I’m so excited today to post my interview with my friend Shannon Moore of Plum Jam Photography! She’s been running her own photography business since 2006 and is one of the premier photographers in the area. In her interview she shares with us what it’s like being a mom and running a successful business, how she handles the stress and the tools she uses to keep her business running.
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Here we go!
How long have you been running your own business?
I have been working, on my own, as a photographer since 2006.
What is your favorite part about running a photography business?
The flexibility. For the most part I get to shape my days. While still working a full time job, I can be there for my kids. I stay home with Penny (although she will be starting school soon), and am able to volunteer in many ways at Jude’s school. He loves seeing mommy on campus 🙂
What is the hardest part about running a Photography business?
My job entails me to work many weekends. This means I miss out on weekend family time. However, it helps me appreciate our time together on those random weekends, and the off wedding season, when I am not working.
What 3 words would best describe your business style or approach?
Organic, honest, and fun. My number 1 goal with photographing people is to capture real moments. I like to set an environment where you feel comfortable being who you are. We need to connect for this to all happen, so I am completely open with who I am, so that you are able to be open with who you are.
What Tools do you use on a regular basis to keep your business organized and efficient?
Google Docs lets me work with clients who are planning their wedding day timelines, without having to set up meetings and phone calls. It really makes it easier on both the client and I.
HelloSign is an online document signing service. I use them all the time for my client contracts. I just send them an email through the HelloSign website, and they can read it over and sign electronically. No need to mail anything.
How many kids do you have?
I have two children, Penny and Jude.
What tips do you have for work/life/family balance as a working mother?
Even though I work from home, and have my daughter with me, I still set a schedule…of sorts. This way I know how many hours in any given day I need to be working to get things done. I do still keep it pretty flexible for impromptu dance parties, lunch dates, and cuddles with Penny.
How does your family support you in your business adventures?
My husband, Jesse, is my number one support. He encourages me to constantly grow as an entrepreneur and to never stop learning new things. I am not a technical person, so all the aspects of photography that pertain to equipment, software, etc. he helps research and give me advice on.
What is your favorite way to unwind from daily stress?
The beach. It is hands down my home base. My husband is out surfing, Jude is playing in the waves, Penny is digging in the sand, and I just watch. We are all together, but also solo at the same time. I am pretty sure this is how we all wind down. It’s the best.
Did you have to do any schooling for your business?
I fell into my first photography class in high school. I was behind on elective credits, and chose the class on a whim. Little did I know that I would fall head over heals for the art. I dabbled in some film photography classes at the community college before getting a job working alongside a local photographer.
How do you recommend handling setbacks while running your business?
Setbacks are a growing opportunity. Without setbacks you can’t make changes to your business in the areas that might need it. My business is in a constant state of change…which is where I am happiest.
How do you recommend marketing your business and building a clientele, customer base or following?
The best way for me to advertise my business is through others. I rely on how past clients, fellow professionals, friends, and family speak about me. On my social media accounts I try to have a mix of personal and business. I want my clients to get to know me. It’s become so much easier to get Instagram followers since most weddings have started to use custom hashtags. I always use those hashtags when posting those clients photos so that guests who are using that hashtag can find me…and follow me.
Learn more about Shannon and Plum Jam Photography online:
*Photo credit: The photo of Shannon was taken by Tina Loveridge
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