When I initially began drafting this post, my emotions were high and I wasn’t feeling as bittersweet as I am revising this post. Yesterday, I emptied my home studio. A space, I’ve found comfort, peace, and happiness in. As I removed backdrops, packed gear, removed samples, and boxed items for donation the wave of emotion got the best of me.
This morning, with a fresh perspective and a new day ahead, I have returned to the place of excitement knowing this new chapter is about to begin.
For twenty years, I’ve focused almost 100% of my attention on building, growing, and maintaining a thriving photography business. Along the way, I’ve taken small detours that guided me into the health and wellness world, a brief hiatus from photography, and now extended hiatus for an unknown length of time.
It is official, Amanda Kraft Photography is on an extended hiatus.
The journey to get here is one that I will be forever grateful for filled with beautiful memories, people, and adventures that will be carried with me for years to come.
On the surface, this transition may seem rather abrupt, in all actuality, the past two years have shown me tiny moments of confirmation. The past 20-months of global uncertainty, health challenges, and scares reminded me of how fleeting our days are. Engaging and placing attention toward anything that isn’t aligned with how we want to feel (emotionally, mentally, and energetically) is a determinant of our best selves.
An incredibly unexpected career opportunity presented itself a year ago and what began as a one-day-a-week in-person creative, operations, marketing assistant has gained speed almost overnight and led me into a position that I simply have fallen in love with.
Unknowingly to me, I have been KRAFT-ing my best life for the past two years. It has been a road of ugly realizations, painful moments, tears shed, seeking answers, and healing from the inside out. I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I am in a far better place than I was 20 months ago.
The catalyst for how I got here, really.
I was tired of being in limbo; lockdowns, health scares, laziness, uncertainty, curiosity, and overwhelm. I found myself depressed, not wanting to get out of bed, and continually spinning my wheels.
The thought of picking up my camera was mentally, emotionally, and physically heavy. Creating content for social media (reels, contests, giveaways) drained me and I abandoned the AKP Instagram two weeks ago. My feeling is our industry has shifted from creating beautiful portraits into creating 15-second reels for attention-grabbing, yet the portfolios behind the “filters” are quite lackluster. The artist within me felt her soul-crushed with each scroll of social media.
To clear the mental noise and clutter, I turned to journaling and scripting. Spending the past several months sitting uncomfortably, comfortable with a blank sheet of paper. Letting the pen guide over the paper as an extension of the thoughts flowing through my mind, I was able to process this decision without the noise or confusion.
Enough about me, what does this mean for the businesses, website, and blog?
Honestly, I am uncertain at this exact moment. The new career/job opportunity takes the bulk of my attention Monday – Friday with traditional office hours and more business than casual attire (more to come on that)!
- AKP is essentially on extended hiatus – however, if a certain project comes along that aligns with my schedule, I may consider it. A few personal projects have claimed residency in my mind that I’d like to see brought to life, no timeline or deadlines exist.
- Creative & Virtual Assistant Work – a few clients have contacted me asking if I’d assist on behind-the-scenes projects for their new businesses. Following suit to the photography work, I’ll accept these projects on a case-by-case basis.
- Coaching & Courses – Private coaching will be something I consider in 2022, with my new gig, figuring out work/life balance, and jumping back into my Journey to 40 – I am not in a place to coach privately.
- HOWEVER, I am working on a series of courses that will be released in a self-guided format at some point. The “WHEN”- is unknown.
It’s hard to close a post like this, I have no timelines, deadlines, or people to make happy – only myself. This is new for me. I can say this, if there is something in your life that is costing you, your happiness – find a way to approach it differently scale back, detach, or remove it altogether. The cost of your happiness is far too valuable to give away when your heart & soul simply isn’t in it anymore.