Maddy asked me to write a blog about my life as a newborn photographer’s husband. I decided it was best to do as I was asked. She seems happy with the result.
When Maddy announced that she was planning on getting into newborn photography, and unbeknown to me, giving me life as a newborn photographer’s husband, I was 100% supportive,
“Whatever you want pet, you go for it.”
I don’t think my wife is an animal, I’m from Newcastle, hence the pet. (Well, ok, I sometimes think she’s a bit of an animal but that’s another story)
When I say I was 100% supportive, what I mean is that I didn’t really have a clue what she was on about – this was 8/9 years ago and Newborn photography was relatively unheard of here, but if she was happy, I was happy. (Now you know I’m a Geordie you can’t help but read this in the accent can you?)
Anyway! there I was, minding my own business and suddenly our evening chit chat had become about cameras and lenses and the cuteness of poses, and Maddy spending hours poring over images by successful American Newborn Photographers.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t really take that much notice to begin with. Even when I was tripping over box upon box of teeny, tiny hats and these elaborate headband things – apparently you need lots of props for newborn photography.
Suddenly when a postman knocked it was a toss up between whether the package he was delivering would be a pair of trainers (Adidas collector, dontcha know?) or another box of knitted hats. My disappointment was real, man, whenever it turned up to be the latter.
And while I was lamenting the deliveries that should have been mine, there was Maddy quietly building her business. When I say quietly, I obviously mean trying to show me every single baby image she’d ever taken and expecting me to enthuse over them, which of course, I did , with one eye on the football.
Thing is, what I thought was a ‘little hobby’ grew. And grew. And grew. Until,
“Babe? You know the dining room?”
Of course I knew the dining room! a.k.a my man cave. I’d be a bit daft if I wasn’t aware of the existence of a room in my very own house.
“Er…….yeah?” I replied , unsure where this was heading.
“I need a home studio.”
And that, was that. Man cave relegated to the garage and we opened our home up to PEOPLE! Still I didn’t really get involved, apart from the odd,
“Mmm,” in agreement when Maddy demanded my opinion on her latest subject. (She beats me you know, if I don’t show a little interest – she doesn’t, but I wouldn’t like to push it!)
As she grew in her chosen field, she also began training others of a weekend at workshops all over the country. Leaving me in peace to stretch out on the sofa, drinking beer and playing Call of Duty in blissful peace.
I’d fully intended to make the garage my new man cave, even did a bit of enthusiastic DIY in there, (sadly, my enthusiasm didn’t particularly match my skills, but thats not the point) I’d just started pondering my next move in project man cave, when,
“Babe? You know the garage?”
Of course I knew the garage ! Next to the house , had all my stuff in it, was soon to be a fantastic man cave, the envy of all my friends.
“I want to convert it to a studio.”
“Ok dear, wait! WHAT?”
To be fair, Maddy pitched her idea with aplomb and I was soon sold, even to the extent of helping her out with the cash for the conversion. Got to speculate to accumulate, right? Added bonus that I could be as noisy as I wanted shouting at people while gaming, without worrying about frightening her clients.
New studio built and furnished, the business seemed to grow from strength to strength, with Maddy always looking out for new ways to enhance and build upon things. Again, I have to admit, I didn’t really pay all that much attention, if I’m honest, babies all look a bit like potatoes to me, whether they’ve got a flowery headband on or not. However, with every new venture, Maddy’s enthusiasm started to rub off on me and the quality of the work she was producing spoke for itself.
What people don’t always realise in this business is the sheer amount of hours , and blood, sweat and tears involved in making it work. There’s no easy fix, no magic wand that can be waved to make people successful and one of the (many) things I admire about Maddy (Shhhh, don’t tell her, her head is big enough already) is that even when times were tough and not going her way, she NEVER gave up, she NEVER made excuses, she just went back to the drawing board, teaching herself to improve, embarking on training , even taking risks to make sure she was ahead of others in her game.
Now she is training and mentoring others, I think back to when she started, as one of the first newborn photographers in the UK and there was virtually no help around for budding newborn photographers, no groups for advice, she did it all herself. And seeing her give so much of herself in advising others and training and providing the service that wasn’t there for her, well, if I was the type to shed a tear I’d still choke it back, cos big boys don’t cry, but the pride I have is immense.
My advice for any blokes (or ladies) out there who are attached to people starting their newborn photography business, if you see they have passion and drive, then 100% it’s worth supporting them on their journey. You may be thinking, “What MORE props?” or “That’s a lot of money for training.” or even “If I have to coo over ONE more picture of a potato in a box I’m going to scream.”
But at the end of the day, most jobs require investment if you are going to succeed, whether it’s investing in training, equipment, whatever it is that’s needed, that’s how you go further.
Not only that, when they start to reap the benefits you don’t half get some good birthday and Christmas presents!
Of course, I’m biased, but in terms of someone who has worked incredibly hard to get where they are, has grown and evolved with the market and above all, understands how hard it is to make it work, you couldn’t be in better hands than to train with Maddy, whether it be her mentoring group, her mentoring programme or her 1:1 training. And as a partner who admittedly was slightly sceptical and not really that interested at first, Im happy to admit I was wrong!
So yeah, book my wife for training, she’s alreet, pet!