TCF Ep. #531 - Brooke Schultz


Creativity is more than just having talent. It's about making a choice to utilize whatever talent you do have. That's a lot easier to say than do sometimes because self doubt and insecurity can service considerable obstacles. It didn't start that way because as kids we created without such distractions sometimes I think we spend a lifetime trying to unlearn all that stinking thinking. For Brooke Schultz her love of photography is more than just about making memorable portrait's families but helping other photographers to leverage their desire to be creative person. Using her workshop center podcast heartful with Brooke. Celts, she does just that. This was a conversation that very much looked forward to as it provided a special moment of positivity during some very dark times. This is e body and ex and welcome back to the candidate frame. The KENDRA frame thriller Nice to have you Thank you so much for having me a buyer your next. Are you know Marshall is often about more leading a creative lifer leading fruit for photographic line, which is all about just being creative in your your podcast in a lot of what I picked up from you focuses on that as well. So I thought this might be fun time not just the learn about your work but just to have. A conversation about creativity. Let's do that as much as I wanNA learn about you in your work I think. Having a conversation like this, like this is always always good to have someone. Yes. Thank you. In one of the things Dow was kind of interesting was this idea of giving yourself permission to be creative. And having been a man I you know I always taken it from the male perspective because it's the only choice that Hap- But. It's interesting in terms of something that I heard in terms of what of your episodes speaking from a woman's perspective especially, a woman who is. A wife, a mother, and in terms of sometimes the guilt that some women feel who are under the circumstances about making the choice to be creative from the cells in in terms of seeing it as something that selfish. And thought that was really interesting and it's not something that I really have had an opportunity to really discuss specifically of touched on it. I. Think at least a couple of times on your podcast I thought that would be really interesting way of starting in the conversation so. Talk to me about that. Wow well, I'm curious to know. have. You ever experienced that like a guilt feeling for being creative or is it just like I'm creative and I need to kind of work through the creative process but not so much the gill in terms of other aspects of your life most of my guilt is been not doing mea. Not so much that I felt like I was depriving. The. People in my life something as a result of making the choice to be creative. No every you sharing that because I think it's speaks to what women currently experience in a cultural sense that to be a good wife mother or just women in general, you are expected to do it all do it all perfectly and don't let anyone see you sweat dining and Especially to be a quote unquote mother you're expected and it's kind of like this seeing that runs in the background I think of just give yourself entirely to your children and any time that you spend away is somehow. Demerits or like a is taking away something very valuable from them, and so that's been something that I've had to really consciously. Reprogram in my own belief system to believe that the creative impulse is a human impulse and regardless of our roles whether it's a mother grandmother, you don't professional creative person or just someone who enjoys taking pictures or whenever you're creative outlet might be that those impulses are human that any humans in your care whether it's children or otherwise are going to be benefited by that creative impulse in my watching you be creative. Did. You ever feel this before you were a parent or is something that seems they've. Become especially pronounced after every given birth to kids. I think it's definitely more after having kids kids are so needy. ME. Need you all the time and especially as. In my family and many women as a mother, you're the primary caregiver and so you're the one that it falls upon to fill those kids needs all the time and my kids are really little. They're seven, five, four and three months so. You know they they need me a lot and so walking that line and that tension and dance between how much they need me and what I need. Myself is a really interesting one to walk and I think all of us walk that one way or in creativity because we have other obligations besides just you know sitting around getting inspired making creative work you know. So it's attention that everyone can relate to but I think it's especially prevalent in mother had. had sort of come to terms of that early in my in my marriage because I've. Came to my photography like, but I wanted to do it. I would do it. Part of the negotiation in terms of my relationship with my spouse in terms of our time together and making photographs is like I had to be really conscious of the fact. I. Am is about US spending time together not just for go photographs. and. That was sort of source attention. On especially when we go on vacation or do. Because, I always said my camera with me. So I said the more considerate. And they didn't kill easy. I think it was largely as a result of me trying to make my wife happy as well as deep, still being able to express that part. So I had to sort of find a way of coming out with a balance. Otherwise. I never really had to consider someone else's desires or wants or needs when it came to. Whether I want I want a time to dedicate to whatever form of creativity that won't. Yeah. It's interesting that you say that because I think especially as mother's things changed so much more quickly you know my my little one who's three months old is a completely different kid than he was at one day old you know in terms of his needs and personality is abilities what he can do and so I think we gotta give ourselves permission to get. It wrong. You know there's going to be times where I lean to where you you know. I'm on vacation I take too many photos and there's going to be times where I'm in the thick of motherhood and I really need to pull out the camera for myself but I don't for whatever reason. So I think that that dance and that willingness to get it wrong sometimes no matter how far along your creative path you might be is really key. Did. You already have an active for revenue business before you got married and I started my business in two, thousand twelve and so I got married in two thousand ten. So I didn't, and then my daughter was born in two thousand thirteen. So is kind of it was right before but very, very much all at the same time. Told me about how that came to be my business or the. Choice to become professional photographers. So when I was getting married I. Mean I fell in love with Jonathan countless. If you know his work, he is a portrait wedding photographer in like two thousand eight and his work was work I just fell transported by that I felt like I knew the subjects that his images took me somewhere else and having that experience was so magical. So I became sort of a photography enthusiast at that point then I was getting married and having my own wedding images that was A. Really Fun and also Kinda Rocky. Experience I started out with a photographer who I didn't Gel with and then. As far as like style and I was trying to make her something she wasn't which has we all know is never a good never could idea and then I ended up with a wedding photographer who I absolutely loved and loved the images that I saw, and then after having that experience of being on the other side of the camera, then I really felt like maybe I could do this and I had a family friend when I was in high school who took me under her wing and Helped me learn photoshop and I did editing for her. So I was just I was just a buff for a while and then after I got married then. Was Young and stupid and just thought I can. Do this you know I mean my coworker was getting married and she wanted to have the cheapest wedding possible and I just foolishly raised my hand and said I can do that and it was classic every rookie mistake you can make I made but at the so I started out as a wedding photographer and then as I had more kids and my kids started getting older than I started to fall in love with family family photography and family work. Being young and dumb doesn't as data just. Maybe. Maybe. Dumb for I. Think naive part. Yeah. It's. Probably better description of that because he doesn't know what you don't. You don't know what you what you can do. Oh, hundred percent. We can be a really serve with good thing not too much can can be. Just. As stifling is not knowing enough. Yeah. Yeah. A new mention my podcast. My podcast is basically like a pep talk for all of us to try to make more work, make more creations and I think my twenty year old self would've at that and thought what who needs that who needs a pep talk about how to make stop just God. Who Cares? I do You had talked about starting a novel and one of the things that I liked about that is like no one ever has to see it. Because it's fun and I will take. Oh. I know how true that is. But it was it was a good reminder that anything that I do creatively I can just do it for the pleasure of event and no one ever has to see it. Am I think part of the struggle that I have and I think a lot of people have is that GONNA be. Choose to be creative it's going to be any good and that always assumes the fact that someone else is going GonNa, see it and make a judgment on it. I know no one ever has to see. You enjoy doing it. You can just do it for the pleasure of it and never have to worry about whether it's quote unquote. Good. Did, you have a good time making it at dairy and I think as adults week completely lose that and as you mentioned in that episode, kids don't worry about it. They just makes stuff just for the sake of making it. Yeah. Yeah. Their judgment is so much. They hardly ever have judgments about whether their work is good or not good like I. Don't think none of my kids sit around looking at their. Finger paintings. Saying Oh, this one so good or this one. So not good. They just keep making and I'm so inspired by that to just kit all the mind drama away from it and just get right to the heart of it which is. That creative. Human Impulse, and let's just follow that without all this extra baggage. To fill me about the as you were growing gear your business, you know getting more clients. What did you start finding? Were your your strengths because as you know there, there's no shortage of people who photograph weddings have kids for. Families. And you can't help but start comparing yourself especially as April you're you're you're starting to emulate but I think an important part of being able to see for yourself through those initial times is is not so much where that people are paying you it's is more. Recognizing the things that you're good at are the feel good about when you're doing again, tree you and I love that distinction between things that you feel you're Gooda and things that you feel good doing because like we were just saying the creativity in all its forms, it's about what you feel good doing and for me it was it was two sides of the same coin. I felt so good seeing people through the camera and through the Lens and showing them a version of themselves that they really resonated with. I. Remember getting an email from a bride who just said Oh I'm just crying how did you? Make me look this good. All My life I've hated photos of me, and you somehow made me look incredible and that was my first taste of photography being able to transport someone else to better version of themselves, and then as I got into family photography, I realized how necessary in life giving that was for me on both sides of the camera that. So much of my mother life was invisible and I would make food that we would eat without proof that it was ever there. I would do all this work in my four walls every day that nobody was there to witness to be able to see. Me With my family through imagery. self-portrait Sir images that other photographers had made of me. Made me feel like my my best self and that was the feedback that I got from other mothers especially was this helps me do that invisible work with more passionate test and you know vitality than I could without being seen that way. So but the flip side of that is that struggle of feeling invisible and I think lots of. Humans and creative people all of us together we want to avoid the struggle we want to focus on this drinks. Every strength is a weakness right at the same time. If you're really good at, you know see helping people be seen you might also feel invisible you know nuts, it's two sides of the same coin. But as artists, we really have that calling to lean into those those curiosities and those struggles in our own lives to think make our most powerful work or like the description of those qualities being different sides of the same coin. Because I think we tend to look at negatives being completely encapsulated everything about us. Tonight steadily. True. The Yeah. I. Used to be so jealous and just wildly envious of women who wanted to stay home and they were content to be stay at home mothers and they didn't have you know all these big dreams and things that I had. My mom is a stay at home. Mom She was supermom in every sense of the word. So I had so much baggage around that. Until I realized Hey, I'm not the only one with this struggle and I think that's the beauty of art and any type of photography is that it can really shine a spotlight on those areas that we feel like our such a problem like you said, the negative stuff that we kind of just wish we could eliminate and say, hey, maybe this isn't the worst thing. Maybe this is just part of the GIG and now I've just made so much more peace with that to say. What a gift like this is. A gift to struggle, it's a gift to have the tension. It makes for interesting work. It makes for an interesting life. We all think that we wanNA life without problems. But that life would be so boring the choice to dedicate yourself to being a good parent as well as having a business. That's a lot of energy choirs, a lot of time and Buzzard Limited So what are the things that you do to be able to make sure that you're dedicating sufficient time to whatever you need to do in terms of your business as well as being able to take care of your kids especially with the age range that? The they're all going to school, right? Yeah. Very demanding of germs of your time. Yeah. I photographed a family a little while ago and we had done a maternity session. She had a little toddler. She was pregnant with her second baby. So we've done a maternity session and I was in town again right after her baby was born and so I was like, Hey, let's do a newborn session. Let's do it. Let's do it and she was like I don't know we just did that other such like she went back and forth we almost didn't do the session we ended up doing it and that baby unexpectedly died two weeks later. And I mean, of course is apparent. That's your absolute worst nightmare. And those images, she looks tired and some of them you know she and her husband they look like you look if you don't know that's coming in two weeks you know there's there's everything wrapped up in those images. There's joy. There's heartbreak there's. I mean heartbreak that just comes with being in a family not not just with us there's everything in those images and so to answer your question. Helps me the most is offering the power of what I'm doing whether it's in my mothering life or in my business and my photographic life that it matters so much and that even though we can talk about the the power of photographs in a way that kind of. Becomes a little trite or cheesy with. With stories like I'm telling it, it's no less true. You know that that the work we do matter so much and so when I'm working and I work from home and my kids are screaming outside the door with the nanny than I, just try to give myself a little bit of a view of the forest through the trees like. This matters so much the work that I do for clients matters so much, and then when I'm not doing work, the work that I do with my kids matter so much. Talking about this I'm trying to be sensitive in term so you know gender roles. Of Not, just simply asking the simply because you're a woman but. For me, the circumstances under which Amana is primarily taking care of kids as usually happens later on in a kid's development, it's after a parent parents split up. And it's usually the kids already in school. So they may cheer custody or the the man may have primary custody of apparent, and so the dynamic is very different because it's not really early in the kids. The kids age right. When they're fairly fairly young. And now the dynamics of what a family is can vary greatly but I suspect that you had a chance to talk to a variety of different people as a result of your work as well as the the podcast. and rather than seeing is you know particularly group is Monolithic what what what have you what have you learned about different people in different roles contend with this thing what we're talking about? Yeah. That's a great question and what I've learned probably won't surprise you, which is that we're so much more likely than we are different and what I was saying before about how we think about struggle as being this solitary thing and often photography we do as a pretty solitary thing. That's one of the things that. So life giving to me about photographing families and being able to be that witness for them is that I see over and over every family the same things I see I see. All those things I was just talking about about joy about heartbreak about the sacrifices each parent makes to raise a family. I see the pain of being a kid. The struggle of being powerless child ic the tenderness between you know a a parent and a child and that no matter kind of what the makeup is of that family that there's so much more similarities than so much more just human s I mean I think that is what is so compelling to me and many others about photography is that you? Just can't you can't hide your human self when you're in front of the camera, you all your all the emotions come out in one way or another whether it's through your body language or through your voice I mean it's vulnerable experience to be photographed and I think there's a bit of a contrarian NPR of loves that revelation no matter who I'm photographing. For me to make my life work, it has to be heavily structured Calendars moments, I have to meditate exercise. Just the meanings I may have the work that I have to do I mean if it's not raining down, it's very easy for me to forget it and it's easy for me to be distracted. Especially, all the variety of things that I have going on in in my life. To you rely on structuring what tools do you use in order to make sure that everything that you needed to get done? Gets done. An very attached to the I cal the counter I sir. Scheduling things but I think the biggest thing for me is being able to. Transition with grace and. Because I do want. All of it I WANNA do everything. I want to be an amazing mother and an amazing photography and an amazing business owner podcast or you know all those things and to be able to do that for me I found that the key is those transition points and being able to say okay. Yes. Now I'm. Brooke Mom, Mom Brooke, and now I'm photographer Brooke and. To let those things. They 'cause they of course, they crossover and they intersect with one another by that's the biggest challenge is to deal with those intersection points with grace I think. It's been a difficult year making it a challenge for everyone speaking personally, the last couple of weeks have been especially exhausting. I'm easing off of my consumption of news media because the unrelenting negativity is making it difficult to maintain an attitude of positivity. I've gotten many messages from listeners that this show has provided many just such an alternative. I'm very grateful that I can be that for many of you providing you with a positive hopeful and encouraging voice. I think we can all do with more of that. If. The show provides you. Please consider supporting US financially. You can do that by contributing five dollars ten dollars, twenty dollars or more month by visiting Petri on dot com forward slash the candidate frame. That modest amount makes a huge difference for us and we can do with your kindness and support become a patriotic supporter today. Thank you. So. Go. With the schedules you set for your for your shoots assume that because. Families are weddings at it's oftentimes a a weekend affair but nevertheless, you have a lot to do between those. But dummying with that looks like from week to week Mama what have you found that works for you? Yeah I think this is a great question because so many photographers just think the vision of success is to shoot as much as possible and I don't shoot all that much. I shoot on average two to four, his family sessions a month, and that's all. So I mean I do those mostly on on weekends but because it's just a two or three hour round trip gig. And it's so life giving to me than it doesn't feel like this huge time away from my family, and then right now I'm working about sixteen hours a week from home and that has shifted ice to work about ten hours a week but. You know just. The. What I'm saying about transition points and being able to be flexible like that's what's working right now but I have to be willing to. Reevaluate that at any point you know my kids needs might change my needs might change whatever it is to say like, okay, this was working last month. It's not working anymore, and then that's the beauty of being able to be creative person being able to be an entrepreneur entrepreneurs that you can dial it in and change it up as much as you want and I think a lot of people. A entrepreneurs specifically kind of chain themselves to you know they have chains of their own making Mike this schedule that we've made that we think we can't mess with, but it's like you're the one who made it. So you can go ahead and if you I you know. Learning, all the business stuff I think he's much more of a challenge than it is learning the photographic stuff. It's amazing. You can get away with in terms of. Not Knowing comprehensively about photography it's still. To. Say that as much when it comes to the business side so or resources, did you use it order to get? Up to snuff with those. I am A. Multiplicity of contradictions as we all are, but there's there's a part of me that loves the artistry and loves like just feeling the feelings and being inspired and let's get down with creativity I love it, and then there's the other part of me that it's marketing for breakfast and I I do have a passion for business definitely, not as much of a passionate artist streep I love the business stuff and. So I mean I can I can tell you you know whatever resources you're curious about. But the overarching principle for me has been to look outside of photography at what's working in business at what's working in online business specifically, like most photographers don't think of themselves as being in running an online business, but that's mostly that's a huge bulk of what we do. Right. So I study business in marketing and everything from that outside perspective and then Ch- apply it to photography. Rate, insight what are what are some of the top things that you learned that you realize invaluable respect to one of the things is having an email list I mean, maybe that is a common. Common now but for so long everybody in the online world was saying you have an email lists and nobody in the photography world was doing it and so to be able to like, it seems so simple to collect people's email addresses. So you can reach out to them directly instead of waiting for them to come to you whether that's on social media or any other platform. But having any Melissa and not to stay sign up for my newsletter that you actually offer them something that they want in exchange for their email address. So maybe it's a free guide for what to wear to your family session that they get as soon as they sign up, and then you're able to stay in touch with them about your family sessions that kind of thing. One of the things about an email less than something I'm still learning in terms of all the marketing is you have to ask want Oh sore huge. So but especially for creative suspiciously assists photographers, it can very be very difficult to ask Well you gotTa do it otherwise you won't get you want. Read your mind and say Oh, he wants a job he wants money. But getting over the the anxiety of asking is been simply learned to get over but talking about that that part of it is A. Big. Hurdle to to get over. Yeah. I I'm glad you brought that up. That's huge and something I still struggle with for sure and I think underlying is often because we enjoy photography so much than we think we don't deserve to get paid well for it somehow or also that. If. We just put up photos on instagram. People will clearly know that we are talkers and they can pay US money to take their photograph. But that's not always the case. Right you can. Like you're saying, you can ask people for what you want and. I was just talking to a group of photographers the coaching and I was saying you can reach out to people and ask them to hire you individually in the were just mind blown like what I can just reach out to somebody it'd be like, Hey, if you had family photos recently, I would love to shoot you and your family like majors or like I do that. That's amazing. So I think that like anything else is just a muscle that gets better as you practice that you're gonNa feel awful and maybe a little slimy the first time you ask someone to pay you for your services like specifically instead of just a general like post on instagram type of deal but the more you do it the better you get at it, and like you said the more you ask the more you receive and I think that the capacity to receive is actually a really underrated skill that we as creative people should and could all really benefit from exercising more. And I think with every opportunity that you have to practice what you love making photographs that helps students still ear inherent feelings of value about your work. That only being able to ask for more money initially, but eventually asking for what you're worth. For money is one thing asking what you're worth is is something else. Remember get there if you never put yourself out there i. He Yeah Yeah I, think that there's this idea among artists like, oh, I don't care about money. It shouldn't be about money I'm a purist. I only care about the art and I think if that's generally true for you that's one thing. But I think a lot of times that's just a mask and kind of cover up to say I don't know how to ask for money for this I. Don't know how to receive money for what I do and therefore I'm just going to say I don't care about it. I think that that part of that response is they assume that the people that are doing it for money are doing the doing it for as altruistic reasons. Yes. Acres they can make money I'm doing it because I just love it and it's like, no, let's not. Mutually exclusive, Zachary. Ek someone has debate for all the stuff. The software the computer, you know all that stuff the money has to come from somewhere nearby and much preferred. Have other people helping me to pay for all this stuff. Cushions on the couch. Of fully well, I think that people forget what a pleasure it is to pay for a beautiful experience and beautiful art. I mean, if you think about something that you love paying for like if your electric company called you up, was like, sorry, you just you can't pay US anymore, you can't have electricity anymore we'd all be like, no, please let me pay you money like please let me pay this this money and as artists. What we do is less tangible, but it's no less valuable I mean if you think about. When we're in the darkest of times like bright in the in the beginning of all the covid nineteen madness and the pandemic when it was really bad and we were all kind of collectively I think really down depressed. What did we do? We turn to art return to the artist's we washed our favorite movies. We read our favorite books. You know we listened to more podcasts than usual Regis listen to the best music. We turned to the artists of the world to say help me through this and to say that that's not valuable or that those artists should be doing that purely from altruism I think it's just crazy. You're doing you're doing your podcast in congratulations on getting over a hundred episodes. It's no wealthy. Thank you. As, we already talked about you're busy. You got a lot of. Much less coming up podcast producer, but in terms of. Who you're targeting. I don't necessarily I don't necessarily see is is your audience being the people that are hiring you to to be a photographer or am I mistaken? That's the thing about podcasting is it's hard to measure right? Like it's hard to say. So I, definitely gotten clients from the podcast and kind of people who knew my work before but then became more invested in me and what I'm all about and You know making the work that we do in family really visible instead of so in the background. Definitely, clients have come from the PODCAST, but you're right. It's not. It's not a lot of potential clients and it's geared a lot more towards people who have a creative inkling that they're not currently following, and that was just as I worked with other photographers and workshops and retreat in online teaching all those different settings what I found over right over was the same problems that kept coming up, which wasn't I don't know what to do next or. I don't have enough time or money or anything to do my creativity or to do this photo project that I really want or whatever it was and is that it's all of the mind all of the thoughts, all of the mind drama, all of the reasons why we hold ourselves back that. was really getting in the way it wasn't. It wasn't the excuses that we often think of of time or money or experience, or any of those things 'cause. People have done. You know what you WANNA do with less time money or experience the New York. Times going to pass anyway right. So it's just about being able to get over yourself enough to make the work and do the creations, but in terms of. That aspect of my business it, it is a little bit separate but I do a lot of work with other photographers and. A lot of families I'm photographing now our other photographers families. So they you know there's there's crossover points. About the Jewish to to do it because back when I got started, they were much. So I didn't have compare myself with which is one of the reasons I think I was able to do it as laser. Yeah you're no g you around a long time I mean huge congratulations on that too. So. You mean the choice to do it as far as where do I fit in the market of podcasting. You know anytime you jump into a pool or they're already a lot of other swimmers. You can easily convince yourself. Why should I bother? There's already somebody else do released podcast dozen other people already doing this first news excuse not to. Yeah, and for me, it was that I couldn't do it. I was just talking to all my family and friends constantly and saying what are you wanting to create that you're not creating and trying to pep talk them into actually making things and so I it for myself and that was the first impulse didn't honestly I didn't consider the market hardly at all as I jumped in and I just thought even if the only listener is my mom shout my mom. Then this podcast is for me right at me I and if it helps somebody else along the way, that's a bonus. and. I think your question overall is a really interesting one of kind of why bother it's really saturated and that's been a classic question photography as of. Recent years where tar free has become so much more accessible and anybody can pick up a camera and do it but I think what? I would say and tell me your thoughts on this is. So what if it's saturated and it's it's it's all been done but it hasn't been done by you and that specific point of view that you have. You don't realize how unique it is until you're much further down the line. So you have to follow the trail. You have to just pick up one breadcrumb at a time and keep going until you figure out what it is that makes you unique. You don't you. I don't think you can know that at the beginning. Germany factor is, is the riffing on something you said is that it's something that I have to do not just wanted. Even if it starts off as a lot when it turns into a have to do and it's because it's a completely different beast. From there, you can mind the energy and the will to be able to press during those times when you just don't want to do the work. It's just something that you WanNa do It's easily easy to come up with excuses to not to do the groundwork that has no glamour or Gloria, but it's absolutely necessary at our final result. But like you said, did the show just for very selfish reason I wanted to ask you. To Talk to these people and it's very countersue I wanted to listen to. Yeah. You know that's the reason to do it not because it's GonNa Derive some sort of. A secondary money and fame. Rosen s thing that's. Six daydreaming. Singer expecting. For share can agreement. So tell me about working with these other photographers. have. That sort of start manifesting its office is part of what you did. Yeah. So I was really guilty of something. A lot of photographers are guilty of, which is just kind of circling our own drains and being in our own echo chambers in the photography world and so I, kind of just thought you know this is who I'm talking to other photographers. So I kind of accidentally built a business for other photographers. As my as my family work started to. Become more to me and have more of a unique perspective than more photographers started to see that and go I. Want I want to do that with my clients? I don't want to just do the cheesy were standing in the phone leaves you know smiling for the Christmas card type photos I, want to touch all these different aspects of of what it is to be family, and so I started out doing a one day workshop where he taught everything that I about working with families, all my tips and tricks for losing them. Up for you know working with kids all of the above and then that was an amazing experience but it was incomplete for everyone who came, and so now I do a retreat that a few days and we do five families shoots and we get it just geek out on family photography and getting those candidate images more of that lifestyle. We do a lot of in-home family photography as well. So it's really fun to be able to, as you know like have that experience with other photographers where you can just Kinda Geek out and May I'm bobby working on a personal project where I document the morning routines of young families and just go to their homes. Look soon after they've woken up in the morning. It's been about three hours and then I'm just like a fly on the wall. That's just propelled by something I wanted to do just obser- at an it's been so much fun to photograph in that way. The. Things ought made is if I'm ever asked to family pictures I, shoot it that way because I want. Comfortable taking people to a park or to. The photographs that because it's not in line with the way that I I see. It was an. Thing for me to recognize 'cause it's like I think that. Would have fallen into the trap of what I think I should be doing. That WANNA be doing. When That's how I feel comfortable shooting that was. In line with the way that I already work and and in line with how you view family your your story of what it is to be in a family is not tied to the beach or the park necessarily. So that's that's really beautiful above get you becoming comfortable with your own way out shooting. You know sure that there were ways that it was very different from what you observing other photographers are already out there doing this. Feeling. Okay. With just the way that I like to do things and being all right with that. And I think I didn't realize how different it was at first. I didn't realize how much of a black sheep I was until I started looking at the work and sort of comparing it a little bit to what was already. And that's the thing is, is that we look around and we want to know what's possible by what is being done. But if history has taught us nothing I, mean it should be that we can't predict the future by the pastor by the president. Of what's possible? So I really started to lean in and give myself permission to just love all the things that I love and to find beautiful all the things that I find beautiful I. think we all have a different sensibility in terms of beauty and what it is that we find beautiful and realizing that and kind of following that path of. Really noticing Oh what what is it that I find beautiful. So I was looking at a lot of a lot of fashion imagery to be honest and you know like I grew up just pouring over magazines and reading all of those. Typical beauty magazines and loving those photographs and so I thought and like you said about the podcasts that you made a podcast, you wanted to listen to I just made photos that I wanted to like where I wanted to be that mom of the way that high wanted to be seen as a mother and not just this like the moms are portrayed the same way in every commercial like there were they wear the same clothes they're for trade like in this very vanilla very. Same same way and I was much more concerned with like. A mother's individuality and in. In so much family photography that I was seeing I was focused on the kids. You know it was like all about the kids mom and dad were there for a couple whereas I really see family in terms of mom and dad, and because it all starts there and That relationship being the core of it, and of course that we can go as deep as we want without like my childhood and. My parents having a very strong relationship with each other and really putting each other I and including US kids in their romance and I mean I remember my mom enlisting me and my four brothers as waiters for their Valentine's Day dinner I. Mean we served them Valentine's Day dinner I. Mean that was the type of relationship that they had and so but my relationship with my husband is different than that and so I think that a lot of times as we make our where we're working out all those really deep psychological emotional. Experiences through our images and we forget that that can be in service of other people. You know I was kind of a long winded answer take. Just, came to mind is so much to win a DC family family photographer it's it's it's it's mostly sus gender families. You know got mother father. Kids, and there's some different types of families now. Not Parents that are gay or lesbian, but you also have similarites. In I'm wondering in terms of marketing to them or I don't know what the experience that you've had with with families in, which is only a single Barrett but in which. A Portrait is still becomes a consideration in end something that they want to buy buy into. Just I just realized that I don't see much of that look at. Photographers set Marketing Associate Family Photographers. And I think. So much of that is that we attract more of what we already show whether it's you know any any category and so if you are showing a lot of imagery of single parents, you will attract more single parents because they feel like you get them and you have shown that you've serve them you know same with any other you know category that's underrepresented. In the landscape right now and so what I would challenge all of photographers listening is what what don't you see what don't you see in the landscape of photography in your genre that you wish you saw and then go out and make that make it on your own time first and then you'll be able to get hired for it after you show that that's what you do. Well, my last question that I ask each guest is I asked them to recommend another photographer and it can be anyone. And somebody had long admired or someone you recently discovered. So who photographer being in Y. Oh do I only I get pick one. For another twenty minutes Oh. It's so true. Okay. So like current photographer or A. Okay. All right. Well, my all time favorite is Richard Avedon So I mean I highly doubt that anyone listening hasn't explored his work, but maybe just go give yourself a little refresher. If you haven't explored his working on a while because the way that he uses emotion and the way that he explores the landscape of a face and the dynamics between people and the way that he was a genus across. So many genres really inspiring. No matter what kind of photography you do. Thank you for that and thank you so much for your time on the Saturday I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me as a treat. Thanks to Brooke for joining US find out more about her and her work by visiting Brooke celts photography Dot Com, and check out our podcast. Heartful with Brooke Schultz. If you're a devoted listener and subscribe to the show Rightous Review on whatever service you listen to podcasts those reviews if a lot of to grow, you can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel and our mailing list on Youtube Channel for critiques images submitted by TC listeners like you while the mailing list keeps you updated with all TCI events, including workshops and more sign up today. And remember you can support the show by contributing to our patriots effort. Or make a one time or requiring donation via pay pal. Thanks to Michael, Lichter Savan Berle and met county for their recent contributions. We also provide a series of books photography available for purchase on our website. It's my way of sharing my experience and knowledge another way for you to support the show. 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