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Refocusing to Move Forward

We have been back a little over a week from our trip to St. Lucia. As we planned this getaway for the two of us I was looking forward to having uninterrupted time to talk with one another. Last year was extremely busy and full for both of us. Then we moved right into a kitchen remodel when it would have been our down time. I’m learning how important it is for us to discuss what worked and didn’t work for us, our businesses, and our family life. I love looking back and taking time to purposefully reflect how God has been faithful and to seek the direction he is leading us for this next year.

I first want to express how grateful and appreciative I am for each person who has asked me to document a moment in their life through photography. It is truly and honor to have your trust and confidence to photograph significant moments that are a part of your life. And a thank you for all who check, read, and comment on this blog. It’s become a place where I can share my journey, parts of the everyday, and photographs.

Now to dive right in without interruption the main part of the conversation discussed together was the purpose and role of photography in my life and the affects both good and bad it had on our family, and what changes need to be made to move forward this year. What I share are my personal wrestling as we attempted to evaluate and refocus jamie d photography. I’m warning you this post became long as I sought to clarify and define photography honestly and openly in my life.

Starting with the purpose. About half way through last year I began looking at goals accomplished and ones that still needed to be accomplished. At this point I recognized that I had not photographed any of Lyndon’s custom cabinetry. Photographing my husband’s craftsmanship for his business was the original purpose of photography for me. We attempted several dates; however they either got cancelled or my schedule was already full. I recognized that my full schedule did not allow room for my original goal in photography. With each new opportunity we discussed how it would work and our schedule. During last year we thought I could manage the number of shoots and responsibilities of running a business part time. However when actually writing down and looking back the number of shoots and time spent it was clearly not a part time. It was never our intention to have my schedule be full time.

Here comes the struggle. Honestly this has been one of the biggest struggles of owning a small business and the conversation that comes up often. I love what I do. I love the people I photograph. I love giving the gift of moments captured that can not be repeated. I love to work. I love to create. I love my husband. I love my family. Despite how much I love work I have learned that my full schedule was not serving my family. It is even hard for me to call it work.

I wrestle with the thoughts that I could or should be able to do it all, but truth is I can not. I recognize that I have limited capabilities. Limitations are good and I needed to recognize what will be best for me and my family within my limitations. Everyone has different capacities. Each season of life will also lend itself to variable capacities. A little encouragement, do not look around to what others are able to handle and compare. And a little advice, if you are married talk to your spouse and make sure you are within your capabilities for you and your family. I had to admit that my mind was overwhelmed and often preoccupied with my to do list for the business. While we did seek to make changes during busy weeks (like getting a babysitter and choosing not to work at night) my mind remained focused on the business. I put expectations and deadlines on myself. I knew that I felt busy last year, but when my husband graciously expressed that he wants me to enjoy photography, have it serve our family, and not have me running at my fullest capacity I could not agree more with him.
We continued this conversation at lunch while sharing a banana split as the waves crashed against the restaurant. What should photography look like in my life and our family? Here are some of our conclusions for our family. I am first to be a wife, a mother, and then a photographer. These roles come with responsibilities and these roles need to stay in this order for me and my family. My desire to do all three areas that God has called me to for his glory.

I first need to be a steward. Photography is an expression of a talent that the Lord has given me, not only to serve my family but others as well. It is a gift I recognize that I can use to document and photograph moments that carry emotion, weight, and significance. It’s always an honor to be behind the camera photographing moments of life. I look forward to capturing a bride stepping into her wedding gown and seeing a grooms expression when he sees his bride for the first time. I love photographing the colors, layers, textures, and details that are designed with talent to combine all these elements to make bare walls come to life. I love it all and look forward to photograph more of these moments.

Second, photography it will serve my husband’s business. This is not negotiable, it’s a must. He is the one who got me started in photography in the first place. I do like to think of us as a husband and wife team. I love working with my husband. I love photographing his design and craftsmanship. Seeing his the final projects completed and in homes being enjoyed by his clients is such a rewarding feeling. Hopefully you will be seeing more of his work here this year!

Photography will serve my family by documenting the everyday moments in our home and the big celebrations too! My daughter continues to be my most favorite person to photograph. I want to have time to edit our own family photos. I confess I still have Christmas, maybe even Thanksgiving to edit and many more random dates from last year.

We are moving forward with a clearer and more purposeful direction the role of photography will look like for us. Let me tell you how good it feels to purposefully take time to think and discuss the direction of our lives. I am thankful to have a plan that allows me to be a wife, mother and photographer. All things I love to do. I have been so thankful for these honest and open conversations with Lyndon and hear his feedback. Overall, as we move forward it will mean booking fewer weddings per year, being in charge of our schedule, seeing that my home is in order, that I will be present and my mind available for my family and home, and more time to photograph my husbands work. And to end with a few pictures of our restaurant for lunch for the week in St. Lucia where there was time to think and talk uninterrupted.



Wow, Jam, this is big stuff. I’m glad you and Lyndon had the time and space away that allows for perspective…. I look forward to talking to you in the weeks to come to see how you’re doing.
Love you!

You are lovely. Love your heart. Love your vision. Love you.

Such good, yet hard conversations to have, but in the end so freeing! Josh and I had a similar one as we started this new year. Knowing I’m called to homeschool my kids in this season has meant I have less time for the duel roles or writing AND photography. Prior to this year I was able to do both easily. However, I can only do one well on top of homeschooling, so for me, writing is my passion above all so I’m putting my photography aside (for clients). Oh, I will do an occasional for repeat clients, but it won’t be something I “market” or “pursue” and I’ve had to say no to several opportunities. It’s hard for me, because I know I could excel either path I choose. But I would lack peace. Now I have such peace knowing I’m doing what God wants, and God’s already been opening up so many writing opportunities! I know you’ll experience such peace too as you are so purposeful with your time.


I am so very pleased to be married to you. You continue to provide an excellent example to me of a person who is sensitive to the spirit and quick to evaluate and refocus your calling. You are the hardest working, most committed person that I know. There is no doubt that you could ride the wave of “success” as far as you wanted to. But sometimes real success looks different than how the world would define it. Sometimes real success means that we place solid bookmarks on either ends of our “busyness.” Your skill in photography will always keep you in high demand (even more so now), but it is your vision for our family that makes you truly unique.
Well done Jamie d.

Jamie – I know how hard this is personally. Last year as you know I sat down for weeks looking very closely at what my top priorities were. Photography is a blessing in my life. But in this season it is not where I am to spend the majority of my time. It is to bless me with an outlet for the creative eye God has so graciously given me. I will be praying specifically for you now and trusting God to bless your heart to serve Him first in all areas of your life.

You are a gift and treasure. So blessed to call you friend!

First… Bravo!! All of what you said is so true! As photographers it can be hard to “let go” of the “work” that is always going on in our minds and keep our roles in proper order. I feel that tension as well and have had many conversations with Keith about keeping this job in perspective (both in my mind and in reality!!) So…just to encourage you – bravo!

Second, (and far less important) – that banana split looked like it was AMAZING! :)

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