Worrying about not being good enough seems to be part of the package of being a Mum. When I started as a family and newborn photographer, I realised it’s also part of running your own business - Double Whammy!
For a long time, I researched my dream studio kit and I looked into permanent space for a photography studio in Hull. I had it all worked out in my head, right down to which coffee cups I’d have in the reception area. When I realised I wouldn’t be able to afford to be THAT photographer right away, I felt like a fraud. Surely, if I was the real deal, or if I was going to become the best family and newborn photographer in Hull, I should have my own studio.
But being a start-up business, and mother to two young kids, it felt irresponsible. Financially, it was too much of a risk. So I compromised and decided to invest all the money I’d earmarked for my business into some fantastic studio lighting to use in my home. I put my dream of my own studio space on ice for the time being.
Then I got a surprise. The more family photo sessions and newborn photo shoots I did from my home photography studio, the more I realised how perfect it was, and how it worked so much better for me and for my clients. Here’s how:
People Feel At Home In A Home
Nobody’s in a rush to finish in my home studio. I don’t have to wrap up a family photo shoot and rearrange if a subject (read ‘newborn babe’) isn’t being very helpful. If a shoot runs over, it really isn’t a big deal.
A ‘home’ environment is familiar to people, so we’re all more relaxed. My studio is set up in my dining room and my clients love it! Taking away this barrier lets me get to know my subjects quicker, and being in my home, they get to know me too.
I used to think it was important to have a ‘work me’ and a ‘home me’, but working from home, I’m just ‘me’. Ten minutes into a shoot and everyone's just themselves, and isn’t this what you want to come through in your family photo session?
I don’t have to worry about rush hour traffic, or wish I hadn’t forgotten to take dinner out of the freezer. If ever I need to block off some time for a doctors appointment, I don’t need to put a sign on the a shop door explaining why I’m not open. Of course, I could hire a receptionist for a studio space, but that’s a whole load of money I just don’t need to spend.
I get to put that money towards more awesome kit, or I can save my clients some money by not having to factor in the extra overheads of a studio - very popular! The free and easy parking on my driveway is also a big hit!
Just like the idea that I had to have a ‘work me’ and a ‘home me’, I thought I had to have two very defined compartments for my family photography business and my role at home. I tried the whole concept of blocking off ‘work hours’ in which I had to ignore the laundry and not speak to my partner if he came home from work early. That didn’t work!
I slowly cracked and starting emptying the dishwasher while I was waiting for images to upload, or start dinner while I was replying to business tweets. And do you know what? It was fine. I had found ‘Natalia Flow!’ Not once have I gotten carried away and done the ironing when I was supposed to be doing a family photography session, I promise!
Click through my gallery; I don’t imagine you’ll be able to tell that my portfolio was all shot in my home photography studio in Hull. You can’t see my fridge in the background, and my kids aren’t photo-bombing my clients. You’ll see a relaxed mummy-to-be, chilled babies, and families being themselves.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still want my own swanky photo studio in Hull one day, with a swish receptionist and AMAZING coffee cups.
Give it a few years and I’ll have trained the kids to empty the dishwasher and I’ll have so many clients, there won’t be room for all of their cars on my driveway. Maybe then I’ll get a studio, and other family photographers in Hull will be googling me for studio inspiration!