I Screwed Up. | Long Island Family Photographer

I missed Lila's kindergarten screening yesterday. I had written down it was on Friday - it wasn't. It was yesterday. I screwed up. The school tried to call me twice and I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number. By the time I listened to my voice mail it was too late to get to the school, and now she won't be assessed until summer. 

Well, this sort of sent me off into a tailspin of "WHY?" How did I mess this up? And the reason is, because my mind is in a zillion different places. I am not really present right now. When I am walking around the block with my kids after dinner, I am thinking about all the tasks I need to accomplish after they go to bed and before I fall asleep with my head on the computer. When Logan wakes in the middle of the night to nurse, I am checking Instagram to make sure I "engage" with all the comments on my photos. I am checking into Facebook groups while I am sitting in the speech therapist's office to make sure I am maintaining a "presence" in the photography community.

It's driving me nuts. All this "busy work" that is such a big part of owning a small business. It's not even the fun stuff - the actual sessions, or editing your photographs and films into a finished product - its the pressure of feeling like I constantly have to be a presence on social media or my business will be out of sight, out of mind. It's not even the part of "work" that pays me a paycheck!

My word for the year is "intentional" and I feel like I haven't been very intentional as of late. I am letting the "peer pressure" of the industry drive me to spend way too much time on things like posting to Facebook and Instagram everyday - and I don't really think these actions are bringing me business....so why am I letting myself be a slave to them??

So, I've decided to cut back. I am taking a look at my blog and re-working my posts here so that I am writing about things that I find interesting and not a slog, and hopefully you will too. I recently took on a "100 Day Project" of experimenting with photography, and I am letting that go... at least the rigidity of numbering it day to day. I would still like to continue with the intent of it, but I will post when I feel moved to and not beat myself up to shoot everyday. 

As far as engaging with potential clients, I want to build my mailing list and communicate with you directly through my newsletter - I feel like this is the best form of communication I have going with my clients right now, and this is where I want to focus my energy... not spending money on Facebook ads that go nowhere. So, if you are not already on my list - please sign up for updates! I am hoping to put out a newsletter monthly. And I would love to hear if there is any particular content that you would like me to touch on - so let me know!

I hope to spend the summer photographing my kids, and getting back to making films of our family. Enough of the busy nonsense-work, and back to actually shooting and creating. I am even aiming to lock my computer up one or two days a week and not touch it all (let's see if I can actually do that - haha!)

I am feeling less stressed already, and I hope you'll continue to follow along with me, even if I am posting less frequently.

Here is what I was doing yesterday when I should have had Lila at her kindergarten screening. I took the kids to pick flowers (aka weeds). They loved it. In retrospect, maybe missing the screening wasn't the worst thing in the world after all.

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family's story in photos or a film, please contact her for a session!