You Define You

During Tamara Lackey's session at WPPI, she quoted this quote by Tony Schwartz:

"Is the life you're leading worth the price you're paying to live it?"

I reread this quote yesterday as I was going through my notes from WPPI and I was struck, once again, by how much this quote resonates with me and my life. When I first heard it during Tamara's session it almost brought me to tears. Is my life, as I'm living it right now, worth the sacrifices I have to make to get it to this point?

I submit that it is not.

I haven't blogged much since coming home from WPPI, as you have seen, but I love that I haven't. Sounds strange, right? Let me explain this further.

For a few weeks/months now I've been struggling with the whole work/life balance scenario. I fully admit that I have been royally sucking at it. I didn't have boundaries. I didn't have a time and place when work ended and being a mom/wife/friend began. It all merged into one big mess of a day and life. I've cried many tears over this matter, I wish I would have figured this out sooner. I struggled so hard with this passion and desire of mine to succeed in my business but to also be a great mom and a loving wife. I was at the point where I couldn't give 100% to any of those areas. I couldn't go full force into the photography thing because I had a toddler to take care of and a house to manage and a husband to love. Yet, I couldn't be a great mom or wife because my mind was always partially thinking of photography and what I needed to do or could do to further my business.

I never thought I would encounter this problem, ever. I have never been in a job or career that I loved and that was more than a job but a passion and a creative outlook for me. But here I am, in love with a job that inspires me and fulfills my creative side. I always knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that I would find a career that I actually wanted to work at. Sometimes I thank God that I had a baby before I took up photography because I don't know that I would have wanted to have kids when we did because I love it that much. But, I never would have picked up a DSLR and fallen in love with it had I not had Cheyenne. She was the reason I started my business. She was the reason I fell in love with photography, with capturing real moments.

So why has my life/business gotten to this point? Because I've been looking at other people's businesses and recommendations and taken them on as my own. 

Why have I let other people define what the Photography industry/business should look like for me? Did I even consider the fact that of these photographers that I listened to, not one of them had children to take care of? Some didn't even have spouses. 


Yes, I could blog every day, but that takes up a LOT of time (really, it does) and it takes away precious time with my daughter that I will never be able to get back. One day all my kids will be in school and I will have so much more time to pour into my business, but right now, I'm a stay at home mom with an amazing little girl who deserves all of her mom, all day. Not just the physical part of me that hardly has time to sit and play with her because I have to read the comments on my blog, or email this client back, or update my website, or try some new marketing strategy.

So, that's why I love the fact that I haven't blogged much lately. In its place I've been able to go to the drop-in play gym with my daughter and watch her hang from the monkey bars for the first time; I got to watch her splash in puddles with so much excitement; I got to do puzzles and make soup with puff balls on her little Ikea kitchen. I will never regret doing any of those things in place of blogging.

I will go into so much more detail next week about all the things that I learned at WPPI and how each speaker impacted my life and business in a huge way. 

So now my challenge for you is this: YOU define YOU! It's great to get ideas and inspiration and whatnot from other professionals in your industry but if it's causing you to make sacrifices in ways that you would one day regret, then it's not worth it. Not right now. Define what's important for you and your family and develop your business plan around that. Now THAT you won't regret. 

Again, ask yourself: "Is the life you're leading worth the price you're paying to live it?"


  1. Great, great post. While I know dozens of photographers who have children and "make it work", the way they make it work wouldn't work for me. I think just about every word in your post describes me right now! (Except I didn't go to WPPI and I have two at home, lol.)

  2. Thanks for sharing Danie!! I can't imagine what it'll be like when I have 2 kids, but i think as long as I keep this post in mind and my priorities in check I think i'll be ok. It just might mean even less blogging! =)

  3. Thank you for this post, Vanessa! This is something I've been struggling with too a lot this last bit & I love your thoughts. These moments with our little ones are so precious. Love that quote.

  4. Anonymous4.3.11

    Excellent post, Vanessa :)

  5. I think it´s great you´ve come this far in your thinking and that you are making life choices accordingly. I agree, blogging does take a lot of time and you really have to choose wisely when to do it.
    All the best Vanessa!

  6. Anonymous5.3.11

    well said vanessa. i believe this is a struggle for moms everywhere. i'm hoping to re-structure our lives very soon as well. working evenings and having a very early riser who only naps for 1 1/4 hrs leaves me exhausted most days.

  7. Thanks for sharing Vanessa!! I needed to hear this too! <3

  8. As a fellow photographer myself, with a 7 month old, it's definitely been an ongoing struggle! Thank you for the reminder or what is really important!

  9. I've realized that I'm not alone in this struggle which is why I wanted to share this with all of you! I hope that this post will encourage you to make changes where necessary and to live your life with no regrets, keeping in mind those closest to you! I'm finding it's been so much easier to balance my life once i asked a few close people to keep me accountable.

  10. What a great quote Vanessa! I am writing down for my own reflection! I really appreciate this share. I can certainly relate to your post here. So happy to hear that you are taking back your time to really dig deep into life with your family! THAT is worth it!
    BTW, I LOVE that new header!

  11. well said, Vanessa. Ironically, I read this [similar] blog post yesterday:


    hmmm - maybe I'm supposed to take a hint? :)

  12. Kristin, thanks for noticing the new header! =)

    ang, I've read tons of similar posts myself lately too!


Feel free to leave a note! I love reading your comments! All comments are moderated by me.