“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” – Tony Hsieh

As my Valentine’s Day boudoir approaches I find myself feeling both blessed and apprehensive. When I decided to return to photography I did so with no preconceived notions of going anywhere with it. Yet here I am…almost two years later.

Truth be told, I never thought I would be here.

When I first picked up a camera again, I did so thinking “Hey, let’s see if I still have a love for it.” It had been years since I had picked up a camera. My youngest son was finally starting to need me less (he is Autistic, ADHD, DMDD) and my daughter was heading into kindergarten. I suddenly found the “nest” so to speak – emptying. The days of the week that were once filled with multiple trips to doctors, therapists, and specialists ending with weekends laying on the sofa exhausted were coming to an end, and throughout all that madness I had come to the realization that I had lost myself. I honestly didn’t know who I was anymore outside of being mom.

I would love to say that the experience has been stressless, but it isn’t. Is anything worth doing in life without stress? We wish!

At first I branded under my real name. Boy was that a big mistake. It took one specific photo session – and the aftermath – to realize that, that wasn’t going to work. It was a younger couple. One of the first sessions I did. The entire time the boyfriend was discussing “raping” the girlfriend. As a sexual assault survivor I was very “triggered”, but I somehow maintained my composure (Thank the powers that be for anxiety meds – and several stiff drinks later that day!!!). Fast forward a couple of months and they had split up. He suddenly appeared in my DMs on my private, personal social media talking about how sexy I was and blah, blah, blah. Again, thank you Xanex!

That was a whole lot of nope from me.

So…after spending a bunch of money branding under my personal name I ended up spending even more money…and Three One Seven Photography was born.

I’ve taken a lot of photos since those first few months. Made a lot of friends. And a few regular clients. But it’s never been about the money for me. It’s about the passion, and in a lot of ways it’s therapy for me. I still have to tote my kids to their doctors, therapists, and specialists….but now I have just one thing in my life that is just for me. I have an outlet. I have an escape. And as I continue in this venture…I’m learning exactly who I am and who I want to be.

In 2018 I ended the year with 41 photo sessions under my belt and 224 likes on my Facebook page. By the end of 2019 I had done 61 photo sessions and ended with 802 likes on my Facebook page with the vast majority of those being shot between January-August when I went into lung failure from severe asthma. I can see that I’m growing. I can see the progress I have made. And it is a little overwhelming.

After last years lung failure I find myself apprehensive due to my health, but with the new medication I’m on I’m hopeful that it will all work out. Which is why I scheduled my first boudoir of the year for February 1 & 2. And you know what? I’m almost 100% sold out.

I have so many ideas for the future of Three One Seven Photography, and I hope that each and every one of them comes to fruition. But I need to remember to take things one step at a time.

For now I’m focused on getting through my boudoir marathon…and then it’s time to get back to “business” in terms of expenses. Props, insurance, permits, etc.

Oh the joys of having a business.

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