Hey all. So what happened? Here I was going to do some more workshops around the US, and then I pulled back and decided not to do them. Let’s discuss.
As a woman, I, for whatever reason, was born with the belief that I can be it all and do it all. I’m superwoman, right?. Why are women ingrained with this idea? When women started going out in the workplace, they felt that they could still do it all. All the things that they were taking care of at home – the kids, the house, the daily errand running, and work outside of the home. I don’t think any of us are okay with thinking that we can’t do it all. We want the nice perfectly decorated pristine McMansion, organic food on the table, laundry put away in our Martha Stewart organized way, and our “obviously gifted” children clean, beautifully dressed, and ready for playgroup and tea with the rest of the moms that you volunteer at the elementary school with.
HAHAHAHA I’m sorry, that makes me laugh anymore. Why do we put this pressure on ourselves? Why are we so delusional?
Photography as a business is a blessing and a curse. The blessing part is, you can dictate your own hours; however, it allows you to falsely think that you can still “do it all” and be everything to every one all the time.
At some point, you come to a realization that you can’t do it all. You can’t be home doing laundry and dishes when you are shooting on location. You can be home, but you can’t be as attentive to your child as you wish you could be, when you are stuck to the computer editing. The closest you can get to utopia would be to only work during your child’s naptimes or when your husband is home. Hmmm…. but don’t forget, your marriage needs nurturing too. If you are spending all your husband’s time off out doing photo sessions, and not making any time for him in your life, then it’s your marriage suffering.
I promise, I’m not preaching to you, I’ve been there. I’ve been in that exact situation.
“But you have teenagers!” Yes, I do have teens, but don’t forget, from the time I was married 17 years ago, I only worked for myself. I have run three successful business. I used to actually take my work on vacation with me and work during my vacation. I’m ashamed to admit that, but I was so obsessed with being superwoman, I was wearing myself out completely, and while business was thriving, my personal life was suffering.
So what am I getting at. Here’s what I am getting at. If you try to do it all, some areas are going to excel, and other areas are going to suffer. You have to pick and choose which areas are most important to you, and focus more on them and come to the realization that you cannot do it all.
I run a full-time portrait studio and shoot the occasional commercial production. I have teenagers. You think toddler-hood was rough? Think again. At least with toddlers, you can control the schedule, not so with teens. Many days this summer, I found my life like this: Get up at 6:30 a.m., coffee, shower, breakfast, see son off to driving school, off to the studio to do a shoot, pick son up from driving school, make lunch, answer emails, maybe a little editing if possible, throw a load of laundry in, take daughter out for her riding lesson, come back to pick up son and take him to football conditioning, and then up to pick my daughter up from the barn, back to pick my son up from the school, and home by 9:30 p.m. Here’s the hard facts – I have spent zero time with my husband with that schedule, and I haven’t done the client ordering, and didn’t finish up my editing and guess what? Dinner was takeout every night. What’s suffering? Lots. When they are in school, it’s a little easier, but that doesn’t stop orthodontist appointments, chiropractic appointments when something goes out of alignment in my son’s back during a quarterback sack, etc. etc. What I would give to be only worried about the juice stains on my carpet from the tipped over sippy cup again. haha!
I set up my schedule this year to include some travel thinking – well, heck, everyone else does it, why can’t I? I’ve been teaching workshops for 5 years, surely, going out of town for a few won’t change anything. Well guess what I realized? I had a Colorado workshop scheduled the first weekend in August. Oh no, Erynn’s County 4H show was the same weekend! Sorry, but she’s going to come first. I refunded money, and I have to say, she made it to Districts – her focus is making it to States now I wouldn’t trade it for the world being there with her.
I’m more protective of my family time than ever right now. It wasn’t as big of a deal when they were toddlers, but my son will be graduating high school in 2 years – every precious moment with these kids is more important than anything else.
That’s why. That’s why I chose to re-prioritize.
I am doing one last Studio Lighting Naturally (with newborns and maternity) workshop in a few weeks – August 25th at my studio just outside of Baltimore, MD. I’m retiring this workshop after five years. If you are interested, I only have a few seats left.
You know, I have to add something controversial, right? as that is the kind of blog this is haha… no worries…. it’s coming….
So you know I always question what I read and see online. My brain is never settled to take things at face value. I rely much on my feelings, my gut instincts, and common sense…. but I know I get fooled as well. I can’t believe that this industry still supports the “I can do it all! I’m superwoman!” train of thought, and people fall for it. When I see photographers who claim to have a full-time amazingly successful business with too many high-end clients to count “back home”, and their husband has a successful career too, and they homeschool their 6 children, and are touring all over the world teaching workshops or doing seminars, and they get up before the masses, and the fake tears begin with their infomercials of how they are so blessed to be a photographer, as they declare their awesome superwoman status… well…..
I simply call bullshit.
That is all, thank you. ;)
I write this, by the way, while sitting at the hair salon for the almost four-hour process of my daughter getting her incredibly thick hair colored and cut for the upcoming school year…. that’s my free time at the moment, and I honestly don’t know how I would have the time for the every day simple things like this if I added anything else to my plate. And then there’s football season starting Saturday…. *gulp*
So to sum it up – When reading or listening to anyone in this industry, please keep common sense right in front of you; that’s how you decipher the truths accurately. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. No one is superwoman (or man).