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May 2021

Hey, Momtographers! We see you. And you rock.

12 min read

You ditched your point-and-shoot for a DSLR camera. But what’s next? Here, we celebrate “momtographers” with a list of our favorite mom-centric stories and tutorials.

Mother’s Day is great and all, but what about the other 364 days of the year?

You know, every other day when you’re wiping snot, driving to gymnastics, and plucking tiny Lego bricks from the bottoms of your feet. (Not to mention cooking a dinner that someone will invariably call “gross.”)

Mom-identifying and non-binary parents have a built-in, unavoidable full-time job that pays zilch and typically comes with sparse and sporadic recognition.

Most of you also have a job that takes you out of your home. Oh—and you decided to start a photography business, too? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ahem. My apologies.

What I mean to say is: You’ve got this.

Because whether or not you feel like it:

  • YOU are building the future.
  • YOU are proving to your kids that work can be fulfilling.
  • YOU are making this world a better place by keeping your tiny humans alive every single day and also not (completely) losing your sanity—all while somehow being a creative powerhouse.

So, here’s a little collection of our favorite stories and photo tutorials created with you in mind.

You, the “momtographer” who really just wanted to take a few good photos of your kiddos. And now you’re here.

Stay the course. We’ve got your back. (Oh—we’ve also got your gorgeous online galleries, client contracts, and invoices, just to keep things running smoothly.)

Jane Ammon's portrait of her daughter

Jane Ammon

Why You’re the Best Family Photographer You Know

Meet poet, educator, and doctoral candidate Jane Ammon. This bio mom and adoptive mom is proving that photographs don’t have to be perfect to be perfect.

How to Structure Your Family Photography Pricing

If you’re gonna photograph families in any professional capacity, you need to know what to charge. Because guess what? You’re worthy of being fairly compensated for the work you do.

It doesn’t matter that you didn’t get paid a dime for the 724 loads of laundry you did last week. Your photography has monetary value, and you shouldn’t be afraid to charge. 

“My Body is Not a Hindrance”—Photos of a Full Life

Instagram queen Rebekah Taussig is an educator, an author, a TIME-published essayist, a partner and mother, and—oh—she also uses a wheelchair for mobility. Here she talks about what it was like to be photographed as a person with a disability.

Whichever side of the camera you’re on, her experience will change your perspective.

A pregnant woman's outline is seen through a foggy show door

Nicole Hamic

How to Become a Birth Photographer

Nicole Hamic is a “doulatog”—a doula and birth photographer whose incredible photo stories reveal the anticipation, pain, and wonder of bringing new life into the world.

How to Survive Burnout with Vanessa Hicks [PODCAST]

You can’t be a person in this world and not experience burnout on occasion. And if you’re a combination parent+photographer, you’re definitely going to get overwhelmed at times! (Or maybe every day. There’s no shame in that reality!)

LISTEN as Vanessa Hicks talks about how to make it through those tough times.

Unproven Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist

World traveler and unconventional mom Kelly Ács gets hardcore REAL about what it means to be perfect—no, imperfect—no, perfectly imperfect—in this essay about really, finally believing that you are 100% a-okay, just the way you are.

When to Photograph Maternity Portraits

Pregnant folks feel their best and look “the most pregnant” in a fairly narrow window of time before their due date. Learn when to schedule their sessions and how to ensure gorgeous photos.

Bathed in Sorrow: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

We can’t talk about motherhood without also acknowledging the women whose lives were stolen before they ever had the chance to choose (or not choose) motherhood. We can’t honor women without honoring the victims of violence who left behind children, partners, families, and communities who loved them.

Anne Simone (that’s me!) explores the story behind Nolan Streitberger’s portraits that are bringing awareness to our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

The Healing Work of Photographing Loss, Grief, and Pain

Not every mother can hold up her child and say, “See what I made? Here’s proof of my mother-ness.” If this is you, you are still a mother. You are still a parent. Your loss, grief, and pain should be honored.

In part one of this three-part series, photographer Toni Cox talks about her volunteer work with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization providing remembrance portraits to families experiencing the death of a baby.

Visit their Facebook page to get involved.

I Quit Taking “Safe” Photos. It was the Best Decision of My Life.

Are you playing it safe with your photography? Feeling trapped by the rules of picture-taking? Get inspired by Spanki Mills’ story about how she found her own path to creative portraiture. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t involve doing anything the “right” way!)

The Quick Guide to Family Photo Poses

Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Learn the easy basics of making beautifully simple family portraits, like this one from Nyejah Bolds. You’ll feel more confidant and ready to tackle your next session!

How to Kick A** as an Introverted Photographer

If you’re an “I” for “introvert” in the Meyers-Briggs personality spectrum, this is for you. Learn to love your introverted self, and see why introverts make some of the best photographers.

Maternity Poses: These 3 Simple Setups are All You Need

Parents-to-be can feel quite unwieldy during their final weeks of pregnancy. This article breaks down three types of maternity portraits along with tips on posing, wardrobe, camera angles, and client experience. Don’t just “take good photos of my kids;” take great photos of other people’s little monsters!

Family Session Prompts with Shalonda Chaddock [PODCAST]

This Find Your Focus podcast episode explores a variety of fun posing prompts you can use to get great portraits during your family sessions. Shalonda gets real about the challenges of achieving natural expressions. This episode is well-worth a half-hour of your time!

Behind the Scenes with a DIY Newborn Photographer

Chaya Braun has seven kids and a thriving newborn studio in Baltimore. CAN WE GET A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THIS WONDER WOMAN?!?! Go behind the scenes with Chaya and learn how she grew her newborn photography business into the successful studio it is today.

Travel Photography Jobs for the Part-Time Nomad

Rachael Laporte is a travel photographer based in Paris, France, which is obviously a really terrible situation for her. Okay, fine; I’m just jealous.

But seriously: photography is one of those skills you can take with you anywhere you go. No matter where you live or what you like to shoot, Rachael’s tips will help you find clients, get work, and build a global social media presence.

No, Like, You Really Need to Take Care of Yourself

Are you an overachiever? If you’re a parent, you probably are; you just don’t realize it because most of the time you’re just thinking about sleep.

Speaking of sleep: LaJoy Cox opens up about the early months of her business and all the sleep she didn’t get. Then she breaks down how to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out before you’ve ever seen success. This one is a must-read.

4 Ingredients for Fearless Family Photos

Obviously your family is the epitome of perfection and your kids are basically saints. But on the totally unlikely off-chance that you wind up photographing a messy house or crazy kids, Keleen Enke can tell you exactly how to do it.

I’m obsessed with her storytelling. You will be, too.

7 Steps to Photographing Children with Special Needs

All around us, moms, dads, and non-binary parents are raising kids with special needs. It can be a really tough job: often isolating, frequently overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important for photographers to learn how to make beautiful photographs for special needs families.

Danielle Torres breaks down her step-by-step approach to booking special needs families and giving them an unforgettably wonderful experience.

Eff the Rules. It’s Time to Set Your Soul on Fire.

I like to save the best for last. Not that all these other blog posts aren’t awesome, but this one really speaks to my soul.

When you’re having an existential crisis: read this. If you’re feeling unworthy: read this. When you think you suck and your creativity is a joke and you’ll never amount to anything as a photographer: READ THIS. Be a rule breaker. Set your soul on fire.

How does ShootProof support parents?

Our peer-led committees and leadership teams are constantly seeking out ways to better support families through:

  • progressive parental leave policies
  • affordable, quality health insurance options
  • an insanely flexible vacation policy that lets folks take the time off that they need, whenever they need it
  • our Galleries for Good program that fosters a just, equitable, and inclusive community that reflects and amplifies diverse voices

Written by ANNE SIMONE | Cover image by BRUNO NASCIMENTO



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