some head clearing, and back to work.

Brett and I are officially back to work for 2010 this week.  Well…..since we took off in mid-December we have done a couple weddings and many personal shoots, but this week marks the beginning of our 2010 bookings.  We feel so incredibly blessed that we had a waiting list from 2009 to be put on the schedule for 2010, and we were shocked that we nearly filled the calendar to September the very first week we began booking for 2010! {Thank you so much!!!}

I have to say that our winter break was a much needed hiatus.  At the beginning of 2009, we knew we had a lot of exciting sessions in store but as we began booking more and more, we knew we needed to gain a better understanding of booking for our lives.  To give you an idea of our history here’s a little about OUR story……

Before we had a photography business I had always loved to take photos- not only to capture a moment in time, but to be able hold a piece of paper that could speak volumes and evoke emotions….while motionless and silent.  When I began photographing my children and people began to offer to pay me to take photos of their children, I brushed it off thinking they were just being kind.  In the summer of 2006 I decided to take the plunge on a digital SLR.  My Dad helped me buy it for my birthday, and I began shooting like a mad woman.  By fall I began building my portfolio by shooting children and  families, and my passion grew and grew.  I knew I could do this.  I wanted to do this.  At first Brett was a bit reluctant.  Something new had popped up and was taking free time and nights away from him. You see, he had never been interested in photography.  At least not up until that point.

Brett gave me his complete support, and I took a class that next spring to fully grasp my settings and shooting full manual.  I ate it up- every flipping minute.  I guess you could say I was the suck up in class, and when my teacher called me the “prize student,” I was TOTALLY cool with that. ;)  By the end of those classes I could shoot in manual without much thought at all, and I also learned so much about my personal style and technique.  I would come home at night and show Brett what I learned.  If you know Brett, you know he LOVES to learn.  Bless him for marrying me, because I am so not naturally wired that way, but I admire his zest for learning so much.  He learned everything about shooting, all the crazy techy aspects, and by my last few classes I would come home and he was TEACHING ME about things he had been researching.  (WHAT?)

One day I had this outrageous thought of pulling him into this “love” with  me.  How AMAZING would that be??!  So, I decided to test him.  I began by giving him simple assignments.  He went out and did mini-shoots and then we sat and talked about composition, about manipulating shutter speed for effect, about depth of field and achieving certain looks with your f-stop….and on, and on.  By fall of that year he was shooting with me, beginning on an engagement shoot.  He has been by my side since, and I can’t imagine studio3z without the angle and views he creates and captures at each shoot.

Since then I have stood amazed.  Like, FOR REAL, I can live this dream? I had no idea this could actually happen!  And then this last year came, and it rocked my world!  We had such a super fun year of traveling, meeting people, and expanding our business in many ways.  Even though we had a limit on the amount of shoots we would take on, we somehow ended up doing double.  It just happened.   Then I noticed other things like, my kids were begging for attention and complaining about my “always” being at the computer. November was the crash.  I cried…which I don’t really do (ignoring my last post about my sister’s wedding).  One day I sat stressed with my chest hurting and I thought, “Why am I doing this? I don’t HAVE to do this?”  I knew then and there that this next year would HAVE to be different if I was to continue.  I was tired of never having a real date with my husband, never having time with my kids besides schoolwork, and shuffling friends and family on the back burner- or feeling guilty if I took my “work” time to see them.  I found myself forgetting to write thank yous (which super annoyed me) and I was running on a 4-6 month late birthday present schedule.  Totally lame, but I had lost my balance.  My work had consumed too much of my life, and I was angry about it.

I often get emails from people asking me things like, “How do you have 4 kids, home school, and run your business?”  Sometimes I get back to them, but unfortunately, some go unanswered.  I plan to make some pages soon dedicated to answering some of these questions.  I have figured out I am not alone.  There are a lot of moms and dads out there trying to run their photography business and balance a family as well.  These are usually the type writing me.  I am exploring options on how I can expand my help for others on the subject as I also work on things for myself.

In conclusion, taking these last 2 months really slow has been refreshing.  We have had time to hang out with the kids, think about our future, explore goals, find new ways to grow, and of course lay around- without guilt!!! OH the GUILT that hinders a home business owner.

Honestly, most of this is in MY head. I am the planner, the worry wart. Brett has this amazing hippie feature of taking each moment in stride, and breathing in life…..while I grab him by the collar, bug eyed, screaming for help.  We’re a good team.

I love taking pictures.  I love that I get to call it “my job.”  I love that my husband now loves it too and is so incredibly supportive. (He’s also the world’s most amazing father….but that deserves a whole post in and of itself).  But I also love my family, and my much needed sanity. I’ve decided to begin this year knowing that I will not, can not, and utterly refuse to bite off more than I can chew.  I am booking a limited amount of sessions- for all the reasons I just talked your ears off about, as well as to maintain my quality, keep my creativity fresh, and continue to be inspired!!!

And just a quick update on our 2010 schedule: we have a few openings left from now through September, October is booked up, and we have a few openings still available in November.  If you are out of state (or country) and are interested in us photographing you, feel free to let us know!  Trips we are looking at this year are to Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles.  If you are in these cities and would be interested in a session with us, please let us know!!!

Sooooo- if you’ve made it through this novel of a post, BRAVO and a huge thanks for sticking with me. I don’t normally open up like this on here, but I felt I should share a bit of where we are today.  It’s just another step in our growth, and that makes me excited!

We are fully refreshed, revived, and thrilled to begin shooting again!!  Thanks for being with us on this journey.

We plan to look 2010 right in the eye, and show em’ what we’re made of. ;)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
March 15, 2010 - 4:08 pm

Shawna - Love this post! As someone thinking about starting my own photography business, I love hearing about how others started and how they make it work. You are so talented and an inspiration!

March 15, 2010 - 4:17 pm

Vickey Weiss - Love your honesty and it’s good to know even you, someone I truly admire – feel overwhelmed at times. I feel that way more that I’d like…it’s so important to remember to slow down and enjoy the little things. Thanks for the reminder.

March 15, 2010 - 4:28 pm

katie - i soooo needed this post :) While I’m not in photography, I’m in a somewhat similar situation with my home based business, trying to be a stay-at-home mom, actually remember what my husband’s face looks like, etc…. I admire your talent, your commitment and your dedication to a finely tuned balancing act. I fear my 2010 won’t be quite the return to balance you’ve gifted yourself, but I’ll figure it out. And it’s nice to know there’s other people out there figuring it out, too…. what a bunch of wackos we all are, huh?!

March 15, 2010 - 4:39 pm

AmyPunky Photography - Great post!!! I’m glad you wrote this, thanks for sharing.

March 15, 2010 - 4:48 pm

Michelle - You two are so stinkin beautiful. Like, seriously, beautiful. No wonder your kids are so cute. I love the pic you posted. Here’s hoping 2010 brings you much time with the kiddos, many date nights, and lots of time with friends and family. Sanity is good!!! Very, very good.

March 15, 2010 - 5:04 pm

Andre Nievo - Have you had a photography lesson before? Is this a requirement for a photography business.

March 15, 2010 - 5:26 pm

Gail - Bravo my dear. You said it so awesomely :) Good luck on the balancing act. Just remember, you’ve got friends out there for you if you happen to fall.

PS – Look at you two ROCKIN’ those fedorahs!

March 15, 2010 - 5:40 pm

Jane Brookman - What a wonderful insight into my special niece that I don’t get to spend time with. It really helps me to know you as a person, mother, and wife. I love you so much.
Aunt Jane

March 15, 2010 - 6:02 pm

jason z - my eyes are watering after reading that. for two reasons; one – because i love, respect and admire you both so much. two – because i got absolutely no credit for that sexy photo.

March 15, 2010 - 6:41 pm

rebecky - very sweet, Jess. Love the picture of Brett and you.

March 15, 2010 - 8:36 pm

gina@kiwistreetstudios - it’s so good to hear the honest, open feelings that go along with running a successful/growing business. it’s not easy, all the balancing.
i love that more and more women are openly sharing their thoughts and solutions.
good for you for taking the time that you felt you needed and your family deserved. for all the moments we are spending and capturing and editing for other families, we can forget to do the same with our very own, sigh.
we still need to get together… sooner than later… now i fear i missed your ‘downtime!’

March 15, 2010 - 9:19 pm

natalie - great writing and it’s crazy how much your sister looks like you. especially from a side profile like that..

March 15, 2010 - 10:39 pm

Catherine Guidry - Thank you so much for sharing! :) I appreciate the honesty in your blogging…and to top it off you are so talented. I look to women like you for inspiration. So, thank you for that.

March 15, 2010 - 11:14 pm

Caitlin - Love that photo! Stoked for you guys :)

March 16, 2010 - 9:26 am

Jessica G. - Love this! Can’t wait till you come to NYC!!!

March 16, 2010 - 12:54 pm

Amber - This post made me so happy! I just love keeping up with you guys on this blog! Thanks for sharing your heart AND photography!!

March 16, 2010 - 2:41 pm

kim dalton - Jason cracks me up. Did he take this picture?? It’s great. Great blog today too. Thanks for sharing your heart. I was wondering too how you did it all. I love that you love your family so much you will put your other love behind them. It’s beautiful. Would you share where you took your photography class?

March 16, 2010 - 5:57 pm

holly - i pretty much worship the ground you walk on. patrick and i were talking the other day about how much we admire the two of you and your relationship. patrick LOVES baba and isn’t afraid to admit it…we speak of the two of you often; patrick will say that baba is the exactly type of father and husband patrick dreams of being one day. it is so sweet. we love you! you are just the most wonderful human beings and i am so blessed to know you!

March 17, 2010 - 8:45 am

Kelly (Daphne Photo Studio) - I love your honesty and totally feel your pain! I don’t have the 4 kids part, but I understand your balancing act just with having another full-time job and keeping up with all other aspects of life. I have to admit I’m nervous for myself this year with adding a newborn to the mix! But I always remind myself that if this is what God wants me to be doing, then He will get me through. So glad you are finding balance – I think you are an amazing woman, mother, and photographer! That picture is super adorable also :) Looking forward to lunch next Tuesday!

March 17, 2010 - 2:46 pm

Dana Halvorson - I adore you more every time I read your posts. Your work is amazing, your soul is precious. I wish that we lived near, because I would take you out for a dirty martini and we could, together, talk about each of our sets of 4 kids, our amazing husbands, and the difficulty of keeping it all balanced.

March 17, 2010 - 7:32 pm

Sarah - Words cannot describe how much I love your work! I live in Atlanta and pray that when I get engaged/ married I am able to book you! Thanks for all that you do. This blog brightens my day on a regular basis.

March 19, 2010 - 4:37 pm

Maya Laurent - I love how open and honest you are. It’s amazing how something we are so in love with and have a passion for can also take over our lives. Hoping that this year can be more of a balance for you and your family!

March 21, 2010 - 7:30 am

astrid - i love hearing your stories and all the honesty! thank you :)

March 22, 2010 - 8:10 am

bobbi - wow jess. so proud of you for this. I find everything about you refreshing. Love Jason’s photo of you. Perfect. :)

March 23, 2010 - 8:12 pm

karen - Jess, thanks for sharing your heart. I follow your blog and love hearing about life. We have 3 under 5 and I can totally relate. I am sure the much needed break was wonderful for everyone! Blessings~

April 9, 2010 - 8:54 am

Donna - Thanks for sharing…with a home based business of my own, I’m always curious to see how others do it! Would love to hear more on how you do the homeschool, eating organic ,and business all in one!!! Happy Friday!

February 5, 2011 - 11:54 am

Keaton - LOVE THIS!

August 25, 2010 - 10:08 am

our last few months. | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] in March I wrote a blog entry that really solidified feelings I had been having and wanting to share.  The response was [...]

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