07 May A Day in the Life of Leigha Graf
As some of you may know from a previous blog post I contributed to NAPCP, 10 Tips for Photographing Your 365: A Gift for Your Family, my heart and gratitude are tied closely to daily life. As much as travel, vacations, holidays and celebrations are incredible moments, how we see our everyday, is truly, I believe, how we see our life.
Having said that, I am so excited to be here! When I was asked to share with you this idea of “A Day in the Life”, there wasn’t even hesitation. Thank you to NAPCP for continuing to create new content, along with fostering this great community.
Like many of you, this season of my life involves my family as my number one priority. All of my business decisions, including how much work I take on, what projects I do, and when I work, are based on putting my family first. I rarely shoot on the evenings and weekends anymore, and depending on the time of year, I generally book anywhere from 2-6 shoots a month. During some seasons, I take a complete sabbatical. The reason I am sharing this with you is to encourage you to decide what works for you during this phase of your life. Don’t chase someone else’s dream. Instead, take some time to really think about what is most important, and work everything else around it!
As you will see, my day is largely centered on caring for the people around me. Photography is my creative outlet, which pushes me to learn in so many ways. Not only technically and artistically, but about connection and, most importantly to me, humanity.
I look forward to seeing this “Day in the Life” series continue to grow on NAPCP and can’t wait to see others share theirs!
A Day in the Life of Leigha Graf
Mornings are my favorite. I would say I have always been a fairly early riser. Not in the extreme sense, but I am pretty sure I can easily count the times I have slept in past 8 a.m. (That’s still early, right?!) Most mornings start around 6:30 a.m., of course welcomed by our pups.
The first thing I think about is a good strong cup of coffee. Can you all relate? It’s what gets me out of bed. This organic, Canadian roasted espresso is our favorite.
Mornings involve everything from starting laundry, organizing the kitchen, starting the Crock Pot (if there is a busy day ahead), to helping the boys make their lunches. There is something gratifying about getting a few things checked off your list before the day really gets started.
After our morning routine at home, my boys are ‘excitedly’ off to school. One is still able to take the bus, then the oldest and I head off to his school. As a prairie girl at heart, that country view never gets old.
I am kind of a late breakfast’er, so once I am home from the school run I am finally able to sit down and catch a quick bite. Oatmeal and chocolate protein powder is seriously like a morning treat.
After (or during) breakfast I like to take a few minutes to organize my day. I usually take the top three things on my never ending to do list and jot them down in front of me to tackle those things first. If I get them done I can move on to others, but this way it helps me focus on what’s most important and not just the most fun or exciting (I hope you have a few of those!) thing on the list.
I am currently training for a half marathon, so most days involve a run of some kind, or other exercise. Signing up for an event has totally helped me become more accountable. As much as we all feel that we might not have the time, I actually find that it makes me more productive and creative when I do sit down to work.
The best part is when you are finished! Yoga mat, stretching, and a podcast is the best way to finish off a good sweat session.
After lunch I am headed over to the studio to prep for a little creative session I have planned for the day with Alex. I personally find cleaning, sorting through accessories, thinking about the session, and listening to music while I am there, inspiring, and it prepares me the best.
Today, for this session, I knew I wanted to play a little bit with a more dramatic light. Which is what creative sessions are all about for me — learning a new technique, trying out a different lens, practicing unique styling. I keep them simple and fairly short in length in order to try to stay focused on the one or two things I want to try out.
I am not the type that can wait to download images from a session! So I head back to the office to download them and get organized for another quick hour of work before heading out to do the school run. Photo Mechanic is simply the best program I have found for downloading and organizing images. So fast! And a great little app I like to use when I am short on time, but have lots to do, is 30/30.
Depending on the day, after school activities can start right at 3:30, or some days they aren’t until early evening. Today we were all lucky enough to be home together for a few hours to cuddle with the pups and work on a baking homework project.
… Tonight, off to hockey! Depending on the season, we are either headed to a ski hill, hockey rink, golf course, or school gym.
Tonight our little guy was playing and we were all there to cheer him on. As a side note, one day I just may start a blog featuring the rinks with the best fries and baked goods. I may or may not been known among the hockey moms to be a good (and frequent) taste tester.
A full, beautiful day … A day where we can foster personal growth, cultivate our closest relationships, create something new, and see beauty in a sunset. Grateful for these everyday moments.
We can’t say we’re surprised that Leigha’s ‘everyday’ is nothing short of fabulous, and we absolutely love that Leigha makes time in her busy day for herself! Exercise, stretching, and a podcast … We can feel the endorphins just thinking about it.
Speaking of which, Leigha has been so kind as to share the sources for some of the awesome items in her post. Read on, for the list!
Leigha’s Favorite Scarf: Aritzia
Chest of Drawers, and Square Frames: Crate and Barrel
Kicking Horse Coffee
Protein Powder: Prairie Naturals
Desk Lamp: Winners
Leigha’s Favorite Running Shoes: Asics
Cornflower Blue Yoga Mat: Lululemon
Leigha’s Favorite Podcasts: Good Life Project, Gretchin Rubin, Rich Roll, Lewis Howes
Leigha’s Perfectly Destroyed Denim: J Brand
Mustard Throw, and Chevron Pillow: Winners
And for the record, Leigha is still dreaming about the poutine from the Cochrane hockey rink …
Thanks so much to Leigha for taking the time to share with us a peek into her life!