Updated: Jan 24
Once upon a time, I was a photographer. Not mainly a hobbyist like I am today, but someone who worked her ass off to shoot as much as possible, just about anything for anyone who asked. A professional as much as I could be, though I still find it hard to use that word because it takes a lot for me to claim such a status for anything. Other than self critic. There I'm definitely a pro, but I'm working on taking that role a hell of a lot less seriously.
So I photographed all the things, and word of mouth helped us reach and book all kinds of folks. Mostly perfect-for-us families, but a few not so. For this super self critic, that burned me out way early. Six years after my first photo session, deep in the biz with my hubby who helped me so much that he even became a part of our business name, we decided we were ready for a kiddo to join our fam. I was actually excited that I'd have an excuse to step away from the business for a while. I kept happily picking up my camera, but only for my son and a very select few friends and fam.
Our son is now six (and a half, as of next month, because that's important), and I've spent the last year and a half wanting to get back into photography for clients again. That desire comes from knowing the importance of telling our stories, and the joy I find in doing that for others who also find magic in the everyday. With every birthday that passes (not just mine or our son's or my hubby's, but literally every birthday I'm able to recognize) it's cemented in my brain just how lucky we are to celebrate life and how we live it. And how the tiny details really are the biggest fucking deal. Side note, I use that word a lot more these days because I love how much more emphasis it gives me when I'm talking about shit that I really love. Words carry a lot of weight, and sometimes extra weight is good. I'm also much more aware of body positivity and neutrality and am doing a lot of work there, so the end of that last sentence irks me a bit - just know I mean that about language. Body weight gets no attention here.
So, I'm wanting to dive back into the photography business world. But just like when I want to get in the pool, I'm scared to dive. I'm only comfortable diving from a springy board instead of off the side, and even jumping in feet first gives me pause. The water is cold, especially on a scorching hot day. I know how sensitive my body is to extreme temperature change and I know the shock that awaits. It doesn't matter that it will pass in 30 seconds, the shock seems enormous from the edge of the pool. I know how much I love gliding through the water, moving my body to exhaustion when swimming laps and ending a good swim with what might look like an interpretive water dance full of twirls and flips and ridiculous watery smiles and laughter because I love it so damn much and it loves me. It's my therapy. But for some reason, many times I think too fucking much about jumping in. And so it is with this continuation of my photography journey.
I thought I was in a year ago, practicing putting together films to offer clients along with photos. Asking friends who I hadn't photographed in a while/ever to let me share that magic with them. I got the gear ready. Upgraded the computer. Practiced the video stuff. But funny things happened. The blog platform we'd used for years sold and, literally one year ago, erased every post we'd made without notifying us. All of our written stories and experiences with treasured clients and family and friends, just gone. I found this out as I tried to log in to choose some of our favorite posts to bring along to a new site. A hard drive failed and I almost lost a lot of new things I'd captured. The new computer built custom to be able to handle video, would restart every time video was played with no explanation from the maker of the beast that wasn't beasting. Flu found its way to me when I was ecstatic about photographing and filming a best friend's birth story. Schedules haven't lined up for other shoots and I haven't done my job of explaining that there is never really a perfect time to make magic happen, so we should make it happen anyway. Even when the magic looks more dark than light.
A year ago, I was standing by the side of the pool just dipping my toes in. Funny enough, it was the first summer in years I went the whole season without regular access to a pool. It affected me physically and mentally, as I really did feel like I was just idling, standing by. Waiting to be able to jump in. Swimming is my therapy, remember? So guess what guys? We now have a pool in our very own back yard. I'm ready to dive in, both the water and the business of storytelling. Knowing that the cold I fear is really the mistakes we made before, and that I've learned from them. I won't be posting what I think others want to see here, only things that stir something in me, which means if it stirs something in you that's a good sign we should be collaborating on a storytelling adventure. I'll be shooting what really moves me, not just whatever comes my way. Not just swimming through lap after lap of the same old stroke when I know I'm ready to twirl and flip and dance through it all.
I'm not going to overthink it anymore. Except if I do, you'll remind me not to, right? Just don't push me in. I can't stand that shit (I blame a sister for this, whose evil only comes out when she's in the pool - you know who you are ;). Let's fire up this pool heater now, hop on that spring board, and do some work that gives us all the warm fuzzies. I'm prepped and ready for swim season. And I might even get some underwater photo gear to make it even more fun. Hit a girl up if you want to play in the water with me!