“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent.

Caring for myself is an act of survival.”- Audre Lorde

It’s been a crazy year. Am I always saying that? This year has been crazy for different reasons than in the past. This year I have not just side stepped out of my comfort zone, I have jumped my way past my boundaries and have truly sat outside it to see what I would find. It’s been rewarding!

31,016. I’ve taken and given to my clients over 31,016 photos so far in 2016! That’s 31,016 finished photos not including the messed up or duplicates taken. I’ve done 75+ different portraits sessions or weddings, and met with so many amazing couples to coordinate and plan their wedding day. I knew that getting through September would be my big accomplishment for me. It’s been an intense two months! I know you all know this because you see all my sneak peeks that have been popping up.

I’ve grown a lot because of it! The time behind the camera has been an absolute blast, and I have seen my work change and morph for the better. It’s time to be real and admit however that my booming business has grown way outside of what I can handle as a one-man shop. Sustainability is the word that comes to mind. This work has been amazing but at this rate it’s not sustainable in its current existence.

That’s why I will be taking some time off. For the next 3 months I will not be scheduling any new clients or new work. I will be focused solely on my current clients (those who are already booked for this year and next, as well as those who still need their pictures or who I’ll be designing albums and orders for). I will be taking this time off to recover from the upswing, to heal my tired mind and body, and then to redefine how I run this business and to make some big decisions moving forward.

I am the girl behind the camera. I’m not a machine, or a robot- and if I’m being very real, I have been treating myself as I am nothing more than a mechanism to facilitate all this photography for my amazing clients. I truly only have my self to blame, and I hope I don’t sound pitiful as I fully disclose where I am  at. It’s one thing to care about my community, but it’s another thing if that means I care about everyone else more than I care about myself. If I’m not able to take care of myself personally, have some fun outside of my work, have space in my week to breathe and grow…. then I am nothing to my community.

I share this via blog because I want the world to see my vulnerability as I’ve come to this decision. It’s not easy one to make nor announce. It is also way past over due as I have been so far past the point of living in survival mode for far too long. I hope for anyone who is feeling over-committed in your life that you draw strength and courage and remember that you are valuable and that in order to serve others the way you want to, you have to put yourself first. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. Like that Audre Lorde quote above says, “Caring for myself is an act of survival.” It’s true.

As I approach my 2nd year anniversary in business, I know that I want to continue to go for many years to come. I am so grateful for all of community, my phenomenal clients, and those who have claimed me as ‘their’ photographer. I hope if you need a photographer in the next few months that you find a good person to document those moments for you, and I hope that you still claim me in the forefront of your mind as ‘yours.’

You’ll still be seeing my work because I have several already booked sessions and weddings, as well as I’m hoping to actually share more of the work I’ve already done this year in blogs, specialized posts, and updating my website. Hopefully this break is a much needed rebalance that will bring nothing but delight to come. Thank you!