Documentary Photography is the technical term, and League City mama of three, Caroline Stubbs, is introducing this niche style to us here in South Houston!
Caroline is sharing all about how Documentary Photography serves as a time capsule of your family’s life, along with how her husband and three boys inspired her to adopt the technique and start her business, Wild and Free Photography, LLC. Should you become interested in trying it out, Caroline is offering 15% off prints for South Houston Moms! (Code:SHM15).
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
Innovative. My mind is always whirling with ways to expand an idea or create a new process. If you give me a recipe, I’ll tweak it. If I have to accomplish a task I’ll find a labor saving shortcut. If you ask me to create something, I’ll put my own twist on it. I love pushing myself to be creative and just a tiny bit extra.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a ton of anxieties about trying new things–in business, hobbies, etc. By nature, I love routine. But I married the most spontaneous and adventurous man who has shown me a different side of myself. Now I’ve seen the benefit to putting yourself out there, taking risks, and getting out of your comfort zone. It’s still hard, but I’m learning to love it.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you along your motherhood journey?
I’d like to thank my friend, Callie. We were young moms together having kids born a month apart. She helped encourage me, remind me to be less rigid, and was there for me. She was always someone you could turn to in a motherhood crisis or to commiserate in those sleepless years. That was such a blessing.
Tell us all about Wild and Free Photography!
Wild and Free Photography LLC was officially launched back in August of 2019 up in the great state of Montana. My husband Corey and I own and operate the business. I’m the artistic and customer service side while he runs the legal and accounting side.
When my family moved down to the Houston area in February of this year, we decided to niche our company into specializing in family documentary photography. Formerly, we offered a lot of portrait work. With our relocation, we transitioned focus specifically on the niche of family documentary photography in the Houston area. We happily serve League City and surrounding areas, and are open to traveling further.
Can you explain the meaning of documentary photography?
Family documentary photography is a time capsule of your family’s everyday life, artistically documented for you to enjoy for years and years. We are all taking the iphone photos of our kids and feel the need to immortalize these fleeting days. I get to come in and do that for you as an artist and fellow mom.
There’s no missing family member in the photos, because they’re not the one behind the camera–I am. You get to dive into a few hours of uninterrupted quality time with your family and walk away with heirlooms.
What inspired you to specialize in documentary photography ?
My 3 boys are my muses. Even the name Wild and Free comes from those early years of them parading dressed as ninjas at the store, or growling like a wolf around the living room. I wanted to learn how to tell the story of their childhood and our family life well.
One day a friend pointed me to Joy Prouty’s work. I was so immediately enamored with the idea that documenting family life could be done professionally! This was what I wanted to do! I was hooked.
With this unique style, how are your shoots structured?
We structure each session depending on how long it is. We build your session around your favorite family activities or interests. The possibilities are endless, and I’m always here to give you ideas to get you started.
With the 1 hour sessions, we choose one or two activities. This could be a special event or a tribute to your ordinary hours.
For the 3 or 5 hour sessions, we have more options. These could be spread over a couple of locations and multiple activities (planned and freestyle). In these longer sessions, we can often include either a wake up or bedtime routine.
Can you recommend an ideal time for a family to try out documentary photography?
The best pictures are taken around the soft light of sunrise and sunset. But truly, it is so flexible as to the when and where we have our session. Right now, the days are so beautifully mild. If your family loves getting outside, now is the perfect time. We are coming up on the holidays, and there are so many fun outings around the area. I’d love to come along as you enjoy them together.
So, how do you balance mom life and running a business?
That’s always going to be tough, but I’d say, daily goal setting. Providing a structure for my day helps me stay focused on both family and business.
What is your best advice to a mom who’d like to open her own business?
I would say two things. First, I learned from the great entrepreneur, Marcus Lemonis, the importance of managing the 3 P’s: People, Process, and Product. We are usually drawn to throw our time into just focusing on the product, but they all need our attention in order for a business to thrive. Secondly, I found the best way to learn is from others who have gone before you in your field. Michelle McKay was someone whose business acumen and artistic process I admired. Seek like minded people who are going where you want to go and learn from them.
What is something you would tell the “old you” before you had kids?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or take leaps of faith. If something seems overwhelming, ask yourself, “What baby steps can I take in order to move toward my goal?” You eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Your best shortcut or routine for helping you through parenthood.
My crockpot. Though I love to cook, by 5:00, I don’t have enough brain cells left to cook. I have learned how to turn almost any recipe into a crockpot version of itself. It makes me a happier and more relaxed mom who can enjoy her evening with her family.
Is there anything we should know about your booking process?
I use BookMe through my website. It’s very easy to use, and I manually approve each booking. You can expect a follow up call or text so we can discuss your session if we haven’t yet. After booking I send my electronic contracts. If you’d like to look through the contract before booking, I’m happy to send you a copy. My goal is that everyone is on the same page so not only can I meet your expectations, but exceed them.
Any special offers for South Houston Moms?
I would love to offer South Houston Mom followers a 15% discount on all prints. Use code: SHM15 at checkout.
We love to support local small businesses. What is your favorite place in the Pearland, Friendswood or Sugar Land areas to: (Please be specific)
- Take your kids out for some fun: A trip to Bricks and Mini Figs
- Have a date night: Good Vibes
- Have fun as a family: Shave Ice at Kahuna Joe’s
- Get your nails done: Citrus Nail Spa
- Get a facial: I would love recommendations!
- Shop for yourself: Adelaide’s Boutique
- Shop for your kids: Pearland Town Center
For more information or to book a session with Caroline, head over to her website to get started!