25 April, 12:00
Reinvention of "Momtographer"
Girl, you are doing it all.
Published by Maureen Flynn
This is me, with my littlest, a few months after she was born. You see me smiling, but what this photo doesn't show is the struggle. A girl seeking balance. Business, family, her new body, standards, being a wife and more.
Inside, I was screaming.
The Balancing Act
As moms, we have an incredible balancing act to perform. The guilt is real if we spend too much time on one thing or one child. For me, I have 3 kids. Two boys, 7 & 4 and my little girl, 14 months. She was a surprise. (Well, I mean, if you stick a peen in a vagina, it shouldn't be THAT big of a surprise, but whatever.) She was, unexpected. We thought we had it all down, a good balance and then, herself came rocketing into the equation and I had to start all over. The first few months, were like a hurricane. Everything needed me. I found that that when I put strict rules on myself, I failed. Fluidity became a necessary part of my life and I started to embrace having to change everything on a moment's notice. I stopped apologizing for it. Now, I have come to appreciate and praise that adaptability. Moms, if one thing, are adaptable.
The word "Momtographer" is a praise to your adaptability. That you can easily switch from being a professional photographer to a Mom. You have both the skill to run a business, the heart to raise kind children and the exceptional will to do them both.
The day you picked up a camera. We've all been there.
Maybe it was because you felt lost in your life, maybe you wanted a way to help pay bills...or maybe, that drive to create was breaking through your soul. We all came to photography for a different reason. I was that girl on the Yardsale Facebook groups, with $25 sessions. Reading people post in photog groups about, "those local cheap photographers" and hanging my head in shame at my desk, (our kitchen table). I felt lost in my motherhood with our first baby and saw it as an outlet to maybe, finding the "old me". You have a child and suddenly, your resume is out of date and jobs ask why you took time off. At least, that is my story. I am sure it is echoed by many.
Whether you are the $25 yardsale site photographer or the seasoned pro, motherhood changes everything.
I wish I could tell every mother, that I felt lost too. That it is, "a thing", to feel like you don't know who you are. It isn't a bad thing. It took me ages to figure that out. That feeling is the feeling of opportunity. Your adaptability kicking in, because your body is amazing. It is telling you that now, you get to decide who you are going to be again. Now, I am more me than I ever thought possible.
Un- Apologetically me.
Business and Babies
You can be a business owner with babies. Whether you are just starting out or trying to maintain, here are some Momtographer pointers.
- Set small achievable goals.
- Education: Get yourself some. Whether it is Youtube or workshops, spend 15 minutes a day learning. (15 minutes is achievable! Any more than that, is icing on the cake.)
- Shoot once a week. Photograph your kids. Have fun with it. It will help you grow and provide amazing memories. Encourage them to dress up for creative photos.
-Be creative! Use a sheet to make a dress if you have to. Use what you have around you. This is great training, even if you are a pro.
- Don't listen to the hate. There is plenty on social media. You do you.
- When you are ready and even if you have been in business a while, do a CODB. Cost of doing business. This is necessary and you should do it every 6 months to check yourself.
While others may use the term, "Momtographer" as a way to shame, they don't realize that some of the biggest names in the biz are just that. These ladies, are in full beast mode, at the top of the industry, traveling the world, speaking at conferences, changing lives and leading others. They are offering a rally cry and telling moms to own their stories and to rise.