Where Have You Been, Beba?

Where Have You Been, Beba?

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It must have appeared like I fell off the face of the photo world. Actually, not exactly. While I haven’t been blogging or staying as up to date with social media, I have been staying busy with my photography business behind the scenes. The majority of my clients are from word of mouth referrals, so my business has been fruitful.

A big change came for me though, after I had my surgery in November 2016. Medical bills began piling up and in order to not drown under their weight, I returned to a full time accounting position during the day and switched to photographing part time.

I questioned God during that time because I knew He had led me to being a full time photographer in the past, but when I was at the height of my career, it seemed like everything with my health snowballed downhill at once. Was He leading me away from photography? Was this not the path He had chosen for me?

I wrestled. A lot. But over time and much prayer, I look back and am thankful that He allowed me to experience what I did. Not only did it make me a stronger person, but it also challenged me to look long and hard at my photography:

Was this how I envisioned it to be when I said I wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Was I doing the things I said I wanted to accomplish?

The answer is no.

I wanted to do more, be more, connect with more people. I realized in my time away while recovering, that the thing I love most about photography is PEOPLE. They are the reason I get excited to pick up my camera. I love helping them to see themselves differently and boost their confidence levels.

I wanted to podcast.

I wanted to blog.

I wanted to speak.

I wanted to expand my Beba Couture brand.

So many dreams and aspirations that I had tucked in my head, but my business model needed some improvement to make those things happen. Because, while I was staying busy with photo work, I wasn’t allowing any room in the margins to pursue my aspirations.

So that brings me to today.

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What is going on and where am I with my photography business?

I’m still photographing. I was swamped during the Fall and Christmas holidays.

But I’m going to be taking another break soon. Not for surgery. This time for something completely celebratory and wonderful!

I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!

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I’ll be getting married this November and in order to enjoy the Bridal process and to focus on prepping for the big day, I’ll be photographing my very last time for 2019 at the end of May. After that, I won’t be picking up my camera again until 2020.

When 2020 comes, I hope to have clearer focus (No 20-20 pun intended!) and allow enough room in the margins for doing as much dream growing as I am actual elbow grease working. This may entail hiring someone for administrative and sales duties while I photograph. It may mean creating content ahead of schedule. It may mean blogging my wedding journey.

I’m not sure yet to be honest! But I do know that I’m not done with photography yet and photography is not done with me. When you drive over a few bumps in the road, you keep going and that’s what I’m doing. I’ll see you afresh and anew (and as a Mrs!) in 2020!

Resilience

Resilience: “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my photography business is one I was not anticipating to learn when I first ventured to be a photographer almost 7 years ago  : Resilience.

For those of you who don’t know, I went through a bit of a health crisis last year. In a 7 month period, I had a battery of several medical tests, 6 CT scans, surgery to remove an organ, a biopsy and 7 deaths among family, friends and colleagues. The crap definitely hit the fan all at once and it left me staggering under the weight of it all happening at once.

But it was in that moment that I asked myself if I was going to throw in the towel and give up or if I was going to get back up again and keep going.

That’s where resilience came in and became a close friend.

It’s easy to say I’m thankful for life when all is going well.

It’s easy for me to follow my dreams with gusto when it’s smooth sailing.

But what about when the waters are rough?

What about when everything doesn’t play out the way I’m expecting it to?

Do I give up or give it more?

I’ve said a certain quote for a long time because I really believe in it:

“The crap of today is the fertilizer of tomorrow’s dreams.”

Resilience is a by-product of believing that things will get better and that belief propels you forward to keep trying. It’s letting life take it’s punches, but not allowing it to take you down for a full TKO.

When life gets tough, will you give up or will you give it more effort to keep pushing through and keep going and growing?

Because my surgery happened during my busiest time of the photography year, I was not able to photograph for awhile, which was super hard for me because photography and being a photographer is a part of my DNA–it’s almost like life for my soul the way that oxygen is for the lungs.

I learned that a part of being resilient is being flexible. So, I took on a part time temp accounting job to help me through the time that I couldn’t photograph. I was tempted to believe that my business would fall apart while I was recovering and that that was the end. But while I was lying in bed, I allowed my heart to dream and plan. I prayed so hard during that time and asked God to give me a fresh vision for the business He had given me and He did.

The circumstances were discouraging, but resilience keeps you moving forward. In faith, it believes for the best and that things will get better. Some of my favorite sojourners of resilience that I listened to on Youtube for days (because they helped to keep me encouraged) were (and are) Nick Vujicic, Earl Nightingale and others who have been through difficult trials, but overcame them. Dancers with only one leg. A singer badly burned but not letting her outward appearance diminish her vocal talent. A surfer with only one arm because a shark bit off her other.

I learned that resilience is not about circumstance, but about attitude. 

It’s a conscious effort to make the best of hard situations and grow from them.

I can see crap or I can see fertilizer.

It’s made from the same stuff, but used differently, depending on how I decide to use it.

It appears that I made it through that very difficult time and while I don’t know what the future holds, I am grateful, not so much for the trials themselves, but what I learned from them and how I can now use those things to encourage others in their own trials.

If you’re facing something very hard and feeling alone and asking where God is in all of this, know that this is only a season and that, even though these trials seem unending and extremely difficult, you will come through the other side stronger. By having a positive attitude, the fortitude to keep going and a determination to make something good from these difficult circumstances, you will be even more ready to be strong in this life and you’ll have a greater impact and influence on others.

The crap of today is the fertilizer for tomorrow’s dreams.

Make something beautiful from the not so beautiful.

Don’t give up. Give it more.

 

I’m Back! (Post-surgery)

Hi everyone, You may have noticed a lull here on my blog, as well as on my social media pages….but….

Beba is back!

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2016 turned out to be a bumpy ride for me health-wise. I ended up visiting the ER multiple times for severe bouts of pain and nausea and other symptoms and the doctors discovered that I had chronic cholecystitis, which means I had a very inflamed gallbladder. Medicine and conservative methods of changing my eating habits didn’t help, so the doctors referred me to a surgeon.

It was so so very hard to do, but I had no choice but to take a break from my photography business in order to focus on taking care of my health and getting better. I had surgery to remove my gallbladder at the end of November and while I’m still recovering, I had my first photo session back last week and feel so wonderful being back in my favorite environment!

You other photographers might understand that being away from doing what you love the most makes you feel like a fish out of water. It feels so good to be back!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday and New Year and that 2017 brings many wonderful things for you and your families! Glad to be back–I missed you guys and can’t wait to share some of these newest photo sessions with you!

Happy New Year!

Love, Beba