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.