May 9, 2016

4 ways being a Mom has made me a better Photographer

Life as a Mompreneur and Momtographer is quite the experience. Sometimes the realization that these are my monkeys and this is my circus is a little shocking. But I love this crazy life of mine. I love these monkeys that hang on me. I love my jobs.

With yesterday being Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood and how it has and does affect everything in my life. I’ve recognized for a little while now how Motherhood is helping me grow as a person. More patience. More contentment. More reliance on God. I’ve known that being a mom while trying to build and grow a business is hard, but just recently I came to the realization that it is also helping me be a stronger and better business woman and photographer at the same time! 
1. Efficiency
I am learning ways to be as efficient as I can. I can’t spend hours and hours and hours each day editing photos and playing with my website. I can’t sit and interact on social media for large chunks of the day. I need and want time with my family. My kids need me during the day. Cameron needs me when he gets home from work. And I need all of them! I’ve had to learn how to make my editing time fast and efficient. I’ve had to learn ways to shave time down. Being able to spend quality time with my family and quality time on my business is important! I can’t do both if I’m not efficient!
2. Better family photographer
Having children of my own has helped me understand more the stress and the time it takes to get a family ready for anything! And then there’s the worry that your kids will act up or just not cooperate in public or for the photographer. My patience has grown, my ability to calm nerves has deepened, and my sense of humor has grown. And when it comes to the family portrait time of weddings, this comes in handy with the limited time frame! 
3. I’ve learned to say no. 
This is big for me. I used to only say “no” if it was followed by “problem”. But I’ve had to learn to leave off the “problem”. I can’t take on every single shoot every single time. I used to worry that turning down shoots would hurt my photography, but it has strengthened it! I’ve learned I don’t have to shoot every single thing that comes my way. I found that I’m not a baby photographer. It’s not where my heart is and it’s not the kind of photography I’m good at. I learned that taking on too many shoots in a week makes me frazzled at home, and makes me less able to serve my clients like I want to. Declining sessions I don’t specialize in and referring them to other photographers helps the clients get the photos they deserve, helps other photographers, and helps me to showcase the work I want to be doing. Declining sessions when I’m booked up makes sure that I can give my clients the best possible experience, and often the sessions I have to say no to because of scheduling will end up booking me for a different time when time isn’t as tight. 
4. Scheduling and “rituals”
This goes along with efficiency in a way, but I thought it deserved it’s own point. The days that I just kinda wing are the days that less gets done and are often the more frustrating days in every aspect. When I follow a schedule and stick to my morning rituals, the days go MUCH better. In my life right now it looks something like this. In the morning we wake up and everyone gets dressed. No lounging in PJs. If there is laundry to be done, I get the first load in the washer. Then we have breakfast and tidy up the kitchen. After that it’s chores and play time. The computer stays off! I stay off of social media on my phone. Around noon we eat lunch, and then it’s nap time for the kiddos. This is when I’m allowed to turn on the computer and work on editing, blogging, emails, classes, etc. This “schedule” is key for me. The lure to get on the computer before noon is huge, especially when I have a lot to do. But almost without fail, if I get on the computer before noon, by the end of the day the kids are more cranky, I’ve done nothing around the house or for meals, and I’ve wasted too much time on social media. This exact ritual/set of rules won’t necessarily work for everyone, but it is what I’ve found to be my key to productivity. Find a schedule and ritual that works for you and stick to it! 
Of course he’d be picking his nose. But it makes this photo more funny and real life! Oh I love these littles of mine! 
Those four points may seem simple, but they are pretty big points in my life right now. I love this family of mine. I love this business of mine. I love this time in my life. I want to keep loving it and growing all aspects. For too long I thought I’d have to keep motherhood and business separate. I didn’t see how they could possibly mix for the good. But they do! 
If you’re a fellow Momtographer and/or Mompreneur struggling to get through the days, the work, and the loads, hang in there! There are hard days. Really hard days. But there are wonderful and fabulous days too! These tiny humans we get to raise are fabulous and they are helping us all be better people in so many ways! I’m rooting for you! 

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