Hayley Free Bordes is the founder of Little Me and Free, a lifestyle blog focused on family. She is a mother of four, three girls, McKenna, 8, Rylan, 4, and Peyton, 3, and one boy, Bowen, 5 months. She was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA, and now resides in Friendswood, TX, a suburb of Houston. She is an LSU Alumni (Geaux Tigers!) and a former NFL cheerleader. She originally started her blog as a single mother in 2016. In early 2018, she married her husband, Randy. When their family isn’t traveling, you will probably find them hanging out by the pool. They also have a four-pound Yorkshire terrier named Romy, which they enjoy taking on their adventures when they can. She is excited to share the details of her life and her growing family with you. 

Uptoclaudia is a vessel where I share all about my lifestyle, focusing on ways to improve your life. I provide you with tips, tricks, and reviews of every day better-living products focusing on avoiding harsh chemicals and incorporating more non-toxic formulas whether that is for beauty or cleaning products

Founded in 2013, To Be Bright is the destination for optimism & positivity, reflected through the life & style of its 30-something creator Tilden Brighton. Here you will discover relatable & real content, discussing everything from parenting twins, to putting outfits together, styling the home, taking care of plants and everything in-between.

Claudia, I wanna start with you, how did you get into the influencer marketing space?

Hi everyone. I’m Claudia and you can find me on social. My handle is up to Claudia and I started back in 2016, late 2016, and I started about my weight loss journey with like a Spanish community on Facebook quite while the changes from Now wait, you started with a weight loss?

I used to work at Weight Watchers. Oh, that’s, yeah. Maybe you were in there. We knew each other. That’s so funny. Yes. So then so I started with the weight loss journey and I was just, I built a community with the Spanish people and then this lady shown a huge group with like two millions of Subscribers on Facebook, and she made me an admin.

So I had a lot of people just, you know, join my other channels through that. But then as time changed, I became more like of a travel blogger, because my husband, he’s a composer, so we were traveling a lot, and the weight loss kind of fade away because you’re eating out a lot. Oh, wow. Well, you look great.

Oh, thank you. So then by the end, I just became like a lifestyle blogger, just sharing the things I like and trying to help people, like sharing my experiences through things. And then I became a mom, and now I’m trying to shift it again. Well, we’ll talk about the mom stuff. It’s very exciting. It’s like a window of opportunity with brands.

Tilden, what does your life look like now with twin girls?

I have two twin girls or fraternal twin girls. Complete surprise. We thought we were pregnant with one.

And then at the eight week ultrasound we found out there were two, which was such a blessing. ’cause I have oh, myosis and I really didn’t think the pregnancy getting pregnant was going to be. Anything that was gonna be easy. So we are unbelievably blessed. It was definitely a shock though, ’cause we were not anticipating That’s crazy at once, especially the first time around.

But yeah, I mean, I was in the city for, or I guess I should ex I’m Tilden my social is to be bright. I started my blog in college and it was mostly a fashion blog. Now it’s a lifestyle blog, but when I was in the city for the last five years or six years before Covid hit, it was a lot of, you know, lifestyle, beauty, mostly fashion.

And now that I’m in New Jersey, Mother of two. Definitely also transitioning into more of lifestyle, little bit of motherhood and parenting and a lot of home and garden now because I’m a suburban mother. Right, right there, there’s you should join the Maplewood Gardening Club. There’s a Facebook I should, I, I’m actually part of my hometown’s garden too, and I think I’m, I think one of the younger members, but I, I love it.

Hailey, you and I had similar paths in the way that we pivoted careers, how did you get started and what changed for you? 

I’m Hailey Bordes. My handle is little me and free. And I live in Friendswood, Texas, a suburb of Houston.

So I originally started blogging as a single mother. I lived in Dallas at the time, and I was just doing that as like a little like I. It was something that’s like an outlet for me to just kind of share my life with my daughter. And I started blogging when she had just turned a year old. And so anytime we took a trip, we did some type of activity in Dallas, I would just write about it.

And I did a actual write a lot of blog posts back then. And share all of that with just my friends and family and stuff, and eventually feel like, oh, this is like really something you can like, make. Your full-time gig and the mommy space was just kind of taking off back then. ’cause I think I started in 2016 and so there was not that many bloggers out there doing just like the mommy and me thing.

And then as I grew with the blog, I ended up transitioning and moving to Houston where I ended up getting engaged and married to my husband now. And I have three more kids now and It turned into more of a lifestyle family-oriented blog. And I do a little bit of fashion, a little bit of travel, but it’s all still focused around me and my family.

And Hailey you had a viral video surrounding a gender reveal and your daughter right?

Yes. So that video went viral. It has millions and millions of views. Oh my gosh. Gender reveal, very impromptu.

My mom. So us having three girls, we really were like, just, let’s just see. We have one more. If it’s a boy, let’s just, let’s just see. So my doctor calls me on like a Sunday morning. She’s like, you need to sit down. I’m like, oh gosh, what’s wrong? She’s like, is your husband with you? I’m like, Yes, he has just, I got the results back and we’re like, okay.

So we get it back and we’re like, oh, maybe there’s something wrong. Open it up. And it’s a boy. The mom had bought us one of those little like poppers that has like the, you know, the, the smoke that was blue and she’s like, if you ever have a boy, you know, you can use this. And said, okay. Well, it’s been in the garage for a very, very long time ’cause the boy never came.

Mm-hmm. We found out and so we’re, you know what we’re like, we’re just gonna do a gender reveal, just us with the kids. Not like a big thing. And that’s kind of how we’ve always done it. It’s just us and the kids for the gender reveal. And then we just send videos to our family. ’cause they all live in Louisiana.

So sure enough, my husband had to go help him pop it. It pops open blue One, my oldest knew what it was and the other two didn’t understand what was going on. And then they’re like, it’s blue. And they all started screaming, crying like it was the end of the world. They were team girl all the way. The, the idea of bringing blue into the house was like, not even on their radar.

So, but that happened. And then we finally came, you know, it, it took a while once the baby was here. I wanna say maybe like, Two or three weeks in, they kind of came to terms with it and said, okay, we’re happy now. And then the one who cried the most, loves him the most, like is the most like motherly one out of all of them.

She’s in the room right now sitting next to him, rubbing him, feeding him a bottle, like does everything for him. But yes, it was a disaster that turned into, you know, a huge blessing.

How is the transition different now that you have a boy?

I would say diaper changes are a lot different for me now because I’m not used to that.

I mean, my husband got PE on the first day we brought him home. He’s like, its too much. Just go, yeah. But yes, this is what you have to expect so that the diaper changes have changed completely. I didn’t have any boy stuff, so. Of course, like friends and family are like, oh, here, all this blue, you know? He still gets wrapped up in swaddles that are pink though, because that’s what I had from before and I was like, there’s no point of buying balloons.

You can just use what we have. So sometimes he might wear pink. It is what it is. Right. Other than that though, like he’s, I don’t think he’s as fussy as the girls were. Like, I think he, and he doesn’t make a pacifier, and all three of my girls did. So that’s been a really weird thing, like not just me, I’ll just.

Give him that and let him soothe himself. But he doesn’t cry a lot, so maybe it’s a boy thing. Maybe it’s just him. I don’t know. Yeah, my, my son was super chill. Oh yeah. Okay. Well, yeah, the boy thing I think is super easy. Like he’s way more relaxed than the other ones were. He, he doesn’t need to be held all the time.

He doesn’t need as much attention, I feel like. So, but diaper changes and just like less needy.

Claudia, how has your social content changed with motherhood?

Oh, it has changed big time because at first I was like, oh good. It’s gonna be easy just taking a picture of the baby. And, but it’s not that easy because he has to be in the mood to wanna be recorded. Right? And so even in general, like I used to do fashion and travel, so now I don’t travel as much because, you know, I don’t wanna take the baby.

And plus I’m in Florida, so it’s very hot and it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s a hassle. And then my husband doesn’t like the heat, so we take a big fan. We take two fans, one big, one small, we put it on a spot. Then my husband’s with a camera with his hat, so does an umbrella in the shade trying to take me a picture.

And I feel so bad. I’m like, it’s okay sweetie. I’ll just use my tripod. You know? But it, it’s, so now I’m trying to figure out, maybe I’m just gonna do like fashion at home and do my like better living, which I’ve always done with like can beauty. So probably I just go back to that and less of the outside world.

It’s it’s a whole, because again, it’s the mood and it’s like you, everyone has to be involved and it’s like, what do you even video or what do you even take with a child versus who’s under a year old? It’s hard. Exactly. This is so you’re trying to smile, but you’re like, oh no, he’s about to cry. Oh my God.

Hilarious. Yeah. We have pictures of my son like that where we’re like trying to figure out what to do with him and you could see he is like gonna fall over.

Did any of you take maternity leave? 

I think I took like six weeks before I was like really ready to do something. I just, oh, wow. Okay. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s just because when I, when I, this is my full-time job and in addition to like freelance work, so if I’m not working, money’s not coming in kind of thing.

And my husband works too, and we’re like a dual income household, especially with twins, and we went right to formula breastfeeding just. Didn’t work for me and with two mouths to feed it, you know, the bills were racking up really quick and we had to kind of adjust to that. So I tried. I started going back like six weeks and also I feel like gave me a little bit of like an escape from it.

Like we are very fortunate that our parents like boats, our parents live nearby. So the few times I need like an hour or two break, I was able to do that. And it, it’s, it’s just been so great for I think my mental health and just having some identity outside of just being mom full-time, you know, it was like, it was good for me in that regard, but I mean, it’s still hard.

I feel like. We get like into a routine and things are somewhat predictable, and my girls are six months old now, so things are a little more like predictable than they were, but then all of a sudden everything changes again. And it’s like, oh yeah, now we don’t want a nap at this time. Oh, now we’re eating more but less frequently.

And it’s like at the minute you got it, it changes. And it’s like, okay, I guess we’re, yeah, I think it’s gonna be like that till like forever. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s like adjusting that. And then luckily they’re both pretty similar in terms of schedule right now. Or they’re at least doing well with that. But yeah, sometimes one doesn’t wanna take a nap and the other one does, and I’m like, okay, well I guess I’m gonna focus on you and you’re gonna sit on my lap while I’m answering emails.

I gotta tell you, like when I had my son, like. I built this Contra Contra, I’m the worst mother. Like I had a contraption that would give him the bottle so that I could be working. ’cause I had to work. Yeah. And like this contra and I, I didn’t breastfeed either, so it was like a balancing act of crazy things going on in my apartment.

And we still lived in New York City too at the time.

What about you Hailey? How did you balance maternity leave and running your own show?

So since I’ve done this four times and kind of knew like. You never know when you’re really gonna have that baby. Right? I’ve had a couple of them that are a couple weeks early and I’ve had some that relate. So I was like, you know, this is kind of my window this month.

And I only took a couple things that I really, you know, brands I really wanted to work with. And so I kept those and just told them like, this is kind of expectations I’m, there’s a chance on my, you know, so, and they’re like, that’s fine. You know, we’re, we’re willing to work with you. And so that’s what I ended up doing.

And then after I had the baby there was like events and stuff going on that I’d already committed to and I was like, you know what? I wanna go to these events. So I went, my mom, my parents were in town. I’m lucky that I’ve had like the same sitter for several years that have has helped me. So she was here to kind of like be my backup and I made myself go out and do stuff like, That’s awesome.

Later I was out and about going to events and everything, and it’s just like for my mental health, like to get out the house and not be stuck with, you know, just in my pajamas all day dealing with that. So, but as far as like taking a break, I did kind of just pull back on what I worked on for a little while.

And then I wanna say maybe like after four weeks I kind of started to like ramp back up and then at eight weeks I was like, Back in the full swing of things. Amazing. But I, that, you know, I, like I said, I talked to brands ahead of time and kind of knew like that this is what the expectations were and they’ve all been very, like, willing to work with me.

And if it was something that I couldn’t deliver on, I was like, there’s just no way I, you know, I’d pass on it

And Claudia how did you balance?

Claudia, how about you? How did you handle the whole, did you take maternity leave? Don’t feel guilty.

You know, I was pregnant, right? I was doing fulltime blogging, I was doing my campaigns and stuff, and then my husband was like, okay, you gotta slow down. I’m like, so basically like. Six months into the pregnancy, then I stopped doing, almost posting much. Or like I was just, you know, enjoying my pregnancy and stuff.

But then you realize that, you know, the money’s not coming in. And I did like, I gave birth and I didn’t do the epidural or anything, which is all natural. So I felt fine, like I didn’t have any issues after. And I felt like okay, getting back to work. So like, I’m like, you know, back home and I’m like, okay, 3:00 AM let me answer this email.

And. Biggest mistake because I even got a campaign, which I’m very excited about it, I did at the time because it was a, a big brand, and I’m like, oh, yes, I can do it. And I was like, already only two months. I mean, two weeks in. So I went into that and I’m like, oh, I wish I was home with my baby, but oh, and then like, and, and it’s just one of those things that, you know, you should have put it on the side, but I just felt like I already took so much time off.

I need to start posting, I need to start answering email. I need to start reaching out. And I did. I put so much on myself and my husband like no rest. I’m like, no, I have to do my work. I have to do everything. I can do everything. And I was like breastfeeding. And that was a mess because I didn’t know what I was doing.

I mean, complete mess. But definitely I agree with you girls. Like you gotta take your time. Good that you guys did formula and just like got it out of the way because that’s another full-time job. Yeah. That’s another whole topic. The whole formula breastfeeding thing is like they, yeah, I had a hard time with that.

Do you pitch brands, or are brands coming to you? 

Tilden: I think that that’s an area where, you know, Influencers can use some advice, but also I’d love to hear it from a brand perspective. Yeah. So to go off what Claudia said, like I also took some time, a little bit when I was pregnant. Actually it took a long time off because I, I did not, pregnancy was not very enjoyable for me and I had perinatal depression the entire time, so it was like a huge shock to, you know, my system, everything.

So I was really excited to go back to work when the time came, but unfortunately when you take all that time off the pitches and the brand deals, you know, I feel like this industry is changing like literally by the hour, I think. Yeah. So in a way, I kind of feel like since going back full time, like back to what I was doing, I.

What, six weeks after giving birth? I feel like I’m kind of starting over a little bit again. Like I have to build up my portfolio a bit. I have to start, so I am pitching to brands, but I’m kind of also doing a lot of organic stuff that’s unpaid on my own time, which isn’t very frequent ’cause it’s like I don’t have much time, but it’s.

I just feel like I have to build up my portfolio again, and it’s not, it feels like I’m starting from scratch a little bit. So it’s been a slow role, but I think my intention with the brands I wanna work with now and the things that I wanna put out there are way more. Meaningful and have more quality than they ever did before.

And I’m like a lot pickier about the brands I do wanna work with and having those long-term relationships and stuff. But I’m definitely still pitching sometimes if I post like a brand, like I did some stuff with magnetic Me for a bit, which was really fun. Especially when the girls were little. It was like newborn.

It was really fun. So there are brands that are finding me on Instagram, but. For the majority of it, I’m still like compiling all my stats, sending it off, and really trying to sell myself in that regard for sure.

Hailey: Yeah, so I don’t really pitch anymore. Mostly it’s, they reach out to me. The only time I’ll go pitch a brand is if it’s something that I really want, like I really want to work with specific company for pool furniture. So I reached out to them and had to send all my stats and they’re like, let’s do it.

So every so often it’s something like that, that I really, really would like to work with the brand. It’s, or, but, There is one thing I always pitch and that’s vacations. If I wanna go somewhere and there’s a resort I’d like to stay at, you better believe I’m gonna be messaging them and saying, I’d love to bring me in my.

Family of six to your resort. My, my very large family to your resort. So I just wanna put it out there that if ever any of you need help with, you know, that side of it. That’s what I do all day long. I’m happy to help in any way. I’m happy to share any, you know, people that we have in common. If you go on my LinkedIn, oh, you’re connected with, you know, this resort, I’m happy to share anything that could be helpful or any tips.

Favorite. I mean, I love, and I love pitching it too, ’cause I’m like researching the resort. I’m like, right, right. All these things, this would be great for us to go on, you know, this vacation. And it’s one thing my, my kids love whenever that happens because they get treated so well when we go on these trips.

Right. So it’s a thing where my whole family’s all in for it. So I get excited to pitch brands especially like specific resorts we wanna go stay at. But I don’t do it that often anymore ’cause we’re not traveling like we used to. It’s hard and you have to wait for the kids to have breaks from school and.

We just did eight nights in Mexico last month with the baby. Wow. So, yeah. So that was fun. Oh my God, that’s crazy. So, so yeah. Eight nights. But no, it’s, it, it’s, we have to adapt for sure on all these trips. But yeah, I would say when it comes to pitching though, I, every so often I’ll pitch, but for the most part I just get reach reached out to by brands and typically I relationships since, you know, I’ve been doing this for a while and I work with a lot of the same brands You know, throughout the year.

Has anyone experienced Mom Shaming?

Claudia: Well, I’m not sure if this was mom shame. I mean that happened to me, but that same campaign, I said I went in two weeks after giving birth. So I posted it almost right away ’cause it had to be posted right away. And then someone commented, oh, you’re already back to work. I dunno if that was mom shame or not, but it’s like, I’m like, oh no, I’m just having fun.

Like, no, it sounds judgy, right? So I think anything judgy is bomb shaming. I mean, I felt like well just, you know, support the mom trying to make you not asking like, oh, you shouldn’t have gone back to work. It’s too early. You know, so I, if I had to say anything, that would be it. But other than that, everyone has been so supportive.

People are so loving. They write you messages, they try to help, they try to give you like ideas of things to do. So that would be the only thing I have experienced. I don’t know about you girls. 

Tilden: Yeah, I had a similar thing. The girls were, my girls were four months old, I think. I think they were four months old.

My parents we like rarely go on family trips anywhere. We’re all I’m the oldest of three girls. I. And my parents had this really nice trip to London and as a Mother’s Day gift, they said, why don’t you come for the last stretch of it? And my husband and my mother-in-law, like, were like, we’ll, watch the girls.

We’ll help. And you go, I wasn’t breastfeeding, so I was like, I can do this. Like the girls are sleeping a bit more. I mean, we had help at night for the first few months, so the girls were sleeping well. Like I felt good enough to leave for. Five days and London. I know it’s over the ocean, but like, it’s not like I’m going to Australia or something like that.

Right. Like it was, you know, it was literally crossed the ponds as they say. So I am, you know, I’m excited. I’m getting some time to myself. I got, I’m like looking forward to like sleeping a little bit and all these things. I get like a DMM or a message completely ripping me apart for even considering being away from my kids, no matter how old they are.

All this. And I’m thinking to myself, I’m like, my husband is very capable, he’s very involved. My mother-in-law is amazing. And the kids are not like being left with a sit like a sitter for days like where I’m, we’re not around. Like they’re in very capable hands. And I’m like, if. My husband, he was in grad school, like I think graduated in May, so he just had graduated when the girls were six weeks old.

He had to go to Abu Dhabi for like grad school, like he had to go. It was mandatory, and no one said anything about him leaving. No one said anything. He was gone for two weeks. And I was by myself with six week old twins. I mean, I recruited all the help I could get. ’cause I was just so stressed. I was like, how am I gonna do this?

Like, I don’t know what I’m doing. And no one said a thing like, no one even like That’s wild. So how did you respond? Did you just ignore it or you responded? I blocked the person, so I was like, we don’t need this energy. It wasn’t anyone, I think that even followed me. It was just a troll, you know? Like, I mean, I don’t know.

It’s someone who’s clearly really upset or. Jealous, or I don’t even know, like the, the profile didn’t even have a picture. It was like, like a fake account. But I’m like, you know, let’s like applaud a mom that has like, you know, is able to leave the house and able to focus on herself and because then she’s a better mom for it.

You know, like it’s one of those things where it’s, I need to take care of me in order to take care of my family. Well, that’s what they say on the plane, right before you put the oxygen mask on anyone else. And that’s always what my doctor says to me. Put the oxygen mask on yourself. Yeah. You have to, you have to fill your cup in any way that, whatever way that looks like.

And if it’s not, you know, everyone’s journey’s different and it what works for you doesn’t work for other people. But like the last thing I’m thinking about is thinking that someone’s wrong for taking time for themselves. Like I think that’s horrible that men can go do that all day long. Mm-hmm. We can’t even go away for like five days.

When you are looking for inspiration or advice on how to deal with these moments in your career and in your parenting journey, are there other influencers that you turn to?

Hailey: I’m lucky to live in Houston. There’s a lot of influencers here and they have a lot of them that have young children, so we get together a lot and just do stuff ourselves with the kids. So it’s a nice like, You know, way to kind of bond with each other, vent about things that we’ve been dealing with.

’cause they had the, you know, the same background as I do. So that’s something that I’ve been doing a lot lately is just getting with like fellow influencers here and kind of like relaxing, not posting on social, just like getting together just to get together for fun and having, you know, a common awesome comment on.

Yeah. So it’s been good for like my mental health for sure.

Claudia: I would say the same thing for me. Like a lot of my influencer friends also became moms around the same time where they were already moms. Interesting. It’s been something, yeah, it’s been something that we’re always chatting like, oh my god, yes.

That happened to me too. And so like we would just share to message, video call. I haven’t gotten together with anyone much yet. You know, it was small and stuff, but it is something that we do keep in touch and trying to share our influence our lives as moms.

Tilden: My group of friends here, they’re not influencers.

They’re like friends from high school and you know, some of us are having babies, some of us are getting married. Like there’s a whole bunch of us in different parts of our lives. But I work as the assistant for Helena of Brooklyn Blonde. That’s also why I go into the city a lot to help her shoot content, all this, and she has been, I think I started working for her when Nate.

Her first kid, Nate was like one and a half. And seeing how she was able to manage working from home as a mom doing everything that she was doing while being a mother was so inspirational to me. Like she was able to make it work and just really, I. She’s not a mom influencer by any means. Like she’ll definitely post some motherhood stuff, but just seeing how she was able to kind of balance her work and her personal life and be a mom and ha and do all the things, and she did it so flawlessly and still continues to do it flawlessly.

She has two kids now, and just being able to see that firsthand was like, Really inspired me that like, I could do that too. Like when the time comes, like if she can make it work, like, and she’s, you know, has a huge account, like she’s working with amazing brands and she’s making it work. So it was really great to have that as like, she’s continually my role model in that regard.

Do you feature your kids in your content?

Tilden: Yeah, it’s definitely something I think about all the time. You know, my girls are young. They’re only six months right now, but I think I. Right now I’m comfortable with it.

I haven’t received any backlash. It’s working so far, but I, I have a feeling when they get older, like when they’re one toddlers, when they’re able to have, like, of course I’m going to say, are you okay? Do you wanna take photos? Do you wanna be on mom’s page? Or anything like that? And the minute that they have an opinion or say no, like, that’s it, we’re not, we’ll never do it again.

Right. That’s fine. I, I remember as a kid not always wanting take pictures and it’s very frustrating when no one listens to you and it, you know, it’s, I’m going to establish that respect from the get go, but I think for right now, like I do have my camera out and they get excited. I don’t know if it’s just, I don’t know why I don’t think they know what my phone is.

It’s like a fun thing. Yeah. They, they’re smiling for the photos now. And they’re, I don’t think they really have their features yet. Like, as you know, they are little people, but they’re, they don’t look like what they’re going to look like when they’re adults yet. And I feel like once they start kind of taking on characteristics and can be recognized, I think that’s maybe when I’ll kind of scale back.

But I mean, I’m saying that now, I don’t know. It’s just they might love the camera forever. They might just be, they might love it and yeah. Yeah, and I mean, I’m pretty good about, like, I think maybe I won’t post as many like forward facing photos on my public account. I do have a private one, so I can always share photos there if I, yeah, desire, you know, it’s always gonna be something in the back of my head and that I will think and you know, pivot, whatever when the time comes, especially when they can start telling me if they like it or not.

And Hailey, what’s your opinion on this topic, but also brand shifting? Do you ever have an issue where the brand saying, please put your kids and you don’t want to?

So I, before I accept a campaign, I talked to my kids and I’m like, Hey guys, this is, this is what’s gonna be coming in. Are y’all interested in doing it? And if it’s something they wanna do and they’ve agreed to it, then I move forward. But if it’s something like, I don’t wanna participate, I’m, that’s not for me, then I’m like, we’re not gonna do it because I’m not gonna sit here and try to push them to do anything.

I sure don’t want them screaming and crying over something. And there’s a rarity like that you ever see like, All four of my kids in a picture with me, because half the time, one or two of them don’t wanna be in a photo. So it is like you and far between, you know, I have four kids on Instagram ’cause they’re not in pictures with me.

That’s but period, like there’s one child you see a lot on my feed because she really, really likes to be in the pictures and take photos and get new. Like, that’s, that’s for Forte. So. She’s all over my feed. And then my older one used to love it. She doesn’t really like to do it as much anymore, so she’s not in it very often.

And my two year old throws a fit half the time, so I just don’t put her in the photos. So say definitely it’s one of those things throughout the year, it kind of changes. If they’re interested in doing it, they’ll be in the photos, they’re not interested, I’m not gonna force ’em to do it. And if they’re, you know, a brand wants them to be in it, I get them to agree it beforehand.

But a lot of times it’s stuff they’re really excited about. So they are like, I wanna do that. Right. But you know, there are brands that, it’s for a kid, product they’re like, You know, we don’t want the kids in it and that’s fine too. Like I’m perfectly fine with that ’cause that’s easier on me, right?

I’m not having to wrangle the children up, manage talent and get them involved. And you really know, you never know how they’re gonna react that day. Like some days I’m have a few of ’em that are like really excited about it and the other days they’re like, I’m tired. I’m like, okay, well let’s move on to another day and try to get.

But I guess if they wanna do it, I’m happy to have them be in pictures and stuff. I do not share any of my personal information about my kids, like as far as where they go to school, my address. None of that is, and I’m very, very conscious about what I post online about them. So I, I do take that into consideration when I’m posting for anything.

Claudia: I was gonna say even from a different perspective of what the girls have shared is like I discussed with my husband and even from the beginning, my husband didn’t feel super comfortable posting the baby. I’m like, but he’s so cute and I wanna share, and you do wanna share with your friends and family as well as people that really, you know, they like you, you have connected with online.

But you know, now with ai and like that’s something that my husband and I discussed is like with this whole AI situation and how they can steal the identity of a baby or like how their self is gonna read their, you know, D n a or whatever. Like those are things that are so concerning and I’m like trying to figure it out because this is my full-time job and I am passionate about creating content and photography and things like that.

And I love my baby and my family. And so it’s like, what are you doing? I’ve been trying to rack my brain about it and I think, okay, maybe I’ll just use my camera ’cause my digital camera is not connected to the wifi or whatever. It’s not gonna get hacked or something. And so there’s a lot that goes into my mind.

And then from the other side, it’s like this baby monitor, reach out. It is a pay campaign and all. And I’m like trying to see like, do they care about security? How do I know it’s not gonna hack my information? Or they just wanna steal it and sell it and who knows do what. And so it’s such a hard topic besides what the media or whatever’s going on around like even within yourself and your families, like.

How do you go about something that can go wrong really bad for whether it’s paid or not, just in general, like you gotta be so like mindful about these things. It’s wild. So it’s something that I’m still debating and I think I’m just gonna go as time goes, probably just use my camera and not use any of the Instagram filters and things that reach your face and stuff and like try to limit in a way the technology because it’s still my full-time job, but that’s probably how I’m gonna go about it.

Is there any advice when a brand is reaching out to you, that they can change their approach now that you have a baby? 

Claudia: I would personally say there’s like two things that I think my, the brands have to be mindful of. One, you do have a baby just for a baby product, and so maybe the delivery time or when they reach out to you, they should give you, you know, like I was fine with two weeks a week even, you know, maybe next day.

Sure, no problem. But with the baby you need. Another time, right? And so like at least three weeks so that then you can prep and if you need any props, get the props delivered and things like that. And then I would say also with the budget, because I was thinking about it, like I love photography. I love editing and taking pictures and things like that, but then it can be very difficult.

So you do might wanna hire someone to do the work for you, and then you just deliver it to the brand. And so if your budget is limited, you’re like, well, really worth it for me to X amount to a photographer. And then I’m basically maybe not gonna get much. And so it’s a work to do this campaign. Right. So I think maybe those two things should be something they should consider the timing and maybe their, perhaps their budget.

Tilden: I would say I consider the white listing a lot more now, especially if it’s something with my kids. Like if, I think there was an instance where I did a, like, I think I submitted like a couple photos in a carousel, but I only said like, these are the ones you can use if you wanna repost them.

Like, because I wasn’t okay with I think all of them or something like that. It was just I wanted to have a little more control, I think over. Which photo they were going to start sponsoring all over. So that’s, I’m a little more mindful of like, what photos are you going to be and where are you putting them?

You know, are they just on Instagram? Are they on Facebook? Are they going on your newsletter? Right? ’cause all of a sudden your kids on a billboard on the highway, you had know. I just wanna have a little more awareness of where they intend on using these photos. And then I try to make sure, at least in the contract, or I do make sure to get that in the contract.

Like where exactly they plan on posting them if like, at least the medium. Like, is it gonna be online? Is it gonna be there? Just because I don’t want like, like you said, like to see a photo of my children somewhere. I did not expect to see it and feel very violated in that regard. So it’s definitely something smart.

And of course the turnaround time. I completely agree with Claudia. Like someone wanted me to send something at the end of the week, like Monday to a Friday, and I’m like, No. Like that doesn’t work. There’s no way. There’s no way. Well this also ba the photography has like, okay, I need a babysitter or I need someone to come help me.

And I don’t have a mother-in-law or a mother here and I have to hire someone to watch, you know, two photos, especially two babies. I’m like, you, I’m like, there’s no way that this is gonna go well in two days. Like I need to. 

Hailey: I would say whenever brands reach out to me, especially when babies are.

Really new and you’re like struggling with sleep and everything. And it’s, I mean, my, my child still wakes up in the middle of the night every night. So but they’ll, you know, they’ll message me in the morning and then if they haven’t heard back from me by lunchtime, they’re messaging me again. I’m like, I have four kids at home and I’m by myself today.

I’m like, and it’s just a struggle, right? Like, Some days I have this sitter here and it’s just, it’s summer right now, so the schedules are not, you know, they’re not back in school. Right. I’m at home with them and they’re like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, you, I’m like, yes. I’m like, I, we, we had a conversation.

I told you to get to you by this date. We’re not at that date yet, but you’re emailing me, asking me for the content early. I’m like, You’re gonna get it on the last day? Possibly do. I’m like, there’s no possible way I’m getting it to you early. No, it makes sense. Gone back to your email, but I am like literally at home with all four kids right now, and this is like, you know, be a baby campaign or something.

I’m like, you know, I have all these kids, right? Like not a secret, but it’s also a big thing when they do go back to school, it frees up even. So you have one baby at home, but then the other kids are somewhere else, so it’s a lot more time for you. Right. Yeah. I would just say the main thing is could take that into consideration.

They do have kids at home, so they’re not gonna be sitting at their computer all day ready to respond back to right away.

Name an influencer you love to follow but hate to admit you do 

Hailey: Oh my goodness. I don’t really, so I don’t really know if he’s, you would consider him an influencer, but it’s, oh my gosh, his name’s Matt. It’s the guy on TikTok that does all the, let’s go do farm chores. Have y’all seen him? I think so, yeah. Okay. So he like, he’s this southern guy and he like, I guess he said does like boudoir photography and stuff, but he has a farm and he goes out and does farm charts with all the animals.

Oh my God. He’s very sassy. And so he talks to the animals and they, he calls them, His babies and stuff. And it’s just very, very entertaining. Because he’s not meant to do farm, but he’s out there doing it. Like he’ll drive the tractor and get stuck in like the dirt and he just, you know, he’s just, it’s really funny because you, his name’s Matt.

Matt something, but I’ll, I’ll have to go look it up. But anyway, that’s who I, I follow him and I get a kick out of it, and it’s probably not this, how she’s be spending my, you know, time, but he’s very, very entertaining. 

Claudia: I wouldn’t say I have that situation just yet because I feel like I won’t follow anyone that posts more than three times a day because then Instagram thinks I want to see.

That’s all I wanna see. And I’m like, no, Instagram, no, no, no. My whole I Instagram is Snoopy I, because I follow Snoopy’s accounts, so then all of a sudden my whole feed is like all these Snoopy accounts. 

Tilden: I’m kind of the same. I don’t really, I, I think I like got rid of a lot of people that either I was not vibing with or I didn’t really enjoy their content.

But I will say I am a huge I, I love reading the subreddit N Y c influencer snark. Okay. It’s kind of funny because it’s a lot of like people submitting. Like, you know, spilling tea about someone this, someone that, and like some of the people I used to know and like hang out with. So it’s kind of just, it’s like a gossip forum, right?

Really, like I’m not doing anything with it. I’m just kind of like, oh, I had no idea this and that, whatever. And it’s kind of like the way I decompress and realize that like, you know, I’m, my life’s a little boring, but it like, in terms of, listen, that’s why I watch Real Housewives, because I’m like, I watch Real Housewives in New York.

I’m like, I’m okay. I’m doing this. Okay. I’m, I’m not, you know, Exactly. Just sometimes I just like, you know, ’cause sometimes I know the person, sometimes I don’t. And then it’s like, I heard this, it’s kind of like di like oh my gosh, why am I blanking on the name? I’m blanking on that account. It’s not Diet Prada.

It’s ugh, I’m blanking it. She gets all the blinds of like, everything. Does anyone know? Remember I’m talking about she gets like all these blinds about celebrities and stuff. Oh wow. Yeah. It’s like, you know, it’s just, it’s like, it makes you feel. You’re okay. Yeah. It’s a nice decompressing thing to do sometimes.

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