Have you ever had a dream that thought was just too out of reach? A dream you have seen others reach but just can't quite get there yourself? That is where I am sitting currently in life. I can see myself as a full-time photographer. I can visualize it. I even lived it for 5 months. For 5 months, I was able to live and breathe doing photography full-time. I absolutely loved it! I enjoyed being in charge of my day. I enjoyed making my hours. Most of all, I fell in love with all the families I have met and moments captured for them. My dream is to do this full-time again and this time FOREVER!
MOTHERHOOD LED ME HERE
Motherhood is what led me to photography. It is where I buried myself daily because childhood is fleeting. I didn't want to miss out on my boys' daily changes, milestones, their sports memories, their physical transformations, and everything in between. It is where I found my happy. Not just the act of getting the shot but going through the images and seeing what I had captured. I met someone named Barbara Lundahl through teaching who inspired me. She had done what I always wanted. Not just teaching but photographing families on her weekends. She not only influenced me but she encouraged me that I could do it. I will be forever grateful because just those words "You can do it too" hit me and so the journey began.
I started just capturing my boys and their sporting events. Which eventually led to those amazing families supporting me and offering to pay me to take their pictures. This was in 2015. I was super excited and would drive anywhere to shoot and take any price! I did this for about 5 years and boy was I tired. Imagine working full time teaching, raising 3 boys and all in sports, being a wife, and business owner. This lifestyle just wasn't sustainable. I was working 7 days a week. Heading straight from sports to shoots, straight from teaching to shoots. The mama I was wanting to capture every moment was now missing her own children's moments because I wanted to build this business. But mom guilt. Wife guilt. IT IS REAL. I started to lose myself and drown myself in work to not have to deal with all the emotions spinning inside me. I just couldn't walk away.
The Tipping Point...
September 5, 2021 I received a phone call that changed my life forever. My mom was being rushed to the hospital with her oxygen levels in the 50's. I flew out the next morning to California to be with my dad and brother as we tried to wrap our heads around the nightmare that was unfolding before us. It was the longest week for me so I cannot even begin to imagine the week it was for my mom. On September 13, 2021 my mom passed away. A piece of me died along with my mom that day. My childhood was now over. My friend, my encourager, my number one fan, my lifeline... was gone. She left me. The thing about losing someone you love so much is that you start to question everything. EVERYTHING. Every decision you made, every life choice you followed and EVERY. SINGLE. THING. How could I have prevented this? One more call? One more text? Am I living my life right? How do I raise my kids and never let them forget their Yaya? How can I live without my mom? Just swarms of questions and thoughts. I drowned daily in those thoughts. I drowned daily in tears. It felt as though piles of bricks were in my stomach making it so hard to get out of bed, to be present for my kids, and to just live in a world without my light, my mom.
What Would My Mom Want?
My mom and I always talked about me leaving teaching. As everyone knows, the education field is very difficult with the rise in behaviors, expectations, and workload things were becoming very difficult. I wanted to leave teaching because that it is what my mom wanted. She wanted this for me and I was determined to make it work. SO, I took a mentorship group program and while I learned a lot, the way of business was just not for me. I tried to make the shift but felt like a fraud and didn't want to lose all I had worked for. I felt like I was letting my mom down. Deep down, I know she would still want me to keep pushing toward this dream. I want to keep pushing or this dream. I AM pushing for this dream! I want to make Mom proud.
All of these things have led me to where I am today. Sitting, planning and preparing to make this dream become a reality. That photography will become my full time life and I will have made my mama proud!
What does this mean for my clients?
This means that I will be taking on less clients while I work towards a more work-life balance. In order to do so, prices will be raised. I have estimated my cost of doing business and will need to increase the investment amount to continue to provide quality photography services, continue my professional training, invest in new and improved equipment, props and building a client closet for ages 1-3 and adding to my maternity closet. It means I can focus more on YOU and your needs and wants from our sessions together. It also means I will be offering four different ADD-ON Collections that I KNOW you will love. I chose these products because as mother I wanted these for myself and children. These products are custom and tailored to your newborn. maternity or family session. I am no longer offering mini sessions all year long. I will have set mini session dates for Spring and Fall only for families. There may be an occasional mini session for Valentine's Day or Christmas but they will all be announced.
Another change is blogging. I want to keep the spirit of my mom alive by finding women who have overcome adversity in some way. I want to inspire other women. We all go through tough times and my mom would help anyone. Caring to a fault some would say. I want to hear your stories from Motherhood and beyond! Let's share them because we never know who needs to hear them!