From quitting her job and starting a motherhood photography business to taking over her father’s farm, moving cross country, and starting over with a completely new client base – Alexandria Smith is no stranger to leaps of faith.
Alex is a writer and photographer who preserves the precious seasons of motherhood for herself and others. In this episode, she shares her business journey and how learning to trust the outcome isn’t a natural instinct – but a skill you get better at with practice.
Press play for the full interview or keep reading below!
Before starting her motherhood photography business, Alex taught high school English for six years. When she became pregnant with her first child, Daphne Mae, she knew she wanted to be at home full-time. Photography offered a way to do that.
For the first few years of Alex’s business, she took on any projects that came her way, trying to find her own style while emulating other photographers she admired. She found herself drawn to film photography – which, at the time, was mostly used in the wedding industry.
Now with two kids in tow, Alex kept coming back to motherhood photography. “I was hyper-aware of how quickly those moments were going by,” she says, “and I wanted to preserve that.”
From the moment Alex decided she wanted to be at home with her kids, she and her husband were committed to making it happen. At the time, her husband was traveling five days a week for work, and they knew they both needed a change.
“We’re leap of faith people. We thought, let’s just go for it and see what happens.” So they sold their house, quit their jobs, and took over Alex’s father’s farming business. “It wasn’t easy. We didn’t go out to dinner, we didn’t go on vacations and things like that. But we were together, and we were at home with the kids.”
It was a bold move, but one that Alex says she’s never once regretted.
Alex and her husband took over her father’s almond orchard and moved into a double-wide mobile home on the property. From there, the business grew organically. Alex offered newborn sessions in her bedroom and eventually built a garden studio for her clients.
Around the same time, she started writing again – something she’d always loved to do, but had lost the inspiration for. Now, living on the farm and hosting motherhood photography sessions in her garden, she felt called back to it.
Although her story may make her sound fearless, Alex admits it wasn’t always easy to take such big leaps of faith, and trusting her instincts didn’t come naturally.
Quitting her job and moving to the farm were the first steps. When those decisions worked out well, it became easier to trust in herself and the Lord. Now she sees every challenge as a new opportunity for faith.
“The things that feel the least safe and comfortable will help me grow the most. Even if it doesn’t work out the way I thought it should in my head, it will work out the way it was supposed to and I can learn from that. I wasn’t afraid of that failure anymore.”
Her next big move? Adding an education side to her motherhood photography business.
Alex held her first motherhood photography workshop in 2018 and it exceeded her expectations. The next year, she hosted three workshops, and in 2022 she launched a six-month mentorship program.
Recently, the family relocated from California to South Carolina – another leap of faith that Alex eagerly embraced. “I had a great client base in California,” she says, “I’d been doing photography there for 10 years.”
But despite working with a different clientele, the move has grown Alex’s business in new ways. More clients travel to her for both motherhood photography and educational retreats, which allows her to spend more time at home with her family.
Throughout every big move or leap of faith, Alex has always trusted that her financial needs will be met. She learned early on that, “Money is fleeting and it’s a false sense of security. It can come in abundance and then stop on a dime.”
Rather than rely on salaried jobs, Alex and her husband live simply and within their means. “It’s so countercultural, but there’s something really freeing in letting go of that.”
When it comes to her motherhood photography business, Alex says she’s always focused on the quality and meaning of the business itself – and the money has followed naturally.
With four kids and a fifth on the way, Alex has built her motherhood photography business around her family. She’s a wife and a mother first, before a business owner. “It’s always where my priority is.”
She loves pouring time into her clients, but intentionally limits her monthly number of sessions so she never sacrifices time with family. This is a strategy I recommend to all my students in The Blueprint Model – knowing exactly how many clients you need to take on to meet your “Enough Number” removes so much stress from your business.
Whether she’s planning a new business venture or a cross-country move, Alex has learned to lean into every opportunity with faith and trust that it will all work out.
When it comes to making decisions, she asks herself: “When I look back in 10 years, what will matter most? It’s easy to lose sight of that in all the noise of social media. But just keep your head down and focus on what matters most to you.”
To hear the full story and more about Evelyn Henson, press play on the player above for the full interview or click here to download the transcript.
Alex is a writer and photographer preserving the precious seasons of motherhood for herself and others. She also hosts retreats and workshops for mothers and photographers who long to serve their clients well, while living their own motherhood with peace, purpose, and intention. You can usually find her with her 4 children (expecting baby #5) in the garden, milking their cow, or with the sheep and chickens on their farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
October 26, 2023