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Balancing Fatherhood and Photography

Work/Life balance isn't just for moms. Decatur dad Luis Mendoza talks about family life and his photography business, studioMendoza.

studioMendoza Photography is a boutique photo studio that has a specialty in corporate portraiture. It's located near downtown Decatur and works throughout the greater Atlanta and north Georgia. They’ll shoot most projects with the possible exceptions of weddings and bar mitzvahs.

Is this your full-time job? Aside from being the major cabbie for my two kids (age 7 and 10) yes, this is my full-time job. Wait, the dryer just went off, I’ve got some folding to do ...

How long have you had your own business? I worked for a large Atlanta Real Estate firm for close to 12 years as their director of photography, shooting all their real estate and agent-driven projects and including any and all marketing media for them. After my company was bought by a huge soulless entity (thank you very much Warren Buffett ...), the real estate bottom fell out and I was let go. For a while, the same company was my biggest client.

What made you want to start your own company? Now answering only to myself, and I’m able to focus specifically on architecture to portraiture.

What's the scariest thing you've had to overcome to achieve your dreams? Well, once I achieve my dreams I’ll be sure to let you know how I accomplished it.

Advice to other parents who want to do something they love for a living? Working as I do out of my studio and home, the one thing that I would recommend is to leave the job in the home office space. Once you’re with the family, don’t let the geographic closeness creep into the home.

What are your thoughts on marketing? I think that the hardest thing is the continual perpetual marketing that needs to be done. I hope that it eventually becomes just a bit easier.

How do you manage parenting and being your own boss? My job has really afforded me more time with the kids, something that I never had when I was 9 to 5. Most times I’m very very thankful for that.

What do you tell your kids about your work? I tell them that Daddy has an underground lair where he works for the government on super duper secret spy stuff. Daddy takes pictures of all kinds of stuff, every day is an adventure behind the camera.

For more on Decatur dad and photographer Luis Mendoza check out www.studioMendoza.com

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