This beautiful soul sister is one of those people who you meet and are just drawn to, because of their warmth and authenticity. She has a nurturing energy about her that is just magnetic. If I have another baby I will be handing him/her directly over to this very talented lady to take stunning photos of, not only because her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful, but also because I know she will handle my precious little bundle with just as much gentle care as I would.
Peeps, meet Ashlee.
Hi I am Ashlee, a wife, mum of two little boys 2 and 3 and Newborn Photographer. I started my business nearly 4 years ago after the birth of my 1st son. I love babies, art and crave creativity in life. I run my business from a home studio, set up to welcome new families into its not large but works well. I love what I do and am very grateful to be able to be both a photographer and mother.
What inspired you to start your business venture?
It all started as not necessarily a business venture but a career change. I was working a 9-5 and not overly happy with it, I missed being creative. I have always loved and appreciated good photography, I spent a weekend in the Grampians with my husband and took 300 photos in 3 days. I took this as a sign and borrowed a DSLR camera and enrolled in a short course to learn how to use it. My love for it grew and after completing that I started another course, people and portrait photography. Through this course and other exploration I decided it was newborns and children I wanted to specialize in and photographed my 1st newborn a two week old for an assessment in the course. I found out in my last week at school that I was pregnant and that was the beginning. I put some of my work online, I continued to practice and research and learn, absorb all I could about newborn and baby photography and then the bookings came. I photographed my 1st paying client when my son was 6 weeks old.
What do you love about what you do?
Everything, I love the newborn cuddles, I love chatting to the new mums and dads, I love the pure perfection of each little newborn that enters the world and I get to nurture and capture all their little details for their family to cherish forever.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
Several; balancing work and family, keeping on top of home life and work life, making sure I am a good mum and also keeping up with trends and techniques for photography. It’s a constant juggle.
What learning’s would you like to share with other mums who are also juggling motherhood and a career/biz?
It’s wonderful to be a “Biz Mum”, it helps provide for your family, gives you some timeout from the kids and lets you do what your passionate about. In my life being a mum is number one, I make sure everyday my kids know they are loved and they know it. I may not always have a clean house and look wonderful but my kids don’t care. I think a schedule is a must, and only taking on what you can handle, I hate to turn anyone away and rarely do but I know what I am capable of and what I am not. I would hate to give a client less than 100% because they deserve that.
In what ways do you ensure your own self-care and prevent burnout?
Make a schedule, you may not always stick to it but it’s a good start. Make sure everyone in your household knows when is “work time”. Have a space to work in, your dining table is not an office, it helps to have somewhere you can go to be “at work”. I have two client days and two editing etc. nights per week. Some weeks I don’t have a client booked but I still use that time for editing, ordering or book work as needed – that’s what it’s for, this frees up my nights or weekends for my family. Don’t take on too much, its ok to say no or not yet. You, your family and clients all deserve the best you can give and taking on too much makes everyone suffer a little and that’s not good for you, home or business.
In what ways do you maintain your connection with your partner?
This is a hard one, I have a wonderful supportive husband he is an amazing dad and my rock. He is the 1st person in my life to loose me if something comes up. We keep most Friday nights free, it’s our night to sit on the couch, catch up on the week and watch a movie. We both like boutique beer so we often get a six pack of a favorite or new beer to try and talk about. We also spend Sundays as a family together with the kids, we garden or visit the zoo, see other family or just chill.
How supportive have your friends and family been; and how important has that been for you and your success?
All have been wonderful, a lot of my business is through word of mouth and its friends and family who pop my name in here and there, they have brought vouchers for their friends and family, follow and share my social media pages and help me when I need a sitter. It is so important to have wonderful positive people around you. In any job/life we have our ups and downs and family and friends are the ones we share it with and lean on in those times.
What does the future hold for you, your family and/or your business?
I have lots planned for all of these things. I plan to spend as much time as I can with my family while they want me around, forever! I am studying graphic design and plan to expand what I can offer my clients with these new skills and I will see what other opportunities that brings my way in the future. As for my business, I am always learning and looking around at what’s on trend. I keep adding to my prop stash all the time and am always trying new things. I will always continue to learn and expand my skill set as much as I can. I will continue to get my name out there and provide people with beautiful products and high quality images of their babies for as long as they will continue to let me.
Check out Ashlee’s website http://www.ashleeschroen.com.au or send her an email at Ashlee.firstname.lastname@example.org
Want in to the More Than Mum tribe? Check out. www.facebook.com/morethanmumblog