April 12, 2021
On today’s episode, I am chatting with Lacey Barratt, who is any multi award-winning international photographer and doula. She is a disruptor and challenger of societal norms, embracing the flow of life in business, all while challenging you to do the same. Lacey and I actually have so much in common, but recently just connected for the first time on Clubhouse. So I am thrilled that she was willing to come on the podcast and share her beautiful journey here with us today. Lacey, welcome to the show.
Lacey: Hi Tavia. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Tavia: I am super excited to have this conversation with you today and I cannot believe that we just recently connected for the first time, because I realized after e-mailing back and forth with you and messaging, we have so much in common.
Lacey: Yeah. And it’s so funny because I’ll chat to Liz Cook from the association and you know, she’ll say something about Tavia and I’m like, “Oh, I need to reach out to Tavia.” And I, you just get so caught up in life and business and kids and family and I just never had a chance to do it. And so when I saw you on Clubhouse, I was like, “Oh, this is it.” I have to send you a message!
How Lacey Got Started in Birth Photography
Tavia: Yes. I’m so, so glad that we connected on Clubhouse. Before we talk about Clubhouse, I would love for you to just share with everybody, how did you get into birth photography? Like what did that look like?
Lacey: Yeah. So birth photography for me was kind of born out of regret. So my family is in America, so I’m from new Orleans and I came on a 5-day holiday to Sydney, which I ended up getting married and never going home. So, yeah, I met me a nice Aussie man and we had lots of babies together.
Tavia: That’s so cool!
Lacey: Yeah. And so when I got pregnant with our first baby, my mom actually asked me if I was going to take any photos. And I was like, “You’re so intrusive.” But my first thought was, which is another way for my mum to stick her nose in my business. And I asked Matt, my husband and he was like, “Nobody needs to see you like that.” And I was like, “Okay,” remembering I’m like 22 years old and was like, “Okay. Matt said no.” And then Facebook, 12 months later, popped up…by this time I’m pregnant with our second baby. Newly pregnant with our second baby.
Tavia: So what year? I just want to pause, I’m sorry. What year was your first baby born? Cause I know that in different countries, birth photography–but I feel like Australia has been pretty like on pace with America as far as birth photography goes. Cause you guys are doing tons of stuff over there
Lacey: Only just recently. I’d only say within the past 3-5 years. More so 3 years that it’s really started to pick up. But that was in 2012. And so, birth photography was not a thing here in 2012. And I lived in what I call the ass-crack of Australia. So I lived in Darwin, which is like way up North. It’s super, super hot. It’s tropical. There are two seasons: hot and hotter. And so my mom was asking like, “Will you take pictures?” And I said no. Fast forward 12 months, Timehop popped up on my Facebook. And it showed the three photos that I posted of him after he was born. So when he was on the scale, when he was on my chest–it was four photos–when he was on my chest, a photo of me, Matt and Sam, and then one of me like with my cell phone, holding it up, trying to, you know, above his head. And I like cropped his head off. He was in between my knees, on my thighs. And that was it. That was the only four photos that I had from his entire birth. And it wasn’t even really his birth. It was like immediately post-partum.
And it was in that moment that I thought back to what my mom said, “Are you going to photograph it?” And I was like, “I missed out on that whole experience.” And I always think back to that day and I wonder like, “Did I have that birth face that all of my clients do?” And you know, I just had no idea. And I had a shot of Pethidine, which I think is equivalent to like Morphine or something. It’s more of a sedative than a painkiller. And so I was like super loopy, just completely disconnected. And I regret that decision. It was from that moment forward that birth photography just became so passionate for me because I never wanted anyone else to feel the same regret that I did.
Tavia: Man. That’s so interesting to me that your mom thought to suggest birth photography in 2012. Were you a photographer at that time?
Tavia: Interesting! So she just thought like you need to photograph this because I can’t be there?
Lacey: Well, I think that that was part of it, but I actually went and I talked to my mom about that after, and she was like, yeah, obviously there was a selfish part because I can’t be there. And because I was so young, I didn’t see the disconnect of generational mother and daughter being separated from future generations because, you know, that’s how women gave birth 200, 300 centuries ago was in that community. And we were disconnected from that. And so I didn’t catch that. And I think that she was unconsciously kind of pointing me in that direction of, “Hey, there’s a disconnect here.” I don’t think she realized she was doing that either or alluding to that either. But I think it was definitely an unconscious thing that was going on. So she was like, “Well, yeah, of course it was partially that, that I wanted to be there and I couldn’t be there. And that was one way that I could be there. But it was also for you,” she said, “because I remember thinking back and not remembering too much of anything as well, and I didn’t want you to forget.” But she never said it like that at the time. And so I was like, “Mom’s just being a bit nosy.”
Tavia: Right. That’s so cool. And you know it’s so interesting that in birth and in life, there’s so many things that we look back and we’re like, “Man, I wish I had done that differently,” but also I’m kind of glad it happened that way because it leads you on such a cool journey to like where you’re supposed to be. And so I love that. So you suggested that and you were like, no, and you had some regret, but ultimately it led you where you are today.
Tavia: So that happened, you realized like when you saw the Timehop a year later, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I wish I had done photos.” So then what happened? Like, did you learn photography as for birth photography? Cause most people, at least here and most of my listeners, usually start out as a portrait photographer or they have like photography experience and then they decide to get into birth. So is that how you did things or what did that look like?
Lacey: It’s kind of blurry because I feel like it moved so quickly. So when I started shooting photography was actually shortly after our first son was born. And instead of, and I’ve actually talked to my newborn photographer about this. She’s incredible. I hired a newborn photographer to take photos of Sam, which is our first born. And I remember getting her price list and being like, “Goodness gracious, this woman is making a killing!” I was like, “I could totally do that!” And so I actually started off shooting. I mean, that was two weeks after he was born, I think he was like 10 days old? And so I actually started photographing and documenting when he was around that 1 month old mark. And it was as a way to take my own photographs without having to pay another photographer to take photographs. So that was about a month after, that’s where my photography journey started. And then, you know, when you first start shooting, it’s kind of like, “I’ll do anything events, weddings, birthdays, newborn–I’m amazing at everything!”
And that’s what I was doing for the first 12 months. And so kind of six months in, I transitioned from kind of shooting everything to just maternity and newborn. And then by the time he was 12 months is whenever I had that huge realization. So I had already been photographing, but there was about that 9, 11-month gap between when I started shooting before I had that huge epiphany. And then once he turned 12 months, it was like, “Oh, I have to shoot birth. Like, this is what I am meant to do.” And that was how I started shooting births.
Professional Supporter of Women and Women in Business
Tavia: That is so cool. I love that. So let’s fast forward a little bit to today. What does your business look like today? I know you have a lot of stuff going on.
Lacey: I do. So today, goodness, what’s business look like. So I basically have two sides to my business. So I have my private clients that I work with and I shoot their births and encapsulate their placentas, and I’m a doula for them. And then, so that’s kind of like the B2C side. And then I’ve got the B2B side where I offer coaching and courses and I help other birth photographers to become thrivable and sustainable businesses because I feel like there’s such a, gosh I don’t even know the word, but a stereotype with this like feminine energy that women are nurturers and caretakers and therefore anything we do is a hobby. And I feel like women kind of get stuck in that hobby mentality where they want to transition from hobby to full-time or legitimacy or whatever word you want to use for that, but they can’t escape the stereotypical and generational norm of that femininity. And so that’s where I come in is to try and help them escape that to not necessarily become more masculine, but to be able to flow between that femininity and that masculinity to create those thrivable and sustainable businesses.
Tavia: I love that so much. And I think that that in and of itself could be a whole episode like that we chat about because obviously that’s like the entire theme of this podcast is showing women in creative industries, how to go full time and be the sole income provider if they want to. And you know, that’s so much of our story as well. And just like living in the South and how, you know, you were from New Orleans, there’s just a stereotypical norm, especially in the South for women and especially in communities of faith like I roll in, it’s so…like homeschooling, like it is so conservative. So to be someone who’s like, “Oh no, my husband stays home and I work full-time and not only do I work full time, I own my own business” is like so strange. There are no people who do that.
Redefining Gender Roles in Marriage
Tavia: And so I actually, I don’t know if you know Jen Myers. She has a podcast called The Homeschool CEO and she and I had a whole conversation about this because you feel like there’s no one else out there like you. You just feel like, “Oh, I’m this weirdo. Is this even possible? Can I even do this? Is this even a thing?” You know? And so I think that hearing your story is going to be really inspiring for people to hear that there’s more than one birth photographer out there sustaining their family, which I don’t even know if we actually talked about. I know that about you, but I don’t know if we actually said you’re the sole income provider for your family. Your husband is a stay-at-home dad?
Tavia: That’s awesome. And you guys have five kids, right?
Lacey: And five kids. Yeah. So I had been wanting to kind of switch because I just had this epiphany–my Southern drawl just came out. Did you hear that? I find that I switched between this like super articulated Aussie accent, but I don’t have an Aussie accent. And then you’ll know when I’m talking to my mom or my American friends, cause I’m like, “Hey, how y’all doing!” But I kind of had this epiphany, I don’t know probably, Lennox is 4, so 5 or 6 years ago that my husband was capped at the amount of money that he was going to make. So he was a truck driver. He was in logistics, he was a manager. He was kind of like doing all of the things. And the companies that he worked for kind of had this because he did the work of two men, like he was so efficient at his job. So instead of paying two people 50,000, they would pay him 75,000. So that way they didn’t have to hire that second person.
And he was like, “Yeah, look at all this money that I’m making!” And it was long hours, he was constantly being called out, and it was 12, 14, 16-hour days. And that was taking a toll on my mental health. It was taking a toll on his physical health, as well as mental health. And the whole house was just in like huge disarray because we never knew what time dad was coming home, when did I need to have dinner cooked, and it was just super stressful. And I kind of wanted to have him transition into being a stay-at-home dad about two years before he actually did it. And it sounds like gaslighting and it is technically gaslighting, but it wasn’t meant in a malicious way, but he would always say, “Oh, I’ll quit when you make more money.”
And I was like, “But I can’t make more money if you’re always at work.” And so we kind of went around in that cycle for two years where he was like, “Well, I can’t quit because you’re not making money.” And I was like, “I can’t make money because you won’t quit.” So we were kind of deadlocked with each other about what was going to happen next. And then we got pregnant with our 5th baby in 2016. He was born in 2017 in January. And after he was born I said to Matt, I was like, “That’s it. It’s do or die. Either we’re going to do this thing or we’re not.” And I said, “Do you trust me?” And he said, “Well, of course I do.” I said, “Well, quit your job.” I said, “Do you want to quit?” You know, obviously I didn’t want to be like bullying him to do something that he didn’t want to do, but he genuinely wanted to quit. But you know, there’s that masculinity of, “I’m the provider. I need to take care of you.”
And so we just had to sit down and have the deepest, most thoughtful, most considerate, and you know, I don’t even know, all-of-the-nice-words conversation. And I just had to reframe to him what the term ‘taking care of’ meant. And so I was like, “Okay, so ‘taking care of’ to you as a man might sound like or might look like providing and making money and going out and working. But when you make me a sandwich and you bring it to me, you are taking care of me. You are still doing all of those things. It just looks different. When you do the dishes, you are taking care of me, you know?” And so it was kind of in that moment that there was that switch of, “Oh, I can still be masculine in a feminine role.”
And then for me it was like, “Oh, I can still be feminine in a masculine role.” And that’s kind of the obsession with the feminine and the masculine kind of ensued from there. And so he quit after our 5th baby was born and he was like, “You just had our 5th baby and you are 3 days post-partum. And you just asked me to quit my job.” And I was like, “Yeah.”
And so from that point forward, I just took my new born to births. I just got on Instagram, I got on Facebook, I got on everything I possibly could and was like “Now booking births.” And people were like, “Oh, amazing. Didn’t you just have a baby?” And I was like, “Yep! Can he come?” And everyone was like, “Of course he can!”
And I was like, “Oh!” So this whole time I had been like cockblocking myself and holding myself back from doing the thing that it is that I wanted to do because I was afraid of something that wasn’t even really real, which was nobody’s going to want me at the birth because I’ve just had a baby and everyone was totally fine with it. He went to birth for like the first six months of his life. That kid attended more births than what he was old at one stage.
Tavia: I love that story so much. And there’s so much about it that I totally identify with. And ‘the bringing me a sandwich’ thing is a hundred percent real. It’s like, you can take care of me by making…and that’s what happens. Like he’s in there cooking. He’s like, “Are you ready to eat yet?” Like literally that’s how our house rolls. It’s wonderful. I’m all about it. Cause he’s doing what he loves doing. Not that he necessarily loves making sandwiches, but he’s getting to pursue acting and filmmaking, which is his passion that he could never do when he was in a full-time job. And he’s not going to a job he hates every single day and I’m getting to do what I love doing. And so I think you’re right. There is this fear that exists around so many things, obviously financial being one, but then also just like in a marriage, what do those roles look like when things are flipped outside of the norm. So, yeah. I love that.
Tavia: Okay. So I want to transition to talking about Clubhouse, but like I said, I think that we could totally talk more about this cause I think it’s really important. And I think, what we’ve been saying, just for people to even hear that this is happening, is helpful because I know for you and me it was like, forget birth photography. Even just photography, it’s very rare. And so I love that.
But let’s talk about Clubhouse. So that’s where you and I connected. I want to talk about it like as a business owner, when you’re on Clubhouse, what are you considering, if anything, before jumping into a new platform like this? Because I know for me, I’m really protective of where I’m spending my energy, like you and I were kind of talking about before we went live, and so I’m just thinking about, and this is what I was considering as well so I’d love your thoughts on just like, what are you thinking about before investing time in a new social media platform?
Lacey: Yeah. When I go investing in a new social media platform, I want to know how it started and maybe not necessarily how it started, but why it started is the most important thing. Because when we come out with new social media platforms, we tend to treat everything like Facebook. And so when Instagram was very new, we were trying to post on Instagram like it was Facebook. And then business people were like, “I don’t understand why it isn’t working.” And it’s like, because it’s an image platform. It’s not a text platform. You know, the same thing with Twitter. I don’t know if you notice when Facebook first came out, because Twitter was out before Facebook. When Facebook came out, people were posting statuses like Twitter. It was like just one-liners.
And so I think the most important part for me when jumping into a new platform is why does this exist? What is its purpose in sharing and how is it sharing? Because if I jump on Clubhouse and I treat it like a podcast, and it’s not actually a podcast where it’s a monologue, then no one is going to want to join my rooms because I don’t let anybody talk because I’m treating it like a podcast. And so, I think that to me is the most important thing when jumping into new social media platforms is what’s its purpose. What is it doing?
How to Get Started with Clubhouse
Tavia: That’s so good. So what is Clubhouse’s purpose? What have you discovered?
Lacey: So what I discovered about Clubhouse is that it was created in May of 2020 and a couple of guys from Silicon Valley got together when Coronavirus hit and meetings were being cancelled, nobody was able to make any trades or deals or business deals, sell. And so people were not wanting to be on Zoom. There was a lot of resistance to being on Zoom in the beginning. And so they created Clubhouse. And so I don’t know if you noticed, but there’s a bunch of like super business-y millionaires, billionaires kind of rooms. Elon Musk is on. Zuckerberg is on, MC Hammer’s on. And so, you know, there’s all these really financially wealthy and wealthy people. I won’t say stable because that’s not always true wealth and stability. Doesn’t always actually match, but there is a bunch of appearingly wealthy people on Clubhouse.
And so I find that I stumble in a bunch of rooms that’s like billionaires connect or shark tank. And there’s people that are doing rooms that are literally business deals on Clubhouse, where they’re investing a hundred thousand dollars. They’ve got like a panel of 50 people that are mod-ed and then they’ll go down and say, “Do you want this deal? Do you want this deal? Do you want this deal?” And so Clubhouse right now is very business-centered and it’s really great to leverage business-wise. But I think it’s not going to open up for like B2C until it goes out to Android and it’s not an invite-only app. So that’s really important to know whenever you’re going into, that’s going to change how I use the app. I’m not going to jump on the app right now and try to book clients because it’s not geared for that just yet.
How to Get the Most Out of Using Clubhouse as a Birth Photographer
Clubhouse Basics: How to Actually Use the Platform
Follow Lacey on Clubhouse!
Tavia: That’s awesome. So are you hosting rooms regularly or you just kind of pop, because I know Liz is doing, I think Wednesday night, at least in the States it’s night. I don’t know what time it is for you. But are you hosting rooms regularly? I know you have a club, share your Clubhouse info so people can go connect with you there.
Lacey: Oh yeah. So I think I’m just Lacey Barratt on Clubhouse. Let’s have a look. It’s still so new. Yes. It’s @LaceyBarratt. So L-A-C-E-Y B-A-R-R-A-T-T. I wish I was hosting regular rooms. It’s on my to-do list to do more regularly right now. It’s like, “Oh, I haven’t hosted a room in a while. I should do one.” And then I just jump on. But I think that if I were more regular in like scheduling them, more people would show up. So that’s my goal is to just host, you know, one room a week. I was doing them every day for a while and then we moved and I got out of the habit of doing that. So I should be.
Tavia: You don’t have to. I was just wondering if people were like, “Oh awesome. She’s going to be on tonight” or something. So just follow Lacey and you’ll get a notification whenever she’s either speaking in a room or hosting a room, right?
Tavia: Yeah. Okay, cool. I know Liz is doing these regular rooms and I’m, the same as you Lacey, I’m like, “Oh, I should do that.” But you know, what ends up happening is those rooms are so late and I’m such a grandma, like you and I have talked about this, like you’re a late night person and I’m an early morning person. And when these rooms are going on at 8, 9 PM, I’m like, guys, like literally I go to bed at 9 PM. So I need to not be on Clubhouse late at night. So I think my rooms, if I host them regularly are going to be daytime.
Just Get On It
Tavia: So is there anything else that you want to say about Clubhouse or encourage people with or share?
Lacey: Yeah. I think just in regards to Clubhouse, it’s so new. Nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. Just jump on and do it because you’re going to look like a fool with everyone else. And so, yeah, just jump on, be a trailblazer. You can do it. Confidence is not required. I don’t even think confidence is a real thing. I think it’s all lies.
Tavia: It’s all lies. It’s all lies. I love that though. Exactly, right? Nobody knows what they’re doing. It’s all new. So just get in there and it’s okay. It’s okay to be like, “Hey, this is my first time speaking on Clubhouse.” People are really nice. Like in all the rooms that I’ve been in, when somebody says that, everybody is very welcoming. It’s hard to mess up because people are really accepting.
Lacey: They are. But yeah, I would really encourage anybody to jump on, get in a room, speak in a room, and then host your own room. That would kind of be my stages. And then make a club.
Connect with Lacey!
Tavia: Outside of Clubhouse, where can everybody connect with you, Lacey?
Lacey: Yeah. So you can jump on my Instagram. It is @laceybarrattphotography. That’s my private client page where I share my birth photography work, but I also share a little bits and bobs of my personal life and, you know, manifesting and professional self-development and then there is @birth_photographer_, which is the Exposing Birth platform. And so we share all of the weekly themes there and the courses that are launching and all of the dates and mock births and juicy goodness over there.
Tavia: I love it. Thank you so much for doing this. This has been awesome. I appreciate you.
Lacey: So much fun. Thank you so much, Tavia.
What a great episode. I loved that conversation with Lacey talking all about how she retired her husband, as well as how she’s strategically using Clubhouse. So if you are not already on Clubhouse, one thing I don’t think that we’ve touched on is that you do have to have an invitation and it’s only for iPhone users at this moment, but if you have an iPad, you can also get on. So Android users cannot use it at this time. Hopefully that’s going to be changing soon.
If you need an invite, shoot me a DM on Instagram because I actually usually have a few to give away, not for sale like what Lacey was mentioning. You can have it for free. I would love to connect with you on Clubhouse.
Make sure that you go connect with Lacey on Clubhouse. We’re going to have all of her links in the show notes as well. I am @TaviaRedburn on Clubhouse. I’d love to connect with you there.
And remember my friends, if you have a passion, it is not an accident. Everyone doesn’t love the thing that you love, even though it might feel that way sometimes, that’s not true. If you have a passion, it’s there for a reason. Get out there and make it happen. Have a great week.
Hey there! Check out the links mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Lacey on these platforms:
Exposing Birth on Instagram: @birth_photographer_
Connect with Tavia on these platforms:
Exposing Birth on Instagram: @_thebeautyinbirth_
Do you have a question? Submit it here: www.taviaredburn.com/ask and I might answer it on the podcast!
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