Ever had a moment when you ask yourself, "Okay, what am I doing with my life? What am I supposed to be doing?"
On the outside, everything seemed great. I was getting more photography inquiries and more invitations to openings and events while trying to juggle my full time job and my classes. I work 5 out of 7 days of the week and on my "days off" I found myself shuffling to and from restaurants, collaborating with brands and/or shopping for ingredients and props for shoots.
From an outsider, it looked great. I looked busy. I looked like I'm getting work. But in reality, I was burnt out. I was exhausted, moody and found myself falling into a slump. Don't get me wrong. I love what I do but deep down, at my core, I didn't know how to say no to people I knew didn't value me or my work. I was feeling lost as a person.
I've met some really amazing people so far through this journey of blogging and photography. When you're hungry (no pun intended), you're willing to say yes to everything even when it doesn't fit your niche. I've had companies, brands and bloggers pay for my work because they understand the value in what I do. While majority of other cases, I fell into a "we don't pay but we'll give you photography credit" situation. Don't get me wrong, credit can be good but it doesn't pay the bills especially when you're buying all the ingredients and props for your shoots. When restaurants and brands supply props and food, that's another story but when you're paying out of pocket, you find yourself in a negative rather than a positive.
I was almost there. I was almost ready to toss everything out. I wanted to quit photography. I wanted to quit blogging. I was losing money and I pretty much gave up on my own content for my blog. Then, my dude reminded me why I started blogging in the first place. We had a good talk and he reminded me of the joy I found in cooking, exploring new places in town and taking photographs. He gave me the courage to say no to things that don't fit my blog/audience or to projects that don't value my work.
So here I am with a new outlook and motivation with my blog and my journey. I plan to say yes to people and projects I believe in; events, restaurants and travels that I truly want to experience (work schedule permitting). The content on here will be truly from my heart and you'll know I valued the experience and am beyond grateful. Tori Johnson from thesTORibook always told me to value myself, my work and not work for free. Thank you Tori for standing up for female entrepreneurs everywhere. Thank you for playing a part in finding my voice. And to my dude who gets to taste-test every single recipe, make some room for some more grub!