Beryl Ayn Young believes that there is magic hidden inside your camera, and she’s here to help you love your photos and your life. Recapture your passion for photography and join a community of other supportive, caring, and creative moms by registering for the completely FREE Embrace 3 Day Photo Printing Challenge HERE. Because it’s finally time to get a simple project off your device and into your life for good. Follow Beryl on Instagram, find her on Facebook or hop over to her Blog to be inspired!
We had the pleasure of taking a peek inside a day in the life (and business!) of creative photographer, Beryl Ayn Young who teaches mom’s how to lead a more fulfilling life from behind the lens. Keep reading to learn more about Beryl through our exclusive interview, we bet you will be inspired!
Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I teach women (moms primarily) how to come into deeper resonance with their personal purpose and fulfillment using photography as a tool to do so. Photography is a creative outlet that’s so easily accessible to moms, because we don’t want to lose sight of how quickly our kids grow up. My signature class, Embrace, supports moms in making their memories tangible through printing them. However I also have courses that teaching technical photography and simple photo editing techniques as well.
How did you get started?
Photography was a deeply healing outlet for me on my own journey into motherhood. In 2009 at 20 weeks pregnant we lost our first daughter. The grieving process was a really difficult time in my own life and forced me to dig into my own life to find deeper fulfillment beyond being a mom. The camera allowed me to hide from the world when I was feeling intense sadness, but also gave me a point of connection and a way to slowly step back into interacting with my friends, family, and the world around me.
During the time I began a blog with no intentions of making it into a business. After a short stint trying to run a family portrait photography business and failing, I found my niche in teaching photography instead (I was an elementary school teacher in my former work life). 7 years later I’m loving every minute of teaching my creative process and helping moms find themselves through photographic expression.
What is the thing you dislike the most in running your business? What is the best thing? What are the biggest challenges?
The thing I dislike most is releasing control and the feeling like it could all fall apart at any minute. Working a ‘day job’ gave me a sense of stability that a paycheck would come home every two weeks. The pressure that this work is all on me can be overwhelming at times.
In the same vein that’s also one of the best things too! Because I get the flexibility to have full creative control over what I create, when I create it, and who I work with.
It may come as no surprise that the biggest challenge is time management. Balancing the roles of mom, creative, and business owner is no easy feat! Especially trying to switch roles quickly and with ease.
How has becoming a mom changed how you work?
Becoming a mom made me more passionate about my work. It made me want to show my daughter that she can do anything she sets her hear to. And it made me work smarter so I can balance the time I spend on my business in order to have flexibility in connecting and spending time with my family.
Do you have any tips, resources, or tools for managing work/life balance?
Google calendar is my #1 saving grace. I schedule in EVERYTHING. I schedule in playdates with friends, self-care for me, and priorities for my business. I try to keep Mondays and Fridays as clear as possible to help me ease in and out of the week in a really gentle way. I also set a one word intention every morning. A guiding principle that I’d like to support me throughout my day. (Today my one word is ‘Productivity’)
What creative activities do you like to do with your kid(s)?
It’s funny because my daughter and I have completely different creative interests. She has not fallen in love with photography like I have. I also writing and sewing which is still a bit beyond her dexterity and abilities at 5. She likes to paint and draw and color and build. In order to create together the entire front of our house is dedicated to our creative pursuits. She has a room with paint, and paper, and glue, and markers that is right beside my office where I write and sew. We have creative time together, but typically we are doing completely different things.
Do you have any advice for moms thinking about taking the plunge?
Have courage, have faith, and have commitment! You need all 3 in order to be successful. Starting a business is scary, it’s a leap of faith, and you have to work REALLY hard. You have to know what you’re willing to sacrifice and what you aren’t. There will always be fear it just shifts and morphs over time so things that were scary yesterday won’t be tomorrow. But serving yourself as you serve the world in some creative way is SO worth it.
Do you recommend any resources (websites, organizations, books, etc) for people interested in pursuing a career in photography?
My biggest inspiration as I was starting my own photography business was from the photo mom Me Ra Koh. She’s brave, and fierce, and inspiring. She’s written several books about photographing babies, kids, and families. Her site is HERE.
How did you manage the day-to-day process of making your art/working/etc. with children?
When I was first starting all of my work was done in the hours after bedtime and on weekends. I’d write blog posts, work on social media, and create from 7-10pm most nights. I wrote my programs and courses in coffee shops during nap time on Saturdays and Sundays.
Now my daughter is in school part-time so I have dedicated work hours. It’s always been a juggling act that’s taken commitment and careful planning!
Which of your work are you most proud of and why?
That’s easy! My Embrace e-course. It brings the most important parts of photography (printing photos and connection as a family) together into this beautiful mix of both systematic teachings and a bit of life coaching mixed it.
Moms want to be creative. They want to find time to grow as people. They want to forge deeper connections with their family. But sometimes it feels like our creative time has to be separate from our mom time. This class aims to show moms that they can do both and photography is the way they can make space for their creativity while mothering.
Below the surface of all of my classes is this underlying thread of personal-development and I think Embrace is the class that brings my approach to light in a way that allows me to serve and support a really diverse group of moms.
If I could have a super power, it would be flying! I want to travel the world in a way that doesn’t involve me getting on an airplane.
A famous person I would love to meet Liz Gilbert. I LOVED Big Magic and I’d really like to sit down with her and pick her brain on creativity and the creative process.
If I weren’t a (teacher/photographer), I’d be barista. Sometimes when I’m worried about my business I dream about simpler times. I totally want to learn to make latte art and connect with peeps in a coffee shop all day long.
If I had an extra 2 hours in the day, I’d read more books — total introvert here.