Where will you explore?

welcome to my






Young fun


Personal, Travel

June 5, 2019

Digital Detoxing in Dorset

Since I made a public declaration that I was going to have a week-long digital detox, I’ve had a fair amount of people asking me about it; mainly, ‘did it make a difference‘? So, I’m going out of my depths here by quite a way, and opening up about it. Because yes, it did! And it may inspire some of you to try it too…

It begins with me feeling pretty lost in the biz world, but fear not – I’m back on my axis again and stronger than ever before. Here goes…

We ALL need downtime. It’s something that so many of us (myself included) can far too easily push aside; we’re waaaay too busy to even think about taking a break. We have to reply to that email, friend, family member. We have to prepare dinner, clean the house, mow the lawn, remove toddler’s food that’s now become a permanent feature of the car’s interior. And then there is work, work, work…

I’ve been a full time wedding and lifestyle photographer working solo, for 5 years this year. Then 3 years ago I added another job into the mix by becoming a full time Mummy. I naively thought the first year would be fine and barely dropped any work – newborns sleep a lot, right? WRONG. I had feeding problems, sleep problems and ultimately the ever increasing time problems… When would I ever get the chance to catch up with all my work that was quickly mounting up?! The truth? I didn’t. Babies need a lot of time, and rightly so! I began to outsource some editing, then cry over my laptop, have cold sweats in my sleep, lose sleep and worry some more. But I kept telling myself and others around me, I was fine. I could do this. I’m a business owner, a baby mama, and a wife. All three are huge privileges and I never wanted to sound ungrateful. BUT… I couldn’t keep up.

Bryan Dyson once said: “Imagine life as a game in which you’re juggling 5 balls in the air. We can name them ‘work’, ‘family’, ‘health’, ‘friends’ and ‘spirit’. And you’re keeping ALL of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other 4 balls; family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same again.

Something had to give a little in order for me to get on top of things again, and the obvious answer was my work. And this really scared me; it’s the business I’d put so much effort into building on my own, the degree in photography, the training I had after uni, the working into the small hours whilst working elsewhere in the day to pay the bills. The financial difficulties I had whilst saving for the gear I needed… I launched my business in 2011 and since then, I’d put my absolute all into it. But as a tired Mama, things shifted rather quickly within the business. I began to get more stressed, I felt I was failing, falling behind even, the building pressures of everything made me begin questioning whether photography was actually what I wanted to do… this just wasn’t me anymore. Those who know me, know that photography is searing through my veins! We then had some huge excitement by adding another family member to our little gang, a beautiful baby girl. Life was amazing, everything seemed to have a glow. Yet in the back of my head, I still had a huge niggle. My work!! We planned to have this second little one, so in the lead up to making it happen, I cut back on work (full of fear, dread, nerves) so that my hopeful pregnancy would be easier than it was with my first. Which it was. I also made big plans for my quieter times…

  • Rebuild my biz from the bottom up. Work on the foundations, and build up from there – aiming HIGH!
  • Take time off. Off off! (Yikes…)
  • Fall back in love with one of my biggest passions outside of my family – photography, and capturing special memories for my clients (one of the nicest feelings, ever!)

Along came the changes that I needed…

Saying ‘no’ to work was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in the business. I felt terrible, a traitor to potential clients. They were ready to invest in me, yet I screwed up my face, clenched my fists and fumbled for the ‘send’ button every time. However… I’m chuffed to be able to say that I’ve done all that I planned (and more) whilst in my downtime. My most difficult goal on that list was the ‘take time off’. But it turned out to be the most beneficial! There is still a lot to do, but I’m enjoying everything again. I feel that I’m finding my true creative self again. I have plans, MANY plans, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, my work is improving and my confidence is on the upand all this is happening during what is one of the trickiest juggling acts I’ve ever encountered: life with a toddler, a baby, a house to run, meals to cook, a car to keep respectable (!) and run my own business. Something I honestly didn’t think I could manage. But after a week away from all things digital, and surrounding myself with nature and the ones I love, clarity came swooping in, bundled me up and pushed me off into the right direction again…

The immediate key benefits…

  • the pressures of modern day life noticeably lifted from my shoulders
  • I began to notice things I would perhaps have just glanced at and not even thought about
  • I stopped thinking about the things that I worry a lot about when it comes to work
  • I became happier and more present in the now
  • My skin health improved, my eyes felt less puffy in the mornings and evenings, I just felt newer!
  • I began to find inspiration wherever I went – to benefit my business and family life
  • I had more headspace to work out any problems I encountered.
  • I’m brimming with ideas and plans…
  • and finally, I’m loving the idea of becoming the photographer I aspire to be. Even the one that I am… I’m just excited by it all!!

Giving myself the headspace I was absolutely craving and in dire need for, enabled me to switch into who I am as a photographer, business owner, Mummy and wife. And all it took was one week – one week is nothing in the grand scheme of things. But it was enough to set me off, and set my mind’s withering embers on fire once again 😀

I’m already booking in a few more weekend digital detoxes to keep me on the ball. In previous years, I would try to cram in as many wedding bookings as I possibly could in a year. But now I’m focusing much more on quality over quantity. Yes, I’m still booking lots of weddings, but nowhere near as many as before. Meaning as a client of mine, you can expect me to give you more time, more expertise, and more of my everything to make your day’s memories stand out. And I’m very excited to be able to spend more time with my family…

If you ever begin to feel that things are getting on top of you, stop. Turn off your notifications, walk away from the phone/computer/tablet/TV. Breathe. Look. Listen.

I hope this inspires you to try it too. If it does and you give it a go, let me know how you got on; I ADORE hearing inspirational stories from others…

Leave a Reply