November 24, 2015
Closing a Door: The End of a Business
A few months ago my husband and I decided that we were going to take a break from our photography business through the end of this year. A few months would give us the time to reconsider our business, get a little breather from it, and reevaluate come the new year. It is not even December yet and we have decided that we are now officially closing our business.
The thing is, we decided to take this "break" at the peak of our busiest family photography season. It was quite painful to repeatedly tell some of our faithful clients that we would be unable to take their holiday photos this year. I had my response down to memory but it was still hard each time.
But while this decision was made at one of the most inconvenient of times, it forced me to really face whether or not I still wanted to do this. Saying no did not leave me with regret or sadness. Instead I felt a sense of freedom from a burden that was weighing on me.
As a creative person who has spent the last six years pursuing creative work as a business, it is interesting to evaluate passion, skill, and creative expression. While I may have been challenged to become a better photographer, I never felt like professional photography was a true passion of mine.
I love taking pictures. I love capturing my home and life in photos. But capturing others in photos wasn't quite the same. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed many aspects of the business but never enough to endure the long haul. The hours of editing. Oh, the hours of editing.
I think as a creative it is important to really understand passion. Just because you are good at something doesn't mean it was what you were created to do. Sure, there are seasons where you just have to work. But if you have the freedom to choose, for the sake of preventing burn out, I think it is important to evaluate what makes you really tick.
For me, I love blogging. It is one of few things that I have committed to for the long haul. I suppose a huge aspect of blogging is that I can come and go whenever I want. But you could also say that about our photography business.
But when I sit down to really think about blogging, I ask myself what is it that I love about it so much. The writing. The sharing. Having a place to share my heart for those who want to receive it. Sure I love decorating my home and hosting parties. But without the words, I am not sure I would have stuck around this place so long. People are leaving their blogs for Instagram. And I just can't. My words need a typed out place.
It is interesting to think that my passion could be more focused around communication. Yet it is presented in the form of design. It is a weaving of creativity and heart to make this space so unique. Photography is a huge part of blogging for me yet it doesn't even make it to the top of my passion list. Instead it is a tool that is used to communicate.
It is hard when you offer your art out into the world. If you are not one hundred percent sure of yourself, it is challenging to accept the criticism that comes with putting yourself out there. For me, photography was so personal. I found myself more upset about the business and the awkward place it put me in with others.
And yet with blogging, people have said more nasty things to me online then I have ever heard in person. And somehow it is in being sure of myself in this online space that I can handle it. It didn't matter what people thought because this is what I was supposed to be doing.
While one door closes, the door of blogging continues to swing wide open. When one art becomes a burden, the reminder of my true passions shine through. I will always be grateful for this season of photography. I have fond memories of sweet weddings, adorable babies, and sharing such a fun business with my husband. But I also choose to be grateful for the frustrations, stresses, and countless hours of editing. Because those are the things that really helped me see what my true passions were.
Sometimes we have to take criticism and difficult times to help us really see the person we are supposed to be. If you are going through a season of this, take heart. You are being molded into the person you are truly meant to be.