Mothering + Running a Business

Everyday when I awake, I see it but I still find it hard to believe it. 

I am a mother.

When I began this business journey as a photographer, I was a single young woman with hopes of becoming engaged, getting married, and then I had no idea what would be next. Then real life kicked in and turned my life towards a completely different direction. I met my prince charming, married him in a whirlwind, and began building our little family. Fast forward a few years now and I never imagined I'd be blessed to be a mother. I am humbled. I am honored. I am overjoyed. The Lord has entrusted me to mother three amazing little souls and while the job is so hard, it truly is rewarding. 

Our littlest one is about to be one year old and I can't imagine what it will be like running after three walking tiny humans. I pray I am doing a good enough job. I pray we can have more. 
I pray that they are always loved. 

 

Cheers to a great weekend friends!

Personal Project | Tiniest of Details

Earlier this year I wrote about some business goals I was setting for myself to accomplish. I kept the list small to be reasonable and not stress myself out. One of my goals was to begin a personal photographic project. I have thought about what I wanted to document for a few weeks now and today I finally decided on a theme. 

I am a fairly small person. While I am not the tiniest of tiny, I am a small individual. I like little things, quaint and charming details. Photographing such details is one of my favorite parts to document during the wedding day. So today I decided I would like to focus on small, quaint and charming details to photograph. I will be a macro (micro) project documenting tiny little details. 

I look forward to all the tiny details I'll discover and document over the next few months. I am hoping to complete this project towards or at the end of the year. I won't share the images I capture often but may share some from time to time. I am hoping to collect them and share with you at the end of the year. I think it will make for a neat project reveal.

I am excited for this! Today, I'll share with you the first set of images.

 2015 © Marisol Izaguirre

2015 © Marisol Izaguirre

Happy Thursday friends!

2015 Business Goals | Marisol Izaguirre LLC

I have been meaning to write out some goals for this new business year (wohoo! It's 2015!!!) for quite a few weeks already and life has just kept me busy. I have had some goals floating around in my mind but haven't had the discipline to sit down for a few minutes and write them down. Today feels like a good night to ponder them out. So here it goes...

I ended the year in business with a sad and disappointed state of mind. While I kept these feelings mostly to myself and only just recently shared them with my close family and friends, I figured they are definitely important to how some of the goals for this year are shaped. Without going into much detail at the present moment, I realized a multitude of things as the year progressed and business entered the autumn/early winter season. I pride myself in what I do and the relationships I build with the people I work. For so many years I have always felt a little out of place in my area and with the clientele who often inquired about my services. For some reason, I simply do not intake a large volume of wedding work and, while I certainly like the way it keeps me busy just enough, I also feel like I am sometimes, quite often actually, overruled with anxiety by the lack of volume intake. I'm not quite sure you'll understand what I mean with the aforementioned sentence but I suppose I can try to explain.

Over the years, I feel like some clients have taken advantage of my generosity and just in the latter part of 2014, I felt like some people really mistook my kindness and love of my craft for sheer naiveness. Alas, perhaps I am naive, however, I am quite content with the work that I have and figured that I needed to really focus on further creating my very own niche in the general and overall wedding industry. In simpler terms, some of the people I worked with this past year helped guide me towards the direction in which I am aiming to take my craft in. Most importantly, the birth of my second child has really shifted my focus and priority on the importance of being a parent, and, simultaneously, an entrepreneur. 

Thus, it is with great joy that I have decided a few things about my photography, the business, and the direction I am headed in.

First, I have decided to no longer focus on photographing weddings in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as my primary source of work. I think I am more interested in happily being a mother to my children and running my business from my home. I am interested in running a business that takes me around the world from the comfort of my own home. I don't want to stress over maintaining an office and pouring my all for potential clients with who's style and budget I simply don't fit. Which reminds me, I have since the beginning of 2015, I have implemented a new pricing for all new wedding inquiries. You can find more information on the website and by emailing me.  I have significantly increased my prices closer to where I was priced at a few years ago. I did so because after lowering them, I felt like I needed to work my way back up to a pricing range I felt comfortable at. Furthermore, I feel like a price increase will make it easier to weed out any unfulfilled inquiries from potential clients who may not place a higher value on photography in their wedding planning - which, by the way, is completely okay! I simply no longer want to stress myself out over winning the client simply to be hired. I don't want to compete for a wedding if someone simply is not interested in the photography what I view is its value. This is something I have always struggled with. I will be happy to accept any weddings in the Rio Grande Valley area if I am hired, but if I don't book any it is okay.  Simply stated, my focus is no longer in this area.

Second, I am no longer accepting any new mini session commissions. Mini Sessions are no longer a viable source of photography income for my business. It has been a complete struggle to compete with much less expensive fees from various other studios who put out mini sessions for every occasion. Actually, I feel like "mini sessions" are no longer that; they simply are just sessions at a very competitive price. In 2014 I, too, shared a few specials but failed to book a single spot. Zilch. Nada! Thus, it has been my experience, that my portrait commissions, while few and far in between, are much more profitable in every essence of the word, both artistically and financially, than a mere mini session. Personally, I think the age of the Mini Session is over. It is for me. 

Third, I am a photographer. I photograph because I love the art and craft. I am not merely a wedding photographer. This is an amazing career that keeps me constantly learning. I love learning about the old ways and learning about the new ways to create photographs. If I don't ever photograph a single wedding ever again it does not mean I cease to be a photographer. In fact, I am very excited to dive into personal projects and photograph, once again, because I love to. I will forever be a photographer, paid or not. I think what I am trying to convey is that if no one hires me for a wedding, I will be okay. I really will! 

Okay - now for some business goals. I think I will write out ten goals and work on achieving them. Ten seems like a  feasible number and I really, really, want to come back at the end of the year and tell you about how I accomplished each one. 

  1. Participate in a Central or North Texas Wedding Show
  2. Advertise somewhere (magazine/blog/?)
  3. Submit weddings and engagements for blog publication
  4. Get a wedding published in a wedding blog
  5. Meet (at least) one new wedding vendor and build a good relationship
  6. Book (at least) one wedding outside my local area
  7. Organize my hard drive (yikes!!!)
  8. Begin a photography project 
  9. Organize and photograph a styled shoot
  10. Have a professional headshot taken

Ten goals I aim to accomplish. Ten tasks I will work to complete. If you have kept up with the blog recently, you'll notice I have already accomplished one of them! In fact, I may have accomplished a few of them already so I hope it is a step in the right direction. 

Finally, I want to thank you my faithful reader. If you exist, some of you are new and some of you have read my words since I first began blogging so many years ago. While I write much less now, I feel like there is a renewed passion for my career. This past year showed me a lot of my strengths and a lot of my flaws. This blog continues to serve its primary purpose: to remind me of where I have been, where I dream of going, and where I go. I look forward to looking back on this post someday, too, and smiling. 

Cheers to a great 2015!

 New Mexico | 2015 © Marisol Izaguirre

New Mexico | 2015 © Marisol Izaguirre

My newest endeavor, a baby boy!

I've been rather busy since the start of this year, mostly running after my little girl. Once she learned to walk, she really picked up the pace quite fast. Add growing a baby, a very big baby, into the mix and you may be able to understand why it has been difficult for me to keep up with the blog. There has been many favorite images I have wanted to show and share but, ultimately, spending time with my growing little family took most of my free time. I'll be honest, it's been a struggle finding the balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship all while being a wife. Did I mention I am still actively a daughter and big sister to three growing young men? Rightfully so, I am no different than any woman out there; I have a few things I need to learn to juggle. I am just starting to find my routine, and keeping a balance. 

Last evening my husband and I were discussing my inability to focus on the computer and catch up on the business side of photography. Being a photographer, for me, is so much more than merely  snapping pretty photos and printing them. I need to be involved and lately I feel like I haven't been. In discussing possible options to find my balance, my husband simply out of tiredness giggled at me. There I was, sitting on the nursery floor and still in my pajamas, writing out a massive to-do list. The only problem was I couldn't find the time to make myself do any of it. I was trying to find a scapegoat, something to blame my lack of enthusiasm for my business. I searched and came up empty handed. The only one to blame was me. I, myself, had fallen off the excitement wagon that so effortlessly made my job easy. I now found it tiring to step into my office and simply work. 

But excuses aside, the birth of the newest addition to our little family has made my mobility, so to speak, much easier. While healing from a caesarian has made recovery much more annoying and admittedly difficult, I feel like I can physically work now on finding that balance. I feel the creative juices flowing deep within me again and a drive has certainly been reignited. I should note that I partly need to thank my brother Michael for a very inspiring pep talk yesterday afternoon. I also need to thank him for always bringing Abigail and I lunch when my husband had to return to work. 

It is because I am surrounded by amazing and loving people that I am able to do what I do, my children included. Four weeks ago, my husband and I welcomed our son - a healthy and beautiful baby boy! Our little girl is now a big sister and we are now a family of four. My excitement to create, and share with my children as they grow, inspires me. I want to be the best because they deserve the best. Most importantly, I want to be the best because my family believes in me. 

I was looking through my husband's baby book and found the following quote handwritten by his mother about the day he was born.

Joshua, your dad is a very good man. I hope that you grow up to be as kind as he is. I hope that you will take an interest in your wife and your children - even from the beginning!
— Janet Roten

I found these words quite profound and immediately felt like reminding my in-laws of the wonderful son they raised. Joshua, my dearest husband, has grown up to be kind. He is so ceaselessly interested in our children and so very much in love with me from the day we first met. We were meant to be together, he and I. It is because of his love and support that I have been able to be both a mother and photographer from the comfort of our little home. I just want to spend time with my little family! However, as my sister Sofia once said, I need to continue with what I set out to create. The excitement that photographing people deeply in love showed me has manifested in my own personal life. Over the past two years I have been on a ride looking to find my role in our household as a wife, mother, and business owner. The journey will be long but I am so thankful to have the journey to travel. I am re-focused, and ready to create, again - and again, until I can no longer re-invent my craft for myself. 

So because my blog has always been a tad personal, here is our little boy... Finnley Dalton :)

God is good. 

Thank you for reading, thank you for always reading. 

**A special thank you to the best clients ever.**