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Life & Work with Renata Terra Lutz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Renata Terra Lutz.

Hi Renata, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Hi, I’m Renata, also known as The he Portrait Mama. Originally from Brazil, I have been in the United States for a long time now and am happily raising my family here. Photography has always been a love of mine, but it wasn’t my career initially. I am actually a scientist by training!

I grew up knowing that I wanted to work as a doctor or in some other medical career. I went to school to become a pharmacist, but something happened as I prepared to graduate from pharmacy school. The graduation invitation was a booklet, and the first page was full of photos of the graduates as toddlers. Each of us was supposed to submit an adorable picture of ourselves at that age.

I started to search through my parents’ photo boxes and albums for the perfect picture and came face-to-face with an enormous disappointment. There were almost ZERO pictures of me that weren’t blurry, fuzzy, and unrecognizable. It turns out that, although my dad loved gadgets and getting new cameras, he was a terrible photographer! I was so frustrated that there were no good photos anywhere to show what a wonderful childhood I’d had.

I made a promise to my future self and my future children that I would document their lives in detail, so they could look back at their childhood and show it off to their own children. I promised that I would document their lives in detail, so they could look back at their childhood and show it off to their own children. It was the first time I felt strongly about keeping memories alive through images. That was also the first spark that motivated me to learn and take on photography as a hobby.

I have enjoyed photography since I was young. In fact, I vividly remember wasting rolls and rolls of film during a family trip just for the joy that the little click of the button brought me. I also have a particularly special passion for Polaroid cameras. My not-so-slight obsession with these began during my teenage years, and I have several antique models in my home. There has just always been something so fascinating about watching a photo develop right in front of my eyes. (I guess the scientist in me still sneaks out now and then.) But even with this love, I never imagined photography could be a career.

After grad school, my interest in photography grew. I started to study it more seriously, with my dog as my favorite subject. My first professional venture was as a second shooter at weddings. Soon, I knew that I wanted to do this photography thing all the time. My business was born in a spur-of-the-moment decision. I was completely naive and didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I had a deep desire to learn newborn photography.

I really wanted to take a certain newborn photography workshop. But all participants had to have a registered, legal business to enroll. It was non-negotiable. Scrambling, I got all the pieces in order and officially launched my photography business in 2016 so that I could take the class. And that was that!

Now, I spend my days capturing beautiful moments for newborns, families, and ambitious mompreneurs. I value this opportunity to help families document their important, special moments and help small businesses grow.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My main obstacle was always the mindset that I was not trained to be in business, aka the main obstacle was always myself. I come from a ‘starving scientist’ mindset where making money and being profitable is dirty and wrong. I see this in other creative entrepreneurs as well and it takes a lot of work to overcome.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a newborn, family, and personal branding photographer for mompreneurs. I work with moms in all stages of motherhood and business. As a mom myself I know the incredible happiness and I’ve been through the biggest hardships of motherhood. I’m referred by my clients as a calm and nurturing person and known to make things easy and stress free. I pride myself in that and in understanding and respecting how crazy mom life is and how precious time is.

What makes you happy?
My happiness comes from my family. The simple, silly moments of tickles in bed, living room dances, my husband’s dad jokes, and the wagging tails of my dogs. The beach fills my soul and I love planning getaways and staycations (who doesn’t like a nice hotel room?).

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Meg Marie Photography
Sophie Crew Photography

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