7 years

Seven years, Seven tips & Seven offers. Its lucky number 7.

This month my Norwich based, baby and child photography business turns seven years old. I consider it my other child, my life passion and a source of great joy and pride.

To celebrate, I wanted to share how I got here; my seven tips for making what you love work and a very special lucky number 7 offer!

Something I am frequently asked; how did you start your business?

College was the catalyst for taking photography up as a hobby; where many an hour was spent working away in the darkroom (the smell!!! If you know, you know! I LOVED it!)

Fast forward a few years and whilst enjoying an adult education course in photography, I found out I was pregnant! As for so many, evening sickness took its toll so badly, I had to give up the classes, but if anything, it spurred me to follow my dreams another way. I had a bump shoot and the wonderful photographer, who made me feel so at ease, inspired me when the arrival of my own baby provided the perfect model. Cass, my photographer came back and mentored me… so I took the plunge that so many of us mamas do when we want to work around having a baby – I started my own business.

I have never stopped pursuing my dream and pushing myself. I never assumed I was at the zenith of my learning or knowledge and have over the years continued with 1-2-1 training with other new-born photographers. I have always learnt by absorbing and asking questions and it was no different from my own business. 20 months after the arrival of Lucas and the birth of my business, our little dreamboat – Lilah burst into our world. I won’t lie, keeping everything afloat with 2 under 2 was hard and without the support and love of my hubby, I wouldn’t have come out of the other side with everyone and the business intact!

Any business goes on a journey, working out what’s best, what’s popular, what makes you happy and some years into baby and child photography I made my own mark… I decided that what I loved best was the simple, neutral images. Showcasing the little ones for all that they are so I stripped it back, limited colour, limited props and it’s the same ethos I carry through into 2019 and beyond.

So, this blog is also a dedication; seven years of thanks and gratitude. To my husband, my children, my fur baby, my family and friends. The support from everyone is never ending and to this day it amazes me that I continue to make friends on this journey. Most of all thank you to my clients and their beautiful models that made this business possible. Not only are you my bread and butter but you have created a support system I could never have dreamed of through the light and the recent heartbreak of losing my dad. You have made it easier – so thank you all!!!

My 7 lessons so far

1. Start as you mean to go on. In hindsight, I think I started too soon. I was so eager (which isn’t a bad thing) I should have built up my portfolio and trained some more. Then marketed myself when I was more experienced and confident.  I started off too cheap and had to market myself to a new clientele. 

2. You do not need the most expensive equipment, most of my stuff is second-hand or not the top brand. You simply need to learn how to use it!

3. Trust your way. I ignored a lot of advice: I was told to use props, use lots of colour, to sell via in-person sales and so on, the more I followed my heart and did things my way, the more it worked. 

4. Ignore what your competitors do and say, I know people say to keep an eye on them but I’ve found the more I stay focused on my work the less I worry or stress. (Also, it’s fine to be angry if you get someone copying your style or ideas. I have ranted to close friends, but every area of business gets it and it is wasted energy. Unless someone directly steals your clients, in the words of Elsa, LET IT GO) 


5. This is a hugely saturated market and some people will not value your work/your prices, it is not personal, it is business. The lesson? – not everyone is the right client for you. 

6. People will assume all you do is take photos! Family and friends will not always understand the full process behind photography and the final presented images, that’s ok because again its best to let it go (or educate them, whatever works for you!)

7. It’s a wonderful job but a hugely competitive field and can often lonely on your own – I have found networking with other freelancers and parent businesses to be a really positive experience. Find like-minded people in different fields so you can support and lift one another up. I’m very lucky that there are a lot of these events and individuals in Norwich!

So, there you have it, how I got here and seven years of tips. So now for a seven-year offer for seven lucky mummies to be!



Are you pregnant? If so then I am offering the first 7 mums a maternity shoot!

The package:

  • A 25-minute shoot with 7 images via an email link for £75
  • Email to book in, and be quick! Once the 7 slots have gone, they are gone! 


Balloohttps://www.facebook.com/ClaireCarneyFloralAndBalloonDesigns/n by the awesome Claire Carny