Sometimes, in the hurls and waves that life thrusts us into, we often run into the tendency to be blown along with it, either forgetting or letting our core foundations and values fade underneath its inertia.
This past year has been incredible. Really, from the bottom of my heart, it really has been amazing in so many ways that I cannot even begin to verbalize how. But God has seriously blessed Jenny Sun Photography in ways that I couldn't even fathom 12 months ago and I am humbled by His generosity, and the trust all of you have had in allowing me into your lives to capture little snippets of your souls.
What has made the last 6-12 months different to the previous years I've held my camera and worked for you all, is because of a decision I made to throw caution to the wind and completely change my brand, the company's image, workflow, products/services offered, and an evolution of my photography style. I can't go into details because that would mean I'd be writing a thesis!! But I can say it's meant that Jenny Sun Photography has been able to grow and service in ways we just couldn't before.
At the same time, it has also meant that its become infinitely times more busy!! And juggling the roles of wife, photographer, studio manager, designer, re-toucher, logistics manager, friend, family member, church member and so on has made certain periods of the last 6 to 12 months feel like I was being pulled and stretched in a million and one fine ways, with my one biggest wish being to be able to sleep in peace for 3 months without disturbance! haha... No, well, ok, I exaggerate, but you get the idea. The incredible growth I have been so lucky to experience, meant that my love for life, friends/family/husband... and most importantly, myself, got shoved behind and lost in the tidal wave of this incredible journey. It felt like Photography 2836, Life 3.
Recently, some words of wisdom floated my way from my ever fabulous photography Idol, Jasmine Star. On her blog, she wrote in the spirit of finding balance, that "the urgent should never supercede the more important", and that it's okay if not everything on one's to-do-list isn't always checked off... the world will still go on. The words hit home, and very close to the heart. Because, it reminded me of advice that my husband and my dad have been hinting at me (and sometimes blaring at me on huge signboards! haha) - that YES, I am to be 100% faithful to my work...be passionate, and determined, BUT I should never ever let it affect the essence of who I am, what I love, and the things that matter most in life. To other photographers reading this, who have been chasing after their dreams in this industry, I salute you for your passion and love for your work - your determination is a much needed asset to bringing our industry forward. But at the very same moment - I implore you through and through to look at your business, and then at yourself - to just check that your pursuit has not meant sacrifices on your family/friends, and more importantly on yourself. Because at the end of the day, these sort of things fill and make up your soul.... and an empty soul, I believe, means empty photos. So take heart my dear friends! :) I only want the very best for you in all ways of life! :)
So, in wanting to seek and practice that spirit of balance, I have been slowly rolling out changes in how I've decided to structure my business over the last few months. I'm happy to say that it has been the start to some nights of extra sleep, and hopefully by next year more regular time with family and friends. One of these changes, is introducing new days off - I realized I was working 7 days a week and thats so unhealthy!!
So I'd like to let you all know here that my days off each week now are: SUNDAYS and MONDAYS. If am shooting on a Sunday, then the days off will be MONDAYS and TUESDAYS. And working hours where I will be able to be contactable via phone will be 930am to 530pm. Other than that, please feel free to drop me an email! I have been working all weekend, gearing up for the first Signature Photographers Workshop (which I can safely say went very very well! Will share more later!) so I will be back to resuming and replying emails tomorrow (Wednesday). So for those who have been waiting for a reply from me, look out from tomorrow onwards! :)
On another note, I have been hearing from alot of brides and grooms lately enquiring for spots in my 2008 and 2009 schedule. And sadly, I have not been able to take many of them on due to our incredibly packed quota - I always find it really really hard to say no to potential clients because I hate disappointing people, but I work on a really exclusive basis, whereby we have a certain number of slots available for weddings and pre-weddings/engagement shoots each year. I run what I call a "Quality Boutique Photography Service" which means I really prize myself on giving very personal and dedicated service, which wouldn't be possible if I was working/shooting every day or every other day. I love being able to chat to my brides, get to know them, and really spend time finding out what they want and don't like. So when we say we only have a certain number of slots available each year, the reason behind that is because I want to be able to give you my very best in terms of time, attention, and quality work which doesn't happen if your photographer has a billion clients every year, never gets any rest, and burns out constantly.
So just a note to brides and grooms out there, do enquire with me (or any photographer you are interested in!) early to avoid disappointment :) I can honestly tell you here that I am almost 50% full for 2009, with enquiries and bookings still climbing. So thank you for your awesometastic interest and support this past year - I couldn't have done it without you :D
ps: This picture I've posted today was taken in paris while I was on a bus travelling at goodness knows what high speed! We passed by so many GORGEOUS landscape scenes and I was frustrated we could never stop to just take a shot of it. So I decided, what the heck!! I'm gonna just shoot it through the glass window of the bus anyway. Here was one of the snapshots (by the way, as a traveller and a photographer, I have to say that the French countryside ROCKS WAY BEYOND BELIEF in comparison to the Parisian city) :) This picture is to remind me to stop and remember to enjoy the beauty of life in all its forms around me. Peace!