The River as My Muse

The river by my house has been my muse in a way that I didn’t expect since moving to the Kootenays. I had planned for something different for when I moved out here. I’d be taking brave clients down to the river and the forest for boudoir and empowerment sessions. I’d be inspired by nature as my backdrop. I would empower my clients through my photography as I have been for the past few years.

It wasn’t until my plan completely fell apart that I realised that the river would be my muse in other ways.

Before we moved, I had a plan all set. Months before we left, I hired a company to run Google ads for me so that I would have a cushion to land on once we settled. We hired them and waited for months. We waited for months more, before the leads started to trickle in. Still I held onto hope that it would pay off in the end. It had to, right? We sure were paying them a lot to advertise for us. I had high hopes that they would know the market out that way better than we would. Six months went by and I did get some leads for my Regina studio. Meanwhile I was staring at an empty calendar for after our move to the Nelson, BC area.

I didn’t let panic set in until months went by of living out here when it finally hit me – we’d made a grave mistake in putting all our “eggs in one basket” and convincing ourselves that we didn’t have anything to worry about.

Take it Slow by The River

In those months, it was the slowest period in business for me since I opened my studio’s doors years prior. Panic started to set in, and in those moments I also started to wonder if this was what I even wanted, out here. The business I had built in Regina was built out of a need to survive, my full calendar only reflected my inability to tend to my own needs. Those got pushed aside for years until we finally moved. Now that I wasn’t in survival mode anymore, I was slowing down, and things were settling… and the burnout hit like a freight train.

So, instead of letting clients inspire me, I had to learn to let go and trust. Trust that this direction I had been blindly moving in for so long might not have been the right one. It certainly wasn’t sustainable on the best days. Some days it took everything I could to ignore the warning signs that I approaching burnout from doing too much. It was too much, too fast, all at once.

Where do I go now? I’m not sure. I know one thing, that I’ll figure it out. I always do.

Moving out here has forced me to slow down.

To lean into the lesson that this burnout has been teaching me.

To gain perspective.

To let the river be my muse.

To see more images from this series and to get early access to upcoming blog posts head to my ko-fi page.

black and white photograph of a river with evergreen trees on the other side of the water. The clouds are low and have created an eerie spookiness to the image.

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