Almost a month ago, I officially announced on my personal Facebook account that I had made the decision to shut down By Grace Photo Gallery. I said very little in regard to the reasoning behind this final decision. Until now…
I didn’t mean to cause confusion among people, but I must have because almost everyone has come up to me and said, “I heard you’re quitting photography.” Here is my answer:
Yes and No.
I’ll start with this: relating to past post from 2016, I felt transition in my life in many areas over the past year, all which I had been open about on this blog. I announced the moving away from Portrait Photography to focus more on photojournalism and ministry work within photography. This is where I have felt God move my heart to. And, God has opened those doors for me to pursue that after all this time. I only kept the portrait door open for close friends and Church family if they so desired a photoshoot with me on occasion, because they are friends and close to me. However, being that Portraits are in my past experience, I still get flooded with emails from people asking me to do their Portraits and it has gotten to be too much. I’ve had to say “No” several times and I always felt horrible not being available. I work two jobs right now, one on which I am working in Ministry, and adding Photo Sessions at the end of a normal work day along with long hours of editing afterward has become to much for me. Sometimes I just need to breathe.
I began By Grace Photo Gallery because at the time, Portrait Photography is where I believed I was being called to. I STILL love Portrait Photography, and STILL plan on having Themed Photo Sessions in the future because thats what I want to do. But keeping By Grace Photo Gallery open as I have is not helping the position I am currently in. Therefore, I believe it is now time to close that door.
So in other words, yes I am quitting By Grace Photo Gallery.
Am I quitting photography? NO.
I’ve read from several “professionals” in regards to how many genre’s of photography one should pursue, and the answer has often always been “just stick with one.” I dislike that answer. I dislike being put in a box stating that I can only do one thing. Life changes. Desires change. And I don’t have to pick “just one thing” I like and stick with it. There is so much to pursue out there. Why can I not do it all if I want to? And you know what, that is completely okay. If its one thing I’ve learned and accepted over the past year is this: I can do anything I want to do, even if I never make money at it. If the doors in the future are meant to happen, they will open.
The past couple of months I was in a slum with photography. I felt myself get to a place where I didn’t like it anymore. I had to do some deep searching with the Lord about this, because I didn’t know what was going on. It is so simple but is often hard to remember, is everything I do, it is first for God. Every single picture I take, no matter what the emotion or story is behind it, it is first for Him. As well, I believe God wants me to enjoy it, not be burdened by it.
No I am not quitting photography. Right now, photography is being used for Ministry and that is where my heart is set. Outside of Ministry, I will do whatever I want with photography. I will have fun with it, and I hope to include others in with it along the way. I don’t want to do this journey alone. And I hope anyone who reads this will be beside me.
This blog will expire the first week of November. As of right now, I do still have other commitments I have made to clients to have their Sessions made for the remaining of 2017 that I will keep. My Facebook page will be deleted by Christmas, and the By Grace Photo Gallery website will expire next March. But this isn’t me disappearing. I am creating a new portfolio website where I will post and do what I wish with. It is currently under construction, and you will be able to follow me on there. I promise once the website is ready to launch, I will have it announced on here before this blog expires completely.
I hope to not loose any connections from this blog. Change is a good thing. I like change. I am thankful for the experience under my belt, and I am set and ready for new experiences to add to what I already have. My life is all about learning and doing what I can when I can do it.
I hope to encourage others to photograph their own journeys. Stories always connect others.
Erin G. Parker