Ottawa Doulas

Today we welcome Sara McConnell to the blog. Sara is a photographer here in Ottawa. Her focus is on family, maternity, and newborn photography, and her images are stunning. She is one talented lady and we’re so happy she took the time to give us a glimpse into what got her into the photography business and what drives her. Take it away, Sara!

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I have loved photography since I was 15 years old. It was on my list of dream jobs but didn’t seem practical or what was expected and so it became a passionate hobby.

In 2010 I had left my job in community mental health and was planning to be at home with my boys and take some time to re-group. I headed out to an event with friends and was taking photos when a business owner asked if I was photographer. Just as I was about to say ‘no’ a friend nudged me and whispered ‘yes you are’. I took her words to heart and pushed through the other words in my own head telling me it was scary, too hard, and couldn’t be done. Her words were louder. It’s a wonderful reminder of the weight and power of our words.

 SM Photography

Over the years since beginning Sara McConnell Photography, I have surrounded myself with supportive friends, family, and clients. It’s amazing how confidence inspires confidence. Having friends who support me, who are honest with me, and who embrace my erratic schedule and the seasonality of my job is priceless. Because I don’t have co-workers and I work from home I need that sense of community more than I ever did before.

Opportunities offered and those passionately pursued. 

I have spent the past five years doing everything in my power to make Sara McConnell Photography a success. I have brainstormed, knocked on doors, cold called, photographed over 1500 families, emailed, connected, and networked. Five years has given me the confidence to say it’s not luck or circumstance but blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, and a whole lot of hard work.

A soft place to land.

My home and my family are my sanctuary. My husband is the most patient and supportive partner I could ask for her. I could not have built my business into what it’s become without his input and support. My children who location scout, hunt for props, not so patiently and sometimes patiently act as my muses and models. It is because I want to be home and with them that we lead this seemingly chaotic existence. When I feel overwhelmed it’s amazing how quickly it passes when I turn to see them.

Humble confidence. 

From day one I have built my business my way, knowing what was best for me. At the same time I have never stopped learning and trying to be better. I am always trying to improve my customer service, my clients’ experiences, to learn new editing techniques, to master different lighting; I recognize that I am good enough and yet will never be good enough.

Passion. 

I love what I do down to the tips of my toes. I don’t see a crying toddler or scowling child and think ‘ugh, really’, I think ‘what do I need to do to connect with this little person?’  I love talking to my clients and hearing their stories. I love the goose bumps I get when I’m shooting and when I get to see the photos all over again on my computer screen. I love tearing up when I see the photos I’ve taken. I love the hugs and smiles and laughter. This passion that I feel dulls the fear, the uncertainty, and the voices saying ‘you can’t’.

And when in doubt, I just search for the words ‘yes you can’.

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Don’t you just love that? Encouraging words that build people up. Beautiful. Thank you so much, Sara!

If you’re looking for family, maternity or newborn photos, check out Sara McConnell Photography. Sara is on the web, on Facebook and check out her gorgeous images on Instagram.

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