Busy Bee.

Busy Bee

As I logged on to my blog I realized that is been over a year since I last posted. A year.

It’s easy to feel like a failure for letting so many balls drop this past year when it comes to running my business, but the honest truth is that I’ve had a bit too much to juggle. I’ve never had a more difficult year parenting, if I’m being honest. It’s been brutal, but I’ve learned a lot.

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Around time last year I found myself with zero sessions booked and zero dollars, and as a single mom to two teenage boys, that was hella scary. I looked into getting another job, but without a degree I didn’t qualify for any that would actually pay a livable wage, so I decided that it was time to go back to school.

Taking full-time school while still running my business, my household and yard, being a mom, and still having a social life was crazy, to say the least. But I got through it, (with straight A’s to boot) but because I was too busy all spring to properly prepare for the slow summer, my business was nearly non-existent again. I really need someone to do my marketing. (facepalm)

I just started my final semester at SLCC and will transfer to Westminster in Spring 2020 to earn my bachelors in social work. (I think…I’m having a really hard time deciding since I’m already doing what I want to do.) It’s nice to have a back up plan for my future.

But for now, I’m still doing photography, hooray! I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to, and if you need a photographer, let me know.

Day of Service

One of the basic needs of every human is the need to be loved, to have our wishes and feelings taken seriously, to be validated as people who matter.
— Harold S. Kushner

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer during the Canyon Rim Cares Day of Service by photographing the people of Turn Community Services, many of whom have never had a professional portrait taken of themselves. 

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Over the course of a couple of hours I got to meet and interact with thirty-four individuals who had minor to severe disabilities. Many were so excited and so grateful to finally have a picture to give to their families.

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Some cracked me up with their jokes and playfulness. 

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And all of them warmed my heart with gratitude and love. It was a great day. A huge shout out to all the workers and volunteers at Turn Community Services who's patience and devotion astound me. 

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"Life with kids is generally annoying, sprinkled with moments of awesome."

(quote by my brilliant friend Michelle)

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I used to think that I’d be the best mom. I mothered anyone younger than me since I was 3, loved to babysit, and am naturally nurturing. But having your own is a whole different ball game. I found that I did NOT have the patience for imaginative play, am sensitive to noise, and don’t like messes. So it would be easy to look at these images of my dear friend and her daughter in all of their creative glory and think: “She’s such a better mom than I am.”

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But one thing I’ve finally learned in my 37 years is that it’s pointless to compare and judge other moms because everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve yet to meet a mom who feels like she’s really got this whole motherhood thing down perfectly. 

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So celebrate those things you do well. Ditch the guilt for the things that you’re maybe not so good at. Embrace your children, at whatever stage they are at, enjoy the moments of awesome, and feel empowered as a woman who is trying her best and is totally good enough. 

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"Quiet your mind and your soul will speak."

Endless thoughts and feelings and ideas and worries are filling up my mind and spilling over. This time of year we all face the opportunity to start fresh, do better, and set goals. 

I have so many ideas, goals, and to-do lists for my business that it's not even funny. I'm constantly learning new techniques and skills that I want to implement, but never settle down long enough to do so. Do you ever find yourself literally unable to just focus on one task?

This is so "me" right now. 

This is so "me" right now. 

I'm headed off to a huge professional photography conference this weekend and will, no doubt, become even more saturated with ideas, goals, and to-do's.  Heaven help me. 

I will say this, however. No matter how overwhelming and exhausting running my own business can be, I wouldn't trade it for anything. To be able to make a living at what I love to do is so rewarding, and I have my amazing, supportive clients to thank for it.  

Thank you. 

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yes, it started out with my divorce being finalized, my heart being shattered by my rebound boyfriend, and serious financial struggle, but the amount of personal growth and experiences I’ve had this year makes it one of the best years in my life.

"Every 7-10 years you have to re-invent yourself as a photographer, or else you'll die." -Joel Grimes

It was fate that my name was picked in a drawing to win a complimentary spot in an exclusive workshop with nationally renowned photographer, Joel Grimes.   He taught on studio lighting, which was so helpful to learn new ways of creating different looks, but even more than the technical stuff, he taught the importance of living as an artist, not merely a photographer. 

I'm going to get real with you here. I struggle. I'm almost an equal balance of creative and technical, making me not really stand out in either field.  I am passionate about photography, and know it's what I want to do with my life, but I haven't pushed myself enough. I've been content with "good enough."  

That's going to change. I want to learn to create images that make people stop in their tracks and just stare. I want to experiment with lighting, set aside time for personal projects, and create a body of work that will hang in a gallery someday. 

So there you go. My first blog post of my new brand is a confession that I have so much to learn...and I'm SO excited to get started and see where the journey leads. 

Joel Grimes workshop
Joel Grimes Lighting Workshop Model
Fitness Model