As most of you will know, we recently had our first child. Our gorgeous little 3 month old, Jazzlyn, is such a blessing. We love spending every moment with her, and of course as new babies do, she demands most of our time. How do we juggle family life and business life successfully? Well we are still working through a lot of these hurdles and will share more in coming weeks.
I personally, as full time mum, and full time business operator (Stuart works a full time job, and I look after the business), have found that running a successful business with a young baby is hard work. “Duh!” all you mums out there are saying. Perhaps I thought she’d sleep more during the day? Perhaps I thought I’d have more time? But though Jazzlyn certainly dominates my days, the biggest change I found is that I WANT her to. My life before Jazzlyn found me certainly more passionate about our business. I could get stuck into projects for hours on end, sometimes not moving from the computer or from what I was doing to even get lunch. Now I struggle to get to the computer at all during the day. My emails go into “action” folders, and sometimes are not responded to for several days! I used to respond on the spot. My editing takes place later into the night, once Jazzy is fast asleep. We have been blessed with a child that sleeps remarkably well at night though, often going down for sleep around 8pm and not waking up until 6 or 7am. So I need to make the most of those evenings, but by then… I’m exhausted! But our Photography business is still something I’m passionate about. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. So lately I’ve been working through what I can do, refocusing some of our energies on types of photography that can be done without neglecting Jazzlyn, and projecting for the future.
In a couple of weeks we photograph our first long wedding since having Jazzlyn. We’ll be shooting for at least 10 hours. The longest I’ve been without her so far has been around 2 hours, so this will certainly be a challenge. But we have everything in place and I’m confident that it will all work out well. My parents are booked in to babysit for the day – and they are looking forward to it, Jazzlyn being their first and only Grandchild. We’ve got the feeding part of it sorted for the day, me pumping and Jazzlyn being fed some expressed milk and some formula. Because she is BF mostly but topped up at night with FF, it gives us the flexibility to FF (Forumla Feed) when we are apart.
I’m also concentrating more of my energies on newborn and baby shoots that can take place in the studio mid week, with Jazzlyn either watching in the studio or sleeping. This gives us the flexibility of continuing with shoots, without needing to arrange for baby sitting. I really feel it’s important to spend as much time as possible with my daughter, particularly in the early months/years, so I want to find as many avenues of shooting/working as possible that enable me to keep Jazzlyn with me. She’s been quite good during the recent shoots that we’ve done, and has been quite a hit with the clients who can’t get enough of her little smiles.
I’m sure that our business will continue to evolve and change in coming months as we settle in with our new addition. And I look forward to sharing the joys, the challenges, and the changes with you here in the hope that many of you may benefit, if you have a young family, or if you are starting one and are also building your photography business. Let’s share this journey together.