Building your photography business is no easy undertaking to start with. Then throw motherhood into the mix and it’s a new level of hard.

If you are home with your baby(ies) and growing your photography business during nap time and when everyone is down for the night, I see you. I was her. At times, I still am her.

If you don’t know my story, the short version is I launched my photography business when I was seven months pregnant with my first son. 

I quickly had two more sons after that all while trying to build a photography business. 

I literally built it during nap time and had a lot of late nights. I was always tired!

It was hard. Really hard. 

I had to get smart with my time. 

I had to ask for help. 

I had commit to building a life that I loved. One that allowed me to be a mother to three amazing boys. 

And one that gave me a creative outlet that allowed me to contribute to the family household.

It’s a balance. And it’s not always easy. Even now, as all my boys are in school full time and I’m in my eleventh year in business, there are still challenges to work through.

If you are finding it near impossible to grow your photography business while growing a family, here are some tips that got me through my growing “pains” or “blessings” as I like to look back on them now and say.

1. Ask for Help

This one is easy, but for many of us moms, it’s actually really hard to give up control and ask for help. It was for me. 

I thought I could do it all. 

But all I was doing was spinning my wheels in frustration.

Working during nap time was usually a bust. One kid would wake up after 30 minutes, barely enough time to cull a session.

Planning to work at night when all kids were down for the night, only to have one of them teething and up before you could even sit down to start working. 

This was me all too often. And it wasn’t working. I had to change something. I had to ask for help. So I did. 

Here’s the question for you. Who do you have in your support system that you can ask for help with the kiddos so you can get a few hours a week in to work during daytime hours uninterrupted? 

Your significant other?

Your mom or mother-in-law?

Your sister?

Can you hire a mommy’s helper a few hours a week?

I always felt bad leaving the kids with my husband after a long day at work. I felt like I needed to be home to help. 

But then I had a heart to heart with him and explained I needed more from him so I could focus on my dreams too. 

Luckily I have the best husband a girl could ask for so he stepped in and took over kid duty after dinner most nights so I could shut the door and work for a few hours before the bedtime routine started. 

I also have family near by so I asked my mother-in-law to come up once a week and babysit so I could work during daytime hours. This was huge!

If your budget allows for it, see if you can hire a mommy’s helper to come play with the kids for a few hours while you work from home.

Look to your support system for help. I know it can feel like you are being a burden asking someone to watch your kids, but the people who love you will step up for you if you allow them to.

Remember, if you don’t speak up and ask for what you need, no one is going to read your mind!

Who can you ask this week to help for a few hours so you can check a few things off your to-do-list?

Put aside your control issues or your guilty conscious and ask someone for help this week. Do it!

2. Set up a Swap

Do you have a friend who is also home with kids and trying to build a business? If so, set up a swap! 

One day you take her kids for a few hours and another day she takes your kids for a few hours. 

Your kids will have other kids to play with under the supervision of someone you trust and you can get a few hours of work in.

Plus you’re also helping out a fellow mom when it’s her day to work. 

I did this with a friend for about a year before our kids went off to school and it worked out perfectly for us. 

We each had ONE FULL day to work on our businesses and our kids became great friends. 

I suffer from mom guilt (I’m sure you can relate) so it made me feel so much better leaving them knowing that they were having fun.

And my one full day I had to work, I made it count! 

I had a plan and I executed it. 

I was able to make great strides in the behind the scenes business part of it all, like setting up a client management system, building an email list, long term strategic planning and so on. 

Think about the friends in your life. Is there someone you trust with your kids and willing to take their kids too? If so, reach out and talk about setting up a swap day. It can be really beneficial to you both.

3. Get out of the House

Now as supportive as my husband is with the kids, there’s something about mommy working in the house that the kids always come back to. 

If your kids are like mine, they will find you. 

They will want to be with you. 

They don’t understand (or care) that you are working, they want your attention.

And you will feel guilty and stop what you are doing to be there for your child. Am I right?

Well, here’s my advice and what I did to physically remove myself from the house so I could get work done once my husband was home from work.

Building your photography business

I invested in a laptop and I made the local library my “office”.

If I wasn’t in the house my kids were fine being with daddy.

Working at the library also made it easier on me. I had peace and quiet. 

I didn’t have to hear anyone crying.

I didn’t have to hear anyone fighting.

I didn’t have to feel bad when I heard the giggles I was missing out on.

Do you have a library near you? If so, grab your laptop and head to the library to work for a few hours a week. 

You will be more productive there than you will being interrupted at home. 

If you are going to make the time to commit to your business you gotta make it count!

To Wrap it Up

I never was the photographer who worked 40 hours a week, I work around motherhood, truly, even now.

Some weeks I may work 25 hours and others I don’t work at all for one reason or another.

I’m grateful for the time I get to work on my business around motherhood. 

I’m grateful I’m available when one of my kids is home sick from school. 

I’ve learned that being a mother is most important to me. Then photographer.

Being flexible with motherhood and business is essential. It’s give and take.

Some days it all works. 

Other days it all fall apart.

But keep going. Ask for help. Set up that swap. Get out of the house.

You got this! Keep pushing through and remind yourself of why you started 

this business in the first place. Whatever that reason is, is what you need to keep going. 

If you want to read about the year I almost quit after having my second baby you can read that here.

You might find something you relate to in this blog post. I hope you found my tips on building your photography business helpful!

I’m rooting for you!

Hi, I’m Katie. A maternity, newborn, family and personal brand photographer for over a decade now.

I’m passionate about helping other moms start and grow a photography business so they can be home with their babies and create a business that fills up their cup!

In addition to photography, I love creating easy to customize, affordable templates for time-stretched moms building their business during nap times.

You can fine me over on instagram sharing lots of tips and tricks at @Katie_Pugliese and more for photographers over on my website:

Interested in newborn photography but not sure where to start? You can grab my FREE guide on how to prep your clients AND yourself for an in-home newborn session. Trust me, success starts with the pre-work!

Building Your Photography Business When You’re Busy Being a Mom

FILED IN: For Photographers, Helpful Tips, Motherhood

February 26, 2024

Building you photography business around motherhood.