I Slowed Down the Train And It All Worked Out

A few years I had to take time off from photography. Then over the years I tried to return – always unsuccessfully because it was not my time yet. We are taught as a society to go go go until retirement. What a horrible way to live most of your life or atleast it seems like it to me. I needed time to heal me and build myself back up and could not do that while filling my days with photography work and venting every evening about sessions and editing. While riding a train full steam ahead and didn’t have time to think about anything else. Those years I thought I was done with photography and would never again take a professional photo that I was proud of. Hours would be spent obsessing and critiquing galleries thinking that the images were not worthy enough to send to my clients, anxiety would force me to cancel sessions last minute and fear would consume me until clients had accepted the images and not asked for a refund two weeks later. A battle was constantly consuming me in my professional life and honestly all aspects of my life.

So finally I decide to take one which turned into two years where I took on very few and I mean only two clients in 2018. I brought the train I was on to almost a full halt I began to learn a lot from the experience. It was such a frustrating and confusing time in my professional career accepting that the Universe was yelling at me to put the camera down and embrace the growth that needed to happen in order to find the peace I so desired. I had to slow down the train.

My train was moving extremely too fast for me. I had to slow down, get off at more stops and let’s be honest – take a different train eventually. We are all on a train of some kind and must figure out if it’s the right one or if we just need to put on the breaks and enjoy the ride. I know people that thrive with the train going full speed. I thought for years I was one of those people. Now I know not so much. I added multiple stops that with each one taught me a valuable lesson about me.

We have to respect ourselves and what our mind, body and soul needs. We have to have faith that what is meant to be for us will happen if we only let go and let be. We have to often let go of what we expected our life to look like because sometimes it may look one way to us on the outside but on the inside it is dark, ugly and crowded. It not only has time for personal growth but has no room as well. Think about trees in the forest. When the canopy gets crowded and possessive of all the rain and sunlight, those trying to grow suffer. We only see the surface from above and what the world can see and we are not giving our inside gifts time to grow which can lead us to peace, happiness and clarity.

During my time off I didn’t lock my camera up though. One of my stops was harnessing my pain with photography. My mind was now allowed to create beautiful self-portraits showing my journey and often a journey many other women walk in solitude. I had the time. It opened me up to a purpose of helping other women in a way that was unique to me. Out of my darkness came light for others.

I was able to photograph my own babies as well and give them magical portraits of themselves. The smile on their face when they would see the final images still sticks in my mind. It was a great opportunity to teach the Photoshop magic which we now talk about when it comes to girls and women who possess qualities that aren’t realistic. It gave me a safe learning space to expand my knowledge of Photoshop which I can now bring back to my business.

This year though I rediscovered my love for photographing others though. It came back slowly and with fear but after a 9 day solo trip last year I became stronger than fear and refuse to let it rule any aspect of my life. Returning has been difficult rebuilding a client base but I once read “you’re not starting over because you already have the knowledge from before.”

I do not fear failure now. I may fail but this experience through the darkness has taught me that I am greater than my fear and if I do fail there are other great opportunities awaiting me.

A deep thank you to so many of you that stuck by me through that time in my life. Many of you followed my journey and continued to encourage me and support my business. Many of you have returned now that I’m actually working. This is the first year my minis have booked out on select days. It’s pretty inspiring to me to keep going. I don’t think I will ever return to photography where I work over 40 hours a week and sacrifice time with my family and I’m completely fine with that. I have other gifts to embrace and doors opening.

Julia and Claire

I took these two out for their very own mini photo session this weekend. The location I was going to use was being used by a group of soccer players so after driving around for a bit I stumbled on this clover patch on the side of the road. Jackpot! The girls had such fun and I did as well. I haven’t really photographed them in over a year so I just love how these turned out. They do remind me that time is fleeting and to truly enjoy this time with them because before long they will be teenage girls that want nothing to do with mom’s photography madness. So for now I will soak it all the chaos, chauffeuring, endless activities, secrets, loads of laundry (okay maybe not that) and constant cleaning that comes with having two healthy little girls in our home.

Amanda

Merry Christmas

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”

-Burton Hills

 

Since I’m so in the spirit of Christmas this year I thought I would brighten up the blog with a blog post from recent minis! You may have to blow to dust off my blog page since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Here are some of my faves from Day 1. 

Free Prints – Is this for real?

So I keep my clients photographs all ordered with folders within folders. I have to – it’s my business. However I struggle to keep my own family’s photographs organized. I always say my kids are growing up on Instagram because I rarely pick up my “real” cameras to photograph them. I pick up my phone and snap away – IS THE IPHONE 8 out yet?

I was looking for a way to print photos from any of my social media outlets. Instagram, chrome, the cloud…and guess what? I found one. Free prints. Yep. I said it. Free! Can it be true – they are free? Oh and if they are free will the be decent quality. I don’t want any prints from the labs from a big box store or drug store.

So my prints arrived today and I’m impressed! Super impressed.

Here’s how it works:

1. You download the app.

Free Prints App

2. Open the app and get started!

You will see a screen similar to mine. Scroll through the top and pick from the different areas you store your photos. This allows me to choose from my professional images in Dropbox and Drive while also my personal images from Instagram and Facebook. One stop shopping!

3. Only the 4×6 prints are free and remember Instagram photos are square. You can print those on a 4×6 and trim the white sides or pay the additional amount to get a different size. You can upgrade to any size

PROS

1. Fast and user friendly

2. 85 free photos a month – scrap booking here I come and I will finally get to change out frames

3. Good quality and color – I’m a photographer and see a myriad of images from different cost effective print labs. I stand by the quality of these images. Now when you get to larger sizes like 16×20 and 20×30 I would always suggest a professional print lab or similar like mpix.com.

CONS

1. Instagram photos print square so if you want square you will have to pay an up charge.

2. Glossy but there is an option to choose matte. Choose matte. I didn’t see this when I first ordered but always choose matte. Glossy images are from days of old.

There are more pros than cons as you will see.

You can’t loose by trying out this app. Maybe $1.99 in shipping – less than a cup of coffee.

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