Leaving the Rat Race | Project 365 {Days 163-187} | St. Augustine Photographer

THIS IS PROJECT 365.
I photograph life as it unfolds, and share too much with you, every day, for 365 days. 
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Here's a little secret - between my husband and I - we make substantially more money then the vast majority of humans on this planet. We have all of our needs met and then some. (Edit for clarification: we make substantially more money then the near 100 million people who make less than $2/day, not Americans)

I am beyond fortunate that there are people who see beauty in my work and are willing and able to pay for it, thus making me able to pay my portion of the bills with my art; but I did not choose this path for the money.

My family lives very minimally. We moved to a small two bedroom apartment. We sold our second car and paid off all of our small debts. We cut our budget so small that we're able to live happily and comfortably on an incredibly small amount of money. We left reliable and steady jobs to pursue our passions.  We did this ON PURPOSE - so we could be free. We hated the rat race, so we finally took steps to remove ourselves from the hamster wheel. It's a process, and we're far from perfect,  but we've stopped playing into the idea that we always need more, bigger, better, faster to be successful or productive members of society. 

I do not desire a large house with glittering upgrades and extra rooms. I do not desire fancy cars or the newest technology and gadgets. Those things aren't inherently bad, but they simply are not what motivate me. 

I've gone on this rant before, but it's such a reoccurring theme in my field of work that I can't help but go here again. Everyone likes to cheer one another on "Raise your prices!!". The classic line "if you don't value yourself no one will". UGH. Drives me insane! To me it seems like people just throw it around as a cliche and don't REALLY stop to listen to  what they are saying. 

I value myself. I value my work. I love my work. However I do not derive my value based on money and material possessions. I do not think a photographers prices can 'devalue' our field, because I do not think our arts true value is monetary, at least not for me. 

I value beauty. I value life. I value humans. I value being outside. I arguably value chocolate, orange soda and red wine. I value art. 

In my work, in my art, I find my motivation through my values, and I try to use that motivation to bring light and attention them. Values like family, relationships, life, strength, vulnerability, transparency - not money, and not worldly successes. 

I started photographing births because I love birth. The births of my children were among the most surreal moments of my life. I'm amazed beyond words at what my body was able to do. I am in love with the emotion that envelopes all births, the whole process absolutely fascinates me. And to that end I think it's a beautiful thing when a women is able to have visual reminder of her birth. It's a beautiful that we live in a time where a woman is able to look back on her birth and not only see her strength, but see the love that surrounded her. She can see her husbands reaction when she was likely too focused on her baby to really soak it in in that moment. She can see the details that are usually lost in the cloud of emotion that is birth. I believe there are clients out there who DO value and love our art, but just because they value it does not magically make them have thousands of dollars of disposable income. I think birth is such a sacred event, not something to be exploited in the pursuit of riches. I think most birth photographers get into this field for similar reasons as I, but when I see photographers excitedly cheering on their peers in raising prices to $5,000/ birth I cannot help but worry that our field has lost their way. When questioned birth photographers are quick to point to wedding photography pricing, but do we really want birth to become anything like the stressed out consumerism that has become weddings? I don't. Not for my clients, not for myself, and not for my children. 

 

Day 163: April 24, 2016


Day 164: April 25, 2016


Day 165 : April 26, 2016


Day 166: April 27, 2016


Day 167: April 28, 2016 (iPhone)

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Day 168: April 29,2016


Day 168: April 30, 2016


Day 169: May 01, 2016


Day 170: May 02, 2016 (iphone)

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Day 171: May 03, 2016


Day 172: May 04, 2016


Day 173: May 05, 2016


Day 174: May 06, 2016


Day 175: May 07, 2016


Day 176: May 08, 2016


Day 177: May 09, 2016


Day 178: May 10, 2016


Day 179: May 11, 2016 (iphone)

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Day 180: May 12, 2016 (iphone)

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Day 181: May 13, 2016


Day 182: May 14, 2016


Day 183: May 15, 2016


Day 184: May 16, 2016


Day 185: May 17, 2016

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Day 186: May 18, 2016

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Day 187: May  19, 2016

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