My Mom, Odette Laurie: The Business Coach

My 16-year-old Michaela, a budding photographer, felt it was time she had her say. She’s submitted an article for this week’s blog – read all about what it’s like to live with me, unedited, from a teenager’s perspective! Enjoy!


Never say die!

by Michaela Laurie

I got my “Never Say Die” approach from my mom, Odette Laurie.

Having a mom like Odette Laurie is tough. I mean I love her but she’s like a coach you can’t leave. She is constantly giving me advice, taking NO excuses and giving me a lot of support.

At my age all I have is excuses for things. But having someone like my Mom makes me think more about the possibility of success: without the dumb excuses.

The advice she gives me is extremely helpful towards my preparation in becoming a professional photographer. I’m got to admit, she gets on my nerves probably as much as I get on hers, but I know she’s just trying to help. There are definitely a lot of conversations at our house around doing things the right way, (not the easy way) which I know, will help in the long run.

My mom is always here talking to me about the things I need to know in order to achieve a great level of success in this business.

I recently applied to a ton of photo contests to get my name and photos out there. There were three major philosophies that my Mom has taught me that really came in handy here and it came down to this: It takes time, energy and sacrifice to build a business – and no one can get in your way if you have a positive mindset.

TIME & ENERGY: It took about 3 hours to shoot, edit, upload and display just one picture on a website. So you can imagine how much time it took to enter multiple contests where I needed to ensure that my pictures were good enough to compete with the rest of the world!

SACRIFICE: This work is going to kill me and I’ll need to make a million sacrifices before I get the things I want. An example of this is to spend money to make money. That’s what I did with the contests. Each one costs about $30 or more to enter and so far I have entered over 7 in 2 months. Every bit of money I make from sales now, or in the future, will go towards my photography.

POSITIVE MINDSET: She’s taught me not to listen to other people’s negative feedback, that you can make enough money and achieve your dreams if you try hard enough. The going rate for photographers is extremely low and most people I have talked to don’t believe in it, and ultimately, me. They tell me to quit this job and to find something else more practical that I could actually make a living off of. But, the truth is, I CAN make a living on this if I really try to become the best of the best. The only person in your way is you.

The outcome of applying these philosophies was that I never gave up and eventually, after many uploads and countless hours of shooting, editing and showing my pictures, they finally got picked! See.Me has chosen three of my photographs to be included in their upcoming digital exhibition, The Story of the Creative.

I want to be a photographer really badly but I know I won’t get there without help. I need support, tough love and honesty and that is what my Mom gives me. She is always at the back of my mind helping me remember why I want to do this: to pursue my passion as a photographer – no matter how hard it may be.