out with the old…

Kind of.

In a nutshell, 2013 was an awesome year for my business. It continued to grow at warp speed. This is good news. :) If I’m being honest, it did leave me a little burnt out toward the end though. Thus, I have thoroughly enjoyed my December break (with a few lil’ sessions sprinkled into the first ten days). I’ve had time to relax, lounge, not get dressed (ha!), workout, do silly, spontaneous things with the kids, indulge in my night-owl tendencies and not care if I go to bed at 3am because I don’t have to be fully alert for a newborn the following day and most fun for me, scrap & design! I miss playing in Photoshop where it’s just for fun and not because I have to. So many times I’ll sit to work on a scrapbook page and think “I can’t. I really should get this person’s gallery finished.” …even though I’m well in front of my deadline. That’s just the way my brain works though. It needs to tackle things in order, sometimes to the point of driving me mad.

After some soul-searching and discussing with my husband, I’ve decided to make a few changes in the new year. When I sit back and think about why this month felt so carefree and just fun, I realize it’s because I had time to create & create & create. You can see it on my FB wall when I post pictures of my recent layouts and it’s visible in my Instagram where I’ve been having more time to play with my pics and just have fun with them. Nothing feels rushed. I feel like I can finally, once again, enjoy the whole process. I kind of missed it. And as such, I will be scaling back my business in the new year.

I need to find a better balance between the two worlds: business and personal. See, while the shooting part works out great for me since I do it while my three kids are in school full-time, it’s the editing that is taking a toll. I am not one of those photogs that snaps a group of pics and calls it good. I just cannot and will not do it. It takes me around 10-14 days to edit a birthday session (mainly because I work on multiple ones simultaneously, and of course, have mom & house wife duties calling my name!) and three solid weeks to edit a newborn. Lots of red eyes, dry skin and blue feet need to be corrected and I won’t rush through it. Now that you know this, I can paint you a little picture:

Business booms and I am left shooting 5 days a week. Between 5 & 7 sessions Monday-Friday. I love this part. It’s fun and awesome and I meet cute kids and great people. But now, I have 5-7 sessions that need editing and then, I start another week. Then another. See how it snowballs? Then I am eventually left pulling 3am-ers as I try to catch up before a fresh week of sessions begins. This just took its toll on me big time in November.

So my friends, I am still here, but I’m scalin’ it back! I’ve said on more than one occasion to my husband this December, while basking in a crazy amount of free time: “Do you see how much better a housewife I could be if I wasn’t working all of the time?” It was tongue-in-cheek but you know what? It’s kind of true. I would at least have more time to fold laundry (boo, but I suppose yay for kids who desire clean socks) and cook dinner (something I do like to do, but only when I have tons of time to do it!)

My supportive husband has always said from day 1 that I didn’t have to work, and I love him for it. I also think I’d be crazy-bored if I didn’t work at all soooo… I am combining my craziness with his laidback-ed-ness (like my made up word?) and I am going to try to find a happy medium in the new year!

** I am going to attempt to keep my sessions to 3 days a week (which ideally would be 3-5 sessions total). I don’t know if this will work but I am going to try.

** I will only be taking 4 newborns per month.

** Most importantly, and I know some people won’t be happy with this one, I am not taking any Summer newborns! I apologize but this is what I need to do right now so I can be available 24/7 for my family and all of the awesomeness Summer with young kids has to offer.

** I will also be keeping the rest of my Summer schedule extremely light and I plan on setting up birthday sessions 1x a week. Yep. Once a week. So if you know you want a session, please don’t delay because I am, in a roundabout way, taking the entire Summer OFF, more or less.

We will see how my plan plays out. It’s funny how your priorities change. When I started this journey 3 1/2 years ago, I wanted to grow & become known. I was kept delightfully busy as a newcomer on the scene. So much so, that eighteen months ago, I stopped accepting family sessions and shooting on weekends. Last year, I was mostly concerned about growing my business and being the biggest & best I could be, within my Monday-Friday time frame. I am happy with what I’ve accomplished but I don’t want to run myself into the ground doing it. Now it’s time for another scale-back. The kids are getting older, their activities are getting busier and our schedules are getting crazier. I’ve always classified myself first and foremost as a wife & mother, and that’s what I need to focus on right now.

Since I’ve been back on my scrapping game this past month and really enjoying it, I decided to dive back into Project Life in 2014. I started in 2012 and fizzled out that April. I am hoping this year, I will have a little more time plus I plan to put my iPhone to good use (scrapping on the go!)  Here’s my cover page. My album will be 8.5×11″. All products are available at The LilyPad.

Gina Miller Designs Project Life

I’m just a girl, trying to find a happy balance right now between her family, her work and her art.

Thank you so much for all of your support in 2013! I look forward to another amazing year, just on a slightly smaller scale. :) All good things to every one of you (and me too!) xoxo




2 responses to “out with the old…”

  1. Kara Ayers Avatar

    yay! I am so excited for your next great evolution/revolution. I know it must be a bummer for those fortunate enough to be close and benefit from your photog skills but selfish me is excited to see more design, scrapping, and just general creative you:)

  2. Diane Enarson Avatar
    Diane Enarson

    Awe. I love that you are trying to find a happy balance … I love seeing all your creativity showcased and I know how much your family means to you and glad you’re taking the time for you. I know whatever decisions you make, you have such wonderful, supportive family and the true friends and people that care about you will understand that sometimes you have to do what’s best for YOU and your family!

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