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Life & Work with Monica Rodriguez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monica Rodriguez.

Hi Monica, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hi! I’m so thankful to be here today. I’m Monica; BoyMom, hopeful romantic, believer, appreciator of all things pink, and California-raised.

In 2016, I became a single mom of two toddlers. My entire world was shattered and I was picking up the pieces with two little boys by my side. I got introduced to an organization called The Single Mom KC and after only 4 months of being a single mom, I went to a summer event they put on. I remember feeling so out of place and almost ashamed I was there. I didn’t choose this life. I didn’t want it.

They had a photographer there who was taking family photos for the single moms for free as part of the event. I reluctantly sat down with two tired and squirmy little boys and posed. Smiling through the pain and uncertainty. That one seemingly fleeting moment reignited a passion in my heart. I had always been interested in photography. I took photos with my camera phone constantly. I loved to look at photos and pin them to Pinterest. It was something I’d always hope that “someday” I could do.

At the end of 2020, I decided to go for it. I couldn’t keep this passion and dream inside anymore and I knew I wanted to just try. February 2021 I bought a camera with zero camera knowledge. I watched countless videos and talked to so many friends about settings, composition, and lighting. March 21, 2021, on national single parent day, I photographed a single mom and her daughter. A celebration of her strength, her beauty, and perseverance.

After that, I started offering single mom discounts for family photos or portraits along with regular photography sessions. My desire was to offer single moms the opportunity for quality photos to remind them that they are a beautiful family… right where they were at. Fast forward to today I offer portraits, senior sessions, family sessions, engagements, and this weekend of this interview I have my first wedding by myself.

I still offer single mom discounts and a portion of my profits for regular sessions go to support an organization that is giving back to single-mother families.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Honestly, it hasn’t been the smoothest. It has been a lot to learn. I had zero camera knowledge when I started. I’m still learning and growing so much.

I became well acquainted with “imposter syndrome”.

I questioned if I was “good enough” and I had to constantly remind myself that I have to opportunity to keep getting better and learn from my mistakes.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I do mainly family photography and portraits. I think what I’m known for is helping my clients to feel comfortable in front of the camera.
I know as a mom it can be so stressful to get everyone smiling and looking at the camera to get that “perfect photo”.

So, as a photographer, I try to make it fun and inviting and capture real moments as well as posed photos. I’ll play music and be goofy to put kids at ease.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
My biggest advice for someone starting out is to keep practicing and be your own cheerleader. There were so many times where I got stuck in my head thinking that I wasn’t good enough because I was comparing myself to other photographers. I had to rally myself up to keep going.

Intrusive thoughts with sneak in and tell me that I didn’t have a gift and then I should just give up, and I really had to fight those thoughts with truth.

You are learning.

You are growing.

You can do hard things.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
SPC portraits. Arise Photography

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