We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Brack and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Generally, we all start small in business. We have limited budgets or time and we have to make that work. I owned one lens for the first couple years of my business and I did all my editing when the kids went to bed. Why? Because I wanted to do it and nothing was going to stop me. Once you make that decision in your head nothing can stop you.

Over time, I found that the hustle was starting to get to me. It takes a lot of grit to get a business going but the extreme work mentality is not sustainable.

Then I lost my mom in 2019. I saw her nearly every day and I can’t put into words the depth of that loss. One practice that’s even more important to me after this loss is to work efficiently so that I can enjoy my free time. I work at work and am present with my people and myself the rest of the time. Keeping a schedule and sticking to it means I’m actually free in my free time. You do not have to be available to everyone all the time. Be clear with your process so that your clients know what to expect, and then enjoy your life!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My artist heart shares space with my entrepreneurial spirit.

I own my own photography business and I run an industrial refrigeration business with my dad. We provide refrigeration services for produce coolers, the facilities that clean and package your fruits and vegetables. I’ve worked in the family business for nearly 30 years! I started in high school and stayed through college, and now run it with my father after my mom passed away in 2019. I can confirm that working with family is hard! But with good communication (and let’s be honest- therapy!) it can be successfully done.

Photography has been a love of mine since I was a child. I have early memories of lining up my dolls and taking their “baby portraits” just like the photo studio in the department store. Trust me, the photos were not good, hah! But I LOVED it and I’m grateful to my mom for letting me use up her film. I learned with film and one of my favorite places on earth is a dark room. I can roll a film strip in complete darkness like a pro! These days my business is all digital but I have still shoot film for my personal work.

A camera in my hand feels as natural as cradling my child’s head to my chest. It feels like coming home.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in the gorgeous desert town of Yuma, AZ! It’s a bit of a sleepy town compared to the big city but that’s what I love about it.

Since we’re on the southern border, I’m going to straight up proclaim that we have the best mexican food in the country. I know many locals that won’t even eat mexican food when they travel because it will not live up to the deliciousness that we can get here in Yuma. So for sure I would take my friend on a tour of all my favorite restaurants and taco places.

We’d kayak on the nearby Colorado River, climb the Imperial Sand Dunes outside of town, and walk the beautiful trails at the Wetlands.

If they visited during the summer, we’d float in the pool with cold Coronas. With salt and lime of course 🙂

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am grateful to the families that took a chance and hired me in my first year of business. They helped me to grow artistically and professionally. I’m lucky enough to now watch many of their children grow up over the years! I adore every person that has been in front of my camera and those first families will always be in my heart.

Website: https://www.vanessabrack.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vanessabrack

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanessabrack

Image Credits
Vanessa Brack

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