I am so, so excited to start this new weekly feature with you all.

I stayed home with my kids for 7 years and loved every second of it, but part of me always wanted to find a way to use my skills to start a business. So I’ve always been intrigued by women who do more than sit and want and actually make it happen. When we did a shout out on Facebook, I did a little squeal when the emails started rolling in.

Y’all are some awesome ladies doing some awesome things!

Our goal with this series to to shine a spotlight on these inspiring ladies and share how they make it work and how they are paying it forward. We hope that it lights a fire in all of us, reminds us of how much we can accomplish when we set our minds to it.

This first installment is especially special to me, because Tate has been an inspiration to me for years.


And she’s totally as fun to be around as she looks!

Today she is going to share with us how she took a hobby and turned it into a thriving business (seriously, if you want her to take your pictures you’d better not dilly dally! Girlfriend is in demand!).

So let’s hear from Tate!


First things first, what’s the name of your business?

My company is called Taken By Tate

Tell us about your business.

I run a photography business, and although I don’t have a specialty exactly, most of my business is weddings and engagement sessions. But I also really enjoy seniors and families.


How long have you been in business?

I have been in business about six years as Taken by Tate but have worked in the photography business for almost nine years. When I first started, I was working for my parents’ photography business. So that’s pretty much how I got started!

What is your favorite part of your company?

My favorite part of my company is getting the chance to meet new people! I used to suffer from social anxiety, it was so bad that the thought of being around people I didn’t know almost paralyzed me. When I started my business and new people started contacting me for pictures, I would get physically ill before their sessions. And then as time went on I gained confidence in my work and who I was as a photographer and a person. I can look back now and see the purpose of the path that The Lord had me on and I am so thankful. If it wasn’t for photography, I would still have that fear of social situations that I used to.

What’s been your greatest difficulty in your business?

The greatest difficulty in my business has been finding a balance between business and personal (family) time. In the beginning when I was building my business I never said no…like, never. I photographed everything and anything and it got to the point a couple of years in that I was shooting 4 evenings a week, all day Saturday, Sunday afternoon, and then editing during the day time. I missed out on a lot of events and time that I can’t get back now. But I also look at the positive side of that and see that working hard in the beginning allowed me to grow my business and build my portfolio and purchase equipment that I still use today.


Can you give a little advice to other Moms that are wanting to start a business?

My biggest advice is to separate your business time and your personal time so your children know the difference. I edit and work in my office while the kids are at school, but when they get home I don’t step back in my office. During the summer when I still need to edit I have a babysitter come to the house so I can work in my office and the kids are taken care of. TAKE AT LEAST ONE FULL DAY OFF! (Oh gosh I scream at my former self about this still!)

Make time goals for yourself, and make them achievable. If I know I have five hours in the office I’ll set goals of what needs to get completed that day, and I stick by it…even when I don’t feel like it. Sure, I miss out on coffee dates and lunch dates sometimes, but I am caught up on what I need to do that day by the time my kids come home. Also, hire someone to clean your house if you feel like you just don’t have the time. That has been a HUGE lifesaver for my family!

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and if you can, hire someone to help with your weaknesses. My biggest weakness in business is keeping up with invoices and receipts and all things taxes. So my wonderful sister-in-law handles all of that stuff for me. Bless her.

Tell us a bit about how Taken By Tate gives back.

Yes! Giving back is so important! I think it’s important to donate your time and talent and be a blessing to those around you. I love to do mentoring. I work with photographers, or anyone wanting to learn about photography, to teach them the basics. We cover everything from getting out of auto to starting your own business. I love watching other women’s talent come alive! I also donate my time for families that maybe can’t afford to do professional pictures. I think everyone deserves to have great pictures of the people they love!


Show Tate some love: