Ever wanted to know how other photographers spend their days? (Hint: it's not all sexy time.) In this first installment of “24 Hours With,” our new series peeking behind the scenes of creatives' work and home lives, time juggler and Australia-based photographer Rachel Devine shares how she balances three kids, a busy business, and Bollywood dancing.
7 am...Alarm goes off and Clover comes in and jumps all over me. Her face is usually the first thing I see every morning.
7:08 am...The children and dog all hover around the bathroom because they are starving and if they wait, I will not waste time looking at Facebook on my phone. Husband is out the door by 7:30 am. The next hour is coffee and breakfasts and lunch boxes and letting the dog out, followed by the cat. Then I sit and give myself 15 minutes of coffee drinking and check out all the social media sites and email. Because I am an American ex-pat, most of my friends and family have been in touch while I was sleeping. My kids know that is a much needed time for me. Luckily it usually corresponds with Octonaughts. Then I write my list on my laptop that syncs to my phone. This is a VERY sacred time when I organize my brain and therefore my day. I have to be extremely flexible with my time as I manage blogging, shooting, writing and more every single day. It is never boring, but I can never tell you what next week will hold. The daily list compilation is essential to me NOT losing my mind.
8:15-8:45 am is a mad scramble to get three children and myself dressed and out the door.
9 am...school and drop offs. (Two times a week it is kinder for the twins. In Australia, Kindergarten is like American pre-school. One day a week they go to my in-laws.) I shoot and work on M, T, and F unless I need to make a special arrangement for a client or job. This means that twice a week, the twins are my sidekicks.
10-12 pm is my work time at home. I am a morning person so I get a lot done in those two hours. I can write, edit and answer emails. If I have a shoot, I try to schedule the start time at 10. I can get most anywhere in Melbourne from my house by 10 and that also gives me enough time to shoot and get back to pick up all the children. Depending on the shoot, the images will either be processed on site (on my laptop) or I will have to bring them home and turn them around later in the week.
When the kids are with me, we run errands and the work never stops, so I always have my phone with me...if we stop for lunch or coffee, I can check in and return emails. Thursdays have been reserved for the twins this year. We go on different adventures each week as this is their last year at home before starting proper school full time. I blog some of our outings in my "Our Year of Thursdays" section.
3 pm...Kinder pick up or if they are already with me, then it is off to get Gemma at 3:20 for a 3:30 pm pickup. If it is sunny, we can walk, but it has been a bit wet lately, so we drive. Clover does not like to wear shoes.
4 pm...Back home for snacks, and that buys me an hour of work time before either after school activities or homework and Grump Hour. I am writing this email during that 4-5 pm work hour! Then it is either Bollywood dancing, Cub Scouts, or tennis. Then back home for dinner. My husband is not home until 7 pm most nights so I bathe the twins and get them ready for bed. Gemma is old enough to get herself all clean.
7:30 pm...Bedtime for the twins. 8:30 pm bedtime for Gemma. I start editing and writing on my laptop at 8 pm, after I make tea and popcorn. Depending on the workload, I am in bed anywhere from 10 to 1 am. I despise the late nights as I am a morning person, but some days it is not an option...work needs to get done.
I shower somewhere in each day and manage to feed myself. About Rachel: Rachel Devine is a commercial kid photographer, daily life photo blogger and co-author of Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off "Auto" and Photograph Your Life like a Pro. She is also featured in the Design Aglow Posing Guide for Family Portrait Photography. She and her family are based in Melbourne, Australia now, but she comes home often to America for work and play.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.