Well friends it is an end to a chapter. I have officially closed down my photography business. Website down. Domain is now available.
Yes. It’s true.
My first official photo I took for a client in 2011.
It was the perfect creative outlet in grad school when I wasn’t able to commit to my music or reading hobbies. Picking up a camera for a few photos was an easy way to use that right-side of my brain that was being horribly neglected.
You may not remember when I got my “real” camera but it was a few days before Matt broke his foot. So the first “real photos” I have is of my attempt to be creative with his crutches. And in hindsight — it was also the first glimpse of my desire to do lifestyle photography!
For 5 years, I grew my business — At the top of my calendar in a year, I had 30 family sessions in the fall and 5 weddings. And this was on top of my full-time job I had outside of the home.
But as life changed, so did my time commitments. But most importantly, how I found joy in this hobby also changed. Smiley faces and giggling kids and cuddly couples are SO AWESOME — but for me, I only truly felt fulfilled when I knew the people behind the lens. With each “client” session I accepted, I realized the extra cash wasn’t necessarily an equal trade-off for the hours in the evenings of editing, worried about getting “that perfect photo”, and the exhaustion that comes from an hour of small talk and crying kids. Don’t misunderstand, I knew I was sharing a gift and bringing joyful memories for these families, but I felt the nudge to back away.
So for 2 years I slowly did the hard work of saying “sorry, but not this year” when I got those client emails asking for sessions. And then last year I made the leap to say no to all clients…..
But I eagerly said “yes” to family and friends.
Because I LOVE taking photos of people I know. Seeing them behind the lens brings me a joy that it hard to describe. The tickles and cuddles, the leaves in the air, throwing rocks in the water, the splash of the sprinklers — I love capturing their story.
So last week Matt and I took down the website and social media pages. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll rebrand, with a new name, with new lifestyle photography session offerings. But right now I have a full plate with my friends and family. My kids. Donating to families in our circles and church and coworkers that can’t afford an session but can afford an hour hang out with our family and I happen to have a camera.
Perhaps the most interesting outlet will be a repeat of what happened last autumn — donating my time/skills for raising money for different missions or adoptions or whatever it may be. It is possible all my years of experience was gearing me up to use my talents in this way too.
I think above all, this hobby, while is no longer a taxable business, will continue to be one I pursue with all my heart. I will keep capturing the powerful stories people around me, our companions, and continue to document our everyday as well. May this blog continue to bring you joy and encouragement and a glimpse of our life!