Behind the Lens: photographer and children's book author, Beryl Ayn Young [Interview]

“The bigger message is how photography can be a connector. It can help us discover amazing things about ourselves, it can connect us closer to our kids, and to our world. It’s an amazing tool for hope, happiness, and healing.” – Beryl Ayn Young

Reading is one of our favorite activities in our home. My little girl loves to read alone and loves to be read to more than anything. {Okay, maybe not more than creating artwork.} Back in May, I met photographer Beryl Ayn Young and author of the new children’s book, Phoebe The Photographer: Gets a Camera (Paperback; $12.48 via Beryl and I are members of one of the most supportive group of creatives online, Rising Tide Society (RTS). I connected with her after I saw her post about her new book on our local Tuesday Together Facebook group one day. I immediately, without hesitation, liked and commented on her post, and just knew I had to share her amazing creative endeavor here on Always Creating™.
She’s one of the hardest working creative moms I’ve ever met and I’m so inspired by her creative businesses of online classes, courses, and Podcasts. She is changing the way mothers capture precious moments of their little ones and family one class at a time. You would be surprised how much we all have in common as moms; life is crazy busy for all of us with work, family, our businesses, and personal lives, and it is so easy to let go of our creative sides. Thankfully, Beryl is educating and showing us how to use our cameras to capture moments that will last forever.
About the Author—

© 2016 Alicia Bruce All Rights Reserved // Used by permission

Beryl Ayn Young, Photo Mom and Mentor is a mom, photographer, teacher, and creator of popular classes to support parents in capturing the life they love. She’s excited for of the release of a new passion project: her first children’s book! A former elementary school teacher by day, she’s taken her experience in education and photography and written a story of creativity, resilience, connection, and fulfillment for camera lovers young and old.
Beryl’s work has been featured on The Huffington Post, PicMonkey, Mpix and Digital Photography School. She’s taught hundreds of moms around the globe how to use their camera to it’s fullest potential, as a tool to connect them in deeper ways to the people they love most in the world. {Read more about Beryl on her amazing  blog, Beryl Ayn Young.} // Follow Beryl on Instagram.

I chatted with Beryl via Skype and got to know her a little bit. We talked about our motherhood journeys and our creative lives. I was thrilled when she agreed to chat with me about her exciting new book. Read the interview below and see for yourself. BTW, I’m swooning over these illustrations by Darya Schegoleva.

Always Creating™ Blog :      What is your background?
Beryl Ayn Young: Before running an online blog and photography education site I was a public school teacher for 10 years. I taught Kindergarten & First Grade for a few years and then taught technology skills to teachers and kids in an elementary school after that.
ACB:       Tell the readers about your new book.
BAY:       The book was simply a passion project of mine. As a grade school teacher I LOVED reading and writing and fell in love with Children’s Literature. I always had dreams of publishing a book but didn’t really connect the dots to a topic or message until after I left the classroom and fell in love with photography.
Phoebe The Photographer: Gets A Camera is the inspiring story of a little girl name Phoebe who unexpectedly receives a camera for her birthday. She spends the book disappointed by her gift and learning to fall in love with it despite her disappointment.
ACB:       Is this your first book?
BAY:       Yep! I’ve written other lessons and materials for my online courses and classes. But this is my first ‘story book’ for kids.
ACB :     What inspired you to write this book? Who was your inspiration?
BAY:      My own journey from disappointment to resilience was the inspiration behind the story. I have one daughter at home, she’s 5 and the character in the book was drawn and developed with her spirit.
ACB:       You’re a mom—did that influence the book? In what way?
BAY:       Most definitely. Before our daughter Brielle was born we experienced a pregnancy loss at 20 weeks. Losing our first daughter Bella, and that journey through grief and healing was the influence for many of the underlying messages and themes in the book.

ACB:       What was your favorite part about working on this book?
BAY:       Finding an illustrator and seeing the character being brought to life. Before that, the main character was just this fuzzy vision in my head. Have her sketched and the pages drawn out made the book much more real.
ACB:      What is your writing process?
BAY:      I try to write daily in little chunks. I tend to get stuck easily and give up on even starting at all. But I found if I took a ‘messy’ approach and just wrote for 10 minutes every day the book came together very quickly. Once I got a draft out of paper I spend quite a few weeks tweaking, revising, and getting the wording just right.
ACB:       How long did it take you to complete the book?
BAY:        The writing piece actually only took about a month. Once I had the story idea in my mind it came out rather quickly. I then kept the story saved on my computer for 3 years before I sought out an illustrator. The process was the harder part. Trusting someone to bring your story vision to life is scary! But once the right person came forward it took about 6 months to finalize the story.
ACB       Where can we get the book?
BAY:      [The book is now available on] Amazon:
ACB:   What upcoming books / project are you working on? What’s next?
BAY:   My 5-year-old has actually helped me plan out 2 more plot lines for sequels! I would love to publish more stories, and I’m sure in time there will be a Part 2 and Part 3 for Phoebe. Right now however, I’m going to keep on focusing on teaching moms/women how to fall in love with photography through my online course and programs.
ACB:   What do you hope readers—parents and kids alike—get out of the book? Any underlying message or take away?
BAY:   The bigger message is how photography can be a connector. It can help us discover amazing things about ourselves, it can connect us closer to our kids, and to our world. It’s an amazing tool for hope, happiness, and healing.
ACB:   What words of advice can you offer to up and coming children’s book authors?
BAY:   Don’t let fear paralyze you. Let your story out into the world. People will listen and be excited to hear it.
ACB:   Any words of advice for working busy moms?
BAY:   Plan, plan, plan. I keep a very structured calendar and commitment list. That way when I have a spare pocket of free time I don’t have to spin my wheels deciding what to work on. I already know exactly what needs to get done.

Illustrations by the talented Darya Schegoleva

© 2016 Alicia Bruce All Rights Reserved // Used by permission

Congratulations on your new book, Beryl! I think I speak for all of us when I say we are excited to get our hands on the book for our little ones! Thank you for agreeing to share your creative pursuit of empowering moms to find confidence in themselves all while learning to capture the timeless Kodak moments of their kids and family.

As if the book wasn’t exiting enough, Beryl and I have teamed up to bring you a special giveaway–an autographed copy of Phoebe the Photographer! {Thank you Beryl for agreeing to give one lucky reader an autographed copy of your amazing new book!}
I will post all the rules and how you can enter, so be sure to follow Always Creating™ here on the blog and follow us on IG (ACB x Beryl) to make sure you get firsthand update on the announcement coming this Friday, June 10th! GL, Xg

Don’t forget to get those cameras out and start clicking! 2


Glory Barbaris, Founder + Creative Director


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    No Comments
    June 6, 2016 4:49 pm

    How awesome would it be to write a book. She must feel so accomplished 🙂 looks like a fun book my kids would like!!

    always creating™ blog
    June 7, 2016 12:24 am

    It is so awesome, right? And my LO would love it too, will be getting a copy! (Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on Friday!) Xo

    June 8, 2016 9:52 am

    This is so sweet! What a great book❤️❤️❤️

    always creating™ blog
    June 8, 2016 4:41 pm

    Thank you Ryann, it is!

    June 8, 2016 5:54 pm

    This is awesome! The illustrations are beautiful.

    always creating™ blog
    June 8, 2016 5:57 pm

    Thank you! Yes, they absolutely are! I just love the cover!

    June 8, 2016 9:12 pm

    WOW!! This is so amazing!!! What a great accomplishment!

    always creating™ blog
    June 8, 2016 10:35 pm

    Thank you!

    always creating™ blog
    June 13, 2016 9:24 am

    Thank you so much, Vanessa! It truly is…writing a book is no easy feat! TY for reading and commenting! Xo

    Phoebe the Photographer book GIVEAWAY | always creating™ blog
    June 10, 2016 9:46 am

    […] day for the new children’s book! You can enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Phoebe The Photographer: Gets a Camera. This sweet story is by children’s book author and Photo Mom, Beryl Ayn […]

    Phoebe The Photographer: Gets A Camera Book [GIVEAWAY] | always creating™ blog
    June 10, 2016 9:48 am

    […] day for the new children’s book! You can enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Phoebe The Photographer: Gets a Camera. This sweet story is by children’s book author and Photo Mom, Beryl Ayn […]

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