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What Worked In 2018

What Worked In 2018

With each new year we are encouraged to begin a list of new resolutions. We talk about the importance of setting large goals, with smaller achievable goals within those goals. We complain about what didn't go right and we talk about the future as if it’s endless with possibilities, and it is! It truly is.

Today I want to take a moment to address a few things that did work out well in 2018. To keep things even simpler, I will address my top 3.

My daughter Kailani and I shooting on the beach in Laguna, CA. - captured by Jacquelyn Davis

My daughter Kailani and I shooting on the beach in Laguna, CA. - captured by Jacquelyn Davis

  1. My Photography

    Without a doubt 2018 proved to be a stellar year for Belly Glow Photography and for my personal growth as an artist and professional. For starters let’s talk gear! As a single Mom “new gear” was always just a dream. I had to make due with what I could afford, and believe me it wasn’t much. I have spent the last 7 years shooting along side some incredible photographers out there using my crop censored Canon 50D and my 1.8 $100 50mm lens. That’s it. That was all I could afford. Not doing photography was never an option so I made it work.

    This year not only did I finally (after years of dreaming about it) get to upgrade my camera, I upgraded to the full frame Canon 5D Mark IV (30 Mpx) camera. Not only that I was finally able to invest in my first L-Glass lens, the Canon 24mm-70mm 2.4. Talk about rocking my world!

    My skills had finally outdated my gear. So I had been “held back” in my growth as an artist because well, my gear simply could not perform. With my new camera and lens suddenly a whole new world of creative possibilities opened up for me! It was like Christmas in July!

    My next investment was in a 27” iMac (dream machine in a photographers editing world). This computer allowed me to finally synchronize my iPad, phone, and now data for my business across all my devices. Furthermore it cut my culling and editing time in half if not more so! What used to take me nearly 3 weeks to cull down (due to a sluggish computer) now only took me 30 minutes. I feel rather spoiled when I sit behind my iMac. The final investment which took place only yesterday was my new Mac Book Pro. All my devices except my laptop are apple. I LOVE my HP 360, but sadly it no longer did any good for me as nothing syncs’ with it. So basically my HP became utterly useless to me. Upgrading to my Mac Book Pro I now have my business synchronized across all devices and with me literally everywhere I go. So now despite working a full time job, with my Mac Book close at hand I can edit on the go again and handle other business as all my data is right at my finger tips.

    I also had the pleasure and joy of learning under some of the finest names in the industry like Julia Kelleher, Ana Brandt, and Allison Winteroth who mentored me regarding my business practices. Wow did I have a LOT to change if I wanted to remain in business. I was running my business more like a hobby and not a tool that is truly here to make a profit. While I love all my clients and all those who have supported me throughout the years, make no mistake, I began this journey as a means to provide for my children, that will require firmer policies in 2019 in order to actually make a profit to benefit my children.

My girls and I overlooking the Ocean near the Oceanside Harbor, CA

My girls and I overlooking the Ocean near the Oceanside Harbor, CA

2. My Children

As I said before, 2018 broke my heart in two. No shattered it into a million little pieces actually. However with all that pain came a new determination to be whole. To be free. To be healthy and happy. To grow, to understand more, to pursue joy and capture healing in those places that feel impossible in this moment to heal. My girls and I have endured more in just a couple of years than most will ever endure in a single lifetime. We are still here though. We are still together. We are still healing and continue to grow as a family. What did go right for us in 2018? We are all together again. While the transition has not been easy, the truth remains that we are all together again, and that can not be under valued or under appreciated. We as parents take things for granted sometimes. We just assume that our children will always be with us no matter what. 2018 taught me to laugh with them more, to hug them more, to play with them more, and to never take even a minute with them for granted. Even if we are arguing or not getting along in the moment…it is still a precious moment you have with them.

Paula’s story quite literally saved my life. She lost her sister to an abusive partner. It was her story that made me fight for my own life and gain the courage to leave before I shared the same fate.

Paula’s story quite literally saved my life. She lost her sister to an abusive partner. It was her story that made me fight for my own life and gain the courage to leave before I shared the same fate.

3. I Broke Free From Abuse

In June of 2018 I took a road trip up the California coast. I met with a dear new friend. She was well aware of the abuse I was enduring with my now ex husband. She shared a heartbreaking story with me about her own sister who had died at the hands of her abuser. I remember sitting in her back yard, 100’s miles away from home and not wanting to go back. Wishing I could just disappear. I knew going home would mean more pain. And sure enough it did, my first night back from my trip my ex husband punched me in the ribs several times, in the forearms and then choked me till I crumbled to the cold cement. My crime? I had come home “too early” for him. He was a terrifying monster. Truly. It was that night, that I finally made the decision to leave. To press charges and fight for my life again. I realized that I would die if I stayed with him. It was no longer a matter of “could” but that I would absolutely end up dead if I stayed. So I began my fight to break free from him and all toxic relationships in my life.

Today I am free of toxic relationships. I began a journey of self healing and self development. For the first time in years I have peace again. Those within my life who remain toxic have tried to disrupt that peace but I have remained strong and have not allowed my boundaries down. I am no longer bullied around and pushed aside. I now have a voice and have learned the art of setting healthy boundaries in both business and relationships. Things by far are not perfect, but they are in progress and getting better with each day.

Myself, Kailani, and Jax and I enjoying the end of 2018 together in down town Oceanside.

Myself, Kailani, and Jax and I enjoying the end of 2018 together in down town Oceanside.

Thank You 2018

So thank you 2018. Thank you for teaching me just how strong I really am. For blessing me so much within the deepest depths of my most shattered places. I want take on 2019 with gratitude and hope. With joy and peace. With adventure and love. Look out 2019, I’m ready for you.

Undeniable Fire

Undeniable Fire