A question I'm asked all the time is "how do you manage it all?". Women in general seem to be asked this a lot while men...not so much. Maybe it's because women are expected to have it all together? Which is just nuts. I am pretty organized and efficient, though, and sharing some productivity tips. Just know I DON'T have it all together, even if Instagram-land makes it look like I do.
Habits and systems that help me (mostly) stay on top of my life:
• Full time childcare. I work full time and am not Wonder Woman. • Get up early! "Early to bed, early to rise" means I get 2 hours of productivity starting at 5:30am, before my kids are awake. I tackle email, edit a gallery, plan my day and usually get dressed and do my hair. It changes my whole day!
• Google Calendars! I have one for my editing deadlines, one I share with my husband, and one I share with my family
• Asana.com - a super to do list if you will. I can share personal lists with my hubby too.
• Notebooks (and planning my day) - I write my schedule, top 3 tasks, my personal to dos. I ❤️ lists!
• Scheduling personal care - I SCHEDULE my meals, workout, social time, and even time outside for a break. It's a (new) priority for me and I'm SO much more productive when I charge my darn battery.
• Saying No/Setting Low Expectations - "Do I HAVE to volunteer for this thing" "Do we HAVE to throw a huge birthday party for our child?" Probably not. Pick and choose where you spend your energy, say no, and get your time and sanity back.
• Using Sunday to prep for the week - my husband and I grocery shop, meal plan, clean, and pow wow about what's coming in the week ahead. We delegate tasks and communicate. Chaos reduced.
• Minimalism - You don't have to tidy it/clean it if it's not in your house in the first place. If you're picking up 100 toys, get rid of 70 of them. Same with clothes, and loose papers, and most of the stuff in your junk drawer. Stuff takes TIME to manage. Get rid of it.
• Sharing the mental load and domestic tasks with my husband - women aren't born planning parties, sending thank you notes, and packing for trips. We learn it. My husband has too. Gender roles are BS.
Sometimes, with littles, your photo shoot might land on a really REALLY rough week and it’s all you can do to get the kiddo’s clothes together. Dad’s outfit might be the casualty. No judgment from this photographer mama! We all agreed Dad’s “fancy sweats” were oh-so-stylish and, if you ask me, the photos just as cute! #fancysweats
Ok real talk. A few weeks ago I did a story sharing my struggle with endometriosis. After 10 years with this dumb disease, it's funny what parts of it are hard and what parts aren't. The pain (which mimics labor some days) is actually not the hardest part. I can predict when it's coming, and I have my go-to ways of coping with it. The hardest part is not knowing why I have endo, what I'm supposed to do about it, what makes it worse or better, and where I'm supposed to go from here. A doctor tells me one thing, another doctor tells me the first doctor was wrong, then a naturopath tells me something different, and the Internet is one big black hole of conflicting information. What's right? What's wrong? Am I stuck with this condition forever or is there some easy solution right around the corner? One thing I've learned is you have to be your own advocate. Doctors told me for 8 years I didn’t have it, but I knew something wasn’t right. I demanded surgery and they found it. You also have to be willing to try different treatments and find what works for you. I tried drugs and surgery. Didn't work. Now I'm onto a vegan-ish (some 🐟and 🥚), gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free anti-inflammatory OH MY GOD THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND BORING diet, a heap ton of supplements, and CBD oil for pain management (thank you WA for being progressive!). Will all this work? Maybe. Maybe not. But my health, anyone's health, is worth the time, energy, money, and inconvenience to FEEL BETTER. Hugs to any of you going through similar struggles with your health. “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”-Arthur Ashe ❤️ // Side note: 1 in 10 women have #endometriosis . Feel free to message me if you have it, think you have it, and need a friend. Supporting women is oh-so important to me.
Summer sessions are booking and Fall dates will be released this Friday! Wondering which season to pick? Sharing tips in today’s story. Summary: if you hate the idea of rain in the forecast, or want the option of rescheduling, choose Summer. Waterfront locations are best then too. Fall has pretty colors, but is the busiest time of my year (September is THE busiest) so rescheduling is not always feasible. If you have older kiddos, you can get away with a Summer shoot and still have an updated image for your holiday cards. Infants change a lot in 4 or 5 months, so Fall is better for a current portrait. Some clients do both! Message me with questions, and make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter so you get first shot at Fall and mini session appointments when they’re released!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas, stepmamas, and grandmas who work SO hard, do 100 things at once, keep it all together, and love their kiddos with everything they have. You are exquisite! Photographing motherhood is my joy and passion and I am grateful to all of you who allow me to capture your sweet (and silly!) memories. Extra hugs to the women struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss, and those grieving their own mothers or children today. You are seen, you are loved. ❤️
Fall appointments will be released next Friday May 18th! Book through the online scheduler then. September and October Saturdays are always the first to get snapped up. I will also send a newsletter with the holiday mini session sign up date. Last year the minis sold out in 6 hours! Make sure you’re on the newsletter list so you don’t miss all the info (temporary link in profile today). Email email@example.com with questions!
In the last couple months I've had the same odd experience 4 or 5 times. I've been on a shoot, or running errands and hear "Erin, are you Erin?" and see a stranger walking up to me. They introduce themselves and say something like "you don't know me, but I follow your Instagram and (insert nice thing about Coffee with Erin here)". These experiences are proof of the artificial relationship that is Instagram, but also show me that what I'm putting out in these silly little squares is connecting with some of you, and useful...I'm grateful for that. It also shows me how silly this one-sided posting is! I don't get to know YOUR names, faces, and lovely personalities. As such, I'm going to go LIVE more often. I want to connect with you in real-time, hear your questions and opinions, and get to know you, albeit virtually. I WILL BE LIVE TOMORROW AT 9:15AM, posting Coffee with Erin☕️ on location. Looking forward to making this “conversation” two-way for once!
Meanwhile, If you see/bump into me in real life, PLEASE come up and say hi! It means so much to me to know the people behind the handles! Or message me here with questions, or requests for stories/Coffee with Erin topics. I adore seeing that little red notification circle on my inbox, and helping viewers on their photography journey.