BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Jessica McDaniel, Baby & Family Photographer, Boston Baby Photos

What is your name?

Jessica McDaniel

What is your occupation?

Baby & Family Photographer

What is your business name?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women’s Member?

Less than a year

What is your instagram handle?

What is your linked in URL?

Were you born and raised in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

I was born and raised here in Milton.

Tell us more about your job or company and what led you to your career?

I started Boston Baby Photos in 2003, before I had my own kids. Back then I just knew I adored children and wanted to create something - a business - that allowed me to work with them every day. I was working in marketing, getting my MBA at night, and I knew there was something about these little photobooks I was making. I'd studied photography in college, and I'd gotten into taking black and white photos of friends' children and making books as gifts. At a certain point (just as I was getting that hard-earned MBA, I think) it hit me: I should make this children's photography thing happen. So I started on the weekends, I charged what I thought I was worth... and I got busy. I worked the weekends (and kept my full time job) for a year or two, and when I needed to make myself more expensive to keep up with demand, I knew it was time to leave the day job. So in 2005 I went full time, and Boston Baby Photos has been full throttle ever since. Now I take pictures for 160-180 families a year, and I absolutely adore it.

What would your clients say about you and your company?

I just put up a testimonials page on my website! They have a lot of lovely things to say, thankfully. The top is videos and the bottom is all screenshotted reviews. https://www.boston-baby-photos.com/testimonials/

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Follow your heart.

What is your favorite book?

Khalil Gibran's The Prophet

What is your secret weapon? An app, a tool, a organization method, anything?! (Can be a personal or professional life tool)

My bullet journal. I sit with my 11 yr old every Sunday night and we do our weekly spreads together. It's such a sweet time for the two of us, and it's totally critical in my list-making insanity for the week!

What is your most recent WIN? How are you slaying it in your career or business?

I launched two new Facebook groups this past month and they’re going strong already! My “Boston Families Together” group is for anyone who lives locally and has kids. It’s my passion project, really – I’m interviewing fabulous local experts every other week in that group – experts who address our family “pain points”. Yesterday’s interview was titled “Applying to College: Tips for Junior Spring” and it was out of this world awesome. March 31st my interview is titled “Talking with Your Children About Race”, and I’m very excited about that one. Join that group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bostonfamiliestogether || I also run a babies group called “Year One Together” and it’s for anyone who lives locally and is navigating their first year as a parent. I’m also inviting local experts into that group for every-other-Wednesday interviews. Upcoming interviews include: “Dressing Your Baby For Boston Weather”, “Do I Want a Doula? A Midwife?” And “Not For Profit Pediatrics: Equity in Action”. You can join that baby group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/yearonetogether

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Slow down.

How do you enjoy your free time?

I like nothing more than lounging on my couch in front of completely mindless TV, and when the weather allows, I’m really into kayaking around here as well.

What is something that not many people know about you?

I think people can probably gather it from knowing me or even knowing OF me, but I'm totally into all things baby. I haven't had a baby of my own in over a decade, but I got my snuggles with my sister's three kids more recently - her kids always spent their Mondays at my house until they (sniff) couldn't because of COVID, and any time I can babysit for friends' new babies, I'm THERE in a heartbeat. Pass me that BABY!

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