Sometimes it’s just a clean toilet. Most times it’s salvation. {Minneapolis Children’s Photographer}

She carried her vacuum to my front door and she was beautiful. Her skin. Her curly red hair. Her smile. All wonderful. And she was coming to save me.

Danyel had just started her cleaning business not long ago, and through our conversation I could tell that she loved cleaning, but still could not get used to seeing herself in this “cleaning lady” role. It felt like she just wasn’t seeing the big picture.

I was having a rough week last week and I know you can all relate to my story. I was overwhelmed with my job, my kids (who are home with me full-time – yes, you try to get any work done with a two- and three-year old around!), and trying to maintain a sane house on top of everything else. I felt like I was a bad mother and a horrible house-keeper. Those two things were coming second and third to my client shoots and meetings and photo edits. I felt so bad about myself.

I had two options:

1. Keep going as I was and start saving money every month for an adult therapy fund for my children.

2. Get help now.

I started calling babysitters for regular babysitting/daycare and not just on an as-needed basis. It was time to give myself this consistent break so I can work more efficiently and have more fun-time with my kids.

And then I called Danyel. And she agreed to come clean my house on short-notice, just in time for my final two client meetings of the week. And I took a deep breath. And again. You see, it wasn’t just about the clean toilet I was going to have.

It was about one more three-hour task that I could cross off my list. It was about being able to spend that time getting my work done rather than cleaning so I can spend more time with my kids. It was about having a presentable place to invite my clients so I could feel more relaxed. It was about my sanity. It was about feeling good about myself again.

Yes, she carried in her vacuum, and yes, she cleaned my toilet. But what she was really giving me was a bit of myself back.

And I believe that all of our jobs work in the same way. Yes, I take pictures. That’s the technical bit. But really, I give people memories. I give them images of their lives that they can have for a lifetime. I help them to stop and think for a moment. About their love. About what makes them happy. That is the big picture of my world and I feel blessed to have this life as a photographer.

What is the big picture of your world? I bet that it is about more than just the clean toilet too.

Because I am a photographer, here is a little image of cute Freya…


  • July 28, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Danyel - You are so sweet!! Bless your heart. I thank you for the “big picture”, that means a lot to me.

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