My Biggest Business Wake Up Call

October 26, 2016


Monday… something happened!  Something happened that changed my heart and impacted me in a way that many amazing individuals (some that I really look up to and are pretty influential in this industry) haven’t been able to do in all these years of my owning my business!

My camera broke!

I actually can’t even say that because I don’t quite understand what happened.

Let me set this up for you…

Linc was exhausted.  We had just come back from taking him to the doctor’s for his awful cough (which turned out was nothing and he’s as healthy as can be) and he had fallen asleep on the couch.  If you know me and you know Linc, this never happens… like ever!  My kiddo stopped napping at one!  I love when spontaneously falls asleep.  He looks like an angel!  All little ones look like angels when they sleep and oh my goodness he just looked so peaceful laying there right on top of his little bowl of mutli-colored goldfish!!  So, I did what any mother photographer does, I grabbed my camera and started to capture this moment exactly as it was!  Tuck was bugging me to just leave him be when it happened… my camera went haywire!  The manual mode started to revolt against me:  the ISO was not obeying my commands and the exposure started working backwards!  All that was up was down and all that was light became dark!  The best way to explain this to you is to have you imagine a clock and the hands of the clock going every which way!

Thank goodness Linc was napping because Tuck and I started to do all we could do.  We took the battery out and popped it back in, we updated the firmware, we googled, we made calls… we tried it all!  I still don’t know what happened and to this day, right now, it’s still acting crazy!

Monday afternoon was awful.  I was in tears.  You see… this is the problem:  I don’t have a back up camera!  I have back back up lenses, but not a back up camera.  I also have scheduled sessions not only this week, but this weekend and the following!  I’m also starting my business from scratch in a brand new town in a brand new state.

So.. Monday afternoon with all these thoughts and realizations in my head, I went upstairs and I cried!  I cried hard!

You see and this is where I’m going to lay it all down for you for the first time ever because I want you to understand in hopes that if you are like me maybe you won’t have to take all the years that I have to really get it!

Up until now this “business” of mine hasn’t truly been a business, at least not a successful one and that’s been because of me!  I have been a success in terms of accomplishing what I have wanted to be:  a lifetime photographer!  But on the business side, a productive business.. wahn wahn.

I have always held myself back because I’ve had a hard time running a successful business and by that I mean sticking to business plan, charging people for services and making sure all the t’s are crossed!  There is something about it that for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to follow through and honestly I think it’s been the charging for services part.  I love people and it has nothing to do with my worth or self confidence.  I know what I’m worth and I understand that my photography images and my skills are worth charging for!  I just truly have believed so much in family photography and the legacy behind them that if I could, I would give everyone a family session!  I think a lot of it comes down to my story and my why!

I think I’m soo rooted into how photography helped me see the world and this philosophy of real is better than perfect that I feel so much for mother’s and families!  You can read more about my story here and part two here and I promise you will understand where I am coming from!

There have been times when I have been “woken up”to reality and then I’ve gotten a kick in the pants and I’ve been great about my business!  In fact it’s lasted a while for me and those days are great!  One of those times was at the Creative at Heart conference when Mary Marantz mentioned “Who are you sacrificing for?!”  I will never forget that quote.  I immediately thought of my family and that really did wake me up!

I am sacrificing for my family.  They are the reason why I pick up my camera and why I find so much joy in shooting for other families. They are the reason I am good at shooting other families!  It’s because I’m a mom that I can search out those moments between parents and child and capture them with love and magic!

BUT… it wasn’t until Monday that those words that Mary spoke hit me hard!  The sacrifice piece.  Up until Monday, I hadn’t really been sacrificing.  Time, of course but (and this is hard for me to admit) sometimes it was nice for me to take a little break away from Linc.  As a stay at home mom, that little bit of time at a session to spend with another family always brought me home with more joy in my heart and more patience for my own family.  It brought me a sense of appreciation for my own family and our own style!

But Monday… I learned a hard lesson.

Tuck came upstairs to find me laying on my granny heating pad.  We had a seriously long chat about our family and my business and how our family has been funding my “business” for a very long time now.  At that moment, I needed to decide to become a real and legit business woman and move forward; or whether this was just going to be something that I did on the side kind of sort of like I had been doing.  Honestly that was the reality of the situation.  At that moment that was when I realized that Mary’s word never rang more true in my heart.  Who are you sacrificing for?  

I hadn’t been sacrificing for anyone!

My family had been sacrificing for me, and this was going to be the last time.  Together (while Linc was still napping… Hallelujah) we made one last purchase.. a big one!

I made up my mind at that moment, after we hit that purchase button, that my family would no longer sacrifice one more penny for my “business” again.

I spent the rest of the night surrounded by notebooks running numbers.  This is something that is kind of comical because I’m horrid at math!  I ran the numbers well into midnight and I came up with a well organized plan!

I wanted to share this story with you today in hopes that if you are like me, and I know there are those of you out there, you will take a moment and consider this!

Ask yourself this question: Not just who are you sacrificing for but who is sacrificing for you and for how long will you let them! 

What is it that you want for your business?!  Do you want it to cover just your expenses?  Do you want it to contribute to your house and family?  Do you want to use it for vacation money?  Do you need it to cover a certain amount?

Do you know your business?!  Do you understand what your costs are?  Do you know where your money is going?  Do you understand the ins and outs of it?!

I ask these questions because guess what… I didn’t!!!  Not until Monday night and although I’m embarrassed to admit that… I know it now and I can tell you surprisingly I was doing an OK job!  Ok isn’t great though and now I’m going to be managing things and working towards GREAT!

I wanted to share this story with you because I know there are some of you out there that are just like me and I want you to know, you aren’t alone!  This is a real struggle and business is hard!  But we can do this together and we can rock it out!

Monday was an awful day…. but in the same respect it was probably one of the best days for my business!  Some times we have to learn the hard way and we need moments like these to really wake us up!


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ABOUT brooke










FROM THE journal



      top 5 tips for           best family        photos

Everyone wants photos that are timeless, magical, joyful and purely THEM!  Photos that not only stand up to the test of time, but when you look back on them you will say YES!! This was us!  This was our lives: beautiful, silly, chaotic and wonderful!  I can help you get that!  Check out my tips on how to get the best family photos!   And then maybe schedule a session!


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