Winter Convention

February 21st, 2014

Earlier this month, I was at PPI winter convention in Des Moines.  I have so much fun seeing my good photographer friends at this event!  A personal challenge that I have taken on is working towards my Masters Degree with the Professional Photographers of America.  This involves accumulating a certain number of educational merits and print competition merits.  I already have plenty of educational merits – not too hard to do when you love learning more about a career you are passionate about!  I am just over half-way to my goal of 13 print merits.  This is not an easy process.  It involves being far more picky about details than you would ever dream of “fixing” in an average portrait.  I have participated in competition for several years now, primarily because it is making me a better photographer.  But, now that I have my eye on the “prize” of achieving my Master’s, I am learning how to pay even more attention to certain details.  This year I received a second place award for the “portrait of a man” category and I was a top 10 award winner for my print case entries.  Now these images will go on to the regional and national competitions.  The process is challenging &  frustrating at times, but always exciting!

Priorites – Changes in 2014

February 1st, 2014

It started with my spice cabinet.  I recently watched a t.v. show where they said spices were good for like a year or so.  I knew that I had spices that were more than 17  years old.  Many of them moved over here with us from our home in Mason City.  In June, we will have lived here 18 years.

 

This cupboard bothered me every time I opened it.  It was overflowing with bags, expired containers, and of course all of those old spices.  So out came every container.  I washed each one, scrubbed down the shelves, dumped all of the old spices…  And with each little improvement in my cupboard, I felt a bit lighter.

 

Next, I moved on to the cabinets in our bathroom.  I pulled out every item, as I had done in the kitchen cupboard.  Our son walked in to talk to me while I was in the midst of my mess.

 

“What are you doing?”

My response:  “I’m cleaning out my life.”

“Your LIFE!?”

“Yes, my life.”

 

I have spent a lot of time reflecting with the beginning of the new year.

 

I have worked very hard to build this business, which I love, and I truly feel it is a calling for me.

 

As a woman, can we really have it all?  We can indeed have anything, but everything?  I don’t think it is possible to have everything, at least not all at the same time.  The times I am feeling really good about getting everything done at the top of my game in my photography, I feel I fail a little bit as a mom.  Whenever I am getting lots accomplished on the home front, I feel like I am failing a little in my business.

 

I have made it always a priority in my life to go to as many of my children’s events as possible.  I have also made it a priority to eat as a family for dinner and to be available any time anybody in my family needs me.  But many times, with the photographic work that I have taken on, I feel very stressed trying to balance these 2 areas in my life.

 

It’s 2014 and my son graduates in 2015.    In 2018, a mere 4 1/2 years, our daughter will graduate.  We don’t get that time back.  With Bo & Emma being involved in the amount of activities that they are, I want to really enjoy every moment of these upcoming years.  I don’t want to feel guilty that I am falling short in any area, in family matters or in business.

 

So, I will be taking on less clients in the upcoming months and years.  I don’t know how & I don’t want to make any shortcuts in my business because it would affect the quality of my work.  I refuse to make images that are any less than the very best I can create.

 

This means I will have to say “no” more often.  I do not want to turn down anyone that truly wants my work for their walls.  Therefore, if you already know that you will be wanting wall art of your family in the future, I ask that you please tell me what month you would like as soon as you possibly can.  After I have taken my maximum number for each month, I will have to decline any other clients during that time period.  I found myself having to say “no” three times this last December.  I felt terrible about it.  But, really had no choice if I wanted to maintain the life I want to live with my family.

 

I desire to also fill my life with other wants I have had in the past years.  I want to be able to cook more, to read a book (not just parts), to learn even more about the artistic aspect of photography, and  to have time practicing the concepts I learn.  I want to literally keep cleaning out the areas of my home which are in disarray and cause me inner turmoil, and clean negativity and regret from my soul.

 

2014 is going to be a great year filled with many exciting adventures in my life – with no regrets!

 

Thank you for your understanding, and if you are wanting to schedule an appointment for this year, I look forward to visiting with you soon!

 

Michelle

 

 

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