After arriving in Kentucky everything got unpacked except my camera. I placed my camera bag in the closet and let it sit there. I left Southern Pines feeling burned out as far as photography went. In Southern Pines I had a good thing going. I had a steady stream of on location portrait clients and was meeting my necessary profit margin. But being close to a military base the market was becoming saturated with shoot and burners; people were getting DSLRs and turning into "professional" photographers over night. Some were charging as low as $50 a session with all images included! When people would call me for quotes they had a hard time understanding why my prices were so much higher. I often found myself having to explain my pricing structure in great detail. These were prices that I carefully calculated based on my overhead, average (real) industry rates and consideration of my area's cost of living. It was frustrating. It was exhausting. It took the fun out of photography. With a move to another military town where the market was even more saturated, I wanted a break from that. I decided to put away my camera gear and spend my time in Kentucky focusing on my artwork. For a while I did just that. Seven months went by and my husband started to voice his concern over my lack of photo-interest... Photography was part of the person he fell in love with and he missed it. I did too. Starting at the beginning of this summer, he encouraged me to get my camera out but I couldn't seem to make anything magical happen, I wasn't motivated. And then something changed. My niece, Amerah (the one in the polka dot dress), came to visit for part of the summer. Amerah thinks everything I do is amazing which is flattering and probably the way it's supposed to be as far as an auntie-niece relationship goes. Amerah asked me if I could do a photoshoot the next morning of her and my daughter, Caitlyn. I nonchalantly said "sure, if you are up and ready by 8:30". I didn't think anything else of it, but the next morning her and Cait were both up and ready. I still wasn't feeling it, but once I had them outside it came naturally. Having my camera in hand felt right and when I finished the images in Lightroom, I was excited with the results.
Lesson learned: I realize photography is definitely a part of me and I do love it. With that said, my camera is not going back in the closet. We'll see what happens in the months to come.