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The Joy and Juggle of Photography and Motherhood - A Mother's Day Treat!

This Mother's Day, we're focusing on the reality of what it means to work two full-time jobs with the titles of Mom AND Professional Photographer. Does being a pro photographer mean you take more photos of your kids, or less? How does the experience of photographing your own family compare with client sessions? We asked these questions to three moms in our community to learn more about the joy and the (sometimes-ironic) juggling act of motherhood and photography. Scroll on to learn more.


From Amy's Tricks to Going with the Flow

"As a professional photographer, people often assume that I have a vast portfolio of stunning photos of my kids. But let me tell you, that couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, I used them as my practice models when they were little, but as they got older, getting them to pose for me was like trying to herd cats.

"If I can manage to snap a family photo once a year, I consider it a major victory."

"One time, I had this brilliant idea for a photo of my kids. I wanted them to cuddle up in a specific way that showcased their close relationship as best friends. It was going to tell this wonderful story of sibling love. But, as usual, they were having none of it. I'm talking complaints left and right, from 'We don't want to be this close' to 'Mom, this is stupid' to 'My back hurts.' I tried everything to get them to cooperate - poking and prodding, bribing with ice cream - but seemingly nothing was working.

"After 12 minutes of shooting and pleading, I threw in the towel and said, 'Fine, do whatever you want.' And that's when magic happened. They fell apart, creating a photo that perfectly captured their personalities, and it makes me smile every time I look at it."

"Now, let me be clear: I love my kids to the moon and back, but trying to get them to be serious and pose for a photo is like trying to get a toddler to eat broccoli. It's exhausting. So when clients tell me, "Wow, you're so patient!" I just chuckle to myself and think, "If only you knew."

- Amy Dawnelle | Temecula, CA


Jennie and the Balancing Act

"Being a wedding photographer (or any entrepreneur really!) and a mom is always an exercise in balance. As much as we become business owners to set our own schedule and have more flexibility, I've also come to realize that my busy season and schedule doesn't always align with my family's busy season or schedule. So it's a constant push and pull to make sure that I intentionally make time for my family and prioritize home life as much as I prioritize my work.

"Most of my friends and work colleagues who don't have kids have no idea how I manage to run a business with 3 kids under 7. It's a question I ask myself sometimes when I have a huge list of editing to do and emails to write and blog posts to publish, and I'm supposed to be taking a kid to a doctor's appointment and fixing dinner and my wife is working late.

"But the real answer is that I do it because I love my job. And I love my family. And I figure out how to manage it because it needs to be done. I think that is what most of us entrepreneur mom's would say."

"It pays off, though, when I get to go to museums with my kids on a Saturday off in July, and when I get to show them my work and hear them say wide-eyed 'They got married and you got to take the photos?!'

"Funny enough, most of the photos I have of my family are on my phone, with a small portion taken by friends and colleagues I hire once a year to get 'professional photos'. I NEVER pull out my big work cameras to photograph my kids. I see other moms take beautiful photos of their kids, in ways that document their lives artistically and thoughtfully, but all I seem to be able to manage is some snapshots of my kids eating ice cream in my phone's portrait mode.

"But when I scroll through my photos and videos on my phone I can still relive moments in our life that are important to me, no matter what camera I used to take the photo."

"Now if only I could remember to take as many photos of my wife and I as I take of our kids. 😉"

- Jennie Crate | Denver, CO


Jessica and her Little Helpers

"Who said bringing your kiddos to a photo shoot is a recipe for disaster? Not me! In fact, I've discovered that more often than not, they make the perfect little helpers."

While I'm doing what I love, they're watching intently and soaking it all in. And let's not forget the best part - I get to actually photograph them with my camera, not just my phone! So, don't be shy about bringing your mini-me's along for the ride. They might just surprise you."

- Jessica Boland | Tracy, CA


Special Thanks

to Amy Dawnelle, Jennie Crate and Jessica Boland

And Happy Mother's Day

to all the moms who double as photographers!

We hope you get some real rest and relaxation today.


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