Second Wind - Washington and Oregon portrait photographer
My camera and I broke up. WE WERE ON A BREAK.
It was six years ago and I was burned out. I owned and operated my portrait studio for 13 years with a couple of re-brands in there just to make it complicated. My New York time (3 years with my husband’s job) was amazing, but cured me of people for awhile…hence my shift to dog photography upon my return to the PNW. We love our dogs out here! I had great clients, worked the hours I wanted, and did a ton of charity work for the Humane Society and other dog rescues. I literally wrote the book on dog photography—-Amherst Media commissioned me after reading an article I’d written for Portrait Photography magazine to pen a book on the subject. It took me a year and I was holding a REAL LIVE book in my hands. My words…my images…my dream. I always loved writing and this was such a cool opportunity.
Well…in typical LaraBlairStyle, after said book was on the market (and hopefully I could TELL people I’d “literally written the book” on this subject), you’d think I would run with it. Like run-like-hell-chase-after-that-dream kind of sprinting.
This. Did. Not. Happen.
“What’s wrong with you, girl?!” my conscientious seemed to scream at me (always in the shower—why is that?)
MOM GUILT. That’s what.
It’s a terrible thing. My two daughters were young and I was feeling extremely selfish as a creative person with my own business, who just happened to be a mom. I was so much more afraid of my own success than I was of failure. I played small, like so many women. I didn’t believe you could be truly successful in your own out-of-the-home endeavors and still be the mother a child needs. I told myself all kinds of silly lies and sadly, I believed them. I know I’m not alone in these thoughts, which is comforting—-yet kinda sad so many of us have drunk the Kool Aid, so to speak.
Enter summer of 2019: The year my children fly the coop. I’m so proud of the women they’ve become and feel good about their place in the world. They are amazing girls and I am enjoying watching them jump off this high dive that is the college years. It is also a very exciting thing to be doing this business with fresh eyes…sans guilt and self doubt. I feel more creatively energized and ignited with inspiration than ever before. I’ve worked like a dog (ha!) to get this up and running again and I am there..in spades. Feels really, really good.
Funny thing—I don’t think I could’ve photographed women over 40 when I was younger if I tried. I just didn’t get it. BOY, do I get it now. There is an amazing confidence that comes with age, even when the body sags, droops…fails us. I’m feeling so much clarity about my purpose and how I can show up in the world for others. I love showing up for my clients too. Just sitting in their closets (such an intimate experience!) talking about what lights them up and showcasing the shoes to go with it. I love getting to know these women before there’s a camera between us. And I looove watching them come alive on the backdrop with the brilliance that has been hiding under “real life”.
So…I guess I’m back.
In full force, I might add. I love a second wind! If you’ve been photographed by me before, it’s time for a new close-up! If you haven’t, come on over and experience the photo shoot of your life.
You will see yourself in the newest, sweetest light imaginable. ‘Promise.