As I sit here with a full belly from a large Thanksgiving meal, my “to do list” is long. This is my, and every other photographer’s busy season. From October until the end of December, I liken this period of time to the craziness that accountants go through during tax season. I eat, sleep, and breathe photography. I don’t see many friends and family during this time, I pass up on all parties and get togethers, phone calls that are non-business related are non-existant. My concentration is on all of my clients, all of their images and all of their orders. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed this time of year. So, I find today, the perfect time, to take a step back, take a deep breath and count all of my blessings. Below are just a few things that I’m extremely thankful for. What are you thankful for? Please share in social media and start a conversation of what your blessings are.
- My family. It’s not always peachy-keen. My girls argue with each other, pull dolls out of each other’s hands, have meltdowns, don’t listen to what I tell them unless I yell, etc. My husband doesn’t always pick up his dirty laundry off the floor and some days we’re so busy, we barely say more than “hi” and “bye” and “goodnight” to each other. But they are the loves of my life. My husband is my biggest supporter and my partner in crime. He loves me unconditionally. He helps me reach my dreams. My girls are my world. Sure, they often ignore me or stare at me with blank faces when I ask them to pick up their toys. But they are also quick to give me big hugs and kisses and lots of cuddles. They always tell me how much they love me. My family makes my life just right. They are my biggest blessings.
- My photography. I am talking about just having the ability to take beautiful photographs. To have the outlet to express myself with the art of photography. I suffer from debilitating anxiety and panic disorder. I miss out on a lot in life because of it. But when I get behind my camera, I’m a different person. I have a passion and a vision, and everything else just disappears. I am so grateful for this panacea.
- Miss Z Photography. Miss Z Photography is the outlet for my zeal. Something that started as just a secret dream has become a successful reality. I am doing something I love on a daily basis. I do what I love and in doing so, I make others happy. It’s the best feeling in the world. It’s not always unicorns and rainbows. Running your own business is harder than I could have ever imagined. It’s a 24/7 job. I am responsible for everything, not just taking photographs. I’m the photographer (obviously) but also the editor, the customer relations person, the marketing person, the sales person, the accountant, the web designer, the social media person, the ordering person, the quality assurance person, the packaging person, the office manager and more. (My awesome husband is the delivery man to my clients.) Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed. I feel stressed out. I feel angry. I feel sad. It’s a lot for one person to shoulder in addition to running a household and taking care of a family. But, I am truly thankful that I have the opportunity to do this. I might not have a boss to get angry at when deadlines are tight and sometimes my family might have to eat sandwiches for dinner during this busy season, but there aren’t adequate words to express the joy of making a living from my passion.
- My clients. I am very lucky that I have some of the best clients. Almost every client I have ever had are warm and wonderful people. Many of them started out as clients but have turned into friends. I’ve met so many great people that I never would’ve met, if not for my business. My clients and I start out getting to know each other with an in person consultation. Then, my sessions are never rushed, so depending on the type of session, it can last up to 3 1/2 hours where we chat while I take the photos. I then see them again at their in person ordering session. And I remain in contact throughout the entire process from first email inquiry to delivering their products in person. So a great bond is formed. I love when I’m out and about and clients see me and yell out “hi, Miss Z!” It always makes my day.
- My health. Besides my anxiety and panic, I have Crohn’s Disease. It’s something I’ve had for almost 30 years. I’m fortunate, that most of the time, it’s in check. But every now and then it rears it’s ugly head and reminds me of its presence. I actually just had a bout with it two days ago. I was completely out of commission for the entire day and night, while I was in excruciating pain. Luckily, I am on the mend now. But it was a good reminder that I am grateful for the fact that most days I do have my health.
- My friends. I don’t have many close friends. But those that I do have are the best. Even though, I might not talk to them for a few weeks (especially during my busy time) I know that they are there for me, wishing me well. There are certain friends that I can count on for everything. That means so much to me. A few of my friends have been my friend for over 30 years. They still have my back. I also have newer friends who are just as loyal. I have friends that drive my girls to and from school, friends that check up on me when I’m having a bad day, friends that know my deep dark secrets and still love me. I am very thankful for all of them.
- Food. Real food. Whole food. Recipes. My youngest daughter and I are currently eating grain free for health reasons. I am thankful for the many recipes out there that let us follow our special diet, but still taste great. I love that we have access to all of these wonderful foods, that we don’t have to eat processed foods. And that we don’t have to physically go out and grow and farm our own foods (although, I think that would be really fun to do, but a little impractical in the middle of the city).
- My house. It’s often messy as I have two little tornadoes who live with us. It always takes a back burner to caring for my family, cooking, and running my business. But it’s my home. It keeps my family sheltered. It’s a place where I work when I’m not at my studio. It’s a place that I cook for my family. It’s a place that relax with my family. It’s a place of security.
- My studio. I love that I have a dedicated place to serve my clients. It’s my second home. It feels like that. It’s warm and inviting. It gives me the room I need to create my magic. It’s right in the middle of downtown New Bedford, which I love. It affords me the ability to walk around and enjoy my hometown in between sessions.
- My fans and followers. You all might not be my clients. But you follow me on social media, you read my posts, you comment on my photos, and you cheer me on. I am truly grateful for all of you. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Remember to check out my extremely limited Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals!
Abrah Zion, of Miss Z Photography, is an award winning maternity, newborn, baby and child photographer in New Bedford, MA. She serves all over the SouthCoast and New England with her satisfied clients deriving from New Bedford, South Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Acushnet, Mattapoisett, Marion, Padanaram, Fairhaven, Rochester, Freetown, Lakeville, Westport, Fall River, Somerset, Plymouth, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Boston, and even New York.