Photography Business

Escondido, CA Maternity Session + Erica

Recently, I had the great pleasure of shooting a maternity session, in Escondido, California for my childhood friend, Erica.  

Erica Brauer has been in the Los Angeles area since 2001, where she attended USC as an undergraduate, majoring in biology and minoring in theatre.  Shortly after graduating she founded a theatre company now known as Above the Curve Theatre, a black box non-profit theatre known for producing quality shows with a minimum participation of 50% females. In 2013, she became a full-time science teacher, and now teaches chemistry at Granada Hills Charter High School.  She continues to run her theatre company and perform around the city with other companies as well. In addition, she is involved with a non-profit called buildOn, in which she takes high school students to third world countries to build schools for those less fortunate.

Erica met Ian and his beautiful daughter Avery almost three years ago.  Erica and Ian seem quite perfect for each other, as they balance out each other's craziness.  Their relationship has already survived Ian's back surgery and other hurtles that many couples do not have to go through so early on, which has only made them stronger together.  She has inspired him to go back to school, and he has supported her in her journey to get a Master's in Science Education as well.  They love their time with Avery, and have watched her flourish into a sweet, energetic little girl.  When Erica found out she was pregnant with one of her own, she was ecstatic. Although not perhaps the way she imagined it would all happen, she very much believes in fate and God's will, and truly believes this miracle was meant to happen right now. 

Pregnancy for her has not been the smoothest of processes.  Erica was sick for the first 6 months or so, making it difficult to maintain her normally active and healthy lifestyle.  She has always been a very disciplined eater and exerciser, but those first few months made it tough.  Once that had passed, her pregnancy has been much smoother.  Of course there are certain discomforts here and there, but she will cherish the first time she heard his heartbeat, the first time she saw his little nose in an ultrasound, and the first time she felt him kick.  She feels lucky to have this experience, and is grateful every day for her little miracle.

** Erica and Ian welcomed Hudson Jameson Cochran into the world at 3:28 PM on January 31st.  Erica, Baby Hudson and family are over- joyed and doing fantastic!

My Response... A Disciplined Schedule

I was recently asked by a fellow entrepreneur, "how did you grow your business so quickly?"  My response... A disciplined schedule.

That means waking at 5:30 every morning even when I don't want to.  Following a schedule that I map out on 3 different calendars in advance for my clients, my shoots and post production, my blog, my social media, my family and of course, scheduling time for my workouts and taking care of me.  I show up, dressed up, no matter how I feel.

 That means, you're allowed 5 emotional minutes and then you gotta be gangsta.

Hard work beats talent any day when talent is hardly working.  Just because a person has a talent doesn't mean things should just be granted to you.  You have to be disciplined in your work ethics.

For the New Year, map out a disciplined schedule for yourself and business.  Follow it to the T.  You'd be surprised the leaps and bounds you'll make.

You're not alone friend.  We're in this entrepreneur community together.  Feel free to write me for any question you might have at:

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Invest in your health | Yes.  I'm a firm believer on the matter.  However I'm writing this to you feeling super sluggish and combating wanting to hibernate due to the winter season... even in sunny San Diego.  So I'm going to inhale a smoothie after I write this ; )

As a busy wife, mother, photographer and entrepreur I need to invest in me and my health as equally as much as I give to the mentioned above.  That starts with eating right first thing in the morning (along with my bucket of coffee ; )  I usually start off my mornings with a nutrient enriched smoothie.

Smoothies are a fast way to kick start your day and feed your body with what it needs to keep going.  One of my favorites I make is a Kale/Berry Smoothie.

 Nutrient packed in Vitamins A-D, Protein, Iron, Calcuium and Omega's my body is totally fed and rejuvenated (possibly my soul too because it's so freakin'  healthy ; )

Recipe to jump start your mornings:

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Frozen Black Berries & Raspberry Blend
  • 1/2 Cup of Shredded Kale
  • 3/4 Cup of Plain Chobani Yogurt
  • 1/2 of a Banana
  • 2 TBSP of Honey
  • 1 TBSP of Almond Butter
  • 1 TBSP of Chia Seeds
  • Blend, Enjoy and Slay Your Day!

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Mornings are rough.  It can be hard waking up if you are not a morning person. Oh, and let us not forget the to-do's on our mind as soon as we wake up.  These things can instantly cause a negative morning.  As much as I'm not a morning person I'm more so not a person who likes to set up the day negative as soon as I get out of bed.  So here is my morning routine and priorities that I do to set my day off right for myself, family/friends and business.

if you see something beautiful in someone, speak it

A quote from an interior designer that I just adore, Ruthie Lindsey,  spoken simplistically & straight to the point:


I recently was paid the compliment "You love and live boldly, Lacey."  

The thing is the person who paid me this compliment had/has no idea that the source of this boldness was derived from being a survivor of child abuse... Physically, mentally & emotionally.   A child who always felt not quite loved, who felt insecure a lot, dumb & always inadequate. Who lived with anxiety a lot and fear. Who was taught that I deserved my child abuse when I was being "bad".  

Hearing this compliment sure put some pep in my step and reminded me to continue to ignore those that want to dull my sparkle because they are afraid to shine.  
To keep on living and loving boldly because of the example it gives & to tell people more what is beautiful about them.  
You never know the story of a person. You never know how hearing that simple compliment might have given them something they truly need to continue to aspire and/or possibly heal.

So, if you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.

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On an entrepreneurial/creative high, we're getting things accomplished and knocked out of the way. Giving out high-fives left and right!

The following week rolls around.  Same grind.  Then the next.  Then the next. To where it starts to resemble the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray.  Then it happens... loss of motivation.

When this happens to me it's not because I stopped loving what I do.  It's because I have been sitting in the same office, my office, for a few weeks straight.  For a creative mind, that's a no go. I need stimulation with sights, sounds & sunlight.  So what do I do?  I GET OUT OF THE OFFICE.  I change my scenery and work from somewhere else.  It could be a cute coffee joint, a park, a local winery or like this week... the beach.  A change of scenery refreshes the senses and you're still getting your work done.  

It's YOUR business... who says you have to work enclosed by four walls? ; )


 The fear of "failing."  The "what- if's." These little things we let circulate in our brain and hold us back from daring to do our dream.  But here is what I think and that I have fully applied to all things in life:

If you are not failing then you are not moving.  Just embrace it.  Shake the negative feels off.  Emotions are temporary.  Learn from it.  Keep it moving.  Apply the new knowledge the next time. The best way I have learned was just to stop dreaming about it and just DARE MYSELF TO DO. 

Washington DC Photographer |  Lacey O