Sometimes, all you need is time. And I don't mean setting aside blocks of time once a week to put all thoughts on paper or taking a day of PTO to give yourself space to process and create. Don't get me wrong, those ideas are great, but by time, I more or less mean extended time.
Earlier this year, I opened up my calendar to take on clients and I was completely wowed at how many people booked with me. Over the moon and entirely thankful would be considered mere understatements. It was something I wasn't expecting in the slightest. I was entirely booked December through May and I slowed down for the summer. At first, I felt compelled to launch another ad or reconfigure my marketing tactics to keep busy throughout the summer, but then I realized how much of a luxury it is to have time. Especially at the stage I am at in the growth of my business, I need time to plan, execute, and reevaluate all branding, strategy, and growth processes.
Burnout was a hot topic in my last post, however, it really is an important topic of discussion, especially for me. I've always enjoyed working hard, meeting new people, and living as freely as I can. This year, 2021 brought a positive new challenge for me. That being my own business. I continued - and currently continue - to work hard, capture important moments, and return galleries in a timely manner and this is a BUSY job.
While talking with my parents a few months back, it became suddenly clear that I am kind of working two full time jobs. I work my 9-5 job every weekday, but the second I leave the office, my title changes to Kayla Koch: Freelance Photographer. This is my title from 5pm until sometimes 11pm on many weekdays night and multiple weekends a month. When I say this out loud, I'm finally able to recognize how genuinely busy my schedule is.
So, why do I say all of this?
I say all of this because after a while, I start to lose my creative drive and to be honest, that scares me. Coming into this creative industry, I had so much inspiration and drive and seemingly endless creativity. However, working hard causes you to be tired. Or at least this was true in my case. After running so hard, I began to notice little inconsistencies in myself and I didn't want these little inconsistencies to find their way into my business and cause real problems.
A few months ago, my parents, boyfriend, and I went up to Prescott, Arizona. My parents purchased a little condo up there a little over a year ago we refer to as, "The Cabin". Prescott was my home away from home as a kid. We'd go up almost every other weekend until I began middle school. Going back up there again and spending more than a few hours in the small mountain town felt like going home once again. Although we barely left the house, we left the patio door open and listened to the cool breeze blow through the trees directly out front.
I stayed for an extra night while my boyfriend drove back down to Phoenix to shoot a show at a local venue (he's seriously the most insane nightlife photographer). My parents had some friends over and I sat at the dining room table editing while they sipped wine and conversed. It was the most calm and away from distractions and my bustling lifestyle I had felt in quite a while. I edited an entire birthday party session in a few hours with a glass of wine in hand. Quite the night.
This was the first weekend - in a long while - I didn't schedule a session for myself. And I needed that. Being able to completely come down, relax and get my tasks done felt so soothing and in doing so, allowed me to refresh my creative mindset. Everyone needs to allow themselves time to breathe to put forward the best version of themselves.
While I was up north, I thought through so many marketing plans, digital advertising, and creative session ideas and it truly made me feel as though my batteries had recharged over the course of two days. And now, I absolutely cannot wait to go back up north as soon as I possibly can.
After months of consistent Friday evening - Sunday sessions, I needed some time to be... me. To be honest, I feel incredibly refreshed.
Many things are in the works. I can sense things are changing. Although I'm not certain what that entirely means, I am prepared for what is to come. Exciting things are happening at KKP and it is my hope I can bring my audience, friends, and family along with me via social media, blogging, podcasting, and in person.
Cheers to all that has come to pass as we raise a toast to the future.