on the case...

Another late night blog post a coming... I don't know what it is about the urge to blog some thoughts around midnight...
I haven't really written much personal stuff lately, I keep telling myself that it's because I'm too busy blogging weddings and yeah, I have been run off my feet but to be completely honest... I actually don't have anything personal to blog. You see me and Pete don't do anything anymore... we've been swallowed by work... and although I love my job with such a passion that it hurts... I also miss our little life, our friends, our own little personal journey. I look back over this year and I cannot believe what we have achieved. It has been absolutely incredible how far we've come, how many weddings, how much support and I have loved every second of it. But it is also really hard. I have been so busy that I find myself on the computer from when I wake up to when I go to bed, I decline invitations as I'm actually scared to leave my little office... I feel guilty if I don't reply to emails immediately, I feel awful for all my friends and family who must feel like I'm ignoring them when they have to send me 3/4 messages before I reply, I feel sorry for Pete who has a full time job and then has to give up his whole weekend to come with me to every wedding and sometimes I feel a little bit sorry for myself... I've put on nearly 2 stone in the past year due to not taking care of myself and lots of convenience eating and... I've really lost confidence in myself and how I look that I've started preferring my little position behind the camera a bit too much. It's weird... I feel like my life has changed so much and so many amazing things have happened but at the same time I've kind of lost myself a little bit.... you become so engrossed that there's no room left for you....
So things are going to change. This is the time of year for resolutions so I'm going to set some... to give myself a little bit of attention, to give myself a life outside of work and to start enjoying being Emma Case again and not just 'Emma Case the Photographer'.....

God I love that boy there...


  1. Oh my God! You have just made me cry! Everything you say above is exactly how I feel; I've had THE most amazing year with my blog, it is fantastic what I've achieved, BUT, it come at a price. I find myself constantly fobbing off my 5 year old daugther "just a minute love, I have emails to send and jobs to do, please let me be before I lose my marbles". I am up until 2am most days. I am definitely always the last one to bed, first one up. I can't wait for the baby to fall asleep sometimes so I can catch up blogging and stay on top of my inbox before it all gets too much. I too have gained weight, partly through falling pregnant but partly because I have NO TIME FOR ME to exercise anymore. My Husband said to me today "don't you think you ought afford yourself just one day a week off Annabel?" I said "yes, I will, I just need to get my head around it - clear some backlog". Well you know what, I'm not blogging any live posts for 10 whole days over Xmas and whilst I'll be working on stuff behind the scenes ready for coming back on 3 Jan, I am also going to switch off as much as I can and enjoy being with my family, reflecting on my year just gone and planning that day off every week that I so very much need.
    Thank you Emma, you have once again inspired me hugely and made me realise only I have it inside ME to make the changes I need in my life.
    Bless you lovely lady :)

  2. I hear you out truly dreams come at a price! But you can get back to your rhythm soon...i'm reminding myself these things too --- to find time for self and husband.

    Take care always Emma! Always been inspired and happy for you! Miss you lots! ;p

  3. You look wonderful though Emma. But I know the feeling. (and to Annabel) I have an 11 mnth old and almost 5 year old and seem to be stuck on the computer all the time. Never having the time or brain space to sit down and take time to enjoy the children and husband. Sadly mostly my time is taken up trying to BRING MONEY IN. I would love the orders and then money would be one less stress factor.
    And I would LOVE the time (and money) to be able to go to the gym and to concentrate on good food. But when you are self employed it's hard hard work. Factor in children and it's even worse.
    It's so good to hear other people say what I feel. Thank you.

  4. i think new years resolutions should start early this year - say wednesday,in kings heath?! ;-) love u loads and loads lady xxxx

  5. good on you girl, for sharing this and for making that decision. your work is amazing and its so clear how busy you have been, but make sure you have that time. Emma time, Pete and Emma time, Friends time and of course, camera time ( but time to shoot, anything thats isnt to do with work!)
    Looking forward to reading posts in 2011 about things YOU have done :D God bless you as a you take a break and a Meryy Christmas to you both x C

  6. Hi Emma,
    I've just read this in bed whilst worrying about my to do list again today...!!! I'm so with you on all you've said...setting up a business that you are passionate about and doing something you love so much is soooo amazing and wonderful, yet at the same time totally consuming!!! It's so lovely for you to share your feelings like this...it is something I massively respect as whilst I identify with your feelings and your journey as I set up my business in May, I fear admitting what I weirdly see to be weaknesses in me...and yet when I hear you say this I think 'respect lady!' - so I guess what I'm saying to you is as much to me! Hehe

    You are an amazing talented photographer and whilst I don't know you personally, your writing and photos show me a lovely person too - best of luck and lots of love on your journey for 2011, and remember you're never alone with the feelings you experience!
    Lots of love, light and respect lady
    Anna xxx

  7. Oh Emma I am completely with you on this. If it's any consolation exactly the same things are happening within our four walls too. Joe said the other day, "Daddy will you play with me this afternoon because I think Mummy's probably going to be on the computer." I cried. A lot. I too have stacked weight on and hardly have time for family and friends any more. But this is our first proper year doing this and it takes time to get everything set up for the first time, I'm so sure that things will be a lot easier next year, particularly with a bit of careful planning, which we can help each other with. I'm so glad next year is starting out with our trip away. We're going to have such a wonderful time and I know it's going to be just the energising, positive, hilarious, relaxing experience we all need. Am here for you any time my friend, you know that xxx

  8. ps And how hot do you look in that photo??!! ;) x

  9. You look fabulous. It's great that you are aware that you need to shift the balance, now just go out and do it xxx

  10. To add: Maybe pick an afternoon a week where you purely do something for yourself and Pete. Turn the computer off and leave the house. It's only a few hours but it will recharge you.

  11. Hi Emma.
    Thanks for writing this, I do wonder sometimes how other people do it, the old work life balence is a hard one and one I havn't quite got to grips with yet. It's reasuring to know it isn't just me! I have been in busienss now for just over a year and I have totally loved every minute of it, I feel blessed that I can at last do something I love, but at the same time I do wonder where my other life has gone.
    I look back at this year and see how much I have acheived and am very proud of myself but at the same time it has nearly cost me my marriage. Now that isn't something I have made public but as we are all being honest I thought I would be as well. It's been bloody hard, and I'm lucky my Husband has stood by me, but there was a time in the summer when I thought that was it. he just wasn't used to be not being there and we really did wonder if we could make it through it. As for my friends I feel guilty that I don't see them and then guilty if I take time off to see them! I used to be the one who planned all our get togethers, always the one who rang everyone and made sure we all stay in touch and now......It just don't happen!

    So thank you for your honesty, it's tough being in business and trying to keep hold of anything else around your little bubble of work.
    Next year will be great for you Emma, you have such a gtreat reputation in the industry and you really are such a talent.

    We muct all remeber those closest to us and remeber it's their support that made it possible.

    well done you for such a great year

  12. Such an honest post, I love it. I find that choosing one day a week usually Sunday and going out for a meal together helps! :)x

  13. Oh and if you ever want a London second shooter (and Joanna and Debs aren't available ;) ), give me a ring x

  14. Let's try to leave a comment again. I might make more sense now that it's the daytime!

    Your post reminds me of something I wrote at the beginning of the year. I have failed miserably to achieve any kind of work/life balance at all this year. But that has helped me to make big changes ready for 2011. And I can't wait for this last week of silly hours to be over!

    We must make changes or we will all burn out and be no use to any brides.

    I think a big thing is to manage expectations. And above all make sure you have time for you. Let your life be ruled by you and not by your clients - however lovely and wonderful they are.

    I think I did actually make more sense at 4am. I am exhausted this morning but still working of course! xxx

  15. What a great post! I think there are a lot of us out their in the wedding industry that find ourselves attached to our computers and desks and forget we also have a life!
    I've also put on weight since starting my business and am very sympathetic!

  16. I totally agree with everything that you say! What I love about you Emma is that you are so honest. Whilst most of us keep our gob shut you say how it is. Thank you, it's comforting to know that we are all in the same boat. Having a good life/work balance is bloody hard especially if you're working from home. My new year resolution is moving to a bigger place where I can have an office and to have business hours! No more working past 6pm (yeah right... we'll see if I manage that ;) ) But I think an evening off a week/ meeting up with friends or a date night are a great idea! I also keep one weekend free a month to spend time with the family... otherwise I would go insane!
    Sending you a big hug! X

  17. Beautiful to realise this Emma!
    Do what you say you will.
    Pete will appreciate it.
    Charge more.
    Your clients will see your worth.
    You deserve it.

  18. It's ironic isn't it, cause a large part of choosing this business for me, is so I can spend more time at home and with my husband - yet, the only thing I seem to be spending more time with is the blasted computer! Like some of the other comments here though, and as your post beautifully says, I hope this is "The Dip" in realising our dreams. Watching yours grow into the wonderful reality of the successful business it is has been inspiring, but thank you for reminding me that nothing is without a cost, and it is important to get the balance right.
    Happy holidays, and here's to a wonderful 2011.

  19. I agree with you completely, Emma. I have my day job and come home to lots of editing to do and emails to reply to - I don't go to be until 3-4 am every night and weekends are all taken up by weddings and shoots. I can't remember the lasst time I had "couch time" and when I did I was probably feeling guilty to not be doing work.
    My new year's resolution is to actually take some time off occassionally and NOT feel guilty about it. It will be hard. But I'm sure it'll be worth it.

  20. Thank you Emma!! Well done you for deciding to get the work/life balance back. I think it's so hard when self employed, working from home an having smart phones to really switch off from work.

    I've had a crappy year what with the wedding being cancelled my health deteriorating, panic attacks and i actually loosing weight at the mo :-( not good. In many ways the blog helps me but sometimes I wonder if the stress isn't helping, but I love it and nothing will stop me carrying on.

    Having a little one complicates things but forces me to take downtime for him if anything.

    Keep doing what you love and don't feel guilty for having tome off remember most people have weekends off from work :-)

    Sorry for the ramble hehe!! Merry Christmas to you and Pete and here's to 2011 :-)


  21. Hi Emma, your post and all the comments are making me blub! This is all so true - I started my business this year and I feel like I've been shut in my office or out at weddings all the time, and the other week my husband-to-be said 'I feel like we don't actually spend any time together any more', and I felt so terrible. He has been really supportive though as he is happy I am at last doing something I love. But yes - New Year is the time to make changes and I too will make sure to make time for me and us. Best wishes for 2011 x

  22. All I can say is BRING on the FUN & GOOD TIMES, I will be sure to encourage you to do more of this and that is a promise..... life is too short, more giggling please. x x x

  23. I could have written this post. No time to myself, weight gain, never leaving the computer, and my husband has picked up the slack. Which, with 2 kids under 5, is quite a lot for him to take on. He must feel like a single parent at times!
    My husband and I were chatting on Friday afternoon, and I said that I will dedicate 2 hrs a day to just playing with my kids. Just getting down on the floor and playing, instead of sticking the TV on, or passing them the iPad and expecting them to entertain themselves. They're growing up fast, and I'd hate to miss it.
    Thanks for your honesty in this post. It IS getting easier for me, I think - this is year 2 for me and I've ironed out things that used to suck my time, but there's still so much more I can do to get the balance right. Let's hope we both manage it in 2011!

  24. I think what you've done in setting up your business from scratch in the past year and dealing with your *meteoric* rise in the wedding photography world is amazing. It must be totally all-consuming! But from meeting you and Pete, you seem to be two of the most grounded, lovely, friendly people out there and its so great to see people being successful in what they want to be doing. I guess this first year must be the most manic in terms of getting used to how you work and manage your time, but as D:Ream once sang (!) - 'Things can only get better'! And you look fabulous by the way. Here's to a happy and successful 2011!

  25. Emma,
    as the wife of a very hard working photographer I guess i see this more from your partners perspective, it is so hard to find the right work/ family balance, i know James often feels guilty about being away from home & our little boy for long periods but he has been trying really hard this year to make sure the time he does spend with us is proper family time.
    I try to do my 'proper' job, run our website & look after the little one & often feel like I do neither of them very well!
    you are a supremely talented photographer, your work always takes me to a happy place & I hope you have a peaceful, relaxing Christmas & a well balanced year ahead

  26. *sniff sniff* It's difficult to write a comment back when the blogger has made you cry!!

    Just look at how much support you have Emma, it's crazy!! You deserve everything you have achieved over the last year and more. Feeling guilty shouldn't even enter into in it. I'm looking at the snow right now whilst typing this thinking of how you and Pete should be walking in it, holding hands and being incredible proud of each other. The hard work you have both put in shows in your art. Just remember that once in a while there is a magical word called 'no'... its an awful word to use as a freelancer and it may mean you miss out on an opportunity, but there will always be others around the corner. I'm sure it would upset a lot of people to see you burn out so make sure you take Christmas as time to reflect on your year with lots of good food and brisk walks to clear you're noggin'.

    You are both so beautiful I just want wrap you up into a seaweed roll and nibble on you both!!!

  27. I like this one! I think anyone starting up their own business goes through this. I've done 33 this year and kept my full-time job, so next year is going to be a lot more balanced for me too.

    It's all about learning though, isn't it? You've learnt to find your balance for 2011. And I've learnt that you are awesome.

  28. Emma, firstly - a beautiful piece from the heart and soul. secondly - what wonderful comments to have received both from other photogrpahers and wedding industry peeps. You do need to find yourself, find your lovely wall planner and mark off the weekends that are for you.

    We have just celebrated 30 years in business - its tough - you have to make tough choices. But you only have one life and you can't replay it. We don't do Sunday weddings unless its very important to us. However wonderful the couple are that you are working with - they will never know how much of yourself you give them - so keep a little back. Set yourself boundries. Walk away from the computer and go for a walk with your camera and snap away just for you.

    Have a lovely christmas and I look forward to reading your blogs - they are beautiful as are you. Work just a little less in 2011.

    with love Sammy

  29. ...reading your post was like listening to my own voice that has been rattling inside my head for the last exhausting 10 months...unfortunatley when you are passionate about what you do you become engrossed in others lives and forget about your own.
    A big warm hug on this cold chilly evening.

  30. You put out there what I am feeling now. Thank you for letting me feel less alone in what I feel.

  31. I did write a big post - however, just wanted to say it simply.

    You are such a lovely, positive person - and every time I see you you make me really happy! So glad I know you :)

    Looking forward to helping you get some of your time back!!

  32. I could have written pretty much every word.

    It will be ALL worth it in the end, that's the thought I hold on to when the going gets tough. And at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade all the free time in the world for going back to sitting in someone else's office wasting my time for their benefit.

    Rock on Miss. xxx

  33. Oh my God. Look at all those amazing comments! You're a piece of work, Emma Case. I love Emma Case Photography, but I love Emma Case more. xxx

  34. Hi Emma. Yes, my family too have become a little absent from my life as like you, am living the job 24 hours. Trying to find an even balance between work and family is hard. I'm a mother, a wife a daughter and I make wedding dresses so business woman in there too. Who is Linda? I fear she was lost a long time ago.
    I too like all of these other people adore Emma Case Photography, but if you don't mind, I too love Emma Case more.
    Happy Christmas to you and Pete and continued success for 2011.