I counted today and I have photographed 91 weddings to date, 8 of which I second shot for a friend leaving 83 weddings I have been first hand responsible for photographing. Of those 91 weddings, I have been sure to write a blog post for at least 80 of them. When I got into photography I knew blogging was something I wanted to do to showcase recent work and as an opportunity to write. Some of my favorite photographers were awesome bloggers and that's how I got to really know them and their work. But somewhere along the way I have gotten so overwhelmed with blogging. I think it really started this past November and December when I had seven weddings I photographed during the holiday season, 3 of which were back to back. On average I have about 3000 photos to go through per wedding (I know that is a tad ridiculous- I'm working on that:) so that meant over that two month period I was working with 21,000 images. I have amazing help editing my photos from my talented friend Latetia (definitely check her out if you are looking for small business administrative help or outsourcing your editing) but I couldn't even narrow down the photos quick enough to get them to her during that busy season. So needless to say blogging fell by the wayside and my once nearly perfect record of blogging every wedding is now about 4 weddings and a million portrait and engagement sessions behind. And for some reason I just can't seem to catch up. Like most photographers I like to write a year end post sharing some of my favorite photos from the year, and I have literally spent hours going through my hard drives attempting to collect my favorite images. I have a folder on my computer with these images, but realized that I still have a few more months of images to go through and I just might not make it. All of this might be somewhat doable if my time and heart wasn't as divided as it between my job and my family but in God's wisdom and my choosing I am married with two small children. Herein lies the conflict. I need to be present with my kids. I need to help my son who is in kindergarten learn to read and practice writing and counting and finish his homework. My kids have needs that no one else can fill at this point, or at least not the way I would like them to be parented. And that is really really important to me. So in the midst of all this I find less and less time to write extensive blog posts and am overwhelmed by the thought of trying to keep up with it all. Just being honest.
While on a plane trip home from California yesterday I felt a clear message as I laid my head down on my husband after searching through hard drives for 3 hours. I really felt God was freeing me from the bear of blogging all the weddings I photograph and work I do. The message was clear- do what you can, and right now that might be just one photo. I know I probably sound a little crazy because I don't have a boss that is docking my pay based on whether or not I've blogged a wedding but somewhere along the way I structured my business in a way that wasn't freeing to me. The benefit of being self-employed is that you create the job you want, you come up with what you will and won't do, and you decide what works and doesn't. But I haven't done the heart searching work of making my job fit my life until recently, and it took my exhaustion to make me realize I just can't spend lots of hours trying to find the best photos to tell the story of someone's wedding day for each wedding I shoot. I could spend forever debating whether or not to include this picture or that, or whether someone might be upset if I didn't include this shot. I am a people pleaser to the core but am learning how that really controls me in some negative ways that God is freeing me from. So what hit me on the plane (and SET ME FREE) was that I could post one picture a day. I could post my recent work in this way without feeling overwhelmed at the thought of it. I also realized that I'd love to write more about what I'm learning, both in photography and life, but I've felt like I can't write personal stuff until I get everyone else's blog posts written. But then I realized this is my blog and I can choose to use it however I'd like. That sounds kinda diva-ish but all I mean is that I need to make choices with my business that help me thrive so I don't burn out and become useless to everyone. In short I am becoming free. My husband and I tell each other constantly, "be free." Live free. Make free choices apart from compulsion. I'm not there yet but I am becoming free. I am becoming free as a mom, wife, friend, and a photographer. And my decision to blog less photos is me becoming free. I do love telling people's stories through pictures but along the way I forgot to tell my own story and live my own life. So blogging has to become a free act where I post a picture or two of my recent favorites, and really a place for me to freely share when and if I can. Some photographers don't blog at all because of how overwhelming it can become, while others are amazing at keeping up with it. It just took me awhile to figure out where I landed in the spectrum, and my stage of life really shapes what I can and can't do. So here's to a blog that fits my life right now and reflects the freedom I'm growing in. Thanks for reading:)