Stay at home moms that inspire series-Michelle Stoker

Welcome back to the moms that inspire series! Our memories are priceless. There are certain days of our lives that we count as the most memorable. We put our trust in the right person to capture those memories for us. Today I am chatting with one of those trustworthy people, Michelle Stoker. Michelle is a gifted photographer with her own photography business, a wife and mom to an adorable little boy. I personally can’t stop looking at the photos of some of the weddings she’s photographed in particular! They are amazing!

So come and join the conversation as I chat with Michelle, unaltered and edited in her own words.

Tell me about your career/business:

“Michelle Stoker Photography. I taught kindergarten for 5 years while having a part time photography business. My son was born in June 2017 and I left teaching to become a stay at home mom. Now, I focus on my photography (portrait, family, wedding) business. I have had my business since 2013.”

How many children do you have and their ages?

“One son James, almost 1.”

What made you decide to get started and how long did you think about doing so before you did?

“I love photography and capturing special moments for kind people. It’s a great side business with flexible hours and allows me to pursue my creative passion. I started it in college after a year or so of thinking about it.”

Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow mom getting started?

“Be patient with yourself..work for free for a little while, pursue people and build relationships. If it gets too stressful, work on the pain points and try something new.”

What challenges have you faced?

“Scheduling with my husband for child care. Leaving my exclusively breastfed son for long wedding days.”

What have you learned about yourself or your chosen business along the way?

“I’ve learned how important and special it is to capture important, once in a lifetime moments for people (weddings,babies,special events). It is such a privilege!”

What are some benefits of what you do?

“Building relationships, flexible schedule, working from home-editing,blogging,emails.”

What are your goals as you continue?

“To serve people, to extent my reach while also focusing on my neighborhood/close to home.”

Why part time instead of full time, why was this right for your family?

“Pursuing my photography business part time allowed me to stay at home with my son and leave teaching while also giving my husband one-on-one time with our son while I worked.”

Favorite thing about being a stay at home mom?

“Never missing a special moment with my son as he grows. Babies grow fast!”

What would you want your child to know about why mommy does what she does? Either why you started your business/career, continue doing it or why you chose to stay at home with them:

“Since I’m a SAHM, my son rarely sees me working but when I have to leave for a photo session, I like to tell him”Mommy is going to work, I’m going to photograph a sweet family and create special pictures for them. Just like Daddy works during the week, Mommy works sometimes too. It’s important for both mommies and daddies to work. I’ll be back soon to play with you!” I know he’s only 10 months old but I’d like to introduce that to him early on.”

Best memory of a successful moment doing what you do:

“I always love when my clients share their favorite photos on social media and then see other people that they love comment with pure excitement. It’s so sweet to see the joy of photos reaching lots of people.”

I hope you enjoyed Michelle’s story-I know I did! A big thank you to Michelle for chatting with me! You can find her on Instagram @michellestokerphoto or at her website http://www.michellestokerphotography.com/.

Comments, questions and likes 😉 welcome! I hope you’ll continue following this series of moms that inspire me! Janet