Don’t let your business take over your life

Photography is important to me in so many ways. I not only do this as a passion I do this because it’s what I love. I have always had a creative side to me. As a young adult, I went to graphic design school and wanted to learn how to get all these creative ideas I had out there in the universe. I didn’t finish Graphic design school because of a divorce and having to be a single parent but I did promise myself that I would learn as much as I could and to make my dreams a reality one day.

In 2013 I met and married my soul mate and he agreed that I should be happy in doing what I loved and not hating my 9-5 corporate life. I wanted to be a mom and there for my kids, but I wanted to help my family financially and I knew that photography could do that. I have been mentored and also done a lot of self-teaching. I watch a load of youtube videos and have a very close-knit group of friends that I can bounce ideas off of that I feel like I am always going to be able to learn more and become better and better as the years go by.

I believe educating yourself is HUGE and will help you along your path as a photographer I also believe that you have to balance all this out If you want to keep your sanity. I don’t want to spend hours at my desk editing or worrying about the fact of how many Instagram followers I have. I don’t want to be sucked into the “Oh, her/his photography is better than mine” I want to do what I love and know that I AM GOOD ENOUGH!

As photographers, there are so many amazing outlets for us to learn and also to teach. One of these days I would love to be able to teach those that are aspiring to do birth photography all the things that I have learned and helped them know that it’s very special and requires a little more than just knowing that you have had a baby so you could do birth photography.

Photography is a large investment if you are going to do it right. You have to buy a camera that will handle lighting situations that are not always the best. You have to purchase lenses that can help you achieve looks that you want. You have to buy memory cards to hold all those precious memories until you can get them home and onto that expensive backup system. You have to have a computer that can give you speed so that you can edit your images. You have to purchase client management systems to keep track of everything. There is also business insurance and liability insurance. The list goes on and on. Again, it’s not cheap being a photographer, but when you have everything in place it makes life so much more manageable and easier to enjoy.

You know most photographers want to be published, they spend countless. hours planning “styled shoots” and getting props ready, planning for the place to do the shoot. They work endless hours on finding the perfect location and making sure that they have everything ready for the big day. This has to be exhausting. It has to take away from their family time and the people they love. I set out on this journey of photography to make sure and do one thing that I knew that I could balance my family time and my life well. I don’t want to make a six-figure income, although don’t get me wrong that would be great, I want to do what I love and at least be compensated for it to where I can continue this passion and not feel like I am going to spiral out of control one day.

I have seen over the past few months a few people that I know and follow leaving the photography scene, it saddens me to see this but I know that there had to come a time that they were so engulfed in their business that it had to have taken away from the little things that matter most to them. At least that’s my opinion.

I have set myself up to where I am happy with my life as a photographer here and now. I know that getting published is freaking awesome and all but the work that goes behind all that will just take me away from doing little things with my daughter, like watching Once upon a time all freaking day, or painting toenails, or just cuddling on the couch with my 16-month-old.

Yes, I would love to be able to have those badges under my name, but I can promise you this, those badges don’t make me who I am as a photographer, they don’t make me any better as a person. I love photographing births and littles so much and really believe that if my clients see my work that’s all they need to know that I love my job and what I do! I don’t need 15 different publications to publish my work to prove that I am this badass. All I need is those that believe in me and that’s what makes me love what I do!

I don’t want to look back on my life as a photographer and say “what in the hell did I do with all that time” I don’t want to wake up one day to see my kids grown and not have images of them just being kids. I want to capture all the moments I can and make sure that I am there to see them at school plays and enjoy school activities.

I know that there will be times that I will not be able to make these commitments happen but that is life, it’s not perfect, but I am doing the best I can as a mom, wife, and photographer to balance this life and make sure that I give 110%.

I write this post to just write because writing these days is something that gives me joy and helps me get all of this “stuff” out. I am not sure that it will make you love me or not but, I am here to help others that may be struggling with all this fame and wanting to be that person that has all those badges and publications. Just enjoy what you do, do it with your whole heart and NEVER think you are not good enough!

Brooke Flanagan is a Northern Virginia birth and Maternity photographer specializing in documentary {photojournalistic} style photography and video storytelling sessions.
Based in Quantico and serving families throughout NoVA, MD, and Washington DC.


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© 2019 Brooke Flanagan Photography | Designed by Photography Web Designs

© 2019 Brooke Flanagan Photography
Designed by Photography Web Designs

Brooke Flanagan Photography