Sunday, May 20, 2018

My garden is my photography business

Today I spent 10 hours in the yard, mostly by myself so I had plenty of time to think and reflect. I picked up the dogs "gifts", mowed, trimmed hedges, pulled weeds, (a lot of weeds) took a break to walk to the gas station, about a mile round trip, borrowed a tiller, watched my dad till the garden, raked the dirt, dug trenches, tarped the garden mounds, helped the Mr hang up my new patio curtain, swept the sidewalks, cleared the yard tools off my patio before calling it quits. Somewhere in there I also managed to make dinner and take a few pictures for my nephew! However, I forgot sunblock so as you can imagine I look like a lobster! 

Check out my killer raccoon mask and farmers tan line! I mean does it get sexier than that???

People frequently ask me why I love working in the yard and garden so much, the simple answer is that it relieves stress. Something about working the land and getting my hands dirty! 
The longer more true answer is why I'm blogging. Half of the reason is for the instant gradification I get from pulling weeds or mowing the lawn. The other more important half is the reminder of how I chose to live my life.

Having a garden is hard work, there is no getting around it. Working the land is not easy, growing plants, pulling weeds watering, pulling weeds, spraying bugs, pulling weeds, getting sweat in my eyes, you get the idea. I spend a LOT of time in my yard. I have to dedicate hours each week to make sure my plants are growing and not being taken over by bugs or diseases. Sometimes I kill plants, but I always learn from it and when it's time for harvest it's one of the most rewarding feelings I can have. To know that all my learning, hard work and efforts have paid off. To sit on my patio watching the humming birds eat, listening to my family laughing while we enjoy food that I grew, in a beautiful yard that I maintained, it doesn't get much better for me! 

It's hard sometimes for me to remember that my business is like my garden. I need to dedicate hours each day putting in the hard work to get the results I want, and some seasons require more from me, but in the end the payoff will be worth it. 2015 was an amazing year for my business, I shot more weddings than I ever had and I was loving every second of it. That was until one of my last weddings of the season. For the first time in my career I had someone verbally attack me and my work, it was brutal. Most of the things they were upset about were out of my control, like what flowers were at the Temple and how I should have made them look better. Other things I didn't realize were an issue, like putting certain people in the front of family pictures instead of in the back, or I could have avoided them in the moment. I tried my hardest to do everything I could to make this person happy and in the end I still failed them, in their eyes (and words) I ruined the entire day.

 I had 2 weddings left that year and I couldn't get out of my own head, terrified I would get emails with similar complaints that I had ruined their wedding, how many other people had thought this and never said anything to me?? Thankfully I didn't get any more emails like that, but it was still enough to completely shake my confidence and for me to walk away (mostly) from weddings. In 2016 I only shot 5 weddings and focused more on families, but it wasn't the same I needed my weddings, I craved them, I love being surrounded by love. So last year I went back to weddings. It was a hard year,

People often ask "Oh how is your photography doing" I politely lie to them and say things like "It's going great, I love it" In reality it's not. Last year I finally got pregnant with #2 (YAY) but I was so ill in the spring I had to turn away some weddings, and then my sweet baby came, right snack dab in the middle of fall so not only did I turn away fall weddings, I also had to turn away most of my family inquiries. I made basically $0 last year. Like I said it was hard. I'm still recovering from it, most of my clients come from word of mouth and when you're not shooting, there is no word of mouth. I just need to keep remembering that it's just like my garden, It's spring, the hardest time of the year, the weeds are taking over, everything is dead, and I'm just looking out of the window begging the rain to stop for just a few days in a row so I can get out there and make a difference. It's going to be a LOT of work, putting myself back out there, starting over with some things, but if I put in my hard work soon enough there will be a harvest. My goal has never been to become a millionaire, I just want to pay my bills on time, go on summer vacation and not stress out about buying groceries! 

So here's to putting in the work, and remembering that when times are hard, I just need to buckle down and pull a few extra weeds! 


It's August, and though photography is still slow, and this 2 year "dry spell" has been the most stressful of my life, I have to re-read this post to motivate myself. Also, here is proof that hard work pays off!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Utah Newborn Photography

When my first baby was born (almost 6 years ago!) everyone told me I'd fall in love with 
newborn photography, but I didn't. I wanted nothing to do with it to be honest. The idea of having 
a studio with props and a lighting setup and an endless supply of hand sanitizer, instead of mountains and fields and adults sounded horrible to me! I was a wedding & family photographer, not a newborn photographer. March of 2016 was a hard month for me, we'd been trying to have another baby and we'd finally gotten pregnant, but at 8 weeks I lost the baby. I've never felt so sad in my entire life. Yet I tried to put on a happy face, my brother and his wife were pregnant, due just a month before I was and it was my brothers first child! By the time she was born, I was in a studio *GASP* my intentions were to use the space to meet with my brides and have a back up location for bad weather. I was so excited when my niece was born and offered to do her newborn photos in the studio. At this point in my career I had done about 7 newborn sessions, none of them were anything to be proud about. 

Thankfully my sister in law was super excited about it, and she came to the studio and something in me changed. I still wasn't interested in being a newborn photographer but I also didn't hate the idea as much either. 3 months after she was born, I was pregnant. I was so nervous and trying not to be excited, just in case, but by the time I was about 5 months along, I was already daydreaming up a newborn session. When my sweet baby was born I met up with one of the other girls in my studio and we took some of the most beautiful pictures. That was it, I was sold. I loved everything about it and I knew I needed to take pictures of more babies. I mean, who doesn't want to snuggle babies??

I put out the call asking for a newborn model, and a sweet friend sent her sister my way. I'll be forever grateful! I still thought in the back of my mind, "It wont be the same when it's not MY baby, and I wont want to do it" but that quickly vanished and the session started, and with every newborn baby that comes my way, the more and more its all I want to do! 

This is a picture of my niece, I still had no idea what I was doing!! 

Still learning, but getting MUCH better, this is my sweet baby girl, 1 year after my niece. 

And here is this sweet boy, that was not only a dream to photograph, but confirmed that this is what I really want to do, and that I actually do love taking pictures of precious little newborn babies, in a studio with props, and backdrops. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Eagle Mountain Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Portraits L Family

These sessions are in my top three favorite! The only other two things I love this much are weddings and births! All three are full of real true emotion, things you can't fake, and things that tug on my heartstrings! 

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Mapleton Utah Wedding Photographer {P Wedding}

One of my favorite things about having friends in the photo world is we get to photograph with each other all the time and it's a total blast!!
I had so much fun second shooting this wedding with Angie from Angie Clayson Photography, she is a hoot and one of my dearest friends!!