Jane grew up in Essendon. She is married to Stephen and is mum to three beautiful girls. Jane’s days are filled with childcare and school drop offs, lunch boxes, cooking and taking and editing photos, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Jane’s working career started with a background in graphic design and marketing. A career she has now chosen to walk away from, to have the flexibility she wants to spend time with her family and to pursue her love of photography with her new business.
You had an established career in marketing, what made you walk away from that?
I worked at Coles for 11 years. I started off as a Graphic Designer in the Advertising team and over the years, worked my way up and into the Marketing team and ended my time at Coles as a Category Marketer. This role saw me working with the grocery buyers and suppliers, creating Marketing campaigns to launch new products in the grocery department.
Although I enjoyed my time at Coles and was grateful for everything I had learnt and achieved while I was there, I wasn’t doing something that I was truly passsionate about. Therefore, I felt like my career had become a little stagnant and I was left wanting more. After the birth of my third daughter and while on maternity leave, I was offered a voluntary redundancy. I really felt like this was the right time to take a leap of faith and follow my dreams. I wanted to do something that I was passionate about and that could work in with my family life.
Having three girls, it was really important for me to feel like I was being a good role model and example to my daughters and to show them, that if you work hard, are dedicated and determined to reach your goals, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. It was also really important for me, that if I was going to take time away from my family, that I wanted it to be for something that I loved to do.
So I left my job in Marketing and went back to school to study photography. And the rest is history!
How and why did you decide to be a photographer?
I had dabbled a little in photography while I was studying graphic art and design and had loved it, but my focus at that time was to become a graphy designer. My love for photography, although taking a bit of back burner, was always there and became more evident once I had children. Albeit, chasing them around with my phone, trying to capture that candid moment. My brother had studied photography in the past and was dabbling in it again, which sparked my interest. I had started thinking that this was something that could possibly be the answer I was looking for.
Something that I could really enjoy doing and that could work in with my family. Call it serendipity, or maybe even fate, that this was all happening right at the time that I got the phone call from Coles, offering me a voluntary redundancy. It all just seemed to fall into place and gave me the motivation I needed, to make a change and pursue creating a business from something I loved.
So what is it you love about photography?
My love of photography is broad. I love photographing children and families, capturing those special and candid moments. I love that when photographing families, you get invited into their little world, to capture everything that makes them unique. On the other hand, the designer and marketer in me, also means that I love receiving a brief and working with a client to create something special. Whether it be a flat-lay for a small business, or working with a client to bring their recipes to life, through the camera.
Is this something you always had?
Yes, I have always had this love and passion for photography, but it was something that I never really thought too much about, as it hadn’t occurred to me that it could be something that I could pursue and choose as a career.
So, what’s next?
I want to continue with my lifestyle and family portaits, specialising in capturing moments in the outdoors. I also love collaborating with clients to come up with creative solutions, using my background in graphic design and marketing, in my photography.
I would also love to work with a lot more small businesses, businesses like mine that are looking to grow. With the huge focus on social media for engaging and marketing to clients, there is such power in having real photos that capture you and your business and I love working with businesses to help them present themselves as they are.
It sounds like you really know what you want to do? Has that always been the case?
I know I want to pursue my photography, but I also don’t want to limit myself. There are so many different genres and I love the variety, so right now I am really open to whatever opportunities this provides along the way.
I think it was really having my family that made me focus more on what was important and how I was spending my time, if this was taking time away from them, then I had to love it. I want to work and for me it’s important that my girls see me working, but that they also see me doing what I love.
You now have a website and your facebook page, and I hear you are getting quite busy (especially before Christmas), what was your biggest challenge to get this far?
To be honest, my biggest challenge so far has been time management. Finding that balance between being a mum of three young children, studying and then starting up a new business has been a challenge. It means many early mornings and late nights, working on my business when my kids are in bed. However, when it is to do something that you truly enjoy, you always find that extra bit of energy to keep you going. Sleep is overrated anyway, isn’t it?
“Go for it. Follow your dreams, push to reach your full potential. Life is simply too short not to.”
Who was your biggest support?
I am truly blessed to have a lot of support from family and friends. My husband was so supportive of me leaving my well-paying job, to pursue my dream and start up my own business. Despite the fact that it meant more pressure on him for a while, as the sole bread winner. I also couldn’t be doing it without the support of my mum, brother and my in-laws, helping out with the kids whenever they can, to help free up some time for me to focus on my business. I also have lots of friends that have provided me with endless encouragement and support, so for that I am forever grateful.
What advice would you give to other women facing major life events or choices?
Go for it. Follow your dreams, push to reach your full potential. Life is simply too short not to. It’s going to be hard work and potentially a long road, but it will be worth it in the end. I would rather fail at something having jumped in and given it a go, than to not have taken the chance and to look back later on wishing I had.
Don’t be scared of the F word! Failing is not the end of the world and it really shouldn’t be seen as failing anyway. It is a life experience which will prepare you, strengthen you and prepare you for your next challenge. Believe in yourself, value yourself and others will do the same.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Oh gosh, where do I start? Life is a long journey. Just because you have made certain choices, doesn’t mean that it is the be all and end all. As you will find out, it is never too late to change direction and learn new things and you never know what is just around the corner. Make the most of every situation, be it good or bad, because that’s how you will learn and grow. These life lessons will help you be a better person and mum to your children in the long run. And most of all, believe in yourself. Everyone else does, so it is time that you do too!