if you can’t beat ’em… | personal


that is the word that can best describe how i’ve felt over the past few months. don’t get me wrong. i was and still am SUPER grateful for the job i have now. i liked the kids, people, and the environment all fine, i was just so resentful towards everything. i didn’t look at my day job as something to be thankful for. instead, i looked to it as if it were the enemy. it was something standing between me and my dream job so i became resentful towards it.

i woke up dreading my life every morning. i was lifeless and less than passionate. i resented my job and felt it held me back. i was tired of it standing in the way of my dreams and grew to loathe it each and every day.

i’m not sure when exactly my viewpoint changed, perhaps it was when i was at the p31 conference. or maybe it was just a slow realization that God was finally getting through my thick head. my day job is not the enemy. i can still live out my dream of being a full-time photographer while working hard at my current job. yes, sometimes it can be a pain if i can’t get off for something photography-related, but i can usually get off when i need to.

i have learned (and i’m still learning) to balance my life between my day job and my photography career. i work at the preschool from 8:45 to 5:45 every day, but still do my best to edit sessions and have impeccable turnaround time. i still try to have a blog post written for every day, and i’ve learned that pre-blogging on the weekend helps free up SO MUCH TIME during the week. sometimes i have weekends full of photography sessions, whereas most photographers can get them done during the week, but i’m okay with that. i am finally starting to be okay with where i am right now in my work life and it is a great feeling.

while i was at the p31 conference, something mary marantz talked about was “when God says wait” and it has FINALLY sunk in for me. as much as i WANT to be full time with my photography right now, i feel God is telling me to wait. He has something in store for me at my current job. i have no clue what it is, but i need to listen to Him. He’ll take care of me. He has shown me that i can still live out my dream as being a full-time photographer AND be a preschool teacher all at the same time. by the end of the year i will have shot 10 weddings, second-shot 7 weddings, and photographed over 50 sessions. never once did i feel too weighed down by photography and that i couldn’t handle it. i LOVE photography and know that i will always find a way for it in my life. because of Him, i have been able to accomplish all of this.

i’m not sure why God needs me to “wait” until i pursue photography as a full-time career, but i’m trusting Him. i know that because i work full time during the day, i’m one step closer to paying off my student loans. i have even set a goal for myself to try and pay off my student loans by june 2014 (or at the latest – end of the summer). because of my full-time job, i can invest more into my business. another major perk to my day job is all of the wonderful hugs i get from my kids. i don’t know about y’all, but having hugs from a sweet 4-year-old can just brighten your day immensely.

i recently read a blog post from a sweet friend, morgan, about her choice on keeping her day job. her post inspired me to write this. my day job is in no way holding me back from my dream job, right now. it’s where God needs me to be. it’s where i’m supposed to be and i’m finally okay with that. i am no longer resentful when i wake up every morning. instead, i am thankful. i’m thankful for having a job in the first place. i’m thankful that i get to spend my day with crazy 4 year olds. i’m thankful that God has a purpose for me and where i am.

sometimes i might get caught up in the frenzy of all the amazing photographers who i look up to and catch the “full-time photography bug”, but i am slowly learning to be content with where i am now.

if ya can’t beat ’em, join ’em. i’m happy at my job. both of them. 🙂

wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (psalm 27:14).



  • Ashley, this is great! I have also been struggling with God telling me to wait. It’s so hard to be patient when it seems like your dream could be at your fingertips. A great thing I heard once was that God offers 3 answers to prayers. “yes, no, and GROW.” Like, you, I’m not sure why I need to “grow” and waiting, but I am trusting God! That is so great that you have shot 10 weddings this year!! Then 2nd shot 7?! You’ll appreciate all the time you have once you can go full-time since you have managed your time so well right now! I can’t wait for you to get your debt paid off! I have a goal of having it paid off by Dec. 2014! We should have a party when you get there! You will feel so free and be able to do so much more then! Thank you so much for sharing this and for being an inspiration!!

  • So well written, Ashley! You are so wise beyond your years, and so very inspirational. God knows how much those little kiddos need you! 😉 Keep up the hard work- you’re awesome!!

  • thanks so much for writing these words of encouragement, Ashley! i can definitely relate to those feelings of resentment and it’s definitely something my heart has been struggling with for a long time now. congrats on all you’ve accomplished this year!! =)

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I’M  Ashley

a Richmond, Virginia WEDDING & PORTRAIT Photographer

I’m Virginia Ashley, but my friends just call me Ashley! I’m a wedding photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. Even though I live in RVA, I travel all over for photography, which is awesome because I LOVE to travel! I’ve been as far as California and have my passport burning a hole in my pocket!

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