Not Just a Photographer

Its crazy how much can change in such a short time, isn’t it?  Six months ago I was terrified to call myself a photographer.  I was intimidated by the assumptions it would seem I was making about myself if I did.  Now, a few months later, I am constantly needing to remind myself that there is more to me – who I am and the life I’ve been given – than being a photographer.

How did I get here?  What changed my perspective so deeply?

I have no doubt it is in large part due to the incredible support and encouragement I have received.  The responses to images I share and posts I write seem to indicate that the term ‘photographer’ is one I can use for myself without disagreement or disapproval from others.

Unfortunately, I think the encouragement and support I have received has also fed a hunger inside that I didn’t even know I had.  Well, I knew I had it (because we all do) but I guess I didn’t realize it still had such a strong pull in my life.

Affirmation.

It feels pretty darn good to be affirmed in something, doesn’t it?  And when that thing you are being affirmed in happens to be something you love and are incredibly passionate about, well the results can be kinda intense.  I love photography – specifically child and family photography.  I love meeting clients, every moment of our sessions together, and the aftermath of editing and processing images to make them fabulous.

But when affirmation becomes too enticing, our good, God-given passions can turn into slightly consuming obsessions.

When this happens, everything in our lives gets out of whack, and balance becomes a far off ideal that seems completely unreachable.

I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a child of God, a friend, a sister, a neighbor, and so much more.  When I am with the people I love I want them to feel like they are the center of my focus and the most important thing on my mind.  Over the last few weeks, I have realized that this is becoming less and less the case.  Photography has taken over, and while I am smiling and nodding at my husband, I am analyzing how I will edit a certain photo, deciding which image I will pick and post on Instagram, or mulling over the last blog post I read from that photographer I adore.

Not good, friends.  Not good.

So here is the deal:  I am resolving to put photography back in its place.  I am putting my foot down and recognizing that the affirmation and encouragement I receive is meant to propel me forward, not get me stuck in the weeds.  I am lifting my eyes up, and really seeing the world around me, the people God has put in my path, and the amazing opportunities that this new endeavor is presenting.

Photography is an exciting and fabulous part of my journey, but it is not the end.

I’m not just a photographer.

So sometimes I might have to say no to a sweet request for a session, and occasionally the editing will have to wait, and I might even go a few weeks without writing a blog post…  Because sometimes other things, or people, or opportunities, just simply have to come first.

I don’t know where you are at, and how you are doing with balance in your life… but I am praying that you can lift up your eyes and see the whole, big, beautiful picture, too.  You are so much more than what you make, or what you do, or how much affirmation you get.

Life is a precious gift, and all of the different parts we play and roles we fill are important.

Every single one.

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5 Comments

  1. by Vanessa Smith on October 28, 2015  7:56 am Reply

    Great post! Love your images :)

    • by Erin on October 28, 2015  8:12 am Reply

      thank you!

  2. by Lydia Dickson on October 28, 2015  8:08 am Reply

    Thanks so much for writing this post. I feel like I've recently hit a similar place as a blogger, and having been slowed this week by being sick finally had time to step back and get some perspective. I find myself coming to some of the same conclusions, though you put it into words much better than I've been able to thus far.

    • by Erin on October 28, 2015  8:13 am Reply

      It's always to good to know we aren't alone!! Thanks for sharing=)

  3. by Jen Araya on October 28, 2015  5:40 pm Reply

    This is a constant struggle for me. Your not alone :)

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