When I first decided to pursue an MBA, I took the longest break I’ve ever taken from photography. It was winter in the beginning of 2011 and I had already been sucked into the Photographer’s depression. Those winter months when you just can’t conduct portrait sessions and when no one is calling to schedule sessions, you start questioning yourself. The idea to pursue an MBA was not a reflection on how I felt about photography, rather how I felt about my longterm career goals. Photography was always supposed to be fun for me. I only charge for sessions because I need an avenue to support my “photography habit”. After taking a six month break from professional photography, I found myself ready to focus again and had the busiest fall season ever. I was 6 months pregnant with Cora and triple booked sessions back to back to fit in everyone knocking on my door and my school work.
In 2012, I realized something wasn’t right with me. I was unable to get off the couch on weekends. I would literally force myself to sit up but my eyes wouldn’t stay open. I could sleep the entire weekend away, but didn’t want to miss time with my family, so I plopped myself on the couch burrowed under piles of blankets. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Later in 2013, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where my immune system basically attacks my thyroid and causes those horrible symptoms of weight gain, severe fatigue and hair loss among other things.
Through all this, I continued working towards my MBA, while also working full time and doing photos in my free time. I began to feel guilty for the time I had to spend sitting at the computer instead of focusing on my children. I wanted to continue to get those candid photos of them, so I made sure on the weekends to plan a fun event and photograph them.
Today I submitted my final project and my final exam and officially am done with grad school. To celebrate this accomplishment despite the autoimmune disease and frustrating time away from my children, I wanted to share the photos that I took last year of my family.