Colorado Springs woman leaves six-figure paycheck to become baby photographer

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When military contractor Ariel Galvin left her six-figure job to become a baby photographer, it was the start of a new chapter of her life — one where she could be the author of her own story.

Galvin, a single mother of three, wanted to transition from her high-paying job so she could not only be her own boss but could also work in an environment where she wasn’t cooped up 40 hours a week in windowless buildings.

Now she runs a booming baby photography studio out of her townhome in Colorado Springs.

There, she captures moments of newborns in fluffy coats or sometimes posed in baskets or cuddled in blankets.

“I love making babies look adorable forever,” Galvin said. “I mean, who doesn’t love that?”

But the world of stuffed animals and crocheted baby caps wasn’t an easy place to reach.


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Galvin, who had no formal training in photography, worked 100 hours a week between her full-time position at Schriever-Space Force Base and ramping up her photo business.

“It was really intense,” Galvin said. “I was up at four in the morning editing photos.”

But all that work while still caring for her three kids paid off; within a year Galvin was able to go full time with her photo studio.

“It’s scary to leave the stability of something that’s so stable,” Galvin said, “and dive into something that has no guarantees of staying.”

But with her calendar full of photo shoots of newborns and infants, Galvin felt brave enough to take the leap and quite her contracting job.

With her business  promoted on various social media platforms, Galvin said baby photography practically sells itself.

“It’s the best job in the world because you don’t have to sell anybody on your product,” Galvin said. “It’s their baby, they’re obsessed.”

And parents like Miranda Lening are.

“I joked with her once that our house could be a gallery for her work,” Lening said.

Lening has a 2-year-old daughter, Avarie, and a 6-month-old girl named Aspen. They’ve had more than five photoshoots with Galvin.

“She focuses on using color and texture and then lets the baby be the star of the picture, which I think is super nice,” Lening said. “It’s very aesthetically pleasing.”

Galvin books between 30 and 40 sessions a month, but she’s trying to cut back because she has more client requests than she can fill.


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“I haven’t really figured out that really good balance between work and family,” Galvin said.

Family refers to her three kids, Bruce, 9, Scott, 7, and Clara, 4.

Galvin became a single mother after she divorced her husband in 2020.

“I just want other moms to know — you might be struggling today, and it might feel terrible or like you’re alone,” Galvin said. “But you’re not. And you can leave it. And you can have a really good life.”

That’s what Galvin decided to choose.

“I’m not sorry,” she said. “Because, if I didn’t go through it, I wouldn’t be doing my calling, I wouldn’t have found it. And sometimes in the journey of life, you have to go through those struggles to find the light.”


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