#wcw Emily Keeney


Emily Keeney is a Seattle-based lifestyle & editorial photographer who grew up somewhere between the cornfields and the city of Chicago, and lived there until she and her husband and packed up their lives for the mountains and water of the PNW. She believes in the lasting magic of interpreting truth into imagery, and that the yearning for visual storytelling is deeply human. She says, “I have great passion and respect for women, and love to empower -- whether in a boudoir session or as entrepreneurial colleagues.”

What are you making happen right now?

Right now my biggest job is raising my 8-month-old son, John, to be curious, kind, adventurous and loving. And doing so while growing my photography business to its busiest season ever! I’m connecting with and capturing the most incredible couples this wedding season, and am also partnering with great brands to create aligned and aspirational content.

What inspired you to take action?

I worried that becoming a mother would slow me down professionally. Most of the women in my family stay home with their children and though prioritizing raising my son is so important, I also want to set an example that when you fill up your passion bucket fully, you deliver a better and more whole version of yourself to those you love. Since having the baby, I’ve had to be lots more focused and work harder than ever, but it’s keeping me set on a clear path without distractions. And even though my priorities have shifted dramatically I’ve had more movement and success in my business than ever before.

What have you learned in the process?

There’s no such thing as doing it all. I can be very good at everything that I do (and I have high expectations for myself to match) but on no single day am I perfect in every department. There are some days I’m crushing it with my work, have a great outfit going, but the baby gets some screen time and is a day overdue for a bath. Then I have mom superhero days where my email takes a back burner and I’m wearing the same shirt I slept in but he has a baby breakthrough and beams a gummy smile at me that stops my heart. “Doing it all” is a myth, and I’m learning to accept that and have grace with myself. I also strive to show that in my online presence, and not be too curated or perfect.

How can the Women Catalysts community help?

By lifting up the women you know who have their own businesses! And engaging with those businesses. Every referral, purchase, re-post, and comment means a lot to entrepreneurs who are giving life to their dreams. Sometimes as friends of businesses owners we forget how powerful we can be in supporting them in functional ways. The success of small businesses is so dependent on quality community.

Words to live by?

Work really hard and be honest. And listen to your heart. If you’re searching for something you will find it. Nothing worth having/being comes easy.