We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassidy Croot and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassidy, has the Covid-19 Crisis affected your perspective on work-life balance?
The pandemic caused me to hit the brakes on my business and my life. I was in the middle of a burn-out season – working day in and day out, late into the evenings, and overwhelmed to say the least. I was working towards this goal of “caught up” that I wasn’t sure was actually ever going to happen. Then the shelter-in-place order happened and it was the Universe’s way of hitting the brakes for me. It was a struggle at first, but it ended up being a well-needed break for me and opened my eyes to how much I truly needed to restructure my work-life balance. I was able to catch up on some editing, spend more time on things I’d set aside for too long being busy, and decided to delegate some much needed tasks like updating my website so that I can focus more on living life instead of working in my business 24/7. I realized that making small & attainable to-do lists really help me keep a balance. Being forced to slow down also helped me realize that going forward in my business I need to set more boundaries about when I’m working and how much I’m working. With myself and my family home more often, it really opened my eyes to how much time we weren’t spending together before COVID due to our busy schedules, and I really missed that. As we slowly begin to reopen and start back to work, I hope I can remember this time and remember to slow down and make sure I am actually living my life sometimes instead of just working 24/7.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a photographer. I’m proud of where I am today, creating art that I love with some of the best humans I’ve ever met, and they’re paying me for it! I feel immensely proud of myself when I have families return to me several years in a row, choosing me time after time to photograph their special milestones. It means everything to me, and I don’t take that for granted. I am self-taught along with help from other photographers along the way. I started with a DSLR knowing nothing about it, to doing photography as a hobby, to picking up pace & making it my full-time career. It wasn’t easy – like most things worth doing, it was hard! Becoming a parent slowed down my photography career quite a bit, but for a good reason. I was happy to stay home with my daughter. Right before her first birthday, we discovered that she had some special needs. It turned out she has a rare genetic disorder and is developmentally delayed & completely fed through a feeding tube now. It was a hard obstacle to overcome as a parent as well as a business owner, but with help from our family, our pediatricians, & a lovely support system, we’ve got everything down to make sure she’s healthy and happy & we’re all able to do what we love. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Delegating when needed is the biggest and best lesson I’ve learned. It’s okay to hire out someone to clean your house. It’s okay to hire out someone to build your website or do your graphic design. Also giving myself grace has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. I have a to-do list, but sometimes it doesn’t all get done and that’s OKAY. I’m a human, I’m doing my best, and that’s the best I can do. I just want the world to know that I treat all of my clients like dear friends, and that’s what has gotten me to where I am. I put my client experience above all else, and I want them to see that it is possible to receive beautiful photos and have fun in the process, and feel comfortable with me so that it shows in their images.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m partial to North County, and I love Carlsbad Village! Park 101 is great for their trivia nights, but having food and drinks on their (dog-friendly) patio is so much fun! My forever favorite restaurant is Las Olas in Carlsbad and I literally have dreams about their guacamole. Pizza Port in Carlsbad is another favorite. I also love La Jolla and their stunning cliff beaches – Windansea being a favorite. I love the Bobboi gelato in La Jolla – there’s always a line out the door but it’s worth the wait.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to Laurie Larson of Laurie Ashley Photography! She is a superstar photographer and such an inspiration. Her mentoring session really opened my eyes and taught me SO much. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her help, and I am forever grateful!