I’ve never been one to shy away from making changes. At times it has probably cost me business or followers and other times it has worked out for the better, but I guess it just comes with the territory when you live the life of an entrepreneur, especially self-taught. You have to be ready to take some falls. And you have to be ready to carry the scars and know that they are something to be proud of. They are a mark of progress. Of motion forward. Because no matter what, this stuff takes guts. I don’t know everything and I definitely fall more than I get it right, but I have guts to put myself out there and in my older age I have come to really love that quality about myself. Now if only I could get rid of the negative audience that sometimes lives in my head, then we would be A-OK.
It’s been quiet around here for a little bit while I navigated through some…. stuff. I’m sure you have seen some of the changes already. And because I have always believed in being open, honest and transparent, I wanted to make sure and reach out to you and let you know where my heart is and the season of change I am currently facing. Because I promise they came from a place of deep contemplation, prayers, a lot of tears, reflection as well as huge amounts of gratitude to even be able to travel this journey.
Back in 2011, after four years of being both a portrait and wedding photographer, I “retired” from shooting weddings. Why? Because my family had grown and my life as a mother had adjusted somewhat. My two older children were diving into more activities and my heart broke every weekend I was pulled away. The day I heard about a fellow wedding photographer whose son had an accident at home and was air lifted to the hospital on a Friday evening and her having to leave him the next day to shoot a wedding was the day that I made the choice to walk away from that industry and line of work to make sure that I never had to make that choice in my own life. And of course many other reasons. For the next five years, I poured my heart and soul into portrait photography. I have always had a passion for documenting everyday life and it was the perfect fit to put all of my attention into. I have loved every. single. moment of it. The people I have grown to know and the pieces of their story I have told are some of the sweetest memories I have and will always carry with me.
I have always adjusted my career and business to fit into my home and family life – not the other way around. And while doing it this way has required the sacrifice of growth and even notoriety, I have always held being a wife and mother as my greatest calling.
Last year, I quit a second position I held because I lost sight of this fact after trying to do too much. It was a hard lesson learned, but again, those scars are something to be proud of. I learned a lot. And I learned a lot about myself. When I left that position I found myself in my own whirlwind of freelance work and photo shoots (over booking happens without even knowing it sometimes). It was October – the dead center of busy season for a photographer – and again, every weekend I spent away. I was missing my family while I spent time with others. I was missing my own moments while I documented sweet ones for other families. I never have fallen out of love with photographing people, but I suddenly found myself falling out of love with having to choose. I have fallen out of love with saying goodbye on weekends. I have fallen out of love with filling my holiday season every year with work and not with more time surrounded by my family. Portrait photography, especially with families, is very seasonal and is always scheduled when families have the free time in their schedule. Which is always when I have free time in my schedule to be with my family as well. Perhaps it’s age and if so, I wish someone had warned me this feeling was coming. Perhaps it’s exhaustion. Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job and this year I will be celebrating 10 years of this crazy, amazing and beautiful ride.
Please don’t mistake this for grumbling and please don’t mistake this for me going anywhere. I have been honored to do the work that I have done for almost a decade. I am grateful to each and every individual who has trusted me to document their life and some of their most intimate moments. It has been a true honor and a calling that I don’t deserve, but have been blessed to do. I know how lucky I am to be in the position of choosing my path and what it entails. I know not everyone has this opportunity and for that, I am moving forward with an extremely humble heart and prayer. Like I said, I am not going anywhere, just simply adjusting my focus.
After writing and processing this post for over a month now and with my eyes welling with tears, I want to tell you that I will no longer be shooting family portraits. My focus, instead, will be fully committed to my work as a brand stylist and graphic designer which will also entail brand and commercial photography projects for individuals and businesses. My focus will also be right here. Getting back to sharing stories. Writing about motherhood, about life, about the good times and bad, the ups and downs, and those moments that make you close your eyes and clutch your chest as a smile slowly drapes across your face. I have missed writing. Oh, how I have missed it. And I have missed connecting with so many of you through this blog. I don’t want to talk business. I want to talk life. Because it’s where my passion is. It’s what my heart is tied to.
For years my audience has grown with a perfectly divided center. On one side, my fellow creative entrepreneurs and artists who have followed my work, asked questions along the way and who I have shared as much knowledge as I can with. The other side, my fellow mothers who have watched my kids grow, who have seen me stumble and fall and who have followed my story through the years. It has always been a tough position to find the balance to not make either side feel alienated. Because I truly am so grateful that any of you have stuck with me and have truly supported and cheered me on. Because of this and because of this change, I feel like I have finally gotten to the sweet spot. And here it is….
This blog will be the place for those of you who want to connect on all things life – motherhood, house and home, everyday struggles, what I am attempting in the kitchen, and beautifully documented every day stories because I will never not be behind the camera. ‘Haus of Layne’ was what felt right because of the personal and lifestyle side I am bringing back to this blog. And it was a way to somewhat separate it from the more serious business side. My personal Instagram will also be the place to connect with me on all these things and if you want blog updates right in your inbox, be sure you are subscribed here.
While I will still post projects I have launched in the studio sporadically here on the blog, if you are a fellow entrepreneur or artist you can keep up with the latest over on the studio website, Kara Layne & Co. You can also follow along on Instagram at @KaraLayneAndCo for all design, business and entrepreneur things. I will also be sharing all business tips, knowledge, tutorials through my subscriber list so make sure you are signed up for that here. I’m going to make sure once a month that we are tackling something together.
I truly hope that you will stick with me through this season of change and that you continue to find this place inspiring. Words could never express my gratitude for each of you and the love and support I have felt throughout these years. While I am so sad to close yet another chapter in the story, I am excited for what is ahead and I will be diving into it carrying the fondest memories because of all of those who have trusted me to do what I do. And there isn’t anything sweeter than that.