We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Barbee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I started this business as a creative outlet after having my son and becoming a stay at home mom. I wanted to be able to be there for him and not miss out on him growing up, but still have my voice in the world. So from the beginning, balancing my business with my family has been a priority. As the business grew and it went from being a hobby to part time to full time, I not only had to look at how to balance work and family, but how to balance time for myself as well. I started setting a schedule on what evenings I would work so I could be there for things like baseball games and family dinners, but also so clients knew what to expect when booking with me. I wanted to build this business around my family and not my family around the business. Over time as things picked up and I found myself checking emails during a movie or worrying about coming back from vacation because of what awaited me, I knew I needed to balance out the business side of things by bringing someone else on. Expanding my team has been great not only for the experience it gives my clients, but also for the balance it has brought back to both aspects of my life. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and if you try to, you’re not giving your best to anyone. Running a successful business isn’t always about profit and status. To me it’s about being able to balance what I love, with those I love, while providing an unforgettable moment for all involved!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being a photographer has been one of my life’s greatest gifts (besides my family). I am so lucky to have a job that fulfills me in so many ways. My creative outlet I get from taking photographs makes going to “work” not really feel like work at all. I have been doing photography for almost eight years. I have found my confidence and style that makes my work constant and clients know what they’re getting when they book a session with me. It was not an easy road to get to that level of knowing what I want to shoot and how I want it to look but with lots of continued education and mentoring I found it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite place to be with my family and friends is lake Lanier. My family and I enjoy long weekends on our houseboat on an island on the lake. Our favorite lakeside restaurant would be Fishtales, its fun for the whole family, live music, a giant sandbox and good food… you can’t go wrong.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My assistant Lacy! She has by gone above and beyond anything I have ever wanted in an assistant and I couldn’t be more thankful to have her on my team!
Headshot: Southern Frame Photography