Friday, October 24, 2008

Photography Sabbatical Anyone?

Easter 2007

look, a SP!

What's the one thing that tempts me to go over-budget with my time and money? What's the one thing that's caused me to withdraw from participating in family events? What's the one thing that will keep me on my computer all day, instead of caring for my family?

I've told you before that Photography is a journey, and an addiction, right?

And if you've followed my blog for very long, you've probably heard me lament about how expensive photography is.

But what you haven't heard is how tempting or time consuming it can be. For every click of the shutter, I spend at least 10 minutes processing on the computer.

[That's something that most people don't know about pro photography, by the way. Just because a photographer spends an hour with you, doesn't mean that's all the time they spend on your photos. Far from it. Not that I'm a pro. But I've had a small taste. And I have a deep respect for all the great talent and time that is spent on the beautiful images I've seen on blogs and flickr.]

Anyhow, this hobby has caused me to come to a fork in the road. If I want to pursue photography any further, I'm going to need more equipment, money, and resources. Which basically means I'd need to start charging for the time I spend. I don't think I'm to a skill level yet of being pro. And most of all, I'd need more time...

And the fact is, time is in short supply. Even if I spend every waking moment of my day cleaning house, cooking, and taking care of 3 boys, I'd still never catch up. It's that sacred good mess I talked about before. But then I throw photos into the mix, and I'm getting even less sleep at night.

Bottom line, photography is my hobby and right now I don't have time for hobbies. And I definitely don't have time to start a business.

As life has seemed to get more and more demanding, I finally had a chance to take a breath (thanks, Chuck, for watching the boys so I could...) and evaluate why I can't manage it all. And while quitting photography isn't the cure-all, it would definitely help.

When I started learning how to use an SLR 1.5 years ago, I began to realize how much I loved people, and I loved to take photos of them. I'm not a big fan of pasty smiles and poses. I really love getting pictures when no one knows I'm there, so I see them in their natural state. These types of portraits are definitely fun for me, and why I LOVE kids' portraits. Kids are so good at acting natural! I constantly feel pulled to take portraits of those I love. But having 3 small children throws a wrench in the system. It's either care for them, or take pictures. God's calling on my life is obvious. ;) I can't deny what He wants me to do. It's time to take off the photographer hat, and go back to being a mom, a family member, and a friend.

I originally wanted a SLR camera to get better quality photos of my boys, to document their childhood for them. But as I learned more about SLRs I found myself using it less in "snapshot" mode. It takes time to set settings. Not to mention dealing with the lighting in the room, and abhorring the flash.

So, it's time for me to simplify, get back to the basics. For their sakes, it's more important to have good memories than to have good photos. They need me more than they need a good picture. And the less time I spend on the computer processing those photos, the more good memories they'll have, of a mom who's not as frazzled and short-tempered from trying to do too much.

So, here's my decision...I'm gonna put the camera down. :) I'm going to go back to being a point-and-shoot, no skill, all-auto kinda girl.

This isn't forever. But it's until life with 3 boys slows down.

I am amazed that I have a peace about this, but I do. The idea of life being more manageable makes it all worth it. Photography is fun, but it shouldn't take over your life. And for me, raising 3 boys is simply more important than indulging in the pleasures of photography.

[Note: This doesn't mean that there won't be pics on this blog anymore, just that they will all be taken with my point-and-shoot camera. This goes for the 365 project as well. I'm hoping to get back to being the snap-shot mom, wish me luck!]


Shell said...

I definitely understand and photography is a hobby for me, too. As you know I love it, as well, and definitely know that it can be so time consuming. For me, it'll probably remain a hobby as I'd hate to spend all my free time (I work full-time) away from my two kids just to pursue this professionally. I did have a friend who asked me to do their Christmas photos & I will but this isn't something I'll do often. I'm still making up time for the time my kids lost seeing me when I went to school and worked full-time. It's hard...our children are important & I'll look forward to seeing your point & shoot pics. :-D

Austin and Ashley Evans said...

Not going to lie, I have seen how addicting it can be and I know once we have our little one it will only get worse!! LOVE all your pictures!