Where Did My Creativity Go?
Ever feel like everything is caving in around you? Walls closing in around your creativity? Everyone talks about brands and how you have to create this elusive brand to be of more value to your clients. In the end, all the things you loved about the creativity you experienced are sucked out. You get so consumed by business that everything you loved, in my case photography, just dissipates. I went from wanting to carry my camera everywhere and take pictures to ehh I think I’ll leave it home for today. When I first started, I sucked, but I would go and drive to new places to find new spots to use for my photos.
Now about branding. Who am I? Who do I want to attract? Who do I want to be like? What colors do I like, what colors do the people I want to attract like? What kind of photo editing do I like, light or dark? Do I like taking portraits of babies, kids, teens, families, weddings, boudoir, etc.? Do I need to have a contract for each of these or does one contract cover all? Do I need new equipment, new props, new website, new, new, new??? Can you see how fast this can go down the rabbit hole? So many questions about things I would need to consider for my business that I start second guessing who my business is for, me or some person that I haven’t met yet and may never meet? Who does my business make happy?
Life happens of course… I don’t have the money to be able to “find me” on a vacation or take a week or two off to just focus on other things than photography and give it a break. I don’t have time to sit idly by and let things settle. I had a very long stressful semester of graduate school which in the last week, when my final project was due, my brother was in an accident at work and almost lost his hand. I spent almost four days in Pittsburgh with him and couldn’t focus on my school work to save my life. I could have left and went home, but I’m always worried what if I wasn’t there and something happened? Sure, my family could have probably taken care of whatever happened, but I wanted to be helpful.
I came home very early Monday morning after his first surgery and worked on my final project the next couple of days. I turned in my final project on Wednesday and Thursday my husband was laid off with little to no chance of getting his job back anytime soon. So here we are without health insurance because COBRA is $2200 for a family of 3, living off his final paychecks from the company and my husband completed the 80-hour mining course. He is now making less than half of what he was making before.
Yesterday, my ads account in Facebook was hacked and $250 was charged to my bank account for an ad to an Indonesian company selling watches. Now I have to wait for Facebook to determine if they think my account was hacked or if I did the purchasing. No matter the outcome, I still have to let $250 come out of my bank account in the midst of my husband losing his job and every penny counting. I will need to file an affidavit saying the charges were fraudulent and then they have to investigate so it could take up to 5 days to get the money back in my account on a temporary basis until they determine if it was fraud or not.
I have prayed, and I have cried. I have had moments of clarity and feeling like I could handle all of this and moments where I just want to escape and forget everything bad that has happened. There isn’t an escape, this is my life. I’ve been through bad times in my life, I just wish the sun would shine a little brighter for a little while.
Now this of course is backwards from everything I should be writing about for my blog. I should be writing happy thoughts, things that make me look like an awesome photographer and why I should be a mentor (because yes that’s what I would like to be). I should be telling you all about the awesome new session that is coming up or the beautiful new painting I finished, I should be trying to sell you on how awesome I am. I’m not feeling awesome right now, I know my work is good, I know I want to take portraits of babies, children, seniors, and glamour portraits of women. So why did I write this dreary post about my missing creativity?
I want you to know I am human.
The session for the week was with two beautiful sisters. They are the daughters of the shop owner below my studio, Not too Shabby Boutique. The sister in the portrait on the right is opening her own salon in the shop later this month.