Fifteen months ago, baby June came into our lives and changed the world—my perspective, my work, and everything I knew of it. I looked into the lens and saw more than what previously met my eye. June’s existence continues to gift me with more knowledge, appreciation, and truth as I continue my journey in this profession as a photographer, entrepreneur, and mother. Here are five ways motherhood taught me to be a better photographer & business woman:
1) Appreciation for Time: Before I became a photographer, I was working a full-time job as an Intelligence Officer in the military. I bemoaned my lack of time to pursue my part-time passions in photography. Now that I’ve taken on motherhood, I scoff at the pre-motherhood me. I had all the time. Yes, we have the necessary boundaries that most of us live in—our jobs, our children, our responsibilities, the time we spend making meals for our family, laundering our clothes, grocery shopping—these boundaries are gifts to us only if we dare receive them this way. They’re gifts because having to squeeze and pour our passions into the tiny margins of our lives is a beautiful thing. And when we don’t have the endless amounts of time to do what we love, the hours that we find the time to do these things become more precious. For me, I’ve found that deep and genuine creativity are born in these places.
2) More Than Meets the Eye: I found that reality as a mother is no different from my peers. There are times of unwitting despair and there are times of utter delight. Child-rearing is a mess but it’s a beautiful one at that. The mothers that you see in my photos standing in a golden field, clad in perfect prarie-like dresses, windswept hair falling in all the right places, holding their sweet little ones is only a piece of the full picture—there’s complete value and validity in that single moment and the war story behind it. My engagement and wedding sessions are no different. Behind the snippets of perfect visuals of romance and love, there is a story and it is so very raw. It’s a story of a broken hallelujah and that is a beautiful thing.
3) Patience + Persistence: Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual…shucks. Instead, there are a plethora of books, blogs, videos, magazines, and outspoken mothers who will “highly” recommend how-to’s and what-to-do’s. A lot of these contradictions makes it more difficult to navigate motherhood. Motherhood has never been more prominent in the zeitgeist. We’re told be independent, be dependent, be self-sufficient, multi-task, single task, feed this not that, teach this not that, #mompreneur, #youcandoitall, stay at home, dress up, dress down, get it together. So on, and so on. This elusive and unattainable idea of motherhood makes it nearly impossible to feel like we’re doing anything right. What I’ve learned though is that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. We fall, we fail, but we get right back up. Entrepreneurship is no different. There is no such such thing as the perfect business woman, perfect entrepreneur, perfect artist. Success stories aren’t made up of perfection. Success stories are made up of failure and set back. All you have to do is keep trying.