It’s been quite a while since I’ve written such a personal post. I try to stick to the pretty portraits around here, but I’ve been receiving an overwhelming amount of questions regarding my business and my new, very part-time status as a hospice nurse. I didn’t realize many of you cared so much and I greatly appreciate your support. I guess after 12 years in business, people are used to who I am only as a photographer. I’m still receiving tons of questions about VIPteam, which I posted about those changes last year, but I’m here to answer them again and more in depth. Here’s what’s changed, and really hasn’t, in the last several months:
Yes! Many of you may be aware I accepted a very part-time (PRN) position with a local hospice. I’ve been a RN for over 16 years. I’ve worked in various capacities, but left nursing employment in 2017 when we chose to homeschool for a period of time. I’ve always planned to go back when the time and opportunity was right. In late 2020, I was offered a part-time nursing position which I told some of you about, but unfortunately had to turn the opportunity down due to reasons beyond my control. I was pretty upset about the circumstances, but it turned out to be a blessing because something better was waiting for me. Hospice has been quietly calling my name for a long time and I’m finally here! I’m able to make my own schedule and work as little or as much as I want. WIN!
This is nothing new! If done right, you can absolutely have 2 careers. I worked as a nurse for many years while carrying a full-time load as a photographer. I’ve had several concerned emails from clients wondering “if I’m closing!?!” and that’s not the case. I actually debated sharing about my new job for this reason, but I’m ridiculously honest and happy. 🙂 Photography is one of my loves and passions, it’s here to stay in some capacity as long as I’m able!
Another secret: I’m back in school. I want to further my nursing education so I began online classes earlier this year while my son was home still in virtual learning. We both sat at the kitchen table doing school together and that was really fun for a while…until Noah started summer break. Lucky kid. I hope to finish in the next several months, cause college (again) in your 40s is for the birds. Gross. I’m sucking it up and pushing through. Pray for me.
VIPteam: I retired my VIPteam with the Class of 2021 due to many reasons I spoke about here. I LOVED my years with my VIPteam seniors, but for professional and personal reasons above, it’s no longer feasible. The huge plus side to this decision is EVERY SENIOR who books will still be offered additional fun sessions, such as my coveted winter snow and cap and gown grad celebrations! The biggest change is there is NO application process…just book a senior session and you’re in! Have your friends book a session and they’re in, too! (Past VIPteam seniors were required to book a session to participate, so this is not a change.) Everyone wins!
Have these changes affected my booking availability? The short answer is yes, a little. The long answer is a bit more complicated. I’m shooting less sessions in the warmer months due to a heart condition I was diagnosed with last summer. For some reason, the extreme heat is one of many triggers that causes my nervous system to throw a tantrum and my heart rhythm to do wonky things. And goodness, it’s HOT in Virginia. Cardiac meds help, but not entirely. This is embarrassing for me to admit because it makes me feel vulnerable and well, old, but I’ve come to accept it as one of my quirks. (Throws hands up in defeat.) I also need to find a good balance of my time and personal endeavors, so instead of 3-5 sessions per week, I’m sticking to 1-2. I will be extending my fall season a couple weeks and starting my spring earlier for this reason. 😉
Office Hours. Yes, these are changing. I used to have designated Monday – Thursday hours and would be available to answer calls during those times, but working as a field nurse some days will change this. Email is the best way to get in touch as it keeps me super organized. Facebook and Instagram messages don’t always show up in my inbox or get lost, so one inbox for email is best! Y’all know I’m super fast at responding: email@example.com.
With all that, I want to say thank you! I happen to know and work with such sweet people. Thanks for caring and for your concerns, good wishes, and nudges of support.
Laura Matthews, RN, Photographer, Business Owner, Student, Fulfilled Human Being (oh, yes, mom & wife, too!) 🙂
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All Photos and Text Copyright 2009-2021 Laura Matthews Photography, LLC
Laura resides in Glen Allen, Virginia. She specializes in portraits of high school seniors, children, and families. Laura serves the Greater Richmond area including Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield. Laura also travels on select summer dates to the eastern part of VA as well as the Outer Banks of North Carolina.