I recognize that it has been quiet here for a little bit. It’s not for lack of interest. The weather hasn’t been as kind to my schedule as I would prefer it to be, so I have done a lot of postponing and rescheduling and crossing fingers for non-rainy days. That’s okay though. This is par for the course for spring, and after six years, it’s nothing I haven’t been through before. Spring is my most favorite of all four seasons, but it’s not the most cooperative of the four.
I was looking back through some old photos of my girls tonight and came across this one, which I had never edited. This is from July of 2008, and my youngest monkey had just turned 4-years-old here. We were spending the day in downtown Chicago, having taken the Metra train from our northern suburban home to see my husband’s neurologist at Northwestern Hospital for his check-up. We decided to make a day of it and we went to Navy Pier and played all day and then rode the water taxi back to Union Station. I remember it being sticky hot. This photo was taken on the water taxi, which provided a much needed breeze in the air. It makes me miss her blond curls and innocent little face. Not that her nearly 9-year-old face is now hardened with age and experience, but I just miss her “littleness” sometimes. Before she had glasses and braces and got gooney eyed over boys.
It also reminds me how much my life has changed over the course of the 6 1/2 years I’ve been in business. In the obvious ways it has changed – my kids have grown up quite a bit, we’ve moved to another part of the country, I’m turning 40 this year, etc. But it’s also changed in terms of what our needs are, what our schedules are like, what direction we find ourselves heading. Some of that was expected, and some of it not. But we’re trying to learn to roll with it.
My oldest daughter will be a freshman this fall and is joining marching band. I’m excited for her. I think she’ll have a blast and I hope that she makes great memories that she’ll look back on for years and years. If nothing else, she’ll get to use the phrase, “This one time, at band camp…” And although I am cheering her on every step of the way, her schedule in the fall is turning my world upside down. Because marching band is pretty intense, and as Chauffeur Numero Uno, I’m finding it challenging to figure out how I’m going to be a busy band mom AND a busy photographer with a business full of wonderfully busy clients. Which is why I am writing this blog post.
No, I am not announcing that I am quitting my business. That’s not what I am writing about, although I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been re-evaluating the direction I need to be going. I haven’t quite figured out how to make her schedule and my busiest season of the business year work yet. I will, but I’m not there yet. In another year, she’ll be driving, so it won’t be as big of a deal (well, the part where she will be DRIVING IN ANOTHER YEAR!!!! is kind of a big deal) but it won’t hamper my schedule as much once she drives herself places. Though I may start having to take sedatives every day.
But I do have to examine what it all means. My kids have moved from the stage where they were young and had no major plans every day except preschool and regular school, followed by playtime all evening until bedtime. How I wanted to lay out our schedule was up to me. Now I am moving into the part of life where their schedules are not up to me anymore. My oldest is turning 15 this summer. She babysits, she is heavily involved in school activities, she hangs out with friends and goes places and frequently makes her own plans. And it’s supposed to be like that, you know, because she is growing up and this is how it goes, but I have to figure out what that means for me and how I can mesh this new phase of her life with my own. I am struggling with that. Not emotionally – although it is always a little shocking at how fast this is going – but logistically.
So, while I figure all of this out, I have some advice for you, my previous and my new clients: Book me this summer. Don’t wait for fall if you really want me because I can’t guarantee what my fall will look like. I will be shooting this fall unless something drastic happens, like a tree falls on my head, but I may very well be shooting less than usual, unless I devise some great plan to play band mom chauffeur 5 nights/week, mom to a 9-year-old who can’t stay home by herself, and photographer to the greatest clients ever.
So, book early. Book now. Don’t procrastinate. It’s going to be a beautiful summer. Let’s remember it together.