Broken Santa

This…is broken Santa.

I’ve had this picture for a couple of weeks but couldn’t quite find the words to go with him. And this blog was turning into that house on the corner that has been for sale for months and months, and everyone asks, “what is wrong with it? does it have bad carpet? outdated kitchen? bad lot? what?” The longer I went without posting, the more wrong it felt but then it was that much harder to write something. And then there was broken Santa…which gave me an idea.

On December 2nd, I got divorced after 14 years of marriage. It is very hard to write this. Because all photographers are supposed to be happy people with happy families. And my family is learning to be happy again…but it has been a long road. My goal for this business is to always keep it real, and in staying true to that phrase I need to keep it real here too. In 2011, I hope to share here more about my life, as imperfect as it is.

The holidays were hard. I’m not in my house anymore. All of these questions arose, like How Will I get a Tree Up to the Third Floor of an Apartment Building. But you know what, I bought a tiny fake one. And it was cute. And I loved how we decorated it. I spent Christmas Eve with my now ex husband and the girls at what used to be my house. And it was ok. I found Santa and decided I really did want him and asked if I could take him with me. So I did…and when I was getting out of my car that night, I whacked him on the steering wheel and broke his feet off. Which the girls found in the back seat of my car some days later. I was able to repair Santa with some hot glue and he is now ready for the next holiday season. But when I look at him, I will always remember this first strange, hopeful, independent Christmas.

I want to thank all of my wonderful clients who keep this business going and have given me a wonderful way to support myself. I feel very, very fortunate to be able to do what I love.

2011 is going to be a great year!


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  • Kristina - January 5, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m also a photographer and have had a horrible 2010. We moved from Colorado to Texas at the end of May 2010 after my mom was cancer free, or so we were told. The day after I arrived with the kids (and 30 wks pregnant) I found out my husband didn’t have a job, the whole reason why we moved out here. Not long after that, my mother went in for a check up and found out her cancer came back and had 3 months to live. We couldn’t sell our house, we had no income, we were living with inlaws, and I couldn’t see my mother because by then I was too far along. She died October 16th.

    2010 has by far been the absolute worse year I’ve ever lived and I’m glad to see it gone and am looking forward to MAKING 2011 be a more positive year. I’m touched by your story and I agree that even as bubbly happy photographers we are also human and have our imperfections, our downfalls and sometimes we just have bad days.

    Thank you for sharing your story, you’re a brave woman and wonderful photographer. I wish you the very best in 2011 and will continue to follow your work and blog.

    Krisitina Rice

  • Tasha Christensen - January 6, 2011 - 11:35 am

    Ah. I was so touched by your story Lisa. Your are correct. As photographers we feel as though we have to portray this Happy Ora when in reality – things may not be fabulous for us. I have never been through a divorce but the year before was home babysitting my grandmother dieing of emphysema while my father was having open heart surgery in a VA hospital in SLC. He was not expected to live through the surgery. He did. He is not on full-time dialysis and looking to have a kidney transplant. 2 months later my grandmother I had become so close to in the 2 months I took care of her full time – passed away. You always hear that what doesn’t kill us – makes us stronger. I struggle with that saying. Half the time I just hang on for dear life and hope I make it through. Thank you for the ‘raw emotion’ you shared. I was touched. I would love a ‘photographer’ support group and would love to come check out your new rental studio! I would love to set one up in my home! Have a happy 2011 and I do hope that we can meet some time! Best Wishes for the New Year! Tasha Christensen

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