The Magic in Motherhood: Capturing the Mother-Child Connection with Brittany Grubbs

After a birth, all eyes are on the new baby. You take tons of pictures, make tons of memories, and try to soak up each moment before it passes. But as a baby grows, mom is also undergoing a life changing transformation, one that’s just as deserving of attention and documentation. Motherhood photography seeks to capture these moments.

In this episode, I’m chatting with Brittany Grubbs who specializes in motherhood photography about capturing the natural beauty of the mother-child connection.

Brittany is sharing how she found her passion for motherhood photography and how she turned it into the foundation of her business. She’s sharing her tips for helping clients feel comfortable and look natural on camera, as well as her process for styling her subjects. Plus, she’s explaining what to do when your subjects (children or adults) don’t want to cooperate.

What’s in this episode:

  • How Brittany found her passion for motherhood photography and turned it into a business [1:58]
  • Her secret for capturing the natural bond between mother and child [4:25]
  • How to help clients who arrive for a shoot nervous or stiff [5:13]
  • How to guide clients into slowing down, getting intimate, and being themselves [6:39]
  • Prepping for sessions and styling clients [9:50]
  • Brittany’s favorite stores for building her client closet [11:45]
  • What to do when clients don’t follow directions or kids don’t want to participate [12:17]
  • Brittany’s advice for photographers struggling to find their voice and style [14:01]
  • Why Brittany loves self-portrait sessions, and the project she’s most proud of [17:37]
  • How she wants to create even deeper connections with her clients [20:03]

If you want to learn to help your clients see the beauty in the little, intimate moments through motherhood photography, tune in to this episode.

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher


Resources Mentioned

Free People

Jen’s Pirate Booty

Urban Outfitters

ASOS

Showpo

Etsy

Meet Brittany Grubbs

Brittany started her career as an ultrasound tech with photography on the side, but took the plunge as a full-time family and motherhood photographer right before Covid hit! It was a scary transition, but she’s made her mark as a photographer. She also teaches her skills and shares her hardworking perspective with other photographers. She’s also the mother of three little girls and loves the journey.

Connect with Brittany

Visit her website

Follow her on Instagram

Follow her on Facebook

Explore her freebies

Did you love hearing about motherhood photography from Brittany? Check out these other episodes

Transcript:

[00:00:00] Brittany Grubbs: That it’s like a marathon, right? Like it’s not a sprint. It’s not a race to the end. We’re not in competition with each other. There’s no right. There’s no wrong. Art is subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder. We all have art in us. No matter what we decide to document and show. And we don’t need fancy schmancy features to make us feel like we’re successful and that it’s about how you feel doing it and the happiness of your clients and happiness at yourself doing it. 

[00:00:37] Lisa DiGeso: Welcome to the Art and Soul Show, where we dove into heart opening chats on photography, business, life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur. And I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because, let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul Show. Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to the show. Today I’m hanging out with Brittany Grubbs. Welcome.

[00:01:27] Brittany Grubbs: Hi. Thank you. 

[00:01:29] Lisa DiGeso: So you’ve probably seen her stunning work and fell in love just like me. Britney is a photographer based in Houston, Texas, and loves to help her clients rekindle deeper connections between their families, partners and within their own selves. She specializes in motherhood and birth photography, and I’m just so excited to have her join me on the show today. So further ado, here is Brittany.

[00:01:53] Brittany Grubbs: Hello. Hello. Hello.  

[00:01:55] Lisa DiGeso: So tell us who you are and what you’re passionate about. 

[00:01:58] Brittany Grubbs: So I’m Britney. I am your birth motherhood family photographer. I am a mom of three now. I have an 11 year old, a toddler who’s three and a new baby. She’s going to be here for three months soon. I transitioned to photography after working five years in the clinic as a vascular ultrasound tech with a full time jump into that just here right before the pandemic happened. So it was very scary. But I’m doing it and I’m here and passionate about just motherhood in general and documenting anything and everything that has to do with moms, whether that’s specifically motherhood, sessions, birth or family, but focused. I’m usually hyper focused on my moms.

[00:02:42] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. So let’s talk a little bit about that, especially motherhood. Now, can you share how you discovered your passion for it and how someone can make the shift that they want if they want to focus on motherhood sessions and maybe no longer want to do family sessions. 

[00:02:56] Brittany Grubbs: Sure. So documenting motherhood is definitely stemmed just from my own experiences and my love that I have for my children, and just being able to kind of connect with other moms and relate to them on all of the good and hard things that we all go through, transitioning and navigating the different times of motherhood. And so being able to capture that just really, really, really makes my heart happy. And so I want to ensure that my children also have that documentation. So I know that other moms are going to want that as well. But if, you know, if anyone was trying to make the shift into motherhood sessions from families or only I would say have those conversations on social media, like be present about motherhood, really indulge yourself, whether it’s from like your captions, your posts or just the things you talk about inside of your community or being involved in the community with moms go to meetups and things like that because word of mouth is so great. And then that way you’re able to do maybe some personal projects with motherhood and just show up for it and show that’s what you’re shooting and kind of attract more moms in that realm.

[00:04:07] Lisa DiGeso: And so I wish your listeners could see that we actually have Brittany’s youngest, two, three month old little Frankie, right? Yep. 

[00:04:14] Brittany Grubbs: Frankie. 

[00:04:15] Lisa DiGeso: She enjoyed us, too. So Frankie Rose is just sitting in on the interview to see if you hear her there, too. She’s joining us. And I love that because this is such a motherhood topic. Now, what do you feel is your secret to capturing images that not only showcase the motherhood bonds, but also bring purpose and meaning to you as well? 

[00:04:35] Brittany Grubbs: The secret would probably be observation. And when it comes to posing and prompting and initiating those interactions, just watching how each family is different and allowing them to kind of unfold in their own natural way. So like without being super, super finite and specific on your movement or your pose, you know, give them such a more generalized kind of a prompt and then let them decide how it’s natural to them. To me, I think that really showcases it a little bit better and gives them their true story behind it. So just kind of allowing them to step back and get that rhythm.  

[00:05:13] Lisa DiGeso: Now, do you ever find that you have clients that arrive and they’re stiff and posed and really not sure how to be with each other? 

[00:05:19] Brittany Grubbs: Oh, yeah, there is. And usually they’re conveying that even before we get in person. And I’m like, Don’t worry, I’m going to be there for you. I just kind of keep reassuring them and I’m like, We are going to work this together and I’ll give you subtle things to do here and there. And I kind of give a prep. I’m like, you know? You just keep moving. That’s what’s going to help make this flow.

[00:05:40] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I love that because I think many photographers really struggle to connect with their clients and to find and even see those emotional connections. So do you have any additional advice on tips for encouraging those connections? 

[00:05:53] Brittany Grubbs: I honestly, I say begin the connection with potential clients before you even have them as a client. To me, again, just targeting that specific audience and building a relationship and trust with them is going to help. Because then once you’re at the session with them, they already know you. You know, you already feel like you’re friends. There’s comfortability there and then it’s easier and more relaxing for them to kind of get into that vulnerable state. But at a session, I just prep them. I tell them from the start. Play with your babies hands and toes and smell them and enjoy all the moments that you can with them. Just think about those. You know, this time going by so fast, it’s going to end so soon and they’re going to be big. And we just want to savor all of that for that moment.

[00:06:39] Lisa DiGeso: I love that because I think a lot of the time, you know, it’s the families that will show up, especially for me. I find families show up for the family session. And it’s almost like instead of enjoying the moment, you can feel the energy of maybe dad can’t wait till it’s over. And that’s one thing that I really struggle with is, you know, is like because I love photographing mother motherhood. Yeah, the grumpy dads and I’m actually considering, you know, just I love men, but maybe I don’t love photographing men, so. Right. Right. So I’m kind of just at my own little late crossroads of going, okay, well, I love motherhood and I love the slowing down, the intentionality and the documenting these tiny little moments and being present. But that’s something that I really struggle with. My own photography business is getting that slowed down with my own clients. So do you have any tips on how I can slow that session down to maybe encourage that?  

[00:07:33] Brittany Grubbs: It sounds so. I don’t know if it’s going to sound like the best advice or I don’t even know how to word it. But really it’s just that it’s the observation. Like I tell them at the beginning, I’m like, I’m going to get quiet at some points and I’m going to step back and it’s going to feel so awkward. But I just want you guys to keep chatting, just talk to each other real lightly as like and just, you know, that gives that it feels slow, right? Like it feels soft and intimate and it’s quiet, but it’s working and they’re really being themselves. Now, for some grumpy dads, I give them breaks, like I give small children breaks. I kid you not like I will get their shots and then I’m like, okay, dad, why don’t you go hang out in the back with your older son or older sister? And I still have them in the frame so that it gives that nice layering effect. But they’re technically on their break and they don’t feel like they’re in the photos. But they are and it looks good. So I’m like, That works. That works for me. 

[00:08:29] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. One of my little techniques I usually will send Dad off with one of the children and I will be focused on Mom and the other child. And then when he’s not looking and he’s just being natural, then I’ll like swivel and and.  

[00:08:44] Brittany Grubbs: Start. 

[00:08:45] Lisa DiGeso: Shooting like and then until he notices and then he’s like, What are you doing? Like, I wasn’t ready yet. Like what I was looking for.

[00:08:55] Brittany Grubbs: Exactly. And then they love those photos and you’re like, Oh.

[00:08:59] Lisa DiGeso: And they do, right? Those are my favorites. And even the outtakes. Outtakes are my favorites, honestly. So your images are really an incredible combination of both authentic moments and those thoughtful and creative styling. So how much do you find goes into your sessions? 

[00:09:14] Brittany Grubbs: Well, I’ve spent such a long time just sustaining that brand for myself that it kind of streamlines the work for me so that when clients are coming in, they’re hiring. They already know what they’re getting, they already know what they’re signing up for. They know the style of clothes they’re about to put on. They know, you know, all of that and stuff. But getting down to like the details, it could be anywhere from 30 minutes because the client’s like, I trust you. I’m going to give you my size. You just put it in whatever you want to do, and we’ll be there to, you know, maybe even a couple of days of back and forth chatting with the potential mom or the client or the family and just kind of getting down to the details, the location, and if we want to incorporate anything fun.

[00:09:56] Lisa DiGeso: So as far as styling goes, how would you say that happens with your work? Do you find that you’re styling your clients or are they already pre styled? 

[00:10:06] Brittany Grubbs: They are definitely getting styled by me and what we do is and the baby’s crying, I’m going to put her on. I have a load of client closet outfits that are available to them and it’s just been years of building that up. And we usually just kind of go through what all I have and their sizes and I tell them, Hey, this is going to look really great with my editing. It’s going to go super well with the background. And just again, like establishing that brand style has really shown that consistently works. My sessions. And so they are like, yes, I want this. I want to wear that dress. This one was the one that drew me to you.

[00:10:43] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Now, do you create a client closet for all members of the family, including guys and kids as well? Or do you just focus mainly on mom and girls? 

[00:10:52] Brittany Grubbs: Biggest focused mom. So that closet is humongous. And then I just let them know I have a limited amount of stuff and I slowly buy more and more as time goes on. And then for kids, what I do is I just recycle what I buy for my own small children. So I’ve got them in all stages of life. So little girl stuff starts to happen around my daughter’s age. And then when they don’t fit into that, I just cycle back through. And then same for my son and then now the newest baby. And so all of those little options will go in there. And so I considered the limited kids option, but I’m also more than happy to buy stuff. So like here and there, whenever I get a client and I’m starting to get the wheels turning and I’m looking at stuff and putting things together, I’ll be like, Oh, you know what? If you get this, this and that, I would be happy to make this additional purchase so I can keep it in my client closet. And most of the time that works out really well.

[00:11:45] Lisa DiGeso: Now, do you have any favorite stores that you love to shop at? 

[00:11:49] Brittany Grubbs: I do. My favorite is probably Free People, especially for ladies dresses. I really love Jen’s Pirate Booty. For dads, I usually go like Urban Outfitters dresses, that Showpo and ASOS. I love Etsy. Etsy is great. Like, you can find so many wonderful things on Etsy, all the little boutiques on there. And I actually like thrifting too. Second hand stuff is them. 

[00:12:13] Lisa DiGeso: I love drifting. It’s like my favorite thing to do there. So do you ever find that clients maybe don’t follow instructions? And how do you like what? What do you do?

[00:12:25] Brittany Grubbs: That’s a good question. Again, I think it all comes down to that brand and visual identity and style that I’m putting out there for everybody. But, you know, for motherhood, you don’t get as much because like, they’re they’re wanting to snuggle their kids, you know, us as moms where if we’re hiring, you’re like, we were ready to embrace it, so maybe the kids like it. If anyone’s not going to want to follow directions, it’s probably them. But I just ask them to, you know, let it be for an hour. Let it be free flowing. If a baby’s like, I do not want to do this, then we just move on to the next thing you know, we don’t force it. And that also helps, you know, create the authenticity to their family in their story. And I find that works well. 

[00:13:08] Lisa DiGeso: So do you ever find you have just uncooperative toddlers that are just not having it? And what do you do from there? 

[00:13:15] Brittany Grubbs: From there, I just follow them. I chase them. I run after them. I take all the documentation, pictures of them playing with the grass or the flower that they just will not let go of. Or I ask moms to say it’s a silly pose. And we’re going to take their heads and we’re going to push it into our chest. And we’re going to breathe gently through our mouths. And it’s going to look great, even though they’re squirming and you’re not going to be able to tell because they face the other direction. And then I’ll take the shot really fast. And even though we both know they were not having it with us, we look at the images and they’re like, Whoa, this looks so soft and pretty. You know, I would love it.  

[00:13:52] Lisa DiGeso: If no one would know. Yeah, I always say to my clients, Don’t worry, I’m going to take care of you. Will make it look like it’s amazing.

[00:13:59] Brittany Grubbs: Amazing. Yep, exactly. 

[00:14:01] Lisa DiGeso: Now, what advice would you have to give to someone maybe struggling to find their voice as an artist through their posing, styling and editing?

[00:14:08] Brittany Grubbs: If someone was struggling to find their voice, I’d probably say get off the social media and then make a list, you know, what are those things? What is your wisdom, your messages that you want to convey through your work? What are the reasons you want people or what are the things you want people to think when they see your work? You know, what are those key points? And because right there, that’s your voice. That’s where you’re where you want to be as an artist. And then you have to put the work to it. Don’t be afraid to do the personal projects and the model calls to really fuel your fire, take full blown creative freedom in it, and practice everything that you need to practice to get to where you want to be. It’s all in that powerful dreams come with all of the powerful work that you put behind it. Just being patient in the small growth. 

[00:14:55] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I love that. That’s great advice. Now what do you wish you knew about getting started with business and photography? 

[00:15:02] Brittany Grubbs: I just wish there was more encouragement when I got started to be okay with trying the different genres, and I felt like it was such a big pressure to immediately figure out who you want to be right away. And so I think it took a while for me to dip my toes into different places to be like, okay, I know that my passion’s here in motherhood are definitely where I want to be. As far as business goes, I don’t know, maybe just knowing that growth takes time.  

[00:15:28] Lisa DiGeso: So you ready for the lightning round? 

[00:15:30] Brittany Grubbs: Think so? 

[00:15:30] Lisa DiGeso: So the most luxurious vacation you’ve ever been on. 

[00:15:33] Brittany Grubbs: Probably just a Disney trip I love Disney, though I think of Disney as fun. 

[00:15:41] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. Favorite TV show as a kid. 

[00:15:44] Brittany Grubbs: I was such a Disney channel, Nickelodeon channel, kiddo. So probably all of the shows that were on their kids way nineties and to go love it. 

[00:15:54] Lisa DiGeso: Favorite Disney movie. 

[00:15:55] Brittany Grubbs: Or Disney movie? That is a hard question. I love them all. I would not. And it’s one of my favorites, I think. Aladdin. 

[00:16:05] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, that’s a good one, I think. Mine is Beauty and the Beast. 

[00:16:09] Brittany Grubbs: Is it? I do love a good Beauty and the Beast.

[00:16:11] Lisa DiGeso: Yep. Last thing you did for yourself was indulgence. 

[00:16:16] Brittany Grubbs: Just getting my everyday coffee is an indulgence for me. My fancy, fancy coffee. Probably just splurging on a pedicure, I feel like it’s a fun thing to do.

[00:16:27] Lisa DiGeso: Morning person or night owl.

[00:16:30] Brittany Grubbs: I’ve grown to be a morning person now, not too early, but I still like my mornings and are most productive around that time.

[00:16:37] Lisa DiGeso: I feel like I’m kind of both. Like I typically will stay up till about 11, but then I’m up at like 6:30, 7, so.  

[00:16:43] Brittany Grubbs: That’s how I am. Yeah. Right.  

[00:16:47] Lisa DiGeso: Little. What did you want to little. Little bit. Good morning. Yeah, exactly. I’m but I’m a morning owl. Right. So what did you want to be when you grew up?

[00:16:59] Brittany Grubbs: I used to always want to be an actress. And if I didn’t want to be an actress, I was always wanting to be like a photojournalist, which is still far off. I would like to travel the world and write and take photos.  

[00:17:14] Lisa DiGeso: What’s your go to karaoke jam?

[00:17:16] Brittany Grubbs: I actually really love Putting on Fever by Peggy Lee. That old song.

[00:17:21] Lisa DiGeso: What lights your soul up?

[00:17:24] Brittany Grubbs: The hard question of my babies, even whenever they’re sad, they definitely bring me lots of joy.  

[00:17:37] Lisa DiGeso: What has been your most memorable photography session and why?

[00:17:42] Brittany Grubbs: I feel like when I do self-portraits, those are most memorable because they hit home for me right there, my documentation of my little moments and my time to feel free and creative with my own self. Yeah, and I think that’s what would make them so memorable.

[00:17:57] Lisa DiGeso: What do you wish more artists, creatives and entrepreneurs knew.

[00:18:01] Brittany Grubbs: That ‘s like a marathon, right? Like it’s not it’s not a sprint. It’s not a race to the end. We’re not in competition with each other. There’s no right. There’s no wrong. Art is subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder. We all have art in us, no matter what we decide to document and show. And we don’t need fancy schmancy features to make us feel like we’re successful and that it’s about how you feel doing it and the happiness of your clients and the happiness of yourself doing it. 

[00:18:35] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, good answer. So what project art, piece or creation have you felt the most proud of and why?  

[00:18:43] Brittany Grubbs: I would say it was a little beach film that I made of my children. I went with no expectation and I kept thinking to myself, Well, you know, I’m doing this for everybody else and I need to do more for myself and my children. And I brought my camera and I was going to play around with it. I didn’t even try to make it pretty or smooth, and I just put all their little sounds together with the wave crashing and music to it. And I think I cried every single time I watched it, all ten times in a row. 

[00:19:13] Lisa DiGeso: It was like, video is so powerful, isn’t it? 

[00:19:16] Brittany Grubbs: Like it is. 

[00:19:18] Lisa DiGeso: There’s nothing to spend it. Well, my son, my son’s 12 now, and I got mad at him one time because I was trying to make a birthday video for them and I was like, Why don’t we have more videos of them? And he’s like, Because that didn’t exist on phones back then. It’s like, Oh my God.

[00:19:33] Brittany Grubbs: Right? My dad was like the camcorder king. We had the camcorder with the VHS. You put the little VHS then? Yeah, he was the one. So you could always see him, like walking around recording at the parties.  

[00:19:47] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. So where could our listeners learn more from you?

[00:19:51] Brittany Grubbs: You could find most of, like, my connection on Instagram. That’s, I think, where I’m most active. It’s @bgphotodoula_htx that’s where I put most of everything.

[00:20:03] Lisa DiGeso: And I love to end my interviews with this last question. And it is what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about?

[00:20:11] Brittany Grubbs: It’s because I felt like calling lately and I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve just kind of looked into it and I don’t honestly know how to go about it is I want to get a little bit more deeper connections with clients and instead of just like, okay, we’re going to book me and spend an hour together and we’re going to create these really pretty, you know, sessions with dresses and things like that. I’m super interested in spending like a. Weekend or something like two days with the client and doing like a full blown documentary series with them, just kind of getting real raw and just following them around and getting that wall to break down a little bit more and see kind of real true authenticity in their families.  

[00:20:54] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Fantastic. Good answer. Well, Brittany and Franky, thank you so much for joining me today. 

[00:21:03] Brittany Grubbs: Appreciate you having us.

[00:21:05] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, my beautiful friends. That was such a fun conversation. And thank you for joining me every single week and tuning in. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every single day. And we’ll see you next time.

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