I have been doing life all wrong and it has just suddenly dawned on me. I think it came on slowly, slowly enough that it went completely unnoticed for .... I don't even know how long, a long time, until yesterday.
I was looking at Elizabeth Messina's photography last night and while doing so I completely lost it. Her photos are amazing. you can see her soul in her photos, I get a sense of how she lives and loves and breathes. THey are all breathtaking images. All I could think about was, What is keeping me from that? What is keeping me from completely letting go during shoots and shooting what I see. Shooting to show how I love, shooting to show passion? Am I happy? Why am I not happy? What is keeping me from relaxing sometimes and just being happy?
Clutter from other peoples blogs, others photos. Clutter from what I think other people want. Validation clutter brought on by my fake social life known as the internet. Facebook, blogging, business, and "getting featured" clutter.
Over the last several months my love, passion, and creativity have been replaced with crap that doesn't matter and that can't coexist with me being happy and becoming better. It might sound like this just applies to my photography but it's not! This applies to everything, this is my whole life!
So what do I do?
First, my mind
Emails, facebook, blogging, forum, and anything else you can think of, ONCE a day, if that.
Looking at any and all portrait, wedding, and family photography, other than my own is also out. This time spent on the internet will now be replaced with more time being mom, wife, daughter, and friend. More cleaning, more cooking, more reading, more music, more writing, more sitting and doing nothing at all. Sewing, knitting, painting, running, swimming, climbing, all more more more.
Second, my home.
We are getting rid of EVERYTHING. ok not everything but pretty freaking close, The goal is to get rid of at least 50% of the stuff in our home. We need 4 plates, 4 plates, 4 glasses, 4 forks, 4 spoons, 4 knifes. A set of bowls, a set of pots and pans, and 4 kitchen towels. Everything else is GONE. 4 towels, 2 sets of sheets, 2 extra blankets ... you get the point. And yes, this does apply to clothes. I think the only thing exempt from is my library but I will be going through even that and only keeping those books that are dear to me.
Third, my business
My passion, my LOVE, my favorite shoots, are babies and toddlers. It is the only time I ever feel I completely let go in a shoot and shoot from my soul, and with PASSION. Like THIS.
So why am I doing anything else? Am I just shooting weddings because I'm decent at it, it's somewhat enjoyable and it makes the real money?
I want to shoot kids, and families in a completely untraditional way. In their homes, and in their pj's. Laughing and jumping on mom and dads big bed, eating breakfast, kissing, hugging, and being a family!
So what does this me for my business?
Slow and steady movement into a completely different market. Learning to say "No" to shoots that don't fit and clients that want something that is not me.
Yes I will still do weddings, I do enjoy them, but I'm done advertising for them and gradually you'll see weddings on my website and blog become less and less prominent. If this means less paid gigs, starting my portfolio from scratch, and staying at me part time job, then great! It only took me few years to get where I am now, and I started with nothing.
Already, just discussing this all with Kerry and setting up a plan, I feel lighter. I feel my passion creeping back in and pushing out all the junk. Happiness isn't in stuff, or money, or even self accomplishments. It's in relationships and experiences and I need to stop what I'm doing and go and have those. Mediocrity creeps up on you fast and I am done living it.
Stay posted, this is going to get awesome.