I was at Megamall the whole day today, shooting for the mall's in-house magazine, Shopmag. Which is well, last year's winner of an Asean award for innovative in-house publication or something of that sort. The shoot started at 10am and ended at 8:30pm. Rest time could have been 1.5 hours. So that means, I've practically photographed my heart out today. And to top it all off, I'd slept for only 3 hours! Isabelle was happy awake until the wee hours. I had survived on reserve-battery mode and I'm pretty dead tired. My feet are killing me. I've probably walked more than the last Disneyland trip! The 16 gig had 10 raw shots left.
While I was about to start another complaint-marathon about my aching feet, I regressed. It was 9 years ago, I was at a mall, at Podium to be exact. There was an event and there were three photographers buzzing about, documenting the whole thing. Back then, I was still managing our company's cargo forwarding firm then, readying myself to be some big-shot logistics person. But while I was salivating on how they were capturing the event, I was thinking, "How can I be like them?" I wanted to shoot and make a living out of my camera! I wanted, more than anything, to be like them! I was even contemplating on introducing myself and asking them how they got those gigs because 9 years ago, there weren't many photographers, no schools to teach photography, no stuff on photography on the internet. In other words, access was close to nil.
So fast forward, I'm back to my senses. My feet still hurt but my heart, happy and ecstatic. It's been such a journey and a thrill to now realizing how blessed I am that I'm in the mall, shooting. Not working on the issues and finances of the cargo firm. Here I am, actually doing what I thought was impossible some 9 years ago. What an overwhelming thought!
The people who matter: Isabelle and Melvene
The thing about being a photographer is that work usually comes on weekends: Weddings on weekends, events on weekends, more clients on weekends. But we all know that weekends, especially Sundays, in every Filipino's watch, is family time and for Catholics, time to hear mass and pray.
So when I started Portraits by Heidi and workshops by Camera Cart, the assumption was of course that weekends would take center-stage of my work time. Last year, Melvene the husband and I went full blast. Working our asses off on weekdays and weekends. In other words, we were on 24/7. Yes, like the HBO documentary for a pre-Pacquiao fight. But this was our fight. And last 2012, we found ourselves too tired for words. I mean, really dead-tired, not knowing when a week starts has taken a heavy toll on me. I was stressed and tired. So I've been harboring guilt feelings also for not having Isabelle time, time for church, me time, and wife-husband time. I've lost my bearings. I was all work, work, work.
But we took a 2-week vacation at the end of December (because if I wouldn't, I'd end up depleted) and I realized that I've built my business backwards. What I've been doing for the past years is that I made the business take center stage, and the things/people that matter most fit into my schedule. What I should have done was to prioritize the things/people that matter first, then the business will have to revolve around it so that I get to have purpose with every stride. So everything in my life have more meaning.
I'm currently reading Why Entrepreneurs should Eat Bananas by Simon Tupman, a gift from my sister Hazel last Christmas. And he says:
The point of life is to be happy and enjoy life as much as possible. Yet many people seem to miss that point, and so play a pointless game, focusing solely on achieving status, recognition or financial abundance. As David Maister writes in True Professionalism: All other goals (money, fame, responsibility, achievement) are merely ways of making you happy. They are worthless in themselves. While financial targets are important, an exclusive striving towards higher financial goals can almost inevitably be a cause of dissatisfaction among those working in, and running, business of all sorts."
Long quote but definitely worth the read. And I say "Amen" to that!
For those who've started their own businesses and especially those who love what they do, I think you'd agree that it's so hard to stop working. I love working with Camera Cart and doing portrait work. It's who I am. It's so my passion. That I literally sleep and breathe thinking all about my businesses! I am really grateful that I've been given the opportunity to do what I love to do. The problem is when to stop.
So anyway, I'm still working on Saturdays, but I've decided I'll try my hardest to declare Sunday as family day. And for the first Sunday of 2013, I have chosen not to book any meetings, shoot any client. I have chosen to let the yaya take a break and have a Sunday off so I can spend time with my dearest Isabelle and my loving husband. We had lunch, made Isabelle tumble at the Gymboree, and had coffee when we were all exhausted. And it was perfect.
It's another year and we've got lots in store for you! From workshops to new equipment. We're also making great plans for the studio. And for the members, we're giving out free workshops and discounts to you guys!
But aside from the excitement for Camera Cart, we're excited for us too! It's another year to set high goals for yourself - for your career, for your photography, and for your photography career! :)
Here are just some suggestions to starting the year right:
1. Have a goal buddy. Share your goals this 2013 to at least one friend so you will have the motivation to follow through. Discuss your goals with your goal buddy every month for the added boost and focus.
2. Read. Lots of books out there. Lots of materials in the internet. Feed your minds with new things.
3. Be inspired. Know what keeps you going and bolted with energy. Look around you for anything that will make you want to move.
3. Learn a lot. Get into some workshops! We'll be having some workshops this year. Boudoir, fashion, photoshop, business, and wedding workshops are coming up soon! It's a great way to improve your craft and also to meet like-minded people.
4. Have fun. Don't be too serious. The point in life is to be happy. So follow your bliss! And spend time with the people you love.