Direction Going Forward
Recently I had a social media break to give myself the time and space to refresh my creativity and to gain some focus & clarity around everything from business to life.
Initially I struggled with the idea of taking this time off, that it would come across as unprofessional and that the lack of consistency would scare potential clients away. It turns out it’s been an absolute necessity, for my soul yes, but even just as much for my business. Creative health is fragile and I’ve learnt that I’m not one who can shoot endlessly and stay inspired.
The word ‘burnout’ seems to have a lot of negative connotations around it, like something is seriously wrong. For me it didn’t mean I wasn’t feeling inspired or happy. It was quite the opposite - I was overwhelmed with ideas, inspiration and just pure gratitude for life. The problem was that it felt like it was trapped inside me and I had no chance to explore any of it. There was no space, it felt like every second was consumed with doing, doing, doing, completing task after task without being able to take a breath. Of course there were moments throughout the day where I felt at peace, (like starting my days by the ocean with Zac & Winston) but the ongoing mental list of ‘everything-to-be-done’ was still weighing heavy on my shoulders and the days seemed to escape me.
I realised I had to take a step away from the thing that was probably creating the most anxiety around the relentless obsession with doing. That was social media. The mind trick for myself was actually announcing it and saying how needed it was. It meant I was then able to not worry about what others/potential clients would think - I had a reference for them to see why I wouldn’t be posting and for some reason this helped a lot. The break was wonderful! It allowed me to focus on finishing the final edits of wedding & client galleries, take the time to gather my thoughts, think about where I want to take the direction of my business, finally start to practice yoga (loving it so so much), slow down and be a whole lot more present for myself and my family.
While the burnout & overwhelm might have started with social media, it also stemmed from photographing a lot of weddings at the same time as starting a family. Photographing weddings is hands down one of the biggest honours and is not something I take lightly or flippantly. When I shoot a wedding, I am one million percent there, usually crying during the ceremony, laughing with families and guests, and revelling in all the beauty and magic that surrounds me. Every wedding day leaves me feeling on top of the world with life and love and just so appreciative that my photography journey lead me this way. But it’s also emotionally exhausting work that requires endless amounts of pure authentic energy to be able to produce at the best of your ability and to give the best to your clients who have trusted in you. I’ve been thinking about the best way to move forward with how I approach wedding photography and I’m excited to start capping how many weddings I shoot per year to 10 max. This will allow me to be able to give my all to wedding clients whilst staying creatively inspired for myself, which I’ve learnt is very important for a wedding photographer.
I’m feeling a lot more relaxed when it comes to business and the direction I want to take. I want to allow for more flow, variety and the space to explore. Have the ability to see where personal projects could take me, focus a little more on the print shop and shoot for a wider variety of jobs that I feel I haven’t been able to pursue or chase after. To have the space to be present in motherhood and family life, to enjoy the chaos of soon raising TWO boys under 2 while still being able to provide for my family and staying true to my passions beyond being a mother.
It’s unbelievable to think that we’re in the second half of the year already — what a whirlwind! Here’s to slowing the whirlwind down a bit or to just giving ourselves the space to really enjoy it.