Real Life with Amanda Reed

Balance, balance, balance. We hear it all the time. How do I find balance between my photography life and my personal life?

As a photographer, it is easy to give all of yourself to the art form that you love, neglecting the other areas of you life. We want to help you begin to find balance. To do that we are turning to our Featured Artists and asking them how they find balance between being a wife, husband, mother, sister, brother, friend and photographer. We hope the insights into their daily lives, personal and professional, provide the inspiration and encouragement you need to find balance in your life!

Real Life with Amanda Reed

BRI: What makes Amanda Reed Amanda Reed?

AR: This all-in-all is a simple answer. I have been through some major valley’s and climbed to the top of some tall mountains. I could never do that without a great family who stands behind me. My family is no different from most of your’s. I have a crazy uncle who makes a scene at every family dinner. My brother and I have the most competitive relationship ever. My husband and I have neogotiated more compromises than the United Nations Security Council. All of these experiences, the good and the bad have shaped my personality. When I look at myself, not only do I see Amanda Reed but I see that first grade teacher who made an impact on my life. I see my children who have given me new vision to the world and the opportunities it holds for each of us. Amanda Reed is a huge mixing bowl of real life.

BRI: How did you get started in photography?

AR: This is gonna take a small narrative which you can read here I can tell you shortly that it started with a life or death situation and a four year old little boy. I never thought one day that would lead to a career as a professional photographer.

BRI: You are a wife, a mom, and a photographer. How do you find balance between your personal and work lives?

AR: You have to prioritize. I do not shoot after 5 o’clock. You heard right…no sweet light shoots for me. That meant I really had to hone my skills and become a photographer who could shoot at high noon if needed. In 2012, I will be taking back my Saturday’s. No more weddings for this photographer. I could not become as passionate about my wedding photography as I did other avenues because I am leaving two beautiful children at home while I spend another Saturday working. That had to change. With a full work week schedule I had to make a compromise and cutting weddings was the easy choice.

I employ a housekeeper to clean up around the house one day a week and when summer time rolls around my husband loves me for bringing in a lawn service. Sure we could save money by doing these things ourselves but it is a priority. It is a little gift for ourselves and one thing off of the ‘to do’ list. After a long day of work we both enjoy coming home to a clean house and the smell of fresh cut grass.

At the beginning of each month I mark the calendar with my days off. I never shoot on Mondays. I need this time to process files. I also mark off any days that my children have an event at school or other dates that would interfere with my work schedule.

Having a career of my own has brought new stress to my marriage. The dynamic has changed. Make sure you find time for your spouse. We trade babysitting services with another couple every other weekend and have a date night. We also have began taking a couples-only vacation once a year to devote our time to each other. You must treat your marriage the same way you would your business. Make sure your clients aren’t the only one’s getting great customer service :)

BRI: What is a typical day in the life of AR?

AR: My day starts at 6:30 when I get showered and get the kids up for school. My husband packs the lunches the night before so at least that is one thing off my list. Once my two children are out the door it is time for mom to grab some breakfast and check emails and social networks. If it is a Monday then I will spend all day processing files and orders. If it is a Tuesday then I get ready for the all out assault. A typical day will hold three sessions and I will not manage any post processing. By the time my schedule wraps up the kids will be due home and it’s time to get a snack together before softball practice. I try to make every practice but my daughter knows she too has to compromise on occassion so mom can get caught up on work. After dinner it is time for homework and I catch up on everyone’s day. Bathtime and bedtime rolls around for the kids and my husband and I try to relax by watching a little television. He is off to bed by 10:00 and I usually work on files til 11. Then we do it all over. It gets crazy.

Right now I have two grandparents in the hospital so that has added a whole new dimension. Now I am part of the extended family team where we all have to work together to make appointments and hospital visits. You just have to delegate and be dilligent about it.


BRI: What is the one piece of advice you want to give to all the other photographers that are beginning their photography businesses?

AR: When I started I felt the need to please everyone. You have to learn to say no. Realize that every client or every situation may not be the best for your business or your family. It is easy to lose sight of the real reason you are doing this. Do I love photography? Sure but my kids want new video games and I want a massage so I have to take jobs that will make me money. I can love photography everyday and shoot for myself but that is not running a business.