Our Meet a Mom today, is a special one! Samantha Schaub is a local mom of 2, and she is not only an incredibly talented photographer that has personally captured many precious moments for us, but she is also one of the most kind and honest souls you will meet. A little over a week ago, Sam took some family pictures for us, and she did something special that we have never experienced at a family shoot and that we couldn’t stop talking about – before bringing in the kids, she took a moment with each of us and our husbands to help quiet our inner thoughts, to focus on that relationship without the kids, and then, she took some pictures of us just as couples. As a mom and wife herself, she just gets it. She gets that these shoots can be stressful, that they can feel unnatural, that the last time any of us had professional pictures with our spouse was on our wedding day, that marriage after kids can be difficult and we don’t often find the time to focus on it – it was such a thoughtful and unique moment and one that ultimately produced some beautiful photos, and showed how much she cares about her client’s experience.
Sam has loved and specialized in family photography for a couple years, but this past year, she has found a love for elopement photography and feels in her soul that that is her future! Check out her interview below to learn about the deeper reasoning behind her passion for elopement photography, learn about her super cool airstream project and dream, why she loves living a little outside of the city (in Brookshire), and so much more! Plus, she is currently booking holiday minis here!!!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
Born & raised in Houston, Texas. I grew up in Katy and Brookshire. I’ve gone back and forth from the city to the country a few times. We have since settled out in the country, my mom and my brother’s family live here, too. I’m really loving the community style living we have, especially in this season of life. It takes a village after all!
What’s your favorite thing about raising your family in Brookshire?
So many things! I love being outdoors & in nature. We literally just go outside and we have our own park. There’s tons to explore and so many learning opportunities for my little guys. We live off a dirt road and that has provided hours of entertainment, rain or shine! I also just love having my close knit community here, it’s priceless.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
Two boys! Miles is 4 years and Sage is 1 years old. Both summer babies!
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
These household jobs have been split up pretty well between my husband and I, so thankfully, we’re a pretty good yin & yang as far as our preference of chores go! I really don’t like putting up the laundry. I don’t mind folding it and even hanging it. But the pile of folded laundry that needs to be sorted into drawers and what not is irritating!
The one thing we have had significant trouble figuring out is dinners. We can’t seem to get into a rhythm of knowing what we want to make for dinner, having all the ingredients, and starting to cook before the time comes when everyone is starving and upset, so we end up just getting Chipotle 🤷♀️
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
Freezing yogurt tubes for teething babe. Plus my oldest likes them as well and it’s a nice thing to have in the summer!
What are your favorite local things to do in Katy/Brookshire? (with kiddos or just for mom!)
We like going to different parks. I love finding ones with unique play areas, super plus if they’re shaded! Exploration Park & Callegari Park are some of our favorites.
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just or yourself?
This is hard for me. Between running my business mostly in the evenings and trying to balance family & alone time with my husband, it’s hard. It’s also hard not to spend any “free time” I have on building my business.
I do go to counseling every other week (and have on & off since I was 15), which isn’t exactly relaxing.. like I’d honestly rather get a massage sometimes. But it is a really important part of self-care for me.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I had a very eclectic schooling experience. I was homeschooled, went to a self-initiated learnings school, public & private schools, and eventually dropped out of high school in 9th grade and started taking community college courses at 17 🙂
Another surprising/neat thing: I had planned home births with both boys.. in the home I grew up in! Having a home birth was something I wanted to do since I was a teenager, not sure where I got that idea, but it stuck and felt super important to me… and still is, I’m a huge home/natural birth advocate 🙂
How long have you been a photographer and have you always had an eye for it?
My interest peaked around highschool, a friend of mine was really into photography and I thought it was amazing what he could create shooting in manual mode. I took a black & white film development course in college. Then toyed with digital cameras the years following. I started shooting engagement pictures for my friends and family & babies as their families grew.
Tell us about your photography business and when you decided to pursue it outside of just being a passion?
I decided to turn it into a business about 2 years ago. For years I was charging $50-100 a session. The last year I’ve done so much work on learning more about business and furthering my knowledge behind the lens. Investing in educational courses from some of the leaders in my industry has been game changing.
I’ve done a lot of internal reflecting and learning new things about myself. Discovering my passions and unique skills that can make an impact in others’ lives and our world. I realize that saying I’m meant to be an elopement photographer might come off as superficial or like a strange thing to even consider as someone’s “life purpose” or as a way to make significant change. But it’s truly about being more than JUST a photographer.
In my business, so many of the clients I serve have become good friends. I get to capture their life’s MOST precious moments. I’ve found ways to connect with others on a much deeper level than just being a hired professional. Offering support and empowering others to use their voice, be true to themselves & live a more intentional & connected life.
What did you do before starting your business?
I was a veterinary technician before I had kiddos! At one point I thought I’d be a veterinarian and lived in Colorado attending CSU. I came back to Texas shortly after because I missed my family. Being on my own up there was difficult for me even though I loved living there. When I came back I worked for a few years as a vet tech at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. I quit to be a stay-at-home-mom towards the end of my pregnancy. Having my first babe peaked my interest in learning more about my camera so that I would be able to take better pictures of my little family.
What are your areas of specialty? And tell us about your passion for elopement photography.
For years I specialized in families & newborns. I added weddings about a year ago, thinking I’d eventually specialize in that. I learned about intimate weddings & elopements about 6 months ago and have basically had tunnel vision since. I signed up for an educational course that’s not only had a huge impact on my business but has transformed the way I think in my own personal life.
I want to support interested couples in making the brave & intentional decision to elope. I hear so often, that couples feel taken over by the waves that make up the wedding industry and cause stress in a day that is meant to be about a sharing of love. For their wedding day to be about their experience instead of the performance feel a traditional wedding tends to have. To encourage deep and meaningful connections, support difficult choices, create amazing experiences, share the importance of getting back to the basics and treating our planet well!
I still love shooting with families, but I want to incorporate travel. This feels like a way I have my cake and eat it too … which I’m all about!
How has being a mama yourself shaped you as a business owner and photographer?
It’s made me really aware of how I spend my time. Since time is so limited, I try to make the most of it. Multi-tasking has always felt like something I’ve done well, but motherhood and being an entrepreneur has taken it to a whole-nutha-level. I’ve slowed down on the amount of time I spend in front of the TV and mindlessly scrolling on social media. It’s also helped me feel like I can relate to parents and children a lot more. I’m constantly thinking of ways to make my client’s and their children’s experience more enjoyable.
We have to know about your airstream! We have seen on social media that you have one you are renovating…. Are you still working on it? What is the dream for it?
Yessss. It’s currently at an Airstream restoration shop in Georgia (@moontrailers). That is owned by the father of a woman named Sheena, who renovated an Airstream (@mavistheairstream) alongside her husband. She is my inspiration!
We originally purchased it in March of 2018 with dreams of doing it all/mostly ourselves. Daniel and I have some experience in house flipping and he’s super handy/ He’s constantly surprising me with how much he knows. It’s usually just enough to get the job done or takes minimal research because he understands the lingo of that world.
Anyway, I’m not sure what we were thinking. I was pregnant with our second. We got a lot of demolition done before he was born, there are a few time-lapse videos while I was very pregnant that are pretty funny. It sat untouched for a few months after he was born and we decided to just bite the bullet and drive it up to Moon Trailers (now Nuabode) to have them do it for us. So it didn’t sit in our garage for years. So, Daniel and I dropped it off there this past February. They project it to be done before the end of the year and we are so dang excited!
If my life could go exactly as I want it. We’d live minimally in our Airstream, travel the U.S., homeschooling & learning through exploring nature, and I’d shoot adventure elopements as our sole source of income.
How do you balance being a mom, wife, and business owner? Do you experience the dreaded mom guilt! If so, how have you handled it?
It’s hard. It’s so hard. I’m still learning and working with my husband on ways we can both live a more balanced life. I take it as a blessing that I don’t feel mom guilt. I try and stay super present when I’m with them, and I feel like I spend “enough” time with them throughout the week. I feel very fortunate that I can let go and not worry about them when I’m not there.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
There are a lot of “cheesy” quotes that feel so accurate when you’re in the thick of it. So those are what come to mind, haha.
“They’re only little for such a little while.” is a big one for me.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” 😂
What are the future plans and goals for your photography business?
I’d love to travel in the Airstream full time and have a successful elopement photography business that provides enough income so we can travel the U.S. while the kiddos are young. I truly believe being connected to nature is such an invaluable thing. I think it helps us be more compassionate, grounded, & care about the impact we make on our planet and our own bodies. So I want to provide an environment that reflects that for my kiddos, especially in these developmental years.
To learn more about Sam and her photography business, check out her website and follow her on social media!
Sam’s blog on elopement destinations in Texas: https://samanthaschaub.com/blog/where-to-elope-on-your-texas-destination-wedding/