Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Guertin.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kate. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Back in January 2018, I was a mom with a camera, just trying to hold onto all of those little moments and details that make up my family’s story; Sunday morning pancakes, backyard picnics, baby toes and sunset kisses. I was also a working mom–overworked, under-appreciated, dreading my next day of commuting and only seeing my baby on the weekends. And then a thought popped into my head–why not risk it all? I mean why NOT? If there was ever a time to do it, it was now, in my twenties. If it was a flop, I would just get another job…
So, I quit. I quit feeling bogged down. I quit dreading tomorrow. I quit missing memories with my daughter. I quit being underpaid. I threw everything I had into my dream to capture memories for other mamas that they could cherish forever AND give my family the freedom and flexibility I desired. And Sweetest Things Photography was born.
Then came the hustle. Long nights at my computer editing photos, creating advertisements, client referral programs, videos, website, Facebook, and more. I needed to get the word around quick and grass roots was the way to do it! I was so blessed to have a network of great moms to help spread the word, and send more and more sweet mamas my way!
Before I knew it, my calendar was full! Just 90 days after quitting my corporate job I had brought in nearly $20,000 in revenue and was making my own schedule doing what I truly loved! I joined the mentor team at Cole’s Classroom, an online community that helps aspiring photographers and business owners get their own photography businesses from ground to profit and beyond too! I was able to take the methods and experiences I had starting my business and teach them to thousands all from my couch with a flexible schedule I could work around my own business AND add a second stream of income! How lucky am I? (well luck and hootspa as my dad would say, “ain’t nobody gonna come knockin’ at your door to hand you success”).
Now, I specialize in newborns primarily as well as photographing young children, families, maternity and graduating seniors. My daily “work” consists of snuggling babies and creating heirloom artwork for their family’s home. It is a total dream and I can’t imagine going back to sitting at a desk. When it’s going to be 75 and sunny, I block off my schedule and take my daughter to the zoo! When it’s going to be a warm summer night, I pick her up early from daycare, grab some ice cream cones at the Clam Box and count cricket chirps. My life is made up of experiences not hours on a time card and my heart and soul are full. What a whirlwind ride it’s been!
Has it been a smooth road?
The scariest part was not knowing what the future held. Would I be able to make this profitable? Would it work? My income was NOT optional for my family, so it had to be able to support our expenses. The best thing I ever did was make a list. What needed to be done, how much money needs to be made, how could I do it? One thing at a time. The more control I took, the less anxiety I had. Soon logic and method took over fear. Like I tell my students when they are starting new businesses, “Fear is a liar.”
One of my favorite reminders is this self-actualization, I wrote about my journey early on in those first days after leaving my full-time job to start my business.
“Fear is a liar.
Fear tells you you’re not good enough.
Fear tells you your market is saturated.
Fear tells you you’ll fail.
Fear tells you to wait a few more months.
Fear tells you no one will pay those prices.
Fear is your worst enemy.
What has fear ever given you?”
The answer is nothing. Fear got me nowhere but action has given me the world. So my advice to other young women thinking of starting a business is “Start Somewhere”. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your business be, but do something today. Check off one of those boxes. And don’t let that nasty fear stop you from making your dream a reality.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Sweetest Things Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
As a photographer, I specialize in newborns, children, families, and maternity. I am proud to give my clients a very personal service, with a comfortable session full of natural love and interaction. I want to capture their family the way they see it. Fun-filled, loving, dynamic, messy and full of life. I love to get to know my families and at the end of our sessions, I hope they walk away feeling they’ve made a new friend. I think my honesty, my realness and my investment in knowing my clients as people and not just numbers sets me apart.
It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
The community at Cole’s Classroom is my lifeblood as a photographer–it is so important to surround yourself with others in your industry who care about you and share their wealth of knowledge and resources, and who believe in community over competition.
Personally, journaling really helps me to find a healthy headspace and keep my emotions in check. It is very easy as a young person and a business owner to get overwhelmed with all of the balls you are juggling, even if everything is going great! Writing those feelings on paper, whether they be happy, sad or a great big ball of confusion can really help me remind myself of all the good that is in my life and how to squash the negatives by taking the control back.
- Website: www.yoursweetpictures.com
- Phone: 508-523-7914
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SweetestThingsPhotos/
Breanna Marie Photography (The headshot of my daughter and I at the top)