Where would we be without our hardworking mamas?! For Mother’s Day, I interviewed Brie Sutherland of Blossoms Photography Turlock. Brie is a single mom who found photography to be the perfect balance in life, while allowing her to grow as a person and be the best mom she could be!
Lauren: I’d love to hear about how you got started in photography, and how it is balancing motherhood and your business! What are some of the hard parts?
Brie: I grew up with a lot of family. Which meant we had many get-togethers, and my dad always had his camera out. As an adult, I get to look back at all the footage and photos he took over the years and smile down at younger versions of myself and family, and reminisce in the times we have spent together. There’s something about pausing the life button for a split second to capture moments for others who will look back at their images for years, and hopefully have smiles and great conversation like I always do, that makes me feel complete as an individual.
As a single mom who works full time in health care, I needed something to balance my hunger for normal human interaction, especially with everything that’s been going on with COVID. I had lightly dabbled in photography before, doing sessions for friends and family, but never took it seriously. Last year, my best friend asked me if I could help her with some photos. Little did I know I’d be making the choice to officially dive into the business world of photography.
I did a little bit of everything for about 7 months until I found my niche. I now specialize in couples, maternity, weddings, and seniors. All four each bring me so much joy and feed my soul with happiness. I am self taught, and have put in more hours than I could honestly count studying the art and practicing to find my style.
As far as balancing motherhood and business, I’m going to be completely honest. The first year is very difficult, but so worth it, especially if you're just starting out. A part of you has the urge to push yourself as hard as you can and get as much capture time in as you can, but that can burn you out. I carried my now almost 3 year old on my back for sessions up until about two months ago. The best outcome of it all is that
I have seen my life and relationships become so much healthier since beginning photography a year ago. My confidence level has spiked and I feel more accomplished in life than I ever have doing anything else. I want to inspire other single parents or people who think it’s not worth their time or have been told it’s not worth their time and effort. IT IS! Follow your dreams, make them a reality, and you won’t regret a thing.
People can be very critical and cruel. I’ve had a few other professionals say the most hurtful and horrible things about my work, and just pushed me to work harder and to show others that I have what it takes to be a professional and reach the top. Getting to press the pause button on life using a camera is the best thing I ever chose to do with my life and it’s only up from here.
Lauren: I love this philosophy so much! Following your dreams is everything. I’m so glad you persevered because look at you now! Tell me about your three year old. Do they like to be in front of the camera?
Brie: Her name is Athena! She’s got the reddest hair and the personality to go with it. She knew how to say cheese before she could say anything else. Typical toddler; she sometimes will happily model for me, or happily will decline. She loves going to sessions & interacting with my clients. I've found I always get fun and genuine smile shots when I’ve taken her. I always count to three before taking a photo and on three she will shout, “Say cheeese” to my clients. My poor back just can’t handle the pressure anymore. I look forward to teaching her when she is older. Her favorite toy is a bubble blower in the shape of a camera. She will pretend she is taking photos of everyone and say, “Click, click!” and even try to pose them! She’ll say “No, no, there!” and point, then “Okay, one, two, three, cheese!” Even though you wind up with bubbles in your face, it’s worth seeing her have fun with it!
Lauren: That is so cute! I’m so glad she’s been able to play such a huge role in your passions and career. I know I’d be laughing and smiling if it were my session! Any advice you’d give to other single moms who want to make that jump to full time photography?
Brie: Take your time. Don’t rush into it. Make a 3-5 year goal plan and stick to it. Study. Don’t listen to those who may put you down or say it’s not worth the time and energy you’ll have to put into it. Do you and have fun. Find what makes you encouraged and full of happiness. Don’t start charging right away. Wait until you’re confident in your style and work and start charging what your initial income goal is. If you start charging at your goal $$$, you’re going to attract those clients from the get go and it will stay steady.
You can connect with Brie and check out more of her work on social media.
Brie Sutherland | Blossoms Photography Turlock | Turlock, CA
Wild Fyre Co. | Kansas City, MO
Headshot for Brie and daughter credit: Domenica Nila Photography
Other photos by Blossoms Photography Turlock