I meant to do this January 1st.... but better late than never! I just didn't want you to think I disappeared. The last post I made was in September and then life went haywire! There were awesome portrait sessions, weddings, bridals, daycares, engagements for about 45 days in a row! Incredible to look back now and know I survived because while I loved it all, I don't know how I did it. BUT I am thankful for each and every person in each and every photograph I took.
I learned a lot of things this past fall, however, primarily that life is short. No, REEEALLLY?! I just have to be reminded occasionally. I realized by taking on more than I should have what I was doing first and foremost to my family. I have never missed my children's ballgames and events and this past fall, I missed every single one of my son's baseball games... it makes me cry to think about what I missed, not one photo. Yes, there will be more games, but no, that season won't come back. My little boy turned 14 in November and whew... another reminder that life is short. And with my family, my mother's dementia is taking her away from us quickly and my mother-in-law's Alzheimer's is doing the same... another reminder that this time won't come back.
I also learned I was affecting my own health and peace of mind... I could not sleep, my brain would not turn off! I think I added a few thousand gray hairs and I doubt I was very much fun to live with (hush, Dave).
And very, very important to me, I realized I was affecting you, my clients. Some of you waited four times as long as you should for proofs which tore me up! I physically and literally had to cut sessions shorter meaning I didn't get those last few great shots I love to get.... I had to do the editing a little faster... I was quite simply not giving each client the personalized attention I normally give, that makes me who I am, and which they deserve, and that broke my heart. I learned my time and the time I give each client is valuable and important. I learned things may have to be different in 2013.
And lastly, I learned there are things that don't feel so hot about being known as the "cheap" photographer. I don't charge what I should, not because I want to undercut the competition - there are SOOOOO many amazing photographers in our area - I'm just a tender heart. And you know you're not charging enough when your own clients look at you as they pay you and say "You're not charging enough!". We all live and learn. But I just pray referrals will be to me, and clients will come to me, because they love my work, my vision, what I do, and not because I'm "cheap".... not something anyone wants to hear when they love what they do.
This year, I resolve to overindulge my clients, my family, and maybe myself once in a while. Yes, I will take on all the work I can, I will ask for work that works well with my life and helps my clients, all because I LOVE what I do, but I will have boundaries that allow me to breathe, turn off my brain, relax with my family more than once a month:), and to devote the personalized attention I treasure for each client and each photograph so they get the end result that they deserve and I complete their work knowing I did my absolute best.
I love you all and have some of the most amazing friends and supporters and family any one human can ask for. God is good... all the time.