Friday, July 24, 2009

Now that I am back on track with my workload (MAN that took forever to dig out of... May overbooking piling on top of April overbooking, putting June sessions farther behind... Add to that the two-week trip away from my computer and I just was in a HUGE HOLE.)..... Where was I? Oh yeah-- Now that I am reaching "normal", I have time to think. A lot. Lots of things. Like--

What can I do to ensure a more sane life in the future? How am I measuring up as a mama? How can I spend more one-on-one time with my sweet, long-suffering husband? Will I ever feel good enough? How can I feed my spirit? What really matters? What are some ways to "fill the well"?

And... Will I ever feel on top of my personal plans, ideas, records, photographs? (likely not. Ha!)

And... why does that Master To-Do List cause so much angst that I try to push it to the back of my mind as much as I can? (What's on your Master To-Do List? Mine has things like: photo albums from 2006-2008, Making a hard copy of Noah's baby book, Finishing Noah's One-Year Coffee Table Book, scanning old photos from Joe's past, WAIT-- these all have to do with photos. Hm. I thought for SURE there were other things on there. But the stuff that gives me knots is MY OWN PHOTOS. What am I going to DO about that??)

...I'm watching "Assassination of Jesse James By Blah Blah Blah" on my Netflix DVD behind my blog screen. I'm not into it. Clearly. I mean, you can't type and listen to wordy dialogue at the same time and get it. Oh well... It is a PRETTY movie. Loving the color of it.

I'm less than a week away from my new camera and lens. And my new Photoshop. Have I mentioned lately that I am working with some DINOSAUR equipment? Three years old or older. Scandalous. But I am pretty dang pleased with how far I've gotten in my journey with the tools I currently have. I think it is a testament to learning your craft inside and out instead of just relying on fancy gadgets and expensive actions to do the work for you.

And I'm not saying I know my craft inside and out.... I CERTAINLY am not saying that. In fact, last weekend, I took a deep breath and sent some recent images out into the universe to be critiqued by others in the business... and got my pride HANDED to me. There's nothing like TOUGH criticisms and honest artistic opinion to knock an artist off their center and make them reevaluate their strengths and weaknesses. I mean, WOW. It was breath-taking. As in, "knock the wind out of you". But good for me. I think, in all honesty, I was deemed WORTHY of the tough love, because it got dished out to me MUCH harder than the average less-skilled photographer-beginner who posted for criticism. I think I was seen as far enough along to take it and grow.

And so I am working past the bruises and working on the growing. I mean, I guess it was either QUIT, or GROW, right? (I still wonder about the quitting.)

Oh MAN. What a time in my life-- just.... filled with my baby and my work.... Noah and photos. Trying to find authenticity in the gaps... trying to MAKE a few gaps, actually-- gaps in my busy life. Gaps where I can thrive and read and listen and heal and learn and grow. Trying to remember how to be a wife in addition to a mama. Trying to be a friend back to my incredible circle of women. Trying to listen to my soul...

It's easy to get in the "hamster wheel" mode... just go go go go go... No stopping for meaning. No adding relevance to it all. And I know that at least for ME, that doesn't work. I need more.

And getting some time back into my life is putting me back into a place where I can start to make changes needed to get there. To that place where I feel I am living my life in an inspired way.

I... guess this rambler has gone on long enough. I should probably just save it to a Word document as a journal post and save the space on the blog... But what the hey. It's me. It's my little internal world right now.

And I needed this. Needed to just blah blah for a while.


Guess I should get back to my editing. This overthinking is making my head and my heart hurt.

P.S. Lots of photos from lots of sessions coming your way... soon. Soon. Lots lots lots. Just be prepared.

{and didja like that photo at the top? Just a nod to all the photos in my life I have yet to go through and sort and edit and save... That one is Christmas Morning 2008... Isn't Noah's hair a riot?}


  1. I love that Noah is about 13 months there right? Same age as Gray now! :)

    I think most moms feel a lot like you do... how to find the balance, how to keep up with your own photos while giving clients your best work and not getting sick of photoshop completely! I have yet to create one photo book of my own family BUT if family photos come into my computer I treat them like client photos, I immediately yank out the crap ones and edit the good ones. My family photos are just as much a part of my workflow as my client photos are... it's helped a ton in that I don't have a million unedited family photos laying around, and when I have a great one I want for the wall I can print it!And mine are just organized by month and year. Works great for me!

    I think knowing how many sessions you can handle a month without losing your mind helps too, and I think you are awesome at knowing your limit... I will have had 29 sessions in July and THAT IS TOO MANY. I've stayed on top of things but ONLY b/c Chris is home most of the time. Have I done fun things with my kids this summer? Some. Do I regret working so much? Kind of. It's thrilling to have a business that's growing and SO good for our family financially but makes the mommy guilt crazy huge.

    ANYWAY... I should email you this! HA! LONG comment! :) Just wanted you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Love you. Jod

  2. It must be hard to have such a successful business and a little one who needs you too. I admire you. I think that your pictures are great and I think its good to get criticism every once in a while, but it sounds like you took a beating. I am sorry. If I lived closer to you I would have you take all of my pictures! :)

    for both blogs! haha.

    have a great day and do an art project with Noah he will LOVE it!

  3. This is my FAVORITE kind of blog-post, especially from you. Thank you for sharing's amazing to me that even after ~17 years, I'm still learning more about you. I hope you have the means to enjoy this Saturday, my dear. Love from 100 short miles away...

  4. I felt so lucky to get a piece of you on the phone the other night. I think of you as such a busy person, like your time is so valuable that to get an hour on the phone just gabbing was a real treat. And it filled me up and made me feel authentic there for a bit and I just love our friendship.
    When you figure out your method for making Noah's hard copy book, let me know. I'd love to do mine the same way and that's one of my main goals before Christmas. In fact, if you get yours done before Christmas, I will send you an extra Christmas present as an incentive. ;) (That's to help me get some incentive myself.)
    Thanks again for the gap you made for me. It was lovely.

  5. These are my favorite type of posts from you! I makes me feel as though I am reading something worthwhile.


  6. It is a true testament to your work how popular and busy you are....but remember that sometimes being 'unavailable' works to your advantage -- with more sanity at home, and more interest from clients. A supply/demand type of relationship.

    Sure, you could overbook yourself and have the money to show for it, but what would you LEARN from that expereince? How would you GROW as a photographer?

    I think that you know what balance you need to have in your life, and you are pretty darn good at keeping it. But then, LIFE gets in the way -- vacations, travels, etc. Try to remember that HEY...that's life!

    And, FWIW -- I think that you are one of the most talented, put together and KIND women I know. That's all that matters.

  7. Everything is a balance game. I'm just know learning to even begin do balance things out and the process has been long. I'm still not where I want to be, but things are better.

    I hope you learn not to overbook yourself again. That's never a good thing, especially while taking a long vacation in the middle of it!

    I have a great group of girls that help out with the business side of things. I love it when we are able to be critical if needed.

  8. How refreshing of a post. That was a great read. You are a fantastic photographer and don't let someone elses opinion ruin it.

    Have fun with your new lens and camera!


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