A Day in the Life of Momtography Teacher Casey Raines

Casey Raines is a Momtography® teacher from Southern California. She lives in Laguna Hills with her husband Rob. They’ve been married for 12 years and together for over 18! Casey and Rob have had three kids together. Their first son, Max, was born with a rare congenital heart defect and sadly passed away at a week old. Since then they have welcomed Lennox (5) and Alexa (1.5) to their family.

Casey is a civil engineer with a focus in water and wastewater infrastructure, and she teaches Momtography® classes. We’ll look at a “typical” day — and how she got started and fits a Momtography® business into her life.

A Day in Casey’s Life

On a typical day, I start by getting ready for work. A few times per week I will wake up early to work out at my favorite HIIT studio though. I am always the first one up so I like to multitask and listen to podcasts while I get ready. Once I’m ready, I might do a quick social media post for a Momtography® class or send an email to an interested student. Then, I usually wake my daughter if she isn’t up yet, so I can nurse her before work.

My work days are spent at my desk in front of the computer or at meetings with clients. I manage several staff so I interact a lot with them as well, checking their work and delegating tasks. I usually eat lunch at my desk and will spend a few minutes reading TV recaps. I might squeeze in a few minutes for Momtography® too—for example researching an advertising partner or a class location.

Once I get home, my kids love to fight for my attention which really makes me feel loved, but it can also be exhausting. Sometimes they hardly give me a chance to eat dinner. I get to play with them for an hour or so before we start the kids’ bedtime routine.

Once the kids are in bed, my husband and I relax on the couch watching television most nights. This is also when I fit in some of my creative outlets. I enjoy lots of different arts and crafts activities — quilting, knitting, lettering, and painting. Those tend to take a bit of time so I will fit those in at night when the kids are asleep or on the weekend when I can.

On weekends, for painting activities, I like to get my son involved in a project of his own so we can be creative together. I am also always on the lookout for classes I can take with my mom or sister. I think next up on the list is either macrame or pottery. And of course photography. I love lots of different arts and crafts but taking photos of my kids is my main creative outlet.

I love sharing photography with other moms, and usually every other month I teach a Momtography® class.

Fitting Momtography® into a Busy Life

You’ve got a job and young kids. How do you fit teaching  Momtography® classes into your life?

I try to spend at the very least, 5 minutes per day on my Momtography® business. Even on a busy day, I can find 5 minutes before I leave for work in the morning or on a break to post on social media, reach out to interested students or research advertising options.

So far, I have been teaching every other month and that schedule has been working well. Teaching days are the most fun and prove to me that all that hard work until that point was worth it!

How did you get started with Momtography®? What made you decide to teach it?

I found out about Beryl’s photography classes through the baby loss community. My son Lennox had just been born, and I was trying to learn how to use my DSLR camera finally. The timing of the online class didn’t work, but I kept following Beryl on Facebook.

About 2 years later, I finally signed up! I loved the materials, and the way the Momtography® program breaks down the technical elements of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed made so much sense. I am very hands on and each week there were activities that helped reinforce the learning. I started to shoot in manual mode and never looked back!

From my experience as a new mom that struggled to find the right book, class and articles to learn how to shoot properly with my DSLR camera, I knew how awesome a local class would be for Orange County! I just had that feeling in my gut that I needed to teach and share my photography passion! I have always enjoyed teaching others, whether at work or with my friends, and thought this would be a great opportunity to meet other like minded moms as well.

What surprised you about teaching Momtography® classes?

I am surprised by how fast the class goes! Four hours sounds like a long time to be teaching, but the materials have a great flow and the topics build on each other well. Plus, there are several activities for my students to practice what they learned. Those moments are the most fun! I try to spend time with each student one-on-one to answer their questions, and it is fun getting to know them during these breaks.

What has been most challenging?

The most challenging part has been not letting the hard part of owning a business get to me emotionally. When you are marketing and talking with others about your business, you really have to put yourself out there. It makes you vulnerable and it sometimes hurts when you don’t get the same excited reaction.

I have to constantly remind myself that just because someone didn’t sign up this time around, it doesn’t mean they won’t eventually. There are so many reasons why whether it is money, timing issues, or uncertainty. None of these are a reflection of yourself and you can’t take it personally. Just like I didn’t join Momtography® Online right away, but kept thinking about it to do when the time was right for me.

What is your favorite part of teaching Momtography® classes?

My favorite part is seeing that ‘aha’ moment with my students during class. Usually it comes near the end when they start shooting in manual mode and finally get that beautiful blurry background, but it has also happened when they see how shutter speed works or white balance. One of my class locations had these beautiful water features which were perfect for freezing the water or blurring it out so it looked dream like. One student, Pam, loved that!

What is a big dream you have right now that you are working on?

My immediate dream is to introduce the Momtography® Phone Photo Basics class to Orange County. But my big dream is to have a large community in Orange County of Momtography® minded women who will continue to learn photography together. I would love to have meet ups to practice or create photo books together. To further my connection with my students beyond the Momtography® classroom would be amazing!