I’m not as capable as you think

Moments ago (ah, and it felt so good) I posted this little notice on my photography blog:

I am completely booked until January 2013.

However, I’m thrilled to refer you to two young, incredibly skilled photographers from BYU:

Tracy Hill– http://tracyhillphotography.blogspot.com/ You’ll love her artistic eye, gorgeous use of light and clean editing. Tracy is a wedding specialist who also creates gorgeous family and individual portraits.

Veronica Olson vo@olsonfamily.net Watch for her photography in Martha Stewart. One day, you’ll be proud to say you ‘knew her when.’ Veronica prefers to photograph individuals.

Both Tracy and Veronica are far more skilled than I and offer incredible photography for reasonable prices.

Enjoy! And be sure to send me links to your family photos.


Truth is, I want to photograph everyone who contacts me. Each photo shoot offers an opportunity to make a new friend, learn new stories, view the world a little differently. And well, I love everything about creating gorgeous images– tracking the angle of the sun, scouting out the perfect setting, meeting new people, finding your true smile, capturing the laughter and love between family members… as soon as I get in the car after a shoot I have to put the camera in the back seat– the way you’d put a dozen donuts in the trunk– so I don’t scroll through the photos on my camera as I drive. At home, I love loading photos onto my computer, choosing favorites and perfecting the RAW images in Photoshop. Even more, I love your reactions and delight, the nice notes and occasional little gifts landing on my porch swing.

I love everything except for the time.

And I’ve reached my limit. I was already telling most people ‘no’ when my doctor warned me I am literally killing myself with stress.

Now don’t panic, if we’ve already scheduled photos this fall, I have you on my calendar or if I’ve already taken your photos, I am joyfully finishing them for you. I just simply can’t take any more. And I hate to whine publicly, but writing this ensures I don’t melt in person and tell you ‘of course I can.’ Because with all my heart, I want to photograph your family or your wedding or your senior or your baby. But I can’t.

I’m not sure if I’m slower or less efficient than most people, or if I simply have too much on my plate? I have plenty of friends who ‘do it all’ and I see plenty of photographers who even seek out new clients and manage a dozen shoots a week. But I’m not them. And I hope my public admission reassures someone else who can’t keep up with the supermoms.

Hopefully, I’ll catch up on my workload, find time for other creative pursuits and be ready to take on a few clients in January or February. But maybe not. With birthday season and Ben coming home in March, Stefan leaving in June…maybe I’ll take off a whole year. Slowing my pace will improve my photography skills– there is always so much to learn.

A notice like this, I recognize, represents virtual suicide to a business. But I am not a business woman– I am an artist, I am a friend, I am a wife, I am a mother.

September 7, 2012



  1. jen

    September 10, 2012

    What a notice like that represents is that you are a person who knows and respects your limits.

  2. ashli

    September 11, 2012

    i’m so glad you are my friend. proud of you!!!

  3. Veronica Olson

    September 11, 2012

    Thanks, Michelle. You are great, and I think you manage to balance everything wonderfully, as evident by the amazing children you’ve raised. That’s what matters most. Oh, and I go to BYU, not the U of U. Go Cougars!

  4. Sharlee

    September 11, 2012

    Good for you, Michelle! (But now I have to tell Erica that she can’t get married for at least another year. :-)) Love you! (P.S. I’m feeling even more guilty now about our family pictures. Please don’t worry about doing anything with them until things have settled down for you. I mean it. XOXO)

  5. Cath

    September 11, 2012

    Just an fyi, my dear: veronica’s link within your post goes to tracy’s blog. but we’re all capable of cutting and pasting… i honor your choice to take care of yourself and those closest to you first. you have my support and love.

  6. ellen

    September 12, 2012

    Enjoy your break.

    P.S. NOBODY does it all. 🙂

  7. Linn

    September 21, 2012

    Anytime I see notices like this, I smile. They do not represent weakness to me in any way. They represent wisdom and power and a person not willing to be sold a bill of goods by the world telling them they should do everything. Because that is just a bunch of junk. And when we don’t realize it and try to do just that, we end up changing ourselves. For the worse. Scary stuff. (You can’t tell I’ve been through this, can you?) 🙂 Thinking of you my friend.

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