Seven years. Six years and eleven months ago, I started this journey. I picked up a camera to entertain my siblings with a "photoshoot" one day while I was babysitting, and somehow, I ended up here.
Now, I'm a keeper of memories, a saver of the treasured big moments that happen for your family. Now, I'm a portrait artist that spends the majority of my weekday nights and weekends with other families capturing their lives instead of creating my own.
I've worked so hard to build a business that others can love and enjoy and that I can be proud of. I feel like I'm finally beginning to accomplish that, and now I am setting new goals that I want to reach with my work. One day, as I sat in my dark editing room, PJs on and my editing pencil in hand zooming away on creating the perfect heirloom for one of my wedding clients, I was listening to a seminar by Vanessa Joy - another creative industry professional.
Vanessa talked about defining what success means for your business and that for each professional, success would have a different definition. She resonated with me on a deeper level though when she mentioned looking at your calendar to figure out what your priorities are.
I looked at my calendar, and I wasn't surprised that over the past six years and eleven months, work has been my priority. My family (which is huge) and my friends were put on the back burner for clients.
Do I regret that? In a way, yes. More or less, I kind of just disappeared - unless you were a client. I don't post a ton on my personal or business social media accounts, and I most definitely didn't update my Facebook status with my every move. I didn't have time for brunches and day dates with friends, and I didn't have time to keep up with family. I spent most of my hours behind a camera capturing a love story or in the editing room perfectly those portraits. I most definitely didn't have the time that my own life deserved. I missed some milestones for my younger siblings that I will never get back. But at the same time, I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for the hard work I put in for those years.
So where does that put me now? You know, I'm not totally sure of an answer besides that my calendar is becoming more aligned with the priorities that I'd like to have for this chapter in my life. My Sundays are reserved for my family and friends, and for my new hobby of renovating my first home. My boyfriend, pictured above, has been along this journey since day one, and Sundays are sometimes reserved for a good breakfast and some time cuddled up on the couch watching whichever TV show we are binging that week.
Don't get me wrong, it's busy season and my calendar is packed with sessions and consultations to learn about your love stories. My weekday afternoons are almost always spent out in a field somewhere twirling and laughing with a soon-to-be bride and groom, and my Saturdays are spent watching their journey together begin. But my calendar has also got more time on it for my own story. For that, I am beyond thankful.
For now, I'll leave you with our latest day date to Nashville - where we enjoyed time exploring some landmarks and non-touristy spots. A day where I took my camera and created for me, without the dread of knowing it was just another piece of art to process once I got home.
I'll also leave you with a challenge to look at your calendar. Each day holds the potential to cultivate a relationship or work on reaching a goal. Make time for the ones you love and for yourself to reach your own definition of success.