Journaling for Photographers: 7 Day Challenge {Day 1: Gratitude}

As a small business owner, you are responsible for everything. From supply orders, to design concepts, to business budgets, marketing and customer service. How do you find time to clear your mind to keep you on the path that feeds your creative soul- the reason you started off in photography in the first place? Do you remember the first time you picked up your camera and thought “this is what I want to do with my life.” I bet it doesn’t feel that way everyday now.

Running a business is a lot of work, and it is easy to push your feelings down to get the work done. Push past those dreams and goals to make room for your never ending “to-do” list.

But honestly, it doesn’t have to be that way- you can do better, feel better and be passionate with your art, stay on track with who you are and what you are doing.

That is why I want to challenge you to start your creative journal. I gave a taste of creative journal prompts to my Color Course students this past month, and the feedback I received was astounding- many had never dove into their fears and passions revolving around their own creative talents.

Journaling benefits everyone- and I truly believe that- but is it essential for creative personalities. Simply taking pen to paper helps organize thoughts, feelings and ideas- but more than that, it breeds them. Once you start writing, surges of inspiration can flow and instead of it bogging down your mind with all of your great ideas, there is a place where they are written. A place where you can come back to and visualize your ideas and build on them.

We are going to start off demolishing a few fears that stop artists from journaling:

  • I don’t know how to write : Well that is fine- you don’t have to know how to write, spell or use punctuation- you are the only one reading it.
  • I don’t have time: Journaling isn’t something that has to take long, you don’t have to sit and mediate and wait for inspiration to find you. You can literally write for 1-5 minutes while your coffee is brewing in the morning, or during school pick up in the car. Stick your journal in your purse and write between meetings and sessions.
  • I don’t know what to write about: Well that is perfect! I’ll be giving you prompts over the next couple days to really get your gears going, sometimes all you need to do is start writing anything and your thoughts will empty onto the page- freeing your mind from holding onto all of them!
  • I don’t have a fancy journal: That’s fine! I journal so much that I use a 5 star notebook (yes, for real.) I use the different sections for the different things I journal about.

Day #1 : Gratitude

When you are stressed or overwhelmed, the very best thing you can do is to be grateful for what is going wonderful in your life. It could be as simple as waking up on time, or being able to have a sit down dinner with your family. It could also be as big as when you bought a new car, or house! It doesn’t matter what you are grateful for- just as long as you are grateful!

I do daily grateful entries in my journal, 10 at the least, but the more you write down and feel them, the more positive your day starts. It is hard to have a bad day when you are taking the time to feel the gratitude for all the fantastic things you have/do/are.

What I am grateful for today:

  1. My coffee didn’t have granules when I made it this morning (yes- this is a recurring issue in my life- lol)
  2. Cozy time with my daughter, summer is out and balancing work/home is tough – but every night this summer we have curled up and read a book together.
  3. Starting the Journaling Challenge- Yes- this is on there. Even though I journal almost every day, I’m not always 100% present. I am taking this 7 day challenge myself and am ready to get back in alignment with who I am and how I am feeling.
  4. Netflix- for real. June has been full of my favorite season’s updates and it has been awesome!
  5. Being invited back to the Belly Baby and Beyond Conference as a vendor- this year was an amazing experience!
  6. The Photography Studio- I LOVE being a part of the newborn photography industry, and having a studio has been such an incredible part of my life for the past two years. We have 2 of our newborn session babies coming back for cake smashes next week and I love seeing how much they have grown!
  7. My Happy Planner- Each week, I print off my favorite stickers, cut them up and plan my next week, after living for years with post-it notes everywhere, having something organized and beautiful has been fantastic!
  8. Gardening time with my family- We plant a garden every year, and last year I was so busy, I didn’t even get to enjoy it. It was another responsibility that I wasn’t able to keep up with. This year, it has been relaxing and such a way to spend evenings with my family.
  9. My family portraits- We had our first family photography session last year (after 7 years) and I was surprised with a huge canvas of my favorite image for Mother’s Day- I finally got it hung up last week!
  10. ReiLynn Designs- I have had my prop shop for almost 9 years now, and summers are always a little bit scary. They are slower and my daughter is home from school, so less work hours. I decided that this summer, the shop would be all ready to ship and I couldn’t be more happy with that choice! I have gone from stressful and over worked, to excited about each shop update!



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