natural, heart-led newborn photography


Some years ago the thought of running my own business seemed like a dream. Being able to work according to MY schedule, not having to please a demanding boss, taking breaks whenever I want to – what an amazing thought! Of course, once I was in the thick of it, I realised quickly that running a business was hard work and that I am in fact the most demanding boss I could ever have.

I constantly had the feeling that I’m never doing enough. The feeling that something or someone; time, client, other photographer, style, momentum would drive past me and leave me standing alone on that bus stop. And in my mind that would have been the last bus.

There was always a pile of work that I couldn’t solve, always a need to work a bit more. When one’s having such an inspiring job & working ”for myself” there is always a reason to work a bit more. There is always a reason to do ”just a quick editing” cause it’s fun and doesn’t feel like true work feels - heavy.

So basically I lived through that joke about switching 9am-5pm work to 247 work. I’m sure so many photographer still do.

I started to switch my business more towards that dream I had. I refined my style, created a working model that fits for me - babies during winter and families at summer time. I up leveled everything, started to charge what I needed to afford that life I wanted and what my work and time was worth. I stopped working in the evenings and nights and for a moment, every now and then, had the feeling of nailing it all.

Then my husband moved to Denmark for 8 months and I needed not only to take care of kids & the house but run a business too (I had booked 40 shoots in 2 months 380 kilometers away from where we live). And cause my life seemed to fall apart at that very moment I decided that I could manage solve this problem we all have: The problem about being enough.

 My very extensive mission was to solve the problematic dilemma between family and work. I was sure there must be that one effective way to be creatively productive AF for a couple of hours a day and then the peace of mind arrives and we can have a joyful leisure time with our family without losing ourselves in thoughts about the work.


In all my scenarios the key was doing more. Like there must be something wrong with me because I’m not effective enough. 

If I just wake up at 5 instead of 6. 
If I just start doing morning yoga or meditation. 
If I just prepare all the meals on Sunday. 
If I just exercise more so I would get more energy. 
If I just stop eating sugars.
If I just...

And burnout. Small (did I have a choice; kids & business), but still a burnout. It started with stress symptoms and aches all over the body and I understood the biggest lesson about the balance at that time.

The more I thought of that mindfuck of efficiency, the less I could create (or do nothing else either). The more I wanted to find that theory and style that actually would work, the farther I ended up.

But the time and managing it isn't possible the way I dreamed. Perfectly and without loopholes. The more effective one becomes, the more there is work to do. Things take their time to happen, and for me not to admit that caused an illusion of failing time after time. Even if I wasn't failing, I just wasn't that efficient that, ina dream world, someone could have been.

Spoiler alert: There is no key, there is now a pattern with what you could make it all. There is no solution. There is only time we can use at something, not everything.

But that's the thing in balance. To survive as a mom, a photographer and a business owner (yes, being a photographer and a business owner are two very different, separate jobs) losing control of time (aaand pretty much everything) is the key.

I ended up seeing the success in today instead of in the future. Giving up that complex about the perfect moment in the future when we are READY when we have done everything, the house is clean, and nothing stops us is bliss. That time won't come. Let me tell you that.

To me, accepting that is the key to everyday success. I do what I can in a day for my own and others' happiness, and that's enough. And I get so much more done from acceptance than in pushing mode.

Then how I balance, otherwise than accept the limits of me, time and universe?

I've created a business that fits to my life not the other way around. I can have pauses during the days; lunch breaks, pilates or just a cosy moment with my hubby and Netflix. I travel to my studio for days but then I'm usually at home when the kiddos come back home from school.

Balance for me is that I can manage my days and rely on the business that I've built - both as a brand and also economically. 

Oh, isn't that a bit like the dream I had years ago?

I just didn't see the way how I would end up here. Instead of that things would have just clicked that way I needed to go the long run and experience my own struggles with not being even close enough with my expectations.

HI fellow

I'm Helianna Malinen, newborn & family photographer based in Finland. Through eight years of building and running a successful photography business and balancing life as a mom of 3 I've learned much more than I ever thought possible. Now I want to share this with you, so that you can build a business that truly looks and feels like you.


Start Here


Join me on the Gram for plenty of tips on how to keep things in balance while running a small business as a mom of three, insights into my client process, advice on newborn, motherhood and family photography and much more. Can't wait to connect!