We ran into some old clients the other day while we were out with our boys. We had shot their wedding years ago, and they now had two kids of their own. They asked how things were going since we had doubled the number of children in our home.
“It’s challenging sometimes,” I said, though I secretly wanted to yell “How on earth does anyone manage this??”
“Yes, it’s tough. But don’t worry, it gets easier,” was her reply.
And instantly, with those very simple words, I felt lighter. It was sweet, sweet reassurance that the things I find so hard right now won’t always be hard. It won’t always be so tough to get out of the house, or make a dinner that isn’t frozen, or get more than 40 minutes at a time to work.
Then I came home, and opened up my email to see a note from a reader. She was going through one of our tutorials, and mentioned that she was really wanting to get into photography, but just finding the technical stuff overwhelming.
“Don’t worry. It gets easier.”
Because it does. I know, because I’ve been there. Once upon a time I had a hard time understanding what aperture meant, and how it relates to shutter speed. Rob had to explain it to me (very, very slowly). And now I know it frontwards and backwards to the point where don’t even think about it. And once upon a time we didn’t know anything about business (like, literally, nothing) and now we’re many years into running our own.
All those things you’re struggling with in your photography, or your business – they’ll get easier. You won’t always have to spend a few minutes trying to figure our what settings you need to use. One day it will be almost effortless. You won’t always have to spend hours researching how to start a business, what licenses you need, what portfolio site to go with, what workflow you should use – one day you’ll have all that figured out, and working smoothly.
Those things you find so difficult now won’t always be so difficult.
And I hope that idea helps you. I hope it motivates you to keep going when it seems too challenging. Because you should. On the other side of that challenge is a whole exciting world of photography and business!
But, of course, there’s a flip side to this idea. While your current challenges will eventually fade away, they’ll most certainly be replaced by new ones.
My baby will eventually be able to walk on his own, and won’t need me to carry him everywhere. But then he’ll start running away, and I’ll have to go chase him.
You’ll learn how to master your camera, and conquer the technical side of photography, but then you’ll have to figure out what you want to shoot. And that can be a much bigger challenge than learning how to shoot it.
Your business will be all set up, but then you’ll have to go and find clients. All the time. And that’s an ever-present challenge that seems to be in a constant state of change.
I used to think that eventually business, parenting, and life would get easy. I’d figure it out, and then it’d be smooth sailing from there. But now I understand that while the certain problems I’m working through may get easier, they’ll just be replaced with new things to work on. It’s a constant cycle. And while some days that feels exhausting, I find it helps to just focus on the task at hand, keep working through it, and know that it will get easier.
And wine. Wine helps too.