Vulnerable post & phone pics ahead!!
This last year as a whole has really helped me identify who I truly want to be and what I want to contribute to the world. Of course, when one uncovers such things, changes are bound to happen and that is exactly what is going on here! But fret not - these changes are GOOD and I am confident in saying that they are going to benefit ALL of us!
It's no secret that the last year has been collectively challenging. I spent more time reminding myself to breathe - a completely natural INSTICT we all should have - than I think I have in all of my 29 years that happened before this.
If you've been following along for a while now, you know that at the end of every year, I take a month long social media hiatus from mid December to mid January to refresh and to prepare for the year ahead. During this time I'll revamp my website, catch up on bookkeeping, plan out the year ahead, all the fun stuff! This year was to be no different. I would spend my Mondays through December planning out the content for the week ahead and trying to keep it aligned with the goals I had set for myself, but this consistency was a struggle in 2020.
The Monday before Thanksgiving was my breaking point.
By then, I had been blessed with full time work (and then some!) since August but when I booked all of this work, I thought Bella would be at school and I would be working by day and helping her with homework and packing the next day's lunch by night. We didn't know that we would have to transition in a week's time to being a homeschool family so this was a shock to our entire way of life (and I know TONS of you can relate to this... virtual hugs). Needless to say, the Monday before Thanksgiving I was tired. I was tired of trying to manage my interactions on Facebook and Instagram for my business. I was tired of trying to make sure I was posting enough, using the right hashtags, doing all the things perfectly to stay engaged and relevant while also balancing editing weddings and portrait sessions, homeschooling, caring for our animals and our home, and my own mental wellness... we were a bit of a mess.
I knew work wasn't slowing down so on that Monday, I decided to step back from the part of it that was causing me the most stress. At the end of November 2020, I had four weddings to edit, two more to shoot, and I can't even remember where I was with portraits at the time, all I remember is being very disappointed in myself because I stepped back from social media the day after I shot one of my favorite sessions of the year and was a bit bummed about not sharing it immediately (but don't worry, it's coming and you're going to LOVE it!!).
So there I was, doing all of this work and delivering galleries of some of the most fun and creative images I've created in my entire career but I wasn't sharing my work with the world.
It felt very strange at first but it became relief very quickly.
As most of you will probably agree, social media can become toxic very quickly. You need a beautiful feed with a color scheme and it has to have an aesthetic that is identifiable otherwise people will just move on. You need to use the right hashtags, but not too often or you will be shadowbanned. You must post often enough to remain relevant but not too much that you annoy your followers. The inevitable comparison game will creep in and no matter how much you're doing, it feels like it isn't enough. Oh, and that follower count... it matters!
But when I took my early hiatus this year...
That stress vanished.
And my favorite part? I didn't even say anything about it, I just did it. No pressure, no justification, I just stopped.
The only anxiety that came from this decision was the worry that people may visit my feed and think Brittany Lynn Imagery has closed or whatever people tend to think when they see a business isn't posting... but from my perspective none of that happened.
What did happen was the profound discovery that it is okay for me to not be perfect at every aspect of this and that it is okay to do things differently than everyone else. I learned that I produce my best work and offer the best client experience when I am not concerned about algorithms, captions, hashtags, likes, and follows. My best work happens when I put my energy into engaging with people in real life and connecting with them in a way that could never be matched by scrolling.
So here I am, going against the grain and giving myself full permission to use social media inconsistently. I'm giving myself full permission to step back when I want, post when I want, and engage when I can. I am representing Brittany Lynn Imagery in a way that is true to me and my values as a human and as an artist because at the end of the day, Brittany Lynn Imagery is still me; Brittany Lynn Imagery itself is just a name that I use to identify myself as an entity permitted to perform a service legally and professionally but it is still me, Brittany Lynn Rosenmiller, that makes it what it is and I think that allowing myself to be a human before a business is likely what will make me a better business owner this year!
If you're not already on my email list, be sure to join so that we can stay in touch because in the absence of a consistent social media presence, I'll be engaging my email list a little more and posting all of my updates on my blog!
Now it's your turn!! What big life changes came from your biggest challenges of 2020!? Tell me all about it in the comments because I know I'm not alone - this was a big year for all of us.