The past couple years I plan the calendar to have sessions wrapped up by November. This season I ended right before Thanksgiving and back at this January with sessions. I did take off the first week of November and headed home to Montana. Reflecting back it was more than I can express what I needed.
This season marks year six for LifePrints. All six of these years significant changes have happened in my family. A majority of the time my husband is gone. One year he was on his second tour to Iraq. Upon his return his job took him out of state at least 20 days of the month and then between two & four days some months, he would have drill.
Much of the responsibilities of our home life lie on me. There are times I pride myself in that, I do a good job and at times an exceptional job, just being honest :). However, with juggling home life and a business it has taken its toll and this past season I felt it in full rage. As the fall season approached there was a dreading that fell upon me. I love my job, LOVE my clients, feel so blessed and humbled when new clients book, however there was this looming feeling that I couldn’t shake.
From the start of the season to the end of the season I felt like I was just on the edge of staying on top of all business and home matters. One slip and I would be behind. A computer crash set the tone for the fall and my spirit. I let absolutely everything and anything get me down internally and I believed every lie within my head that was being spoken. I felt like I had let a majority of clients down through the season. I was feeling as thought I wasn’t giving 100% every session. The planning part of sessions I wasn’t envisioning as I normally would. You name it, I was barely hanging on and I truly felt as though it may be my last season.
After five years one would think mistakes would be minimal. I should be well on my “A game” and the images I produce should be exceptional, creative, all that I want for my clients. Mistakes were still happening( most no fault to me), far from feeling I was producing exceptional quality and my creativity was about gone. The ultimate news for me, my husband is headed back to Iraq for another tour this April, number three. So…what happens now….leave town in November and head home!
Back home my sister and I spent time at the farm and spent a good amount of time going through photographs dating back to the 1800’s! Family heritage in photographs had me an emotional mess. I looked at photos of my dad as a child through my child hood. My most favorite photos are on polaroid! Starring at many photos over and over I realize I am in awe of the emotion, the moment of the photo, nothing posed, no props, just true human emotion and a moment in time truly captured. There was a sadness that I felt long after I returned from the trip. Where are the emotions in the photos I take? Where are the moments truly captured without too much set up? The yearning I felt to give that to everyone who would step in my path, I can’t shake.
Something else loomed over me. The constant comparison I give myself or someone gives me. The famous quote, ” Comparison is the thief of joy”. Oh how true that is! It is my job to educate and display through online presence what I want to give clients, the type of work I produce, what they can expect and how they should prepare for an experience with me. I ultimately feel I gave up on that and just gave in. Started letting clients tell me what to do and if they didn’t, I would assume they didn’t want what I yearned to give them. With creativity gone, confidence down, and constant comparison, I about self sabotaged my own business I feel. Yikes!
Incredibly thankful for my Heavenly Father whose words I can meditate on, some amazing women who speak life in life, who in their own ways helped me see I am succeeding, I can’t quit, and I need to place into practice what I preach to my girls and all the senior high gals I photograph. It isn’t easy capturing all negative thoughts, pushing them aside and regaining confidence, change routine, all that is needed to gain back what I would say I lost. I am my own person, my business is its own and yes there may be similarities to another BUT, my business is not like another nor do I want it to be! I don’t ever want it to be lost in a adrift to the MANY other photography businesses around. Going back to the roots of why I started this business, back to what I desire clients to have more of, has me in a place to be exceptional this season moving forward. Some may have not noticed what I feel and to that I would say- thank goodness :). To those that may have, there are no words to express my apologies. I hope for the most part I did cover well but even then, how long could that have gone on?
I leave this post with a photo dear to me. I had seen it before but found this one while looking through photos on the farm. My dad…..an amazing man!