Thursday, January 1, 2015

Creating Space

Holy Dina, it's been a while since I last stopped in for a chat with you, Blog.  I've thought of you often; alas, life has given me a little more than a gal can handle all at once and so you have had to take a backseat.

In mid-2013 I was handed a personal blow that left me, well, broken.  I have spent the past 19 months adapting, learning, loving, crying, and living...and I managed to fit some beloved portraiture into the mix too!  2014 was all about getting my feet back under me, and I'm happy to report that things feel a lot more peaceful these days, and I am ready to dream again.

Every once in a while we all have to 'take stock': what's working, what isn't, what do I need to do, what do I WANT to do, how do I wish to live my days, and so much more.  I've been seriously pondering these questions for some time now and, although I don't have all the answers I'd like (not even sure I can articulate all the questions?!), I do know that I am ready to shift my work-life balance, and that it will require some sacrifice. I also know that 'dreaming' things into fruition also requires some 'space' to think, create, fumble, succeed...I am on a mission to make 2015 a lot more pro-active in the dreaming/creating category!

December 31, 2014
As we made our way from Chicago to Calgary, and to a new year with new possibilities.
iPhone 5
In March 2014, I was invited to become a member of IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta, which I accepted.  The mandate of our non-profit is to use photography as a tool to build bridges between communities, people, groups, cultures, and beyond.  It has been an honour to participate in activities through IRIS and I am incredibly excited about an upcoming project that I am involved with - more on that in a later post!  

Then, a few months ago, I was approached to participate in a collaborative project, 'The Birthday Book Project', and I was and am STOKED about it - more to come later, but there are a few details below! ;)

So, between my work (I provide 25 hours/week to a wonderful small business doing admin work; Bella Faccia Photography; Bella Forza Portraits), my family (I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be a full time mom still - putting the kids on the bus in the morning and picking them up at the end of the day), and everything else that life asks of us...I'm feeling a little burnt out.  I recognize that it is all perspective and perhaps, at another time in my life, all these things would engage and inspire me...but, given my shell shocked existence over the past year and a half, I am tired.  I know that I have to make some changes and, although it is very difficult, I have come to a major decision in this so-called 'balance' we all desire, that I desire...

I am closing Bella Faccia Photography for (at least) 2015.

I have a few portrait sessions already booked and I will happily meet those engagements; however, outside of 'one-offs', I won't be booking any Bella Faccia portrait work this year.
What will I be doing?  
  • I'll be concentrating on being present with my family and taking time to choose soul-nourishing activities for me (I think I'd like to try painting!)!
  • I'll be travelling to Kenya, Africa, with my family on a voluntour with Free the Children! (insert - squeals of delight - here!)
  • I'll be continuing to provide, what I hope is, wonderful administrative work for people I feel honoured to work for and with!
  • I'll be providing portrait services through Bella Forza to women (and their families) who are facing or have faced serious illness...Bella Forza feels like my 'life work', from which I can't imagine taking a 'sabbatical'.
  • I'll be participating with passion in IRIS endeavours, exploring wonderful ways that we might use photography to ignite understanding, passion, and connection!
  • I'll be looking for, and photographing, 30+ individuals for The Birthday Book Project (visit to enter your email address so that you can be the first to know what we're up to and maybe even participate! :D )
  • and, amidst the fun, I'll be consciously creating 'space to dream'.
I won't lie, this post has been exceedingly hard to write...that said, I know that I am following what feels like my 'best path right now'.  I have loved the work I've done over the past five years and I have ZERO intention of quitting...just need to shift my shutter to new horizons for a while.

I think many of my tears are for the opportunities I know I'll be giving up this year, but I am also so incredibly excited for what this new 'space' will allow.  May this new day, and year, bring you too closer to your 'best path'.  It might take a deep breath, but it's so worth it!  

Life may not always be easy, but it sure is ALWAYS beautiful...we just have to look a little deeper sometimes.

With gratitude to each person and client who has trusted me, supported me, encouraged me...I hope to see you all soon!

Life - and change - are beautiful!