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May 28, 2024

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From Struggle to Empowerment

I’m sitting here at my oversized computer desk with my absurdly large 38” monitor for the first time in almost two weeks. In this moment this monitor feels like complete overkill as I have only one tab opened, Notes, albeit I do have Spotify open in the background with Steelers Wheel playing “Stuck in the Middle With You”. Normally this screen has no less than 832 tabs open as well as Lightroom, Photoshop, and Premier Pro (Video editing), but today it’s empty and somehow more intimidating than ever. I’ve been in a weird place mentally when it comes to creativity and innovation which if you know me is odd. Typically there’s no shortages of ideas for me to bug Rachel over, but for about a month it’s radio silence up there. I say that to say that I’m not sure what the point of this blog is going to be, maybe I’ll square that away by the end of this. 

We took a week or so off at the beginning of May so that we could vacation with the kids, then more time off here and there with the holiday weekend so work has been a struggle recently. I learned last year that I don’t necessarily do well unless I’m keeping busy, which in this case I have not. For the last several years we’ve been a fairly high volume studio meaning we were shooting anywhere from 140-180 clients a year. When you’re shooting that much you don’t have time to think, you just wake up, do the thing, sleep and do it again the next day. We realized somewhere along the way that this not only wasn’t healthy mentally but also not how we wanted to conduct business. The world is in a weird place right now and I think that not only do our actual clients need more attention from us but those that follow us as well. 

UPDATE: I’ve been at the desk for about 10 minutes thus far and starting to hit my stride. Kool G Rap with “Ill Street Blues”  is coming out of the speakers and it’s a different kind of vibe. 90’s HipHop will forever be the G.O.A.T. Back to the point.

If you haven’t been able to tell over the last few months we’ve intentionally slowed down shooting/posting a lot, our IG is abysmal right now. This is still a major adjustment because I’m a chronic over-thinker and don’t need that type of free time, however it’s needed right now. There’s a lot of things on the back end of the business that need a substantial amount of attention as well as a hard look at the way we market. With the kids getting older and demanding (Maybe not the right word but you get the point) more attention we can’t spend 8hrs a day spread thinner than gas station toilet paper (Seriously though, is it that fucking hard to have 3-4ply toilet paper across the board). The time we spend with the business needs to be affective and to the point. I spent very little time with my parents growing up and I don’t want nor wish that on our kids, thankfully unlike myself (only child) there are two of them however they can’t be made to be their own babysitters all the time.

The plan for now is that we are going to stack as much studio time (Shooting sessions, creative sessions, and unannounced projects) to only being a few weeks this entire summer so that we can spend the rest with the family. The way the schedule is currently made out is one week in June and July of 10hr days (Multiple shooting sessions) then one week for the unannounced project (details soon). The rest of summer will be getting to live as a semi normal family except for the few hours each morning of extraordinarily deep work to allow that extra free time. It may seem like it at times but we aren’t going anywhere. The back half of this year is going to be beyond epic and this next project will be a big part of that. I’d also love to be able to do a complete studio redesign and may call on some new friends for some help there. 

We are still going to host as many in person events as possible within reason. I posted a few months back about a run/walk and have every intention of making that happen. I’d like to start doing one each week on different days. I’ll try weekday’s and weekends to see what works best, either way look for these to be in the evenings because no one has time for that midday heat. We will talk it through and get dates/times posted in an event tab in the FB group. These events will NOT be ticketed events. Just show up, meet people, enjoy a little community and get a little cardio in. 

Now that I’m at the end of this I’ll say that I feel better. If Im being honest I’ve avoided writing and getting back into the swing of things but damn it feels good to be productive again. I said I would find the point of this by the end, I think it’s just good to get back to work. Hopefully this update gives a little insight to some of the things behind the scenes and where we are headed over the next few months. I’ll never not be appreciative of those of you that support us and tell your friends to come see us. We are just getting started, stay tuned. 

Oh, I almost forgot but we have now adopted two kittens and If I know Rachel she would be decanted to know that I wrote this without sharing this update. 

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Justin & Rachel

She soothes your nerves, he captures your fire. Rachel & Justin, your dynamic duo, guide you on a journey of self-discovery through laughter, pampering, and unforgettable boudoir adventure.

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