I was a full-time teacher. Having worked towards and achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development with an Early Childhood Education certificate. I became a Mom, and I knew I wanted to find something I could do that would give me more time with my family. While I was at work, I always felt like I was missing out on so much of my son’s life. I have also loved old film and photography since I was a little girl. I was fascinated by how much history and emotion one little print could hold. Like many other entrepreneurs, the switch was flipped, and the dream had taken hold, the ability to be home watching the growth of my son along with working that growth into my business was a dual satisfaction that was worth it almost immediately.
A lot of my style I owe to motherhood. I see life so differently now than I did before having my own family. I find so much beauty in the little details – like the tiniest newborn fingers and toes, and the way their skin is wrinkled. My goal in each session is to capture authentic moments. I want my clients to look back on the images and be taken back to that season of life. I want my photos to hold a story, an emotion. Sometimes people can really group photographers at the same level if you aren’t some big-time artist but for me I want the moments for my clients to really exist in the mind long after the final results are viewed, I want the story of the shoot and the moments in that shoot to be talked about and reminisced on as a memory of togetherness with the love of those people or that place that elicits that pure joy of when a photo was first viewed, time and time again.
Moments in time and memories of life were never any truer than this past spring, I was asked to do a shoot for an older couple. We decided on an in-home session. Once I arrived I learned he was battling not only cancer but also Parkinson’s disease. His smile was contagious. I stayed for almost an hour after the shoot to listen to stories from decades long gone. It felt so rewarding to capture someone who had lived so much life, and to honor the couples long enduring love for each other. It was that shoot that I realized every stage of life should be captured in its raw beauty. Sometimes struggles are defined so easily but to see someone fight through things and still be so present is so unique that to capture each memory is what drives the basic story of the people in the world no matter the size of struggle.
You can see photographers trying to shoot the biggest celebrities or the smallest and wildest toddler trying to direct a shoot to how they really had it planned in their mind but to capture pure moments sometimes the struggles loom large over any shoot, but the business side can be even more of a cloud than any wild subject. My most difficult struggle has been valuing myself and my time. It’s so hard to look around and see other photographers doing X amount of sessions or weddings and not compare myself. I feel this pressure to measure my success by how many weddings I book. In my first years as a business owner, I did anything to book, even if that meant lowering my price by a significant amount. I have been published, and even won awards, but honestly, my biggest feeling of success so far came when I realized I was making more money and working less by just valuing myself and my work more. Success is different for everyone, but for me, if I can pursue this passion and keep my family a priority, that’s my sweet spot. I can book fewer weddings, but value my work more, and it all evens out. At the end of the day, I want this to still be something that brings me joy.
I think the struggle of a comparison made me work harder and stay humble. I can confidently say I have a successful business, but I am pretty quiet about my accomplishments. I want my work to speak for itself. The feelings of success usually come when I need them most. This is an oversaturated market, so it’s easy to feel stuck in a rut at times, or just unsure. I’ve learned that I need to feel balanced with work and family. If I feel like I can’t give 100% to my family, I know I need to either finish the shoot I’m working on, so I can be fully present, or I need to take a break and just be with my family so I can give 100% to my work later. I would love to travel more with photography. Whether it’s destination weddings, family sessions, or company branding. In photography, there is constant growth. For me, I want to continue to push myself to capture really authentic meaningful moments.
Meet and book Lisa: https://www.merakiphotographynw.com