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I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve gone through a bit of an identity crises in the last few months.  Not in my REAL life, just in this fun little online world we enjoy–that has become a portion of real life.  It’s a big part of why I changed my blog from “Kristen Duke Photography” to “Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke.” Why, you ask? I want to be known as an all around creative blogger–not just a photographer. I felt pigeonholed. Though it was a positive identity, it wasn’t what I wanted. I felt what I represented was so much more than pretty pictures, I had so much more to share.  I wrote more about it HERE along with my blogging beginnings.

{My old logo and header i miss those cute frames}

It’s weird, I used to be addicted to photographing a new face, a beautiful family, or someone walking by in a stylish outfit.  I’d see strangers out in public and think, “Oh, if I could just get my camera on them…” and daydream about locations I’d take them, and how I’d have my way with them pose them. {Get your mind out of the gutter}. Even after I felt I was comfortable in my craft, making money (and busy) holding photo sessions on the side of my main job (mommahood), I’d offer to take pictures for free for friends, just to plan out some of the creative ideas floating around in my head. I also LOVE to gift my friends family portraits, and would never accept payment from them.  My heart, my gift. I decide who I want to gift, and won’t feel bad about it (though I did at times).

For some reason,  this year…not so much of that in my heart.  Something changed. I’m not really sure why that is…did my photographic creative juices just die or subside for a while? Did I delve into blogging more and that became my new passion? It’s true, I now daydream about how I’m going to pose a Rice Krispie treat.  I bought several books on Food Styling and hit up Good Will for unique dishes and utencils. I even purchased a brand new mini patterned spoon for $13. A THIRTEEN DOLLAR spoon that I will never eat with–and still haven’t used in a photograph yet. What in the world?  I have found a new joy in the difficult process of food styling–it’s hard–and I find it a fun challenge.  Photographing people felt like more of a chore at times, so I’ve tried to change some things and taken on less.

In April and July I attended blogging conferences, and got to meet some wonderful ladies that GET this crazy world I’m experiencing. Most knew SO much more than me, and I’ve learned a lot about what I want. I’ve always loved the idea of sharing…I’m SO not a private person….I LOVE stories and getting to now people, and blogging has brought all of that and more.

There have been times when I’ve thought it’s all just too much, I make too many commitments with the blog, I expect too much of myself, I don’t have to do it every day, etc. But I love it too much…I’m addicted to sharing what I love!  I can’t give it up, but I have to simplify my own personal expectations.

I’ve been sad off and on the past few months about the idea that I won’t be having any more babies. I knew when I was having my 4th that she would likely be my last…and at the time, I was ok with that. Well, reality hit recently, and it’s made me quite sad. I don’t like it one bit, but I feel at peace with it. She’s got a year and a half until she starts kindergarten, and I have loved this time with her–just she and I. Half of me mourns the the idea of her going off to school and being home alone all day, but thinking of using the daytime to blog (instead of 2 a.m. like I’m doing right now) is exciting, and THIS is what helps me get through that sadness. Something to look forward to when I know I’ll be sad at the new stage of life I will be entering. Who knows if I’ll still love blogging as much then, but at least it helps me now.

I started teaming up with a few networks to review items to help bring some revenue to this here bloggy I’m typing out. It’s all so new to me, but I made commitments to share about 4 different products/stores and they all happen to be due in the next week. All of a sudden I’m worried you will all think I’m turning into a big commercial!  I’m not, I promise!!! I plan to share a piece of my heart with stories in each entry.

I wonder how much those of you that keep coming back are regular bloggers also, or just enjoy a good read. I still haven’t figured out that whole google reader bit, but when you write a blog and spend your free time on it (I used to be a TV addict, but since I blog I rarely watch now) reading other blogs are few and far between.

So I end this post with a curiosity poll.  Are you a creative blogger (sharing recipes, fashion, diy, crafts) posting 3-4 times a week, or a reader who enjoys the creative blogger? I’ve got a few questions that I’d love your feedback!

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Join The Discussion



  1. I enjoy your blog a lot!! I’m a crafty blogger who doesn’t post as often as I’d like but I read tons of crafty blogs. I’ll answer any of your questions 🙂

  2. Jacqueline says:

    I’m not a blogger, I’m just a reader who really appreciates all the great stuff that bloggers put out there for me to read. My favorites are the ones that aren’t just crafty but also personal, so thanks for sharing your heart with us!
    I’d be glad to answer questions too.

  3. I love to read creative blogs like yours. I have a blog, but it is more of a family diary than an “idea giver” to other people. I love taking pictures and during our time in Europe, we’ve traveled quite a bit, and since my husband is in the military, we move around a lot and it’s an easy way to keep friends and family all over the world up to date on what we’re doing. That being said, I feel like I’ve barely had any time to blog this year at all. And I only have 2 kids!!! I do love your blog though. I just recently found it!

  4. Creative Blogger here 🙂

  5. I’m a family blogger mostly right now but I have a domain name for a second blog. I want to share my creative pursuits with others (especially people who would find them interesting) but honestly, I haven’t found the time yet to launch it. I hope you find your happy place on your blog. I’d answer questions for you as well.

  6. I like your blog a lot! I find that you have very unique ideas and I love your range of topics. I have a blog that I post to but it’s more like a family diary. A hobby if I have the time but I’m not trying to be a big blogger. I would be happy to answer any questions.

    I really relate to your feelings of enuii with your last baby getting older. I was told by my ob to not have any more children (I only have one) and sometimes I get sad when she passes milestones or becomes more independent. At the same time I’m so excited to see what’s next and also to have a big more freedom myself!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thank you for commenting, Nicole! Sometimes I wonder if my “all over the place” posts annoy people,but it’s who I am and how I operate, so I’m glad to hear you like it and keep coming back. That would be tough if a doctor told you it would be best not to have other children, I don’t know how I’d handle that one. ;(

  7. I’m just a reader of creative blogs. I love to read all types of blogs, but crafty and photography blogs are always top on my list. I love your blog btw. I love how honest and open you are with your readers. I’d be happy to answer any of your questions. 🙂

  8. Creative blogger, though I wish I have could be more consistent. Ask away!

  9. I’m a crafty/Mom blogger and love your blog. Have been a follower/reader for awhile now. One thing I’d love to see (not that you asked LOL) is you to share some tips on other types of photography – like food styling. I have noticed how your food photography seems better each and every time you post photos of food!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      HI Coley! I love to hear from you, and appreciate your regular commenting. I am trying to teach myself better food styling, I find it TOUGH! Once I get a better knack of it, I’d love to do a post on it, I feel sheepish right now, but I have been trying so thanks for noticing!

  10. I’m a big fan and find your posts both personal and informative….a great mix I believe. I LOVE your photography and would be beside myself with excitement if I were ever closer to you (than thousands of miles)…..thus had a shot at ever having you take pictures of us. Having said that, I also think you’re in a season of change. You loved photography, learned it, experimented with it, made it yours… you’re doing the same with crafting, cooking, blogging. I think it’s just all part of the process that makes you…..YOU. The fact that you have varied interests and talents makes you a better blogger! On the flip side, those blogging, cooking, etc. talents will probably make you more in-tune with your photography. Basically, you’re just one crafty, picture taking, decorating, gourmet cooking mama who’s going places! Looking forward to following along on your ride. 🙂

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Trinity, thank you for taking the time to respond, and give me feedback! i need outside perspectives, and I appreciate yours;) blog-denity crises, that was funny!

  11. oops….after all that talking, I forgot to mention that yes, I did answer the questions, and yes, I am a blogger. Although, I’m not really a “crafty” blogger, or a fashion blogger, or even a mommy blogger. I guess I’m sort of having my own blog-denity crises myself. 🙂

  12. I love your blog. I found it via iHeartorganizing when she was featured for decorating with portraits. I fell in love with your photography style, and don’t say that to just anyone. Your photos seem to really capture something in the subjects that you just don’t see in other photographers work. While your photos drew me in, your personality and what/how you share keep me coming back. I don’t blog, and only read consistently about 5-6 blogs. Yours being one of them. Keep up the good work. I’ll stick with you during your blog changes 🙂

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thank you Nicole for sharing! I am humbled and honored to be among your top 5(ish) blogs that you read! I’d love to hear your other faves–hope I’m not missing anything! there are so many great blogs out there, I have a hard time keeping track of my favorites! thank you for keeping coming back;)