By Susan Sexton
Have you ever seen a masterful juggler in action? He gives the right amount of attention to each item as he briefly catches it and then throws it back into the air.
And it doesn’t matter how many items he’s juggling – three, five, seven – he does the right thing with each item so that his act is flawless and beautiful. That’s what Debra Lawrence does with all of the “items” in her life, although she would say that her hands are not guided by her, but by God.
At least, that’s how Debra appears to those who know her! There’s, no doubt, been much behind the scenes practice, support, and even mistakes to learn from (we’ve all been there) as Debra has continued to perfect her juggling act – family, career, spiritual life, teaching, philanthropy, etc.
Debra is part of a seven-member family – five kids and one husband. Always a photography hobbyist, she has owned her own photography business since 2002. She and her husband Greg decided to use the settlement money from a car accident to help her get her start with Abundant Moments Photography. They purchased a trailer and props, and Debra traveled from one location to the next to take photos.
“I didn’t make any money,” Debra says. “But, I gained a lot of experience.”
After purchasing a larger home with room for a photography studio and office, Debra found she had more time for her business because she didn’t have to drive and spend time loading and unloading equipment.
Debra is a premier wedding photographer, often traveling to far away and exotic locales with the wedding party to capture those once-in-a-lifetime and unique photos that will be treasured for life.
Debra and Greg’s older daughters have sometimes stepped up to help with the family business, but Debra now has a very efficient and talented staff to help her. Jamie Gates is the Lead Photographer, Aubree Flaws is the Office Manager, and Gabby Brotherton is the Marketing Manager.
Along with wedding photography, Debra’s company also provides photography services for special events such as family reunions and office parties and also sessions for babies, families, senior pictures, engagements, and even pets.
Photos are always posted for online viewing for her customers within about 10 days. The guiding ideal at Abundant Moments Photography is “Under promise and Over deliver.” Debra always wants to give her clients a little more than what they expect.
When Debra is not busy with her clients, she might be donating her services to any number of charitable entities around town such as the Women’s Clinic of KC, St Luke’s Foundation, or Drumm Farm Center for Children, to name a few.
Another non-profit that Debra donates time and materials to is Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. This organization provides the gift of remembrance photography, free of charge, for parents suffering the loss of a baby. Debra is one of many volunteer photographers who provide photos and a DVD slide show through this organization.
Or, Debra might be meeting with her BNI or Energize group, both consisting of small business owners who can help one another through networking and/or problem solving. She finds that interacting with other business owners helps her to become better at managing her own business, and also more adept at solving her own unique issues.
While Debra loves taking pictures, her real passion is teaching. She teaches one – four week photography classes through Longview Community College and Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation, passing along her love for photography and her skills to both adults and children in the community.
So, you really can visualize Debra’s successful juggling act! And while she’s adept at juggling the parts of her life, the ones on which she especially focuses to keep in the air are her family and her spiritual life.
Keeping God as the center of her life and her family’s life, Debra truly feels that “God will bless us if we keep our eyes on God.”
View Debra’s amazing work at her website abundantmoments.com.
Look for this monthly column showcasing the successful women of Lee’s Summit. To recognize women who have dug in their high heels and are making an impact, contact email@example.com.