Feel so bad that I haven't been such an avid blogger these days! :) I'm going to try to work on this!!
I've been spending lots of time with my little family here, new friends, building relationships, learning more about photography...and now preparing lesson plans for J and J!
On photography: I have been doing a lot of praying about my long term goals for photography. I so enjoy the creative side to it, as well as the ministry aspect. My main goal was to slowly grow into this, be at a place where I am making a part time income, and also minister through it...with especially the goal to eventually volunteer to serve in the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep program.
There is a lot to learn about building a small business, and I want to be sure I am doing everything the right way before stepping into it with both feet!
People in my life (caring family and friends) from time to time apply a little pressure on me. They say to me, "You are not charging enough...should be charging people what you are worth...and it is a lot more than you are charging!", and so forth.
I do understand where they are coming from, and realize they say these things because they care. However, the way I see it...everything belongs to the Lord. All that I have and all that I am. He is the giver, and when I have given of my time and talents, He has always blessed me over and abundantly!! Sometimes these blessings are in ways that others do not know of or see, but He does bless.
What I have been doing up to this point has been portfolio building. It doesn't matter what the profession, you have to put in your time. Start small and work up!
Lately, I've been pushing this whole thing way too much. It has caused a lot of stress on me and my family to force things too quickly. For now, I am stepping back, and truly giving careful and prayerful consideration to what I am doing. I don't want this to become all/or only about the money, and I can see how easy it is to slip into that push for more and more money making ideas. I don't want to lose the passion of it.
Don't get me wrong, I would like to make money in the process of doing what I love. What I am saying is, I need to constantly re-evaluate and ask myself the question, "What is my focus?...Is it God, the people, and what He desires for this? Or, is it ONLY about the money?" I can see how this can easily get out of focus for me. The enemy is so subtle, and before one knows it, it becomes all about self and the money.
I'd like for my vision to be clear from the Lord, every step of the way.
With that being said, I feel it is so important to be educated in any field of expertise. I may have the natural eye for photography, but I do feel that I need some advanced classes in photography. Also, I should take a course in running small businesses. (Been on the websites of .gov reading a lot on small businesses, talked with my accountant friend, photographer friend, and a friend who works in a law office, and received lots of good information and good advise from them)
I've pretty much self studied on my own for the past couple of yrs using sources such as the internet, and public library. Yet, there are GREAT resources here in our area for attending some advanced classes...there is a Community College, University, as well as a photography studio that offers advanced classes.
As soon as we know if we are staying in this area, and as soon as I have the extra financial means, I'd love to take a few advanced courses on photography. Other's think I am a pro already, but I was to take it slow and I do have a lot to learn still!
Photography is more technical than one thinks...if you don't believe me...for those who have never studied photography or taken photos in manual mode; switch your camera to manual "M" if you have it on your camera, and give it a try to see what you come up with. It isn't as easy as it appears to be. ;)
Also, I need to build my equipment. I do have a great camera (it is a 4 yrs old model, and I'm just praying the shutter life will hold out), but it has limitations. There are a few more accessories that are musts for low lighting situations: Canon 5d (eventually I will need a second camera...it will actually be my first and the one I have now will become my backup), Canon Speedlite flash, diffuser, reflector, and a nice Canon zoom lens with at least f/2.8. The only lens I have currently is a 50mm lens. While it is a nice portrait lens, in a lot of ways it is not very fast for moving objects, nor does it have much room for distance situations or tight close ups. It is a bit limiting in low light situations. I'm fully aware. It is nice for natural light, and very controlled lighting situations.
I've decided to limit my shoots to 1-2 per week, and no more. This is only temporary as I focus on our children, and continue to pray about all of this. I'm hoping we can stay here in this area, so I can take these classes that I've been so wanting to take! Yet, it may not be what God has for me. Therefore I pray, and do what I can do for now.
First things first...husband needs a job!!! He is the head of our household. God knows where and what that job is for him, and He will show us when He is ready for us to know. Meanwhile, he is certainly praying for direction, applying daily, getting out there and interviewing, making calls and visits...has been for several months now. The right one is out there for him, and for our family! Also, our children; their schedule and needs come next. I'm trying to keep myself in balance with God, husband, our children, then others. It is so easy to get off track and out of balance...