First of all, if you haven’t already got it, here is your annual reminder that you don’t have to lose weight ever, you don’t owe anyone health and you can make whatever changes in your life you want for whatever reasons speak to you, at any time of the year, regardless of what anyone else thinks. You can make no changes! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do.
On Resolutions Pt 1: A Brighter Pizza Future
Second of all, I’m a very firm believer in resolving to do things that make you happy.
For me, that often means doing food-related things. Generally I have one resolution, usually about a food item I want to eat more of. One year it was bake more cake. Mid-pandemic it was obviously learn to make sourdough.
This year’s resolution: Perfect gluten-free pizza crust. Most of my baking is already gluten free because of my partner’s allergy, but for some reason I just have not cracked the recipe for perfect gf pizza crust. I feel bad about this, because gluten-y pizza is my specialty (pizza overdose in 2016 might have been the cause of Kaleb’s adult-onset gluten intolerance but we’ll leave that for now). So when I make pizza for dinner, I get delicious homemade crust (occasionally even sourdough!) and Kaleb gets passable store-bought whatever. 2023 is the year this changes. I’m committed.
On Resolutions Pt 2: A Darker Photo Future (in a good way!)
This year I’m also adding a second, photography-related resolution, which is this: Embrace weirdness.
I don’t usually have a problem embracing my own weirdness in life. I am blessed with a partner who, god help them, appreciates (nay, ENCOURAGES) my weirdness every day. But I have struggled somewhat over the last few years of running this business to appear as I truly am, to speak in a voice that reflects my true weirdness, the things I really love.
When you go looking for advice on things like marketing or starting a business, you find a lot of noise. And if you spend too much time looking at what other people are doing, I think you end up creating your own noise. Looking for inspiration from creative, talented people is great, but if I’m not careful my sense of what’s acceptable or good starts to narrow. I want to expand it.
Especially when you get sucked into the world of family photography there’s a very particular tone, a very soft, sentimental, reverent tone that I’ve found myself inadvertently emulating (something about being socialized as a girl and constantly fighting a certain pull toward palatability maybe). And it just hasn’t worked out that well for me. Left to my own self I tend toward the slightly darker, the slightly ruder. (Do I think families in all their myriad creative and loving shapes deserve to be documented? Yes! Do I think families with kids are inherently better than families without? No!)
What It All Means
What this means is that I’m going to experiment more. Lean into the dark winters of the Pacific Northwest and find new ways to capture it on film. I’m going to post what I love and what helps me grow my own voice rather than sticking to what I’ve convinced myself is most acceptable or likely to win new clients. I’m going to be more forthright in places like this, a little less concerned with being broadly appealing. Trust that the right people will get it and we’ll find each other and it will all be fine. (Is rudeness my brand now? We’ll workshop it.)
What this means for YOU is that I’m encouraging weirdness in everyone that I work with, so please consider this a rousing invitation to just be super weird. You don’t have to be pretty or soft or perfect or trendy or anything. You get to like what you like, and it’s all worth documenting. For yourself now and for posterity.
We’re here to be beautiful and strange.