Balancing Photography and Motherhood … Is it Possible?

So my plans for this blog are greater than just Lindsey Portugal Photography. The plan for this blog is to be more of a place that I can share my life with you – family, friends, clients. So in the way of being honest, I am going to just share some of my recent thoughts and feelings.

I want to quit my photography. Ok ok that seems a bit abrupt, and it is partially true and partially not true. It is more like, SOMETIMES I want to quit photography, well not photography, but more so my photography business. I have debated whether or not to be so candid but I figure there are others that might be struggling with the same thing.

This is a feeling I have been dealing with off and on for almost two years. For those who know me, you probably realize that that time frame coincides with my journey into motherhood. I have struggled with balancing a business and being the best stay at home mom I could be. I have always been a type-A personality, with a perfectionist drive. This means whatever I do, I try to do 100%. The problem is that I can’t be 100% photographer business woman and 100% mom. Whenever I feel like I am doing a decent job with my photography business, I am not spending time with my daughter. Whenever, I feel like I am doing a great job being a mother, I am letting my photography business fall by the wayside.

Now I know there are women who do both successfully. Honestly, kudos to them because they are amazing. However, I think in some cases, these women built their businesses BEFORE they had kids (or after their kids were somewhat self sufficient).  It is very difficult to BUILD a photography business from the ground up while raising a toddler. I did start my photography business before my daughter, however, I was working full time as a CPA then as well. My photography business hasn’t grown that much since I started it and I don’t know if I have the time to grow it. It takes a lot of time to market a photography business. There are many photographers in the market (as I am sure you know), so rising above takes work and TIME. It also take a lot of time to raise a child. I constantly feel as if I am not spending enough time with Noelle, not working with her enough on verbal and physical skills, etc. There are also motherly jobs that don’t revolve around Noelle, such as laundry, meal planning, cooking, and cleaning. I fall short on so many levels when it comes to these things and I know I don’t have to. I also want to have time to exercise, paint, and blog about my family. I also want to be more involved in fighting legislation that takes away parental rights (among other issues).

There are also considerations for the future. What if I am able to have another child? Then I will have two children to take care of + a photography business. What if my photography business DOES grow? Then, more time will be taken from Noelle. What will happen when Noelle is old enough to start homeschooling? Time will be very limited. I know that is a couple of years away but these are all things that I am considering.

So far it definitely seems like everything is stacked in the direction of giving up the photography business. However, let me provide some of the reasons why I would stay with it. I truly do believe that God has given me a gift. I don’t want to waste a gift that God has given me. I still struggle with this because in what capacity can I use the gift God has given me… does it HAVE to be in business? I don’t think it does. If I gave up my photography business, I would still volunteer my services to my church, and utilize my skills for my own family and my blog. I also might still do free sessions for those in need but I am not sure yet. The other consideration is my passion for birth photography and birth activism. I love being a part of the birth teams for all my clients. I would hate to miss out on all of that, but I know that if this is what God wants me to do, He will provide another way for me to be involved. There are also some costs associated with closing my business. One of them is that I will have some tax backlash since my deducted property is not fully depreciated yet. Lastly, I also fear that I will feel like a quitter. I am afraid I will be disappointed in myself that I couldn’t make it all work. This is probably my biggest fear to letting it go.

One question always seems to come up whenever I mention the idea of quitting my business. That question is: Can’t you just keep your business and not market it? Can’t you just take the business if it comes, and not worry about it? The answer to these questions is actually no. In order to run a business, there are a few things I have to pay for every year. One of them is property taxes. I have to pay property taxes on all of my equipment every year and as most Texans know, property tax rates are NOT low. I also hold business liability and property insurance. This is really important in case anyone decides to sue me or I break any of my gear. So there would always be pressure to at least cover those costs. In addition, I would have to INVEST more into the business if I continued with paid birth photography clients. I don’t currently have a backup camera body which is crucial to continuing with birth photography in the long run.

Anyway, these are the considerations that I am currently making. I know this isn’t probably the most interesting post to read but it is what is weighing on my heart right now. I am praying that God will lead me in the right direction.

Thanks all for reading! I hope to be writing more in the near future! I will leave you with a cute pic of my baby girl 🙂

 

Lindsey Portugal is based out of middle TN

Comments

  1. Amanda Nelson says

    Hey! Don’t know if you remember me, but I’m the organizer who recently gave birth that met with you a while back. My baby is actually 4 months next week! After a not-so-lovely hospital transfer a month before his due date (which almost killed me…literally) I too, have considered the consequences of full-time mom vs part-time business owner / part-time mom. I think there really is no good answer. We both will eventually be forced to choose either because business slows beyond profitable or because we see the detriment to our home life. In either case, the decision is personal and no one will judge you. I grew up with a fabulous working mom, but I know I’ll never be able to do what she did. Good luck to you and your sweet family. Praying your heart finds peace!

  2. Jennifer Drake says

    God has a way of showing you what he wants for you. I know it will work out the way it is supposed to. I hope you are doing well Lindsey:)

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