Meet our Latest Designing Mom: Julie Cruz of Lot 116

by Cat on April 11, 2011

If you think glamour and motherhood don’t go together…well then meet our newest Designing Mom, Julie Cruz, of Lot 116.  Hot mamas! I couldn’t help but fall in love with her city and farm chic photos.  I applaud her for giving moms a sexy, sophisticated polish.  Read below about her photography and vision, and please help me in welcoming Julie to Mom Inc Daily!

What’s a day like in your life?

I guess it depends on the day. Some days are crazy (photo shoots on top of my regular life) and other days are still crazy (ha!), but a little less stressful. My number one job is being a mom, so a usual day is all worked around my daughter’s schedule. She’s in Kindergarten, and at her school, Kindergarten is only about 3.5 hours… it seems like by the time I drop her off, I have to go back and pick her up. I try and do all of my editing while she’s at school, and all of my shoots either on weekends or evenings (during the spring/summer when the sun doesn’t go down until later) when my husband is home. On top of being a wife, mom and photographer, PJ (our daughter) does modeling, so there are times where we have to leave (usually with just 1-3 days notice) and head up to Los Angeles (which is roughly 1.5 – 2 hours from us) for photo shoots and stuff. For instance, last week we were up in LA twice, so I basically lost 2 days of editing/work time. It’s usually worth it though (last week was for GAP, so that was AWESOME!)….and I still always get clients their galleries within the time promised. As if I didn’t have enough going on, I also make sure I help out in PJ’s class at least once a week. Teachers are overworked and underpaid, so for me, helping out is a huge way to show my thanks. I also love working with kids and am proud to say that I KNOW each and every kiddo in her class. Yes, sometimes I get in over my head, but because i’m taking on less shoots now, I’m able to have a little more time elsewhere.

How do you juggle motherhood and art?

In the past years, I have NO idea how I did it. I was taking on WAY too many shoots and was overworked, stressed, etc. There were many months where I did as many as 15 (full – not mini) photo shoots. It was completely and utterly INSANE and I DON’T recommend it (unless you are single, don’t have kids and are a workaholic. There were quite a few times where I felt horrible that PJ was left watching another video or putting together the 10 millionth puzzle for the day, so I knew I needed to make a change. The past few years were so crazy that I made a promise to myself to do no more than about 4-5 shoots a month starting this year. I started Lot116 so that I could do what I love AND have more time with my family. The past few years have almost felt like more work than play… it was time to remember why I did this all and take things slower.

How do you recharge your creative batteries?

I usually try and think up a shoot that hasn’t been done (or at least i’ve never seen) and see if I can make it happen. Since so many people are photographers now, originality is something that I strive for. I never want to be confused for another photographer. I don’t want to have the same props, backdrops (which I don’t use anyway), poses, editing style, locations, etc as everyone else. Creativity is something that I try my hardest to do. Of course I run out of fuel and brainstorm like crazy…….but ideas and visions can come to me at any time. I can be walking through Target, be at the park, riding a ride at Disneyland, reading a magazine, etc and get an idea. It’s executing them that’s the hard part.

If you could do one thing this year that was totally frivolous, what would it be?

One of my good friends, Bobby, is an amazing photographer and started doing something called “The Raddest Trip Ever“. Basically they are travel trips to places like Thailand and Cambodia…..complete with a photography workshop and tour guide feel. Bobby has been all over the world and has been to these places MANY times, and he’s one of those people that you feel like you’ve known forever….even if you just met him. Anyway, this year the trip is planned for December 1st thru December 14th to Thailand and Cambodia. Thailand is one of my dream destinations and if you visit his site, you’ll see the amazing photos and videos and understand why I would LOVE to go. The hard part is that leaving PJ (and my husband) for 2 weeks, spending that amount of money (especially right before Christmas) would just be really, really hard.   If anyone is interested, check it out (and if you go, I’ll be extremely jealous and probably hate your guts….but it will be worth it!).

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie April 11, 2011 at 6:46 am

Yay! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Julie’s work (and not just because she’s my wonderful sister). I’m so lucky to have such a creative and talented photographer in my family…and I’m more than happy to be her guinea pig for any family photo shoot ideas she wants to try! Our annual family photo cards are eagerly anticipated by all my friends and family…everyone loves seeing what Julie comes up with next! – Katie


Carrie April 11, 2011 at 8:19 am

Wow, those photos are really really stunning. I’m so in awe of mothers who want to be photographed. I feel like I’ve been pushing away the camera since my first son was born! It might be time to change that if I actually want to remember any of this time! Thanks for sharing Lot 116 with us.


jessica April 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I can only hope to be this stylish when I’m a mom! Beautiful job.


Tori April 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm

WOW – you are a talent! I am literally stunned! Welcome!


Daria's Mom April 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

So inspiring. It would be a dream to have her be our photographer!


Erika {Delphine} April 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Welcome, Julie! So interested to hear more about having a kindergartner with a career ; ) Must be a lot of fun, but also weird to not be behind the camera yourself? Looking forward to your posts!


Julie Cruz (Lot116 Photography) April 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Thank you ALL so much for the warm welcome and super sweet comments. To keep up to date with my shoots, etc, please add Lot116 on Facebook 🙂 I always post links there as soon as any new posts are up 🙂 Thank you!
Here is the link:


liberty April 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

gorgous work! welcome!!!!


Mari April 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Holy Buckets I love those photos! Now THAT’s how family photoshoots and baby pics should look. Welcome to Mom Inc Daily!


simplygrove April 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm



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