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

Hi Vanessa, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Some will say there is no such thing as “balance”, but I disagree.

If having a work-life balance is important to you, you’ll have to be intentional about it. Time blocking has helped me a lot with this. Isn’t one of the perks of owning your own business making your own schedule? Yes, being your own boss means you work way more than 40 hours a week! But really, you are your own boss, which means you can take on as little or as much as you want.

There was a time I would work 10-12 hour days 6 days a week. You can only grind it out for so long before having a breakdown.

Look at people who don’t have balance in their life. Sure, they might have financial success, but they are often sleep deprived, overweight, depressed and struggling in their relationships and family life.

I break my life into 4 quadrants: Spiritual, Health + Personal, Family + Relationships and Business. Scheduling time each day for my mental and physical health is most important to me, so this gets scheduled first. I start each day with journaling, prayer, meditation, reading and 20 min on my indoor bike. I schedule my gym time and also make sure that I’m available most nights to cook and spend time with my family. Things will always come up that require you to shift things around, but when you learn how to better manage your time and say “no” to less important things, you will always find time to fit things in and pivot when necessary.

Delegating is also really important if you want to create more balance in your life. It’s also necessary if you want to scale your business. We aren’t meant to do everything ourselves. This only leads to burnout. Learning to ask for help has made a huge difference in my life.

When we focus on our strengths and lean on people who fill in where we lack, we build community and connection. If you want to create more balance in your life, you need to learn to stay in your own lane and reach out to or hire people that can take a few things off your plate.

You know the saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. This couldn’t be more true! Creating more balance in my life has taken time and effort. You will always find time to do what’s important to you. So if more balance is what you’re seeking, be intentional about how you spend your time and ask for help!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I started my photography business, Photographer in Heels, I had just moved back to San Diego from Hawaii. A failed relationship, no job, a few suitcases, my dog and some debt, I used this time to really figure out what I wanted to do next.

I reverse engineered my life and asked myself these questions: “what am I good at?”, “what are my strengths?”, “what do I actually enjoy doing?”, “what kind of schedule do I want?”, who do I want to work with and serve?” and “how can I make money doing it?”

I love people and I love supporting small business. So, when thinking of my ideal customer, I knew I wanted to work with small business owners. Ideas and what we have to offer is always changing and evolving. Social media has been a great tool for us to connect with people all around the world. Helping people create visual content so they can connect with their audience in a more authentic and relatable way is what I enjoy the most.

This journey back to San Diego over the past year (during a pandemic) has not been easy, but when you are doing work you love and working with people you love even more, it makes life and work a heck of a lot more enjoyable, even when things are challenging.

Showing up is the hardest part and starting from the bottom in a new industry can be intimidating. I had to remind myself to not compare my work with experienced photographers. It’s me against me! As long as I’m learning new things, making progress every day and being consistent with showing up, I know I’m moving in the right direction.

No matter what I’ve done, I’ve been told I hold space well for others. My mission is to create a safe space for people to shine and be who they really are, no matter what I’m doing. And that’s what I like capturing in my images – my clients true and authentic personalities. My work is natural and playful, which I think is inviting and helps build connection. And that’s what you can expect from me – professional and playful!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is really one of the prettiest cities! My favorite places to visit and eat are close to the beach with a view! Little Italy is packed with the best restaurants and cute shops. La Jolla Cove is perfect for site seeing on a warm day and Torrey Pines makes for a beautiful coastal hike! Put me close to the water and I’m a happy girl!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am truly surrounded by the most amazing people who often believe in me more than I believe in myself. My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, always believing in me and encouraging me to follow my dreams, From starting my first business, I have always had really great clients who have turned into friends and mentors. My close circle of girlfriends are seriously the best! And now my husband. God has blessed me with wonderful relationships that I never take for granted!

Website: https://photographerinheels.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrs.vanessa_sottile/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanessaturk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.turk/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.