We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Midgley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I used to think that work life balance had to be a true balance, that the scales always had to be even or I was doing something wrong. I spent years believing there was something “wrong” with me because I couldn’t seem to get things “right,” that I was always sacrificing one thing to be able to do another, like staying late at work meant I was not present for my kids or having to stay home with a sick child meant I was letting someone down at work. It wasn’t until I shifted my mindset and got out of the thought pattern that I had to manage all the things that I learned it’s more about work life harmony than balance. It’s acknowledging that spending extra time on a project or something that is is fulfilling means that I can be more present at home with my family or friends. It’s understanding that sometimes more time and energy will need to be spent working and sometimes I will need to unplug and focus my energy elsewhere, and that balancing everything is really a myth.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Eons ago, I was a social worker. I spent over 15 years helping others develop new skills to adapt to changes brought on by illness or injury. I learned a lot about people, people’s needs, and people’s stories in that role.
Fast-forward to about 10 years ago when I needed to make a change, so I focused on turning my photography hobby into my profession. I took on building my business like I take on everything else: with passion, fervor, and a little sass. Since that time, I’ve been growing my business, my brand, and my family.
I get a ton of support from my two kiddos, my husband, and my tribe who are all part of my story. I get to wake up each day and enjoy what I do and the people I get to do it with. I get to help people tell their stories. I get to help people build their confidence to realize their greatness.
How do I do that?
I work with clients in a few different ways to meet the same purpose: to elevate their brand.
I’m a photographer, so I help clients build their brand through visual storytelling. Each experience is customized to include elements of the business, the why, and the story.
I’m a storyteller, so I listen respectfully to others to determine how to best share their story. Each story is unique, so I work closely with clients to share their story in a way that is professional, authentic, engaging, dynamic, and compelling.
I’m a content marketing strategist, so I learn about clients and their business to develop a marketing strategy that is stress free, comfortable, and collaborative. Each client and business aligns differently, so I work closely with clients to make sure their ideas come to fruition.
I’m a full-service studio owner, so I have a place for non-commercial creators to access photo and video materials. Each creator is different, so we have a ton of options, including webinar and hybrid workshops at The Studio Cary.
I’m a podcast co-host, so I get to work with my friend Sarah Madras on Girls Who Do Stuff. Each story we share comes from someone who is freaking amazing, which makes it a blast to share.
Who do I work with?
My clients are entrepreneurs, business owners, and influencers who are ready to increase their impact on the world by becoming more visible and elevating their brand through storytelling and imagery. Sometimes, those clients have a vision that they need to bring to fruition. Sometimes, those clients are stuck on what to do and how to do it. That’s where I come in.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love living in North Carolina, so if we had a week we’d start in my little town of Apex and go to La Rancherita for pineapple jalapeno margaritas and some delicious food, then we’d head over to Fresh Local Ice Cream for, well, ice cream. There are some great shops like The Doodling Bug, Adventures in Bloom, and Stylish Living on Salem Street as well. We would spend a day in Raleigh going to the NC Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, and take a day in Durham to wander the Tobacco Trail. Of course the visit would have to be during hockey season so we could go to a Carolina Hurricanes game. We’d take a couple days and go to the Outer Banks and the crystal coast, visiting some beach towns and relaxing. Then we’d head over to Asheville and Boone for a couple days in the mountains.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give one shoutout to the fabulous Sarah Madras. She and I co-host the Girls Who Do Stuff podcast. She and I have created a partnership where we hold space for others to show up and be vulnerable, and it’s because of our trust in one another and our ability to have hard conversations that we’re able to create amazing content with our guests during their interviews. Aside from our show, she is my biggest cheerleader, reminding me to celebrate even the smallest of wins and gain perspective when things aren’t going the way I want them to.
Another shoutout goes to my marketing genius, the lovely Sam Baker. She and I met at a networking event and have turned a working relationship into a true friendship and business collaboration. She helps me balance my wild ideas with executable marketing actions. She totally gets my sense of humor and creates marketing materials that represent both my professionalism AND my quirkiness. We are a great team.
Somer Handley Danielle Douglas