Balancing Kids and Business with Oren Sew & Kate Styles

September 17, 2021 Artist Spotlight

Clubhouse Conversation: Oren Sew & Kate Styles

In the latest episode of the Portrait System Podcast: Clubhouse Edition, Kevin Conde and Ashleigh Taylor chat with Oren Sew & Kate Styles about the delicate balance involved in growing a portrait photography business while being a parent. Kate is married with 2 children under 5 and a third due in mid-October. Oren is a single father with 2 boys aged 8 and 10. Ashleigh also has a young son. And Kevin is an uncle who has observed the rigors of parenthood while still enjoying all the independence and spontaneity of being child-free.

In this conversation, the four cover many topics related to being an entrepreneur with young children, including:

  • the unique challenges posed by homeschooling during the pandemic,
  • how to give enough energy to your business while still enjoying the precious moments of early childhood,
  • and how to schedule time for inspiration in the midst of early bedtimes and demanding schedules.

Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear how to keep the ship running while planning maternity and paternity leave. You also might be interested to hear how to balance photoshoots with nursing an infant. And you won’t want to miss hearing the inspiring perspective that even while moving at a snail’s pace and delaying big goals, you can still build a successful business that allows you to not sacrifice enjoying your children and being there for them while they are little.

In this blog, you’ll find gorgeous portraits from both Oren and Kate, links to their respective social media pages and websites, and answers to some bonus questions.

To hear more from Kate, check out the Clubhouse Conversation: Rise to the Challenge with Kate Styles.

Here are links to some of the SBE courses referenced in this Clubhouse Conversation: Self-ValueThe Money Wheel of Misfortune, Money Leaks, and Money/Business: Survive to Thrive, and Manifestation and Mindset. Also, here is the Matt Stagliano Clubhouse mentioned: The Power of Healthful Balance.

You can also watch this conversation on YouTube!

Join us live every Friday for Clubhouse conversations and get answers to your questions! Just search “The Portrait System” in the Clubhouse App and follow us there.

Get to Know Oren & Kate

Q: When did you first come across Sue Bryce Education and how has it affected your career?

A: I first found Sue Bryce on Creative Live, I was gifted her class by a friend. That led me to Sue Bryce Education. I followed her because I was looking for someone to learn from who taught portraits that connected to people. –Oren Sew

A: I first found SBE about 3 years ago. A friend recommended her style to me as I was having a hard time finding my brand in “lifestyle” photography. It was a total and complete game changer finding an education platform that speaks to the kind of portraits I wanted to create.  —Kate Styles

Kate Styles

Q: When first starting out, many photographers hit roadblocks on their journey to starting their business – whether feeling their equipment isn’t good enough or feeling they need a studio to start a business. What roadblocks did you encounter and how did you get over them?

A: Time is definitely a roadblock of mine. I am constantly reminding myself to take it slow, keep stepping forward, and manage myself to prevent burnout. Another common roadblock is how many people say that it won’t work, or you cannot be successful at this or that. It’s proven time and time again that this is not true. I have already achieved higher than I was ever expected to climb, and I am nowhere close to done yet.  –Oren Sew

Oren Sew

A: Every photographer starting out hits road blocks. My road blocks were absolutely feeling less than because I was using my guest room as my photography studio while my children were downstairs yelling, causing chaos as children do. I set goals for myself — manifesting, believing — ‘by this time, I will have someone to watch my kids, so the house will be quiet while I work,’ and that grew into ‘by this time, I will have my own studio not inside my house.’ And both of them happened even faster than the timeline I set for myself!  —Kate Styles

Kate Styles

Q: How do you feel about your current work/life balance?

A: Currently, being a mom and full-time business owner gets tough, especially with 3 under the age of 5.  It’s a tricky space to balance them both. I work Thu – Sun most weeks, and I am absolutely okay with my schedule where it’s at. I know eventually it will change as my kids start school, and I look forward to having my weekends at home with family. For the time being though, I know I choose to be at home with them as much as I can. They’re only little once! Kate Styles

Kate Styles

A: I am working a lot right now, full-time day job and part-time portraits. I also have two young kids who I share custody with 50% of the time. The balance is tough, and as a general rule, I try to do the things that move me forward business-wise and the things that free up time for the home life. The grind is real but so worth it in the big picture. –Oren Sew

Oren Sew

Q: What (beyond money) has owning a business given you?

A: Owning your own business gives you this sense of power and appreciation. The power is in that you can change your life, easily. It’s MY life. If I decide I want something changed, I’m the boss! I change it! The appreciation is for the people around you — the ones that have supported, that you’ve met — because each one of them holds a special place in having helped you get to where you are now.  —Kate Styles

Kate Styles

A: Having a business is opening a whole new world of connections, learning, and opportunities. I have already gone places I would never have expected and met people I would never have dreamed I could. Additionally, learning from Sue Bryce Education is rewarding in other aspects of life. There are a lot of self-value classes. These are important lessons to learn, and in doing so, it trickles down to the people closest to us. That is very rewarding. –Oren Sew

Oren Sew

Q: What is your favorite advice that you’ve been given along your journey that has helped you the most? 

A: The best advice I was ever given? Haha, that’s always SUCH a hard one… but I was told people are attracted to a journey. Don’t be afraid to share your trial and errors, your mistakes, and your wins! They love to see something start and bloom! And if you mess up, you are literally the only one who knows, and you know that it doesn’t work for your business, and you change tactics. Trial and error — try it and adjust as needed! —Kate Styles

A: All of Sues quotes — HA!

Choose your own pain. We must dive in and do the dirty, hard work if we truly want it.
You tell your story. The words you write/speak will solidify the path you walk.

Sue changed my life a few years ago. She has changed many and will change many more.  –Oren Sew

Oren Sew

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Click Here to Read the Podcast Transcript

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Please note this transcript was generated by AI and may contain errors. 

This is the Portrait System podcast, a show that helps portrait photographers and people hoping to become one, navigate the world of photography, business, money and so much more. We totally keep it real. We share stories about the incredible ups and the very difficult downs when running a photography business. I’m your host, Nikki Closser. And the point of this podcast is for you to learn actionable steps that you can take to grow your own business and also to feel inspired and empowered by the stories you hear. Hey, everyone. On today’s clubhouse

Hey everyone, your Clubhouse guests today with your hosts. Kevin and Ashleigh are Kate Styles and Oren Sew.

00:00:33:03 – 00:00:54:24

They are both incredible guests who have so much insight on what it’s like being a parent and a business owner. Again, another great discussion with question from the audience just chatting all about all the things that can happen that can go wrong and can go right. Being a parent and an entrepreneur, I hope you enjoy this episode. Let’s get started with Oren, Kate, Ashleigh, and Kevin.

00:00:55:22 – 00:01:26:04

Welcome everyone to the Portrait System podcast Clubhouse Edition. My name is Kevin Conde, and I’m here with my co-host Ashleigh Taylor. If you’re not familiar with the portrait system where our portrait photography podcast that is powered by Sue Bryce Education, Nikki Closser hosts our regular money episodes, and Ashleigh and I host our Clubhouse edition, which is live here on the Clubhouse app every Friday at Noon Pacific and in our episodes are released on Thursdays. And you can tune in on your favorite podcast app by searching for the portrait system.

00:01:26:14 – 00:01:27:20

Ashleigh, how are you doing today?

00:01:28:03 – 00:01:49:01

I’m great, Kevin, and I’m so excited to be here co-hosting our chat again today and today we have not one but two guests. We have Kate Styles and Oren Sew. So welcome Kate and Oren. Yay, thank you so much for having me again. This is awesome. So excited to be here. Yay.

00:01:50:07 – 00:01:51:16

Thanks for having me as well.

00:01:52:05 – 00:02:25:19

We’re excited. I always like to say before we jump into any questions, we just want to let the audience know that the first 30 minutes is just going to be an interview with Kate and Oren and Kevin and myself. And then at the halfway point, we’ll open it up to any conversations that you and the audience have. So if you’re new to clubhouse to ask a question, you’re just going to use the hand icon in the lower right hand part of your screen. And then we’ll bring you up on stage where you can state your name and ask your question. We really do love when you guys join the conversation and ask your questions.

00:02:25:21 – 00:02:35:18

So if you think of a question just a little too early jot it down so you don’t forget and please raise your hands right when we open it up for questions so we can make sure that we get through everyone.

00:02:36:21 – 00:03:12:25

Thank you, Ashleigh. Kate, welcome back. And Oren, welcome to the podcast! So Ashleigh and I were recently talking about the challenges and the difficulties of running a portrait business, the different sectors, sacrifices that have to be made. Ashleigh has a son, whereas I am not a parent. Kate, when we had you on the podcast last, we talked about all the success you’ve had while also raising children at home. And Oren, you are one of the moderators of the 90 day challenge that we have within Sue Bryce Education Facebook Group.

00:03:13:05 – 00:03:50:06

And since I’ve gotten to know you, I’ve seen you interact with your boys. And I recently saw a camping trip that you were on. And I see all the love that you pour into your kids. So with so many parents within the Sue Bryce education community, Ashleigh and I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with two fantastic individuals. So to start it off, can you tell us a bit about your family? How many kids you have and how old are they? And are you partnered and are you or are you single a single parent Kate starting with you?

00:03:51:20 – 00:04:16:24

So I am married. I’ve been married for almost 10 years and I have two children here, and I’m currently thirty five weeks pregnant.I have a five year old son and a three year old daughter, so they are not even actually school age yet. So they’re only in pre-K and daycare right now. Things are pretty crazy at my house.

00:04:18:25 – 00:04:20:26

Oh my gosh, and Oren how about you?

00:04:23:10 – 00:04:30:06

I’m divorced, so I have my kids 50 percent of the time, they’re eight and 10,

00:04:31:00 – 00:04:32:03

so they’re a little older.

00:04:32:17 – 00:04:37:18

Yeah, they’re in school right now. So I got. Now that school’s back, I have some free time.

00:04:48:24 – 00:04:53:22

Right, I’m like you’re at school all day for this year, I’m like, Oh, this is awesome.

00:04:55:02 – 00:05:07:08

Now, so talking about that, let’s go over what kind of COVID has done for us, for you, for you parents within the last year, what was that change like?

00:05:09:03 – 00:05:32:06

Obviously, Kate, don’t have that. You have had to deal with getting them on the computer, giving them tablets and sit here for a few hours in Zoom. But Oren, for you, how has that been from having them potentially in school to all of a sudden there when they’re with you, there with you for that whole duration of the day?

00:05:34:15 – 00:05:58:20

So for me, I guess I kind of probably took it a little different than other people. They’re still pretty young. So the the stuff like the homework that they were given wasn’t really complicated. And I’ve basically said, if you guys get this all done today, you don’t have to do anything else for the rest of the week. So we kind of had like. Mini holidays or something, I don’t know.

00:05:59:26 – 00:06:00:20

That’s fantastic.

00:06:01:03 – 00:06:09:22

How did it affect your business that we’re in? Did it mean you had less time to work on growing your business? I know you’re more in a growing phase of your business.

00:06:11:05 – 00:06:20:01

So I don’t it wasn’t bad. My kids are really good and they they take care of themselves really well, so I could still do a lot of work while they were here.

00:06:20:23 – 00:06:26:15

That’s awesome. How about you, Kate? How I know, like, it’s a totally different ballgame when you have really little kids without a pandemic

00:06:28:03 – 00:06:58:27

and then throw in a pandemic. And I also know your business had so much growth and success last year from the last time we chatted. Yeah, I have to say my life didn’t change very much other than the fact that my husband actually got laid off during the pandemic. And so it actually was a blessing because he was able to stay at home more so I could book more shoots. So it was actually really good for us, but it really didn’t change because the kids are usually here anyway. That’s awesome.

00:06:58:29 – 00:07:33:20

Yeah, my business, it sounds like, was really differently affected than your guys’s and a lot of ways in the sense that, like my husband is a teacher. So like, they didn’t really give the teachers the time off. They just were like, OK, figure out how to like, run your classroom from your house and also have your kid needing to do kindergarten from your house and then also Ashleigh try to run your business and make money from your house during this shutdown. So it was a really wild time.

00:07:34:09 – 00:08:12:20

But at the same time, I’m really thankful for like the quality time that we got to spend together as a family. But if it wasn’t for my in-laws being in town and thankfully being retired and willing babysitters like I would have probably lost my mind last year. And like, I definitely had a point last year where my business like it was just survival mode like it was just make enough money to survive. It wasn’t thinking about thriving. Like now it’s back to thriving. And honestly, this year has been like the best year of the last few years, but there were points last year that were like, Oh my gosh, this is this is tough.

00:08:14:02 – 00:08:17:11

So it was basically a classroom in every single one of the Henning House, although,

00:08:18:11 – 00:08:23:08

yeah, it was a full full condo here in Santa Barbara.

00:08:24:19 – 00:08:37:15

You run out, you brought up something interesting there, Ashleigh, in the fact that you’re able to have a support system, someone else to help with your household, you know, probably give you a little bit of time for your own business.

00:08:40:00 – 00:08:55:09

Kate and Oren do you have a support system around you? Grandparents, friends, neighbors that are able to help you in that when you might potentially need to have the time to go do something else? Business related?

00:08:56:09 – 00:09:01:16

I actually don’t have a support system, it’s a really, really, really small.

00:09:03:19 – 00:09:10:15

Wow. So what do you do then as a parent when you need something to be done?

00:09:11:18 – 00:09:22:23

Well, I just kind of figure a way out. Most of the time my kids do stuff with me, like if I’m doing a shoot, the they’re good because it’s at my house like, I shoot in my garage.

00:09:22:27 – 00:09:24:10

Yeah, yes, I’m going to move like for you.

00:09:25:29 – 00:09:32:11

They pop in once in a while and they help with the little things and then they take off again. But I don’t

00:09:32:13 – 00:09:54:24

know. And are people understanding of that whenever like, Hey, obviously, you know, you’re in your home of family life obviously comes first, making sure everyone is OK, comes first. Have you ever had anyone when you’re doing a portfolio build or an actual shoot? Anyone say anything like, Oh, your kids are here, you know, have a disagreement of that?

00:09:55:24 – 00:10:14:09

No, it’s the opposite. Usually like this, you know, at the start when you just meet each other, whatever, there’s a little bit of tension, but awkwardness. You’re just trying to gauge each other. I mean, like with this guy, like, what are you like? And then the kid walks and everything drops. It’s like everyone’s easygoing.

00:10:15:09 – 00:10:30:09

Oh, that’s awesome. They can help diffuse the situation, the air might be in the room. Yeah, do that. How about you? What is your support system like around you, especially you have, you know, more than one child to care for?

00:10:32:02 – 00:11:20:25

So I’m lucky here for the fact that my kids are able to go to daycare three days a week. Me and my husband put that in our budgeting and then anything outside of that that I’ll be taking care of. I do have to really close relatives that do help me with my kids. We don’t have a huge support system outside of that. But I’m very thankful for what we do have, so that’s been really helpful. That’s awesome. The daycare thing is so huge, like I know that a lot of people struggle with budgeting for it or how is that going to work in your life? And like for us, we didn’t have daycare, but my son went to a co-op preschool, which is actually something I didn’t personally want to do I thought was really important.

00:11:20:27 – 00:11:59:21

It’s the same preschool my husband went to is really important to his family and to him, but I had to do all the um, the parent work for it, which is a lot. I don’t know if people listening are familiar with, like co-op preschools, but basically the parents run the school and I really struggle those three years that he was in there with. I don’t want to say managing my time, but yeah, I guess it was like managing my time and my energy levels because it felt like doing the co-op preschool, which is thing I didn’t really want to do but felt kind of obligated to do.

00:12:00:01 – 00:12:33:02

Was very draining to my energy and it took a whole day off my week and I didn’t really want to give up weekends. So all of a sudden I had to cram a five day workweek into four days. But I will say, like looking back on it now that he’s not in it anymore, I am glad that I did it because like they were like, really precious little kid moments then, and I sort of wish like I had realized like, how like, fleeting and sweet everything is. I think that’s the thing that I’ve experienced a lot in parenthood and running a business.

00:12:33:04 – 00:13:07:15

And I don’t know if you guys can chime in if you feel the same, but is like the struggle of like really wanting to give your business your all. And then that feeling like your kid is only little once and you also want to be there for them and just they need you so much. But your business also needs you and like just managing not even time, but like the energy of giving yourself to two different things and having your personal like career ambitions, but up against, like maybe the parent that you’ve always dreamed of being.

00:13:07:17 – 00:13:43:14

So I don’t know. Have you guys ever run into feeling like that tension all the time, all the time? I can’t even begin to tell you it’s like a daily struggle to balance that work life. But making sure your kids are being taken care of because when you run your own business, you kind of have that flexibility. And it’s really hard to just make sure you’re trying to balance that plate. So I 100 percent understand what you’re saying, and I struggle with it all the time, and I just keep telling myself, I know that my business could grow more.

00:13:43:16 – 00:13:57:16

However, I also prioritize spending time with my kids right now. And so we’re at a good, steady 50 50 right now, and I’m pretty happy with it. But I totally understand what you’re saying, Ashleigh. What about you Oren

00:13:58:18 – 00:14:33:03

yeah, the same before when I was still married and I was starting to do this. It wasn’t much like that. It wasn’t as bad. But then after when we split up the the feeling that I only get to see my kids half the time really crept in. And so now it’s it’s them like, I want to spend all my time possible with them. But now that they’re in school, I can schedule myself dedicated time and it’s almost like 50 50, I guess, with the time that I can.

00:14:34:12 – 00:14:50:02

Do you find that you use while they’re at school, more for the photo shoots or the actual like office work, like the editing, the marketing, that kind of stuff that the admin, the emails, all the things that go into running the actual business.

00:14:51:12 – 00:15:07:20

It’s everything that I can do. And with the photo shoots, it’s not as bad when they’re around because they don’t. It doesn’t. They don’t interrupt as much. And when they do, it’s not a problem. But all that other stuff. Yes, when they’re around, it’s hard to do it sometimes.

00:15:08:19 – 00:15:44:11

Yeah, that makes sense. That’s I was wondering, like if it’s because it sounded like they were kind of helpful when you do a photo shoot. So that’s was wondering if you like purposely structure your times, like maybe the photo shoots happen when they’re not in school, but then you use that like while they’re in school time to do that focused work because for me, like, well, I have a studio outside my house, so I can’t have them home while I I’m shooting like. He also has to be watched while I’m at my studio, but then I also need like focused hours for computer work as well.

00:15:44:13 – 00:15:46:21

Otherwise, everything kind of falls apart.

00:15:48:19 – 00:15:49:24

Yeah, exactly.

00:15:51:03 – 00:15:53:11

So I was wondering what sort of.

00:15:54:29 – 00:16:29:15

Obviously, when you’re beginning and you’re starting, what sacrifices you feel you might have had to make in the process of growing your business? Have you ever had to, you know, cancel a shoot? Have you ever had to, you know, postpone consultations of that nature because someone is sick? Or how do you prioritize saying, you know, my young one might have a bit of a cold? I can’t, you know, even risk going out to talk to anyone about photography when they’re when they’re sick.

00:16:29:17 – 00:16:44:13

How do you balance that out? You, you know, with your partner, you say, Hey, you are going to take care of them for this time. Mean, because I just I can’t. I have to go do this. I have to bring income to the household. How do you balance that out?

00:16:46:02 – 00:16:47:11

I know for me,

00:16:49:04 – 00:17:19:28

I haven’t had to cancel very much, a very few here and there, and it was when I was still shooting out of my house. Now that I have my own studio, it’s normally not too big of a deal. The only time I can really remember it being difficult, I would have to do something that was more so embarrassing if I actually nursed my kids when they’re babies and sometimes my husband would have the baby downstairs, he was like she or he or she is not having it. You need to feed them.

00:17:20:18 – 00:17:41:20

And so while my client was getting hair makeup done, I would be nursing my baby. But I’m thankful for the fact that my clients knew they were coming to my house, and that really kind of helped set that for me. But it still was all a bit more embarrassing because you want to put on that professional like, I’m about to take gorgeous pictures of you, but excuse me for one second while I take care of my kids.

00:17:43:22 – 00:17:48:26

But yeah, Kate, that’s awesome, though, that you were able to nurse your kid. I have like a similar story.

00:17:50:21 – 00:18:23:08

OK, good. I’m glad I’m not alone. It says what those like and I’m thankful I see women as well. So they’re always like, Oh my gosh, yes, go mom. So definitely one of those. Really sorry. Thank you for being understanding. Yeah, totally. I mean, when I went back to my studio after, like my self-imposed maternity leave, I also nursed my son. So my mother in law would actually bring him to my photo because again, my studio is not home, and she was the one watching him because again, my husband teaches.

00:18:23:10 – 00:18:33:18

So he is like normal work hours. So she would bring him to the studio, and I would like take a break, but I kind of needed to because it was like I couldn’t pump. And, you know.

00:18:35:17 – 00:19:09:00

So you actually feed my child. But my friends, actually, I never felt really embarrassed about it. I really like with such a hippie mom and kind of like wore that as my badge of honor. So I was like, Yeah, like feminism. I’m nursing my baby like, I love it. I love it. But yeah, like and all my clients are really understanding about it. So, yeah, I think like it’s I definitely feel like women shouldn’t feel ashamed to like take care of especially like nursing children that are so little.

00:19:09:07 – 00:19:18:23

But once my son got older, I definitely like pumped and stuff like once he was over 1 year old, but like the first year, I would definitely have him brought to the studio.

00:19:20:13 – 00:19:44:09

I’m just going to go ahead and reset the room. So today we are talking with Kate Styles and Oren Sew about just the challenges that we parent photographers might face in growing our businesses while we’re also raising young kids. And Kevin, I will toss it over to you.

00:19:45:17 – 00:20:19:16

So with the difficulty that obviously comes with starting your own business, getting it off the ground as well as raising children. Was there ever a point where you just thought, you know what, a nine to five? A nine to five is easy. It gives me everything. I need a continuous income and I know that I’m going to have a job, whereas obviously with the photography business, nothing is guaranteed. Was there ever any time in your journey when you’re like, You know what, this this isn’t for me.

00:20:19:27 – 00:20:21:23

I need to make sure that I have money coming in.

00:20:24:09 – 00:20:55:05

How about you, Kate? I have to say I did the nine to five when right with my son when he was first born. And once I started my photography and I had that determination, it was never like, Oh my gosh, I need to go backwards. It was just OK, I need to make this work. How do I need to make it work? What do I need to do to make it work? Because I wanted to prioritize being able to stay at home more with them. So I’m thankful I never had that.

00:20:55:07 – 00:21:03:07

Oh my gosh, I need to go back to work feeling goodness and orange. How about you? Because I do you still have a day job if I remember correctly?

00:21:03:27 – 00:21:08:10

I do. But it’s not 9:00 to 5:00 I work week on week off.

00:21:08:28 – 00:21:13:18

Oh, awesome. So it’s like time and space to work on your business and be with the kids.

00:21:14:04 – 00:21:15:22

Yeah, exactly.

00:21:17:19 – 00:21:52:03

Yeah, and Kevin, like for me, I was pretty far into my business in the sense that I had had the wedding photography business previously, so not so much the portrait studio, but I’ve not really worked a real job for the majority of my adult life, just like one of my adult life. Did I work a real job and quickly was like, Oh boy, this is not for me. So that’s why me right now, I think for me is like, I never thought of going back because I really love the fact that I built the life on my own terms that I can design.

00:21:52:26 – 00:22:25:20

But I definitely and I’ve shared this before. Like, as soon as I had my son, I was like, I don’t want to shoot weddings anymore. Like, that was my kind of wake up by just being a for the eight, 10 hour, 12 hours, sometimes days. I also had a hard first trimester of morning sickness, and I shot like 20 weddings with really bad morning sickness and like literally had to throw up at weddings. Oh my, oh, I was so traumatized by it too.

00:22:26:21 – 00:23:07:11

I really felt like this pressure like, you can’t be a human. You can’t be sick. When you’re photographing someone’s wedding, they’re paying you to be on, you know, that’s your responsibility. I don’t know looking back if that’s exactly true, but that was the kind of self-imposed pressure I put on myself. And then I just would start ruminating on this idea like, Well, what if my kid gets sick and then I can’t shoot the wedding? Or, you know, it just started to feel like it was compounding on me this idea of, like, how am I going to do parenthood and shoot weddings? And that was really the thing that pushed me into going full time with portraits really was having Theo. Did a

00:23:09:00 – 00:23:19:22

The security and you’re known as one of the best photographers in Santa Barbara for a wedding photography. Did that ever creep into your mind like, I should go back? Oh, you go back? Yeah.

00:23:19:25 – 00:23:50:09

Oh, you know, I mean, like, yeah, I it was really hard to walk away from the money aspect of it, for sure. And I just like I remember when I took weddings off my website, like it was just terrifying. And there were there was still like, I think even in it, definitely in twenty six. So I had the honor 20 15. I had some weddings booked for twenty sixteen. I tried really not to take any more.

00:23:50:11 – 00:24:24:09

And then I think definitely like if I got an inquiry in twenty seventeen, that was extremely lucrative. I took maybe one or two. And like I, I also entertained the idea a little bit more, you know, like, I’d ultimately not take it, but I would like actually entertain the idea. Now, I don’t really do that anymore. I mean, I don’t I haven’t. I don’t know when the last time I shot a wedding was. I was supposed to help my friend, who’s a wedding photographer in Hawaii, do some associate shooting for her. And I was like, Girl, I don’t want to. I don’t want to have anything to do with these weddings, so I’m really over them now.

00:24:24:11 – 00:24:40:21

But it was really hard to walk away because also was my identity, you know, like it wasn’t, it was the security. And then also the idea that that’s what people knew me as. And if I wasn’t that any more than what was, I like if I wasn’t the best wedding photographer in Santa Barbara, what was I kind of thing?

00:24:41:18 – 00:25:09:08

So you brought something up there and in the beginning of like creating what it how you want your business to look. Not everyone is looking to have a full calendar for their business, a full team to run their photography business, hair and make up, different chairs. I’m wondering what kind of setup is everyone here looking for for their business? And I know, as you said, your week on, week off. Are you looking to have

00:25:11:15 – 00:25:29:00

a business where you know you’re constantly busy or are you do your kids kind of shape the direction now where your business needs to go? I’ll start off and then Kate, if your business changes at all with the fact of your having kids.

00:25:30:06 – 00:25:53:00

So for now, while they’re young, it probably does shape it a bit. I would like to be busy. There’d be. There’s going to be times where I won’t obviously like summer when they have no school and we want to go travel and stuff. That’d be great. But in the long game, I do want to have like a full time big studio, brick walls, big windows, all that stuff.

00:25:54:20 – 00:25:55:16

How about you, Kate?

00:25:57:12 – 00:26:28:17

Kids definitely shaped my schedule. I only shoot Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and then I have revealed on Sunday, so I actually don’t. I’m not even in my studio Monday through Wednesday because the kids are at home with me. And so I am thankful the fact that they’re there because it makes me slow down. I only take 12 shoots a month max for myself. So it does make me slow down because if I did not have them, I would probably book myself as much as possible.

00:26:30:06 – 00:26:47:25

Do you feel like because I notice you said you work weekends, basically. So how do you feel about that? I know a lot of parents. I talk to in SBE like, they come out of shooting weddings and they don’t want to work the weekends. So why did you choose to work on the weekends and how does that affect your home life?

00:26:49:16 – 00:27:24:10

That is that I have to say I like shooting weekends, but I also do take one weekend off a month, so I at least have one weekend at home with my husband and all the kids to do what we want to do. But I don’t mind shooting weekends, and that’s something that I’ve just decided that I don’t mind in my business. I know a lot of people are like, Oh, you’re an entrepreneur, you want to set your schedule Monday through Friday, which is awesome. But I actually really like being at home with my kids while they’re still here because they do start school next year, so I’m trying to soak up what I can right now with them.

00:27:24:26 – 00:27:55:24

Do you think when they when they get on that kind of normal Monday through Friday schedule, you’ll want to stop working on weekends because I mean, for me, that’s the big thing. It’s like I my husband only has weekends off. And so for me, like weekends are our family time. It’s not so much that I mind shooting weekends. It’s just that once we had a kid, it was like that was the only time for the three of us to be together. So do you think it will change when they get on to a Monday through Friday schedule with school? Oh yeah, absolutely. And I know that’s eventually going to happen.

00:27:56:15 – 00:28:35:29

And hopefully, you know, transitioning in the next couple of years, that will be exactly what it is. But for right now, me and my husband are both pretty happy with how things are going. And I have to say, even on the weekends when I am shooting, I’m back at my house by three o’clock in the afternoon, so it’s not like I’m gone all day long. Saturday and Sunday. So that’s, yeah, totally. Do you feel like though, when you come back from a photoshoot, you’re like super drained or do you feel energized? So I’m an extrovert by nature, so most of the time I’m energized, but we all know we have those random clients that creep in that sucked us dry and we come home, we go, Oh my gosh,

00:28:38:23 – 00:28:58:21

yeah, I know and I come home from a photoshoot. I’m so drained. I like basically get into my pjs, and go lay in the bed and like, I just avoid my family. So yeah, even though, like if I do shoot early, I’m still not very helpful to my family. After a photo shoot, what about you are in?

00:29:01:18 – 00:29:14:23

I’m usually I’m pretty jacked afterwards pretty energized, but I’m an introvert too, so it’s kind of like. Going out or whatever, you know, having having playtime.

00:29:15:15 – 00:29:20:01

Yeah, so like for you, it’s just fun and then you just feel that high of energy afterwards.

00:29:20:03 – 00:29:22:04

Yeah, go right to the computer.

00:29:23:02 – 00:29:30:09

I know, like what’s wrong with me that I’m so tired after I shoot. What about you? Kevin, what about here? I just need to know. I didn’t mean for going to be on my side.

00:29:30:11 – 00:29:36:19

No, I’m pretty. I’m pretty stoked. I’m ready to go. Actually, you need you might need some vitamin B yourself.

00:29:39:05 – 00:30:00:26

I don’t know. I just feel like it’s like, Um, I don’t know. Like, I feel like I just like I pull. They do all the things. I schlep all the things around, you know, like, I just feel like I like, give so much during my shoots. Well, like afterwards, I’m just like, Oh my gosh, no one like, like, leave me alone. Let me go, lay down with my cats and just don’t bother. So anyone feels the same way. Please let me know.

00:30:01:15 – 00:30:27:11

Well, to be fair to you, credit, you know, we’ve heard Sue talk, and she says that after she’s done a presentation, or after a photoshoot it’s like you’re going to the gym because you’re up, you’re moving it back in front and four left and right that when you’re when you’re finally done, it’s completely understandable to be, you know, maybe you’re three, you’re just a little bit weird. They were all like, Yeah, it was good to go the theme park afterwards.

00:30:29:22 – 00:31:01:06

Well, I just want to go ahead and reset the room. So Kevin and I are talking with Kate Styles and Oren Sew about the challenges of growing and running your portrait business while also being a parent. And we’re also at that beautiful halfway point where we love for the audience to engage. So if you have a question that you want to ask any of us on stage, go ahead and raise your hand by hitting the little hand icon and state your name and ask your question. I also, while we’re waiting for questions to roll in, have a question for Kate and Oren.

00:31:01:15 – 00:31:40:05

So, um, I one of the things that really shifted for me between when I ran my business before I had a kid and then afterwards is like the fact that I can’t really go with when inspiration strikes, like because, you know, we have bedtime and we have things to do like and I’m kind of a night owl. So typically my inspiration tends to like strike at like 10:00 pm or something. And gone are the days where I would be able to, like, do something creative or write like a concept out for a photoshoot or make a social media video or something at a random hour.

00:31:40:12 – 00:31:51:09

So I wanted to know like, how do you deal with that? Are you able to take advantage of inspiration? Do you have to stick to a pretty strong like routine and schedule? How do you balance that out for yourselves?

00:31:52:26 – 00:31:56:26

Oren do you want to go first or Kate unmuted herself, so it’s whoever

00:31:58:09 – 00:31:59:10


00:31:59:27 – 00:32:20:01

OK, so I’m I’m really bad with scheduling myself and routines, and I have a bad habit of burning the candle on both ends all the time so I can when inspiration hits, I can just come up and write it out or do it whenever any time. It doesn’t affect me, really,

00:32:20:07 – 00:32:23:15

it doesn’t affect the schedule that you have with kids, with your kids.

00:32:23:28 – 00:32:30:18

I’ll just be tired the next day and then like, if they’re in school, I’ll just nap or whatever. I just make up for it at different times.

00:32:32:15 – 00:33:06:20

What about you, Kate? Yes, I need the time to do the inspiration is really, really difficult, and I can always tell it like, I’m in desperate need of it when I’m feeling that burnout mode. Oh my gosh, I just need to create something new and I don’t have the time to do it. So I really do try and do it once a month, if I can, to just schedule a shoot of like something that I’ve had in my head for a while. But again, it’s really hard when you have littles and you have to find sitters or you, you’re booked out things like that.

00:33:06:22 – 00:33:09:04

So. Yes, it is very difficult.

00:33:11:03 – 00:33:51:01

You know, what’s funny is I might not be a parent, but I do have three nieces and I have seen parenting from afar with my sister. And she’s, you know, I’ve told her, Oh, you know, the inspiration has struck or, you know, I’m going to Yosemite this weekend. You know, it’s a Thursday. I have a friend that invited me, let’s go do some astrophotography and it’s like, How can you do that? You know? Like what? I don’t have kids. I’m not, you know, you have three all within the same age range. And you know, I do feel fortunate, you know, being able to just get up and go do when inspiration strikes, so I can only imagine how.

00:33:54:03 – 00:34:26:04

Constricting it could be for maybe a parent not being able to do what you want to do if and when you want, you know. So with that, have you folks ever felt resentment of how hard you might have to work when seeing others have success and when they don’t have children? And here you are, you might feel like you’re putting in so much time and energy. Yet you might not be as far as you feel you should be with the amount of energy that you’re spending.

00:34:27:26 – 00:34:28:11


00:34:30:15 – 00:35:04:27

Sometimes, yes, but then I also recognize that I am very fortunate to be able to have kids because there are some people out there that want kids and cannot have them. And I chose to be here. So I know for me right now I see other people and I love that they are able to grow and do that. And I think there’s more so envy of the fact that they can go and do that. But I also know that my time is coming to where I can do that. And so it’s just a matter of enjoying where I’m at now, knowing that down the road, that will be an option.

00:35:06:05 – 00:35:07:09

What about you Oren I

00:35:08:07 – 00:35:09:29

feel pretty much the same.

00:35:11:21 – 00:35:25:08

Spending time with my kids is so important to me. I won’t. There’s nothing that could take the place that and I’m pretty patient. I’m OK with doing the snail route, growing of business.

00:35:26:00 – 00:35:28:10

Snail’s pace of success. That’s fine. Yeah.

00:35:29:03 – 00:35:43:11

Yeah. I think for me, the resentment that came up for me a lot was like that co-op pre-school thing that I was talking about, mainly because I think I have a hard time just in general in life when someone is telling me to do something, hence why I don’t have a normal job.

00:35:44:27 – 00:36:16:01

And it’s like, you don’t have a choice. You’re just going to have to suck it up and do this thing. And it’s not like my ideal. I think had co-op pre-school been my own idea would have been a lot easier for me to take with the fact that I felt like I was just being told like, you have to realize you have to suck it up, you just have to do this. It just I had a really hard time getting out of this funk in my head and just like appreciating the moment and I just felt really I felt really resentful and bitter about it, which is not good.

00:36:16:21 – 00:36:22:28

And so like, if I could go back and redo it, I would definitely try to

00:36:24:16 – 00:36:55:04

remind myself that it was just like a three year commitment, which at the time felt like a long time, but that looking back, it does go by really fast. And those are like, really precious moments. And it was really cool to, you know, get to be there for this like little magical fairy preschool land that my son got to go to. And I’ve also talked to a lot of moms who are other business owners, not necessarily photographers, that when I would say that my kid went to a co-op preschool, the first thing they would say to me was like, Oh, how could you do that? Like, I can’t imagine it.

00:36:55:06 – 00:37:11:15

How would you even run your business? And I was like, I know. So I guess it’s not completely like crazy to have felt that resentment, but I just wished I had handled it like handled it better. That was the main hurdle that I had in the last six years. You know, it’s interesting.

00:37:11:17 – 00:37:16:03

I’ve never heard of that. I’ve never heard of a co-op school or the fact that

00:37:18:03 – 00:37:24:01

you as a parent would have to go in and are you working at the school like, Oh

00:37:24:22 – 00:37:47:16

yeah, you have like a station and the station changes every two weeks and you have to plan activities for your station and like it’s a free play school. So whichever kids come to your station, you like, not teach them, but you have to supervise their play and make sure no conflicts arise and like, help them engage without like making it all about you. It’s just

00:37:49:05 – 00:37:57:11

it was not like my thing that like I would have ever raised my hand and been like, I’m going to be great at this.

00:37:58:07 – 00:38:08:03

So is this for your kids or is this for your your son’s class that you’re working for? Or do you just get randomly plopped down into any classroom?

00:38:08:06 – 00:38:23:25

It’s the kids that are like enrolled in the preschool, so I don’t know how many kids it was because like on any given day, there would have been like 30 kids, but the kids don’t all go like every day. But yeah, I mean, it’s like, it’s like being a preschool teacher one day a week, kind of.

00:38:25:11 – 00:38:33:22

Which, yeah, I know my mom, I come from a whole family of like teachers and like, I never really wanted to be like a classroom teacher.

00:38:35:07 – 00:38:39:14

So it was just like, Oh my God, what am I doing here? You know,

00:38:40:09 – 00:39:00:04

so with all of this, I want to ask, what parallels are you pulling from? Being a parent and the difficulties of running your business, is there something that you’re pulling along and you’re like, Wow, you know these two work hand in hand, I’m able to take this bit of information that I’ve learned and then apply it to growing my business.

00:39:02:13 – 00:39:02:28


00:39:05:02 – 00:39:07:08

I never really thought about that before.

00:39:09:18 – 00:39:11:24

I’m not sure, Kate.

00:39:16:01 – 00:39:40:21

You know, it’s so funny to think about. My son is only five. But the part that I love about his mom as an entrepreneur is one. He loves my cameras. I’m really hoping one day he just like, takes over for me. Oh yes. He knows exactly when we go to my studio, he’s like, Mom, you need me to say cheese where you test your lights. You know he’s 5 Adorable.

00:39:42:00 – 00:39:42:21

So adorable.

00:39:43:15 – 00:40:15:05

Yeah. But one of the things that I think is really cool, I did not grow up with this, but he now has an entrepreneur mindset. And so he can go out and already have this like basic foundation of running his own business if he really wanted to, which most kids in middle class, they think, Oh, I need to go work a nine to five. So that to me has been really cool to watch his brain kind of think about these things and learn about those things.

00:40:15:07 – 00:40:46:13

Just a very basic level at five years old. Yeah, I agree. I think it’s like such an amazing example to set for young kids to show them like, you can have a dream and you can make a plan and you can take step after step and you can watch it come into reality. And that’s like a super powerful lesson. Life lesson for them. And like, yeah, I think about like Sue and all her talks about like resentment and guilt and all that stuff.

00:40:46:15 – 00:41:24:11

And so like for me, I think those things really apply to parenthood. Like I said, like if I had just let go of my like, if I could have, like, dealt with my resentment and more like a Sue way, I think I would have like handled the whole thing better. I’m just having that hindsight now that I’m out of it to really see it, how it was a little bit more clear. I think also self value video is in SBE, if you’re a member, are really helpful for not just growing a business, but just like how to deal with the emotions that come up in life in your family or in your personal life, even if you don’t have kids.

00:41:24:21 – 00:41:28:24

It really applies to all aspects of life. It really is about personal development.

00:41:29:21 – 00:41:32:10

You know, it’s interesting is in Nikki.

00:41:33:29 – 00:42:08:21

In an interview that Nikki did, she had brought up the idea that now as a parent, she is then able to teach her kids the the entrepreneurial lessons in life of being able to, you know, focus a direction if they wanted to on running their own business. And she’s, you know, do you want to be a doctor? You want to be a teacher? Well, it’s also now the what type of business would you like to one day run? Yeah.

00:42:08:24 – 00:42:28:02

You know, and I like my question for you guys, is that now something that as you’re building your businesses and Kate for you, is this something where you will now focus on making sure that they can have the opportunity by teaching them entrepreneurial skill set?

00:42:29:13 – 00:42:31:05

Yes. Absolutely.

00:42:32:21 – 00:43:10:16

I’m thankful that I grew up in a household that it was encouraged that we could do whatever we wanted to do, the sky was the limit. And now actually having done it and working on it is something I absolutely want to make sure they also know that they have in their pockets. My niece is eight, and she tells me all the time that she’s going to run her own photography business like me and I am here for it. So because she’s a little bit older, we can actually talk about money sometimes and how to make a profit and making sure that we’re doing work that we love for people.

00:43:10:18 – 00:43:40:18

And it’s very, very cool to just watch her eight year old brain like, take all of this. And so it’s so important for me to make sure that my kids also have this, this drive to do whatever they want. Like you said, there’s dreams and goals that you should be able to do all of those things. So, yeah, it’s very important to me, and I’m very thankful that I have the SBE group because it has helped me grow so much of the self value and understanding the mindset work that came with it.

00:43:40:20 – 00:43:44:27

So now I get to pass that on to my kids. What about you in?

00:43:46:08 – 00:43:59:00

I think when we’re in influenced by things like the self value in the money videos and all that and our community, it grows on us and then it grows on the people who are closest to us. So like

00:44:00:15 – 00:44:15:22

my kids, we often have conversations about self value and with the oldest one, I talk to him about money all the time and tell them like how to save and like want to save what to spend because he does little babysitting jobs and stuff right now.

00:44:17:12 – 00:44:24:03

And he’s he’s actually saving up for a laptop that’s going to be way better than mine. So no know,

00:44:24:15 – 00:44:29:24

I love that. That’s awesome. yeah, yeah, I think money is another huge thing like

00:44:31:09 – 00:45:03:06

like my son is grandparents and stuff for money for Legos. And I remember Kevin. We had a conversation with Matt Stagliano and he talked about how like, he came up with this memory of someone essentially like a grandparent or a parent shaming him for essentially, I think his parents shamed him for like asking his grandparents for something like a nickel, like not even that much money. I mean, I think it’s a quarter. I think it’s a cool one hundred dollars for a Star Wars Lego set guys who’s ponying up.

00:45:04:00 – 00:45:41:02

Wow. Well, you know, I like I like there’s definitely like this internal part of me that like is like triggered by it, and it’s like, Oh my God, you know? But then I also had the like that Matt Stagliano thing, and then I was like, OK, whoa. All right. Let me think about like how I want to respond to this in a way that’s like not going to cause like future money shame or anything like, OK, can we see this as a positive? The guy has no qualms about asking for, what he wants like? Like, how can we how can we harness this energy without, like, you know, turning like, maybe getting too crazy, right? That.

00:45:41:04 – 00:46:03:12

So it’s been really interesting, and I don’t think I would have had that filter on it if we hadn’t had that conversation with Matt. If we didn’t have the money videos from Sue, I probably would have had the same reaction that Matt’s parents had because it is like this weird, jarring thing when your kid’s like, I need this, but I need a certain amount of money and like, who’s going to give it to me? It’s like. But then also realizing that’s not necessarily a bad trait, either.

00:46:04:00 – 00:46:06:11

A life lesson good.

00:46:06:13 – 00:46:39:15

I’ve I found that with my kid. Like, it’s similar to asking for money, but different. He’s really kind of bossy. I like like, he’ll tell everyone what to do. Always like, you do this. You do this. You do that and. I have been trying to teach him that it’s OK to be bossy at some points, but he needs to learn when, when not to do it, when to do it, but I don’t want to stop that because it’s the natural leadership skill. And if you have a really good leadership skill, you’ll do really well.

00:46:39:24 – 00:46:44:17

So I’m trying to kind of encourage the right direction to take that kind of thing.

00:46:45:01 – 00:46:56:29

Yeah, exactly. My son is like that, too. He has a strong, will, willpower. For what he wants. Yeah. Is just about like, how can we harness this in the right direction?

00:46:58:26 – 00:47:08:15

That’s interesting that you brought that up, that you’ve you’ve looked at the self of value videos of SBE. Oren and I hadn’t even thought about that.

00:47:10:06 – 00:47:19:05

But I wanted to ask, are there other instances where you’ve like taken the information from SBE and kind of incorporated into your?

00:47:21:19 – 00:47:38:04

Parenting style, Oren are you saying that, you know, with some value makes me wonder if there’s anything within the other videos that you might be like, You know what? That’s a good, interesting lesson that I can then pass that along or use that to, you know, educate my kids.

00:47:39:27 – 00:47:45:26

Well, as I mentioned before, I’ve done it a bit with the money, the money and business stuff.

00:47:48:12 – 00:47:51:12

And the rest. Camera, I don’t know,

00:47:52:10 – 00:47:53:05


00:47:53:19 – 00:48:03:00

you know? Oh yeah, that’s all the self value stuff comes out. It just comes out in different forms and you know. As they grow, you teach them little lessons.

00:48:03:29 – 00:48:14:15

Have you have you ever had your kids actually watch or maybe even be in the maybe not intentionally watch, but over here a series video of yours or.

00:48:15:15 – 00:48:22:10

Yeah, they’ll they’ll be playing or, you know, doing something in the background while the videos are on or the lives are on.

00:48:22:21 – 00:48:27:02

Did they comment like, do that? Do you think it sinks in or do they just ignore it? Like, tune it out.

00:48:27:23 – 00:48:32:18

No, it sinks in. I can’t recall them commenting, but I know they’re paying attention.

00:48:33:09 – 00:49:08:15

Yeah. I want to go ahead and reset the room really quick. So Kevin and I are chatting with Oren Sew and Kate Styles about the various challenges that come up when we are parents and also trying to grow our portrait businesses. And just a reminder, if you guys have any questions, you can go ahead and hit the little hand icon in the lower right hand part of your screen. And we can bring you up on stage in this last 12 minutes or so. So I want to know, like, especially since your kids are a little bit older Oren, but still for you too.

00:49:08:18 – 00:49:27:03

Kate, what do you think has gotten easier or better or more like solidified over time when it comes to juggling, raising your kids and running the business? Is it just simply a matter of the kids getting older or do you think you’ve figured some things out along the way?

00:49:28:07 – 00:49:43:23

I think it’s a combination of all of that, like kids being older certainly helps. They’re they’re more able to like, say, there’s a photoshoot, there’s two hours or whatever. They’re able to just hang out by themselves for two hours easily.

00:49:45:14 – 00:49:57:20

And then routine, like I’m kind of bad with routines, but the routine of it, as long as I let them know a couple of days, it’s fine. They have, it’ll be no problem at all.

00:49:59:06 – 00:50:01:00

So just building a system, I guess.

00:50:01:06 – 00:50:25:01

Yeah. Which is the same as running our businesses, right? We have the like systems and our businesses. What about you, Kate? Yeah, definitely the getting older really helps. I just remember, like like I was talking about earlier, like in nursing my daughter during a photoshoot. To me, that’s really hard. And so now having them older, they can talk to me. They can go away to somebody’s house

00:50:26:28 – 00:50:55:27

really helps a lot more and helps me kind of de-stress. Now with this new baby coming, I know I’m going to start it all over again. But I think it helps that it’s not my first. Either. I’ve done this rodeo twice now already, so having a structure in place, knowing that I’m going to be going back to work and having like a sitter in place will really help a lot because I’m not shooting at my house anymore. I have the studio. So like you said, Ashleigh, you have to get some you to watch your baby while you leave.

00:50:57:12 – 00:51:31:16

So yeah, it’s definitely because of those challenges when it’s younger, but I do think it gets better when they get older. Can you talk a little bit about your maternity leave plan? I do think when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s a little harder because like you, it’s basically your maternity leave is on you to plan for yourself, like oh, and to save for it to have the funds. And so can you talk if you don’t mind sharing like a little bit about how you went about making a plan for yourself, how much time you plan to take? Yeah, absolutely.

00:51:32:27 – 00:51:55:16

So with this pregnancy, my I’m due Oct. 16. My last photoshoot is October 3rd. And then I did have one wedding rescheduled from COVID. So I actually have a wedding October 9th, but I pretty much have my team in place to go shoot it because I’m not quite sure I’m going to make it that far

00:51:59:01 – 00:52:32:15

as cutting it close. Yeah, and what we ended up doing was basically we let people know like, Hey, you’re going to be shooting with Meghan Kate’s on maternity leave. And we offered a hundred dollar gift vouchers towards session fees for anyone that wanted to book while I was on maternity leave and we booked just enough that I knew that I would be able to pay myself, pay my overhead and kind of keep things afloat and functioning with money coming in until I come back in December. So thankfully, we are totally set there.

00:52:32:17 – 00:53:05:02

She has like eight sessions and she feels really good about it. I feel good about it and I will still be doing the editing and the reveal. So at least I’m still kind of there. I’m just not actually physically going into the studio anymore. That’s awesome. It’s like so planned out, I wasn’t expecting it home, but like, you’re in everything like, that’s really impressive. And then do you have like people booked for when you come back in December? Yeah, so I’m actually completely booked for twenty twenty one.

00:53:05:15 – 00:53:10:27

Oh, awesome. So the next time anybody can book me is twenty twenty two.

00:53:12:17 – 00:53:21:25

That’s awesome. What about you Oren like I know your kids are older, but and I don’t even know if you had your business, but did you take any type of paternity leave like parent leave?

00:53:23:12 – 00:53:27:27

When I had my kids, I did. I took a couple of months off months.

00:53:28:09 – 00:53:30:06

Wow. Yeah, very fortunate.

00:53:31:03 – 00:53:51:01

So one other question that we wanted to ask is like, what advice would you give someone who is in the process of trying to build their business while they have young kids at home? What would be the number one piece of advice that you would give them Oren?

00:53:54:29 – 00:54:20:17

Patience is probably one just to be patient and take things slow. You’ll probably get overwhelmed because it is super overwhelming. I get overwhelmed all the time, but you just look at the big picture. It’s going to take longer. Compared to other people, but it’s worth it in the end, and planning and structure is probably going to help. And that’s something I’m really working on right now.

00:54:21:13 – 00:54:55:20

That’s such a good point, too. And not to compare yourself to other people, either in the members only group or just other people that you might see who are on a different journey than you. You really don’t know what’s going on in anyone’s life. You don’t really know the real numbers of their business. And you don’t know like what demands they have at home or don’t have at home. So I think that’s just always such a good lesson as to be patient with your self and not compare yourself to other people. Yeah. And how about you? What advice would you give? Yes, I definitely would piggyback on what Oren said.

00:54:55:29 – 00:55:28:22

That’s exactly right. Structure is great and then also do not be afraid to literally raise your flag and say, I need help. This is very important to me. I’m working on my business, but I need to set aside time and you just need a couple of hours here and there to work on your business. I have one really good friend. I was very fortunate to just. She was actually a client of mine and became friend and literally started helping me with my kids so I could continue to grow my business.

00:55:29:21 – 00:55:56:16

So do not be afraid to just be like, OK, I need a couple of hours. I don’t care if you have to go post your Facebook status or go post or your Instagram Story, just be like, Hey, I really need someone to come help me so I can have a couple of hours to myself to work on my business and to get these things rolling because people are absolutely willing to help and people like to follow a journey. So you’re ready to do. Oops, I think you dropped out at the last second, Kate.

00:55:58:02 – 00:56:00:05

Sorry, I think

00:56:02:03 – 00:56:34:06

I was just saying that there is nothing wrong with just being a person and focusing on your business. Truly, yes. Exactly. I think that’s also such a good point that it really takes a village both to raise kids and to run a business like we really can’t run our businesses without the help of our community. And that’s why we stress like networking and relationship building. But we also really can’t raise kids without the greater community, too, and I think we’ve all gotten so isolated, especially with the pandemic.

00:56:34:13 – 00:57:01:12

But it’s just so important to remember that, you know, reach out to your community. If you don’t have like family that can help like who other parents can, you team up with that? Maybe you guys can do like watch each other’s kids or, you know, again, just lean into that community aspect. I think that’s so huge, and something that I always have to remind myself is that it takes a village to raise a child and also grow your business.

00:57:01:26 – 00:57:07:07

Anything else to add to everything is there Ashleigh as a parent? What advice do you give?

00:57:09:19 – 00:57:40:13

I mean, I think for me, like one thing that I just like if I’m not planning to have another child, but if I did have another child, I would just tell myself is like, you know, everything has a season and it’s OK to be in the season of just like enjoying the moment. I think I I have some tendencies to be really ambitious, which is awesome, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. And if I don’t hit all the things that I want to hit it, it really takes a toll on me.

00:57:40:24 – 00:58:11:02

And like I said, that really butted up against a specifically. I would say that age is like two to five of my child’s life. And also those are like the sweet little years. And I do wish I had been more gentle on myself and just been like, It’s OK if you don’t hit the goals that you set for yourself exactly perfectly and it’s OK if maybe like some of your peers are doing more than you right now, like you are in this special phase, and I did say that to myself a little bit.

00:58:11:04 – 00:58:37:10

I don’t really think I embraced it. And so I just think if you do have really little kids, it’s OK to take some of the pressure off yourself and just know that there will be a season for growing. And now that my son’s in first grade is knock wood it stays that way. Real in-person school I am in is like a huge season of growth, so I just needed that, I guess patience with myself, like Oren instead

00:58:38:10 – 00:59:10:20

echoed that sentiment. Ashleigh, I’ve seen you post pictures of your son and whether it’s singing or whether it’s dancing, and I think it’s super sweet, you know, embrace that, remember that, take the opportunity even if you’re not meeting the goals that you might have set out for yourself. That is something special that you know, I currently don’t have. And just to see you be able to have that and record them like, you know what, she’s going to have that she’s going to know that she had that opportunity to be at that dance lesson, that singing lesson, you know? So, yeah, I echo that.

00:59:12:08 – 00:59:24:18

Anyways, folks, we have reached the one hour mark of our conversation of our roundtable with two fantastic guests. But before we let you both go, if you would go ahead and share your socials with us?

00:59:25:01 – 00:59:44:25

Yeah, absolutely. My Instagram is at Kate Styles photographer. And then I also have a Facebook group called the Goddess Lounge come hang out with us. And if you’re listening and you can follow me just shipping methods so I can follow you back and give you some love on your page. Oren

00:59:46:29 – 00:59:54:03

I am Oren Sew Portraits on Instagram, Facebook and same with the website.

00:59:55:09 – 00:59:56:00


00:59:57:16 – 01:00:28:06

Everyone, please, please, please be sure to go follow them and make sure to follow the Portrait System on Instagram and on Facebook as well. Also, be sure to check out the blog posts that are associated with our clubhouse interviews at If you are a member of Sue Bryce Education, you have any more questions for David, Ashleigh or myself go tag us in a post in the Sue Bryce Members Only Facebook group. If you are not a member of Sue Bryce Education, and you are interested in learning more about how we can help you and your business succeed, email Ella with support at

Thank you again for joining us and we hope you can join us next week.

Thanks again for listening today. And don’t forget, you can listen to either me or our special guests every Friday on Club House at 11:00 a.m. Pacific. Thank you so much for listening to the Portrait System Podcast. Your five-star reviews really help us to continue what we do. So, if you like listening, would you mind giving us a review wherever you listen? I also encourage you to head over to, where you can find all of the education you need to be a successful photographer. There are over 1,000 on-demand educational videos on things like posing, lighting, styling, retouching, shooting, marketing, sales, business, and self-value

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