My last blog took you on a journey through my life in 2015. What a whirlwind huh?
My hope for part 2 of that blog is to clearly communicate where my personal life & business is headed in 2016. I’ve set some personal goals for 2016; I figured it would be most appropriate to share them with you today.
- Be more present & intentional.
- Re-do my website and make it more personalized to me. Also switch to a responsive design.
- Blog more personal things
- Plant a vegetable garden and/or be involved in a CSA so I can practice some canning for the winter months
- Spend less money
- Learn to rest & relax
- Read books.
- Finish our front porch
- Get my hormones in balance!
- Investigate a solution for making our attic a “useable” space
- Fix our front yard – it floods so bad when we experience a lot of rain!
- Take a restful trip with Kevin
- Condense my student loans!
- Be even healthier…..this includes resting, being active, remembering to take my vitamins, etc.
As far as professional goals for my business goes, let’s go back in time a little.
I’ve been photographing since September of 2010 and I’ve learned SO much since then. I’ve been hands on with some of the best photographers in the US, ran a successful business, met some of the best people who I can now call friends….and all because I decided to jump and go after something I enjoyed. I graduated from Mount Olive College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Visual Communication. And, for those of you that don’t know, I do work a full time job (in addition to photography) in Public Relations at our local community hospital. It provides health insurance for our family, retirement and gives us financial stability so that we can live a generous life. I love the people that I work with at the hospital and my “real” job gives me a chance to give back to the community by planning & promoting wellness events in our town. My loving husband, Kevin, is an ordained minister and is the Worship & Creative Pastor at our church. He’s been there almost 6 years! He’s also a phenomenal songwriter & skilled musician. He writes music for himself & his band while also writing & playing with Matt Bartlett & Majesty Rose. He’s actively involved in The Burn Goldsboro, a 24-hour prayer movement here in our hometown & he also travels with the other 3 bands to lead worship & play shows around NC & sometimes other states. In September we will have been married for 4 years! Crazy. Time flies. And, we have an adorable dog, #thedogliza, who we’ve had for about our entire married life. She really is our baby. We are passionate believers in living life in community with people. In fact, most nights during the week our time is spent gathered amongst friends and family, sharing a meal together (or a doughnut).
To help you better understand, for me, a normal week during wedding season looked something like this:
Saturday – Wedding days are an easy 12 or 13 hour day. I shoot would typically shoot the wedding, download photos, rate photos, then go to bed with a very worn out body. I would choose to drive home really late or get up early & drive back home to be back for church to support Kevin & to see our family.
After my moms cancer diagnosis, I began thinking of what 2016 would look like: needles, infusions, chemo, radiation, doctor visits, medication…..moments I wouldn’t have chosen for myself or my family. But yet, thats what we face. And with all that lying before us as a family, and all the other things I want to be present for this year, I’m setting a new vision for my business.
- In 2016 I will shoot no more than 10 select weddings. These will be weddings that I prayerfully consider before booking.
- For 2016, I’m saying no to other types of sessions so that I can spend time with my family. I will no longer be photographing family portraits, senior portraits, maternity or lifestyle portraits. (If you have already booked a session, of course I will honor that!)
- To compensate for the above, and still be able to photograph for the families I so greatly love, I will be offering 3 rounds of mini sessions in 2016. The dates for those sessions are as follows: March 19, July 30, November 12. I plan to stick to those dates….unless there’s a lack of interest or if something unforeseen happens in my mom’s care & I need to cancel or reschedule.
- As best as humanly possible, any engagement sessions will be scheduled on Wednesday or Thursday evenings like I did in 2015. Kevin is away on those evenings and by me shooting while he’s not at home, I’m not compromising our time together as husband and wife. The weekends will be reserved for family time, weddings or the occasional bridal shoot!
- I’m not sure what 2017 will look like, if these changes will stay the same for then or if it will all be different….for now, I’m just taking it one day at a time.
- I will still be blogging. Heck, I may be blogging more….who knows? For a long time I’ve wanted to blog recipes from my kitchen, goals & dreams, our house renovations, essential oils, and natural living…..so keep an eye out. I promise I won’t be silent.
Proverbs 3:6, promises that He will make our paths straight if we acknowledge Him in all we do.
There is no perfect job. There is no such thing as perfect health on this side of eternity. There is no perfect spouse. There is no perfect church. There is no perfect time to have kids. There is no perfect decision. Each choice will have just enough imperfections to make them some combination of good and not so good. The great news is that my imperfections will never override God’s promises. God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well.
God, I trust You beyond any fear I have of making the wrong decision. Today, I hand over all my uncertainties to You. May you glorify yourself in my life in 2016.
I hope all of this makes sense to you, clients & friends. Thank you for supporting me in my dreams & in my desire for a more intentional year. As weird as it may seem, I’m looking forward to a more empty calendar and seeing how much time I can spend with my family & friends. I promise I don’t love you any less. I just need some space with the Lord, surrounded by those I love, to breathe, rest & dream again.