Updated: Jan 26
1. Tell me about yourself and your business.
I'm Sarah Roberts - I live in Eagle Mountain and have been in Utah a total of 8 years. I grew up in Montana and Nebraska and spent some of my young adult years in South Dakota. I graduated from BYU-Idaho with a degree in Communication. I served a church mission in Ecuador and spent some time in Chile doing volunteer work helping others get jobs and improve their resumes and interviewing skills. I met my husband on a blind date, we married in 2009 and we had our first son in 2010. I have had two other children since: another boy and a girl.
I'm a stay-at-home-mom which I love. I've been through lots of motherhood struggles: postpartum depression/anxiety, pregnancy loss, secondary infertility, and a child with ADHD/ODD. Now I'm the owner of Yellow Kite Lifestyle Photography where I specialize in birth, newborn and family photography. I'm also dipping my toes in video as well, which is exciting! I enjoy volunteering in my community and have taught ESL to English language learners, I love playing softball in my community and playing racquetball when I can.
I enjoy reading and eating - so I helped create a book club and a foodie club with my friends! Best idea ever. Wish I could create a travel group, but maybe I'll save that for after the kids move out, haha.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
Like most moms, I felt the need to work on who I am outside of motherhood. I had always been interested in photography and wanted to improve that skill, so I started taking more pictures. I worked on going from "auto" to the "manual" setting and was getting better and better. I practiced as much as I could - mostly with my kids but also with family and friends, bless their hearts!
Fast forward to 2017 when I discovered birth photography. I was traveling to Idaho for my sister's baby shower when she informed me that her doctor moved up her schedule caesarean to the day of her shower! We were all in shock, but as the news set in, I decided to ask my sister if she would be ok with me documenting her son's birth. She and her husband were on board, as was her OB and anesthesiologist. What a momentous occasion - ground-breaking and life-changing for everyone. Tears filled my eyes as I tried looking through the view finder when the doctor pulled my nephew up to show my sister. Cheers erupted from everyone present. I felt a flood of emotions and a fire that was lit inside of me. I needed more of this. Luckily for me, my friend and neighbor was working on certification to become a doula, so we shared model calls, working together with friends during their births - she supported and I documented. We are quite the team.
3. Talk about challenges in your business and how you overcame them.
I started my business when I realized I wanted to take on more birth clients and expand my services. However, it's challenging living the on-call life with only one vehicle in the family! My husband commutes with public transportation, but I also have children who need to be to places or need to be watched by others while I leave them to capture a birth. I take it case by case and rely heavily on my faith in God to make sure all goes well. My family is supportive as I don't take on too many clients during the month of a birth.
Another challenge is working in low-light situations and working around tight spaces and lots of people. Taking a course helped me know how to best work around those challenges. But the journalistic approach to this type of photography is what I absolutely LOVE about this work.
Also, some have a hard time knowing the value of birth photography. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I believe it is such important work. Your wedding day is the start of a new life, but when your child is born, everything changes even more! If you're the mom, the list goes on to how much changes - but it's always for the better. However, it's one of those things that's so hard to remember details and specifics, so being able to look back on that amazing experience can help you fill in the gaps. If it was a traumatic experience, looking back on pictures or video can help you process and heal.
4. What accomplishments have you experienced since starting your business?
As I mentioned earlier, I started working on videography. I upgraded my gear, took a workshop and practiced taking videos. It isn't easy - it's a whole new ball of wax for me. At first, I was paralyzed with fear and didn't even start the process until recently. I had so much support from a couple of friends who encouraged me (because they want me to video their births!). I buckled down and even without finishing the course, I filmed and edited a video and sent it to my course instructor. Surprisingly, it turned out well and she gave me high praise for it! I couldn't believe it. I just had to do it. Getting over my fear and trusting in myself to just accomplish it, knowing it wouldn't be perfect were the biggest factors in helping me accomplish it.
5. What would you tell others who want to start a business and don't know where to start?
If you're looking to start a business, I would look for people who can be your biggest supports (friends and family), and then I would look for people who can help you focus and accomplish your business goals (mentors, others in your field via Facebook groups, workshops, trainings, courses). The biggest game changer is the mindset "community over competition." Building a community within your chosen field will help everyone involved as you support each other instead of turning inward and trying to one-up yourself and hoping the others will fail.
I love to continue my education, whether it's through YouTube, books or workshops with mentors. Always be learning - learning helps you adapt quickly. Not just that, but it helps you overcome fear of doing new things when you're constantly learning.
Read, read, read. Whether it's books about your business, books about self help, or just regular non-fiction/fiction books, reading helps expand your perspective. We all can't travel (even though that would be amazing), but books can help transport you to new locales and new people and new ideas. Never stop trying to expand your mind to new ideas and new ways to look at things.
6. What are some of your 2020 goals? How do you plan to achieve your them?
My 2020 goals are to nail this videography thing and to fill my calendar with clients who want their births documented with either photos or videos (or both!). I'm excited with the clean slate of this new year and finding those people who value my work and me as an individual. I'm currently doing a personality marketing workshop that is intense but helping me present my most authentic self to everyone who sees me, putting out model calls for video clients and relying on the support of those close to me and my mentors.
My website is www.yellowkitephoto.com and I'm on Facebook and Instagram with the handle @yellowkitephoto.