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Women and Business: Jodie Allen

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 06:42AM by Registered CommenterDavina in | Comments10 Comments

***All images in this post are copyright Jodie Allen***


{To nominate women you'd like to see in this series please list them in the comments-or if you have a question you'd like to see in the interviews--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 }

As always make sure to leave comments for the women who are featured. They like comments as much as I do I'm sure...let them know if you have questions or just to say thanks! for their insight and wisdom...

Make sure to check out the rest of the series by clicking here. Tell a friend!

Jodie, I first learned of you because women here had nominated you.  When I went to your blog, I couldn't stop laughing.  You see life for what it is, laugh at it, and enjoy it...no guilt, no should haves, no wishing it away to be something else.  You see the fun in whatever is happening.  We all need at least a little of that.  Thanks so much for being on Women and Business.


How long have you been in business?

In August ’09 it will be two years!


Your blog just placed 3rd in a huge contest with PPA. What have you done to help your blog get so popular?

I think that people relate to me. At the end of the day I am just a mom. A mom with three kids ages three and under who tries desperately to balance work and kids and life while showering every once in a while and drinking way too much caffeine. So although I show my recent sessions and talk a lot about work, I also talk endlessly about my struggles and joys of being a mommy. I am always real and brutally honest. That is why I think people come back to my blog. The other thing, I think, is that I blog almost every single day so there is always something new to see or read. People want new content; at least I know I do, so I work hard to keep up with my blog daily.


What blogging tips do you have for women who are bloggers?

I can’t stress this enough… be honest. Blogs that I read that are only about photography or that make the writer look perfect turn me off eventually. Even incredibly talented photographers can have a boring blog. I really think the key is to find something that connects you with your audience, and for me, that is other moms, photographers or not. And the benefit is that while you are blogging you are creating a circle of support… other women who will leave encouraging comments or emails when you’ve opened up about your frustrations, struggles or fears. The more honest I am the more my blog blesses me with good friends and support.


In what ways do you market and what do you think is the most effective?

Word of mouth has been the most effective form of marketing, but I really think it’s the blog that keeps people coming back. What is so amazing about putting yourself out there on your blog is that your clients or future clients feel like they know you before they’ve even met you. Almost all of my clients feel like they are friends with me before meeting me so they feel comfortable immediately… it makes my sessions fun and easy! It also has helped create lasting friendships with most of my clients. Can I say it again? BLOG! HA!


Also, Facebook has been a huge tool as clients post their photos and then link to my website. I’ve booked a lot from FB referrals!

What do you do when your kids beg you to get off of the computer?

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but b/c my kids were so young when I started they really don’t know life without me on the computer all the time. That being said, I work mainly at night once they’re asleep. During the day, if it’s just the kids and I (my mom watches the kids a lot during the week to help me), I will check emails or get a blog post written but other than that I am focusing on them and the housework. I try really hard to keep it balanced.


What do you think are the top three things you must do as a mom and wife every day?

1. Spend time individually with each kid; even if it’s just a minute, I want them each to know they are special.

2. Teach my kids. I try really hard to do some kind of Montessori activity each day, as I believe strongly that we, as parents, are their first teachers. We also do an art project every day so that they learn to love the mess of creating!

3. Make sure we all have clean underwear.


What three products or things help you stay organized?

1. My notebook, as in, my spiral notebook where I keep every TODO list known to man.

2. Google Calendar. I love getting my day emailed to me every morning.

3. Client folders. When I book a new client I start a client folder and on the front of each folder is a checklist I created so I can see where each client is from start to finish. I keep emails printed in there, release forms, copies of their checks, their print order, notes about the family that I want to remember (like NO sugar allowed so I know not to bring suckers as bribes next time!), etc.


What does your workflow look like? How do you keep all of your clients straight and deliver products on time?

Do you really think I keep things straight? HA! I wish I could say that I am totally on top of being organized. My workflow is basically… shoot on the weekends (mainly), edit late at night (I work from about 8pm-1am), answer emails during the day, and then everything else like ordering prints and mailing packages and creating albums and design work happens whenever I can fit it in… during naps or late at night or while I put a movie on during the day b/c I’m so behind I just have to work while the kids entertain themselves!

What do you do yourself (as far as album design, editing, bookkeeping, answering phones, marketing, etc.) and what do you outsource?

I do everything and wish I could afford to outsource SOMETHING!

What plans do you have for your business this year? How will your plans impact your family?

We have three children, 11 months, 2 years and 3 years. My husband is a teacher and coach, an incredible teacher, but his pay scale only goes so far. I hate to admit this, but my goal is to make more money. If we are ever going to afford to buy a home or go on vacation or put more away for savings it is because my business is doing well. My goal is to stop discounting so many things and believe in my work. To not feel bad charging people what I am worth. I need to make enough money to help my family and that is exactly why I work so hard. My lack of sleep (I average 3-4 hours a night) and crazy work load is hard on me at times, but if I can suck it up and get through a few more years then we will be more financially comfortable and that makes me so proud.


How much time do you spend on photography boards and forums?

None, but I do spend a lot of time reading photography blogs!


How much time do you spend on the computer?

I spend an insane amount of time on the computer. Insane.


What 5 tips do you have for women to help them maintain a balance in their lives between everything they have to do?

Not that I have perfect balance, by any means, but I will tell you the one thing that really helps me stay centered… volunteering for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It is an organization made up of professional photographers who local hospitals call to go take family photos when a baby passes away or is going to pass away. I have been there as parents held their baby as she took her last breath. I have seen grief I can’t imagine experiencing in my own life. I have captured moments I wish never took place. But leaving each session, as I am praying for that family, I am always overcome with a sense of gratitude. God has given me this life, with my three young kids, my loving husband and my growing business and although it seems like too much most of the time, it is all so incredible. I am extremely blessed and working for NILMDTS helps remind me of that fact. It makes all of my issues seem small in comparison and really helps me get through more days of pure chaos.


Are there times that you feel overwhelmed? What do you do?

Overwhelmed? Are you kidding me? I am ALWAYS overwhelmed! Did I mention I have three kids ages three and under? HA! Truly, if I weren’t a bit overwhelmed all the time I would wonder what was wrong!


The hardest part for me is finding a balance. I wish I could give all of my daytime to my kids but we count on the money I bring in so when I have to work I have to work. Luckily I can survive on very little sleep and I work very fast so I can get a lot accomplished in a day. I just never really slow down!


When my life gets really crazy with the kids and my work and the house I can always count on my mom to take the kids for a day to let me catch up. We live 2 blocks from my parents and they are the biggest blessing in our lives.

To see more of Jodie's Work:



Reader Comments (10)

I am so proud to say you are my daughter!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermom kuhn

Jodie was an excellent choice for this. I am glad she is getting the recognition she so has earned and deserved. Thank you for doing this!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTina

I love following your women in business segment!

I find it really interesting that you choose to highlight photographers at such differing levels of experience and vision...it is great exposure for those just starting out and getting their feet wet though, I suppose!!

Looking foward to seeing who is up next week!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie

Thank you for doing this interview. I found you through jodie's blog and will be bookmarking this blog for sure! :)

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermichelle sidles

Thanks so much for doing this series. It's fabulous, as are you!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara Boulter

SO glad you featured Jodi; what a delight!
Her work AND her life reek of authenticity and in a world of fakes, it's a breath of fresh air.
So glad I can consider myself a friend - and a client!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonna E

great interview. loved reading it!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbecky c

Great interview! Jodie, can I call you my famous friend, Jodie now? Great interview. I feel like I would answer a lot of those questions similarly.

Thanks for featuring her Davina!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTRISH

Do NOT ever stop doing these cause I LOVE reading them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loved this!
I nominate Melanie Mauer for a future one. She inspires me. :)

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershannon montez

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