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Patience is a virtue. By definition, patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset.” Patience is an act of self-control when your inner (and sometimes outer) voice is screaming in retaliation. Patience is at the top of many people’s New Years Resolution lists. It is something so simple but so hard to achieve. As a mom of four, I like to joke that I have a lot of patience. LOL. After all, moms are the experts in their domain, and when you step into that new scary role, you instantly gain loads of patience, kindness, and wisdom, right? I’d like to say that’s the case, but I think there’s enough of you out there with kid stories that say otherwise. We’re all walking that tightrope between patient and off the deep end, and yes, it is a very fine line. I recently had a set of new parents compliment me on how patient I was during their baby girl’s newborn session. The model that day was fussy, probably hungry, and wasn’t really in the mood to be folded and contorted into the adorable poses that we had on the agenda for that shoot. The parents stepped in with a bottle or a calming cuddle sesh here and there, but she just wasn’t having it that day—Patience doesn’t come naturally for a two week old baby. So after three hours, we were left with a choice. We could have succumbed to the impatience, said “too bad, so get what you get” and called it a day. Or we could reconvene the next day and try again. I think you know which one we chose. Yes, it was more time for me behind the camera, but I can’t tell you how appreciative those clients were that I chose to be patient and persevere. And wouldn’t you know, that sweet girl was better the second day and we got some wonderful shots. That wasn’t the first time that’s happened, either. Any parent knows that children are unpredictable. I’ve had to reschedule cake smashes, rescue kids that were crying on Santa’s lap, and go back to the drawing board when little ones (and sometimes weather) wouldn’t cooperate.

Why do I spend hours hunched over newborns, shaping and molding them with the caution of a ticking time bomb? Why do I reschedule shoots, assemble the perfect sets, and spend hours editing until the colors on every photo are just right? Because patience, 99.9% of the time, is always worth it. None of us are perfect, but pursuing patience, no matter what context you’re in, almost always pays off in the end. We make the best decisions when we’re patient. Patience keeps us out of trouble. But more than anything else, patience helps us unlock the best versions of ourselves. And maybe that’s why it is so hard and unnatural. Because if I’ve learned anything from raising kids or running a business, it’s that the difficult moments often lead to the best results.

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