As it goes with everyone, before I had kids…I had time. Precious, sweet, self-directed time. I was raised in a home where we practiced things like: “do it right the first time, or don’t do it at all”, “if you want it done right, do it yourself” and “money doesn’t grow on trees.” So I did it myself. And I did it to the best of my ability. I earnestly saved every penny I earned thinking that was the best way.
I knew a local family who ran an oil-changing business in town. They worked hard, did a great job and saved all the folks who went to them loads of time -or so I’d heard. I felt proud of them for what they had achieved with their business, but I still changed my own oil, because “why would I pay $60 when I could do it myself?” It was a badge of honor for me to scrub the smell of transmission fluid out of my clothes and walk around town with oil under my nails, albeit in high heels. I could do it, so I did it.
The same was true for my budding photography business. I studied “the experts” from afar, read everything I could get my hands on and did it all myself, including pulling all-nighters to edit.
What I should have done was intern like there was no tomorrow, hire out and focus all my precious time on honing my craft. Rather than spend a decade doing everything myself, I could have spent a year shooting everything in sight, focusing on technically shooting better and finding my own personal photographic voice.
Here I am 13 years later, finally learning to use my now VERY limited time better. Time needs to serve you to the best of it’s ability. It’s that non-renewable resource in life that you can never get back. And the older I get the more clear that becomes.
These days I shoot much, much less, focusing on each frame rather than trying to capture each blink. I shoot film now as well, and as that hobby is slowly integrating itself into my business model, it has taught me to be deliberate about every image. And I LOVE it.
I now outsource to some wonderful companies like ShootQ, for all of my bookings, contracts & business management; Pixieset, for private online ordering galleries; and Essential Edit, for culling and basic editing.
All-night editing is a thing of the past for me. I’ve moved on to all-night baby monitoring & zombie-state sleep instead. I still do final edits on my work before it goes out the door, but I’ve learned the trick for me is to hire out for the mundane culling & initial mass editing.
Now when I get my honed down, balanced out wedding gallery back, I actually ENJOY doing a few final touches and edits to make sure it’s looking 100% like my vision for it.
I trust my team of editors to cull and check that my exposures all match for a consistent look throughout the shoot and in the meantime, I sip champagne & enjoy a refreshing summer dip in the pool with the kids (which actually means I’m feeding chickens, watering the poolside herb garden, and folding laundry all while controlling the chaos in the water).
Oh yes, it’s the glamorous life.
But it’s mine, and it’s what I make it, and I’m blessed to s-l-o-w-l-y be getting wiser so that my little bit of free time can now be spent intentionally doing what I love with those I love.
* This post was previously written as a guest blog post for my pal Leon over at Essential Edit. Such a wonderful friend I trust my editing to, and an inspiring business owner. *