Lonely At The Bottom | The Unglamorous Side of Life as a Lifestyle Family Photographer

Jun 20, 2017 | Heart Talk

You know how they say it’s lonely at the top?  How come nobody mentioned how lonely the climb up the mountain was gonna be too?  AND HOW FAR?

This solopreneur/momboss thing, it is actually REALLY tough sometimes…a lot of times.  Add to that the fact that 2017 has been slooooowwww for me, I have been asking myself some serious questions about my life, my worth, the value and quality of my work, and everything I have spent the last 8 years building.

Being in business has been both the best decision I have ever made and the stupidest thing I have ever done to myself.  Many days I wake up asking myself “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING” – it’s generally way more explicit than that, but I’ll spare you for today.

As much as I love the unexpected in my work, I haven’t been dealing well with it in my life.  I LOVE walking into a client’s home for the first time and discovering ways to use light and space in my images and finding new and creative ways to make their images beautiful,  but I really don’t like not knowing where my next client is going to come from.  It’s both amazing and so scary to be an artist and not have the security of a stable paycheck…especially when the phone isn’t ringing quite as much as it use to.

2017 has me looking inward and trying to figure out why I’ve been feeling like I’m on this intense emotional rollercoaster. One day loving my work and the next day wanting to trash everything from my portfolio and start over, or move on and away.  The inferiority complex has had me real good this year.

So, finally, I got out of the haze this year has been pulling me into and I decided that I HAD TO take control of my life again, the way I did that day 8 years ago when I declared that photography would be my new life path and I took the greatest leap of faith.

Where did that girl go?  Where did my faith go?  How could I keep doing this alone?  How could I believe in me again?


It’s taken me far too long to realize it, but I AM NOT ALONE.  There are thousands (or more?) of us mom/photographers trying so hard to make a go at this and listening to all the million different opinions on how to do it and how we’re doing it wrong while watching everyone else’s highlight reel scroll by as we fall into a trance of Facebook and Instagram feeds and all the other platforms the put-together people are rocking.


Is everyone amazing and confident and established but me?

I can’t possibly be the only one going through this?  Can I?  AM I??

Well, no one is talking about it.

Facebook tells me that for everyone else, everything is awesome.

So maybe it’s just me.

Or maybe it’s not.

Either way, I decided to figure out this road I’m on and try to understand where I am right now and how to survive and thrive through this.  I figure, writing it out, maybe I could help someone else too.  So, here I am, releasing it to the universe and beginning to create my new path and future.

SO, this blog, Heart + Lifestyle, is going to be a little about heart and a lot about running a lifestyle family photography business.  But mostly it’s going to be a merge of both those things.  I hope you’ll join me here as I journal my path to making my business as great as I know it can be and hopefully helping you do the same.

I think we can all be epic, but doing it together will make it even better.

Follow to make sure you see the next blog where I am going to talk about the plans for Heart + Lifestyle and how you can be a part of it.  I would love for this to become a collaboration of passionate hearts….And, if anyone actually read all the way through this, please leave a comment, a note, a share or something to tell me you’re in this with me and that we are not alone 💛


  1. Natacha

    I love every bit of this. You know I’ve been right there with you in the struggle! And the struggle is REAL! Xoxoxo

    • cari

      Ohhhh the struggle is SO real!!!! Time to stop struggling and start living 💛

  2. Anna

    Collaboration of passionate hearts…oh boy, I am with you! I must sit down and write you, like I told myself I would a few months ago.

    • cari

      Please do!!! 💛

  3. Gwylan

    Wow, your post is so incredibly timely. I have had these difficulties a little bit over the years, but NEVER quite as much as this year. Business is slower than ever, and I am questioning myself and how ridiculous it is that I didn’t pursue a normal career every day. This year it has contributed to me suffering from anxiety and causing problems in my relationships too. Luckily I am not a mother yet, but it has instilled fears in me that if I feel this inadequate now, how will I manage through a pregnancy and early motherhood? It is hard to talk about with friends and family at times because telling them about observing other people’s successes on social media and how that’s a downer sounds like I’m just being whiney. But it’s a real challenge that these platforms are where we only show the slice of what is working in our lives and never the opposite. Though we all know this, I think we’re all guilty, especially as artists, of comparing ourselves to others on too regular a basis without thinking. I have been trying to focus on the right things also in an effort to disconnect from the toxic things that fuel my negative outlook on it all. What to do when you feel you have disconnected from that original passion – when real life strikes hard? I think we need to talk and share with others, and connect with ourselves on a deeper level.

    • cari

      There is definitely something up this year! I keep hearing from people who are agreeing that 2017 sucks! I’m not really sure what happened, but it is hard to keep our heads held high sometimes…and i know what you mean about the anxiety and having problems in your relationships. I haven’t felt like myself in months because of the high levels of stress/pressure I am feeling. Anyway, hopefully this is just a phase and the market will get back on track, but in the mean time, we need to do what we can to keep on keeping on…

  4. Natasha Huisman

    Oh man. I agree with all of this and feel sooo much the same 🙁 It really is so hard but I want to be able to get past the fear and discouragement (you definitely are not alone!!) I’d love to be a part of the collaboration somehow. ❤

    • cari

      Thanks Natasha!!!! I would love to have you involved!!!

  5. pat

    Wow, good timing to read this post. I am a newbie, and i have been following and admiring your work for a while .
    How great that I could this blog! lots of ups and downs here.

    • cari

      Hey Pat! Thanks so much for checking out the blog and following my work <3 Happy to have you here!!!!



  1. 10 ways Heart+Lifestyle will aim to help you run a better lifestyle family photography business and how you can be a part of it! - Heart + Lifestyle - […] collaborations going ASAP because I really want H+L to be a community…if you read my first post, Lonely At…

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