Seeking Balance in Life and Photography

OK. So. Moment of truth here…
I am struggling. It’s been 21 months since I had my baby and I really thought I would have achieved some sort of work/life balance by now. It’s distressing to see the days flying off the calendar. My To-Do list seems to be growing at the same rate as my laundry pile (which is truly horrifying). Obviously my priorities are 1) My family; and 2) My work… But somewhere after priorities 1 & 2, I’ve gotten confused regarding how to balance the remaining 10,000 other things vying for my attention.

With all these other “should-dos” and “must-dos”, it’s been tricky to fit me into my own schedule.

I need to do self-care stuff like exercise, eat healthy, lose the extra baby weight, put on make up, lighten up on the dry shampoo, stop with the messy bun, brush my hair, make sure my clothes match, stop eating Hot Pockets while answering emails, blah, blah, blah… The truth is I’ve just not been able to get my head into *myself* on a regular basis. Most days I feel like a hot mess who is wildly in love with her business and family but who looks a little like a train just hit her… As a perfectionist, it’s hard to forgive myself for these inadequacies. I’m doing my best even if right now “my best” looks pretty imperfect.

So, with this as the backstory, it’s no surprise I’ve not been in a ton of pictures because I don’t totally love the new look I’ve established for myself… Fast forward to this past weekend, when I went out with my husband and kids so our boys could practice baseball. I sat in the outfield with Viv and took a few shots of her and the boys. My oldest was out retrieving some of the balls he’d hit our way. I asked him to take a picture of me and the baby since she was being so cuddly. There were some shots of me looking at the camera, but at some point, my middle son started hitting again and wanted me to watch him. That moment lead to this shot, and I decided to edit it. It’s kind of a “nothing” picture but is pretty special to me for all these reasons…

Sweet baby and I, cuddling in the outfield, captured by my son.

As I wrote this post, it occurred to me that this is one way in which I do prioritize myself…

I take photos and edit photos and then share them on social media.

Interacting with other artists, taking about my passion, showing off my growing kids, seeking to transform the mundane to the magical… It’s a joy. It’s ME time. I step out of both mom and business owner mode for a little bit and get to be a part of a community of artists. Even if only one other person shares my excitement, I feel like I have a kindred spirit out there, and a connection is made.*

I have two passions: Family and Art. For years I’ve flirted with how to separate these passions for the sake of better social media performance. But it’s just too much. At least at this point in my life. I do not have the most organized, cohesive social media portfolio. My brain gets tugged in different directions and I’m not willing to edit myself in regard to what subjects and styles intrigue me. Some days I want to document my kids, some days I want to create fairytales…but where I AM consistent is that I make myself happy by creating and sharing art every day. I am as passionate as I was back in art school. I am as excited as the day I bought my first camera. When it comes to art, I focus on doing exactly what feels “right” to me. I follow that passion. While it may be true that social media doesn’t reward portfolios that are all over the place stylistically, I didn’t become an artist to have anyone dictate anything to me, especially not a stupid algorithm. So in that spirit, here are a few images of my kids and my dogs. These are my beloved anchors who give me the inspiration and emotional fuel to create the other things (when they aren’t making me crazy). Next week I’ll be back to fairytales but for now, this feels like self-care.

One of my two ball players.

Little Miss, exploring the world.

Excited baby, eagerly watching for her brothers to come home.

Toddler + Dogs. Endlessly amusing.

For any who might be interested…

The majority of the images here were shot with the Canon 5Dsr and Tamron 85mm 1.8 and Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 lenses. The images were edited with the new releases: Illuminations Instant Overlay Actions, Vol. 2, Lightscaping Instant Overlay Actions and Green Tone Correction Actions.

* Want to connect more? Here is a link to my newsletter, my Facebook users group, and also my BRAND-NEW Flickr Group. I’m hoping that Flickr under new management can be the fun and artistically rewarding place to share art that it once was. I’m prioritizing Wednesday mornings for Flickr image sharing.

6 Comments on “Seeking Balance in Life and Photography

  1. I love the main photo of ViVi but the take outs are just fantastic! My heart!

  2. Jessica, I have been one of your silent followers for a long time now. I have a link to your site on my “bookmark bar”, but have not visited in a very long time until tonight when I was testing my new internet connection in my office, and clicked on your link. So glad I did because it reminded me why had bookmarked your website to begin with.

    Love your work, and love your candidness and priorities in life. You are truly an inspiration. Stay cool.

  3. Beautiful portraits. I love your editing style. And I know how hard it can be to try and maintain balance between family and work. I’m still struggling and my little one is almost seven. Take it easy on yourself. It’s hard being a mom and a business owner.

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