Thursday, October 15, 2009

Q and A - Finding the Balance - Part 1

Jay and I have six kids between us. Four are mine, and two are his. They range in age from 6 - 13. We are always busy - homework, school programs, soccer games, cross country meets, martial arts classes, gymnastics practice, swim team, and all the other things that are part of having kids. It's great fun - but it's also hard to find time for the things WE love to do.

Lots of you have kids, too - and one of the questions we hear a lot is this:


"How do you balance family and a photographic career?"


Well, it's not easy. We work a lot in the evenings and on weekends - and we try hard to make sure that the kids have our attention when they need it most. That means that family time is usually more important than getting those photos from our latest trip processed.

Fitting travel into a busy schedule takes creativity and lots of advance planning. We travel about once a month (if possible), and in most cases, our children stay at home with a trusted adult. Most of our trips last for just a few days - we generally travel over a long weekend - so we try hard to put ourselves in the best possible location at the right time. Research and flexibility are essential.

...continued on Q and A - Finding the Balance - Part 2...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Varina,

Jay has been my colleague at WNBU/Cisco for many years. Really admire all the pics taken by you and Jay on Face Book. Just amazing and breath taking!!!

Warm regards,
Nihar Desai

October 15, 2009 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Thanks so much, Nihar. Jay loves his job... and I love mine. :) I'm so you glad you enjoy our photographs! And thanks for taking the time to comment!


October 15, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Greg Russell said...

This is a wonderful series of posts, Varina. Balancing serious photography with kids (I only have one @ 19 months) is challenging, and I've blogged on it as well.

Its good to know I'm not the only one to think about it!

Greg Russell

October 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Thanks, Greg. It's a challenge, all right... and great fun. :) I found myself answering the same question over and over again in personal emails, and it seemed clear that many people struggle with the balance. I decided to pull from all the responses I sent to those who'd asked the question and compile a more complete answer. Now, if someone asks, I'll just send them over to my blog. :)


October 21, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Anonymous John said...

For the record, any couple raising 6 children deserves a medal. But here I'm reading about two creative people pursuing creative careers *and* raising 6 kids *and* being sensitive to their needs and keeping priorities straight. So I think you deserve a medal and a really nice plaque to go with it. I wish you and your family many blessings. -John (we have 2 children, now 17 & 19)

November 8, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Gosh - thanks for the nice comment, John! We do try to keep our priorities straight - and it isn't always easy! But we're both on the same page - the kids come first. So, it's not too difficult to make it work.

All the best!

November 8, 2009 at 2:19 PM  

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