This year has been great. And hard. And great. And exciting and strange.
The most obvious highlight of this year was spending the whole thing renovating the scary, ancient mancave on the back of our property into THE STUDIO that is now cozy, inviting, and let’s face it, a little girly (not too much, though!!).
McGee and I did most of the work ourselves, and it’s not perfect, but it’s wonderful. Also pitching in with an elephant’s load of work were some amazing friends and family who sacrificed weekends, evenings, and even SLEEP to help out (you know who you are – Josh, Scott, and Pam). And of course our neighbors who graciously put up with the mess, the noise, and one really rude all nighter of work that will never happen again (ohmygoshwillyoueverforgiveus, neighbors?!)
A little walk through the transformation:
We worked like dogs. All year. So hard. And I’ma be reeeeeal honest here – it wasn’t all quirky Instagrams and golden sunlight. Money was tight (moving a business from one state to another means starting over from scratch); patience was (sometimes) low; optimism ebbed as we encountered setbacks and obstacles (who would have thought when we bought the place that we would need an entirely new subfloor?! That’s, um, pricey.); but we survived (praise Jesus). And it’s funny what happens when people see your “highlight reel” and not the behind the scenes chaos and pain – they start using phrases like “you’re so lucky to have such a nice studio” and “I wish my photography business was going as well as yours” <———– WHUT? Lemme tell you, friends. Luck had N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with any of this. I have bled from sawing floorboards with an old rusty handsaw. I have worried about where food was coming from a few times. I have shouted at my husband, thrown things at the wall, and cried myself to sleep (not proud of any of that, by the way). I’ve worked harder than I ever have in my life, doing the things that scare me most in business in order to take it where it needed to be. That is not luck. That is trial and error, blood-sweat-and-tears, insanely supportive friends, major mistakes, therapy, and God’s grace in spite of me. [rant over] Ahem. And now it’s open. Finally open. There’s a lot more I want to do – we have another window to put in at some point (the more the merrier!!), and my desk is asking me to refinish it, and the hair and makeup area needs some spiffing/organizing, and and and…But it’s open!
(^^that link is super big and obnoxious. Sorrynotsorry)
But the studio wasn’t the only thing that happened this year. Some other highlights:
- Getting my heart out there. Really out there.
- When this happened.
- These new gorgeous things.
- Really lifechanging moments with amazing people.
- My first unassisted homebirth.
- Making the leap of faith to quit weddings. And going out with a bang with a really gorgeous one.
- Starting Love Letters for women (it’s been on hiatus for the crazy-busy season, but it’s coming back next week! REJOICE!).
- Taking time to do creative projects.
- Making an awesome decision to hire an AMAZING business coach.
- And everything that happens in the studio….like these things:
You guys. I am so excited for everything 2015 has.
Emily Lapish is a lifestyle photographer in Chattanooga, TN specializing in all things family-related. She spends her time
fending off wild animals raising three boys with her husband, and enjoys long walks through Target while cradling a hazelnut latte.