EP 08: INTERVIEW: importance of self care with Audrey Johnson

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Hey, hey, welcome to episode number eight of the Photo Business Help podcast the BPH. I mean the PBH….hmmm. My name is Natalie Jennings. And this episode is a very first episode where I am interviewing someone, which is exciting.

I plan on doing this off and on here and there because there are some really cool topics that I want to get input on and not just be blabbering at you all by myself.

Photo Business Help Facebook group community. Natalie Jennings holding wine glass and iPhone

Today's guest is Audrey Johnson, of Audrey Nicole Photography, someone who I've known a while. And recently she posted on Instagram a lovely post drawing attention to mental health awareness month. And I thought mental health and self-care were incredibly important pieces of building a business no matter where you're at in the journey. So this is Audrey and myself having a little chat about photography and mental health.

Audrey Johnson photo
Audrey Johnson

Me: Hi.

Audrey: Hi.

Me: So you're the first guest on the photo business help podcast, which is really exciting!

Audrey: I feel so honored, I had no idea. This is awesome. Woohoo!

Me: Today I am talking with Audrey Johnson who is the lady behind Audrey Nicole Photography. She is also an associate photographer at Jennings Photo, my photo studio, and she is an incredibly warm loving vibrant woman. I just absolutely love working with her. And she is a mama to a little seven year old girl named Charlotte and I've met Charlotte a few times. She is so much fun and she always ask me if I have my iPad so she can color pretty much every time I see her, so I make sure that I bring it with now when we get together. And Audrey and I have had many conversations over the years that we've known each other about self-care and sort of the other side of running a business. I've mentored Audrey with her own photo business, but there's this whole other sort of self-care side that I think I want to dive in…I know that I want to dive into more on this podcast, but I also think it's an incredibly important and often overlooked subject. In business, you know, so we are talking about building businesses, but we have to be sort of looking at it in this holistic way or else pieces start to fall apart.

So so I saw a post that Audrey did a few days ago regarding mental health awareness month and it was a beautifully written post. And so I thought I would invite her here because she's awesome. And because I really wanted to hear a little bit more about where that post came from and maybe. Maybe, Audrey, you could just read it because it's beautiful and then we could just have a chat about it.

Audrey: Sure. Yes, I would love to. Okay.

Me: Cool. Alright.

Audrey: Alright,  

“I wrote up a really long post about mental health to go along with this photo but then my anxiety made me delete it.

Ain’t that some shit.

Let’s try this again . . . May is #mentalhealthmonth however this topic has been on my mind long before that . . . Likely because I have been neglecting mine & trying to fill everyone’s cup with my empty one. I’ve got a few drops left . . . and goddammit I’m keeping them. Then I’m gonna sit out in the rain until I start to collect more. Then I’m gonna take my cup and water some flowers with it. And then I’m gonna pick those flowers and stick them in my cup and enjoy them because I cannot, can NOT give this world what it deserves from me if I keep doing what I’ve been doing the past 33 years – trying to be everything for everyone else and nothing for myself. THIS is self care, my friends. Saying no and no and no again to the things that don’t serve me. Not participating in draining conversations that reek of negativity. Not endorsing friends’ unhealthy choices. Eating a vegetable and drinking water when I’ve had a bad day instead of a donut and a beer. Putting the phone down and on silent and not checking in on what the social world is up to. Not responding in a timely manner when it doesn’t matter. Responding in a timely manner when it DOES matter. Showing up for friends, in big or small ways, who are good for my soul and who have shown up for me. Sitting in nature without taking a picture of it. Turning the TV off and going to bed early. Reading books. Moving my body. Saving my money. Eating lemon pie without any thought about the carbs. Making my bed. Putting the laundry away the same day. Getting a haircut more than once a year. Letting go of the guilt when I can’t get it done. Helping others who have it so much harder than me . . . Filling my cup over and over so that instead of it taking from my flowers and leaving them to die it overflows and waters the ones underneath it

jessica bisping
Photo: by Audrey Nicole Photography from IG post mentioned in this episod

Me: I just absolutely love that. I think it's so beautiful. And I think it's something that… first of all I think that you have. A great talent for writing and you're very brave and all of the things that you write and post I feel like I just always sounds so authentic and so lovely and I I struggle with that a lot.

I actually talked about this a couple episodes ago, but I am, like, very self-conscious and weird about putting myself out there and I'm trying to get a little bit better about it. But I think that people need to hear those words exactly and I'm wondering how your self-care journey has affected your business?

Audrey: Yeah. Well, it's the lack of self care that's been affecting my business lately, like, because I haven't had anything extra to give I feel like because I haven't been taking care of myself. So finding the energy to do even just like the basic of the business, like answering emails. It requires a lot for me to like dredge up the energy to even just respond.

So I knew that, like, I needed to start paying attention to myself here. You know, waking up and not feeling like you want to even do any of the things that you're supposed to be doing. That's not the way it's supposed to be. It hasn't always been that way. So that's how I knew I've been in a place where I haven't been taking care of myself and that I needed to like make radical changes, like I mean, big changes in my life.

Me: Well, and I think that, I think that idea of, you know, I like to talk about the idea that self-care is not selfish. And I think one of the things that… it's been coming up a lot more and I've been hearing people talk about it more and I think it's really good, but particularly for women and mothers in a role where where it is expected that you're giving and that you're there and that you're giving your there, and chatted with the number of people about that sort of… I don't know if you've experienced a guilt with self-care.

Audrey: Oh, yeah

Me: If only if you take time for yourself, but it seems like you're supposed to be doing things for other people instead.

Audrey: Yep. It’s a constant feeling of like this battle between I need to do something for myself but then as I'm like doing something for myself in the back of my head it's like the to-do list I'm going through like, okay when I'm done with this and I need to do the laundry. Then I need to do this and this and that and then you start to feel guilty when you're sitting there reading a book in the sunshine because it's like I have so much more to do I have to do all these things so …

Me: Well, and life obviously is cyclical and we go through all these phases and cycles…And you said that you've been in seasons of better self care. What do you think?  Like, what does that look like for you compared to a time when you feel like you're really struggling with it, and what sorts of things help you?

Audrey: Definitely just taking care of like the basics of what your physical body needs like drinking water and going to sleep at a good time.

Like, you know people here self-care I think they're like thinking ‘oh pedicures and bubble baths and wine with your friends’ like that is that's good too, those things are good too, but like, self-care is like kind of like being more responsible. It doesn't sound as fun. But like making sure you're drinking water instead of coffee all day long and going to bed at a normal time and not sitting on your phone before you go to bed instead like read a book.

Waking up at a decent time, you know oversleeping and never feels good for me. So when I wake up at a decent time and I get dressed I make my bed right away and brush my teeth, like, you know adult things… my day just starts better. My mood is better and that is self care too.

Me: I I love that you said that. I think if there’s something I want to sort of put the magnifying glass on here, is this idea that, I mean, there's so much information coming at us all the time and everyone's like: Should I meditate? I’m bad at meditating! How many times should I go to the gym? How often… like, you said get your hair cut more than once a year like yeah, we feel like we're supposed to keep up on but what I think would be a great message for people listening to this today to take away is that self-care is actually much simpler at its core than we make it. And it is just: Are you rested? Did you drink enough water? Did you take like a minute to like breathe and just look at a flower? Did you, you know, are you connecting with that deeper part of yourself in very simple ways… and I think that part of the stress of life today, especially if you're running a business on top of everything else, is there's a million things coming at you and we overcomplicate things to this point of like feeling like we do suck if we just hydrated ourselves but didn't do like 10 hours of yoga. You know?

Audrey: Yeah. Exactly.

Me: Wait, so so got the dog here. {noises}

Audrey [laughing]: See pet a dog. That's self care.

Me: I think that yeah, I would love to hear a couple more things. I’m, you know, trying to keep these on the short side so people can have dive in and then dive out or whatever that means, but …What, what are some of your favorite things that are simple self-care things? You've already mentioned water, but you know that maybe a couple things that people can take away if they're feeling a bit frazzled that that work for you in your darkest moments?

Audrey: Definitely my darkest moments. I always turn away from social media. That's one. I regulate my social media time or I just delete the apps all together or unplug my accounts for a while…I mean like a month, like not just like 24 hours and you don't have to tell anyone that you're going to do it either you can just disappear for a little while, but that I mean, I don't think people realize how much they are checking in checking in checking in checking in.

It's just exhausting.

Yeah, that's probably my biggest one that and then also just being mindful of the company you keep and you're making sure your friendships are people that have your best interest and…those are a bit more challenging ones to dive into but simpler ones would be: reading, or if you're not a reader, like journaling… something that's not TV for hobby of some sort that can kind of distract your mind going for help.

Me: Those are great.

Audrey: And then going for a walk. Yeah, totally. And then going to bed and getting enough sleep. That's like the biggest it's yeah.

Me: Yeah. I mean that's a huge huge one. I think that's massive. What would you…you know wrapping up here…you’ve been running your business now Audrey Nicole Photography for five years? Which is amazing. Congratulations!

Audrey: Thanks!

Me: You’re killing it. I love everything you do you…

Audrey: …thank you so much

Me: What would you say sort of in signing off to anyone that’s, you know, in the first couple of few years of building their business that's feeling just the total overwhelm…and that doesn't even know whether it's in business, or personally, doesn't really know what the hell to do next?

Audrey: There's this idea that you have to be hustling all the time in order to make it, you know, and a lot of that I think comes from like social media perceptions and stuff like that. But you know, we're not robots. We're very much humans and souls that have needs and it's just as important to take care of that part of you as it is to do the business stuff and the hustle because if you don't it all will just fall apart and it'll be miserable and you won't enjoy it at all. So give yourself maybe even more attention and everything falls into place after that.

Me: I love that. I think that that's the counterintuitive piece we all miss is that so if I step away from my business or social media to care for myself that it's all going to go to shit, but actually it's the kind of the other way around…

Audrey: Just the opposite

Me: Yeah when health and positive energies flowing through you I think everything else falls into place. So…

Audrey: just like I mentioned in my post if your cup is full and overflowing then you can water the things that are underneath you. But if you're just taking away and taking away, you can't can't even water yourself!

Me: Yeah. No, it's true. And we all know this we all know this right now, but but it is…

Episode 8 Photo Business Help Podcast 
Interview: Audrey Johnson

It's a tough practice to learn to turn away from what you think is the most important thing that needs to get done and actually just meditate and drink a glass of water, you know that kind of thing. So thank you for that. Thank you for coming on the show.

Audrey: Thank you for having me…

Me: Of course, of course, I again, I think it's an important topic.

And if you if you go to, you can see all the show notes, and I'm going to put the the photo and the full post that Audrey shared with us, so you can reread it and revisit it there if you're listening, but thank you for coming on the show and all you do.

Audrey: Thank you very much.

Me: Yeah, you're very inspiring to me and I am grateful to know you and will be I'll have you back on the show again. We can dig into some of that other stuff. I think I think that self-care pieces is a lot of fun to explore. So, thank you.

Audrey: Yep.

Thanks for listening everyone. Again, that was Audrey of Audrey Nicole Photography. You can find her on Instagram. If you'd like to see the full post that she read from as well as as well as the photograph that she references. You can head to and there are full show notes of all of the episodes there.

So take a look at that. Thanks for tuning in. And if you would like to join the Facebook group that Audrey and myself and a lot of other listeners are involved in just head to Facebook and search: Photo business help …surprise surprise with Natalie Jennings. Thanks for tuning in and we'll be back very soon with new shows.

Photo Business Help Facebook group community. Natalie Jennings holding wine glass and iPhone



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