Monthly Archives: June 2016

walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker

 

We absolutely love it when friends come to visit!  We always have!  Our home has always been open to friends and family and visitors, whether we were living in Virginia Beach in our condo, or our house… but NOW… woah friends!  Now that we live here in Celebration, Florida it’s just soo much more magical!  Now we live right in Mickey’s back yard and we love having visitors even more because we get to share all the magical things!  You know I love all the magical things friends… not only do we have Disney, but we have Harry Potter world too… I die!!!

Sooo… when I heard my friend Christina and her brood of amazingness were coming to Destin for a vacation and just might make an extra special trip to the Magic Kingdom… I jumped for joy!

When you come to Florida friends… you can’t pass us by!  I’m just telling you the honest truth!  You have to make a stop over and meet us at the park so we can share with you all the fun little tips we have learned living here!

Christina and I took about 5 minutes to text up a nice little plan!  She and Ryan planned on surprising the kids (all of them).  They were vacationing with another family and between them there were about 14 people all together… right?!  Wow~  They planned to wake up incredibly early, pack everyone in the car and not speak a word!  The plan was to drive and keep the kids in the dark until they entered what I like to call the drive of magic… where you enter the way of Mickey waving and Minnie and all the characters and you realize.. OH MY GOSH… it’s DISNEY!!

How much fun is that?!!!

Our plan was to meet them at the park later in the afternoon to share a few rides and then meet back for the parade and eeeesh… try fireworks (Linc is not a fan yet).

We met up with them around 4 I believe (sometime around them) and chatted for a bit!  Shared a few hugs… I think Ireland might have a little crush on Linc (who only had eyes for the boys really, and then Ryan and Aaron were able to do some bro things while Christina and hung out for a few!  Then we parted ways and gave big hugs because this is the thing… when you come to Disney, you want to be able to DO Disney and that means doing Disney at your own pace!  Sometimes it works out that we get to hang together… but sometimes it means being able to have the freedom to use your cell phones and split up for a few!

What was most special for me was being able to see my dear friend and give her the biggest hug… a hug that I greatly needed!  I loved being able to capture just a few images for them while they were in a place that both Christina and Ryan hold so special in their hearts, especially as they just welcomed a new member into their family!

Even though we only saw them for just an hour or so… to be able to see friends that just feel like home and help to create such special memories and capture them with my camera… that’s a blessing that is beyond compare!

walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker walt disney world lifestyle family photographer brooke tucker

We love you Christina and Ryan!!! Hope you come back to visit very soon!!

For anyone that plans on visiting Disney or Florida… please let us know! We would love to meet you, or be your family photographer!!!

P.S.  I think I rode those tea cups with the boys about 6 times… I loved every second of it!  Except my arms were super sore after!  If anyone is interested in a killer arm workout, just head out on the mad hatters and Alice’s Tea Party… you won’t be able to move your arms up or down the next day 😉

I wrote in my last blog post that it’s OK to take a step back (and it is!)  I wrote that I was going to be taking a little break to just be mama (and I am… in fact I have been).  I wrote that I have been struggling with finding the right words to blog (and I have been… BIG time).  However, I think the real truth of the matter comes from not just the fact that I was struggling with balance and actually needing to take a real step back to just breathe in my own family life and be a mama for a bit.  I think a problem I was facing that I was unwilling to accept was the very real fact that I was a little lost with photography!

It happens friends!  In any creative field, we hit a plateau!  It’s easy to fall into a pattern of doing what you do and just kind of groove along without pushing any boundaries.

Before I left Virginia Beach, I had all these goals and ideas.  I had big plans and notebooks full of actions and steps and strategic ways in which to put those plans in place.  Of course, we decided to get the ball actually rolling on moving to Celebration and then all those actions and plans had a very real timeline that got pushed further back.  I’m not great at deadlines and timelines friends.  I can admit that and actually being able to admit that to myself is huge.  It’s a big deal because now I can actually get help with that in the future!  Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in business is a really important part if you want to actually succeed and grow!

When we did move, I lost sight of all those ideas.  I actually lost sight of my whole vision in photography!  I became so focused on making sure my family was adjusting and settled that photography took such a big back seat to everything else.  You know what… that’s OK friends, just like I said in my last post!  It’s OK to re-prioritize your life when big life changes happen!  It doesn’t mean you can’t come back!

So what changed?!  How do you come back?

The only way I can answer this is that it’s different for everyone!  I can only share my own personal story in hopes that it might help you!

We moved to Florida in April, so for me it’s been almost 3 months that I have taken a complete break from all things photography.  I barely blogged, I haven’t written in my notebooks, and I’ve only picked up the camera for my family outings (and to be brutally honest I have barely even picked up the camera to take pictures of that!)  I truly believe that the separation from my camera and the pressure to blog has helped me feel more excited to pick it back up again!  I also want to tell you that taking those months off did not harm my business one bit!  Not at all!  So if you feel like you need to take a break but are afraid… don’t be!  I barely posted anything at all (not even on FB or instagram really) for 3 months and I even moved out of state and am starting from scratch all over again but I’m doing just fine friends!

I realized one night that one of the main reasons I had been feeling so hesitant about picking my camera up and blogging was because I had fallen into the trap of “comfort”.  I had found my grove and that was all I was doing lately.  I wasn’t doing anything that pushed my comfort levels or inspired me!  I knew there were sessions that I had wanted to try;  sessions inspired by my son that were personal projects that I had attempted before but just didn’t fit the bill in Virginia Beach.  These sessions I had filled notebooks after notebooks of ideas but I was always afraid to try.  Sessions that required me to be more creative than I had ever been which is something that doesn’t quite come naturally to me.  This is when it really hit home.  When we aren’t pursuing something that pushes us or scares us a little, we aren’t really creating work to our full potential!

As creatives we live for this work!  It’s our passion, our outlet and expression of the heart!  We need to truly push ourselves and that means living a little on the edge of fear!  We have to push ourselves each time and constantly grow and learn!  When we aren’t doing that, we do risk falling into this trap of complacency and comfort!

So that is why I’m embarking on something completely new and different!  In fact we all are, as a family!  Tuck and I sat down and decided to make a big purchase!  He’s going to learn some photography (whether he knows it or not) because it’s time we start to do some things together!

I’m actually shooting a new session series called Fantasy Sessions/ When I Dream (Which if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen a preview of the first session I will blog about on Friday!!!)  I’ve been dying to do these sessions for years but they just didn’t make sense until now, where we live here in this magical area where it does make sense!

Sometimes you just have to switch things up and embark on new things!  Sometimes you have to leap and see what happens!  Sometimes taking that break allows you to realize what you really want to be doing!  Sometimes taking that break shows you exactly where your new adventure can begin!  It may be scary, but friends scary can be sooo soo good!

Just have a little Faith… no matter where you are in your journey!  Every part of that journey has a purpose!

Just have faith and trust in yourself!

Florida Children Fantasy Session Photographer

 

When we moved to Celebration, I had all these grand ideas about my business and blogging and working!  I had big plans and big ideas about all these shoots I would be doing and all these blog posts that I would write about our new adorable town!  Heck ya’ll, I still do!  If you were to come over right now and open up my laptop, you would see notes and stickies with blog calendar ideas for months!  I’m usually not that organized but the ideas are all there and they keep coming!  But when we moved, we didn’t anticipate all the adventures our family would have right from the start!

Being a business owning mama is an adventure in itself and finding balance is hard!  If you talk to any small business owner whether they are a mama or not, they will tell you the struggle to find balance is difficult and sometimes it just feels impossible!  When you have children (and I only have one) that struggle is crazy because your heart is always in conflict!

Back in Virginia Beach, I had a system and I never quite understood how important that system was to my business until we moved.  I never understood how much I enjoyed and needed the quiet and stillness of our house when Linc was in school and Tuck was away in order to focus on e mails and write my blog posts!  I never knew how much I needed a physically separate space away from my family in order to separate myself mentally to get into a “work” frame of mind!

I’ve been beating myself up lately because since we moved I have only written two blog posts.  Blogging used to come so easy to me because I love to write.  Writing is a natural outlet for me, but lately I find myself staring at the screen in tears because I just feel like I’m pulling teeth to find the words these days.  This is such a huge red flag to me and it honestly scares me.  Why can’t I blog?  Why aren’t the words coming?  It’s not for lack of ideas?  I have plenty of them.  It’s not like I haven’t been taking pictures, I have the images… I just don’t  have the words anymore to describe the emotions behind the images.

So after one particularly bad incident,  I decided to talk to my friend Christina!  I’ve never felt this way before, I’ve always had the words… I’ve always had more than enough words!  It was a brief conversation over text because let’s just be honest, when you have children (and she has four) you can’t always drop everything as much as you would love to be able to do so, and chat on the phone for hours.  Text messaging IS the best thing these days because you can be quick and to the point, or as long winded as you wish and it can be in between playing with your kids, putting your kids in time out (like we are doing over at our house) or watching them at the pool!

Christina said something to me that really hit home!  She told me that right now my priorities are just elsewhere and that’s OK!  My family needs me right now… and that’s more than OK!  I might not have the perfect words right now or any words for that matter because my brain is so focused on other things… and that’s OK!

Those words were short and simple, but they were just so powerful!

So I cried, because that’s just what I do and I went to bed!  I woke up the next morning and I thought, oh  my gosh she was so right… and then I realized I had a blog post!

My friends… I haven’t been blogging and this is why:

We moved from Virginia Beach to Celebration and while this has been so great for our family a LOT has changed for us!  Linc used to be in school 4 days a week upon his request.  Linc loves school!  He loves the social interaction and he loves the structure!  Tuck and I never really thought that moving in April to a very small town that is lovingly referred to by it’s residents as “the bubble” might mean that he wouldn’t be able to have a spot in the local school for the rest of the year since it was so close to summer!  So Linc went from almost full time school to full time at home with me!  This was a huge transition, not to mention the transition of moving to a new town (which he loves).  But it’s been hard and it’s OK for me to admit that!  It’s been hard because all his friends were in Kindergarten up until now when they were just released for summer.  It’s been hard because he’s also 3 and this 3 year old age is for the birds ya’ll!  His behavior got worse when we moved because this town is FUN and it’s SMALL and his boundaries went out the door!  Linc felt like he was on vacation 24/7 and so Tuck and I have finally worked hard enough that Linc understands that this IS home and he does have limits and it’s all under control now!  Every day since we moved has been a non stop exhausting struggle!  A good struggle, one that I truly have loved!  But it takes my full attention.  I’ve been pressuring myself too much to try and be a full time mom and a full time photographer and that’s just overwhelming!

What I realized is that it’s OK to take a break and step away for a little while!

All of us small business owning mamas need to hear this and truly believe this!  It’s OK to step back!  It’s OK to gain some perspective!  

Our families are the most important priority in our lives!  They need to always come first and their needs should always be above anyone else!  If you ask any business owning mama about their why… I bet you 10 out of 10 will say it’s their family!

So if we find ourselves struggling to keep up the pace or find the right words or find inspiration… it’s OK to take a step back and catch our breath every once in a while!

I remember I sat down with someone in coaching once and they told me that you have to work so hard all. the. time. no matter what!  That if you don’t hustle and want it so bad with so much tenacity that if you don’t work 110% every single day you must not really want it… and if you don’t work harder, smarter, and longer than your competition then you should just go ahead and put the camera down.  I remember feeling so sad when I heard that because I didn’t find it balanced.  I DO want to be in this world of photography and I do want to hustle but I never want to do it at the expense of my family or my sanity.  I also do believe that you can sometimes take a step back and take a break even for a while, a year or two, and return with just as much success as you could if you worked to the bone!

So this is where I have been!  I’ve been here in Celebration with my family!  I’ve been just mom… which actually has been a wonderful place to be!  I have still been shooting but I haven’t been writing and I can honestly say now (without the tears or stress or fear) that it’s OK!

And this is where I’m going to stay for a while, until August probably when Linc starts pre-school here in town!  That’s when I can take up my lovely schedule and the house will go back to being quiet and I can get what I need to actually work!  I might blog a little here and there but not every day and that’s OK!

So if you’re like me, a mom and a small business owner and your feeling like I have been:  a little scared and a little overwhelmed, today I want to give you a big hug and tell you that it’s OK to take a step back and breathe a little!

There are moms out there that are doing it and doing it well: my good friend Amanda Hedgepeth
for one!  She has mentoring sessions just for moms that run a small business!  Just know that if you do need to take a break, it’s OK… you can come back and start again right were you left off!

Hang in there girl!

Beautiful Florida Beach Children and Family Photographer Brooke Tucker

 

 

 

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