Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Into the light II, originally uploaded by b_key.
oh. my. goodness. the light at the end of the tunnel. i finally feel like i can breath. just a bit.

i have neglected my blog. i have neglected my house. i have neglected the laundry. i have neglected my favorite tv shows (and they were already few and far between at this stage of my life, anyway). i have neglected my favorite blog reads. my google reader reached 1000 and stopped counting for me. a long time ago. i have neglected my online shopping/perusing. i have basically neglected anything that can be neglected, save my kids and husband. although he would probably tell you that he's been neglected, too.

my new business has been all consuming and a bit (ok, a lot) overwhelming. i've made several mistakes thus far that have put me here. my portfolio building deal was probably a little too generous. i honestly was not expecting the level of interest i received. i expected to get a few shoots under my belt and a few pretty photographs to add to my portfolio and that would be that. but, thus far i've had 15 sessions and have another five on the calendar over the next two weeks. that makes twenty sessions in a month and a half.

mistake number two. see above. twenty sessions in seven weeks averages just shy of three per week. clearly, i had not actually edited a full session start to finish prior to booking all twenty sessions. had i actually edited a full session, i would have known that there was no way that i could manage three sessions per week. it takes me at least ten hours per session... between the shoot itself, reviewing all of the photos and selecting the 20-30 images to proof. then, there's the editing of those proofs. adjusting skin tones, correcting white balance issues, hiding blemishes, or chocolate smears or cracker crumbs. and, ten hours is probably on the low side.

so three, sometimes four, sessions in a week at 10+ hours per session. sounds reasonable, right? reasonable if you have an office, with a door and your coffee and maybe some tunes on pandora. however, this is not my reality. i have two five year olds that must be fed, clothed and off to school every morning. i have a 14 month old who is go go go all day long, save for a short (sometimes long, if i'm lucky) nap in the afternoon.

so, my reality? my reality is that i'm LUCKY if i can get 3-5 hours of editing in per day by squeezing it in while piper is either napping or the kids have gone to bed. so, you do the math. it doesn't work. it doesn't even come close to working. oh, and add in a four week photoshop class to the mix as well. i guess i thought i'd just throw that in for kicks. but, to be fair, it was worth every penny and hour spent as my editing, hard as it is to believe, is actually much faster now.

lessons learned. most the hard way. i know now that if i'd like to schedule 3-4 sessions per week that i'll need an assistant, or babysitter, or both. oh, and a cleaning lady, too.

i am very much looking forward to a break over the holidays. i have blocked off the weeks between thanksgiving and new years and won't be scheduling any sessions during that time. i need some down time. i also need to give some attention to the business side of things... my contracts, marketing materials, my business cards, etc.

despite being completely overwhelmed, which is all my doing, i am so happy to be in this place. i'm gaining tons of experience. my portfolio is growing by leaps and bounds, and can't believe how far i've come in just a few short months. i'm so looking forward to 2011 and seeing where and how my business will(hopefully) grow. i'll also be armed with the knowledge that i've gained in this process and will hopefully be able to find the balance that will work with my reality.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I've been neglecting my blog and am a little sad about it.  I've been a bit consumed with starting the new business and all of my spare minutes have been spent on it.  The website, its layout, SEO and metatags...  a language foreign to me until a few weeks ago.  The strange and crazy world of Google and how it reads your site and language within.  It's a lot to absorb. And, I think I have a handle on it, finally.  At least for now.

So, the new site?  Here it is...

Tracy Heyman Photography

And, in addition to the portrait photography business, I opened an Etsy shop to sell some of my prints as well.   It's all exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

Business aside, we just got home from a wonderful weekend in Delaware.  Beautiful weather, delicious food, wine and time spent with family.  My idea of a perfect long weekend. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm a business owner.

So, it's official.  I've registered my photography business with the state of Pennsylvania!  A huge step in the process and one that basically makes it, well, official.  My head is spinning with all that I have yet to do.  I need to put the final touches on my website, finalize my contracts and releases, finish my pricing list (which involves actually making a decision on what to charge - so hard!!), create my business cards and marketing material, and open an Etsy shop to sell my still life prints.  I couldn't sleep last night with all of these things running through my head.

I got a call from a friend of mine who is having a baby any day now and would like me to do a newborn session for her.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity to shoot a newborn but this has upped my deadline for getting my business in order.  I had been planning for September 1st to be "open for business" but it looks like that's going to happen a few weeks ahead of schedule.  Which, is actually ok.  It forces me to get it done as I am a serious procrastinator at times and work best with deadlines! 

Did I mention that my head is spinning?  In case I didn't, it is.

Friday, August 13, 2010


So much going on as of late.  The twins start school in 11 days - ack!!  As much as I've looked forward to this monumentus occasion on those days when they've been driving me crazy, I'm so sad.  The thought of them being gone everyday, ALL DAY makes my heart ache.  Plus, it just seems that they're too small/young for school.  How will they navigate through an entire day without me?    *sigh*    I know they'll be fine and I know I will, too.  And, don't get me wrong,  I will most certainly welcome the extra time and freedom.  It's been a bit crazy being a stay at home mom to three kids five and under.  But, life is going to change drastically soon and I know that I'll miss the craziness.  And, I'll miss them.  A lot.

We moved into this house when the twins were eighteen months.  It honestly seems like yesterday.  I remember being so excited to be here.  A house with a quiet street where they would be able to ride their bikes without the worry of a lot of traffic and have friends to play with and just enjoy being kids.  At that time I was working three days a week in the office and two from home.  I was a great schedule and I was thankful for those days at home with them.  Oh, the things we were going to do together!  It seemed like the three years that we had ahead of us, before they would start school, was an eternity.  I'm still not sure how we got here so quickly.  And, without doing half of the things that I wanted and planned to do. 

We're joining the ranks of back to school shoppers this weekend to pick up any and all necessary items for school.  I'm struggling a bit with this as my daughter has developed her own personal fashion sense and it doesn't come even a teeny bit close to mine.  We went shoe shopping last night and her choice of shoes made me cringe.  Every pair.  Thankfully, none of them came in her size. Whew.  I know that I will probably not be quite as lucky tomorrow.  I also know that I should just let her buy what she likes.  EJ, so far, doesn't seem to care much about shoes or clothes.  I can still influence him.  At least for now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A First Birthday Party

A certain little girl with strawberry blonde hair celebrated her first birthday last Saturday.  There was a lot of  pink, a lot of sunshine and a lot of people who love her there to celebrate her day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Your Eyes

It's so easy to take them for granted.  So very easy to just expect that they'll always do their job.  That your sight will always be there.  Until one night, when you're on the computer and you see black spots floating across your computer screen.  And, you think to yourself, what the heck was that?  You start to rub the screen thinking that it must have been dirt.  Only to discover a few minutes later that it's not. 

Then, you remember how earlier in the day your eye had felt like there was something in it.  And actually, while you're thinking about it, you realize that it still hurts.  And, you're freaking out a bit because your seeing spots.

This was me on Thursday night.  I tried to put it out of my head but my eye continued to hurt all day Friday.  Friday night I made the mistake that I make far too often.  I googled my symptoms.  I guess it could be viewed as a good thing because it did get my arse to the eye doctor the next day as I had self diagnosed myself with Uveitis.  Which, as I found out yesterday afternoon after a visit to the eye dr., I do have. 

Uveitis is an inflammation of the inner layer of the eye.  It feels as lovely as it sounds.  Uveitis can be caused by a variety of things...  some very benign and some very serious.  It is often a result of an auto immune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or MS.   And while my dr. did mention that those diseases as being a cause, he didn't seem concerned.  He gave me a prescription for eye drops that should, hopefully, take care of the issue.  No follow up.  No additional testing.  He said I should be feeling better in a few days.

If you google Uveitis, however, it paints a different picture.  Cataracts, glaucoma, blindness, MS, other auto immunue diseases.  It's not a pretty picture.  And quite different from the "take these drops for a week and you'll be fine".  I should really learn to stay off of the internet. 

Oh, and the best part?  While I had mentioned in a previous post that I was planning to wean Piper from nursing before my beach trip, I didn't follow through and spent that weekend pumping.   She happily went back to nursing when I returned home and I was planning to let her self wean.  Until I got my Rx for the drops yesterday.  I forgot to ask the dr. at my appointment whether or not they were safe while nursing.  And, by the time I got to the pharmacy, the dr's office had closed for the weekend.  So, while we were down to only nursing two or three times a day, we were all of a sudden forced to abruptly wean.  While she seems ok, weaning is painful.  And, this is now in addition to the pain in my eye.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wishing Jar

The ├╝ber talented Liz of paislee press has a new kit being released tomorrow called Wishing Jar and it's brilliant and whimsical and beautiful. I love the sentiment and the color scheme and well, basically, everything.  And while I will admit that she didn't design this beautiful little kit just for me, I will pretend she did.  I mean really, could she have created anything more perfect for my blog header than a jar full of little stars?  My collection of the little things that light up my days now beautifully captured in her little illustration.  *sigh*

For a chance to win this oh-so-lovely kit tomorrow, check out Liz's blog post here.