How to Improve Your Mental Health in Business with the Right Community






A lot of photographers don’t realize this, but having a strong support system is key to the long term success of your business.

We think a lot about how to get more clients and how to make more money and serve clients well and manage or time… but your mental health is the foundation of all those things.

When you need someone to talk who understands you and your business – where do you turn?

In this episode, I’m thrilled to be joined with 2 of my friends and pioneers in the birth photography industry, Lacey Barratt of Exposing Birth and Liz Cook of the International Associate of Birth Photographers to show you how to find the right community of people who can help you succeed.



How to Improve Your Mental Health in Business with the Right Community


Meet Lacey and Liz!


Tavia: Liz and Lacey, welcome to From Better Half to Boss Photography Podcast. I am so excited to have you!

Lacey: Hello. Thank you, Tavia. It’s so good to be here.

Liz: I’m so excited to be here with both of you. I love chatting with you guys.


Tavia: Awesome! So before we get into what we’re talking about today, can I have each of you briefly just share with our listeners a little bit about who you are? Now, before you do that – if you guys haven’t already listened, Lacey has been on an episode talking about Clubhouse, which by the way, I’m not on anymore. Are you on at all, Lacey?

Lacey: I still have it and I listen in sometimes, but I don’t start as many rooms as what I used to. I should get back into that though.

Tavia: I know it was really fun to connect with people that way. But that episode was great too, because I learned so much about how awesome your business was, and you shared about how you’re the sole income earner. We touched a lot more awesome stuff than Clubhouse, so make sure and go back and listen to Lacey’s episode.

And Liz, you’ve also been on this show before, and that was also an awesome episode. So I’m going to link those in the show notes, so you guys can go back and listen to those. But I’ve got them both here today and Lacey I would love if you would start and both of you just quickly introduce yourselves.

Lacey: Yeah. So I’m Lacey Barratt. I’m a birth photographer and doula in Melbourne, Australia. And I have the Exposing Birth platform, which is a birth photography e-course and doula e-course. I like to travel around and host workshops.

Liz: I am Liz Cook and I am a birth and baby photographer in Virginia, on the east coast of the States. I have been shooting births and babies for 15 years about, but I also am the proud director of the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP). Online, you can find us at and I’m excited to talk more about that with you guys today!



The One Thing Most Birth Photographers are Missing Out On When it Comes to Marketing

Tavia: Awesome! Okay, so before we get into it, I want to talk a little bit about marketing strategy because this show is all about helping photographers learn how to get booked with ideal clients and what’s working with marketing.

So because both of you work so closely with birth photographers, I’m curious to know what do you see missing from their marketing strategies or their marketing plans? Like when you look, what are you seeing over and over as a big problem?


Lacey: Yeah, I think community is going to be the first thing that I see missing. And when I say community, I mean, there’s a difference between being in a free Facebook group – and then there’s a difference between that, being in a community, and being immersed in a community.

And I like to think about it the same way we don’t think that parents, birthing people, and mothers should be raising children on their own. You know, the saying is that it takes a village. I also believe that it takes a village to help someone in their business as well. We shouldn’t be expecting parents to do it on their own. Why should we also be expecting our fellow birth photographers and colleagues to be doing it on their own as well? So I think community is probably the number one thing that I see as missing.


Liz: Yeah, I would completely agree. There’s a lot of elements to our marketing strategies and things you can add, but I really think community is kind of above and beyond all the others. So that’s what I would say.


Tavia: So I love that because you’re looking at the person as a whole, instead of just like strategy strategy, strategy, because that’s one of the big things that I talk about. In our training that we do for the marketing strategies, I can sit here and tell you every single thing to do, but if you are not building your foundation – and that looks like a lot of different things – everything that you build on top of that foundation is going to crumble.

So you can be like Facebook ads, social media, networking with vendors, SEO, all these things. But if your foundation is crumbly, that stuff is going to fall over. And so I love the fact that something like a community definitely builds up the person as a whole, so that these other things that you’re doing to build your business don’t crumble and fall.

Community, what does it mean to be connected? Cause you’re talking about with other photographers, right?


Lacey: Yeah, other photographers and to kind of add to that when you’re talking about how like putting marketing and strategy and SEO and everything on top of it, I can think of plenty of times where I’ve launched something and it’s failed or I’ve tried to put out a special and no one booked it, and the only thing that I had to catch me and pick me back up was my community. When that did not work, it was like, ‘It’s okay. You’ve got this. You’re amazing. It was just this one time. Try it again, try it again, try it again.’ And without that community, I would have thrown everything out of the window by now. Sink, and the baby and the bathwater. I can’t remember what the thing is, but all of it!


Tavia: And the kitchen, sink and the food, fridge, the oven. (laughs) No, that’s so true because it’s so easy to get in our own head. And I think that, I talk of course all and I know you guys do too about the value of continued education and the value of learning from mentors and learning from people who have been where you want to go. And also having that peer group though, that are like in it with you that are like, ‘Hey, I just did the same thing. And here’s, what’s worked for me,’ and having that is so incredibly valuable in addition to all those other things, like what you said, Lacey.


Liz: I just want to add to that. The birth community is just such a tight niche, but it’s really unique and there’s a lot more to our community than just running a business. Attending births, it’s huge. It can have a really big emotional effect on you. It can have an effect on your health, your mental health, your physical health. And I think that something that I’ve found to be extremely beneficial in community is having a safe place to debrief after birth with other birth photographers, who know how important it is to not talk about, not to share like, ‘Whoa, gosh, did you hear this thing happened at Liz’s birth?’ You know, they’re not going to do that.

And they’re going to understand, and they’re going to know what I need to do to help process things. So that is just an element I wanted to bring up regarding birth community, because that is just so different than other communities. And I don’t think you’re going to find that outside of it.



What is a Community and How It Powerfully Impacts Your Business

Tavia: Such a good point. So what would you guys say would your businesses be like, if you didn’t have those communities? What would things look like if you Lacey ran the special and people didn’t book, or Liz had a hard birth – what would happen to your businesses if we didn’t have that?


Lacey: Yeah. I think that having a community enables you to bounce ideas off of each other. And it brings in also an element of community over competition, trust, and it builds the foundation of the community as a whole, not just the individual person.

I mean, it just reminds me of whenever I had my very first baby and I had moved from America to Australia. I had no family here. My husband’s family was in 4 and a half hour plane ride down south. And it was me, my husband, and a new baby, and I was like alone and isolated and had no help, and he was working.

And I was like, I don’t even know what to do to get some help to get to help me, you know, like help me help me. And I think that when we don’t have community, where if I didn’t have the community that I have now, it would be the same thing with my business.

I don’t even know how to get help to get help, to fix the problem, or know what the problem is, or to be able to zoom out and see the bigger picture and not just specifically zoning in on what that problem is. And then being like, ‘Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how to fix it.’ And that’s when you get really frustrated, you try two or three times, and then you start throwing everything out of the kitchen.


Tavia: I love that example so much. Liz, does anything come to mind for you? Like what your business would look like without that community?


Liz: For sure. I have personally taken too long, very needed sabbaticals from birth photography. And I can say without a doubt that if I didn’t have my community, I would not have returned.

They helped re-ignite my love for birth. Even just through like, you know, I’m still their community, so they still needed to process things and they still needed to have someone to bounce things off of. So even though I wasn’t actively shooting at the time, I would get excited, you know, after I took the break that I needed, the love for it, the community is what spurred that back up for me.

And so I can certainly say that I would not be here doing this work still if it weren’t for my community.


Tavia: So can we define community because my mind is kind of thinking about several different things. I’m thinking my birth worker community, like here in person. I’m thinking about my friend group, I’m thinking about the Facebook groups that I’m a part of. So what do you mean, what are we talking about when we say community? What does it mean to you guys?


Liz: I love that question because even as I was saying that and I was thinking how my work look different if I didn’t have my community, I thought of three different groups. We have some really great local moms support groups in the area that reminded me that they needed my services. And so that was a way that I could serve my local community and the moms, which is really my heart for birth work.

And then I had my small, tight knit, couple of friends that are birth photographers who I met in online community groups that we’re texting and we’re talking and chatting and I can share all this stuff that I don’t really mean, but I need to get out of my mouth and then I can say, ‘okay, well, I didn’t really mean,’ you know? I had there a safe place for me.

And then I’ve got like an online community where we can go and kind of ask very specific questions regarding birth charges and copyrights and what was your experience when your client asked for your images not to be shared, or how do you handle this? And so I certainly have a couple of different communities, each that I value equally.

But I will say that the small tight-knit groups came first from my efforts and interaction with the bigger online groups.


Lacey: Yeah. I definitely second that in that experience of the different kinds of communities and I think kind of specifically about the mentors that I surround myself by, as far as community as well, and just value their feedback, support and, cheerleader-esque type mentality.

And then, whenever you have that kind of tight knit community, it allows you to be able to go back to the larger community and then put your foot back in the waters and be like, ‘Okay, I’ve taken the time to process this privately and personally, now that I think I have an idea or a grasp of what’s going on, what would you do in this scenario or how would you handle this?’ So I think that both aspects of community are imperative to one’s personal growth and business growth.


Finding Meaningful Support in Online Communities

Tavia: So good. So I think let’s shift and talk a little bit about Facebook communities, because I think that pretty much everyone listening to this is probably a part of some, probably more than one, multiple Facebook groups, both free and paid. And so when we’re talking, when we say the word community, let’s think about that and Facebook groups.

So when we’re thinking about Facebook groups and being with other photographers, so our peers basically, what are some ways that I can get the most out of those groups? Because I just imagine, if there’s 500 people in the group, there’s 500 people that I get to network with and bounce ideas off of. But also, I might be a little bit concerned about my self-image or how I’m coming off and like also thinking about how people are perceiving me. So how can I get the most out of those communities that I’m a part of like Facebook groups, for example?

Lacey: Can I share a story?

Tavia: Uh, yes, please!


Lacey: So when I was living up north in Darwin here in Australia, I don’t remember what group it was, but it was a big group. I can’t remember if it was like Tribe, Archipelago, or like a preset thing or Shooting Chair, but it was like a massive group with 25,000 people in it. And this was 10 years ago when birth photography was just kind of starting to boom. And it was like one of those where everyone posted their beautiful sunset photos, with super warm and sunlight, sunburst coming through and maternity – stunning images.

And then I every now and then, I would be like, ‘Here’s my birth portrait.’ And then I like post a birth photo in there. And every time I posted a birth photo, there was this one chick that always would comment on my photos. And she was like, ‘This is so amazing. I love it when you post birth! I wish that we would see more of it.’

We started then PM-ing each other, ‘Hey, where are you from? Where you live? ASL?’ I don’t know if you remember back in the ICQ days, right?


Tavia: Wait, what is ICQ?

Liz: You don’t know ICQ? What?

Tavia: Oh my gosh. I thought it was an Australian thing until Liz gasped!

Liz: It was definitely international than AIM.

Tavia: AIM is what my mind went to.


Lacey: Yeah. And so like we started chatting in Facebook Messenger and then turned out, she lived in Melbourne and then we like changed phone numbers. And then we started calling each other and then five years later, or not, even two or three years later, we moved down to Melbourne and guess who helped me move into my house? She did.

And then we met in person and then we became best friends and then I shot her birth and then she shot my birth. And now she’s my very best friend. And that all came from someone commenting on my posts, regularly. So please, please do not underestimate the power of an online community and how that can translate into real life help.

Even if that person is far away, you never know how the stars might align. And even knowing that I have you Tavia and Liz, even though I’m on a different continent, I know that I can text either one of you at a decent hour and be like, ‘Look, something’s going on. I don’t really know. Do you have a couple of minutes?’

I think I just texted you the other day, Liz. And I was like, ‘I know it’s late, but please I just need to, I need to vent.’ It’s so powerful, how something online can evolve to something that is tangible in the sense of support. Community also equals support, not just like ‘Hurrah, we’re in a community together.’

And so I’m sorry that didn’t answer your question. But when we were talking about how does community translate into helping your business, that’s what I was thinking of is my friend Katie and how I met her and where that led us from online to in-person.

Tavia: That’s so valuable.

Liz: I have a couple of examples, just the same of meeting someone online and now they’re the person that I can call and say, ‘Oh my goodness, I have a client who’s asking something that’s way out of what I usually do.’ I mean, I don’t know that you can put a number on the value of community, not that you’re asking us to do that. And I’m certain we have multiple examples we can give, but I don’t know if you want to keep going.


How to Show Up in Online Communities to Build Friendships

Tavia: Yeah! And I’m sure that people listening to this also are like, ‘Yeah, I met so and so virtually,’ especially through COVID and everything. I’ve never met either one of you in real life, which feels so crazy because obviously if you came walking into a coffee shop, I’d be like, ‘Oh, there’s Lacey. Oh, there’s Liz.’ Like, I would know you, but we’ve never actually like physically been in the same room.

And I know that people listening to this probably have the same experiences where they have people that are friends that they’ve met through different communities and how powerful and valuable that is.

So if somebody is listening to this and they’re like, ‘Okay, but I’m in these Facebook groups, they feel really overwhelming because I’m kind of new, or maybe I’ve only photographed like one or two births and I’m intimidated to share, or I don’t know how to get the most out of these communities… Like I don’t have these relationships that you’re talking about,’ what are some ways that they can get the most out of these communities, how can they show up and what can they expect?


Liz: I would, gosh, there’s so many different things that you can do. First of all, engage. And I know often when I’m joining a group, it’s because I have a very specific question. I have a question. I bet there’s a Facebook group about that. Let me do a search. I’m now in the group, here’s my question. And so the first thing I’m going to do is go to the search bar and search for my question and see what I can find.

And if I find what I need, I will leave a comment. And I don’t care if it’s a four year old post, I’ll say, ‘Thank you. This was really helpful. Just found it in the search.’ And that just kind of puts me on the board, you know? I’m here, I’m using this. I’m not going a hundred percent lurk.

And then after that, just paying attention – are other people asking questions? Can I help them? Do I have more questions?

I think that’s kind of what draws us into groups in the first place. But it’s so important if you can’t give to the community, I really think it’s one of those things you’re going to get what you give. You just are. And I think that we have to, you know, despite imposter syndrome or feeling like we’re not good enough or being afraid of how it affect our image by asking questions, I think all of those are rooted a bit in pride, which to me that is  a sign of that’s not where I want to go. I don’t want to carry pride in here.

So if I’m going to come in, I’m going to come in with a humble heart and I’m just going to participate. And I think that you’d be surprised how it really doesn’t take a whole lot of participating to begin creating your own community.


Lacey: Yeah. Engagement. Absolutely. I have a confession. I tend to be a lurker. And it’s not because I mean to be. I’m an introvert at heart. So, I tend to be an extrovert when I need to be. And then when I don’t need to be, I’m like, let’s just scroll through the past twenty-five thousand days and read all the posts.

But I find that I grow my business when I engage in different groups and I find more particularly, not necessarily when I ask questions, but when I give.

And so it’s okay to jump in a group and ask questions, but it’s also really beneficial for your own self to give back and create the community that you want to be a part of. And so I really enjoy answering more than what I like asking.


Tavia: I am like feverishly taking notes over here cause I love what both of you just said in regards to getting the most out of the communities and I love ‘create the community that you want to be a part of’ because you are that community, like you’re in there and you are that.

And so if you want more kindness, be kind. If you want less judgment on photos and less critical speech, then be that person. Because others will take note and they can feel your vibe through the internet and they will start to behave that way as well.

I have an example of this actually as well. I was recently in California for a business event and I met this guy who has this like crazy successful, pretty sure, multiple seven-figure online business.

And he sat down like a normal dude next to me, like a normal dude. And I was telling him about some stuff and he’s like, ‘Hey, let’s hop on zoom and talk about this.’ And I was like fully expecting some kind of pitch or something. We help on Zoom. Give, give, give, give, give. Share, share, share, share, share. And that was it. He just wanted to help me.

And I was like, I want to help people! I want to help more people. Like how can I get on zoom with people? Like how can I start to help people? And it’s infectious. And so when you show up like the person that you want to have in your community, it changes the community. So show up like you want to receive.

So he was just like such a powerful example somewhat recently. And I’ve had so many people in my life like that. Like both of you where you just feel like you’ve gotten so much from that person that you just want to reciprocate. Law of reciprocity, right?


Liz: Oh, I love that. What a powerful reminder of just the power of that and how infectious it is.

I was just going to speak to our specific community for the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers. If a person decides to join and they sign up, they log in, and the very first thing they see is a welcome letter. That’s says, ‘Hey, this is who I am, but it’s not about me. Let’s meet who some of your colleagues are…’ and I’ve introduced three of our other members.

And I say, ‘This is your community. It is what you make of it.’ I really believe that our community is member-led. We do that through surveys and conversations and hosting Facebook lives and getting feedback. What do you guys need and how can we help you?

If I were to sit and make all this, this big list of all my goals for this community, that could go one way or the other, but when you know what your community can offer you or what they need and when you all kind of work together and you have that conversation, you can create what each of you need.

I was just thinking about how, when I came on board with, how I really was like, this is not mine, this is yours. And it’s just so imperative that the people who are a part of a community recognize that they are a part of it is they have a stock in it. And so to take responsibility for that, I think gives it more value over time for sure.


Engaging in Online Communities despite Imposter Syndrome

Tavia: We’ve kind of touched on this, but if somebody is getting into a group and they’re feeling imposter syndrome – they’re feeling like I have such a dumb question to ask and I’ve searched and I can’t find the answer, I don’t want to say this cause I don’t want to look dumb, but I also want to ask it.

Imposter syndrome, I feel like, pops up a lot in photography groups because the people that are showing up in these groups are the superstars, right? The people that you see their posts all the time and they’re so inspiring and their work is so amazing. And you’re like, I don’t want to show up in this group. I definitely felt that pre-Facebook groups on Clickin Moms like 2008, 2009, and there’s like all these amazing photographers. And I was like, ‘Well, who am I? I don’t want to share anything.’ You know?

So what would you say to that photographer who’s entering a group feeling like that?


Lacey: I think I would say what is the cost of not asking the question? We think so much about, ‘Well, what will happen if I ask this question?’ Well, let’s reverse that. What will happen if you don’t ask that question?

You’re not going to get the information that you need. Who cares what people think about you? You are seeking support and the people who truly and genuinely want to support you and see you grow, the generous people who want to jump on a Zoom call with you and give you the information that you need because they just want to, those are the people that are going to get you to the next day and get you to the next launch and get you to the next whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve.

And so when I think about imposter syndrome, it’s like, yeah, I can feel like an imposter, but what is it going to cost me to not get the information that I need?

I’m not gonna be able to grow my business. I’m not going to be able to get bookings. I’m not going to be able to buy that Nintendo game that my kid wants, you know, like whatever that might be. That’s what is the cost of imposter syndrome.


Handling Competition in Online Communities

Tavia: What’s on the other side that you’re not hitting or not getting, because you’re letting this stop you. I love that.

One more thing about communities – and then I want to talk about this awesome thing that you guys have coming up that every single person needs to listen to at the end of this episode, because it’s such an insanely awesome value and deal, and amazing experience that has everything to do with community.

What if somebody is listening to this and it’s like, ‘Cool, I don’t have imposter syndrome. I’m in these awesome groups. I see the value in participating in like what it can do for my business, but my competitors are all in this group. And I feel like I can’t show up because they are going to like steal my ideas or they’re going to judge me because they’re in my local market.’ How does that person participate and get the most out of these communities?


Liz: Tavia, this is such a good question. I think that this comes up so much and I mean, there’s a whole movement right out there, community over competition. And we’re trying so hard to tell people don’t be afraid of this, um, because there’s a couple of reasons you don’t need to be afraid of this one. Um, let’s talk about abundant mindset and recognize that There are millions of people having babies every day. And we don’t really need to worry about if they’re going to steal our business.

I think I definitely believe, I mean, birth is so sacred and so special. I definitely am of the belief that if I’m intended, if I, if I’m supposed to be at that birth, I will be at that birth.

Um, however, to speak specifically to your ideas and sharing ideas, I have found over the years as I was growing my business and, and looking at what other Leaders in the industry we’re doing and kind of trying to sort of mimic what they were doing because it appeared to be working for them. I realized that that wasn’t true to my heart and that wasn’t really…

For example, something that’s really popular that people set for awhile has I’m just going to be a fly on the wall in your delivery room. You won’t know that I’m there. Well, that’s not true. I encourage my moms. I smile at them. I serve the doulas. I serve the partners. I am definitely there and it probably took me a year and a half of having that on my website to recognize.That is not even true for me. What is true for me? This is what’s true.

And so, um, I think sharing your ideas allows someone else the opportunity to, to look at it and go, that is really cool. How do I make that true for me? And then whomever they’re marketing to, they’re going to attract the right people for them, and that’s going to be a better fit for them than it would be for us.

That is really what I would say is when you have community over competition, you’re rising the whole tide together. This essentially I think how that phrase goes.


Lacey: Yeah, that’s so good. Liz, and something to add on is I think you were talking about attracting certain people and yes, I think that it’s very easy for someone to like steal your copy or take your idea.

But the truth is that we are both our own individual people and you might be able to take the concept, but we’re still going to create two totally different things. And so I don’t know. I mean, yes, plagiarism is a thing and copyright is a thing. But then again, because I come from that abundance mindset that Liz was talking about, it’s like, ‘Well, yeah, you can steal it.

But is it really stealing? Because you’re going to attract your own individual person. You’re going to create your own offer based off of the larger concept of whatever it is that I was doing. And so while it may look surface level like they’re stealing, I think when you peel all of the layers away, it’s not the same thing because they’re their own individual and they’re attracting different people.

And so when you’re coming from a place of scarcity of like ‘They’re undercutting me, or ‘I can’t post in this group because so-and-so is in there and they live three houses down from me. And if they find this out, then they’ll do this,’ like, you don’t know what they’re going to do. You don’t even know if they’re going to see the post.

And so again, this goes back to the other question of what is it costing you by living in that scarcity mindset and what would happen if you were to be able to flip that and feel the liberation of creating business, creating money, creating abundance, creating a support community around you with no limitations or fear of someone pulling the rug out from underneath you.


Tavia: So many good points. I feel like we could talk about this forever because so much popped up when you were talking. But I’ll just say really quickly, I think that ideas are a dime a dozen and it’s true. Like what you guys were just kind of saying is like, honestly, there are no original ideas.

So like what Liz was saying earlier, it is a little prideful to think that your idea is so amazing and so unique that everyone’s going to want to steal it. And it’s, um, no, it’s probably already been done to be honest.

And so put your ego aside and instead coming into the group in the community to share and to serve. And like Lacey was saying, you’re going to put your own spin on it.

15 episodes ago, we talked about how to attract your ideal client on social media and also an episode on personal branding. I will link those in the show notes to you, but when you have a personal brand, you’re going to attract your right people in your own unique way, because we, as humans are unique from each other and we are our own individuals.

And so when you’re maximizing your personal brand and you have this idea, it’s going to look different. If I announce it, then when Lacey announced it, then when Liz announces it – we all serve birth photographers, all three of us, and we’re all so, so different and attract very different types of people.


And that’s beautiful, even in a super-niched genre like teaching birth photographers, we all have our own thing. And so that’s a hundred percent true for you and your community, even if it feels small, even if it feels like there’s not a lot of people who want birth photography, you have your own unique thing that you can offer on whatever the idea is. So don’t let that hold you back from sharing and from growing this community that can ultimately serve you so well long-term.


Lacey: I was just thinking like me, Liz, and Tavia could literally be like…tomorrow at 10:00 am, Tavia is going to run a marketing webinar, Liz is gonna run a marketing webinar, and Lacey’s gonna run a marketing webinar.

And girl, the only thing I can tell you is that you better sign up for all three, so you can get the replay because Tavia is going to teach something different, Liz is going to teach something different, and I’m going to teach something different, even though it’s about the same topic. And you can even niche that down even further from marketing to money mindset.

And again, all three of us will teach something different. And again, you better sign up for all three of the webinars because you will want to hear all three of them.


Join a Global Community of Birth Photographers in ReAwaken: The 1st IAPBP Virtual Summit

Tavia: That was awesome. That’s so good. Okay, I want you guys to talk about your retreat coming up for birth photographers, because this is the first time that anything like this has been done. I had been not so patiently waiting for it for quite a long time and I cannot wait to tell people about it.

So please tell us about the retreat, what photographers are going to learn by attending all that.


Liz: Okay, so this retreat is called the Re-Awaken Virtual Summit and re-awaken comes from the heart of just coming out of COVID and just re-igniting our love for it and pulling ourselves together after just a really hard season as a community.

So it is called a virtual summit. It is three full days of information targeting people worldwide because we are an international association. So to be honest, this whole thing is Lacey’s baby. So I’m going to let her take the mic and tell us more about her heart behind it. And why we’ve finally made this happen.

I know I’ve been talking about doing an online summit for a couple of years, and I’m just so pumped to have Lacey on board helping to bring it to fruition. So go ahead, Lacey.


Lacey: I love community. I know I say that I’m an introvert, but when you put me in front of a bunch of photographers who have questions and needs and desires and dreams and visions and wants, I really feel like that’s where I kind of thrive.

And so, I wanted to, you know, with the help of Liz, create something for the community that was going to give them that. And not just a specific audience, but multiple audiences. So when we say this is over three days, we don’t mean that this is over three days from, you know, 10 to 5.

We’re talking like this is starting from 10 ending at 7, 8, 9 o’clock at night in local time. So it’s May 24th, 25th and 26.

May 24th is our English day. So that means that it will start in Pacific Standard time and it will be all of our English speakers.

On day two is our European day. So that will be happening in European local time. And that will feature all of our Dutch birth photographers. Our speakers we’ve got Eva Rose, who’s going to be speaking, and Mary Fairmont, who’s going to be speaking. And they’re all going to be speaking in their native tongue.

That is what makes me the most excited is that it isn’t like we’re an international association. And so when we start seeing people that are in our own, not just local areas, but they speak our own language, you begin to realize, ‘Oh, well they do it. So if they’re doing it, then maybe I can do it too.’ And that’s the beauty about having a competition is having the example being set for you and aspiring to create your own version of that.

And so this is really what we were hoping to achieve with not just having it on one day or one local time, but incorporating the entire association.

And then day three is our Spanish and Portuguese day. So that will be held in local Brazil time, which will be a very cool Spanish-American day cause it’s only like an hour off of Eastern time. And so that will be like, I cannot even explain my excitement for all of our international speakers and our English speaking speakers. We’ve got people speaking Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Dutch, and there’s one more…

Liz: English.

Lacey: English. Thanks, Liz.

Liz: I was going say, I think we have a little bit of English sprinkled in each day. And then also our hosts all speak English. And then can we talk about translations?


Lacey: I’m glad you mentioned translations Liz because I know that there are a ton of people that…I want to hear Renate Van Lith talk, I want to hear it Mary speak, and I want to hear Albany Alvarez speak, and Rafael Pecci and all of these incredible international speakers. And so what we have done is we really want to encourage all of our English speakers if it’s an appropriate time, because it’s in local time zone, if it’s an appropriate time – log-in on one of those days and listen to an international speaker speak. They are going to be so in their element and so in their zone, and I think that they’re going to show up a little bit differently because they’re in a comfortable space.

And so what we’re going to be doing is we’re actually going to be taking and translating all of the international speakers masterclasses and then uploading them with subtitles. So all of our English speakers will also be able to enjoy that as a playback, but you have to pre-purchase your playbacks.


Tavia: I love that it’s international. And I honestly had never thought about the fact, and I’m kind of embarrassed to say, that someone speaking not their native language would be uncomfortable. And they would like be thinking maybe a lot more about what they’re saying, and if it translates correctly, than actually being able to just express themselves.

And so I love that you mentioned that. And there’s so much value in being able to hear from these amazing speakers in a way that they feel comfortable because then they’re going to be presenting the information in such a way that is even more powerful, right? So if somebody is listening to this and they’re like, ‘Cool, I speak one of those languages. I am like all in,’ what are they going to walk away from? What can they expect at the end of their retreat to have, or feel, or have accomplished?


Liz: Sure. So I would say a couple of, um, very clear goals that we have are for people to feel just renewed love and excitement for their work. We are hopeful that they will walk away with some very specific tasks that they can start right away to re-ignite their work or make a couple of changes in their marketing strategy.

I know Tavia, you’re coming, you’re talking about Reels. Reels are everywhere right now, but I know for a fact that they’re not all over our industry because I keep looking and it is very difficult to find birth photographers using Reels.

Tavia: Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.

Liz: So it would be incredible for people to walk away going, I feel confident in the ideas I have for Reels and how I’m going to make this happen.

So I know that our goal is to reawaken, reignite your spark and love for it to inspire you. Also, to give you very practical things that you can walk away, having kind of a plan to pour into your business. But on top of that, I’m personally very excited about creating more community.

A lot of the speakers that are coming on these international days have been members of our community for a long time. They are pioneers in their countries. They are some of the first people doing birth photography in their areas.

And so I’m excited for United States community members to see them and to cheer them on and to connect with them and to see that they’re incredible and they’re brave and they have so many great ideas and they’re hard workers.

And so I’m just excited to kind of bring them up on the platform. I think we have one or two of our competition winners who will be speaking. And so it’ll just be really awesome to hear from them.

I know your question was like, what’s going to be the takeaway, but my personal takeaway, I was so excited about is just bringing face-to-face, making all of these names in our group come to life, and connecting everyone in that way. But Lacey, do you want to add to that?

Lacey: I was going to add what you said right there at the end, and that is taking this 2d person that’s flat on a Facebook screen and then popping them out with a face to their name.

And so in addition to, you know, having all of these incredible speakers and learning all of these really amazing things, we have also hired and sourced, incredible yoga teachers and meditation teachers to come in and facilitate a group yoga class and a group meditation and breath work class as part of like that reawaken, right?

We can support ourselves in a business way by having all of this information, but we don’t want to give you an information overload. So every couple of hours we have put in a yoga class. So you get to meet your members, where they’re at, which I think is so incredibly valuable.

So you guys get to have a yoga class together. I’m…what?? I think that’s so cool.

And yeah. I think the takeaway is exactly what Liz said and the integration of the reawaken and meeting people exactly where they’re at.


Tavia: This sounds incredible. I cannot wait, where can people connect with you guys as well as sign up for this virtual summit?


Liz: So birth That’s where you will find our community. It’s where you’ll find the registration. Definitely, if you’re not a member of our community, it absolutely makes sense to become a member. You’ll save a lot of money on the registration. The virtual summit is free to all registered registered members.

So, you can go on and see kind of the price options, but we hope that you’ll join us. And that you’ll stick around to talk about all that you’ve learned and taken away from it. I always love the conversations that spur from events that we host in our group.


Tavia: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here, both of you. I know that it is early for Liz and it is late for Lacey. That’s how it goes whenever Americans and Australians try to like meet up in real time. So thank you so much for doing this episode. I know it’s gonna bless so many people listening to it.

And if you’re listening, I hope that you will join myself and Lacey and Liz and tons of other birth photographers all around the world and educators to just get re-inspired for your love for birth photography, like Liz said, after these crazy couple of years that we’ve had. So ladies, thank you so much for being here



We will link everywhere. You need to go after this episode in the show description, as well as how to sign up for the virtual summit and connect with Liz and Lacey. I hope to see you in the summit. I’m really excited to be a speaker and hopefully get to connect with a lot of you there.

Hey, before you hop off, if you loved this episode, will you take a screenshot of your phone and tag  @_thebeautyinbirth_, as well as Lacey and Liz, so that we can see your behind the scenes and hopefully hear some of your takeaways from the episode!



Connect with Liz and Lacey!

International Association of Professional Birth Photographers on Instagram
Visit the IAPBP Website to join as a member!

Connect with Lacey @laceybarrattphotography and @birth_photographer_

Connect with Liz @lizcookphoto


Join ReAwaken: The 1st Annual IAPBP Virtual Summit

Know more about the event, the speakers and get your tickets HERE.


Here are the highlights of this episode!

01:53 – Meet Lacey and Liz!

03:53 – Most Birth Photographers Miss Out on This When it Comes to Marketing

08:59 – What is a Community and How it Powerfully Impacts Your Business

14:30 – Building Support Systems in Online Communities

17:47 – How to Show Up in Online Communities to Build Friendships

26:38 – Engaging in Online Communities despite Imposter Syndrome

28:36 – Handling Competition in Online Communities

36:37 – Join a Global Community of Birth Photographers in ReAwaken: The 1st Annual IAPBP Virtual Summit


Listen to past episodes mentioned: 

Ep 06: The Path to Your Best Life as a Creative Entrepreneur (with Liz Cook)

Ep 41: Need a Sign to Join Clubhouse? This is it! (with Lacey Barratt)

Ep 80: How to Target Your Ideal Client on Social Media

Ep 90: How to Build a Personal Brand for Photographers





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