Monday, January 3, 2011

welcome 2011



There will be some big changes in my work world and personal world this year. This post has been floating around in my head for months and I'm still not sure it will come out quite right, so bear with me here...

THE BASIC INFO...

After lots of praying, thinking and getting advice from wise friends I have decided not to completely stop doing photography, but I am going to scale back quite drastically. I have a few shoots booked for this month. I'm going to spend February and March wrapping up pending projects and getting ready for this baby. Then, with the exception of second shooting a bit this summer, I am going to take 6 months maternity leave. Starting this fall I'll only be booking two shoots a month. When they are full, they are full. My hope is that this will allow me to give each shoot more attention and that each shoot will feel like a fun creative break for me. Trust me, this should lead to great photos for you.

Also, I won't be booking any weddings this year. Wedding photography might be something I eventually start doing again, but for now I won't be taking any contracts. On that note I do highly recommend Jen Seris for wedding photography. Jen has been second shooting with me for about 3 years as well as doing some weddings on her own. She's been slowly growing her business and just recently launched her new website and blog. She. Is. Awesome. We spent New Year's Eve shooting a wedding together. That's right, she gave up spending New Years with her new hubby to shoot with me. She's dedicated. She's fabulous. Check her out. I'll be second shooting for her whenever I can and I'm pretty excited about that.

THE LONG WINDED EXPLANATION...

The question I get asked most frequently these days besides, "How are you feeling?" is "What are you going to do about work after baby #2 is born." It's a good question. A question that I have asked myself repeatedly over the last year or so knowing that we wanted more kiddos.

Though I don't talk about it here on this blog very often, balancing motherhood and my business is very challenging. It's not just dividing my time that I find so hard, but dividing my attention and heart. I've tried different ways over the last few years to strike a better balance so that it wasn't so challenging. Some things have helped, but the conclusion I have come to over the last 6 months or so is that no matter how you slice it, being a stay-at-home mom is a full time job. Period.

I know that there are moms out there that do both and do it well. And while I've tried to convince myself otherwise many times, I am not one of those moms. It has taken me a long time to be able to say this, but that is OK. Some people thrive on being super busy and love it and somehow manage to find a way to do it. I'm not one of those people, and that is OK.

Some time this summer during a work related melt down Shane finally said to me, "Babe, its come to a point where you either need to work less or be OK with Marlie being in daycare." And he was right. Please hear me when I say that I am in no way saying that daycare is not the right choice for some families. I am no one to judge what each family chooses in that area and by no means is this post meant to heap some ugly mommy guilt on anyone. Heck, my mom worked when I was little and I think I turned out just fine. However, I knew that for us it wasn't what I wanted at this point.

We sat and talked for a bit. I told Shane that when I thought of dropping off Marlie somewhere to be taken care of my heart physically hurt. But what I needed him to understand was that the thought of giving up my photography business, or at least severely scaling back, hurt almost just as bad. Not as much, but almost. That may sound horrible from the outside, but it's the truth. It has taken 6 years of learning, growing, investing and changing to get my business where it is today. And I've poured my heart in to every hour I spent working on it. It has been very hard to think about giving it up.

But God has been working on me. I'm at a place now where I feel ready to scale back as much as I am. I'm ready for this change. Ready to read books some nights instead of editing every night. Ready to be able to focus on being a mom a little more. Ready for each shoot to feel like a fun and creative outlet.

A friend recently asked me if I worry about losing clients. The reality is with less shoots available I will. There are days, moments, when that bothers me. Moments when I think about all of the workshops and conferences I will probably miss. The new trends and gear I probably won't be able to keep up with. The fear that I will feel bored or feel like I've lost part of myself without all of my work to do. Like I've traded in my creative side for a pair of mom jeans. Or even worse, some Pajama Jeans. But when I start to worry about all of those things I feel God saying, "Just take care of your family; I'll take care of you." I'm trusting. I'm letting go. Which leads to my one goal in 2011...

Take it one day at a time.

So, here we go.

I finally updated my website with some more current work. Its been on my to do list literally for a year. So, check it out clients, you might be up there. My available fall dates are on the calendar page. Book ahead. Why not? If you made it to the end of this post...thanks for reading :).

11 comments:

Deb said...

I love you.

Which means I would intervene before Pajama Jeans found their way into your closet.

Nicole said...

Erin,
I admire your honesty and your devotion to do what is best for your family! I always say the decision to work while raising a family is never an easy one. There is guilt all around whether you decide to stay at home full time, work part time, work full time, etc. When I was in grad school we read a book that talked about the "good enough mother." That we may not be the best mom, and in fact we don't have to be the best. We just have to be good enough, and God takes care of the rest. I have tried to remind myself, that I don't have to be perfect (and in fact I can't be!!!), just good enough.

Love you!
Nicole

Armstrong's said...

Thanks for this, Erin... been struggling with what to do about work myself! Happy New Year! And I hadn't heard of pajama jeans and totally looked at the website. Tempting... :)

Stefaan said...

This is the first time i found and read your blog and wow, amazing. I'm very shocked by how beautiful your pictures are. I'll add you to my sidebar on my blog so other people can enjoy your blog as well. Please have a visit at mine and leave a comment or make a link to my site. Oh, and before i forget a late but warm happy New Year!

Best regards,

Stefaan
http://bstefaan.blogspot.com/

Jennifer said...

you are amazing -- even if you wear pajama jeans. could we do a photoshoot of that?!!?

much love!

Beth said...

Agreed. Pajama jeans or not, you are awesome. So proud of everything you do, working or mama-ing. And canNOT wait to squeeze that little boy.

maggie said...

Erin - I'm happy for you!! I think this sounds so wonderful for you and your family. I know how you feel and I've tried to trust God (like you) and scale down when I need to. I think this is so great. Hang in there and take care of you and that baby you are making. If you need anything - even someone to listen, you can always call me!
Congratulations!! I'm really happy for you!
Love ya, M

Ada Moore said...

now you'll have more time to call friends who dont live in your state and who will be home with a newborn too!!

LISA SWEENEY said...

GOOD.FOR.YOU.ERIN!!!

Linda said...

What? Pajama Jeans aren't cool? I appreciate the fashion advice and admire your ability to take such a huge leap of faith, Erin.

Annie said...

Just catching up on your blog, Erin, and this post could not have related with me more. I have been feeling the EXACT same way, and just drastically scaled back at work. Congrats on #2! Can't wait to hear the news. Neil and I are expecting #2 as well at the end of this summer, so I'll be checking your calendar to book a family shoot.