I could tell you that it’s because my kids have been off school. I could tell you it’s because I’ve been constantly preoccupied with Christmas and New Years family commitments. I could even tell you it’s because I’m currently detoxing from carbs and refined sugars and I’ve got a headache 24-7.
But the reality is that my absence from blogging and shooting this past month or so is really a combination of all of those things and more. The biggest reason I haven’t been spending any time here: I’ve just felt uninspired.
Yes folks. Believe it or not, that’s totally possible. In fact, I don’t think I picked up my camera the entire Christmas break. Not because we didn’t have moments worth capturing, but because I simply didn’t feel inspired to. I find this is a common occourance for me around the holidays. I spend most of the spring, summer and fall being busy…and when I finally get a chance to relax and spend time on me, I prefer to put down the camera and do other things. This holiday season I’ve spent a lot of my time at the gym, in yoga classes or simply doing nothing meaningful at all. It’s been perfect. At first I felt guilty about all of the time I’m spending on myself, or not immersed in my business. I worried about the things I should be doing for my business but wasn’t. But much like with a child, I’m starting to realize that if I don’t spend the appropriate time on myself recharging, I won’t be the best photographer (or mother) I can be. So with that realization, the guilt just melted away. I also realized that there is no “should do” for me. This is my business. I define it’s success.
My 2012 was an interesting year. I tried to keep most of my personal stuff on the down low, but the truth is, it was a scary year for me. My anxiety was at an all-time high as the result of a leg/back/hip problem that popped up in late March. I spent a great deal of my time in pain last year. I spent a lot of time in doctors offices, urgent care at the hospital and my chiropractor’s office, trying to manage this pain while running my business. As a result of this pain, I became an anxious, emotional mess. Only the people closest to me know the depths of it. While I don’t think it effected my photography in any major way, I do think that it made a difference in my social life. I spent a lot of time alone. I also found myself dealing with feelings of being a crummy wife and mom. Towards the end of 2012 things started looking up quite a bit. I began focusing on my health and my mental well being, I began spending time with friends who really understood me and who really helped lift my spirits. I also began tackling some of the more difficult issues from my past that seemed to randomly surface along with the anxiety. Thankfully, a fairly miserable, scary year in my personal life turned around dramatically and I’m so grateful for that. It came at the perfect time. I feel like it gave me the boost I needed to launch myself into 2013 with a more positive attitude and a fresh outlook.
This year my main goal is simple: I will not allow myself to be driven by the superficial. I will continue to do what I love for two people only – my clients and myself. I will pour all of my energy into what matters most and will continue to let my client’s faith in the quality of my work be what drives them to choose me as their family photographer. And whether I photograph 3 families, or 300 families, my year will be a success. Because each of those families will get the best I can give them. For me it is not a race to see how many sessions I can cram into a week or how popular I can become. It’s a journey. It’s my journey.
I have a busy, exciting (and healthy!) 2013 year planned! I look forward to meeting some new new families and hopefully re-connecting with some past families too! I wish each and every one of you a fantastic year ahead with lots of wonderful memories waiting to be made!
Last Fall I had my wonderful and talented friend Genevieve (Ottawa Wedding and Engagement Photographer) take a few photos of me. It was a very vulnerable, humbling experience to say the least – especially given what had been happening in my life at the time. I know I’ve thanked Gen a million times for taking these but I have to give another big shout out to her here again. Gen, you helped me to see something in myself that I hadn’t seen before. Thanks a million my friend.