I'm terrible at NOT being a photographer.

I was trying to ... well, not quit, really, I guess ... take a break? I think I was really just trying to see what life would be like if I wasn't constantly throwing myself into a thousand things.

You know what though? That's what makes me happy. *shrug* I like a certain level of busy. It's not "too busy" unless you don't like it. And I like it.

Nobody really needs to know all of this stuff, but I like to write and this is my blog, so...

Since I don't really talk about myself or what kinds of things I've done or am doing all that much ... here we go ... a condensed partial life story:

I started my photography business while I was in graduate school as a side gig to have an outlet and also bring in supplemental income. I have a masters (geochemistry) but did not finish my PhD (hydrogeology). I had reasons that aren't for this story. I was working in geologic consulting but I didn't love it, and then I was laid off when there was an EPA freeze (that's what I was mostly working on). I was also 6 months pregnant when the layoff happened. I went on so many interviews to find another job but who's going to hire someone that close to maternity leave? For real. Nobody. They can't say that, but they won't. You know? Always the optimist...the blessing is that I ended up having more time to recover after I almost died having our second boy, which is only relevant here because it was the thing that pushed me to go full time.

So I went full time with photography. I wanted to anyway.

It took a little time but it was starting to take off. My husband got a better paying job in Montana and we would be closer to his family, so we decided to move.

I needed to start over in Montana with no network. It takes time to do that with kids, but it was happening.

While we were there, my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law passed away within a few months of each other. We were very close with both of them and it really made Montana super depressing for us even though we have other family and friends and had built a life there. The photography business had just started to take off again but we weren't happy there anymore.

We missed New Mexico and the sun and decided to come to Corrales.

WE LOVE CORRALES. So much. Corrales is magical.

We bought a fixer upper and immediately gutted the whole kitchen and had a lot of work to do. That DIY stuff took all of our time. We still aren't done with the house.

In late 2019 I decided to start the business over again here. I opened a lovely space right here in Corrales and then the PANDEMIC hit just as things were starting to go.

Come on, really?!?!?!

Event photography shut down and weddings were being cancelled and moved, but I didn't have much happening here yet so I was lucky in that regard.

I got sick (probably covid...it was right at the beginning) and a switch turned on in my body for some autoimmune disease. It took a while to figure all of that out.

During the pandemic I started painting more full time than on the side. That was kind of the point for buying a house with a studio in Corrales, so now here we are. The painting has become my full time job. Photography moved to the side again. Way to the side. I wasn't doing it very much. I wasn't even sure what direction I wanted to go. I was primarily a wedding and women's portraits/boudoir photographer before. I wasn't doing weddings anymore and I don't have a studio setup for boudoir here.

I kept myself busy during the pandemic (and now) anyway.

My geologist friend called me and asked if I would like to illustrate a geology book. And I said, heck yeah! Another hat to wear! haha

I made the yearbook for 3 years at the elementary school, I take photos at Jogathon every year, I'm on the board for First Sundays in Corrales and the Corrales Society of Artists (VP and Corrales Art Studio Tour chair this year). I volunteer every week at On a Wing and a Prayer. I'm a member of Ghostwolf Gallery in Old Town where I work the gallery 3 times a month. I have two boys with sports and music activities that I haul them around to, and 3 Great Danes, and 12 chickens. I was doing occasional photo sessions. I started teaching myself Japanese. I took up knitting. I just got certified to practice Reiki I and II. I just went to Colorado for an event from that geology book.

Back to the point of the blog post .... I was trying to see if I could take one thing off the plate, I guess. Especially since I've had to stop and restart so many times with moving and the pandemic. The pandemic smashing the photography business to the ground for a THIRD time put me in a weird and discouraged head space about it for a while.

But as we can see, the point of listing all of that stuff I do up there was to illustrate that I fill my time up no matter what. haha

And as it turns out, I think I actually need it. I love doing it and I'm pretty good at it.

I love your families and how happy you are when you get your photos. I really do. I miss it when I don't get to do it. I mean, look at how happy they are in that photo up there. I'm happy that they're happy. It's a happy-fest. That's what photography is for me. haha

The point of all of this is that I'm not going to just let it go. We aren't moving anywhere else. My body is fine, despite the autoimmune stuff. The boys are older and more self-sufficient.

It's a sort of relaunch, I guess? A re-opening of the books is more like it.

I'll be photographing Jogathon again on Friday.

At the end of the month I will be setting up in a booth at the Corrales Harvest Festival to do photos and I'll have a special that weekend for people who book during the event. I'm working on details now. More about that next time.