Today is April 4, 2012.
This last December, following a crazy several months of shooting session after session of families I simply adore and most certainly call friends, I decided it was best for me to take a bit of a break from photography.
For quite some time, I have had this constant intense fire and passion for photography that often left me hungry to learn more and pushing toward an endless pursuit of achieving goal after goal. This passion landed in my lap with thoughts I think a lot of mom’s have…I couldn’t stop wondering that if God decided it was my time, how would my kids know that their mom had a crazy love for them that left her breathless? There were times when I would be rocking them, laughing those endless giggles with them, arms wrapped around them so tightly that I just KNEW that if they could SEE those moments, they would just know and would likely even be able to just feel that adoration. And here is where my road into photography began. Although, obviously, I couldn’t easily take these images of myself with my kiddos, I could sure do it for others. I fell in love with giving this gift and after each session, I scroll through image after image with a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart.
Near the very end of last year, I couldn’t help but realize that something just didn’t feel right. As most of you know, I do try to keep a manageable schedule and take on a limited number of sessions to make sure I provide the very best to each family I work with. While my best was being provided on this end, there was some sacrifices being made. Our family seems to get busier and busier and time seems to blur in front of my eyes at times. I heard a whole lot of whispered hints from within but I chugged on with the intention to just get through and make changes later. Any mother will agree, the balancing act isn’t always a forgiving one. So very often, I felt that I was letting my family down. While I was ALWAYS physically present, admittedly, I was not always mentally or emotionally present. A little sickness called “striving for perfection” was officially getting the best of me. Admittedly, perfectionism has been found to be my nemesis and ultimately, this unrealistic goal beats me time and again. It’s worth a reminder that when striving for perfection in each and every single area of your life, something has to give as perfection just isn’t possible. Although I often tell my daughter (ALL your typical characteristics of a first born!) that being perfect is impossible and actually quite boring, I can value that this unrealistic goal of perfection is a bit hard to kick. By the end of last year, I felt literally defeated and deflated. I felt that I failed as “the perfect mom” and I failed as “the perfect wife,” both roles of which I rank at the very top. Don’t even get me started on the rest of my roles…mediocre at best. Following a very long spell of crazy hours at the computer, location scouting, session shooting, and a questionable sleep pattern, I knew something had to change. I had lost myself and quite honestly, I’m not convinced I could remember what “myself” really was.
I decided I would close my books and take a break. I didn’t want to book my 2012 sessions yet as I was feeling the need to guard my time until I knew in my heart what and how much I was ready for. I haven’t taken on a photo session since November of last year with the intention of unburying myself, attempting to conquer a few special projects, refueling that original fire I had for photography, and ultimately being able to be ENTIRELY present when it meant the most. Turns out, the perfect decision. First, most importantly, a whole lot of pride has replaced a whole lot of guilt in each of my roles. I’ve been “me” and it feels amazing. Sure, striving for perfection will always be within me…I just know that I need to make more time for it within ALL of my roles.
So, where does this leave me for my 2012 sessions? I’ve decided to book sessions within the months of May through October this year and I’ve made an extremely difficult decision to take on only two sessions each of those months for a total of 12 sessions this year. Gift card holders and charity session donations will still need to book early but they will be in addition to these 12 sessions. What does this mean? Unfortunately and sadly, this means that there will be families whom I completely adore and have the absolute highest admiration for that I may not be able to photograph this year. It has always been incredibly difficult to say “no” to session requests but this sets the bar at a whole new level for me. Needless to say, I have grown to be so very incredibly fond of the families I’ve had the opportunity to work with…I’ve been pretty lucky. I know in my heart that this is the best decision for me and my hope is that everyone will understand. You can remind me later that “we were on a break.” Anyone watch Friends??? 🙂
As for the very important information in case you are looking at a session this year…I’m trying something new. On April 16th at 9:00AM, I will begin taking emails for session requests. I’m asking everyone to include a first and second choice for a month you would like your session. I will then sort them based on order received (as well as who tells me I kind of look like Jennifer Lopez or sing kind of like Celine). These session reservations will be available on a first come, first serve basis, which I will also follow with a wait list for the potential of a cancellation.
Okay, so that should be it…hopefully, I didn’t miss anything. Couldn’t sign off without a picture. We traveled this year for spring break…crazily, I opted not to bring my big kahuna camera and decided to bring my point and shoot only (gasp!). And you know what, I actually don’t have any regrets. Surely, I didn’t get the best pictures I could have but I have to say that it was kind of freeing and what was important to me was to just remember the moment. I’ll share more soon but for now, just a little seashell searching…
(Just in case you were curious, I was shooting with a Canon G12, which has now been replaced with the G1X. A fun little alternative to the digital SLR when the right situation calls.)