When I first started this whole photography thing, it was because I wanted an outlet. I just wanted something that was my own. Every accomplishment that happened in our house was about someone else… potty training, crawling, finals week that led up to graduation for my husband. I was the supporter and the encourager. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be that for them, but there was nothing that I did just for me. I guess if I’m being totally honest, I wanted a reason to be celebrated.
It was very accidental that I even came across photography. It was because of a friend’s blog where she was sharing her new family pictures. I’d never seen anything like them. They weren’t in a studio, and they weren’t heavily posed. They were outside, casual, barefoot… They were real, and I loved them. My first thought was, ‘I want pictures like that’. My next immediate thought was, ‘I want to take pictures like that!’
It was the smallest thought at first, but it took hold and became all consuming. So I got to work. I sold our laptop and furniture on Craigslist to buy the camera, lens, and Photoshop. Then I sat down at the table tucked into the corner of our cinderblock apartment and googled “how to turn Canon 40D camera on”.
I had a steep learning curve ahead of me but I was so excited and so motivated that I didn’t care. I would spend every waking moment that I possibly could working toward this crazy dream.
I can still remember sitting on the edge of our bed shortly after moving from Laie, HI. to Vancouver, WA. I was talking to my husband, and my heart could barely contain itself as I dreamed out loud, ‘Could you imagine if I could bring in $1000 a month?’
It seemed like it could be possible. At my current pricing that was just over 10 shoots a month. At the time, I thought, ‘If I can just find clients’.
Well, a lot has happened between that day and today.
I learned that $1,000 a month was barely scratching the surface for what was actually possible.
My portrait sales became an average of $2,000. Work days went from every waking minute I could sneak away to only a few hours a day. I even learned how to start sleeping 7 to 8 hours again!
I want to share what happened in the middle. I want to share what the pieces were that brought me from wishing and hoping, to doing and living the life I’d imagined.
Most importantly, I want to share how I let go of guilt, found my way, and started feeling joy in motherhood again.
Today I feel whole. Definitely not perfect, but whole! The aching pain of guilt, failure, and exhaustion has left. I am more productive and more profitable then ever before and I’m working less then ever before too.
I want to share with you:
- The ugly story about where I was with my mommy guilt in 2009.
- Exactly HOW I made the change from editing all-nighters to only working 15hrs a week.
- Why (to my huge surprise) my income increased even though I was working way less.