From Mom to Photographer

May 24, 2024

Balancing Life and Business as the Kids Grow Up

Balancing the demands of being a mom while pursuing a career in photography is a delicate art. As our children grow up, their needs evolve, and finding the right balance becomes even more crucial. Today, I’ll take you through my personal journey. Transitioning to photography full-time while still being fully present for my family.

From discovering my passion for photography to maintaining a business mindset and capturing precious moments of my kids’ lives… I’ll share the challenges and triumphs of juggling these dual roles. I promise, it is possible to excel both as a mom and a photographer and finding fulfillment in both worlds.

Finding My Passion in Photography

Discovering my passion for photography was a turning point in my life. One that I wasn’t even aware of at the time. When I picked up a camera and started capturing moments, I found something that ignited a fire within me. Photography allowed me to express myself creatively and see the world in a whole new light. It allowed me to capture small pieces of magic in everyday life and share these pieces with others. I found joy and fulfillment in every click of the shutter. This newfound passion for photography laid the foundation for my journey into transitioning to photography full-time.

How I Started

There’s a certain thrill in curating a personal collection of negatives from my early photography years. A physical testament to my journey and progression in the ever-evolving field of photography. All these years later, with a wealth of experience under my belt, I still find endless joy in documenting life.

The path hasn’t been linear, but every step has been instrumental in molding me into the photographer I am today. From my mother’s old Instamatic 110 camera in the late 1980’s to a full-frame Sony A7iii 8 years ago. With each evolution in technology bringing new challenges and new opportunities for artistic growth.

My vintage Olympus set up.
This is me and my son at his 1st birthday party. He’s a Halloween baby so we had a costume party every year for him. That year I decided to dress him up as Peter Pan and I dressed as Tinkerbell (no, Peter Pan was not his favorite but I couldn’t get him to wear the frog costume I bought him that year). This was taken with a Canon Rebel in full auto mode and of course, flash… always flash!

Learning Curve

This love for photography continued to evolve and expand. I transforming a hobby into a passion and more importantly, a career. I became fully immersed in the world of photography. When my youngest daughter entered middle school, I was gifted a Sony A6000 crop sensor mirrorless camera. It was then that I truly committed to understanding photography at a deeper level. I absorbed every piece of information I could find, learning about the intricacies of lighting, composition, and perspective.

Upon my transition to a full frame camera, the Sony A7iii, my skills took a quantum leap forward. My world was no longer limited to casual, point and shoot moments with limited light and capabilities. I was given the ability to capture the raw beauty of life in a wholly unique and artistic manner.

And so, my journey continues, driven by an insatiable curiosity and a relentless pursuit of capturing moments into documented memories. And every time I hold my camera, I’m reminded of my humble beginnings. That little Kodak camera and the passion that has fueled my journey.

Transitioning to Photography Full-Time

As I spent more time behind the lens, I began to realize that photography was more than just a hobby. It was something that I wanted to pursue full-time. The idea of turning my passion into a career was both exciting and daunting. But I was determined to make it happen and went head first. OK, I dove head first. By the time my youngest daughter hit highschool, I started to take on more clients. I invested in better equipment (like my full frame camera), and honed my skills through workshops, courses and self teaching.

Slowly but surely, I built up my photography business. Eventually, I felt ready to take the leap into pursuing it as my main source of income. This transition was a big step for me. But I knew that with hard work and dedication, I could turn my love for photography into a successful business. I was eager to take on the challenges that came with running a business full-time. The challange was going to be in how to maintain a healthy balance between work and family life.

Providing Something Different

As my business grew, I knew that I had to truly stand out in the saturated world of photography. I needed to create unique content that captured the attention of potential clients and showcased my skills. This meant constantly brainstorming new ideas. Staying on top of the latest trends, and finding ways to set myself apart from the competition. I also had to carefully consider my target audience. Who were they and what were they looking for in a photographer? It wasn’t easy. But through trial and error, I discovered the perfect balance of tone, style, and voice that appealed to my audience. This is when I decided to introduce water photography as a means to stand out. As a result, my content not only attracted new clients, but also solidified my reputation. I was able to continue growing my business and living my dream of being a full-time photographer.

Providing images that showed both underwater and above was something I learned how to do in order to stay different in a very saturated industry.

Maintaining a Business Mindset

Maintaining a business mindset has been crucial to my success as a photographer. This means staying organized, setting goals, and continuously seeking ways to improve my skills and expand my client base. It also involves being proactive in marketing my services. I stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques and not being afraid to adjust when needed. By keeping a focus on the business side of things, I am able to ensure the growth of my business. Which allows me to still being present for my family as my kids grow into adults.

This dedication to my business has not only allowed me to pursue my passion for photography full-time… It has also provided me with the flexibility and freedom. I have been able to capture their growth. I’ve documented the transition into adults. Important milestones (like 21st birthdays), and everyday adventures.

Documenting My Kids’ Lives Through Photography

As I continue to juggle the demands of running a photography business and being a present parent, I am grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to freeze these fleeting moments in time through this form of art.

Photographing older kids isn’t just about capturing their last few years of adolescence. It’s also a chance to inspire in them a sense of self-confidence and identity. These years are pivotal and shape the adults they will become. It shapes their perception of the world, the values they will uphold, and the attitudes they will foster. It is during this stage that they form their own truths, opinions, and beliefs. Making it an exhilarating journey worth documenting.

A photograph can be a powerful tool in nurturing this stage of development. It can draw attention to their strengths, their uniqueness, their worthiness, and their capacity for growth. It can serve as a mirror where they can see themselves in a light they had not considered before. A simple photograph can reveal a side of them they failed to appreciate. It can serve as a visual reminder of their worth.

It also becomes a visual memoir of their adolescence. A treasure they can look back on fondly in the future, reminiscing about their journey and growth. It can bridge the gap between their past and the future, providing visible proof of how far they’ve come.

As their journey unfolds, it’s our duty to provide them with as much encouragement and positivity as we can. Giving them joyful moments, and a chance to celebrate their individuality can do wonders for their self-esteem. Photographing them is one of the simplest yet profound ways of doing this. It’s about immortalizing their charm, their spirit, and their journey of self-discovery.

Detesting the Term “Mom-Tographer”

I hate the term “mom-tographer”. It carries such a negative connotation and shouldn’t. Women who manage to perfectly balance motherhood and photography, should be admired. Photography is an art that has the power to capture emotions and moments that words fail to articulate. The desire to document your family’s life, your children’s growth and memories, is a beautiful thing. It’s a passion that many moms have turned into a lucrative career and they should be commended for that. You ARE commended for it!

Whether this talent is mastered in a classroom or discovered amidst the chaos of toddler tantrums is irrelevant. The result is what matters: beautiful, precious memories captured in a frame, forever. A mom-tographer is just as capable of capturing these moments, if not more so, by virtue of her unique perspective.

Bringing baby sister home.

Being a mom and a photographer carries a badge of honor. Proof of a mother’s ability to multitask, to nurture her family and her passion concurrently. After all, isn’t that what life is about, finding joy in what we love to do?

Follow your passion, transition slowly, maintain a business mindset while documenting precious moments. Yes, it’s possible to excel in both roles. With the right balance and priorities, a fulfilling life for both my career and my family is achievable. If you’re considering making the leap into full-time photography… Remember that it is possible to pursue your passion while still being there for your kids.

You can navigate this delicate dance, just remember to find your center!

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