Photography by Briana Lindsey Photography
We don't brand rep anymore but when Ava was just a couple of months old, we discovered the whole brand repping world. I had no idea what it was all about but as it turns out, it's an amazing little community of moms, dads, babies, kids and even some pups too. As large as it seems, it's a tiny little world full of talented hands, shop owners and some pretty passionate people, to say the least.
There were times when we were repping that I became quite overwhelmed. I had way too many items to shoot, Ava wouldn't hold still for a good shot, the sun started going down way too early and I no longer had my husband there to help...and the list goes on. For something that was supposed to be "just for fun" there were plenty of times that I felt like taking photos turned into such a task. It was like homework that I just wanted to keep putting off day after day after day.
But of course, there were some amazing mamas behind the shops I was supporting and I didn't want to let anyone down. And that, right there, is why I think it became so stressful at times. I didn't want to let anyone down and I wanted to show off these small shops so perfectly.
My husband bought me my first camera just shy of three months before Ava was born so like most brand repping mamas, I always felt a bit "behind" in the photography department. I shot hundreds of photos a day, trying to find the best angles, the best backgrounds and the best shots but I never lived up to some of the professional photographers in the group. And that was draining. I would never be as good as them. There were times when I didn't even get a single "like" from the shops I was supporting and there were times when I just wanted to quit.
But despite all of the stress and the "I give ups" that come along with brand repping, I wouldn't change it for the world. If I had to go back in time, I would absolutely have Ava brand repping and even repping from the time she was born.
Whether you've never used a camera before (or even never will), whether your baby is not yet born yet or is five years old, and whether or not you know anything about fashion, I believe that every single child needs to rep at least for a small period of time in their life and here is why:
1. The Memories
First and foremost, these photo memories are everything. Before Ava was born, I would cringe when my husband asked us to take photos out and about on our adventures together. I hated photos and did my best to avoid them. But now, I totally understand how precious these moments are. We have thousands of photos from brand repping and that's not even an exaggeration. And years from now, I am going to be able to look back on so many memories of Ava at every stage in her childhood and those memories will be cherished forever.
2. The Clothes
Okay, of course we do it for the clothes too! Who are we kidding? I love clothes and I love shopping for Ava and while there are plenty of times where I have shopped from shops at full price, the discount is a pretty fun incentive :)
3. You're making someone's dream come true.
There is a mom (or dad or person) behind each and every small shop. Whether they have no kids or one kid or even eight kids, you are helping that person make a living. You may be helping her to have the opportunity to stay at home with her kids and not go off to work and put them in day care or you may just be helping someone who loves to sew fulfill her dream of being a designer or a business owner or an entrepreneur. No matter what hands are behind that shop you are representing and promoting, you are helping make a dream come true.
I have formed so many friendships from the repping world. I have a "momsquad" (as we call ourselves) of mamas and babies and we chat away like we've known each other for years. I've made friends with shop owners via Instagram and even met those mamas in person for play dates and birthday parties and fun trips to the beach (ahem, Tenth & Pine). Whether it's one friend or 30, there is so much amazing mama support in this little community and I will forever cherish those friendships I've made.
No matter if you're shooting from your iPhone and have no sense of style or you're a professional photographer with the best fashion sense in the world, there is a place for every single child in the rep community. And that's what makes this community so incredibly special.