Yes we can have a break, or two, or three.

If you follow me on my personal social media you would've already seen a few pictures from our recent break to The Lake District, & this may have lead you to think "another break", you've had eight weeks off (kind of)! Even if you haven't thought this, unfortunately we have come to learn that some people do definitely feel this way towards us, & maybe self employed full time photographers / business' in general, who can 'pick & choose' when to work. So here I go again...

The majority of our work is in Spring / Summer, of course cause it's wedding season. But I also do get very busy during winter months still with (not as many) weddings, but also headshots, families, newborns etc - which also run through the whole year. I am extremely grateful that I am so busy & booked up far in advance, but this does mean we literally have to plan most of our life extremely far ahead! I booked us a trip to The Lake District for Rob's Christmas present as he kept saying he wanted to "climb a mountain". I knew March would be a perfect time as I would've recovered from the surgery I decided to have in January which forced me to have six weeks from shooting. It has meant being in the house watching lots of films & getting lots of admin & website work prepared for the year ahead. So really, The Lake District was 'our break'. BUT recently when I was replying to emails saying I was going away for a few days I started to feel guilty & embarrassed. This is definitely as I haven't started work 'properly' yet this year. I've had plenty of shoots & bookings but I seem to have forgotten the madness of weddings. So I have to keep peeling myself away & reminding myself that the madness is coming & I am going to be so grateful for this time I have spent for myself & the quality time Rob & I have spent together.

I have done a blog in the past about the importance of taking a break but I truly didn't learn the hard way until last year, & I told myself that this year would be different, even though I am busier! We have made sure we have a big holiday booked & we are going to have a few mini breaks - this was one of them. So I have felt rather frustrated with myself for feeling guilty, but it is a vicious circle. However I actually believe this guilt can be spurred on by other people. I feel lots of people think it's easy being a photographer, turn up click the shutter then go home. But only a fraction of being a full time photographer is taking the photos, & there is a lot more to it than just clicking a shutter (even though phones are leading us to believe otherwise now, making it very simple to take amazing shots, which was brought more worryingly to my attention by fellow photographer Kate Hopewell-Smith, who believes times are going to get harder for us Togs! Thank you Snapchat filters!). I don't want to turn this into a rant of what being a photographer entails as it's unnecessary & I don't want to sound like Moaning Myrtle, I just feel as though I have to say something as we do come across bitterness & jealousy. Unfortunately I feel some think we 'have it easy' as we have a house & a comfortable life, but with seemingly doing 'hardly an hours'. There isn't a single day when I am not doing or at least thinking about my business. When you run your own business, you NEVER EVER shut off. We work immensely hard, again I don't need to prove or justify myself, but it is a lot more than what people see on the surface. Do I want the violins to start playing now? NOPE! I have the best job in the world. I know that. I love it. We are 'lucky' to do something we love. We are lucky to actually not have to do anything else, as it can be a different story for many photographers. But all this was not by chance. By having a skill we decided to pursue. This was our choice to make something of it, & fortunately for us it's paid off. Now we need to nurture & care for it everyday, & this includes ourselves. The main part of my business is ME. If I fall, the business will fall. So if I need, want or just fancy a break - I can!

At the end of the day, if you have a skill, ambition, passion & a drive to do something with your life - you can & you WILL. Never compare your life to others, the amount of holidays you have, the house you live in, the prettiness of your Instagram feed (remember it's a highlighted example of someone's life) because only YOU can change that. There's a fantastic quote I read recently which is "pay close attention to people who don't clap when you win", this summed up what I have come to learn beautifully. Unfortunately this can happen a lot closer to home than you think.

Anyway, bringing more light to this post - we are happy, healthy, & are mostly surrounded by inspiring friends & family who encourage & support us; & who we likewise do the same for.

I have my busiest year ahead but couldn't be more ready after breathing in the mountain air for four days! Here's a few of our snaps from the Fuji X-Pro2 below. My little camera bag is The Mini Tog.

See you on the other side. x

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Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com