(photo taken on a recent trip to Zion National Park)

I mentioned a few weeks back that in my other life I’m a high school science teacher. Yesterday was the first day back to work after summer break, and I’ve got to tell you, it was haaaard. Mostly because my school-year life is so drastically different from my non-school-year life. And what I mean by that is…I get up at 4:30am. Yuck. Yes, let’s just say that together — YUCK.

I wake up that early for a couple of reasons, but let’s be honest, one of the biggest reasons is because I’m a slow poke. I like to eat breakfast while checking emails and scanning Facebook. I like to clean up the house in the morning. And I always work out in the morning. You see, I have to get my yoga in or I’ll be a sad sack all day. And no one wants a sad sack at work.

The beginning of the school year always makes me start to think of the future and my plans. My plans for teaching and my plans for my photography business. How does it all fit together? How long will it all fit together? What do I want to accomplish this year in my photography business? What to I want to change or adjust?

Some people ask themselves these questions at the end of a fiscal year or at the end of the calendar year. But I can’t help it. I think in school years. My year begins and ends in August.

Anyhow, I’ve been toying around with these questions, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with you. You see, my vision for my photography business has drastically changed in the past year or so. My focus used to be on private clients — portraits. I wanted to focus the majority of my work on portraits. Because I do love portraits. And styled sessions. And senior sessions. And headshots. I’ve had a lovely time doing this work.

But I’ve noticed something — my teaching side is calling me. I love to share my experiences. I love to show people what I know and help them get to where they want to be. I really get a kick out of seeing another person’s work transform because of something I’ve helped them learn or inspired them to do. It’s an awesome feeling.

And so I’m playing around with the idea of incorporating teaching into my photography work.

I don’t know exactly what my business model will look like yet. I’m working on that. The ideas are too big and too broad at this point to say for sure. But here are some of my ideas.

First, diversify. I’m a bit of a renaissance woman. I like to do a little bit of everything. And when I do just one thing for too long, I get bored. So why force myself to do just one thing? Instead, do different things. Who says you can’t do several things and do several things well? I say you can. So why not? I’m looking into selling select travel prints. I’m checking out what it would take to develop an online course. I’m considering the possibility of teaching in-person workshops and hosting creative retreats. I’m learning about licensing. I learning about self-publishing e-books and traditional publishing. I’m brainstorming and outlining and creating. And I’ve got to tell you, I’m stoked!

Second, incorporate yoga. As you know, I started adding yoga to the website a couple months back. Yoga drives me. It keeps me sane. It sparks my creativity and gets me in the zone. It quiets my mind and enhances my thought process. It does so much for my life, my creativity, and my photography. I want to share that with you and help you start your own yoga practice. I believe in this so much, I’ve decided to get certified as a yoga teacher. I’m looking into yoga teacher trainings, and I’m planning to join a training probably this coming winter or spring. In part, I’m doing this because I simply want to deepen my understanding of yoga and deepen my own yoga practice. It’s part selfish. But it’s also about feeling more confident in sharing that love of yoga with you.

Third, share my paintings. This is totally new. Few of you likely know my love of painting. Some years I paint very little, and other years, I paint a lot. But I’ve learned something — the more creative work I do, regardless of the type of work, the more creative my photography becomes. It’s a bit of a snowball effect. I once received a great piece of advice: when I’m in a creative rut with my photography I should step away from it for a bit and do something creative that is totally different. Paint, draw, write, whatever inspires me at that moment. This advice has been crucial to my growth and confidence as a photographer. Stepping away from my camera and into my paint world refuels me. It helps me see the world differently, see colors differently. And before you know it, I’m off with my camera, working on a totally new, inspired project. It started as a self-care ritual and has become a crucial way to avoid burnout. And I want to share that part of my life with you. Perhaps it would spark something in you that helps you avoid burnout too.

So that’s what I’m thinking about. Those are some of the ideas I’m tossing around. I’m excited! And I’m particularly excited to share this part of the journey with you. I don’t know exactly where it’s going to lead. But I do know it’s going to be somewhere awesome!