MAMA MEETS...KELLY LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY
I meet lots of Mamas-to-be that worry about how their lives will change when their baby arrives, particularly how their career may be affected. You've built up a wonderful career that you're proud of and then suddenly your usual seven day week is completely unrecognisable. Not only that but you have to learn a whole new skill all from scratch! It can be incredibly overwhelming. However, if I've learnt anything over the last 2 years, it's that becoming a mother doesn't mean your life as you once knew it has to come to an end. Instead, it's a chance to reevaulate and embrace those new doors that are just waiting to be opened. This week we want to introduce you to a very talented photographer who, after starting a family, quit her job and turned her passion into a successful career. Kelly Love is a commercial and lifestyle photographer based in Surrey. She's best known for her maternity and newborn photographs and we couldn't wait to chat to her about how she got started and what her life is like juggling work and family. Tell us how you got into photography?
I have always really loved photography but I got into photography as a career when I had my first son 6 years ago and my priorities changed, as did my love for my former career. I wanted a change of career and wasn’t sure what to do. I had always thought about photography and decided to re-train. I embarked on night school once a week at East Surrey College whilst continuing to work as a mobile PT and various other jobs, as well as the odd photography job and looking after my baby. This just gave me the taste for it and I was soon doing a full time degree. Three months into the degree I fell pregnant with my second boy! So I just kept going and here I am now with my two children, 3 & 6, and a busy business!
As a busy Mama, how did you go about setting up your own business?
I worked in any photography role I could get when I started studying. I would assist for free, shot my own kids and anyone else’s children I could get my hands on. I would shoot weddings for free to get the experience and confidence. The business just built up from this. I started a Facebook page, built a website, invested in my kit and with lots of hard work it all started from there really.
What inspires you?
Making my kids proud and being able to provide for them now and in the future. Financial independence has always been important for me - the freedom to work as well as be a mother gives me the feeling that I have the best of both worlds sometimes. Oh, and my constant need to have new clothes!! HA!
All women who work hard around their families inspire me daily too, my mum being the first woman I saw juggling work and 4 children all close in age. I never appreciated how hard that really was until I had my own children. I remember this summer Adele taking her son to watch her play Glastonbury - such an amazing achievement and sharing it with her little boy was so lovely to see.
What's your 'can't live without' as a Mama and as Kelly?
First and foremost my partner - My biggest support!
Daily it would have to be 1) make up for my tired eyes and 2) my phone for promoting my business through social media, taking pictures of my kids as well as organizing my diary. I literally couldn’t live with out it
For any Mama thinking about setting up her own business, what advice would you give?
Do it! Look to re-train, do your research and be prepared to work hard. Talk to people who already do it and ask them for their honest opinion on what the job is like to make sure you are making the right choice too.
It’s crazy busy and you feel like you’re always on the go but the rewards far out weigh the down sides. Oh, and be sure to get good at time management too!!
What's the best piece of advice you've been given as both a Mama and business owner?
Take time out for your self. You need it for your sanity. A coffee on your own, walk to the shops or smash the gym. Just a few things a week where it’s all about you.
‘Don’t feel guilty about working as a mother – I’m pretty sure men don’t feel guilty about working so don’t you either!’
Make the most of your kids all the time you’re not working. Get off your phone and appreciate all the little things… that are really the big things in life.
What are the biggest challenges about being a Mama?
The lack of sleep has to be the most challenging thing about having kids. You do get used to it to a certain extent but it’s so hard to function as a zombie! COFFEE PLEASE!
Being patient is right up there! Children are very testing and I find it really hard especially when I’m tired to keep it together. We're just coming out of the tantrum stage so if you had asked me this 6 months ago this might have been my top pick! Nothing like your 2 year old laying down screaming at the school gates whilst people are staring at you trying to get past.
To see more of Kelly's portfolio, check out her website here.
Follow Kelly for updates on her work and make sure you check out her social channels too via the following links: