Hello Everyone! It’s 2023!
It has been a while since I have been active on my blog and social media sites. When the closures happened in 2020, I was still determined to keep up with the blog, but the last half of the year changed a few things for me.
So here are a few updates on what I've been up to during this time.
1- Health issues
This was probably the main thing that changed for me because, in the same month of the lockdowns, I developed sciatica so bad that it hurt to walk, stand and lie down. It was so bad on my right side that my foot would tingle and go numb and was scary when I was driving. Since Covid was a big issue, I never went to get it taken care of early on and suffered through it from March to August. At that point, I couldn’t take it anymore. Through September and December, I started physical therapy and the difference it made was huge. I managed to continue working during the school portrait season which required a lot of sitting and strain on my back, but I made it through.
I didn’t realize how burnt out I was with my business. As an introvert being on social media and blogging so much to push my business took a lot out of me. I felt like I had to be on all the time. I also had a love-hate relationship with social media. I was seeing so much negativity on those platforms that it was getting to me. I didn’t have much mental energy to deal with it when I was already using most of that energy to make it through the day with my health issues. I decided to put a pause on it, and unfortunately, that lasted longer than I wanted it to as I struggled with the motivation to come back.
3- I took a part-time job
With no real sense of what was going to happen with my business, in that, it was a non-essential job and shut down in 2020, I wanted to do something. I looked for something that wasn't related to photography or business and found a job as a caregiver for autistic children.
I didn't give up photography completely, I had school portrait bookings in the fall of 2020 for schools that were open and some parents hired me for holiday portraits. I was very thankful for this caregiving job because it worked with my schedule and as the fall started, I had physical therapy two days a week and school portraits in the morning and they worked with me.
Caregiving gave me a sense of doing something good for others that was different than serving my photography clients. (It also gave me needed knowledge for how to photograph autistic and special needs children.) I really enjoyed it and I am still working with those clients. (If you or someone you know needs caregiving help check out BHH Services for more information.)
This segues me to number 4.
4- I earned my CNA license
At the beginning of 2021, I felt like I wanted to do more with the caregiving industry. I enjoyed caregiving so much that I thought it would be a great skill to have. I took it as an opportunity to have options and my idea of only doing photography to be successful shifted. I can have multiple forms of income. I really enjoyed the work. I spent my clinical in a long-term care facility and after a year of dealing with sciatica, I was able to do the heavy lifting and use my back to pass the physical necessities of the job. September 2021 I passed my exam. I have yet to use my license as an official CNA, but I do use it as a caregiver and for family members who have needed help that I could offer.
5- Getting back to photography
After about two years of not marketing my business and only doing work that I was either already committed to (school portraits) or past clients and my family booking me, I finally felt like I was in a better head space to come back but I started slow. I partnered with a photography company Spotlight Studios based in San Diego that hires photographers for family portraits. I am their Orange County family portrait photographer. I wanted to just focus on creating portraits for families again and only do that for the year. That's what 2022's focus was and I've seen my desire to start blogging, posting on social media, and doing marketing grow again.
Family portraits are my favorite sessions. The memories I help create for my clients bring me joy. Memories that they can hold on to, cherish and share with their loved ones. That's what ignited my motivation—highlighting the love between family members and their unique characteristics by not only taking their portraits but by making it easy to get the photos off of the computer and onto walls, tables, and desks. Maybe even giving them as gifts to grandparents.
It's been a journey and it's getting more exciting! I hope you will stick around for all the updates coming along. My goal is to blog weekly with family sessions, tips for photo sessions, and more!
Don't forget it's never too late to start anything, no matter if it is starting a new business, restarting an existing one or maybe you want to have more family portraits taken this year. The time to start is today!