Success – Stephanie O

I started my photography business in late 2009. When I first came into this line of work, I primarily shot youth sports, which was an unforgiving niche to be focused on, but one I came by honestly, being married at the time to a fast pitch coach. After six months of endless weekends shooting tournaments only to sell less than $500 in prints, I started to pursue more avenues of work – namely children, families, maternity and newborns.

For the next year, I took on any work I could find. Graduation parties, families, newborns, and friends. And I was completely miserable. I resented my clients and the time I had to spend dealing with them, for very little payout in return.

I met Jeff at WPPI in 2011, and started working with him a few months later. After a few calls, it became clear that I was really passionate about one thing: motherhood.

I suppose I’d always known. Yet somehow, I’d always been a little bit scared to admit it. Was it okay for a photographer to take the focus off the baby and turn it back to the mother? I wanted to work with women on their journeys to becoming a mother, to showcase her strength and honor the struggle that was involved. My own experiences of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood had been some of the most difficult periods of my life, and I found myself wanting to make a difference for other mothers – to tell them that they were not alone, that this was just as hard, amazing and rewarding as they thought it was.

Over the next months, Jeff and I worked on a message that fits me so perfectly, describing my why and what I am passionate about to a tee. Though the process wasn’t without pain, it was certainly also full of laughter and a renewed sense of purpose for my life. I was now able to be vocal, proud and passionate about the things I believed in. I didn’t have to hide behind any worry that I might offend someone, or take a misstep. My passion draws in women whose values are closely aligned with mine, and working together is wonderful for both of us.

I am now ready to take this small dent I’m making in the individual lives of women and starting making a larger splash. It’s no longer enough for me to touch just a handful of moms each month. I’m hungry for more, and excited to find ways to bring my why out on a larger scale, so that even more women feel empowered during their journey to motherhood.

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