Shabana Jiwaji, Founder of Shabana Photography
Specialising in newborn and family photography in the comfort of your own home
I devoted a decade of my life to building up a successful career in telecoms – reaching senior management status for a major company. I’m proud of what I achieved and have many fond memories, but my priorities shifted – both personally and professionally – after becoming a mum.
Returning to work, I entered into a job-sharing arrangement and worked part-time hours, which afforded me the time I needed to settle into motherhood and be there for my new family. I continued to work incredibly hard, but looking back I realise that my passion for the industry had started to dwindle.
When I was on maternity leave with my second child, I was ready for a fresh start. The time to go felt right because the company wanted me to go back to full-time hours which were US-centric and that simply wasn’t feasible with two young children. I’ve always loved taking pictures for pleasure, so I decided to embark upon a new challenge and enrolled to study for a BTEC in Photography – leaving telecoms behind.
The BTEC is keeping me busy and it won’t be completed until next year, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. With a renewed sense of purpose, I’m putting all of my studying into practice and reaping the rewards because my business has really taken off! Word of mouth has played a big part, as has social media, and I feel so happy to be working with parents and children in the comfort of their own homes to capture memories which are often missed in today’s hectic world.
As well as the photography, I’ve also trained as a breastfeeding peer supporter and I volunteer at my local hospital in South-West Hertfordshire as often as possible. This undertaking was very personal to me, as I know how lonely and difficult breastfeeding can be for new mums. Fortunately, I had a strong support network but some women can easily become overwhelmed and experience PND if they don’t feel heard or supported.
Since becoming self-employed I’ve discovered there’s an awful lot you need to learn, but if you embrace the opportunity and find the right people to help you along the way, anything is possible.