It's been a long time since I wrote a blog post that wasn't purely photographic work. In fact the last blog post I wrote makes it feel like this post today is purely a continuation or Part 2. As we came into winter I talked openly about how 2019 was going to be a year of change in our business - from busy to balance - a fresh, calmer pace. In reality winter didn't feel that calm or balanced as we put our all into building our forever home. We both took a full month off work at the end of winter to put in 12 hour days, 7 days a week on the building site! But now that we're in our new home and the long days of building chaos are over we've taken a big deep breathe and realised that our new season of life has now begun.
My spring calendar is set to be beautifully balanced with portrait shoots, a couple of weddings and some fun social events & trips! I finally have a home office situation again which is great because I pretty much never want to leave our beautiful new home, so it's brilliant being able to blend office work in with domestic bliss. (Don't worry, my studio in Gore is still fully operational and where I have all my meetings, do printing and consults etc, but now I have the option to work from my home office on days that suit as well!). Although it will be much better once we have internet connected here!
This winter has been a necessary blur and it's only just now that I've realised that things like my blog and social media platforms have been somewhat neglected, other than for client work. I used to blog every week on topics ranging from business, photographic advice, personal insights, inspiration and more. I love blogging and my active blog has been a huge contributor to my online presence and business consistency. I've continued to share a good mix of work & personal day-to-day stuff on my Instagram, but Facebook has been less consistent and needs some love. But like all things should I feel this part of my business evolving and I know a new season of how I blog and share is beginning.
I love that with springtime comes the annual deep clean and this spring I'm taking the opportunity to do just that in my business. Working out how my blog, social pages and day-to-day routines will look going forward. Realising that I don't have to do all the things & be all the things. Re-structuring my work days to better suit me. Making fresh routines and encouraging new habits.
This July will mark my 3rd year full-time with our business. I still remember the nerves, anticipation and excitement of taking my love for photography in both hands and leaping into the unknown. It was a period of hustle. I hustled so hard, wanting with every fibre of my being to make a success of this business. I hustled to save enough money to feel secure to leave my accounting job. And for two years straight I hustled every season to ensure the numbers stacked up & that I could continue to pay myself and meet every mortgage payment.
There is a time for hustle, and hustle I did. But that time has now passed. I feel 'at home' in our business. Well established. I've proven to myself that it's viable. Now I'm ready for the next season of business; sustaining.
2019 and beyond for me looks very different to the previous few years. The hustle and big hours are being replaced with a calmness, steadiness and balance that has got me just as excited as I was taking that leap full-time. It's not that I can now sit back and rest on my laurels - I don't think you can ever do that when you're in business. But I am learning to button off, say no to what doesn't set my heart on fire and create more space for life.
Instead of stressing about getting enough bookings to keep my cashflow happy, I have been concentrating my energy on doing the work that brings me joy and letting the latter take care of itself. Rather than allowing my calendar for next wedding season to fill up every single weekend, we've capped weddings at a maximum of two per month. I no longer say yes to commercial shoots, because I'd rather be shooting portraits & weddings (and those enquiring value my honesty & recommendations for better suited photographers that love shooting commercial stuff because it will mean better results for them!). I've quit putting pressure on myself to post to social media at least 5 times a week! I plan to take it slow this winter, to work on some personal projects and recharge my creativity. Not to mention that we're building!
I am so excited for this new season of our business. It's like that feeling of free-wheeling on your bicycle after you've worked hard to get your speed up. We're still moving forwards, but without having to push as hard.
Eight years ago today I married my best friend, my love and the person who makes me whole.
Feeling all sentimental this morning I looked back over some photos and memories from the day we began our journey as husband and wife. There's a wee snippet below of our wedding day, with the song Never Let You Go by Evermore, which I walked down the aisle to.
We get asked all the time as wedding photographers about our wedding, what we'd change now that we've witnessed so many weddings ourselves. There's definitely things we'd do differently, awesome ideas we wish had been around back then etc - but there's no regrets. I got to marry my sweet, funny, handsome Matt and we've already shared so many wonderful adventures together in the last eight years. While it's easy, especially as a photographer, to get caught up in the pretty details, the epic photo locations and all the hype that comes with a wedding - the most important part of it all is the marriage itself. Ours isn't perfect, none are, but these last eight years have been filled with more happiness and love than I could have ever imagined and I'm still just as excited as I was on our wedding day to spend the rest of my life with Matt.
If I could pick just one favourite memory of our wedding day? Matt taking my hand and whispering 'you look beautiful' in my ear when I'd just walked down the aisle to him. I was a bag of nerves (I had the shakes, clammy hands & was struggling to remember to breathe!) but his words made me forget about everyone else in the room and my nerves disappeared. Even just the memory gives me those tingling goosebump, in-love feelings.