And in month three as a small business owner she just about tripled her income from the month before!
I'm absolutely on a high coming out June and full of gratitude from my toes to the top of my head. June was jam packed with so many fun families, events and projects I can't even believe how quickly it went by. In May I didn't end up doing a monthly recap blog post because I was feeling discouraged and full of self doubt which made it difficult to find anything to celebrate. All my focus was on moving forward and not letting my ego get to me. I knew this journey would be full of wins and losses, ebbs and flows... and May definitely felt like an ebb. I held tight to faith and moved forward with good spirits and it definitely paid off!
In June I booked 14 photoshoots - and the bulk of those were crammed into just two weeks! A few of the highlights from this month were working my first wedding since pre-COVID, working with a couple who turned out to be involved with some of the biggest Native American Motorcycle Clubs in the world (seriously such a cool couple, I'm still fired up about their session and will be writing a separate blog to share more of their album soon!), being the photographer for our friend's band while they played in town, and reuniting with Christy and her family to celebrate their newest addition with some newborn photos.
I'll be honest with you, though, as great as it felt to have the momentum I definitely learned where to set boundaries and not overbook in the future. On a handful of days I felt like I couldn't shut my brain off which led to my insomnia resurfacing and teetering on the edge of burnout. I took a step back and on my days "off" I reminded myself that the company culture I'm creating for myself values rest, space and being present much more than hustle, business and chaos. I took more than a few days to completely shut off my phone and keep my distance from my laptop just to lean into boredom, quiet and peacefulness. I'm learning to say no when bookings feel too crowded in my schedule and see it as my way of making space for better, more aligned clients and bookings in the weeks and months to come. You can have both financial abundance and a theme of calmness at the same time. That's my aim!
I realized this month that "professional" isn't really a word I want to emphasize in my business. While I take my job seriously and want to provide high quality final photo products to my clients, I don't want them to feel like they're in a professional environment working with me. There's no way to say that where it sounds like what I want it to sound like haha. Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that I'd rather people feel laid back, like they can joke around and be themselves than feel like they are being posed, that there's pressure to get a specific shot, etc. Honestly, and maybe more selfishly, I would rather feel laid back and like I can be myself at work than put on a "professional" face and be someone I'm not. I want it to feel like we're just spending time with family or friends and making memories together.
I also realized just how much happier and fulfilled I feel compared to earlier this year. Actually, there's no real way to put the feeling into words. When I juxtapose my current situation with how I felt in March it amplifies my gratitude to a whole new level. I look back and see myself bending over backwards for projects that always seemed to fall short in the eyes of my employers, I see myself irritable with my partner and the people around me and I see myself so freaking afraid of not being worthy if I left that job.
Today, I am in LOVE with my boss. I love that she demands space to do nothing. I love that she doesn't guilt-trip me for not getting things right the first time - instead she'll just think, "Ahhh, okay so that's something I want to change next time. Got it!".
I love that she encourages complete authenticity in how I present myself. I love that she trusts the process. I love that she is me. Today my job feels like play. It energizes me rather than draining me. It forces me outside and to connect with others even when I don't think I need it (spoiler alert: I do!). My job brings me closer to the people I love, not further away from them. I see myself now and I'm so grateful I embraced the complete unknown of this experience but just kept moving forward.
Back in a blog post from February I wrote "Driving away from this photoshoot I was in a complete state of peace and gratitude. Driving back up the switchbacks from Sedona I thought, 'This could be all of my Monday's. This could be how I feel every day after work. This is how I should feel. Photography is freedom.'"
Just four months late, this is all of my Monday's. Peace and gratitude are feelings I get to embody every single day. In pursuing my passion I have given myself the freedom to breathe, connect, explore, create, rest and be present every day. And YES. This is how I should feel.
This is living.