Sarah: Most people don’t think it’s possible to have a career as a photographer.
They pick up the camera for the first time and start dabbling, photographing friends for free and maybe occasionally making a little money.
Today I’m talking to a Minneapolis mom of three, Shaina Madrid, who always loved photography, but with her full-time corporate career, she didn’t think photography could be a career even though she’d had some clients.
Now she’s getting $3,000 client orders and seeing what’s possible with a photography career.
Tell us about your background.
What’s your backstory with regard to photography?
Shaina: Before I started Boutique Breakthrough and really started working on building my business, I was dabbling.
I was doing things for free and I had horrible imposter syndrome.
I didn’t feel like I could charge because I’m not a trained photographer.
I have a corporate background and a master’s degree in things that no one else wants to hear about.
So I was just doing it for free, but I loved it.
If I could figure out a way to make this my career, I would drop my corporate job and I would transition.
Sarah: So you are this highly educated, rockstar corporate person, and you’re dabbling, but in your mind you didn’t think you were a good enough photographer?
Shaina: What I took away most from Boutique Breakthrough was how to manage my own head trash.
I’m really fortunate that I also have really great front pocket people who believe in me.
The people within Boutique Breakthrough and the Joy of Marketing space helped me work through those things.
I was able to get some images that I had taken prior to Boutique Breakthrough critiqued by your team of experts, which helps you realize that your work isn’t terrible and that you actually have a skillset even though you picked it up on your own.
Sarah: I want to dig in a little bit here.
You’re working full-time and have kids?
Did you like your career somewhat?
And I have 3 kids.
I’ve been in the corporate world for about 15 years and I don’t want to do it anymore.
It’s exhausting and I want to have the choice to not feel like I’m missing a meeting because my child has a need.
Sarah: I love it.
Did getting in Boutique Breakthrough and having the results you had, give you the belief and help you see the possibility that this could be a reality for you?
Shaina: I think for someone like myself, having the education laid out the way it is, you’re able to work through it.
So if I have steps, I can make things happen.
I know how to follow the process.
I think that being able to build on what the background I already have was really helpful to have it structured in the way that it was.
Sarah: How did you stop the head trash thoughts?
Shaina: You have an amazing tool that you call Reversi that I used.
And so whenever I have a negative thought come up, and it still happens, I get resistance all of the time, I go back and use that.
Sarah: You’re working full-time and have busy kids, so where did photography fit in when you were doing it?
Were you doing digitals?
Shaina: I was just fitting it in after my kiddos would go to bed.
And honestly, I wasn’t doing a ton of it.
I was doing it for people who wanted it done that I knew really well.
Right now I’m busy, I have multiple clients in a month, and I’m having to retouch, create presentations for my clients and connect with them.
If I truly want this, I will find the time.
I am getting up earlier.
After my little one goes to bed, then I find the time to fit in the other things I need to do in the evening.
Sarah: It’s a lot easier to find that extra time when you’re being compensated with the Boutique model versus the digital file model.
Shaina: Oh yeah.
The first time I ever charged somebody was actually last fall, and I charged them $100.
The second time I charged somebody, I charged a $100 session fee, but I sold artwork to them.
And that was my “Julie”, $1k or more client order.
Sarah: That is awesome.
Did you have a conversation with your spouse about finding me and this program?
What did you tell both of you, yourself and him, was the benefit of doing this education?
I had decided I was going to sign up, and then I had already committed to doing it before I told him.
He knew I didn’t want to stay in corporate any longer so this was how I was going to build my business.
My husband’s friend had been divorced for about a year.
He and the kids had just moved into a new place and my husband suggested that I do photos for him.
So I had set up time with him.
And then as I was going through Boutique Breakthrough, I was learning the different components.
So I had the session already done, and then I had done the ordering appointment essentially shortly after I started Boutique Breakthrough and I had been talking to him about it because I’d already done one of your shorter things.
So I knew the direction I was heading.
I sold them three large canvases.
Now it’s a lot easier because I know all of the steps.
Sarah: You went through the process and presented the images to him.
How did he feel?
Shaina: I wish I could have a video of me dropping his canvases off..
It was amazing.
He sent me photos after they were hung and they are just beautiful and so impactful for the kids.
Sarah: What a gift you gave to that dad and those kids and the healing, right?
I’m sure even the most amicable divorce is still hard on everybody.
And to feel that love from our dad… “We’re going to be okay” is the message that sends in.
And we’re loved.
Whether dad and mom get along, don’t get along, it doesn’t matter.
We are loved.
So when he placed this order and you realized it was your Julie and you’ve served him so hard, how did that make you feel?
Shaina: It was amazing.
Also a little shocking at first.
I’m like, “Oh, I just sold over $3,000 worth of product.”
I was like, “This works. Absolutely.”
And then it’s so great because when you have success, you can share with your group.
And everyone’s so supportive, right?
I think you cultivated such an amazing community where there isn’t any hate.
There’s like, how do we lift each other up and how do we celebrate the wins for everyone?
Because it comes at a different time for everybody.
Sarah: Last question for you is what’s your dream?
If you could paint out the future, leaving your other job, when would you like to do that?
What’s the dream goal?
Shaina: I’d like to leave it by next summer.
My husband’s also in support of this.
I think I talked to you about it before, but he’s opening a frame shop.
So I’ll have in-house framing for my business.
He does beautiful work.
Sarah: I love that.
Thank you for sharing your story today.
That was so powerful.