So many things have happened since I started this venture. Karrah Flores Photography was born in my final semester of my AS degree in Photographic Technology at Daytona State College. I never occurred to me that in the next two years I would become as successful as I have been. This success, however, has taken a toll on other parts of life. It’s no one’s fault but my own….
Let’s start with a little backstory:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a habit which I jokingly refer to as a “two year plan.” I would be excellent at something for two years, then give up on it when it started to bore me. I went through school to be a sign language interpreter, a computer repair technician, worked many different jobs (each for just about 2 years), etc. Then, in 1998 or so, I got this camera. It was one of those odd deals that gave you pictures in three different formats, including panorama. It was still in the days of film, and I fell in love with photography.
I’ve always been creative, drawing, writing, crafting…..just creating. For some reason, these few things I’ve never let go of. I still love photography as much today as I did that first time I picked up a camera. I’ve worked extremely hard to break my “two year plan” habit by not giving up on my goal of getting my Bachelor’s Degree. It’s taken me longer than most of my classmates, who could handle the 5 class semester and full time summer semester. I’m now about to start my fifth and final year in pursuit of my Bachelor’s Degree in Photographic Technology.
It was after the end of this spring’s semester that I realized things had to change though. This degree, as insignificant as it is in my prospects of landing a portrait or wedding job, is monumentally important to me because it means I actually followed through with something 100%. This spring I made it through only by the skin of my teeth and the grace of those who taught me. Going from a student awarded with Photo Student of the Year and a place in DSC’s Hall of Fame, to where I was at the end of April, just praying I pass and planning for the inevitability I didn’t….this was a wake up call.
I am not that person. I don’t want to be that person and I don’t want my kids to think that person is okay. I’ve strived to educate people on the value of someone who truly knows photography, who takes their education seriously and who works and trains hard to be the best photographer they can be….but I wasn’t walking the walk.
I also feel like I’ve let my children down. So much of my time is in front of my computer….editing, processing, sending emails and creating albums. My children spent way too much time this year entertaining themselves after school and before activities, so I could work. Our days weren’t spent at the park, playing with friends or having fun at the beach.
The kindle taught Sammy how to make Lego catapults and I remember the pang of guilt when he’d show it to me, completed.
Ben looked forward to those times when my eyes couldn’t focus on the computer any longer and I would come sit with him for a bit to watch a show or goof off on my bed.
These are the years I’m going to regret not being more involved in. It’s only a short time, and then they’ll be sick of me.
After a long discussion with my wonderful husband and a lot of prayer, thought and indecision, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that Karrah Flores Photography needs to take a backseat for the next year while I complete my Bachelor’s Degree. The classes and the work involved in them is very intense and I want to be back on top again, doing my best and making not only my family proud, but myself as well. I want to use this last year in school to create and refine an artistic style that is going to stand out and bring that back to Karrah Flores Photography to make it better than ever.
Focusing on school while my children are at school will also allow me more time to spend with them after school hours, instead of preparing for shoots, appointments, etc. They deserve more than a day a week at the park….especially since school recess is a thing of the past. They also deserve more of my attention, more creative play and fun activities. They deserve my cheers during baseball games, my applause during play performances and my encouragement and support when they hit grand accomplishments, such as Sammy being the 5th best reader in his entire school and getting to be media specialist for the day. My family deserves meals prepared from scratch and a happy, non-stressed mom. When school is over, I can refocus on my business and create images for your family that you are proud to share with the world without taking away from my family. We all deserve that.
All the current clients and friends who have orders in or sessions and events scheduled will be honored and I am not shutting down completely. I will still be doing a very limited amount of Christmas Card Specials this year, as well as a limited amount of portrait sessions, for existing clients.
This has not been an easy decision for me to make, in fact it has been downright painful, but I know my focus needs to be on my family and my Senior year at UCF. Please don’t stop following me here or on my Facebook page, I may make posts in need of models for school assignments, personal work, etc., as well as post the stuff I’m doing. I trust that this will make me a better photographer, a better business owner and above all, a better parent for my children.