May i share a bit of my heart here with you? I'm not sure it's technically good business sense to be this transparent with you, but I've always erred on the side of openness and authenticity.
I love my work, the time spent with families showing them the beautiful in their ordinary lives, and especially the walking with women -- camera in hand -- as they birth their babies and in the days just after. There is so much life on these endeavors, so much joy and energy in the wake of these personal encounters with people.
But for quite a long while I was feeling guilty for loving it so much, as if to love and pursue this work is somehow a distraction from the more important/spiritual work of co-leading the ministry or an injustice to my young children who need their mama. Maybe to some of you that seems immediately ridiculous and you're able to call it for the flawed thinking that it is. But for me, it took a bit of time to move through. I had to deconstruct some faulty paradigms before i could accept the facts that what my kids need is a mom who is fully alive and joyful, and that God is glorified not only in explicit/vocational ministry but in every place where one of His kids brings the gifts and passions He's planted in him/her and offers it to the world with love.
Another factor is the fact that in the recent past this humble little business has moved from a thing where I have to work hard to drum up more work to do and into a place where there were more offers of work than I could actually say yes to because I was needed at home.
Those personal processes of mine intersected over the last several months with some of my husband's own processes as well as some evolutions in our ministry, neither or which I'll get into here because they are not mine to tell. But the long and short of it is that suddenly Tim and I found ourselves dreaming outside the box we'd been inhabiting for several years. We put all the pieces of our life on the table and picked them up for reevaluation because we realized we have enough freedom and flexibility to do so, which is a privilege I do not take lightly.
And on the other end of that dreaming and reevaluation and rearranging of pieces, we came to the idea of a 3-4 month long experiment in which we would split down the middle the tasks of income-earning and parenting and housekeeping. Tim will go down to half-time in his current employment and I will amp up my own employment to compensate for that (and then some, hopefully). We've crafted a weekly schedule that has us each at home with the kids doing meal prep and chores and parenting roughly the same amount of hours each week... AND going "out there" into the world to do the work God's asked us to do.
Now, guys, this is totally an experiment and I'm aware that it could completely BOMB. I'm also very aware that it's terminal, as I'll be giving birth in mid-December and as someone who takes postpartum self-care and fourth trimester bonding very seriously, I'm super committed to having a good size maternity leave, which means I won't be earning any money for a few months.
But this leap of faith feels right, almost even inevitable, and we're confident that our Father God has led us here. I'm excited for the ways this will bring our family together, for the time it gives Tim to be with our kids more, and for the opportunity to see what it feels like to stretch my wings a bit and make my work more than a side job. I'm also excited and a bit terrified to see how God will provide for us as we leap into a new family economy in which income is less reliable. I have lots of fears that I'm facing as we start to walk down this road, but none of them threaten to undo me. So, here we go!
NOW, what does this mean for you?
1. You can probably book a session this fall, possibly at relatively short notice. I've mentioned in the past that I'm filling up quickly for the fall leading up to my maternity leave, but this move to egalitarianism allows me to book more sessions than what I already have. Please reach out if you'd like to make a beautiful story together.
2. If you are pregnant and due in October or November, there's a special deal in effect just for you. You can read more about that HERE.
3. You might get a discount on something. I'll be running a couple of flash sales in the coming weeks, including some discounts on session fees and/or high-res digital files. Follow me on FB (set preferences to "show first" in your newsfeed) and IG (@brookecollierphoto) to stay in the loop with those!
Thanks for sticking with me this long! I welcome your feedback or personal stories about adventures in egalitarianism. I also look forward to meeting new people, telling more stories, and seeing again the friendly faces of returning client-friends in the months to come.