Reviving My Creative Spirit: If You Build It, They Will Come

Starting my business this past year has been a whirlwind of emotions:  excitement, anticipation, exhaustion, elation, disappointment, and so on.  There is so much more to running this business than taking photos and getting paid.  Advertising, social media, accounting, responding to inquires, web design, blogging – none of which is what I actually want to do as a photographer!  This is a full load of work WITHOUT including the actual photography work:  sessions, editing photos, creating galleries, processing orders, etc.  On top of that I am trying to squeeze all of this into less than part-time hours while I’m taking care of my baby girl (who knew one little baby could be so demanding?!  Cue all mothers out there raising their hands…)!

In all this hustle and bustle trying to be a Jill of all Trades, I’ve found myself forgetting why I started all this.  I’ve found myself so stretched for time that I seldom take pictures for fun.  All my spare time is spent trying to get the word out that I’m in business, trying to bring in clients, trying to somehow set myself apart from all the other photographers in the area… 

And these past 2 weeks it started to sink in – It’s the photos that will set me apart.  The one thing I have not been doing lately is the one thing that I should be doing constantly.  Granted I can’t just stop doing all the things above – my pictures will do me no good if nobody sees them.  But the point is, my creativity should not be put on the backburner as a second thought.  It should be driving all the other things that I am doing – it is the main course and the fuel in my tank.  It is the most important aspect of my business and I have been neglecting it.

About two weeks ago I finally set aside time to take photos of my baby and me.  I have been wanting to take photos of us like this since she was born, but I didn’t have a remote until recently and so it didn’t take priority.  Thinking back to that day, I’m pretty sure my thought process was something along the lines of, “Come on, Cece, and let’s try this out.  It won’t take long.  We need to test this for when we take the time to do it right.” 

jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg

My remote was being a little finicky and would not set off the camera if it weren’t being pointed directly at it.  I didn’t think it would be as noticeable as it turned out to be, but also I thought I would be taking the pictures again so I wasn’t that worried about it.  That said, I was actually very happy with how they turned out and if I do decide to take them again, I’m not sure I would be able to capture expressions as well as I did in some of these.  

jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg
jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg

Besides having some beautiful pictures of my baby and me, I learned quite a bit from taking these and realized what I would do differently next time.  And THAT is why it is so important for me to make the time to just shoot and be creative.  And HOPEFULLY other mothers out there will see these and say, “Wow, I wish I had pictures of my baby and me like that.”   Wait for it, here comes the money shot!

jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg
jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg

While I enjoy shooting traditional maternity, engagement, and family photos, I would be ecstatic to have a client with an artistic vision in mind…something outside the box, something that we could work together to bring to life. 

jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg
jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg
jamie leonard photography, maternity, baby, best.jpg

Taking these photos reminded me so much of photos I took of my husband and I years ago when we were dating.  When I was just falling in love with photography and it was an art form I was just discovering.  I want to fall in love with photography again and I am going to make that happen.  No more setting my camera aside constantly because I have more important administrative work to do.  It’s not the end of January yet, I think I can still squeeze in another new years resolution:  Make time at LEAST one day a week to shoot creatively.  Sounds simple but more importantly, it makes sense.  I can’t expect people to approach me or contact me about creative shoots if I don’t put my creative work out there for all to see.

Expect to see a little more variation from me in the future.  I’m hoping this phrase has some truth and substance to it:  “If you build it, they will come.”  Wish me luck reviving my creative spirit!

Contact me if you would like book a session!