This month, we’ll be showcasing people who’ve gone beyond the 9-5 but are not primarily blogging (some may have blogs but that doesn’t make up a majority share of their income-generating activities).
This week, join us in welcoming Nahomie Hann, a maternity, birth and newborn photographer based in Scotland who we met when we were still pregnant with our now three-year-old.
She would’ve been our birth photographer too, if not for the fact that I had an emergency c-section about 5 hours after she’d gone home. Instead, she did our maternity shots and newborn photography.
We’re including some of her work here because we think they’re just fab.
But more importantly, when it’s your first pregnancy, you have no idea what your rights are as a mother and a patient and all you know is that you want photos of your pregnancy, your birth and your child…oh, and you’re in the UK, then speak with Nahomie.
You won’t regret it.
Maternity & Newborn Gallery
Nahomie, how did you get into Maternity, Newborn and Birth Photography? Who/what inspired you to start your own business? Why did you choose this niche in particular? What year did you start?
I grew up winning art competitions before I even started school.
When I was a teenager I fell in love with Anne Geddes’s work. I studied History of Arts but my own heart was more into creating.
I shot for fun starting 2007 but I actually didn’t build the courage to get the appropriate training for newborns until 2013 after having my first child.
I picked maternity, birth and newborns because it fills me with what I love doing, I can create fine art images but still go into raw documentary.
Most importantly I can support fellow mothers on the very precious and fragile days of early parenthood.
Did you enrol in workshops, get mentors, join clubs or take courses?
I took a couple of college classes to build my confidence and joined societies and associations related to what I wanted to pursue.
I am constantly learning and refining what I do. I think you can always improve and it is an important part of being an artist to always perfect your craft.
What was it like to start your own brand/business? What’s the most fun/rewarding part? What are some of the challenges and how did you manage these?
There was a lot of self growth and I had to relearn to be assertive, this is something I am constantly working on. It is challenging but I cannot think of anything less rewarding on a personal point of view apart from motherhood. I love when I have clients who are confident and creative and let me create something unique and outside the box. It can be challenging to work between personal life and work life especially when self employed so finding your own balance and boundaries is important so you keep enjoying what you are doing.
What are the first ten steps you took to get started?
I looked up the legalities to start a business in the country I currently lived in. I built a portfolio and registered with insurance. In order to work with newborns you have to be familiar with their special requirement in order to work safely do newborn training is essential, if you’re short on money I recommend looking up Kelly Brown as she offers tips for free and reaching out to local newborn photographers to see if they would offer mentoring sessions. I prepared what I needed such as equipment, props etc. I joined local groups to start networking. I familiarised myself with social media’s though it is something I need to be better at. I took on blogging but it is also an area I vastly need to improve. I built a website. I prepared contracts. I calculated everything I needed to charge for my work and this is something I adjust as I progress.
Knowing what you do now, is there anything that you would’ve done differently?
I wouldn’t have given in self doubts as much and I would have taken the time to go to places such as business centres for mentoring, this would probably have helped me gain more structure and receive appropriate support. It is much harder to carry on a business on your own as most support is there for start ups only.
What are some tips you’d like to share:
To individuals who want to build their own brand/start their own business?
Don’t be afraid, do your research but it is better to try than forever wonder what could have been.
About attracting clients/getting repeat clients
Be kind, be honest and realistic in what you are able to offer, remember that your ideal client might not be you so their minds are different from yours.
About growing your business/brand
Create something you are excited about and will want to carry on with.
About what businesses should look for when hiring a maternity, newborn and birth photographer
Experience, understanding of the special requirements pregnant mothers have and newborns, new mothers have. Knowledge of birth and the process is essential.
What was the highlight of your journey as you went beyond the 9-5?
There’s nothing more rewarding than creating something you’re proud of and showing your children it is possible to do something you truly love and it doesn’t really feel like a chore, you’re looking forward to it.
And what was the low point? Did you ever consider giving up or going back to the 9-5?
My main issue is time and resources, I have to raise children and help my husband as he restarts his own journey into education and work so yes sometimes it feels tempting to have security but I would not as I feel whole when I do something that is truly me and I cannot hope to see it grow more if I stop.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to transition from full-time employment to working from anywhere?
Do it. See what your responsibilities are and what you need. Stop putting in on the back burner because we all know it won’t happen if you don’t try.
What services do you offer? Who are your main clients? Do you specialise in a specific niche?
I offer maternity, birth and newborn photography services. I offer photography products so the portraits I take can be enjoyed and not lost on a hardrive. I offer a supportive presence to mothers in labour to ensure they receive the attention they need from their care providers.
Can you share with us some pros and cons of hiring a maternity, newborn and birth photographer?
It is an investment. It is time sensitive so you need to be organised. When it comes to birth you need to have the right photographer there as it goes beyond documenting, I am not the photographer for everyone so I always have a consultation with my prospective clients to ensure we are a good match and they feel comfortable as I want them to feel empowered and supported and I do not want to hinder their birth journey in any way.
How do you differentiate yourself and your services from those of other maternity, newborn and birth photographer?
I am very invested in creating something that reflects my clients so I always get the opportunity to know them and prepare sessions so they are tailored to them. I have my style but it might be a little bit more adaptable than that of many photographers.
Can you share with us one of your favourite projects? Why do you say it’s your favourite?
I recently had the opportunity to photograph a young woman I have admired for years, it was a very different assignment than what many expecting mothers usually require and it was wonderful working with someone who was confident in her body and ready to celebrate it and create something timeless.
How can potential clients find you?
Aside from being a photographer, what else are you working on? What else keeps you busy? What else would you like to share about yourself?
I help my children as they have started their own YouTube channel and I am working on a new line of eco products and a review programme for all things mermaid.
Can you give us a picture of what a typical day looks like for you?
I wake up, get ready and have coffee. I check my phone for email and messages. My husband is usually home so he runs breakfasts and get the kids started. I then prepare the kids and we get on with our homeschooling programme. The big kids go play outside in the garden and the toddlers go for a nap. I prepare our family meal. When they babes wake up we all have a meal and then go in the garden. I run laundry and dishes throughout the day as we cloth diaper and with four kids it never stops. We get back inside and have a light bite to eat, bath and bedtime. I do more editing or work when my kids are in bed.
You’re also a full-time mom on top of everything else. How do you juggle everything? What advice would you give other SAHMs who would like to do the same?
It’s hard and you need to be organised and flexible. Set your priorities and make sure you don’t feel like you’re compromising yourself. I have ran my own health down several times trying to do it all and it is a big lesson for me not to overstretch. Learn to outsource what you can and network, talk with other moms in similar situations as they aren’t competition they can support you like no one else can. Look after yourself.
Thank you very much for taking part, Nahomie.
And there you have it.
So, if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Can I be a photographer when I’m a mother?”, then this post would’ve answered this for you.
If you’ve ever wanted to know how to be a freelance maternity, birth and newborn photographer or how to be a photographer and a mother, well, now you know the answer to that question, too.
We hope this post has inspired you to take a risk and try something new.
It won’t be easy but it certainly will be fun. 🙂
What about you? Have you ever tried your hand at photography? How did it go? We’d love to hear from you!