When I first met and learned of Beryl’s story about how she picked up her first serious camera, I was instantly hooked on her story. “Now, that’s an Awake Mama,” I thought. When I came up with the idea for Project 52: Stay Awake, she was the only photographer I contacted to work with. I knew she was perfect. She gets it. And, not only does she understand what being awake is all about, she also understands that many of us — including me — are not real photographers. We just want really good photos of our family, our lives.
We want to remember.
I’m happy to introduce you a bit more to Beryl in this interview when she tells us how she came to become a momtographer.
1. Tell us one thing about yourself we might not know.
I used to live on Beryl Terrace. Seriously. My husband and I went out house hunting for our first place, and when we found a home listed for sale on Beryl Terrace we knew it was the one for us! We’ve since moved on from our starter home and I must admit it’s nice not having to explain myself anymore when telling someone my name and address. People don’t believe at first when you tell them your name is Beryl and you live on a street that bears the same name.
2. You are a photographer and a real teacher. How in the world did THAT happen?
Teaching has always been a huge part of my life. From as little as I can remember I loved setting up ‘school’ and showing my stuffed animals, Barbies, friends, etc…how to add and subtract or read and write. I NEVER in my wildest dreams thought photography would ever play such an integral role in who I’d become as an adult. Becoming a photographer was quite an unexpected twist of fate and helped to ‘wake me up’ in a time of intense grief in my life. I had just been gifted my first DSLR camera while pregnant for the first time when we found out at 20 weeks that our daughter was incredibly sick. She was stillborn not long after receiving the devastating news. I used ‘her camera’ to process my grief and re-discover beauty and gratitude and joy in my broken world.
Since then I’ve been hooked on photography. It was the tool that helped me reconnect with my life. Now, I instinctively pick up my camera anytime I’m in need of a pick-me-up. For awhile I owned a part-time business photographing children and families, but after our 2nd daughter was born healthy and vibrant and full of life I decided I didn’t want to be out taking photos of other families every weekend. So I put my studio to rest and instead combined passions – developing classes to teach moms how to rock their cameras and find their own confidence and joy behind the lens.
3. What do you think is your talent in the Universe?
I truly think I have a talent for inspiring others to live the best version of their life possible and teaching them to use tools that will help them get there. I’ve realized over the past 3 years just how much I love working with adults, moms especially. It can be so hard after entering into the world of motherhood to find ‘me time’ but I’ve been able to help them find through their passion for photography. It’s a win-win when moms find a hobby they LOVE that can be weaved right into their job as a mom.
4. Tell us one thing you are so happy you said yes to in your life.
As cheesy as it is, I’m glad I said yes when the shy quiet guy working customer service with me at my part-time retail job asked me out on our first date back in college.
I’m glad I said yes again when he asked me out a 2nd time. (I’ll admit, I had my doubts, because he was slow to come out of his shell).
And I’m especially glad I said yes when he asked me 3 years later to be his wife.
5. What’s the coolest thing happening in your life right now?
I’m thrilled to finally be getting my popular local DSLR photography class, Momtographie, released into 6-week online option! The course materials have been so much fun to compile and right now I’m offering a free mini-class called ‘One Ingredient Fix’, which will be a bit of a peek of what Momtographie Online will have to offer.
Beryl Ayn Young is a wife, mama, teacher, and photographer offering photography lessons and classes to nourish the mind, body, and soul. She’s the creator of the Momtographie Online E-course offering moms a 6-week recipe for photographic success. Check out her site for all the details.