Amy Stein Photography was launched unofficially in January of 2011. I was in my 10th year of teaching Middle School Math and Science when my husband and I found out we were very unexpectedly pregnant with our third child. My boys were 10 and 7 years old and we had thought we were done having kids! This shock changed our lives in so many ways. We added pink to our world finally when we discovered it was a girl, we moved to a larger house, gave up my car for a mini van, and much more! In order to make those changes to fit our growing family we both needed extra jobs of course. My husband was teaching all day and working outside of the home in the evenings and my daughter was already in day care all day while I taught so I needed a way to make extra money while being home with my kids in the evenings and on the weekends. I am an entrepreneur at heart and I just started exploring interests and business ideas. I loved looking at another photographer's work and just wanted pics like she was producing for my own daughter and just set out to figure it out! That desire for pics of my daughter mixed with my entrepreneur spirit and need for an extra job just merged together and Amy Stein Photography was born. I am a very determined person when my mind is set to something and I do not give up easily. It was rough, very rough, at the start but I just kept learning and trying. I have a Bachelor's degree in Education and nearly a Master's Degree as well in education. But, as far as the photography world, I am completely self taught! For the next two years I worked hard at building my business and improving my skills while still teaching full time.
By the third year it became too much to handle. My client load had become too large for me to manage while still teaching full time. My stress level became so high as I tried to do lesson plans and give 100% of myself to my students while also editing and giving 100% of myself to my business while still wanting to give 100% of myself to my family. I didn't need to be a math teacher to figure out this math was not possible! I was stretched way too thin and felt I was failing in all three areas of my life because of it. I knew at this point a decision had to be made. I either had to give up teaching, or give up my business. Doing both and keeping the business part time seemed impossible to me as I had a horrible time telling people no and limiting my sessions. I loved teaching, I loved my students and those relationships. But, I was very burned out on the politics in the education world and the strict box that I was kept in creatively as well as the salary that had no hope of ever growing. Teaching I was forced to work multiple jobs to pay my bills and I was tired of this. So, I took a huge leap of faith and gave up my teaching job to pursue my business full time. This was such a scary decision. My retirement, my benefits, my guaranteed paycheck, my college loans/degree were all in the teaching world. To give that all up for a dream when you have a family of 5 to support is scary. But, I figure you have to take chances to move forward and I have always been one to jump not shy away in fear. So....I took that leap of faith and it has landed me where I am today!
While Amy Stein Photography unofficially launched in 2011 with the birth of my daughter, it became more official when I quit teaching at the end of the 2013/2014 school year. In August of 2014 I became a full time Photographer/Entrepreneur and have never looked back since. I honestly thought that once my daughter hit kindergarten I would probably go back to teaching and that the photography thing would just be a temporary job to allow me to be home with her until she went to school. But, she is already in 1st grade this year and at this point I do not have desires to return to my teaching job. I have fallen in love with the world of Photography and love working for myself. So, I have been at this for 7 years total, 4 years it has been full time and I have so many dreams of where it can go still. I am super excited for what 2018 can bring and hope to someday be able to merge my love for teaching with my love of photography.