Eight months ago today, my world stopped. It came to an absolute standstill. The room went quiet every disappeared but Josh, this new tiny human, and me.
At 10:38 am on December 1st, Charlotte Grace took her first breath. I had no idea then how my world was going to change. I wholeheartedly believe my calling in this life, my one true purpose, is to be a mother. And Charlotte gave me the greatest honor that day.
In these last eight months, I have learned a lot about myself. So much from my day to day has changed. The way I spend my days, the way I look at my marriage. Even the way I run my business.
Before we found out we were expecting last March, I wrote a blog post about lies I tell myself every day. One of my biggest concerns, a silly concern, was that I would no longer have a successful business. I was terrified that I would lose something I have fought so hard to build up. Looking back on those words, I know now how silly that is.
If anything, being Charlotte’s momma has made me a better business owner.
Motherhood has changed my life so much, but it has impacted my business even more.
Before Charlotte, I was an email ninja. My inbox at closing time was at zero. Emails from Brides were responded to in a matter of minutes, not hours, or dare I even admit, days.
Before Charlotte, I was blogging three to four times a WEEK! If it wasn’t busy season, those posts were all educational posts for Brides and other aspiring business creatives. Now it’s an accomplishment to blog three to four times a month. With it being wedding season, that’s easy. Every Tuesday is a blog post from the previous weekend’s wedding.
But even though emails take more mental capacity than I can muster some days, and I don’t have time to blog like I once did, I have a new understanding of what it means to be a wedding photographer.
After Josh and I got married in 2014 (We just celebrated our fourth anniversary with a day to Pittsburgh Zoo with Charlotte!), I understood the importance of having the beautiful wedding photos to look back on after the day is over. You spend months planning this big day, you want timeless photos that you can relive the day by. I mean, if you’ve ever been a part of a wedding, you know first hand how fast it goes, and small moments are often overshadowed by the bigger moments. The only way to remember those smaller moments is through photos.
But now that I’m a Mother, and I have another human being I have to think about 24 hours a day, I have a whole new perspective of what it means to be a wedding photographer.
A wedding day just isn’t for the Bride and Groom on day one. It’s for the children they will raise in the years to come. It’s for the memories they’ll create and the stories they’ll tell those children. It’s for the photos the children will look at and admire the love their parents have for one another. The love that they still witness after 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years of marriage.
Now that I’m a mother, I look for different moments on a wedding day that I never looked for before. I cherish the moments a daughter gets with her daddy. Because I know one day, Josh will be the proud daddy walking our daughter down the aisle while he fights back those tears rolling down his cheeks. Or the silent moments between the bride and her mom. And I’m sure if God ever graces us with a son, my viewpoint is going to grow once again.
I love that my own life experiences have continued to shape the photographer that I am. I use to leave my photography conferences so inspired by all the new education, but now as a parent, I feel the inspiration is tenfold. I can’t possibly express in words how my Brides benefit from that inspiration.
My greatest hope is that in the years and decades to come when children are looking at wedding photos, my couples are able to sit down, open their albums, and reminisce about their wedding day. Photographic proof of the newlywed love that still is present years down the road.
*A special thanks to Mari from The Seed Photography for that beautiful photo of Charlotte and I!