Sometimes I build walls around myself. I always have. It’s a weird self-preservation thing, I think. Ending most of my personal blogging here a few years ago was one of those walls. In this society of over-sharers, I will share very little. Clients don’t care about that stuff anyway, right? Except that I think they (you) do on some level, and I’m missing a point of connection that I used to have. I’m thinking about writing more here, in between the elopement photography goodness. If you don’t care, you can just ignore it. But maybe I’ll enrich some of the connections I’ve made through this space, and that would be kind of nice.
I wasn’t sure I should write about what’s been going on with my work and in my head for the last year and a half. I could be making a mistake talking so openly about this internal struggle I’ve been having for a while. But I feel like I have to now; I feel like writing about it will help me find the path forward.
Last year I lost my fire. I had photographed 100+ elopements the year before. I was unexpectedly pregnant with twins (uh… just the twins part was unexpected, I should clarify), completely exhausted, and trying so hard to push through, but last year was just a slog. Despite being generally exhausted, I photographed a lot of beautiful weddings, and my clients last year were beyond amazing. When I was with them, in the moment, shooting… I felt great. It was just the drudgery of everything else in my life… trying to continue to run a business at full steam, preparing for and taking maternity leave, facing a future that was completely unknown. I am a known work-a-holic, I admit it and I’ll own it. How was I going to do this with two tiny humans to take care of? I was drowning in “what ifs,” and I kind of mentally decided maybe I was done. I’d find something else to do, something else to work on, focus on my kids… maybe my heart wasn’t in this anymore and it would be for the best.
I decided to only take on a few clients this year and next, work on building my family business on the side, and that would be that. Privately I told friends and family I was in the process of completely quitting elopements. Then I started shooting again. I sorted out child care. I got better at not working all hours of the day and night; set boundaries for myself. I figured out how to do this working mom thing, and do it kind of well. My kids made me a better business owner. It’s not perfect… I’m not perfect. There will always be a struggle on each side, I’m sure. But all of the sudden this summer I kind of realized… whoa, my fire and energy are back.
So. I’m not quitting. I’m going to keep going. Suddenly I feel rejuvenated. It’s been a hard year and a half, personally. Amazing and wonderful and beautiful… my girls are awesome. But it’s a huge adjustment, this parenthood thing. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I think my personal struggles clouded my professional outlook for a little while and things got so muddy in my head. But the truth is… I love elopements. When I’m out there with my clients creating beautiful photographs, I feel so alive and inspired. I want to keep doing this for a long time. I hope you’ll let me.
Photo of me by Sarah Day-Boodhoo.