I had been here before, but never quite like this.
On July 10, 2010, I watched my future wife, Ally, walk down the aisle. Although I had been here before and photographed this moment hundreds of times as a wedding photographer, I had never been here before as the groom – the one being photographed.
Ally and I had dated for 6.5 years before we got married. We were high-school sweethearts. I had just turned 16 when we started dating, so we practically grew up together. Every year on our wedding anniversary, we take the day off to be with each other, and we revisit all the places we went on our wedding day – the church, where we went for photos, and the reception hall – and we recreate the same photos that we took the day of our wedding.
Here is the photo from yesterday.
For reference, here is us on our wedding day 7 years ago.
We now have 8 photos from the same place and time-of-day, each exactly 1 year apart. It's amazing to see how our relationship has evolved and how our family has grown. First, the photos documented us a happy couple, recently married. Then, they documented our family as we welcomed our daughter Ava into the world, then as we were pregnant, through those losses, and now with our son Benjamin.
These photos not only provide a glimpse into our story, but they also serve as a reminder of where it all began. They help us stay grounded and refocuses us on the things that are most important to us – our family, our health, and our happiness.
The lesson here for you is simple – remember to focus on what's most important. It's easy to get overwhelmed in the busy-ness of the day-to-day. It's easy to burn the candle at both ends trying to run your business. It's easy to become clouded by all the emails, editing, meetings and shoots.
But at the end-of-the-day, you started your photography business so you could make a living doing what you love. You wanted the freedom and flexibility that being an entrepreneur allows for. You didn't begin so you could have zero work-life balance. You didn't begin so you could lose control of your priorities. You didn't begin so you could lose sight of what's most important.
Remember to take the time to focus on what's important, and remember why you're doing what you're doing. If you need a physical reminder (like an anniversary routine like we do), then do it. However you do it, or however, you give yourself clues to re-focus your energies and priorities, just do it.
You'll thank yourself.