StompSoftware

For All The #MomBosses

By | YOU! | No Comments

This year for the week leading up to Mother’s Day, we wanted to pay tribute to the hard-working mums out there who also run a business.  It’s the two hardest jobs on the planet, and many of you ladies do them both week in and week out.  From all of us here at StompSoftware, we see you, we appreciate you, we celebrate you.  You’re true heroes.

———

Katie Lamb – Katie Lamb Photography

@KatieBethLamb

“Being a work-from-home mama of little ones isn’t easy; however these are some ways I have found to allow me to be a full time, 100% present mama and also run a successful and sustainable business.”

Scheduling

I only book sessions Mondays, Wednesdays and (a few) Saturdays. Mon/Wed daytime is for office work. Tues/Thurs is for editing, and Fridays are my packaging and “catch up” days to finish anything I didn’t throughout the week. My pricing is specifically set in a way that allows me to profit what I need to contribute to my family and allow me to only shoot 2-3 days a week in order to leave enough time to ensure my clients are served well, deadlines are always met, and I can stop on top of the business end of things. Weekends I am off from any work (besides the occasional Saturday session).

Working

My twins nap for 2 hours every day. This is my time to work as I always want to be 100% present with them when they are wake because they come first. I also work for a couple hours after they go to bed at 7pm. I try to do most of my house work early in the morning before they wake.

Programs

I have streamlined my editing and presets to allow me to edit sessions very quickly, and I have incorporated various programs into my business workflow (like BlogStomp and AlbumStomp!) to make things work more efficiently for me. I also love 17hats which is such a time saver! Everything about my business is handled here: accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, scheduling, emails, client records, invoicing, contracts, marketing plans, to-do lists, etc.

Grace

There are days that can throw my work schedule off: a baby is sick, teething, or just needs some extra mama-time for whatever reason. It’s then that I have to extend grace to myself and not be burdened with feeling like I have to do it ALL because babies don’t keep and work will still be there in the morning. <3

———

Chenin Boutwell – Chenin Boutwell Photography

@chenin_boutwell

I became a better photographer when I became a mom.

This little lady, Finley (left photo), gave me a run for my money at her session. Terrible twos, combined with a serious case of the “hangries,” made for a challenging shoot. Baby girl was tired, hungry and totally freaked out by the session. Finley was just NOT having it, but I knew it was important to her mom that I capture some portraits of her at this stage. As I started to lose light and panic set in, I remembered to think like a mom. This photo is my favorite from her session. What it doesn’t show is the bag of goldfish in one hand and her mama just outside the frame 😉

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Heather J. Keys – Blossom and Bloom Photography

@heatherjoslyn

Single Parents … 

No! You Can’t Do It All, Find Your Tribe! 

I’m sure like most single parents, I often struggle wearing so many hats. I absolutely love being a mom who works and has her own business. I feel like my daughter has really turned out, thus far, to be a well rounded person with a firm grasp on what being successful looks like. 

No lies here, I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t possibly be at every school event, bake sale, fundraiser, jog-o-thon, gymnastics practice, choir performance, and there’s often times I can’t be there when my daughter is battling another ear infection. 

With that said, it’s so important to have a tribe! Lord knows, I couldn’t do this life without my tribe. 

What’s A Tribe? A tribe is a group of people you can count on for just about anything and they can count on you too. 

Most of the time my tribe helps me by giving me healthy sanity checks, as I’m often burning both ends of the stick at the same time. They help keep an eye on my kiddo when I get a call from my client that she’s in labor. They take me to doctors appointments when Ive gone 2 weeks with walking pneumonia and haven’t stopped to get better. They even help me crack open a bottle of wine and relax (this happens maybe once a month if I’m lucky).  

You can do it. Don’t let being a single parent stop you from living your life and pursuing you goals. They don’t need to go on the back burner. Push them right out front, see them and achieve them. What you dream about, you can bring about. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise, you’re one badass babe and I know you can do it. 

———

Kate Duckworth – Duckworth Interiors

@kateduckworth

Funny story

Sometimes I have to bring my kids along when I need to run by a job site. Recently, when visiting a multi-million dollar residence, my two year old stripped off her clothes, including her diaper and ran through the house naked as a jay bird! 

Funny story

It’s always a struggle to keep our house relatively clean. Recently my two year old was looking for a specific toy and I said, “Go look up stairs in the playroom.” She started climbing the stairs, turned to me and said, “Pray for me, mom.”

Mom tip

When it’s time to pick up the kids and I still have work to do for the day, I’ve stopped trying to get anything done while we’re home together in the afternoons. They go to bed early enough that I just pick it back up after bedtime. I want them to remember the fun we had together, not me being glued to the laptop. That’s worth the late nights for me.

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Janica Boles – JBO Photo

@jbo_photo

My mom-heart is split tonight because I can’t be two places at once.

Thrilled to be here to watch Bailey’s choir sing, but there’s a part of me at Parker’s school watching his theater competition one-act play. (he is “just” an understudy and won’t actually be on stage…but I still hate missing a chance to see what he’s been putting so much time and effort into.)

I hope all of my kids’ directors, coaches, and teachers will consult me first before scheduling their future events, please and thank you.

———

Alexis Sassard – www.alexisreneesassard.com

@alexisreneesassard

Working from home seemed ideal. I loved the thought of flexibility and answering to myself. What I wasn’t prepared for were the ups and downs of productivity. One kid has a fever, and the other needs a snack right this second, and you forgot to wash your husband’s work clothes for the next morning and now it’s midnight.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom because I get to witness every first milestone and I’m the one who gets to ask how their day was at school, and if we have a leaky faucet I’m always available for the 9-4 time slot the plumber gives me. But balancing it all can be tricky and flat out overwhelming. Not losing yourself, the woman you were before you became a wife and mother, in all of the responsibility that comes with not having a job outside of the home is hard. I’ve failed more times than I can count.

But with every breakdown there’s a breakthrough and somehow you learn the give and take of life until it becomes part of your daily dance. I chose to make me a priority also and do the things that fill my cup. I started my own small business and have managed to keep it afloat between breastfeeding and tantrums. There are many days when I feel defeated but those are quickly overshadowed by the ones when I get a lot accomplished. No two days are ever the same and I think once I learned to accept that, balancing motherhood, and housework, and business became a lot easier. 

Of Fires and Foxes

By | Blog, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Anyone out there use Firefox as your web browser?

#EmbarrassingConfessionTuesday (is that even a thing??)

I do.

I use Firefox. I use it all the time. And I know I should stop – a buddy of mine refers to it as “Netscape Navigator” every time it comes out that I still use it regularly. I know that it’s lacking and that there are much better alternatives out there like Chrome or Safari, but I still use it. All the same. Well, for some things, anyway.

But there are a small handful of things I definitely don’t use it for, and one of them is a pretty big deal.

I will not use Firefox to view images online. 

I mean, overall it’s a decent-enough browser. It will open a website and help you cruise Facebook like the rest of them. Text renders nicely, just like any other browser. But for viewing images online, it is literally the worst. Here’s what I mean ::

In all these images below, the left-hand side is a screen shot of Firefox and the right-hand side is a screen shot of Safari.

Artboard 5

Artboard 6

Artboard 7

Artboard 8

Artboard 4

In a few of these examples the difference may be subtle. But very much of the time, using a browser that isn’t color managed will have unpredictable (usually negative) results. To ensure your images look their best online, it is best to use a browser that has their color game on point.

For a more thorough look, click up this article from Arnaud Frich.

Happy Stomping!!

I’ll Do It Tomorrow

By | Blog | No Comments

“I’ll do it tomorrow

.”

I literally said that to myself yesterday, in regards to writing this post.  So much for my resolution to stop procrastinating…

For many, January brings thoughts of a new start – initiating new, healthy habits and retiring old, destructive ones.  It’s a noble notion – expected, really – but it can be difficult.  The allure of broad, sweeping life changes or “Mt. Everest-sized” goals or resolutions can sometimes do more harm than good, as lofty, unattainable goals can lead to disappointment and back-sliding.

Changing the way we spend our days – even a small portion of our days – can be daunting.  Here’s what we’re doing to make sure we stay on top of things ::

  • Set manageable, realistic, and time-bound goals
  • Read said goals first thing each day, well before the distraction of email and/or social media
  • Share goals with a few close friends or colleagues who will help with accountability
  • Ask each other weekly how things are going
  • Celebrate the small victories

So let’s head into 2017 together and with purpose.  It will be exactly what we make it, so let’s make it awesome!

Happy Stomping!!

Whatever It May Hold

By | Blog | No Comments

It’s the last week of the year.  In 6 days we will write a new number at the end of the date.  On one hand, it’s about darned time – 2016 gave many of us some fits!  On the other hand, so many moments of 2016 were so very rich and sustaining for my soul that I can barely stand to see it go.

There’s a quiet this week, like that moment between the shifting of the wind, when leaves still and waters calm.  What was boisterous in the world a moment ago is now at peace, and the hustle of the new year has not yet begun.  We find ourselves between acts, processing what we’ve just seen and expectant about what is to come.

One of my favorite movies when my kids were younger was Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. At first glance it’s a fun, silly little film about a mysterious toy shop proprietor played by Dustin Hoffman and his young assistant played by Natalie Portman, whom he is grooming to take over his business.

But it’s the depth of the dialogue – specifically from Mr. Magorium to his apprentice – that struck the deepest chord with me.  Never one to pass up an opportunity to impart wisdom, he speaks truth to Molly Mahoney even in the unexpected moments.  In one exchange, just after they’ve set all the clocks in a shop forward to strike noon at the same time, Mr. Magorium speaks to this “between acts” time.

Mr. Magorium :: “37 seconds.”
Molly Mahoney :: “Great. Well done. Now we wait.”
Mr. Magorium :: “No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.”

Here in this last week of December it’s easy to let this week slip away without much attention.   For some, the temptation is to simply wait for the stroke of midnight this Saturday – to coast into the new year without purpose or intent.  For others the much stronger temptation is to plan and list and arrange and stress about everything which has not yet come.  Perhaps the proper approach is something different.  Perhaps the best approach is much more “Magoriumian” in nature.

And so we wait.  We breathe, we pulse, we regenerate, we beat, we create, and we ingest.  One week, well used, is a lifetime.

Which brings to mind one last Mr. Magorium quote to close :: “We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, joy and bravery.”

So bring it on, 2017.  In just short of one week’s time, we’ll be ready for you.

Happy New Year.

Hi! We’re the Girls!

By | Blog, US! | No Comments

Did you know that females work here too???

Shock horror right!

Since we haven’t introduced ourselves before we thought it was high time we did so now.
Hi I’m Jeanette!

I didn’t realize that my degree in Psychology would lead me to work at a software company but here I am. I have a green thumb and I love my dogs more than most humans. I have three kids, including my hubby and I like to bake for them when I can find the time. I get to party while I photograph weddings with my husband here in Texas. I drink dark coffee like the developers I work with and I think that is key to my current success.  If you write in with a question or problem you will most likely hear from me at some point.  I am never more happy than when I get to help others.

nette_short

Grace

Hi I’m Grace!

I’m a Kiwi girl from a small country at the bottom of the world called New Zealand (PS. the fruit is called Kiwifruit, Kiwi’s are people and birds, just saying). I get to work with Danny in his cave, it’s an experience for sure :). I’m a graphic designer and a photographer, which is pretty handy for working here. At high school I received excellence in calculus, really left field considering I’m a creative and probably only use basic math skills now. 1+1=window! (draw it). I have this weird love for trees and clouds, especially overcast about to rain clouds, they’re so dramatic and look awesome in photos! Someone once told me that that’s the romantic in me but honestly how many girls go looking at rain clouds?