Hey friends! Loooong time no see! It's been over a month since I have blogged any sessions, and a few weeks since I've posted any new content on my Facebook or Instagram. That's way too long for a business that heavily relies on the reach of social media!
Hopefully I still have a few followers out there that haven't completely given up on me - and hopefully this post will bring comfort to someone who is dealing with the same struggles I am nearing the end of a busy work season. This is a little bit of a long post, I apologize!
After photographing 10 of my own weddings this year, second shooting for another handful of photographers, driving back and forth to Glacier National Park too many times to remember, attacking my first double-header wedding weekend, finding out I was pregnant the morning of the first wedding of the double-header weekend (a very happy surprise and absolutely exhausting weekend!), having to turn away people wanting fall sessions because I'm maxed out on availability, AND having a really rough first trimester with this baby......... Let's just say that balance has not existed in my life for the last few months. So many opportunities to be grateful for, so little time to fit it all in!
Then, last week, my wonderful Grandma Linda unexpectedly passed away from a massive heart attack, just two days after the year anniversary of my Grandma Stella's passing.
Sometimes it really piles on, doesn't it?
I've learned a few things this season, this last month in particular, that have helped me stay fairly sane when it feels like you've lost control:
1. Outsourcing is worth the extra expense.
Outsourcing my editing has been an absolute life saver for me this season, especially these last few weeks. I cull my digital images down to what my clients will receive, and then send the photos off to Photographer's Edit, an amazing team of people that edit my pictures exactly to how I would at home. I've got my own profile with all of my preferences saved, and they get it done in a fraction of the time it takes me to do them with all the other stuff I have on my plate!
Worth. Every. Penny.
It doesn't have to be just editing either, I also outsource my accounting at tax time, and Ayla gets babysat once a week to give me a solid part of the day to get a bulk of my to-do's done. When baby #2 gets here, house cleaning will probably end up on my outsourcing list too, because I really don't enjoy/take the time to clean my house the way I want it cleaned! Outsourcing gives back time that I then spend with my family, with myself, or on other things to enhance my business.
2. it's okay to say no.
I used to be really really REALLY bad at saying no. I used to take every photoshoot that came my way, on any day of the week, sometimes lowering my pricing to the point that I didn't make any money for my time (or worse, losing money) because of my fear of losing the shoot to someone else. It seemed great at first, but it didn't take long before I realized real quick that there are some things I just don't enjoy photographing. I love cuddling newborn babies, but I stress out hard about photographing them. It's not worth my time to stress all day for a photoshoot I dread going to - so I started saying no to newborn sessions, and I've never looked back!
My time is valuable to me. I can spend every ounce of it doing things that feel obligatory or that stress me out... or I can say no to those things and spend as much time as I can doing things that I enjoy.
3. take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
This might be the number one thing I struggle with the most. I don't EVER take the time to sit and read a book, or to get a massage, or go for a walk by myself to soak up the sunshine, or to take a nap just because I want to. I hardly even take the time to do my hair in the morning! My life is busy, it revolves around my little girl, my husband, and our work lives. I don't see it as a bad thing at all that these things come first on my priority list, they are my world and my biggest passions, the reasons I get up in the morning - but I can't give them my full attention when my battery is constantly blinking on low.
I'm a better mom, better wife, a more inspired and creative photographer, and an overall happier person when I take the time to take care of me. By taking even 15 minutes every day to be by myself to do something for me, it helps me reset and recharge for the day ahead. Every once in a while it takes more than that... a day of shopping or a couple of hours on a hike, or even a week long vacation to feel like I'm recharged to 100%. A full battery can help so many more people than an empty one!
These next few weeks will be my recharge time! I'll be busy taking intentional time off to spend my days keeping things simple and as relaxed as possible. Two weeks at hunting camp with no internet and lots of quiet time, and a week at the United Conference to meet new friends, see a new place, and expand my base of knowledge for my business. It'll be a welcome break to find my inspiration and motivation again!
These are some ways I battle burnout, but I know there are a lot of other ways out there! How do you battle burnout??