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Women and Business: Haley Warner

Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 04:55AM by Registered CommenterDavina in | Comments12 Comments

***all images in this post are copyright Haley Warner***

NEXT WEEK: Joy Bianchi of Jules Bianchi Photography

{To nominate women you'd like to see in this series please list them in the comments-make sure to include your info in the comment fields so that I can get in touch with you- or write to me at:  davina at davinafear dot com }

Haley, thank you so much for being on the Women and Business series! I 've not met you in person but somehow found my way to your blog and felt an immediate connection when I read that you were pregnant with twins and you have three children already! I'm excited you've been so patient with all of my questions. I hope we meet in person someday and that I'll get to see those sweet twins!

How long have you been in business? I started photographing bath products for a bath and body company in 1998 and worked there until 2001, when myson was born. I took a few months off and then ventured into portrait and wedding photography, which was much more up my alley.

What has been the hardest thing about getting started? Worrying about not being "good enough,"lying awake at night dreaming up business plans AND sacrificing time with my family.

What did you do to manage those things that were hard for you? I'm really NOT an easily stressed out type of person so when I noticed that I was constantly stressing over my photography and feeling guilt, Iasked myself .. "Why am I doing this and am I enjoying it?" I then decided to take things really slow, keeping my family first, but building my business little by little through research, practice and trial and error. It relieves a lot of stress, pressure and guilt when you remember to ask yourself, "Why am I doing this and am I enjoying it?"

You just found out you are pregnant with twins. What are you doing to prepare for them in conjunction with your business? I decided at the end of 2008 that I would only be offering Wedding Photography to give me more time at home, so I am planning on shooting until about April. The twins are coming in June.

What are you telling clients and potential clients? I have a few backup photographers that will take my clients if anything unexpected happens before April, so everything will be covered until then. I am not shooting anything (except my twins and3 other kids:) until September so I've been referring clients toother great photographers that I trust.

What are your plans for your business after they are born? I haven't made any plans whatsoever. I'm just not scheduling anything until SEVERAL months after the babies. I've never had twins before so I have no idea what to expect. It's hard not to be able to plan and be in control.

So are you planning to just play it all by ear? I am totally flying by the seat of my pants on this one! I'm hoping I'll have good sleepers and eatersthat love to be on aschedule so I can have my schedule back, but that'sbest case scenario! I'm praying for asmooth adjustment to having 5 kids under the age of 7!

How long are you thinking you’ll take for maternity leave before you start shooting and taking clients again? I'mplanning on shooting again starting in September.

What do you think are the most important things you do as a mom and every day? The most important thing I do as a mom every day is to send my kids off to school with a prayer, an "I love you"and with confidence in themselves. I really do keep a prayer in my heart all day for my kids.. for me to know how to best help them in their own personal needs and to be ready to act on those "feelings." I try and listen and have conversations with them even when it's really really annoying and mostly focused around Indiana Jones.

You’ve just redone your website. What are the things you think are most important to consider when putting together a website? I think it's easy to fall into the trap of "copying"popular photographers and trying to emulate their style and logos and colors and design. Decide what YOU like, what colors and light and lines and form.. You are trying to stand out, not follow behind.

How did you decide and figure out what you like and how you stand out from other photographers? I've had 3 different websites in 7 years and it has really taken me that long to feel completely comfortable with my style and who I am now. I've always been a simple person. Less is more.So the photographs I take are less about props and backdrops and lots of equipment, they are about the subject. Simple.

How did photography find you? I was on the yearbook staff in high school and LOVED it. I really got into photography in high school and still keep in contact with those friends from yearbook and photography classes. Professionally, I just got lucky andlanded the perfect job to help build my skills.

Why did you decide to go into business? After Cole, (my oldest) was born, I knew I didn't want to work full time outside the home, so I quit my awesome job (which was one of the hardest things I've done.) I knew I would never be able to give up photography completely as itis such a big part of who I am.. so I slowly, slowly, slowly started to build up my business.

What did you do to slowly build up your business? I took it nice and easy by studying and researching (pricing, style, business plans, etc.)and not taking on hundreds of clients at once. I also didn't go into debt buying equipment. I saved forever to buy my Canon 10D body, (which I still useas a backup)a cheap flash and a Sigma 24-70mm lens. Over the years I've added lenses, lights, umbrellas and reflectors and with each purchase, I take months to practice and figure out how to best utilize my new "toy."

What do you think has given your business the biggest boost over the last 18-20 months? I think confidence.. I finally feel confident and know I can create awesome photos for my clients, no matter the situation! I've always second guessed myself and clients can sense that.

What are some of your best ways to bring new clients in? I have solely relied on word of mouth and referrals. I did a Bridal Fairabout 5 years agoand vowedto never put myself through that again! I have had several weddings published recently which has helped me meet new clients. Blogging and Facebook are always fun too, and a great way to network.

What are you most proud of as a business woman within your business? I am proud that I've never had anything completely fall apart within my business. I'm really not the most organized person alive, but I've somehow managed to keep everything flowing and moving along with no major glitches. (I have learned, however, toALWAYS have backups at ALL times of ALL photographs.:)

What is your number one tip for someone just getting started?Don't feel pressure to be as amazing as all the photographers who have been in the business for years and years. You won't be as good as them right off the bat.. it will take several years and a lot of practice. It is very discouraging to think you will never be where you want in your business, but it will come.. someday! Keep going and push forward, no matter how discouraged you get.

What are you most proud of as a mom? That my kids know they are truly important and loved. I am so blessed to even be able to be a mother and I never want to have regrets ofputting my kids second.If yousay"yes" tosomething, it meansyou are saying "no" to somethingelse.

***all images in this post are copyright Haley Warner***

Reader Comments (12)

I love these interviews! Thank you for posting them. I would like to nominate Andrea Shirey of Charlottesville, VA. Her work is colorful and vibrant!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbbie Rufener

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, and Haley for being so open. I've been experiencing the guilt of not being good enough lately and comparing myself to others who have been at it for years, and reading what you had to say about your experience with that was good for my soul. I just have to realize I need to be me! If I put my heart, soul and time into it, my style will follow. This interview couldn't have come at a better time, and I feel like so much of what Haley said was said for me.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Neff

Thanks Davina, it was great to be able to be a part of this series!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaley

These posts are very helpful and encouraging as an aspiring photographer/businesswoman and someday (hopefully) mom. Thank you for contributing your time and heart.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Davina, I ADORE this series. It is SO great to get a chance to be in the minds of these marvelous photographers. Empowering, encouraging, and alltogether satisfying. THANK YOU!!

Haley, that first bride shot, in the dark shed structure? GORGEOUS!!!

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteremily s.

I enjoy reading your women in business ... although I am in a totally different line of work, we can relate to striving to maintain that balance in our lives with the many wonderful roles and opportunities we have. Thanks for sharing.

February 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbecky and cricket

Such an amazing post. Thank you

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Hi Davina! Great posts...Love them all! I am an aspiring photographer and would like to nominate Julie Paszczykowski of www.jp-photography.net She is from my area and her work is truly amazing. She deserves to be noticed. Thanks for your consideration.

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternancy m

I really love Haley's work- and she seems like such an awesome person too. Especially with TWINS on the way:) I love that you've been doing this series, it's been really amazing. I would like to nominate PinkeToes photography from Texas- so awesome!!!

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMikki Platt

her name is Michelle- Pinkle Toes photography

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMikki Platt

I want to nominate Kate Benson of katebensonphotography.com - from Utah, so I am sure you have heard of her! She is an amazing photographer and has the cutest personality and family. She, without a doubt, is an inspiration!

February 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Bowen

hi every person,

I identified davina.squarespace.com after previous months and I'm very excited much to commence participating. I are basically lurking for the last month but figured I would be joining and sign up.

I am from Spain so please forgave my speaking english...

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTomarough1v

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