I have felt nostalgic lately about 2017 coming to an end. It's been a really incredible year, and I am kind of sad to see it go! I always feel this way about the year coming to a close, and this year seems no different.
A goal of mine for 2018 has been to share more of myself, and not just share my work, and so I wanted to sit down and write my thoughts on ending my first year in photography. Before I know it will already be year two, and so before it's gone here we go...
1. Overcoming Fear
This year has been a lot about overcoming fear. While photography has been a passion of mine for a longgg time, it took on a totally new persona when I started taking on family's who were paying me to take their picture. Ahhhh the nerves. I knew that I wanted to start this path, but the fear of making mistakes and not capturing what my clients wanted was overwhelming at times. I don't know any creative entrepreneur who doesn't struggling with being afraid of not doing a good job for their clients. It's hard! The pressure is on to take good pictures, and capture beautiful moments, and I absolutely struggled with anxiety before each and every session. I still struggle with being nervous and anxious before my sessions, but with each passing session it gets a little easier.
I have had amazing client's this year who have welcomed me and my style with open arms, and for that I am truly grateful. I know the pictures are not always perfect, mistakes are made, but with each and every family I grow in my experience and find my self confidence even more.
2. The Mother Juggle.
While Love Point Photography is not my first business venture, it is my first venture with a small blonde haired person who calls me Momma. Noah is my toddler, and as I write this he is 19 months old.
The juggle and the struggle is real with balancing motherhood and a creative business. I have had to really streamline my days to maximize time for Noah and time for photography. Naps are a sacred event in our house, as I need every minute of them to work!!
It hasn't been easy and there have been many days of feeling not only mom guilt but business guilt as well. We are still finding our balance, and it is a struggle that I know will never go away. But, I think that goes for all Momma's! What I have learned is that I am my best when I can create, but that I am also a Mom to a little boy. And while the Mom role will always coming first, I need creativity in my life to be my best self. So that means that Noah does go to daycare two days a week and that I happily accept help from family members and babysitters to make it all work.
There have been multiple days where I cry after dropping Noah off at daycare, but I want him to grow up watching me push for my goals and dreams. When I am having days of feeling mom guilt creep in, I think of him getting to watch that happen and I know that he will be proud of me one day.
Setting up for Fall Mini Sessions
3. Finding your voice.
I love all things photography, I truly do. This year alone I have photographed newborns, baby bellies, family's, seniors, and just about every age in between. I feel like I have gone on a journey to find out who I want to be as a photographer. I have questioned at times whether I should just be photographing newborns? ( I am a NICU nurse, so this one seems to come naturally to me). Should I be taking on weddings? What is my style?
Which each month that passes the answers to these questions have become easier to figure out. Throughout this year I have learned that I love the mix of photographing family's of all stages. I have also learned that at this point in time, weddings are not for me. My work and my heart at this stage of life is with family photography, and I am okay with that for now. I am still finding my style and voice, but I know that with time that will continue to grow stronger. For now, I am trying to show up and give my all to each family that chooses me to take their picture, and believe that the rest will follow.
4. All in the Love.
This year my client's have been my greatest blessing. I have been overwhelmed time and time again by the way my client's have treated me with kindness and welcomed me into their lives. Our world these days scares me, it can be a really scary place. But with each beautiful family that I have gotten to photograph this year, I have been reminded of all the good and all the love. I have not been a perfect photographer this year in any sense of the world, but my client's have accepted me just as I am. I am growing in photography each and every day. I wouldn't trade one of the sessions that I have been given the opportunity to photograph for anything.
And so, Thank you to each one of you that has supported me and this dream and made it all possible. Especially to my husband Bryan, who has been my cheerleader in life since the day we got married. I have no doubt we are going to do some amazing things in 2018, as long as you continue to make me coffee in the mornings.
For anyone that happens to read this, even if it is just my Mom (love you Mom), that wonders if they could start something that you have dreamed of doing. My advice is simply this, just do it.
If you spend time thinking about all the reasons it will be hard, or that you can't start, or that you don't have time, you will stop yourself before you even start. Life is short and it goes by fast, just wait until you have a kid and you'll find out it goes even faster. Just do the thing, allow yourself to do the thing, and it might just be magical.
Here we come 2018.