Coronavirus. Social distancing. Quarantine. Toilet paper. Homeschooling. Community.
These are the words and stories we see pop up in our newsfeed. Our current situation is global history in the making. I don’t want to make light of the situation, because it’s not light. But I know it is too uncomfortable for me to live in fear or a state of panic, it’s not life-giving, or good for my immune system. So I’m doing what I can. We are socially distanced. Just the three of us. (My husband and 9 year old). We are going to the grocery store every 3-4 days to get fresh fruits and vegetables. We’ve created a menu of sorts and we have some dry goods should we not be able to go to the grocery store for awhile. Luckily, we are those weird people who are always stocked up on toilet paper thanks to our Amazon Subscription that sent TP way too much (in the good ole days when you could still get toilet paper on Amazon).
I’m trying to homeschool and work, which feels very tough. Shoutout to the teachers, and the homeschool moms who have the gift of teaching. I was not given that gift. And I’m okay with that. Though I wish I had that gift right now.
I think we found a new rhythm. Ahem, maybe I should say I hope we found a new rhythm. Turns out, I work the best in the morning. And you know, it’s got to be that uninterrupted morning. Which feels close to impossible even with a 9 year old. (y’all this quarantine is THE WORST time to be an only child. Bless her sweet soul. And mine).
I realized on days 1-3 of quarantine momma cannot be interrupted every 5-10 minutes because I go batty and it takes me forever to get back to the email or task I was tending too. It’s just how I am wired. I still have not mastered the ability to multi-task the way that it seems most moms do. Perhaps because I became a mom to my child when she was 6+years old and was not a newborn. So I didn’t get to grow into motherhood. It happened overnight. We’re only 2.5 years in, and my multi-tasking skill, still remains to be seen. (Lord, please increase my capacity and ability to do multiple things at one time well. Amen).
I’ve had some folks say, “Oh you are still working? I didn’t think people would still be doing photoshoots right now”. This is a valid question, and something I use to think before I became a legit photography business owner/entrepreneur. I was also under the impression that when my parents generously gifted me my first DSLR when I finished grad school (for social work and public health, by the way) that I would immediately be able to take professional looking images (for my personal enjoyment). Ahem. Boy was I wrong. I had a lot of learning to do. I wanted to pick up photography as a hobby because I ALWAYS have loved taking pictures (even bought my first digital camera in 2004 for when I studied abroad in France. That camera cost a whopping $400 and had 4 MP. It was expensive with a small file size, but boy was I excited). WOW. I have really digressed.
So yes. I’m still working, and handling all the business side of things that is hard to do in the middle of busy season (Spring to Fall:
- updating website
- blogging/ working on my SEO (trying too)
- updating the prep guides I give my families (these things take forever I sort through and narrow down what images to use in the guide)
- updating contracts and questionnaires
- learning how to better use my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software
- creating a workflow to follow for each time of session so during busy season every client gets what they need
- visualizing what kind of art I want to start/continue offering clients
- continuing to learn creative ways to capture families
- connecting and building relationships with other small businesses
- cleaning up my desktop and hard drives (what a BEAST. ugh. this is hundreds of thousands of images. pray for me.)
- prepping my business taxes (what a doozy)
- creating a visual aid so my clients can see the type of art I currently offer (sounds easy but this takes A LONG time)
- planning on how to start implementing video into my sessions, including learning how to use the drone my husband surprised me with for Christmas
- continuing education (different ways to create art, how to run a successful photography business, editing tips and tricks to expedite workflow, learning about SEO/marketing,etc….ALWAYS LEARNING)
The thing is, I didn’t mean to become a business owner. It just happened to me. This self-care hobby turned into a business. But I think God knew this was the plan all along. (As I’m writing this, I realize I have probably not shared much of my story. Maybe I’ll share more details during this quarantine. I like reading people’s stories, so many some folks would like to hear mine.)
Here’s the deal. People who own small businesses have A LOT on their shoulders and A LOT of to-dos, while also having a lot to lose during this time. I want to support you and your small business! Besides prayer, please tell me how I can help. You are not alone, we are in this together: Trying to provide for our families and clients, while positively impacting the community. Please tell me about your small business and what needs you might have, I’d love to see if the skillset I have can help your business. You matter. Your family matters. Your business matters.
Want to highlight my favorite place in the world right now (besides my home with my family) and my church: Crazy Love Coffeehouse.
Not only do they have GREAT coffee and an incredibly beautiful, peace filled environment. The owners have a heart of gold and felt called to start this peace-filled coffee house. Let me tell you a little story. Crazy Love had been open for about 2 months when I moved to the area and discovered this not-so-hidden gem. I was drawn to the cute little white, farm-style house, and their sign “Crazy Love” when I was across the street at another restaurant. I walked on over and was instantly in awe with the beauty and peace in that building, but also, LOVED that there was a scripture on the wall. I had been going there quite often and became friends with many of the baristas. They knew my name and my multiple variations of drink orders. One day, after meeting some friends there, my car wouldn’t start in the parking lot. It was HOT outside, and Perry the business owner saw I was having trouble. He came over and asked if he could help. He spent 30 minutes with me in the parking lot, trying to jump start my car. 30 minutes! He could’ve been inside helping his small business, and he was spending his time outside with ONE customer. Makes me think of Jesus, going after the one. I already loved Crazy Love by this point. But after this experience with Perry, they have a customer for LIFE and any time friends want to get together, I ask if we can meet at Crazy Love. Sometimes I even have clients meet me there! (We also, had to bring our South African grandparents there this summer). Crazy Love is a great example of how EXPERIENCE and love of the client matters just as much as the quality cup of coffee. And I’ve taken that on for my business too, not only do I want to provide quality images and art for my clients, I want them to have a great experience.
(they have a fabulous porch too! Check out my little family film I made 2 years ago that features Crazy Love’s front porch and yard. Pictures of my daughter and I above are also on their front porch swing.)
Extra tidbit: This is how much I love Crazy Love. They are in my dreams sometimes. I once had a NIGHTMARE that Crazy Love was closing. And in my dream the owner told me that the overseas investors said Crazy Love wasn’t making enough of a community impact and so they had to close. I begged and pleaded, “let me talk to them! You have definitely made a community impact. You can’t leave! Let the community help you!” Hahahhaha. I’m so glad it was just a dream, and not reality.
Thank you Crazy Love for being you.
My family film from 2018 featuring Crazy Love’s front yard and porch toward the end. Click to see it full screen…it’s so much better that way!
Don’t forget Crazy Love has a drive-thru during this social distancing time!