For the first time ever, I am pursuing photography full time. Ever since my passion for photography blossomed in high school (doing that 35 mm film, Black and White Photography thing in an old fashioned lab), it shifted from an interest to a hobby to a side gig through college, graduate school, a handful of part-time jobs, and eventually a full-time career. But in the pursuit of work/life balance, photography will be my (one and only) career in this season.

Which means, loyal and new clients alike: my schedule is freed up for sessions, shoots, and weddings, and I’m more available to document all your major milestones. In addition, I can promise faster turnaround time when it comes to receiving the final images that capture your sacred moments. SO, let’s set up a session (and be on the look out for my Small Business Saturday deal)!  Now, more than ever, your referrals are incredibly appreciated.

For those of you that enjoy all the juicy details, the don’t-leave-anything-out-of-the-story people, here’s the longer version:

Years ago, I stumbled across this quote from Socrates: Beware the barrenness of a busy life (and by ‘stumble across’, it’s more than plausible my momma shared this bit of wisdom with me – she’s all about sharing profound insight ;)). While this quote resonated with me – a busybody, always moving and shaking, with someplace to go and somewhere to be, continually creating or working on SOMETHING – I did not heed the warning.

You see at first, a busy life is alluring (as some of you may have well experienced). I tricked myself into thinking I could do it all, I could keep a million and one plates spinning in the air all at once – no problem! People took notice of all I was juggling; when they would ask how I did it (sometimes with alarm, but mostly with amazement springing from their voices), I would shrug it off and steer the conversation in a different direction. In reality, all of those comments made my mind reel: Maybe I CAN do it all. I just have more energy than most people, that’s how I’m able to juggle so much. They say, ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’. Well I love both careers, so work doesn’t really ever feel like work. 

What a powerful thing, that mind. I convinced myself that I could do it all. After all, I LOVED what I did – I got to photograph major milestones in peoples’ lives, interact with middle school students, teach and study theology like it was my JOB (because it was. Or rather, they were).

And yet, all of my “Yes'” at work meant SOME THING had to give way, even if these somethings went undetected at first. Thinking I could do it all was merely an illusion that I eventually was shaken out of. I would teach about the importance of community at work, but my schedule left no time to really practice what I preached and cultivate authentic relationships with incredible people in my own community. My family got my leftover time and energy, and if there were any leftovers to give, they got the overworked, burnt out, cranky, stressed version of me. And my soul was so very fractured as a result of my busyness. Though I was externally confident, I was crumbling under the weight of all I had taken on.

I write all this in past tense, but it’s very much a present part of my story. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been doing SO much: always in school, always having a part-time job or two, always attempting to balance photography, work, family, and a personal life. I never quite found that balance. A busy life is intoxicating at first. It can be endured for quite some time before realizing how much a frantic pace has corroded your soul. It’s sort of like a teeny tiny rust spot on your car that you ignored at first, but couldn’t any longer because it grew and grew into a larger issue. My family has suffered from my busyness – that’s where the bareness was first detected, when I look back. My husband pleaded with me to take on fewer gigs, say no to more so I could be home. I would only see my daughter for an hour or two between daycare and bedtime some nights.

But stubborn me – it took falling so damn hard on my face for me to wake up to the horror that busyness brings. It’s like waking up to the WORST hangover and surveying the damage and destruction you left in your wake in the midst of your drunken, busy state.

SO, in this season, I am simplifying. And taking time to breathe. I plan to focus on my family, photography, and tending to my soul,. I hope to read more classics and theology books – just for fun. I will write more, travel more, connect more, feel more, be my daughter’s audience more and really behold all that she is. I hope to use my french press, sit and actually enjoy a cup of coffee at home more (seriously, I just did that a couple times this week – the first times in MONTHS that I’ve had time to do so).

But most importantly, in this season, I am hoping to find a peace and centeredness. A state that reminds me of the tremendous privilege it is to spend so much time with brides and grooms on one of the most important days of their life, to be a calming presence in the sometimes hectic moments. To help people bring out their best self during sessions.

But everyone is a photographer these days, Katy. What makes you think you’re any different? Is it really worth the risk to solely be a small business owner? Are you cut out for the stay-at-home mom life? Who are you if you’re not producing anything?

Oh, mind, may you slow down and find peace, as well. A busy life is alluring, but a present, centered life is what satisfies.



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