Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridget Parmenter.
Bridget, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My interest in photography happened when I was a teenager and started classes at a local art center. I quickly became the person that my friends and family would rely on for capturing parties, portraits and more. I loved the darkroom and jumped at the chance to use my camera whenever I could.
I decided to study early childhood education as a college student, and although I never left my camera far behind, I fell in love with teaching and had an incredible job as a teacher in Boston for many years. Documentation was a large part of what I did in my classroom, and I brought my camera with me every week to capture children playing in sensory tables, reading books and interacting with each other.
I adored being a teacher, so when the school had to close 8 years ago, I was devastated. I found myself trying to find a job that I loved as much while also juggling mom life with two small children at home. With the support of my family and the desire to explore photography more, I enrolled in the Center for Digital Imaging Arts (a Boston University satellite program) in 2012.
After 18 months of evening and weekend classes where I learned the business side of photography and fine-tuned my skills, I had a new business photography certificate, and my career as a photographer started!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Owning a business is never a smooth road. There have been learning curves and bumps along the way for sure! What I have learned these past few years is to really show my clients and audience what I love to capture, what makes my heart sing and keeps me shooting daily.
What you see on my website or Instagram is exactly what to expect from a session with me. I have also learned to show more of ME in my images because a lifestyle family photographer should be relatable! I want my clients to know that I understand the chaos of parenting and running a household…
My laundry is piling up too, we’ve had cereal for dinner again, and yes, I would absolutely love to chat about any of this over a cup of tea. It’s keeping up with posting that sometimes feels like work. I wasn’t quite prepared for social media marketing but love how it has helped my business to grow.
Running a business solo has its challenges as well because everything is done by me and me alone. I don’t have someone else to do the taxes, post the pictures, buy the gear, clean the gear, respond to the emails, create a wardrobe list, check in with the mother of the bride and more.
Photographers wear many many hats, and a happy client with a happy family can only help a business get stronger, so I try my best to run everything as smoothly as possible. Having my business certificate from BU and a HUGE social media family has helped tremendously with this solo job.
There is always someone to connect with and help with any possible question you could imagine. Overall this experience has been positive, and the bumps in the road don’t compare to the joy and pride that I have as a lifestyle family photographer.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Charlie Little Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I consider myself a storyteller. Stories are everywhere. A book of fairytales, a box of family recipes, a series of landscape paintings all have the common thread of stories. I grew up listening to my family (grandparents, great aunts and uncles, cousins and more) telling the most fantastic stories!
For me using a camera to capture a story has been my favorite way to have a voice among so many creative people. Because I have a background as an early childhood teacher as well as a developmental therapist, I specialize in family sessions inside a client’s home. I love swaddling newborns, singing with toddlers and capturing new families all snuggled up together.
Toddlers might just be my favorite clients. There is nothing like meeting a 2-year-old who hides behind the couch at first and is blowing me kisses and handing me cookies as I leave. Young children have such love and raw emotion that is just a joy to capture.
Choosing to have someone come into your home after the birth of a baby can be overwhelming. It is important that who you choose is someone you would be comfortable with. Many clients have told me that their session felt relaxed and fun which means so much to me.
The last thing a new family needs is any new stress on their new routine. I love capturing families interacting with nature and engaging in outdoor adventures. Many times I will ask families to choose a location near their home to explore with me. Children love the magic of a forest filled with fireflies, a stream with stick boats or a sandy beach with shells.
I really do feel that some of the most lovely images are captured when families explore together. These moments are so special, and I know too well how quickly they fly by! I am also a wedding photographer. I take about ten weddings a year, keeping my wedding business small so I can make sure that I give my clients all of my attention. I melt over a good love story and swoon over each and every one that I get to capture.
The majority of my wedding clients choose Salem Cross Inn which is in West Brookfield for their venue and is where I was married ten years ago. I feel so lucky to be able to revisit this gorgeous location every year!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have had so much support along the way! Deciding to enroll in school was a huge decision for our young family; knowing that I would be facing student loans once again. I am so grateful for the confidence that my husband has had in me all along that I would make this work.
My children have both been such great cheerleaders, routing me on when I have successful moments like two recent magazine publications in Click Magazine and Dear Photographer. They are also learning to see the world through artistic eyes and will stop when out for a walk to admire the light, color and moment happening around them. They will often request an image to be captured before I suggest it. I try to shoot regularly so I can continue to explore what I love about this art.
I have a group of friends that I rely on to model for me or assist me with an idea I can’t shake or a new skill that I want to practice. Having friends like this who will wear the dress, pose in the light or hold the reflector has helped me in immeasurable ways. For all of my weddings, I have a regular second shooter, Laurie; who does such a wonderful job of supporting me and working long hours to capture so much beauty.
Weddings are very very long days, having a great support system is key! And as I have mentioned before, my online community of professional photographers has provided me with an enormous amount of support and friendship. If you are considering a new profession as a photographer, communities online such as Clickin Moms (https://www.clickinmoms.com) and Dear Photographer (https://hellodearphotographer.com) are the very best.
- Address: 10 Mercury Dr.
- Website: http://www.charlielittlephotography.com/
- Phone: 508-317-8666
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bridget_parmenter_clp/