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.