‘Photographer’ is not my word. It does not define me. It is not who I am. It is not who I expect myself to be.
I’m just me and because photography is something I love and it’s the career I chose I have to work extra hard to make sure it doesn’t define me. The biggest struggle I still have with photography is ensuring I make time for everything else in my life. When I started there were so many late nights doing photography alongside of my ‘day job.’ When I stopped having that day job I assumed I’d have so much more free time to work on photography and have time for life.
Instead it seems to mean I find more time for things like Facebook. Ugh. I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love it because it’s a free marketing tool, but I hate that you can become so engrossed in it at the same time. There are nights where Nick (my husband) and I just are sitting around and I end up refreshing Facebook just looking for something interesting. I know I’m not alone in this. It’s hard to run a photography business where you have to be everything to every one of your clients and everything to everyone else in your family and friends. It can sometimes be a lot of demand on your time.
My most important other love is my husband. Last year we started a project so that even during the busy wedding season of photography or busy weeks for him studying for his PhD, we could still get those nice things said to each other that we need to keep our marriage strong. I can’t remember where I got the idea from, but I know it wasn’t originally mine.
We have a notebook. I ended up just picking a notebook someone had once given me as a gift. You know how when someone gives you a gift and they don’t know you well so they buy you either some sort of blank journal or a basket of smelly lotions? This was one of those kinds of gifts I got years ago and it just was sitting around unused, a traveler’s journal.
While I do travel quite a bit I tend to document my journey with photos and not words. Since only one of us in the marriage seems to be the target of the photos and the other is behind the lens we document our relationship’s ups and downs with our journal. Today is our 2 year wedding anniversary and I found the journal hidden in my laptop bag as I was headed out the door. Admittedly, I read it at a stoplight not far from our street because I just couldn’t wait to see what he wrote. It’s not something we write in daily, monthly, or on any sort of time frame, just whenever we want. We hide it in suitcases when someone is going out of town, in the refrigerator, taped inside the shower, wherever we feel like. It’s part of the fun.
It’s our special book of love letters and I couldn’t have found a better anniversary gift than a beautiful, meaningful, and amazing letter written in it from my husband on the morning of our anniversary. No flowers, no gifts, just words.It’s our way of ensuring we make time for each other in our busy worlds. Especially on days like today where we won’t even be seeing each other on our anniversary. I’m so thankful to have such a wonderful best friend in my life. Make sure you’re not letting ‘photographer’ define you and that you’re making time for all your other loves too.
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