I’ve been feeling a lot of burnout lately and I’ve been trying to figure out ways to combat it. When I am extremely busy or overwhelmed, the first thing I do is drop the time I spend on myself. This might help in the short-term, but when I get out of the habit of making time for my own interests, everything eventually suffers.
If there’s one thing I’ve truly missed, it’s photography. I used to have a goal of taking a photo every single day (that’s actually why I started the Daily Photo section on this site!), with the majority of the photos to be taken with my DSLR camera. But slowly, I started using my iPhone camera more and more, giving myself the excuse that I didn’t have time to develop my DSLR pictures (I shoot in a RAW format that has to be converted). I realized the other day that I miss the control my DSLR gives me. I enjoy the challenge of shooting in manual, and while my iPhone photos are great, they can’t compare to the quality I can produce on my my giant digital camera.
I started a photography certificate program at UCLA five years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), but thanks to babies, pregnancies, and moving, I never finished it. At this point, I’d have to start over, which would be fine in theory but I have no interest in commuting to UCLA. Instead, I’ve been looking into advanced classes closer to home, and I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve found. However, most of the classes I’m interested in require a portfolio. And so, I’ve been picking up my camera again…and it feels good.
I’m definitely rusty. When I look at these photos I see all the improvements I should have made in-camera, but I’m still pleased with how they turned out. It’s a low-pressure situation for me. My classmates at UCLA were all interested in becoming professionals in fashion or wedding photography. I just want to get better for myself. I want to fill my house with photos I’m proud of.
I’m going to be 36 in a few months, and while I may not be college-student young I’m not going to let that stop me. I also want to take creative writing classes, and I want to start taking sewing classes again. I especially need to let go of the guilt that the time I’m in a class could be “better spent” at home or work. These are the kinds of things that will improve my mood and my work, and when I’m in a better place my whole family is better for it. I hope you’ll indulge me as I start posting more landscapes and macros. I’m looking forward to being behind the camera again!
Best of luck with your portfolio. Those photos all look beautiful to me.
Those are beautiful pictures to my untrained eye. I wish you luck with your portfolio and taking time to do something you are passionate about.
The middle photo absolutely took my breath away.
Jeanne P says:
You already take beautiful photos so I can only imagine how excited you must be to make them even better.
I find when I am feeling a little stressed out being creative really helps .
Good for you Heather…I, too, would like to take photography classes. I am not as advanced like you. In fact, I’m completely novice but having fun playing with my new DSLR camera. My boys are young adults, still home, but as much as I miss them being your kids age, it is all a refreshing time for me, doing a few things that I want to do. So kudos and enjoy!!
Debbie A-H says:
Go for it. I love your photos!
When my friends say they don’t think they’ll be able to come to one of our get togethers or that they’re too busy with life stuff going on, I remind them there’s a reason the airlines tell moms to put their air mask on before those of their children – as hard a concept as that is for our momma selves. If we’re not good to ourselves, how can we be good for those we love? We have to take care of us so that we’re able to take care of ours. I can’t wait to see what other talents this class brings out in you!
I’m looking forward to seeing the photos that you’ll be taking, Heather. We have to take care of ourselves first, so we can give the proper care to our family. You do a fantastic job in taking care of your beautiful family,,,but don’t short change yourself, honey!
Kitty Deschanel says:
The time could be better spent? Bah! Just think of the wonderful example you’re setting for Annie and James as they watch you voluntarily challenge yourself with classes you enjoy.
I had the exact same guilt when I started back to school part time last fall!! However my husband looked at me and said he would help whenever and wherever needed (and he has!!), that he believed in me and that I am showing my girls, 11 and 7, that you can do anything you set your mind too!! Does the housework sometimes get left because of test, assignments and studying, YOU BET!! Does it get left because I chose my family over housework in the little time we have together, YOU BET!!!! The kids don’t judge us by how clean our house is or how perfect we are. They look at us with amazement and wonder of being their MOM!!!!
I can’t wait to see the pictures. I took a camera class last summer and then promptly forgot just about everything I learned. Maybe you’ll inspire me to get the camera out again. (Btw, you inspired me to finally do the Whole30 I’ve been putting off for a long time. Currently, I’m on Day 21 and feel so much better. Arthritis symptoms are virtually gone. Can barely believe it. So, thanks for the inspiration!)
Marjorie Steele says:
You have the most beautiful “subjects” to focus on and capture! Can’t wait to see what the future has in store!
Are you as obsessed as I am with all of this green, long, grassy stuff everywhere right now? I totally did an impromptu photoshoot with my daughter on the side of the road the other day because I just couldn’t even stand it. Who knew LA could look like this? Thanks, rain.
Anyway, that’s fantastic that you’re going to go back to school! I am 35, and I went back and got my AA in photography 4 years ago. I also just wanted to up my game for taking pics of my own family, but then I did pursue it as a career and now do photography full time and have recently made the shift to weddings. I was always terrified at the prospect of them, but now they’re my favorite. (Still a little terrifying though! SO much pressure!)
My problem now is that I rarely take anything but iphone pics of my OWN family. I mean… there has probably been months where I did not take a single dslr shot of my own children (yet took thousands of other people’s children) and that’s something I’m now focusing on changing. The impromptu session in the grassy hillside with my own daughter was so fun and special, and no one’s paying me to do it so no pressure!
Enjoy getting back into photography! I’m excited to see your shots!
Love photography as well. Definitely just for fun! Enjoy and can’t wait to see your prints.
Ms. DH says:
Beautiful photos. Where did you take these?
Thank you! At the beginning of the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa trail in the Santa Monica Mountains.
So excited for you and simpy can’t wait for you to post your pictures!
That last one of your daughter – AMAZING!! Not even the right word for it but that’s just how incredibly breathtaking it is!
I especially like the photo of Annie and James. The background is beautiful!
Welcome back to the saddle. Good for you.