Hey babes! I’m super excited to announce a new series on the blog called “Mama’s In Charge” ♡

This series will feature moms that kill it in their professional world but also put their entire hearts into being the best moms they can be! I’m inspired by these women and I think you’ll be inspired by them as well. Know a mom that you think dominates and always strives to be their best self? Let me know and they may be the next guest on “Mama’s In Charge”!

But let’s get on to today’s ~ and our very first ~ Mama’s In Charge mama…

Anela Benavides of Anela Benavides Photography!

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Hi Anela! I’m so glad to have you as one of our beautiful “Mama’s In Charge”. Why don’t you introduce yourself?

Heya! I’m Anela Benavides, a Wedding Photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii! I specialize in all things love: Couples + Weddings/Elopements and I THRIVE with laid back lovers who are adventurous, carefree and modern! I am also a wife & mother to my amazing kiwi husband Brandon Benavides and mama to my sweet daughter Mahina and our lil son on the way!

How did you get into photography and did you know that this was what you wanted to do full-time since then?

When my daughter was born I knew I wanted to get a camera to document life moments of hers and capture our journey as a family! What was once a hobby turned into a FULL BLOWN business! I started shooting for fun and immediately discovered my passion for COUPLES. I thrived with two lovers that I could hang with and be their third wheel. I could see myself making this a career. Especially as a stay at home mom at the time, I thought this would be the best fitting job for me. I took that dream and made it into a reality! I’ve never looked back since!

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What gave you the courage to take your business full-time?

Honestly, at the time it seemed like an easy decision to take my business full-time. When I commit to something in my life I always always always commit 100%, giving it my everything. I’m the type of person that cannot be pulled in different directions at once. Once I set my mind on one thing that I really want, I chase it until it happens for me. I left college to pursue my dreams as a photographer. It was the best decision for me, my business and my family!

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Have you always been a creative person? Where do you find inspiration/creativity when your tank is a little low?

I’ve always been a dreamer, I’ve always dreamed of such big goals in my life and want to pursue them being creative in my own way. When I struggle to find inspiration or creativity I often go out and shoot just for the heck of it. When you take photos for clients they decide on their outfits, locations, hair + makeup, etc. When I go to shoot “just because” I get to style the session that I see in my head- I get to create and have the free ability to whatever I want and it brings me back to the reason why I first started in the first place. It’s a simple reminder that can change your outlook and inspire you time and time again.

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On top of being an amazing photographer, you’re also an independent woman, a wife, a mother, and you’re pregnant! You have so, so many important roles. What’s worked best for you and your family when it comes to balancing all of these roles?

There was a season in life where I was pulled in so many different directions. For a year I was going to college full time for Business Marketing. I was working two jobs- one as a Teacher’s Assistant and also a Photographer. I was trying to start my new business on my own as well as care for my new daughter and husband and somehow between all that find time to work on myself as well. It was insanely difficult. I decided it was time to cut out everything that was not a main priority to me at the time. I dropped out of college, I left the TA job and focused on building my business, building my family and building myself! I’ve come to understand that I need to be my absolute best self to be the BEST mother, wife, photographer and every other role I need to be. Balance is a tricky thing but once you are your best self everything else falls into place no matter what roles you carry in life.

JOHN & LAUREN'S WEDDING

I’m only six months postpartum with Noah but I already have so many things I wish I could tell myself when he was first born. What’s something you wish you could tell yourself when you first became a mother?

I wish I told myself that it’s okay to care about yourself and have love for your body, your own dreams, your own ambitions and it’s okay to chase that. I feel like there are so many women who struggle with “mom guilt”. I wish I knew early on that it’s okay to leave my baby for 30 minutes to workout and better myself. It’s okay to start my own career at the same time of being a mom, it’s okay to want more. In the end, my children will get to see their mama work her butt off and chasing her dreams. They won’t resent me for that, instead they will look up to me and see how I was able to chase huge dreams while still being present and being an amazing mama building a future for our little fam!

I love that! Similarly to the previous question, what’s something you wish you could tell yourself when you first decided/were debating on taking photography full-time?

This was a full leap of faith for me and it didn’t take me very long in deciding where my heart was. I’ve taken that leap and never looked back and am soooo happy I did!

MACKENZIE + KADIN'S WEDDING

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Anything you think is valuable for LBL readers to know, whether it’s about business, life, love, motherhood, etc.?

I think it’s important to know that we’re not capable of doing absolutely EVERYTHING. As a wife, mother and independent woman I always felt this need to do absolutely everything on my own in business, in life, in motherhood and more but to be honest we need HELP and that’s okay. I cannot tackle every single job on my own, or do everything at once, I’m not capable of handling everything and it’s okay to ask for help and delegate jobs. I have found such an amazing balance in my life by hiring an assistant to help do smaller tasks that don’t need my attention right away, I have help with watching my daughter while away at work with my amazing husband and parents that live nearby. I also have hired an associate shooter recently to take on jobs that I cannot handle while having a newborn and going on maternity leave. I think it’s important to realize that we are not capable of everything, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to delegate and it’s okay to give your full attention to what needs you the most at that time.

Thank you so much for giving us an insight into your beautiful family and ever growing business. Drop your social handles so everyone can give you a follow!

I hope all of you got to know me a lil better thru this blog posts. I LOVE sharing my journey with others! If you are getting engaged or married just know I’m your girl and got you covered! I freaking LOVE hanging out with couples + am the best third wheel around! You can find me on:

 IG: @anelabenavides

Pinterest Anela Benavides

Website: http://www.anelabenavides.com 

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Okay, who else is so impressed and inspired by this beautiful mama and her AMAZING work?? Like, so good. You heard (read?) her, give her a follow, show her some love and keep her in mind for any engagements, elopements, and weddings! ♡

I hope you’re into this new series! Let me know if there are any other amazing mamas you think I need to link up with to get the tea on how they are in charge of their lives!

That’s all for today. Sending you all love + light.

xx,

Laurena