What a blessing! Erm… well, yes and no!
Ok so I just wanted to let you all know about the studio that I have moved into. As most of you are aware, I was working from home and my photography equipment was taking over the house.
Props, props, beautiful newborn and children’s photography props!
(You can see why they were taking over)
It’s funny isn’t it, as a Mum, when you work full time for someone else, and leave your home everyday, you daydream about how much better life would be if you worked from home and for yourself. I often used to romanticise this notion when I worked in Advertising and Marketing, many moons ago now.
Well having done both, I can tell you the reality is quite different. Don’t get me wrong. Being your own boss is incredible in so many ways, I never miss things with and for my children anymore. So I’m there at all of the reading workshops, stay and plays or science experiment afternoons. I don’t have to beg my employer to take a holiday day so I can take my child to school on her very first day. Only to be told no! Then eventually, (and after my total heartbreak) being allowed to take her, and then have to go to work, to then leave at 2pm, so I could pick her up, to then drop her off with my Mum, and then drive the 20 miles back to work, for what essentially was less than an hour left of the working day! Yes that did actually happen! Madness – I know! I don’t have to deal with the office politics and I can please myself.
However, I work harder and probably more hours than I ever have done in full time employment, my working hours are just totally different, and move to fit around our family. Which is fantastic but can also be exhausting.
A day in the life of me might be…
- 5am-6:30am – Admin and editing (I’m more of a morning person than a night owl so I prefer to get up early and get to bed early-ISH!
- 6:30 – 9:00am – Kids up, breakfast, get ready, off to school, and childminder (if it’s a ‘work day’, if not the littlest are with me.)
- 9:00am – 2:30pm – Studio or Play Group / out and about with the little two.
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm – School run, pick up.
- 3:30pm – 7:30pm – Kids homework, clubs, reading, bathtime, bedtime.
- 7:30pm – 8:30pm – Hubby time, Life admin, ironing, housework etc. (All the fun stuff!)
- 8:30 (ish) – Whatever time everything is done work-wise for the following day – Planning, Admin, Social Media and Editing.
- Often later than it should be – Bedtime
‘Part Time’ eh?
Mine all mine
It is also all on me, as it my business and it never stops, it is is relentless, there is always something that needs to be done, or can be done, which can be hard to ignore and switch off from. I’ve read it’s all about processes and having systems in place, and I’m getting there, after over a year, but it’s not easy and as all these things are new to me it is very time consuming… and I am already struggling for time anyway.
Added to all of this was the fact that I was working in my already, overcrowded home, and well, I think a divorce was almost on the cards as my husband and I no longer had a bedroom it was more like my office and storage facility, which happened to also house our bed!
This teamed with trying to keep my little one’s out of everything, and as I am getting busier and busier, it was just no longer work-able.
It was about at that moment, after purchasing yet another tub for yet more beautiful props, that in one of the numerous photography groups that I am a member to, a fellow photographer, posted about how her studio was available while she was on maternity leave (ironically!).
I went, I saw and I loved it, as did another photographer and we decided that as we are both ‘part time’ (ha!), we would share it.
And that is what we are doing, and this is it… Hooha’s new premises is at the Beehive Works in Sheffield, just off of the ring road so easily accessible.
Working from home or working elsewhere?
So in terms of working from home, for me and my business, I think right now it is no longer an option, I have too much equipment, I need too much space in a home that is already packed to the rafters with my family and our lives. So although working for myself is absolutely perfect for them, working from home is not. So we are trying something new, to see if this is a better fit.
I’ve even come up with some top tips if you are considering working from home… let me know what you think.
Questions to ask (and answer honestly), before working from home.
- Space… Do you have any? If yes, then the next question is, Do you have enough? Is is just space for you and your laptop? Really? Will you need to writ as well? Yes, so that’s a notebook too and probably a desk. Maybe a printer, a lockable cabinet to keep documents secure?? Do you see what I mean? You think you have space, but really be honest and think about EVERYTHING.
- Cost, what extra costs will you have, extra insurance is one thing you will more or less always required
- What will a new working week look like? Believe me when I say, the hours in between school do not equate to a full working day – Even, without your littlest people and even if you are superwoman! There are only so many late nights any of us can do, before we burn out.
- Where will you keep your work things? If you have equipment that can be particularly difficult with those little beautiful fingers poking and prodding things.
- Can you survive financially without your consistently income? This is a question for anyone to ask who is considering any type of self employment, whether from home or not. If your household staying afloat relies on you constantly having the same wage each month, then make sure you can 100% achieve this month in month out, without working yourself to death. Otherwise this stress alone will see you over the edge!
One day, if we had a bigger house, with a self contained space that could just be my studio, maybe, but right now, working from home is just not ‘workable’.
Although this studio is only temporary, I may have some even more exciting news on the cards soon… So watch this space!
For now though…
Happy New Year Folks… Here’s to a great year!
I hope to see all of you, your little newborns, slightly older babies, children, and all round gorgeous families soon for your photoshoots soon!
You can find me here…