Meet Sara Montgomery-An AMAZING Mom!


Meet Sara Montgomery-A Super Photographer and an AMAZING Mom!

Q:   When did you start your business and what was the turning point of taking it from a hobby to a business of charging people?
Just like every other mother, I love taking photos of my children.  When my daughters came into my life, my camera became like another limb on my body.  In an attempt to preserve every simple moment that I cherished so much, I always had my camera with me.  A couple of years after they were born; I began taking photos for my family, and then for my friends, and then for friends of my friends.  I was having a lot of fun, but was scared to take the plunge and call myself a “photographer”.  Thanks to the encouragement from my family and friends, I put a muffle on that negative self talk, and I can now happily say that I am a mother, a wife, a full-time registered nurse, and a photographer

Q:  What inspires your photography?
My photography is inspired by the faces and the emotion that I see through the camera.  When I look through my lens, I can see my subjects for who they really are and for what they really love.  I feel the emotion in their laughs and I start to cry when I see a mother nurse her baby.  It is like my highway into the soul of the person on the other side of the camera.   I can feel the thrill of throwing your head back on a swing or dancing on the beach… The passion in a mother’s arms… the excitement of a lost tooth… I can hear the sigh of a newborn…and the joy in a good laugh.  I am inspired and challenged to freeze those moments in time so that the memory of that day can be brought right to the surface with just a glance at an image.

Q:  What inspires you as a person/artist?
One night our family was sitting around the television… there was a commercial on showing the homeless and hungry children in Africa.  My daughter was 4 at the time, and she asked, “Why is that boy sleeping in the road?”  My husband and I started explaining how some children in the world and even in our community do not have homes, or beds, or even food.  She sat there in shock; it was more than she could comprehend.  We spoke a bit about how lucky we are to have all of the things we have, but the commercial ended, and we all slipped back into our comfortable couch with our snack to continue watching our show.  Two weeks later we were driving in the car and she said, “Mom, I think I want to give that boy from Africa my bed, and I will just sleep with my sister.”   Screech… stop the car! My heart just stopped… what a sweet girl.  I had forgotten all about that poor, shoeless boy resting his head on the curb of that dark street all alone.  And here, she had been thinking about him for weeks.  That was when we started Live With Grace at our home.  It is a program, named for our girls, that we designed to help them learn (and remind us)  how fortunate they are to live their lives, to use the gifts that God has given them, and to teach them about being grateful and giving back.  No matter if they are giving a penny, a toy, a smile or just time, there are ways to give back… my kids remind me of that every day.  They inspire me to use the
gifts that I have been given to make a difference.

Q:  What made you decide to do photography as more than a hobby?  What was the turning point?
I had some serious health issues that came up right when I was toying with the idea of turning this photography thing into more than a hobby.  I came down with a horrible virus that caused my immune system to go completely haywire.  My immune system began a full on war against my own body.  I could not eat, I could not see, my organs were being damaged, my joints were stiffening and contracting, my skin began to scar, and I had a partial (temporary) paralysis. I went to every expert I could, and no one could give me any answers or tell me this would stop or even get better.  Thank God that with powerful prayers and lots and lots of medication, my health stabilized, and I continue to improve every day.  Once I was strong enough to begin living again, I realized I didn’t want to just talk about my dream of pursuing photography.  I was ready to make it a reality.  And, with that, I was up and running as Sara Montgomery Photography!

Q:  What are the classes/workshops /DVDs you have watched to teach yourself?  Were they helpful?
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the first Beginner workshops that Me Ra ever offered.  I had so many  “ah ha” moments it was ridiculous. Nearly a year after that,  I also attended Me Ra’s advanced workshop.  This let me fine tune a lot of the little issues I had been struggling with and I gained a lot of confidence in myself.   One of the best things that I have gotten out of these workshops does not even have to do with the huge amount of knowledge that I gained, but has to do with the people that I met.  I felt like I was welcomed into this amazing community of people who all had a story, who all cared, and who all shared a passion for photography.  I own both of Me Ra’s DVDs, Refuse To Say Cheese And Capture The Story and Beyond The Green Box: Understanding Your Digital Camera.  It is so great to watch a little of the DVD and then pause the video to practice (or answer the phone, or help someone in the bath tub, or make dinner, etc!)  The Portrait 101 kit was a huge help to me as well when I was starting my business, it had a lot of suggestions and resources that helped mold my business into what it is today.  After I was up and running, I realized I needed a professional way to present my images to clients, and I wanted to be able to provide them with a variety of high quality products, so I joined Pictage.  The presentation of my images to my clients is very professional and the products are superb, but my favorite thing about pictage is the Pictage User Groups (PUG). I did not realize when I joined that I would instantly be part of an amazing community of photographers.  The PUG meetings are held monthly…they are
FREE!!! And, with them I have been able to meet amazing friends, attend countless classes,  and have listened to amazing speakers.  Through Pictage,  I have been connected with and learned from people like Me Ra and Brian, Dane Sanders, Jeff and Erin Youngren, and Joe Buissink.

Q:   What are two pieces of marketing/self promotion ideas you can give our newbies?  What is something you did to get your name out there?
One of the best things that I did my first year was to have a Pumpkin Patch Photo Shoot.  I picked a local pumpkin patch… invited all of my friends and family… had them invite all of their friends and family… and we all headed out to the patch.  I did not charge anyone for the photo shoot, I uploaded all of their images to pictage and they were able to purchase them there.  I had no idea what type of turnout there would be, but we ended up having  around 15 families show up during the two hour session. It was a blast! We played in the patch, ate caramel apples… and  we also got some amazing images.  The best part about it is that now it is an annual event!   Now…since most of you are moms…. I know you are connected with an OB/GYN physician out there!  I met with my OBGYN, presented her with a book of my images for her waiting room and offered to have some of my images used in her office.  Most physicians give pregnant mothers a whole packet of goodies when they are around 12 weeks along in their pregnancy…you know the one….don’t eat too much seafood, what to expect while you are expecting, how to combat morning sickness, etc.  I asked if I could include my photography information in those packages.  Now each newly pregnant mother receives information on me and my photography, as well as a print credit for any booked session.

Q:  What was your first paid shoot like?  How did you feel on the way/during/after?
Ugh… Stressful!  My first paid shoot was for a mother and her two children.  I had been referred to her from a friend, and we had never met prior to our session.  On the way there, I was sweating, terrified that I was going to get lost, terrified that they would see through me and know I was not a “real” photographer, worried that I would slip in the grass, rip my pants, or somehow make a complete fool of myself.  The drive was painful, but not as painful as my self talk.  It was very damaging to my confidence!  Why do we do this to ourselves????  Once the session started, my nerves really calmed down and I had a great time.  After the session, I got in my car, took a deep breath, and started to drive home.  My mind was racing…  did I overexpose the images?  Were the images  blurry?  Are they going to like them?  I drove about ½ a mile and pulled my car over and went through all of the images on the back of my camera.  They looked….all right. Whew! The family loved them, so my first paid shoot was a success.

Q:  What is the best part and the toughest part about doing photography with being a wife and a mother at the same time?
The best part about balancing photography with being a nurse, a wife and a mother is that it gives me time to focus on me.  Focus on something that I love that does not have to do with dinner, bed time or homework.  It  is not that I do not love all of those parts of my life, but for so long I had been neglecting myself.  I thought diving into life by focusing on everyone and everything but myself was the right way to be a great mother and wife.  WOW, was I wrong!  I found that working to achieve my personal goals has made me stronger, and it has made my girls and my husband look at me in a new light.  I love that they are proud of me.  Having said that…. Whoa! I am busy!  Working full-time while having a photography business and a family has given me a full plate!  It can be hard to remain balanced.


Q:  What is one last piece of advice you would give to newbies?
Quit procrastinating…have faith in yourself. Get out there and just do it!  Start today, set up a blog.  Blogging is a great way to get your name out there. What do you have to lose?  It is free!  Start writing and write as if you have 10,000 readers a day.  The more you practice, the easier it will become.  Remember there will be rainy days and days when you fail, but keep trying.  Do it for yourself.  Do it so your children will grow up watching you being strong and confident, sometimes they will watch you fall, but then they will watch you pull yourself to your feet with your head high and keep trying!  They will grow up realizing that their dreams are achievable, and they will not let them fade away.

WOW Sara!  Thank you for sharing all of that with us.   What a great interview!  I can’t wait to hear more on tomorrow night’s Ask and Learn Session with you.  Get all of your questions ready for Sara and join me in the forum Thursday, August 18th, from 5-7pm PST.
Have a super day!
Wendy (Your SOAR! Coordinator)


  1. Melisa says:

    Awesome interview Sara!!!!

  2. Katherine says:

    Sara is definitely an amazing woman, and you can see the love she has for people in her photos. Other photogrpahers, moms and people could learn a lot from her!

  3. BreAnna says:

    Great interview Sara!! Can’t wait until tomorrow to ask my questions 🙂

  4. Amanda Mays says:

    Hooray for Sara! =)

  5. Renee says:

    Sara- you are, and always have been, an amazing and special person! You are so talented, the pictures you have taken of our family are some of our favorites. So proud of you!

  6. Lilly says:

    Awesome interview. Very inspiring. I loved reading about your stories. You are an amazing and wonderful person.

  7. Satcha says:

    I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished! As I was reading your interview and looking at the images, I kept flashing back to my favorites of the session you did for us. Our images are indeed cherished! Thank you…

  8. Katie says:

    Sara is an inspiration both in her photography and in her life. She makes everything she comes into contact with better and more beautiful. Thanks fir featuring such a talented person!

  9. Laura says:

    My family has used Sara on 2 occasions so far and love her personality and flexibility with each photo shoot. We have a 4 year old who doesn’t always want to cooperate and she has a special gift in working with children. She made our daughter smile and we have great pictures as a result! We plan on an upcoming 3rd photo session when our baby turns 1! I love the outcomes of the pictures and the quality of the prints. Thanks!

  10. Me Ra Koh says:

    Sara is one of the most WONDERFUL people in the whole world! Tomorrow night is going to be such an AWESOME treat! She has the BEST advice for marketing to your local community, and she is so incredibly down to earth. This woman has faced odds beyond measure to pursue her passion for photography, and SARA, we are SO BLESSED to have you join us tomorrow night. Thank you so much!!!!


  11. Judes says:

    Sara IS amazing! She has such a warm, loving personality…and brings out the best in my girls. Can’t wait to have her capture more memories for us!

  12. LaSheika says:

    This interview was inspiring.

  13. Cammy says:

    So proud of you Sara – you are an amazing woman, wife, mother, photographer, nurse! Love your pictures and your inspiring words.

  14. Heather says:

    I am in awe of Sara’s strength and character. Thank you Sara for sharing such personal thoughts with us. The above reflections inspire me to follow every dream I’ve imagined for myself and my family.

  15. Thank you all for your amazing words! I am touched and my heart is full! It is such an honor for me to be a part of MeRa’s amazing site and I am excited for the forum tomorrow! I hope to hear from you there!

  16. Shannon Robertson says:

    As always, I think your awesome! Love you so!!!

  17. Rachel Broderhausen says:

    What a wonderful interview! We already knew Sara was amazing through knowing her family, and the family pictures she has taken for the last 3 years have been beautiful! She has a wonderful way with my camera-shy kids, has managed to create great shots in my poorly lit living room or outside on a rainy November day. We are proud of her to get some well-deserved recognition!

  18. denise karis says:

    loved reading! thanks so much sarah!!

  19. Julie Watts says:

    Sara you ROCK…I’m so thrilled to see you on here!!!

  20. Geri Scalzi says:

    Big HUGS to you and Thank you, Me Ra and thank you Sara for your very encouraging words! I did it, I quit procrastinating, I started my Photography Blog today! Though my daughter is a Royal #1 Mommy Blogger @ From Dates to Diapers and has for years encouraged me to start a blog, my attempts were only half hearted. Fear always gripped me, and I never felt like exposing that fear, my failures or my successes. But watching Christine over the years become incredibly successful, while raising seven children, I am embarrssed I didn’t step out sooner. She has taught me to have no fear, a lesson I needed and I am safe with mentors like you to empower me and grow in confidence with my photography business! Cheers!