Alright. Some real talk is about to go down.
After a long break learning to be a mommy and how to balance work, my busy season has started to pick up! I was anxious and conflicted meeting up with Micah & Ursula at the Ballard Locks for their engagement session -- not because of anything that had to do with them, but because for the first time in years I felt like I would fail horribly at my job. It's amazing how a few short months stepping away from the wedding industry can do that; without creating your own you spend hours keeping up with other photographers' work, and suddenly and unexpectedly you feel insufficient. Ill-equipped. Incapable. Irrelevant. It's something I never expected.
I've always known that photography is a passion for me, and I am lucky enough to have this as my job. But something about having a baby puts things in perspective -- that being published isn't the most important thing, or having X-amount of weddings a year will give me mega-photog status, or getting 100+ likes or 1,000+ followers on Facebook isn't the best sign of success. Even though I love my work, I find myself fulfilled in a way I never expected and can't describe since I've become a mom. Somehow changing diapers, pureeing carrots, making up songs about inanimate objects, and dealing with poop (oh, the amount of poop...) has become awesome. Getting to know this little person and being entrusted to take care of him is the 1st thing I'd choose to do for the rest of my life. Above even being a photographer. This realization is frightening, after knowing in my heart and being comfortable for so many years in what my calling is to pursue my passion.
So when an upcoming shoot got me nervous instead of inspired it threw me for a loop. It's almost like I had no desire to do it. I was nervous to leave my family for fear of missing out. I was nervous that my 9-month-old or husband would resent me for choosing work over them. And mostly, I was nervous that after spending all my energy and putting my soul into being a mom every day that I wouldn't have anything left in serving this couple and being creative on my shoot. If photography is my passion, how come this is so hard?! Amazingly, the minute I arrived at the Locks my mind cleared and I realized something so simple: my passion for photography has not changed, I simply have an equal passion to be an awesome mom and wife for my family. The freedom in realizing these things needn't be warring against each other is miraculous.
As I walked through the Locks before my couple arrived, I felt that familiar flow of ideas flooding my brain and the familiar adrenaline rush that comes with the anticipation to capture those ideas in a frame. I loved every minute of that engagement session just like I always have with my work. Micah and Ursula are not only beautiful people (which makes my job so easy!) but are just plain fun to be around. We could have kept shooting for hours!
I'm sure this is the first of many epiphanies on the road of mommy-hood and that beautiful balancing act of work and family. Will I continue to doubt and compare myself? Probably. And I know I will battle the guilt of seemingly "choosing" either Photographer or Mommy/Wife over the other. But, I know for now God has called me to do both things, and I am ecstatic to do them both with passion and my whole heart for as long as He allows.
Thank you Micah & Ursula for trusting in me as your photographer....I cannot wait for your wedding in August!