Alex Beadon’s Feel Good Blogging Challenge : Day 1 of 7
Happy Monday! Kind of an oxymoron to some of us, I know. I’m going to cut right to the chase. I’ve really been in a bit of a funk lately. Not the kind of funk where I haven’t showered for days, but the kind of funk where I haven’t taken care of ME for a long time. Motherhood. That single word encompasses so many emotions for me. One of the most beautiful, yet difficult things on the face of this earth. To have little humans that need you for everything can make you feel so good and want to hurt yourself all at the same time. Over the last year, my biggest struggle has been trying to remember who I am outside of being “mom.” Sometimes I miss connecting with me. One of the things I miss the most…writing. I’ll let you in on a little secret…I kept a journal almost every day from the time I was 9 years old until I was about 25 years old. Writing was my outlet during some of the best and worst days of my life and everything in between.
When I started my photography business over 5 years ago, having a blog was a no brainer for me. I loved taking photos and I loved writing. So, being able to write about what I was doing was a given! Well, 2 kiddos later, I’m lucky if I post once a month, much less meet my old goal of 3 times a week. However, when I saw that Alex Beadon was hosting a 7 day blogging challenge, I jumped right in. I didn’t think about when I would find the time to write this week. I did things the way I used to do things pre-mommyhood. I decided to do something that struck a cord in my soul and figured I’d deal with the HOW along the way. And, yes, I’m writing this while nursing a baby 🙂
Today’s challenge is identifying who I’m talking to on my blog. So, if you’re still with me, that’s a good start. One of my favorite parts about my business is meeting and connecting with so many new & wonderful people. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t connect with everyone. And that’s ok. I used to think I had to be everyone’s friend. I would adjust how I acted depending on who I was with in order to best fit in. It’s exhausting. Even though I gave up on that way of approaching my relationships a long time ago, for some reason I still ran my business that way when I first started…trying to fit into what each client needed. I shot family portraits, birthday parties, seniors, weddings, family reunions, you name it. It’s also exhausting. Yet, every time I sat down to try and identify what I wanted to capture or who my ideal client was, I felt like I hit a wall.
Last year, we booked our first elopement. Then, we booked another one. And another. In fact, we only shot elopements last year. We didn’t set out to do this or market ourselves as elopement photographers. It’s just what happened. And you know what? I fell in love. I had to be hit over the head with what I had been searching for, but sometimes that’s what it takes for someone as stubborn as myself. I love so many things about elopements. The focus of the day is on the couple and their love, not the details or the family drama. Everyone is more relaxed. More present. I feel like I can be my truest self in these moments. My truest artist. I feel like my best work has come from these weddings.
Because of the nature of elopements, I feel like we were able to get to know these couples on a deeper, more intimate level. Each of them was spiritual, but not religious. They all loved kids and were not only accepting of the fact that we were parents, but embraced our kids. Their family was super important to them, but the new family they were starting with the love of their life took priority. Each of the women were strong women. They knew who they were and what they wanted. They were creative & artistic, intelligent & adventurous. And behind each of these amazing brides was an equally amazing man. They were strong, talented, and sensitive. One of the most attractive qualities about them was how they supported and encouraged their brides. We found our people. We identified our client tribe. Yes, we still had the same taste in music and literature as these couples. We still enjoyed shopping at the same stores and visiting coffee shops. We still shared values like eating healthy and taking care of ourselves. But we finally went deeper, beyond these surface connections, and found where we really connected.
When we shifted the website to focus on weddings and engagements, a lot of people wondered if we were still going to do our lifestyle sessions. I’ve honestly gone back and forth over the years about giving up lifestyle sessions. I built my business on lifestyle sessions, but went through a phase where I wasn’t connecting with them. I didn’t feel the passion and excitement like I did with weddings. However, that changed when I got my first call from a previous bride saying that she was pregnant and wanted me to do maternity and newborn photos for her (these are still my favorite calls). And then again when I had kids of my own. So, I will continue to call myself a wedding AND lifestyle photographer. It is such a priceless honor to capture some of the most important moments in someone’s life. And for that I’m so grateful.
I hope to be an authentic voice for the brides and moms out there. I love to have fun & be sarcastic and silly, but I genuinely desire to connect with my readers and help them along their journey however I can. Whether that’s providing tips for how to look great in your photos or how to take better pictures of your toddler.
Thank you for letting me share a little bit of my heart with you today. I wasn’t expecting to be so long-winded, but I guess this is what happens when I keep all of these things bottled up inside of me for so long 🙂
Please come back tomorrow for day 2 of the blogging challenge!