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Episode 04 | November 10, 2020

Jamie Speer

In this episode, we talk with Jamie Speer about setting boundaries and finding laughter and perfection in life's imperfect moments.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered person that this world needs.

Quick disclosure: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

jamie speer 1826 photography | that's a hard no podcast
Introducing Jamie Speer

In addition to being an amazing human, Jamie Speer is a wife, mom to 2 adorable boys, and the head photographer and owner of 1826 photographic. For the past decade, she has been capturing the most memorable moments for families. We love Jamie’s passion and drive for what she does. We admire Jamie’s entrepreneurial spirit and the fact that she has created a life that she loves. She has openly shared “I get to wake up every day and honestly say that I love what I do and I get to make a living doing it.”

Instagram: @1826photographic
Facebook: 1826photographic

Key Takeaways
  • The big boundary that Jaime set with her business was saying no to family photo sessions. At the time, she and her husband were trying to start a family, and the stress of those sessions interfered with her physical and mental well-being. So she said no, knowing that it would disappoint a lot of her clientele.
    • A few years later, once she’d had her boys, she changed her mind. By making room for herself and her personal priorities, she had the time to reconsider how to do family sessions, and now she does them differently – in a way that better fits in with the rest of her life.
    • It felt good and was a relief to say no. Even now, when looking back at it, she still feels that same sense of relief and empowerment, just thinking about it. Though, at the time she did have second thoughts once in a while.
    • Looking back, she realizes now it was because of making that decision that her business started to grow, as well as her family.
  • One tool Jaime uses to keep a positive mindset is to replace the word “have” with “get” – “I get to have four photoshoots today,” not I have to have four photoshoots today.”
  • Focus is a big part of Jaime’s life, both as a photographer and as a human. She tries to focus, choosing to be present and “in the moment,” when living her life. She uses this same mindset to capture captivating, candid moments when shooting her subjects, often surprising them with delightful images that truly express her clients’ personalities.
  • When asked if she ever feels pressure to capture “picture perfect” moments, Jaime says that “perfect is all relative.” She says capturing true moments, those little in-between moments, or a baby’s temper tantrum, those end up being the most “perfect” images.
  • What’s the biggest thing Jaime considers when deciding whether or not to take on a job? How it will fit in to the rest of her business and her life. She asks “is the stress worth saying yes to?” She tries to be strategic about what she takes on.
  • Self-care – It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour pedicure or massage. It can be 5 minutes of stretching, 3-minutes of listening to your favorite music, a good laugh, a hug, or lovingly expressing affirmations to your friends and family, and most importantly, to yourself. It’s a mindset, not an appointment on your calendar.
  • Finding “balance” as a working mom – This is a myth. There is no balance. There is counterbalance. Sometimes, you’ll need to focus on work and sometimes you’ll need to focus on family. It doesn’t mean that one or the other isn’t important. By giving one your focus at a given time, it will free you up to focus on the other at another time (so stop beating yourself up!).
  • Sarah’s quote of the day – “Check in with yourself before checking in with the world.”
  • Jaime’s “golden nugget” of advice – “It’s very easy to look from the outside and say ‘oh, this person has it all together.’ I don’t at any point feel like I have it all figured out or feel like I have it together. So I try to remember […], the other people that I’m looking at, they might not have figured it out, either.” 
Resources & Recommendations
  • Book – Sarah mentions knowing your “love language.” She’s referencing the work of Gary Chapman and his seminal book: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (Amazon link).
Credits and Thanks