My journey to starting my photography business
Updated: May 13, 2020
I used to be a Primary School teacher. I graduated my study in 1997 and had been working in schools with small children, in a career that felt like my life's work and passion. It WAS my life's work and passion. I loved that job so much and I worked HARD.
Along the way my partner (and later husband) and I travelled, gathered some pets, underwent grueling fertility treatment and finally had our precious baby boy in 2008. I was a very anxious new Mum and struggled to cope. I went back to work in a VERY part time role when our son Elijah was 2 (and only let my Mum look after him), and then back into a classroom half time when he was four, while he attended the local kindy. I worked in job shares for the next 3 years. It was so great to be back in the classroom - a place that felt like home to me. However, the juggle of doing two very hard jobs (parenting and teaching) became too much for me and I hit a wall and needed to stop teaching.
At the same time I had developed a love for photography and was an avid hobbyist, taking courses and constantly trying to improve my skills. My need to stop teaching coincided with having my photography in a place where I felt ready to take it to a professional level. I was SO scared. To leave a job I was experienced in and start a business in which I was a newbie was terrifying. The fear of failure was real and the courage required was huge! In addition I had a enormous sense of failure around my teaching. I felt like I was now a 'failed' teacher as I had needed to leave the profession, and I beat myself up for a long time after I left. I was also very sad that this teaching career that I had worked so hard on and loved for years was no longer right for me, in this chapter of my life. People ask me to this day whether I miss teaching or if I will go back to it. It always triggers me as it takes me back to that place I was in when I walked away and it makes me wonder if they don't value what I am doing now, but I am mindful enough to know now that this is just something people ask and that I always have to follow my gut when I make decisions for my life and my family. I was and continue to be very lucky that my husband supported me in this choice and I am eternally grateful for his support.
So here I was in the new year and the children were all heading back to school and I wasn't part of it, but I had this bud of a business that I was passionate about and my drive to succeed and serve families in a new way was strong. So I strapped up my boots and got on with it, which excited me so much.
I am now three years on and I honestly haven't looked back. I love being my own boss, I love working from home, I love connecting with families and I love constant contact I have with babies and children and creating work that families will treasure forever. There is also something really special about connecting with Mama's of small children. I aim to make their time with me one of their good days. I listen to them, and care about them and we take our time. I know how hard it can be. My emotional cup is full and overflowing.