I am tired.

photo by Shaynah Vandegriffe

I'm not sure if it is the time of year, the time of my life, or everything combined--but all I have to say is I am tired.

I have been feeling unusually unmotivated to do much of anything. Getting out of bed in the morning just seems more difficult. I haven't felt ready for 2017. The weight of my passions and my dreams has been feeling extra heavy, and I don't know the next step yet. Anyone else feeling this way?

It's very difficult being a freelance photographer, even if it is the best job I've ever had. The money isn't consistent, the work isn't consistent, and sometimes I even feel like I don't like it.

But whether I like it or not, I am in charge of my entire business. In many ways, this is amazing for me. I get to decide my own hours, how I conduct business, stylistic choices...and so many other exciting things. But there are also many negatives.

There are many stigmas surrounding a freelance job. For instance, it isn't seen as a "real job." While I understand that I have a bit of a different structure and I'm not working a corporate 8:00am-5:00pm job, this doesn't mean that I am not working. A huge part of being a freelance photographer is the fact that my hours never end. I never get to step away from my job. My desk is two feet from my bed. The line that separates work and personal is so very thin. And while I definitely work long and hard hours, sometimes I can't figure out how to balance everything and it overwhelms me so much I have to step away from work for a few days. Sometimes even a week or two.

Everything I do and everything I make is straight from my heart. I do all of my own photoshoots, all the editing, the marketing, social media, blog posts, finances, emails... Sometimes I feel like I have seven jobs. I work so much that I never feel like I am not working. Worse yet, anytime I am not sitting in front of my computer working on something I feel like a failure. Every moment I am not creating something new and inspired I feel like a failure. I want to please all of my clients and I make it my number one priority, but I want to create good work that I am pleased with as well. Sometimes I wonder if I am lost in my work.  

I feel so tired all the time. I wonder if what I am doing is what I am supposed to be doing.

And then... I take a photo like this.

Or this.

And oh my, this.

And dang it, it's all worth it. 

I know I am good at this. I know I am not the best either. But there are moments I've captured similar to the ones in these photos that breathe new life into me. The people on the other side of the lens choose to share some of their most important days with me. And I get to be there with them. I get to experience it too.

Even though I still have days like today where all I feel is the exhaustion, and I'm not sure what to do next, the possibility of capturing magic moments make it worth continuing to push forward.

I know I have a lot of room to improve, but I am up for the challenge. I am excited for the future and all of the photos I am going to take this year. I really do think it will be a career-changing year for me!

Oh, and thank you to everyone who made 2016 such a fun year! I genuinely loved taking photos of each and every one of you.

- Courtney

PS - I apologize for the randomness of this blog. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to be more open and personal with my audience and clients, so I am starting with this blog post! I am very excited to show you all some more fun stuff coming soon. <3