In college, one of my roommates loved to keep a journal, and every time she finished one and started another she’d write “this new day..” inside the front cover and list all the things that she was learning in that specific moment of her life. And somehow that stuck with me. I love the idea of closing one book, opening a new one, and taking a minute to think about where you ARE. Right then. Both before and after something great.
For the past few years, January has literally blown in like a breath of fresh air. This is always a slower time for me work-wise, and I love the chance that it affords me to think about the year we just left (later, 2013!) and dream about where I’m going. When I first started my business back in 2006, I was so excited to start working for myself and learning more about photography, and I eagerly accepted any job that came my way. And by the time January rolled around, I felt like I could sleep for two weeks straight. It’s actually pretty hard to think about those first few years of my business (which ended up simultaneously being my first few years of parenthood) because I had little direction, and I didn’t know how to stop feeling crazy. The hardest thing to admit is that everyone around me suffered for it. It didn’t take long to figure out that getting more business (and having countless new sessions to feature on my blog) wasn’t actually success because in reality I had no free time, and I felt pretty anxious at work (how are the kids?!) and pretty anxious at home (how am going to finish my work?!). And so I finally had to choose to take steps toward a more balanced life.
A few years ago, I stopped shooting portraits. Across the board. And I can honestly say that it has made me a better photographer, a better mom, and a more well-rounded person. Every January following that big change in my business has left me wondering What’s next? And since then, the answer has always been Less. And it’s ok. It’s pretty freeing, actually.
This new day… I feel a renewed love for the art of wedding photography. I absolutely adore my job, and I can’t wait to photograph the couples that I’m just getting to know in 2014. It’s going to be INCREDIBLE. But also, and more importantly, I honestly know that being a wedding photographer does not define me. Sometimes I think a “balanced life” is actually an impossible goal because how can we ever feel completely balanced? This year, I hope to continue striving for a more balanced life.
I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’m excited to take some time this week to feature some of my favorite images from 2013. Happy New Year, everyone!