Monday Mother: Petra Blacklock at Photography by Petra

Today is a treat. My incredibly talented friend, Petra Blacklock from Photography by Petra. She is all kinds of fantastic. 
Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.
So I am a photographer, portraiture and newborns are my specialization but I also dipped my toes in birth photography (before I had my last baby) and loved it and also have done some product and food photography.
Above all this I am a mum to 3 lovely kiddies – 6,4 and 1yr old.
What kind of work did you do before having children?
I studied economy and worked as an accountant (in my country). When I came to UK I wasn’t sure how long I would stay so just did some bar and waitressing jobs which was a huge help with practicing my English.
How did you get into your current work?
So I met my husband (to be) in 2006 and I knew that UK would be my new home so started weighing  up my options and what I wanted to do for my career. Then my whole family came over to visit and I booked us to have a portrait done in one of the local studios and I instantly knew I wanted to do that. I applied for a job they didn’t have on offer at the time (with no previous experience) and I got a Sunday job! yay!  I was ecstatic, I learnt, helped, was flexible, didn’t say no but still had an opinion and after few years I became the main photographer and editor in there.
What drives you?
Happiness is my biggest driving force in life. I think I am determined person, I can persist with something if it gives me satisfaction in doing so and if it’s in align with my views and personality. Fairness is very important to me, possibly coming from my childhood. I come from not so privileged background and even though we didn’t have much, so didn’t my pears and it’s only now as an adult I realized the struggles my divorced mum had, balancing full time work and children. We had very free childhood on so many levels and that’s something I am trying to incorporate in my life however impossible it seems at the moment.
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
TIME!!! Time is my enemy (I am sure lots of us feel the same), at times it feels like im just rolling over, day by day but in the end things always work out for me, sometimes ways that I didn’t expect them to. I am big believer in “what meant to be” saying and so I try not to worry too much about things I cant control.
What are you most proud of?
I think it must be taking the leap and going self employed. I love the security of a job! Having no option but to quit my job after my 2nd maternity leave finished was so hard, I fought, I cried but in the end that was the best EVER thing that happened to me! And once again it all worked out for me just fine and being flexible around my children is probably the best gift anyone could have offered to me! (Not even moving a country at 22 touches the fear I felt going self employed lol)
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
I wish I knew what my future holds lol! I came to realize I am ok to take the mediocre approach whilst my children are very young and that has taken the priority in my life at the moment. And whilst my husband concentrates to grow his business at the moment, I know my time will come too. I am happy with that for now because I can still do what I love and be with the ones I love – so to me it’s a win-win situation. But if I could pin point one thing I would like to pursue further one day is commercial work as that’s the only thing (except fashion) that I am yet to properly try and I get quite giddy about it!
I also wanted to retrain again to become a volunteer photographer for amazing charity Remember my baby who provides very precious photographic service for families who don’t get to bring their babies home. This is something i was going to do in the past but having my babies at the time I didn’t feel I could yet be emotionally detached enough to carry out the work.
It is my plan but more importantly I want to bring awareness as not many people yet know about this and its such a shame.
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
Trust your instincts and whatever people around you do/say and may sway you their way, always listened to your heart, you know you, your baby, your family and situation the best! On more practical note – always accept help, try not to do it all because you will eventually burn out. Lastly but not least make time for just yourself – you are important!
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup?
Having 3 children doesn’t give me much time for myself but I know that “me” time is A KEY to happy me so whether it’s hot soak, reading or quiet time alone I make sure I get some of that as regularly as possible in my life.  My friends play massive part in my wellbeing. Not having my family around the corner I massively rely on my friends and I feel so lucky to have them. The support, conversations and understanding is so appreciated and I hope I am this kind of  friend to them too <3
You can find Petra and her amazing work here…
Petra is also responsible for my maternity photoshoot.

Do It Like A Mother supports women via hypnobirthing, postnatal support, and mama merch that does good work. Our core values are HONESTY, EMPOWERMENT, COMMUNITY. Our courses take place in Southend and Upminster, Essex. Our merch makes its way all over the UK.

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