Well, its been awhile since Rob and I traveled together on speaking engagements and I must say it’s just like old times. Some people you can travel well together and others you just don’t mix right, but Rob and I just seem to get in a groove that has “smooth sailing” written all over it. Of course, we did have to clear the air on a few things once we landed in Nashville as you can see below, but it’s all just peachy keen now.
The “setup” video and behind the scene video is available in the NoBs Forum Downloads.
We had the opportunity to photograph Paula’s baby boy Lucas recently at the studio and right from the start this kid was all smiles………………except when I got my lens reallllllly close to his face LOL. We figured we would take care of Paula in the photography department just as she takes care of our little kitties when we are away to play and hopefully sometime this summer we can create some kickbutt images for her website. The K9 Palace just isn’t for dogs you know, but cats as well, along with many other species like rabbits, parrots and I think I saw an elephant in the back somewhere.
We love photographing babies and kids but we are definitely not a “boutique” baby studio. You will not see kids in buckets, babies in cocoons or toddlers in tiaras as I usually like to photograph the baby as he or she is. Simple. It’s just the way I am I guess. Fortunately many of our clients appreciate this so we are still busy with babies and kids. Thanks again Paula & Lucas, see you soon.
Got an interesting email from Diana…..
I see myself in your check list, (she’s referring to an older newsletter- click
here to read that one) but the part of photography I like the best is the
computer part… taking a good photo and making it GREAT. I love to do
retouching. And I love painting from my photos.
I love people, but feel awkward around them and so like the retouching best.
What would you say to someone like that…. I can hear you now… “get over it
and get out there and shoot”…. right? And for the most part, I do get over it
- obviously I am out there shooting, but am afraid to make it a full time job.
I don’t know if it’s because I have to work so closely with people or because
I’m afraid it will become and “job” and I can no longer spend the time I now
spend doing the retouching.
Your own testimony of how much you love your work makes me rethink that
maybe it wouldn’t become a “job” if I have a passion for it – and I do!
Thanks for all your wonderful encouragement and words of wisdom. I
always look forward to your newsletters and yours are the ones I almost
always make time to read! I appreciate your attitude toward other
photographers and especially as it relates to teaching others. You are one in
a million! God bless you! Diana”
Get over it and get out there and shoot. Hmmm, maybe I would say that, maybe I
wouldn’t. Diana, you need to honest with yourself.
This line is key:
I love people, but feel awkward around them and so like the retouching best.
So, are you saying you are burying your head in the sand because you feel
awkward around people? Or, are you saying you truly love the computer work
and artistic side, and the feeling awkward is your best rationale. Either way, they
both make sense and there is no right or wrong.
BUT, if you love to shoot, but don’t like that awkward feeling, then yes, get over it.
We all been there. No one, I mean NO ONE comes close to the
anxiety levels I felt when I started out.
In my early twenties, started shooting school photos, and nearly had an
all out nervous breakdown.
I’m serious. This is no joke.
Everytime I drove by the hospital I considered checking myself in. Really.
I was beyond awkward. I was a nervous wreck. In retrospect, I look back
now, and see it all as my journey. The pain was awful, made worse by my career
choice. But I pushed through it all. Thank God I didn’t burrow my head
and avoid the pain with some medication or addiction or by hiding
in a safe and low key job. Thank God.
Somehow, I knew better.
It’s amazing. Here I was, 22 year old, scared to death of a group of four year
old children that I had to photograph. That first year was awful. I did drink a lot
to help me make it through. I don’t suggest anyone do the same.
I did make it through, and went back for a second year of punishment.
And, I slowly got stronger. Felt some sort of confidence building. It took me
a long time, but build I did. I had along way to go.
When I was 24, I started my own studio. And, worked part-time for the school
photographer. I felt much better by then. Drinking was habitual, disguised as
partying. Which it was. I was young, tough and having way too much fun socially.
Eventually I grew up and got sober, joined Toastmasters, and the studio got
even bigger and better. Now, I can speak in front of any group, any size,
with total confidence. You can write out a topic, give it to me, then put me
on a stage in front of 500 people, and ask me to ‘wing’ a speech for say, 20 minutes and I will.
I am that focused.
Not bad for a guy that was at one time shaking in his boots in front of
a cute class of nose-picking, drooling, slouching four year olds..is it?
This is NOT a talent. It is a skill I honed. And it took me years to do that.
Years. Many of them.
Would I change anything? Not for a second. No regrets. It’s life. My life.
So, what is your life? Creating a life isn’t always easy, as I described in mine.
But, it is our own responsibility. Not others. So, if one truly loves the creative
side at the computer, I mean really, honestly driven by it, and the whole
process of working images up to amazing new heights of creative levels,
then, so be it.
Run with it. Decide you will become the greatest workflow artist, who’s awkward
around people. but that’s okay. The end product is what matters.
There will always be some need to communicate with others. But, you
can easily niche yourself and your work. But, it has to be outstanding.
And you must love it, for the RIGHT reasons.
Of course, you can’t get into high volume portraits, unless
you’re in the learning phase.
But if you wanted to created art, real pieces of art through your
photoshop and painter skills, it wouldn’t make any sense in a high
And, you have to be strong and confident enough to sell, and ask a higher
price. This, for certain, is NOT something you can avoid.
If you were weak and insecure and pumping out higher volumes
of kick butt work, and afraid to charge what it is truly worth, you will
burn out. Only a matter of time.
So, my advice is, be honest with yourself. Decide what YOU
want, for the right reasons.
And build the confidence up to attract wealth. It’s not bad thing.
One of my favorite sayings is instructive:
“This is the true joy in life…being used for a purpose recognized by yourself
as a mighty one…being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little
clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote
itself to making you happy…I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the
whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever
I can. I want to be used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live.
rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of
splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it
burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
~George Bernard Shaw~
I love that saying and live by it.
hope this helps….
yours in photography,
Well I flew back yesterday afternoon instead of today as we were not too sure about the weather. It’s back to the grind for me, returning emails, getting equipment ready for this weekends wedding (Woohoo!!! ), and putting the finishing touches on our Fathers Day Event FATHERS FAVORITES next week. There are only a couple spots left (just shy of being sold out) so don’t delay.
My fly in fishing trip was amazing with the best weather you could ask for. We worked hard for the Pickeral each day but I did land some in the boat. I also flew into another small lake for some beautiful Lake Trout and also a few bass managed to taste my hook (had to throw those back though). The water in these lakes were amazingly clear with visibility of at least 20 ft. You could practically see the fish swimming below the boat and in the shore.
Now what would one of my fishing trips be without video right? So, I present to you a quick clip from yesterday mornings outing a few hours before I was about to fly out. Let it play out, it’s a bit long, and if you notice at one point when my back is turned to the camera, I give a bit of a jolt. That’s because I got another hook in the finger……but you didn’t need to see that.
Got this great email from Doug yesterday and my reply…..
I am a current member of Lynda.com so I am fully aware of the possible value one can get for $20 a month. Your site looks to offer plenty of value and perhaps, like Lynda.com, more value than one can handle month after month. What I really like about Lynda.com is that I am able to pay for and use their services a month at a time and, when I have gathered a lot of new information/techniques, I am able to stop paying for and stop using their website for a period of time yet remain a “member” who is welcomed to come back at any given time.
I find this method very useful for being able to take in as much information as I can and then take some “time off” from their site in order to put into practice and become proficient with what I have learned before moving on to more advanced learning/techniques. At least that works good with learning the editing end of photography that they offer – your website may be totally different.
Does the ICF work in a similar way? Can I pay for a month or 2 at a time, take a month off and come back? How about the start fees? Since Lynda.com doesn’t have a start up fee I wanted to check with you to see how your site works – is it a onetime only fee or would this charge reoccur if I stopped using the site for any given amount of time?
Sorry to question so much…I just want to know what options are available.
Thanks for your time,
Doug, unfortunately we don’t take the same approach. however, anyone can quit at anytime they wish.
We are more than an education source. Lynda.com is more academic. We are more ‘here’s what really works in the real world, from the trenches.’
Not only that, we are a community. A culture, so to speak. And the title says it all, not much more needs to be added to describe our philosophy.
And, we are a coaching system, of sorts, since many questions get asked and answered. Not to mention the manuals, the videos, the actions, the pdf’ files, the audio recordings, webinars, monthly interviews, to mention a few highlights.
I believe our clients say it best:
thanks for your question!
I’ve seen it several times, at conventions, at photographers studios. We’ve been saying for years that one computer is not better than another, no more than one set of tools for a carpenter is better than another, all things being equal. A hammer will hammer, a saw will saw. The tools makes not the carpenter.
Jeff Chevrier, over at Photo Creative, where I get my camera gear, an avid mac user himself, admits it’s like a religion with many MAC users.
Frankly, I don’t get it myself. But I’ve never been particularly attached or emotionally bonded to any religion for that matter.
Andy Armstrong, a talented, opinionated, energetic presenter and all around Tim Horton lovin photographer from Knoxville TN, and member. moderator at NO Bs PhotoSuccess, the worlds greatest online photography forum , said this on his blog. I love it.
From the blog of Andy Armstrong:
“I’m tired of Apple’s bogus Mac commercials
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The latest “I’m a PC and I’m a Mac” commercial (see video below) is beyond ridiculous, and quite frankly, I wonder how they get sued for false advertising.
In the latest incarnation, a woman is trying to find a new computer, and she is presented with a long line of choices from the PC side. She begins eliminating computers based on her needs (e.g., big screen, fast processor, etc.). As she makes her choices, the “PCs” begin exiting. In the middle of the commercial, the woman states (and I quote for accuracy), “I just want something that works without crashing, or viruses, or a ton of headaches,” at which point all the PCs leave the screen and the PC character says to the Mac character, “Ugh, she’s all yours.”
I think that even a child would understand the points that are made in this commercial: (1) All PCs get viruses; (2) All PC’s crash; and (3) Macs don’t crash or get viruses. Really?
First off, all computers crash. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Mac or a PC. It will crash.
Now, if you Google “How to Restart your Mac,” you’ll find multiple entries on how to accomplish this task. Here’s a good one:
How to restart a frozen Mac
It starts off, “If the cursor won’t move, the time stops on the wristwatch cursor, or the keyboard won’t talk to your screen, your Mac is “frozen,” or has “crashed.” Here are several ways to remedy the problem for Mac OS 8.0 or later,” and goes on to give you that funky key combination to try to restart your Mac.
If makes don’t freeze up, lock up or crash, then why does a Mac need this built in feature? Why did Apple programmers create this function to restart a frozen system or keyboard? It seems totally unnecessary for computers that don’t crash – like the commercials imply.
It’s built in because Macs do freeze up, lock up and crash. That’s why.
I work in graphic design and photography. I’ve worked on both Macs and PCs for years, and I can tell you first hand that I’ve managed to freeze up, lock up, or crash all of them. It’s just a matter of executing more commands and taxing the system more than it can handle, and both do this relatively easily. It doesn’t matter which Mac or PC you’re working on.
So, how can Apple get away with lying about their own product in their commercials? Well, it’s because they “imply” they don’t lie. If you watch the commercial, you’ll notice that the Mac character never says, “I don’t crash or get viruses.” All he says is, “Hi, I’m a Mac.” The implication is the same, but there is no claim (which could constitute false-advertising) made about the product. The viewer is left to make the connection himself.
Apple has great products. They really do. I own an iPod and an iPhone. I enjoy them a lot, but I’ll never understand why the Apple people continue to perpetuate the absolute myths about the differences between Macs and PC’s, when it’s all just over-hyped bunk. And, beyond that, it tends to foster this “smugness” among some Mac users that I just can’t stand.
Here’s what I know to be true. I’m a photographer, graphic designer, and artist. I do all of my work on a Sony Vaio PC, running Windows Vista (for over a year now, without a single issue of crashing or viruses). I can do everything graphically and photographically on my PC that others can do on their Macs with the exact same effort. Macs generally cost more than PCs. Some software is not available for Macs and is generally more expensive than software for PCs, and There are fewer choices in the Mac world.
Stop believing the hype people, because that’s all it really is – hype.”
My last Monday profitable Studio newsletter was a hit. Got more feedback and positive reviews than any other, so thought I’d post it…..
The Profitable Studio weekly newsletter.
Loaded with marketing tips, success secrets,
spelling mistakes, ‘cuss words, odd-ball ideas
and the occasional insult.
For the professional portrait and wedding photographer.
“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution .
It is that they can’t see the problem.”
I don’t do yard maintenance, or lawn mowing, weed pulling, painting, snow removal, home repairs, house cleaning… I also don’t do photoshop workflow, bookkeeping, phone answering, order taking,…plus a whole lot more stuff…..
There are two main reasons why I don’t do yard maintenance, or, for that matter, any of the other items listed above. Reason one: I HATE yard maintenance. I don’t care how much money I would save by doing it myself, why would I want to put myself through something I detest, in order to save a few bucks. The pain and frustration would not make me a better person and is not worth it.
Reason two: I know that mowing the lawn isn’t conducive to growing my photography business.
And the truth is, I ain’t saving a dime. It’s actually costing me money, since my time is far better spent doing things that bring in more money. Like marketing and shooting.
When you do the things that bring in the dough and build the business, then you are spending your time wisely. The fact is, delegation is the key. Delegation, in a sense, will allow you freedom for your photography business to grow and prosper. Delegation, in a sense, will help you become the person you were meant to be.
AAAaaaa, but you hate marketing, you say. But you love shooting.
You can do the things you love, and not make a whole lotta dough, and be fine with that. Or, you can learn to love it, because, there is no choice. Business is business, and in order to grow it, you need to put on, like they say at the horse barn where my daughter rides, ‘your big girl panties’, and do the marketing thing. When you’re in business, that’s simply the way it’s played. There is no other way.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
In essence, what I am going on about is to do with the highest form of time management. If you are starting out, you may have to do a lot of the things that later you will get to delegate. Just don’t get caught in a rut that you never climb out of.
I have no idea why anyone would want to to bookkeeping. Pushing a pencil and doing any form of accounting is the last thing on my list. Lower than lawn maintenance. I used to spend a few hours, and a bottle of brandy, once a month and get my own books done. And I mowed the lawn back then too, plus shoveled the dam driveway. But no more.
Sure, I know how the basics of accounting, as we all should learn. I like and understand money math, balance sheets, income statements and projections, I just don’t wanna do em! Yuck!! Rather poke needles in my eye.
When you’re stuck doing these things because you are in early growth stages of your photography business, you need to keep the end in mind. Know where you are going, stay focused on the big picture until you get to delegate. If you don’t you risk burnout and wasting time doing stuff that will cost you more in the long run.
Delegating isn’t about giving you more leisure time. It’s about allowing you to do the things that you not only prefer doing, but also the things that bring in business.
This is a hard pill for many to swallow. They lack vision and planning. They think they have to do all those grunt jobs or else the place will fall apart without them. Sometimes it makes them feel important. If your into it for your ego, then you will not grow. It’s that simple. Delegation is often a scary new direction for many. But who said that staying in your comfort zone was synonomous with creative output. And I’m talking about profits when I say output.
Use your time wisely and strategically, always with the end in mind. Your success depends on it.
yours in photography,
P.S. If you want to spend 5 days with me learning how I grew my photography business to a six figure a year success story, join me at Niagara School of Imaging in August 2009