How many different hats have you worn today?
Were you Photographer, marketer, writer, book keeper, editor, student, mom, wife, girlfriend, web designer, chef, personal assistant (to yourself), fashion stylist (to yourself and your family), and on and on and on?
I know I certainly was... well, I was photographer, Mom, wife, girlboss, writer, and marketer. But this year I made the decision to take off some of the hats.
Today was a prime example.
1.Woke up, meditated
2. Woke up my son, made us breakfast.
3. Went to my workout class.
4. Went to shoot a birth
5. Came home and dinner was made, and I enjoyed it with my son and husband.
6. Gave my son a bath and put him to bed.
6. My emails had been organized.
7. I checked on the health of my facebook ad campaigns and web traffic.
8. Sent out my editing.
9. Now I am writing a blog.
Did you catch that part in numbers 5-9?
Dinner had been made, because while I was out shooting a birth, my babysitter took my son to the grocery store, and she...
Disclaimer: Before I even start this post, I want to be very clear. Your business belongs to you and only you can choose what is right for your marketing. I can't make that choice for you, but I CAN help by presenting some food for thought.
You may have noticed all of a sudden that your Instagram feed has a few more...well, lets be adults...vaginas...than it used to.
The reason is, Instagram recently made the decision to stop censoring birth images.
What happened next was equivalent to opened flood gates. If you follow many birth photographers, it was almost as if they collectively ran to their external hard drives yelling "Freedom!!!!" like William Wallace in Braveheart. All of the crowning and birth moment shots hit the insta-sphere in a matter of a week.
The goal behind the change: normalize birth. Put birth images into our every day lives and educate the public that birth does not have to be scary. It is beautiful, it is natural and it is powerful....
I always keep a speed light in my bag just in case, such as the Nikon SB700 and I also carry a Wescott Icelight It is a clean constant light, sleek and easy to carry, and everyone thinks its cool when you whip out a "light saber."
Today I want to share a little story with you. 5 years ago, I photographed my first birth. Mom's name is Kaci and she had spent years suffering from endometriosis and was thrilled to get pregnant and give birth to her son Kyle.
It was such a thrill. I knew at that moment I would be photographing MANY more births in the coming years. I was hooked.
After Kyle was born, Kaci and her husband Mason hoped to be able to have more children but do to severe scar tissue, the odds were not good. They had all but given up when one day the stick turned blue.
Not only were they pregnant, but as it turned out, they were having twins. Not only were they having twins, but they were having Mo-Di twins meaning they share a placenta but each have their own amniotic sac. SUPER RARE.
Kaci immediately sent me a message. (Like, before they even told their parents) "We are pregnant with twins and there is NO WAY I am doing this with out you there. Mason agrees." (Im sure Mason was just...
If you have been following me for a while, you know that in my pursuit to teach birth photography, I actually spend more time teaching business and mindfulness as it relates to business, than anything else.
The reality is, the business side, and the time and effort you put into structuring your business and the WAY YOU THINK ABOUT your business is the basis for EVERYTHING else, and if you don't have that puzzle piece in place, you can't do the fun artsy stuff with any level of sustainability.
So, since it's January, and we are all on the self improvement train, I want to share with you my favorite business mindfulness books that have been making a difference for me this year. (Yes, I know its only the 11th, but I read a lot. :)
#1: If you read nothing else this year, PLEASE read Tapping Into Wealth by Margaret Lynch.
Many of you won't be into EFT tapping, or maybe just have never heard of it before, but it is a powerful tool and the strategies she teaches in this book about how to...
By: Ashley Diamond Siegert, CPP, Cr.Photog
Are you a newborn photographer struggling to become profitable?
You feel like you are working ALL the time and your bank account doesn’t reflect it. I get it. I have been there.
When you talk to the most successful photographers about this, they will all tell you some similar strategies to improve your profitability.
They will tell you to stop giving away digital files and start selling prints and products in person.
They will tell you to raise your prices to reflect your costs, plus your time, plus your talent. (Plus Taxes!!)
They will tell you to invest in education to become better at your craft so that you can personally feel good about what you are charging.
And guess what? They are right. They are right about all of it. These strategies are all super important if you actually want to make a living as a photographer.
However, there is one more major challenge that you keep running into right? You need to know...
I had been waiting all day for the call. My birth client went into the hospital at 5 am to begin the induction process. Usually, I wait until mom reaches about 6 centimeters before I leave for the hospital, and with an early morning induction, it ranges between about 1-4pm, but at 6pm that night, she still had not progressed. I checked in with Dad, and he told me that they had "backed off the pitocin level a bit because they didn't like her levels."
Then at 8pm my phone rang and he said, "They are taking her in for a C-section right now." I asked quickly, "Emergency C?" "Yes," and we hung up. I jumped in my car and got there as fast as I could.
I knew they were not going to let me into the OR but I knocked on the door of the delivery room area and checked with the nurse just in case and she directed me to the waiting room where I met 4 nervous grandparents, 2 aunts and a 6 year old cousin.
After about 20 minutes, a nurse came out and waived me over. She walked with me to...
Ashley Diamond Siegert, CPP, Cr.Photog
"I'm sorry, what now? Birth photography? Like...you are in the delivery room when...it all happens?"
I wish I had a nickle for every time I've heard this after I drop the bomb, "I'm a birth photographer." in general everyday conversation.
Immediately red flags go up and people flash back to the traumatizing video from 6th grade health class. (Well, those of us whose parents signed the permission slip.)
"Why? Why would someone hire a photographer to shoot in a delivery room?"
The truth is, birth photography is not what you think it is. A birth photographer is generally a baby portrait photographer, who loves storytelling and who has expanded their product line to offer parents a tangible memory of their baby's first moments.
Let me be clear. This is NOT medical photography. The objective is not to show the more unsavory parts of childbirth, rather, to capture the emotion and the magic of bringing a baby into the world. The first...
Ashley Diamond Siegert, CPP Cr. Photog
It's no secret that Birth Photography is one of the hottest trends in the market. While it is an INCREDIBLE way to build your business, I'll be honest, it's not for everyone.
Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking about adding Births to your product line.
1. Why do you want to be a birth photographer? What about births appeals to you? Is it the miracle of life? Photojournalism and story telling? Knowing your "why" will help you craft your marketing message, and help you through some long nights in the hospital.
2. Are you prepared to be on-call all of the time? Babies come when babies want to come. This may be in the middle of the work day, the middle of the night or the middle of your tropical vacation. While having a backup photographer can help you navigate your schedule, you need to be prepared to have your gear packed and ready in your car during your next night out with your honey bunny.
3. Do you have support at...
How To: Weed Through A Google Page Of Baby Photographers
Ashley Diamond Siegert, CPP Cr. Photog
So, you are pregnant, and you are trying to figure out all of the things you need to have ready by the time you go into labor. The list is daunting.
“What do you mean what is my birth plan? I plan to…give birth”
“Where do I create my registry?”
“If I get this car seat, the baby will grow out of it in 6 months, but this other one doesn't fit in the stroller.”
“Theme? I need a nursery theme besides…baby?”
It can all be tough to figure out, but one thing I hear over and over is how difficult it can be to pick a baby photographer. With such a low barrier to entry in today’s camera market, it seems that anyone who got a “good camera” as a birthday gift suddenly has a Facebook page and is taking clients. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all had to start somewhere. However, when choosing an artist to capture the...