Prior to becoming a professional photographer, Nina worked for 15 years on major brands including Texaco, Green & Blacks, David Lloyds, Butlins and Velvet toilet tissue. She travelled the world with these international brands from shooting TV in commercials in South Africa to Formula 1 Powerboat racing in Eastern Europe.
Since becoming a photographer Nina has worked hard to develop her skills and won the Guild of Professional Photographers Children, Family & Lifestyle Photographer of the Year. She has now branched out into Training and has been named Best Professional Photography Trainer by the SWPP. She is now also working with commercial clients and her work can regularly be seen in industry magazines amongst others.
Tell us a bit about you as a mum
Growing up I was always very career driven and I did wonder if children would become a part of my life. As it turned out it wasn’t until I was 30 until I had my first child a little boy. My daughter followed 2.5 years later and they are now 7 and 10 years old! I love being a Mum but was also still keen to retain some sense of self in a job that challenged me and that I enjoyed doing.
Tell us about your current job
I worked in Marketing and Brand Management for 15 years and after having my second child it quickly became apparent that I couldn’t balance working full time on international brands and be there for the kids. I decided to change careers and wanted to become a photographer as it was a great way to take images as my children grew up as well as meet like-minded families.
How easy have you found being a working mum?
Not that easy it’s a real challenge!! I am lucky that my job means I can get to sports days, assembly’s and school trips but on top of my work I still have to find time for all of the usual house chores/ food shopping etc. I often feel like I have a lot of different hats on!
How have you found trying to balance being a mum with your current role?
I am now in my 6th year running my business and it’s taken four years to really learn how to find a balance between the two!. As a business owner, I wanted to dedicate as much time as I could to growing my client base and brand and subsequently there was a period where I was probably working more unsociable hours than when I worked in Marketing. I have had to become much more disciplined with myself to make sure that I work the hours I had originally planned and I have gotten a lot better at saying no.
What has kept you going throughout your journey so far?
Being surrounded with other working photographer mums who are absolutely honest with me! I am very lucky to have three very good friends I have met through photography who help me plan and set goals. I also turn to them when I have one of my “amazing” ideas and I trust them to tell me if I am going off on a random tangent when I already have enough to do. My husband has also been really supportive as he knows how important it is that I have something that I can put my stamp on aswell as being a Mum.
What advice would you offer anyone who is about to return to work after having a child?
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect people to understand how much you have on your plate. As much as you try to explain how being a mum, working full or part-time and keeping on top of everything at home, can feel overwhelming at times, until they do it themselves they won’t really understand. Look after yourself and don’t feel guilty about pencilling in time to relax for just you. Meet up with supportive other working mums as more than anyone they will know how it feels.
What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you about combining motherhood with a job?
As a Mum, we will often say yes to everything and when you are working and raising children you can allow yourself to prioritise. I have a laundry room (which is forever filled with washing) but I have come to realise it really doesn’t matter. Some things may have to slide and that’s OK!
Anything else you would like our members to know about you?
I love photographing children but also teaching Mums how to take great photos of their own kids. If you are ever looking for Beginners Photography Training then please do get in touch.