If you have always dreamed of being able to stay home with your kids and still help your family, YOU CAN as a food photographer for bloggers.
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Feb 2, 2024
Are you a stay-at-home mom looking for a business idea? Or are you a working mom looking to become a stay-at-home while still earning a salary and running your own business? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Jade was right where you are now just a year ago. She was an extremely busy elementary school teacher who desperately needed a business idea for stay-at-home moms because that’s all she wanted to be.
Thankfully, Jade found Pretty Focused: a course designed to teach you everything you need to know about launching a business in food blog photography—all from your own home. It was life-changing! Jade went from a burned-out and emotionally drained teacher to a happy stay-at-home mom earning a solid income while chasing her dream of work flexibility.
Here’s how she did it!
Jade had absolutely NO business or photography experience before she found Pretty Focused. But then it all changed. Her story is worth a listen. Check it out!
2:21 What did you do prior to Pretty Focused?
6:35 Why did you join Pretty Focused?
8:31 How did you find our about Pretty Focused?
9:15 Tell us about your experience going through the course
9:37 Did you know anything about photography before you joined?
10:42 How long did it take you to graduate?
16:32 What would you say to students currently working through Pretty Focused training? 22:12 How is business going for you now?
22:16 What happened when you graduated?
27:33 What has Pretty Focused allowed you to do?
32:34 How has life changed for you since graduating from Pretty Focused?
37:46 What picture did you have in your mind of what it would be like when you graduated?
41:43 Was Pretty Focused what you were expecting?
44:08 How has this job given you freedom?
50:04 What was your biggest aha moment?
58:06 How many clients do you currently work with?
1:03:53 How long does it take you to do a recreation?
1:06: Is it hard to find bloggers to work with? Do you find them or do they find you?
Jade was a second-grade teacher with almost a decade of experience. She loved her career—loved teaching—but there was just one problem. She had two very young kids whom she wanted to spend more time with. And while she was blessed enough to have her own mom act as a stay-at-home grandma every day, Jade wanted to be the one with them. And unfortunately, as a teacher, you can’t step away and just “be home” more often.
She needed to figure something else out, but it wasn’t easy. Jade needed the money from being a teacher, enjoyed her work, and she was determined to set a good example for her kids of being a working mom. “I needed to set this example of working hard and making money.” So Jade couldn’t see how she could quit her teaching career and still have everything she wanted. Thankfully, Jade’s mom, Rebecca, had a business idea for stay-at-home moms.
Rebecca was a Pretty Focused graduate, working as a food blog photographer while taking care of her grandkids full time. She was earning a nice side income and growing her business—even starting work on a cookbook—and wanted the same for her daughter. So, after a little bit of convincing, Jade decided to follow in her mom’s footsteps and quit teaching to try out Pretty Focused. It was a “leap of faith” that ended up being well worth it.
Jade completely quit teaching to dedicate herself to finishing Pretty Focused. She quit her job in May and spent the remainder of May and June accumulating everything she needed to start her new career in food photography: a camera, artificial lighting, and more. “It made sense for me to invest at that point.” Then, in July, Jade jumped into Pretty Focused, and by March of the following year, she graduated.
Pretty Focused provided Jade with the gateway she needed to completely change her life. Now, she only works as much as she wants to and gets to focus the rest of her time and attention on being there for her kids. But that doesn’t mean Jade doesn’t have big dreams or business ideas for stay-at-home moms.
Just recently, Jade launched her own blog alongside her childhood friend all about science for kids. And while that might seem a far departure from food photography, it’s really not. Pretty Focused is more than just about how to take incredible food pictures. It sparks your entrepreneurial spirit and gives you the tools and knowledge you need to launch any business idea you may have. So, now Jade works for bloggers and runs her own blog, and she couldn’t be happier.
Jade had absolutely NO experience in food photography before starting Pretty Focused. So, what did she take away from the course and launching her own stay-at-home mom business?
“So, I started with zero camera experience. I picked up the camera for the first time to shoot pictures for a homework assignment.” Jade was an absolute newbie when it came to working with a camera. She didn’t know anything about ISO or F-Stop or even how far she had to go to become proficient.
Thankfully, Pretty Focused is designed for students at every level of experience—from zero to professional. Jade “just really relied on those videos and assignments to learn about my camera.” She had a notebook where she kept detailed notes about everything she learned so she could go back and rewatch and re-listen to videos as needed to gain the experience she desperately needed and wanted.
Jade was able to go as slowly and thoroughly as she needed, and that was “just my learning style…because I wanted to make sure I was walking away with all of the knowledge I needed to succeed.”
While in the midst of working her way through the Pretty Focused course, Jade was able to experience the flexibility and freedom she desperately wanted for her family. Instead of keeping teacher hours, she did her assignments at night when she had free time. This meant she could spend all day with her kids and then, after bedtime, focus on food photography.
It was definitely a struggle to juggle it all, and sometimes, she had to step away to take a deep breath, but it was worth it. The key was “remembering why I was doing Pretty Focused in the first place.” She kept her ultimate goal in mind, continuing to provide an income while being there for her kids, and it helped her push forward.
Now, Jade has a work schedule that fits her needs. She works part-time (two to three days a week) to complete all her blogger assignments and then focuses the rest of her time being a mom. And that’s exactly how she likes it. She’s even easily able to take two weeks off for vacation without missing a beat because she just has to shift her schedule. The work flexibility is incomparable.
“I feel like I’ve found myself.” As a teacher, Jade was always on the go, and “it was so exhausting.” She was so emotionally invested in her students that she was on the verge of burnout. So, while she loved teaching and enjoyed building relationships with all her students, it left no time for herself. “By the time I got home from teaching,” Jade had very little energy to give her own family. “I felt like I was losing myself.”
Now, things are completely different. She doesn’t feel guilty about going out and having a mom’s night, going on a date with her husband, or just seeing a movie with a friend. Instead, she’s emotionally present with her kids all the time, so that way, she can take time away to find herself and just be.
“It’s just a breath of fresh air. I get to discover me. I've got my own schedule. I've got my own agenda. I can pick and choose how much I want to work or how little I want to work. It's so life-changing.”
So, what advice does Jade have for other women looking to launch a business for stay-at-home moms via Pretty Focused?
We all have a tendency to want to rush to check all the boxes. It feels so good when we can say, “Yes, this is done. Moving on.” But that’s exactly the wrong attitude when it comes to getting the most out of Pretty Focused. The accomplishment isn’t completing each assignment; it’s the journey to get there. The real value can be found in taking your time.
“I’ve gone back and looked over sessions during my portfolio where I was just trying to rush and get it done, and I can now see how it’s off.” Instead, it’s important to go into every Pretty Focused assignment not with the goal to finish, but to LEARN. “Let me tell you, it will pay off. It has, and I am so thankful for that.”
When you take your time to learn, absorb, and embrace everything the course offers, that’s when you get the most out of it. “It’s going to be hard. It might be challenging at first, but it’s a learning curve. It’s growing pains. And in the long run, you’re going to be thankful that you took that extra time.”
While most Pretty Focused students land clients right after graduation and jump right into work, that doesn’t mean you ever stop learning or practicing the skills you learned. In fact, Jade made sure to take it slow at the start so she could keep practicing her skills and gain confidence. That’s why her first job was for her mom.
“I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to do that because she was able to help me get started.” Jade utilized her mom’s experience to gain confidence in her own skills and figure out her business and photography style before venturing out and building her own clientele.
And while most students won’t have their mom to use for additional feedback, Pretty Focused coaches are always available for help. And keep in mind that your first few clients don’t have to be your forever clients. They can be there to help get your feet wet.
A business for stay-at-home moms is a dream come true for most of us, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without struggles. One of the biggest challenges facing new Pretty Focused grads can be figuring out the ebb-and-flow of work.
For example, when Jade first graduated in March, it took until May before she started looking for her own clientele. Then, she had a different blogger client in May, June, and July. Nothing seemed to stick. Worse yet, August was completely quiet, and Jade started to stress about getting any work at all. That’s when she reached out to the Pretty Focused community and learned about the ebb-and-flow of blogging.
Bloggers take vacations, too; as such, there are seasons of transition and slow work. August is a big vacation month for many bloggers and it’s a transition month between summer and fall and before the holidays, so there tends to be less work during this time. But then, in September and October, things tend to pick back up.
The key is to plan for the busy and slow times. Pay attention to transitions and work with the ebb-and-flow, not against it. And be sure to check out our Buyer’s Club to see how amazing our graduates are.
There were many times over the course of Pretty Focused that Jade felt overwhelmed and wanted to give up. There were so many things she needed to learn and times when she had to get her hands dirty, roll up her sleeves, and just get the work done. The key: “I did not stop. I didn’t give up no matter how frustrated I became.”
No matter how many times Jade failed and had to re-do a shoot, no matter how much feedback she got that frustrated her, Jade kept pushing. And you know what, “I was better for it. It paid off.” Sometimes, you have to reject the good in order to get to the great.
So, are you ready to sign up for Pretty Focused and try launching your own business for stay-at-home moms? Jade’s best advice is “just to relax and realize that it’s not as stressful as it seems.” You can have fun with Pretty Focused even if you are starting from scratch and have no idea what you’re doing. All you have to do is try.
Give Pretty Focused Food Blog Photography a chance today. It’s worth it!