The facial expression I get when I tell others that I am a full time, live-in nanny, in addition to running what is almost a full-time photography business- is usually quite interesting. And I know what they are most likely thinking, because it is probably one of the most common questions I get asked.
How in the world do you have time to do both? How do you balance it all?
Well friends. The best answer I can give. Is that I don’t.
Life and Balance are not words that coexist in my daily routine right now.
My life is often about as far from balanced as it gets. I LOVE being a nanny, and after four years, this is my home and my second family. (It is important to note that I nanny for an incredible family who supports my business dream and allows for me to make allotted time during the day to pursue such work when possible.) And I LOVE having a business. A dream of mine I never acted on until late into my college education. Having the opportunity to do only work that I love on all accounts is something that I am completely grateful for.
I don’t balance it all. There are some days where naps and school hours provide the time I need to get my todo list done, and others where I have to throw in the towel and try again the next day. My spare time in the evenings and weekends are most usually spent working on the business in one way or another. It definitely isn’t always easy, and it takes a TON of sacrifice. When it comes to buying new clothes over buying a new sample album, the business most always comes first. When it comes to going out with friends at night, or meeting deadlines- the business most always comes first. Yes, at times to a fault. And I am working on taking care of ME. But that doesn’t negate the fact that growing a business takes sacrifice.
You have to really want it.
Because these sacrifices are for the future.
You see, I know what its like to have a job you hate. To have a job you dread waking up for. Before these last few years, I knew that feeling oh so well.
I know what it feels like to get chairs thrown at you, and physically bit more times than you could count on a psychiatric floor of a children’s hospital- barely making minimum wage but working there because I wanted to make a difference. So depressed and trying to make ends meet. Hating my job because a difference was never made.
I know what it feels like to be on be on your feet for nearly 10 hours a day, waiting tables in a greasy restaurant in the summer. Wiping the dirty wood floors with a rag, and cleaning the bathrooms at the end of the day. Trying to make sure everyone at my tables left happy, so that I could hopefully have the extra to buy groceries on the way home.
I know what it feels like to work in an office where the greatest skill you could have on your side was learning to survive everyone else’s bad mood. Where the phone never stops ringing and the customers never seem happy, and you feel like you never even see the light of day, because by the time you leave at night, the sun is already setting. Where the highlight of your entire week is the cake someone dropped off in the break room.
I know what it feels like to be the local barista, and know that the tips I would come home with- the tips that would pay my apartment rent, truthfully was dependent on the outfit I chose to wear, who I decided to smile to, and whose flirting I decided to put up with.
Now, all of those jobs were provisional for me. I am not afraid of hard work. I am not afraid of sucking it up for a season. Because sometimes that is just what you have to do. And there were always good things in the midst of it all. The friendships made. The lessons learned. The experiences. But I would meet people who had been working those jobs for years upon years. Miserable. Because they never asked for more. They never went after what they really wanted to do.
I am telling you that I know what it’s like to hate Monday morning with every fiber of your being. To literally feel ill on Sunday afternoons because you know that tomorrow it starts all over again. The same thing every week.
And between you and I? I never, ever want to go back to that.
So my life isn’t really balanced right now. I work a lot. I work hard. Because my future depends on it. Because I want it that bad. When I close the door to a season of nannying to this incredibly amazing family, I want to step into what I have worked so hard for. What I have stayed up late for. What I have sacrificed for and fought for.
I deserve it. And so do you.
This past December I announced that I was moving to Bar Harbor, Maine. Although I still plan on photographing there A LOT (because it truly is the most beautiful place on the planet, and that is where a lot of my family is from) I will be running my full time portrait business out of the Portland, Maine area. The main reason for this decision is the convenience of traveling.
Before this year, I was not traveling no where near the amount that I am currently. Since January, I have been booking flights to portrait clients across the country every month. It is something about my business that I have really come to enjoy. Living in Southern Maine will not only make traveling to my large client base here in Connecticut much easier, but will also mean living close to a great airport for my travel clients.
I am SO excited about this fall and everything that God has in store!
And living near backdrops like this for portrait sessions won’t exactly be a heart breaker.
So here is a shout out to the ones that are working their tail off to get to where they want to go. Who are making the sacrifices, and fighting for this thing with everything that they have. To those who have mastered balance, and those who most certainly have not.
Keep pushing. Keep digging. It is going to be SO worth it.
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To learn more about booking your Connection Portrait Session, contact Tiffany via the Connect link in the menu, or email directly at TIFFANY@TIFFANYFARLEY.COM.
Tiffany is located in New Haven, Connecticut, and frequently travels for her clients from Bar Harbor to San Francisco.
To find out details regarding her upcoming travel dates, or to book a custom travel session, please contact for more information.