Taking Care ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

Last week, Lauren casually asked me on Twitter if I had any weddings coming up… which resulted in me actually taking the time to go through my next few months and figure out what exactly I do have coming up. (I mean, obviously I know what I have coming up. I’m aware that I don’t have a weekend off until Thanksgiving… but I never took the time to count everything.) So I counted. (Which was probably a bad idea for someone who likes to take things one day/week at a time to avoid overwhelming myself.)

In the next 12 weeks I have: 9 weddings (1 is 3-days long), 15 regular sessions, and 13 mini-sessions.

And then I had a *small* panic/anxiety attack right there at my desk. I tried to remind myself that I’m going part-time at the day job next week (! ! ! Yay ! ! !) and that will seriously help with my ability to stay caught up, so I should calm down. (But my body didn’t listen – instead it went into “oh my gosh – how am I possibly going to do all this, work a part-time day job, AND attempt to move to a new apartment in the middle of it all?!” mode)

You see, happily, I’m busy enough this fall that I could go full-time with photography. (I know!! Fabulous!! Right?! I’m seriously feeling so blessed and happy about that!!) Except that once January hits – things dry up completely. (Winter in Chicago basically means no photo shoots/income other than deposits received for weddings I book for 2012.) So in the meantime, I have to hold tight at the day job because I will need the income come winter time when photography slows down considerably. So that means this fall is going to be quite the balancing act for me. A test, really.

I’m only in the early stages and I already learned my number 1 lesson: Taking care of myself is my first priority. If I do not force myself to go to bed at a reasonable hour, work out (at least occasionally), and take some non-working time for myself – then I will not make it through these next few months. I’m only heading into my 2nd week of crazy-busy-season and my body started to give out on me because I did not follow this number 1 rule.

Yesterday I woke up to an insanely sore throat and felt like my body had been run over by a truck. Unfortunately I had to call out of work. (I say unfortunately because I have so much to do there & deadlines to meet that I really can’t afford time off right now.) But again, I needed to take care of myself – so in bed I stayed.  Over 12 hours of sleep later – I felt decidedly better. It turns out that lately, most times I feel like I’m getting sick, it’s really just exhaustion taking over my body. Of course.

So I guess it’s good that I learned this lesson early on in the process – and I’m going to do my best to take it to heart for the remainder of the season.

Taking care of myself is my first priority. (If I keep repeating it and writing it in bold & italics, I’ll listen better, right?!) Because a healthier, rested version of myself is the version of myself I want to be (and need to be) for myself and my clients!


(And every post needs a picture! I’m thinking of crisp fall days, wearing jeans & sweaters, and watching football on Sunday afternoons a lot lately… so I thought I’d share a picture of where my brain is… :))

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!