a real look at photography & motherhood

by Mary Jane

Post image for a real look at photography & motherhood

all photos by Laura Winslow Photography

I am giddy with excitement today for two reasons, #1 – I am introducing you to one of my favorite photographers, Laura Winslow – she inspires me daily with her incredible use of color and vibrancy. Her love of people and life just jumps out of her photos and grabs you. Keep reading to find how she juggles motherhood and photography! AND… #2 – I am giving away a SUPER CUTE necklace from Mya Bruce Designs – completely customized with your little loves first names. Isn’t it adorable?? I want one!!!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here telling me the first names of your little loves.

The winner will be randomly selected and announced on my Photog Mommie Facebook page on Monday, July 15th at 7 p.m. PST.

THAT’S IT!!

Keep reading for a glimpse into Laura Winslow’s life as a photographer and a mother. OH and I guarantee her photography will make you smile!!

1) How has motherhood changed your perspective on the importance of historical documentation?
You definitely see memories and photographs differently when you become a mother. You think of how important a simple photo of your own family is to you now as an adult, and how a photograph means so much more than how perfect the outfits were or how a person looked. As the years pass, we easily see past any perceived imperfections in a photograph and instead see it more as an emotional connection to our past. We naturally want to create these for our children and cherish photos whether they are from a professional session or from a cell phone camera. I will never look at a photo of my parents and see anything but beauty, and I imagine most if not all of you are the same. As mothers, we are so hard on ourselves, and we need to keep that in mind. Your child will never look at a photo of you and think, “Geez, what was mom thinking having her photo taken?! She really needed to lose weight!”. Instead, they will only smile and remember how that moment felt, full of love, connection and sweetness between the both of you. I am guilty of that myself and strive to remember this when I have the opportunity to be photographed with my children.

2) How often do you take pictures of your kids and are they planned sessions?
I take photos of my children nearly daily on my phone and I create books from my Instagram photos of our everyday life. I also photograph my children through planned shoots maybe once a month on average–not nearly as much as I should or as I used to! 🙂 I think I have an entire photo box devoted to one month of my oldest, Jackson, when he was a few months old. Looking back, they all kind of look the same with a slight variance in his expression. Only a new, first time mama can understand how I can have 80 photos of my son propped up in the same chair at 4 months old! Our poor daughter, Addison, probably has one printed from her 4 month photos! Poor baby! 🙂

3) How do you organize and backup your photos of the family?
I organize my family photographs in a separate personal folder on my hard drive that I entitle “Family Photographs”. Within that folder, I create subfolders by year and then also by month. This has worked really well for me and allows me to never forget when an image was taken. The file names also include what month and year the photos were taken. I back up my images to a flash drive (I still have to catch up on the old ones that I have backed up to DVD and transfer them to flash drives), and my whole computer as well as external hard drives are always continually backed up using Carbonite.

4) What about time – running a successful business & also being a mother – how do you do it?
I think this is one of the questions that is most often asked of photographers that are also mamas, and I wholeheartedly believe in being real about it. I don’t think we do it all. We try our best to find a balance of some sort, but really that definition of balance is ever-changing based on the ages and stages of your children, their current needs and even what time of year it is (school year vs. summer). Everyone’s situation is different, so just try to do your best and try your hardest not to strive for some unrealistic notion of “perfection”. I think all moms are pretty much rock stars, whether they work inside or outside of the home. 😉

5) Has being a mother changed your approach in any way as a photographer?
Being a mother myself I feel only enhances my photography, particularly since I work with children so much. I have always loved children, having been a babysitter, then a swim instructor as a teen and then as a high school teacher, but I think sometimes only a mother can have that true ability to see the tenderness of children.

6) Have you ever taken your kid/kids on a shoot?
Unless I am photographing my children for a shoot, I never take them along. I prefer to keep my work separate from my personal life in that sense–I think I would find it distracting and not fair to the client as that is their time to have my undivided attention. As a mommy, if my children were there I think I would always have one eye and ear on them, naturally, and it wouldn’t necessarily be bad, but I love to fully immerse myself in a session and the creativity of it.

7) What’s the hardest thing about being a photographer and also a mom?
I think sometimes the hardest thing about being both a photographer and a mom is maintaining the desire to take professional photographs of your own children. When something is a business, it is sometimes difficult to want to pick up your DSLR or to take it along with you on trips or outings with your own kiddos. Sometimes, it just feels great to capture those simple moments on your phone and be done with it–no uploading, transferring or feeling like you have to edit involved. It’s easy, however, to feel like this, so I think while those camera photos are sweet and precious, it is also so important to take your children out and to document them with a fun, light-hearted session with your DSLR camera as well.

8) What has surprised you most about being a mom?
Probably the sheer fact that no one can ever tell you how being a mom will feel until you experience it yourself–I’m not talking about the crazy daily life of motherhood, but instead about how you would really, truly do anything for your children and how you will never go a day for the rest of your life without worrying or thinking about them in some way. It’s a beautiful and at times challenging responsibility to have that much worry.

9) Can you share with us your favorite photograph of your kids to date? And why is it your favorite?
My favorite photograph of my children to date is probably the very first photograph of them together, ever. This photo was a simple snapshot in the cruddy hospital light, on the hospital bed, but yet it means so, so much. It is when their connection really began, and I love the tenderness that Jack has toward Addie in this photo–and still has much of the time! It was his first time meeting his new little sister, and I can still remember his little two year old self so excited and full of energy, and that he toted along his little people for comfort. It is incredible how a photograph can bring back so many emotions and feelings…

10) What tips can you offer mamas who want amazing pictures of their children but can’t afford a professional photographer very often?
Definitely capture your children through photography via whatever means you have–weather that is a phone, a point-and-shoot, or through auto on a DSLR (though I encourage you to learn to shoot in manual if you have a DSLR as it is life-changing!). I have seen people do absolutely incredible things with a simple camera phone. While you are capturing your child’s everyday life, try to save for professional photography if you can. Some people spend their money on cars, boats, or other things that are important to them. My clients–and so many others out there–often choose photography over these types of things. While of course there are people that can have “it all”, so to speak, often those that invest in custom photography do so because it is of great value and importance to them and they have made the decision that they will invest in their recorded memories over other things. We make things a priority by choice.

11) What camera would you recommend for a new mommie?
Really, there are so many out there and it really depends on what you want out of a camera–if you just want to snap family photos, or if you hope to learn on it in the hopes of being a professional someday. I would advise new mommies to go to a reputable camera shop and to actually hold the cameras in their hand. People often wonder about Canon vs. Nikon, and I always say that both are amazing cameras and that often it is about personal preference and what you want out of them. Having the opportunity to hold one of each is a great way to make the decision for you. There are so many wonderful entry level DSLR cameras out there.


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen July 12, 2013 at 2:29 am

Such a sweet post. Always encouraging to hear how other mama’s balance life.

And seriously cute necklace!
My sweeties are Edwin, Danielle & Eleanor. 🙂

Michelle Barnard July 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Wonderful story and precious photos xo!
We are expecting our first baby, Giovanni, in late October!

Stephanie Drake July 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

What a great story. And the necklace is simply lovely. I am still amazed by the creativity people have inside them and the ways in which they express that.

My little loves are Luke and Ashley.

Xo
Stephanie

Rachel July 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Zoey and Tucker! Loved this interview!

Mindy July 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

What sweet photos – thanks for sharing! My little loves are Joseph, Jason and Juniper. 🙂

Yaz July 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Lucas and Lyla!

Terah July 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Laura is one of my absolute fav photographers! I had the pleasure of working with her for my family photos this year and they came out absolutely stunning! She inspires me everyday:)
My littles are Tyler and Morgan

Kalee bennett July 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Such a huge fan. Scarlett

Becca July 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Hollie and Mavrick 🙂

tracy thomson July 13, 2013 at 12:18 am

Love her work!!! Keegan Karsten and Kholie are my sweet littles..

jill rodeffer July 13, 2013 at 12:49 am

Great job ladies! We Love Laura!!!!
{{ Shawn is my little man}}

Kelly Barrios July 13, 2013 at 1:49 am

Love Laura Winslow! Necklace is adorable!
Madelyn and Olivia are my girlies 🙂

Joan Bright July 13, 2013 at 4:06 am

Love Laura’s bright colorful images!
My wonderful 5 children, Shane, Joshus, Rachel, Emily, Ethan

Jules July 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Max, Sophia and Emma! Such a cute necklace and love Laura’s photos!

Heidi F July 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This was fun to read! My little love bug is Malachi! Very cute necklace!

Diana July 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Love this photographer!! My little loves are Samson and Emma.

Stefanie Sanchez July 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hannah and Micah <3

Mary Jane July 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm

The winner is Stephanie Drake – thank you everyone for participating!

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