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Do You Have Healthy Boundaries?

Boundaries

Hey Guys,

So earlier this week Brooke + Corbin came by for their photo viewing (check out their amazing photos at Schwinn Barn on that link if you haven’t yet).  I still remember how much fun it was covering their wedding.

This is a picture of the CD’s and USB drives I use now.  Just because I love them and I think blogs are more fun with a couple of pictures.  :)

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So Anyway…

I’m new to being a parent but part of me is always glad to have company over, not only because social intervention is fun but also because it gives us an excuse to tidy up a bit.

It has been amazing being a new dad, but before we knew Kaia was coming to join our family I had 5 weddings booked in 30 days.  After we found out we were having a baby I referred 4 to friends.  I am glad that I am still on track to meet my mark of delivering photos by 4-6 weeks but normally it only takes me 1-2 weeks.

What are boundaries?

In our personal lives healthy boundaries are important for day-to-day sanity.  They might be simple things like “Our family eats dinner at the table” or “Phones off when we’re on a date”.  I’ve found that in my personal life most boundaries we have make sense.  In the end, we have them even if they go unspoken and for good reason.

In the business world It’s no different.  I’ve noticed my boundaries were more like guidelines than rules.  I rarely work weekends except for shooting weddings or doing bridal shows.  It’s really important to me that Kodi and I have the weekends to ourselves when I’m not booked for a wedding.  Beyond that after my first year I started getting closer to a 9 – 5 schedule for blogging, education, and design (though it’s kind of flexible).

I’ve decided to come up with some boundaries for my work life to prevent overloading my schedule.  Here are my thoughts at least on where I’m going to start.

My List

1. No more than 4 wedding weekends in a row

I have an annual limit of weddings per year.  I’ve found that having 4 wedding weekends in a row is hard on my family and it’s not what I want for my customers either.  All customers deserve a photographer who is excited to cover their event, for me this has been a boundary since my second year doing weddings.  I did 6 weddings in May including a destination wedding.  I had a great time but I was very unavailable at home and much more easily rattled.  I knew it wasn’t a pace I should maintain long term.

2. No shooting the day before or after a wedding

This is my gift to my family and my feet.  I have great shoes that have gotten me through 16 hour weddings many-a-time but I want to get those files backed up.  Get my batteries re-charged (literally and figuratively) and make sure all my ducks are in a row before and after a wedding weekend.

3. Answering emails between 9am-5pm

This one I don’t really follow.  I try to answer emails fast and composing the answers usually doesn’t take me more than 5 minutes or so 99% of the time.  Sometimes the artist in me has thin skin. If it takes me longer than 24 hours to respond, usually something is wrong or the email was unintentionally offensive and I’m trying to graciously respond to something.  I try to keep in mind that I’ve been in their shoes before too and picking vendors isn’t easy.

For me it’s hard to ignore emails, I think anyone with a smart phone might know it’s hard to ignore a notification signal.  So this might need some caveats but I will wrap my head around what is a healthy boundary for answering emails.

Your Thoughts?

Honestly, these were unspoken boundaries for me before but having them somewhere tangible makes me a bit more accountable and I can always look back on them and see how I’ve done with allowing exceptions or doing what I should do.

Hopefully, you guys have good boundaries with your personal and work lives to help you balance everything out.  I’d love to hear your thoughts below.