How flexible creative work helps Connie be a great Mum without giving up her career

Post by
Marisa Young
How flexible creative work helps Connie be a great Mum without giving up her career

Connie Chan, a dedicated photographer who runs her own creative business, What She Pictures, is skilled at producing stunningly executed, scroll-stopping images. The content creator, who hails from Sydney, Australia, is one of the original members of the Creatively Squared community and an inspiration to many of us. Her effortlessly put together lifestyle flatlays and neat, tidy styling have us in awe with each image she captures.

Like many, Connie made the decision to take the time out of her professional photography career to begin her new journey as a mother to Avery, her beautiful daughter.

Connie has found that freelancing as a way to get back to doing the creative work she loves is very different from her previous professional life, but she has embraced the change. Thanks to opportunities from Creatively Squared, Connie's been able to work on content creation projects that fit her schedule while still being a dedicated Mum.

Connie has been warmly welcomed into our creator team, and we are excited to be a part of her path as she continues her professional photography career. She nailed her first project for Fantastic Noodles, created flawless stop motion animations for Neutrogena, and vibrant imagery for M&Ms, demonstrating that she is a creative chameleon who is at ease with a wide range of styles, colours, and techniques.

Keep scrolling down to get to know Connie more and be inspired by her creative style.

Let’s meet Connie

Hi, I’m Connie! I've been a photographer for my entire adulthood. I started exploring photography in high school way back when film and darkrooms were the norm. I went on to study commercial photography when digital cameras were just becoming good enough to compete with film. I went from commercial photography to travel to fashion and now I'm a product photographer when I'm not a stay-at-home mum.

I love shooting beauty and fashion accessories, but I'm also interested in the occasional food shoot. I'm a lover of flatlays shot under bright, crisp studio lights.

A sample of Connie’s beautiful flatlay work showing Connie’s signature style. Source: Connie Chan

Journey with Creatively Squared

I learned about Creatively Squared through the amazing community on Instagram. When I started to work again after my maternity leave, joining Creatively Squared gave me a way to balance being a stay-at-home mum with working part-time, flexible hours.

Some of Connie’s beautiful stop motion work for PediaSure. Source: Creatively Squared

The most enjoyable, and most challenging, project I've done for Creatively Squared was my recent work for Love, Beauty & Planet. It was the largest project I've done for CS and it was really challenging to create 24 unique stills and videos using the same background and only 4 main props (fruit ingredients). It was fun to really flex my creative muscles on such a colourful campaign.

“What can I say?! I absolutely love working with Connie - she is one of my go-to Aussie creators for beautiful flatlay, lifestyle assets. I’d had my eye on Connie’s profile for a while and when a flatlay style project for Fantastic Noodles popped up I couldn’t wait to send out a project offer. Since then I’ve regularly worked with Connie on multiple projects spanning different verticals such as haircare, skincare, food and even kids' nutrition.

Connie always delivers content to a high standard as well as being super reliable and, in general, just a dream to work with!”

- Kate Wilson, Account Manager

Tools of the Trade

I shoot on a Canon 5D Mark III with my trusty old Induro tripod. I've recently switched my lighting to Godox studio lights. For post-production, I like to edit in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

My favorite props would probably be flowers, little trays, and simple gold jewelry. I'm always on the hunt for great backdrops though—you can't have too many!

Most of my work is shot in my studio. It's actually an office space I share with my husband. I used to shoot a lot of my work at home, but after having a kid, that stopped being practical.

Connie in action creating content for Fantastic Snacks in the office studio space she shares with her husband. Source: Source: Connie Chan


Connie’s creative process

I am a one-person team: photographer, creative director, stylist, hand model, retoucher, and unfortunately, cleaner of the horrendous post-shoot mess. I like to have a rough idea of how I'd execute a brief before accepting the job, but other than a general plan, I like to wing it on the day. If I storyboard too much, I get too focused on my plan and sometimes miss new ideas that come to me in the moment.

Listening to music always helps my creative juices flow. I think it helps quiet the thoughts in my head so I can focus on feeling my way through a shoot.

Connie’s tasty flatlay results for Fantastic Snacks. Source: Creatively Squared

Finding inspiration

My current favourite photography Instagram accounts to follow are @florencejamescollective and @revisededitionstyle

Top creative tip

Lighting is everything.

What’s next for Connie?

I want to improve my work flow. I feel like a dinosaur with her old-school ways sometimes. Technologies and techniques have improved, but I've been slow to keep up.

Connie’s video work for Neutrogena. Source: Creatively Squared

A big thank you to you, Connie, for sharing your Creatively Squared journey with us. As a longtime follower of Connie and her work, we truly recommend following Connie’s journey further on her Instagram and her website.

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