Sometimes I get burnt out, if I'm honest. I'm not sure what really happens. Maybe it's just a lack of creativity coursing through or perhaps it's the oversaturation of the market or it may just be a good mix of the two. But, sometimes I lose the zeal for photography.
Toward the end of last year and earlier in 2016, I struggled with thoughts of shutting the business down. I couldn't feel my worth anymore. I am proud of the work I present clients with but I was struggling with my personal worth in the work world. I felt like all of the effort I placed into photographs wasn't worthwhile. I wondered if this journey, the journey as a photographer for business, had come to an end. I cried to my husband about it. His schedule had taken off with his new job and I was carrying even more weight around the home than I had before. And, I was troubled with the idea of not being able to give enough time to Avalynn. But, photography and this business help me remain "Erin" in the midst of being "wife" and "mom" and, deep down, I was terrified of losing that piece of me.
My business has grown so very much in the past year. The move two years ago really hit it hard but I built it back from the ground up to a point of steadily booking. I couldn't imagine giving all of that up. Yet, every time I picked my camera up, there was nothing there. And, as hard as it is to even say it, I had even lost the desire to photograph my own life; something that I hold to utmost importance. I found myself pulling my phone even more than normal while my camera sat in a corner of the office, gathering dust.
So, I took it out a few weeks ago. I made a vow to start using it more for personal photographs, to start getting those special, every day moments on camera again. My daughter is, hands down, my favorite subject. And, deep down, I knew that if I could just start photographing her again, I would find that spark. And, I was right.
There are thousands (and, I literally mean thousands) of unedited, untouched, high res photographs of my little girl on my hard drive. I used to pull out my camera every where. I have vowed to do that again. Because, when I get back to the root of what inspires me, I feel driven to work again.
I was reminded, when chatting with a fellow, business-owning friend last week, about the promise that I made to myself when I first took a leap and created Erin Kent Photography. That was that, the moment I ever felt like this was a "job," the moment I felt like taking photographs was mundane and a chore, was the moment I would shut it down and get back to just photographing my own life. I'm thankful that God saw fit for me to continue on this journey and to continue photographing your lives, as well, even if booking has been trimmed back significantly.
I know not everyone will understand it. For me, photography is extremely therapeutic and a necessity. I panic at the thought of not having beautiful images to look back on someday. And, in many ways, I panic at the thought of not sharing that with others. My "aha" moment came when I held my first session of 2016, a bridal session. And, I left that session feeling rejuvenated. I need that good start to business. Avalynn had kindled the flame and a successful, paid session ignited the fire.
I hope it keeps burning for a long time.