Is Photography School for Professional Wedding Photographers a Must?

Going to photography school for wedding photographers is a personal choice, determined by numerous factors, such as a desire to learn, but also time and financial constraints. The general outlook on this topic can seem divisive: some extoll its advantages and believe attending such courses is mandatory for those who truly wish to call themselves … Read more

Rekindle Your Passion for Wedding Photography in 3 Easy Steps

Rekindle Your Passion for Wedding Photography in 3 Easy Steps

It happens to the best of them: we haven’t asked, but we’re sure that, were you to catch her on an off day, even contemporary glam photography guru Annie Leibovitz sometimes feels like the spark is just gone. Bottom line, no matter how passionate you may be about wedding photography, sometimes that passion just vanishes … Read more

Are You Facing Photographer Burnout?

Are You Facing Photographer Burnout?

Imagine this.

You plod along day after day facing the same results.

You know what you want but you just can’t reach it. Things are holding you back from achieving what you truly want to achieve. You dread getting up. You dread facing the day. You’re tired at the end of the day.Are You Facing Photography Burnout

Something’s gotta change. But what? What can you do?

These are classic indications of burnout. But what truly is burnout? And do you really have it?

Burnout is the point at which you reach exhaustion of either physical or emotional strength and motivation as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.

Burnout can be based on a variety of things, including:

  • Having a negative work atmosphere
  • Not loving what you are doing
  • Not believing in what you are doing
  • Having a horrible boss
  • Having the wrong clientele
  • False feelings of overwhelm
  • Negative feelings around inappropriate action

If you see yourself in any of these, and you know you’re probably facing burnout, now what? Where do you go from here?

First, realize that burnout isn’t something controlled by outside sources. Instead, burnout is internalized and comes from self-imposed feelings created in reaction to your surroundings. When you feel pain, you continue to internalize it until it moves from feelings, to daily inflictions, to a complete restructure of your lifestyle.

And that’s when burnout really impacts you.

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Working Moms And A Photography Business

Working Moms And A Photography Business

With Mothers Day this weekend, and as a working mom for 18 years now, the concept of being a “working” mother is just as emotional as ever. Start a conversation on “working” moms and you’ll quickly get into a heated discussion no matter what side of the fence you are on or what your belief system is.

The facts say it all.

  • A full 61 percent of mothers work outside of the home.
  • 4 in 10 working wives currently out earn their husbands. This has increased over 50% from a mere 20 years ago.
  • And with female college graduates currently outnumbering males with a 60/40 ratio, these numbers are only expected to rise in the coming years.

Whether you own a part time studio out of your home, or you’ve chosen to build a full time business out of a commercial studio, how can you be the best mom AND the best business owner at the same time?Working Moms And A Photography Business

Split Your Time

It’s impossible to do two things at once. You can’t take care of your kids AND provide 100 percent customer service. You can’t give a client your full attention if your child is running wild in the next room. When kids are with you, they want your attention. Even if they have nothing to say. In order to be affective as both a business owner and as a parent, dedicate time to both activities and be conscious of keeping that time exclusively for the activity at hand.

Be Present

When I’m with a client, I dedicate 100 percent of my attention to that client. No cell phone or texting. No interruptions from outside sources.

The same holds true when I spend time with my daughter. Even at 18, when she comes home from school, she wants my time to talk about her day. She may have activities to discuss, thoughts from happenings around school, or just in need of some attention after “kid-friction” that invariably goes on at every grade level, including high school.

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Life Got In The Way Of Starting My Photography Business

Life Got In The Way Of Starting My Photography Business

“I had every intention of starting up my photography business last year. I had the business cards. I had a website started. I had my equipment set up. I was even in the process of creating my pricing lists and brochures. Then life got in the way.”

Have you heard that phrase?

Have you used that phrase?

What does it mean … life got in the way.

People talk about “life getting in the way” all the time. The kids needed extra attention. Mom got sick and the caregiving started. The job required overtime.

But how does that allow “life to get in the way”?

Isn’t that just life in general?

The funny thing about life is it always happens. It never stands still. It never goes 100 percent the way you anticipate. Seasons move in and move out. Things change.

And that really is just what life is.

So if you use the phrase “life got in the way”, isn’t it basically an excuse for not doing something?

When you say:

“I worked a full day, only to find I had a teacher meeting with my child’s teacher after school, a phone call from my husband that we were having dinner with one of his clients, and a note from school asking for 2 dozen cupcakes for the bake sale the following day. Life got in the way and I didn’t have time to finish my brochure.”

What you are really saying is other things had more priority than finishing your brochure. It may have been work. It may have been cupcakes. It may have been your feeling of being exhausted. In any case, you allowed other things to move in front and become top priority over your need to finish your brochure.

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How To Stop Feeling Guilty For Wanting More

How To Stop Feeling Guilty For Wanting More

You have a job that pays the bills.

You have a great family life.

You make enough to afford the fun things in life.

Your kids are happy and doing well in school.

You live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood.

You drive a nice car.

You can enjoy your Starbucks every day.

Then why do you keep wishing for more?

And more importantly, why do you keep feeling so guilty for wanting more?

With so much in the media right now about how bad the economy is, it’s hard to not question your feelings if you aren’t facing a similar situation. If someone can’t pay the mortgage because they don’t have a job, should you really be complaining about a job you don’t like when it brings in more than enough income?

Tough it out. Hunker down. Be happy with what you have.

You’ve probably heard more than that from family and friends.

Yet is it true? Should you really be grateful for what you currently have?

The answer is yes … and no.

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5 Tips While You Dream Big

5 Tips While You Dream Big

One of the biggest things people strive for is to find a career path doing what they love. In fact, there are a ton of quotes that help you buy into this belief.

“Do what you love and the money will follow.”

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

“If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”

Yet that concept isn’t always easy in today’s world. Ask anybody around you and you will probably hear about their two different types of work; the kind that pays the bills and the kind they wrap their heart around.

Because you are here, photography is probably your dream career. It’s the one thing that feeds your heart and soul. And because you already know photography would be your dream career, you’ve already moved past one of the most difficult tasks: coming up with the idea that will let your passion fly.

Your next step is to choose to follow your dream job. You may decide to start out small, bringing in a little extra income here and there. Or you may go in head first, knowing there are no guarantees, yet understanding the rewards could be tremendous.

Which ever way you choose to approach your dream of making photography an income generator in your life, there are many obstacles you’ll face in the road ahead. In order to stick with it and not become frustrated down your chosen path is to remember the most important thing in the next few months is balance. You’ll face great days … and not so great ones. You’ll have major leaps forward … and giant steps back. Yet balance will always keep you in the position to move forward with your dreams.

1. Keep your approach flexible.

The more you predefine your direction, the more problems you are likely to encounter. The key to finding success with your new photography career is to take action on it every day, yet also understand that its hard to predefine in many cases what that action will be.

For example, at one point we made the decision to move our business into the world of boudoir photography. We gained a few clients and loved the results we were getting. Yet the work was hard to come by. Yet the weddings started flowing in. When we really looked at what we loved, what we were good at, and what was working for us, wedding photography kept moving up the list. We adjusted and never looked back.

For you, it could be as small as finding some time to work on your new career. Maybe you’ve decided to work three hours per night during the week. Then your child comes home with an invitation to her band concert on Wednesday night from 7 to 9.

Don’t beat yourself up over having to put your dream aside. Instead, be flexible and fit it in at another point during the week. Maybe you get up early Saturday morning to fit it all in. Maybe you give up Saturday night’s poker game. You can do it if you realize what is important to you.

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If You Don’t Change Today, When Will You?

When was the last time you changed?

I mean really changed, not just a little.

I mean stepped completely out of your comfort zone, and did something so radical, when you told people about it they gave you the look … “whaaatttt?”

If you know either Andrew or myself, you probably know we’ve been doing stuff like that for a long time. Trust me when I say our parents gave up a long time ago questioning the way we do things. Just when they are comfortable with what we are doing, we “surprise” them and do something completely new. And sometimes completely off the wall.

When we started up our photography business years ago, we did it on the side for awhile. Until one day we quit it all and worked at it full time. With all of our family completely in the “job” mentality, they definitely questioned our sanity.

Or when we decided to sell our house last summer so we could move into a condo, and travel the world anytime we choose. Our daughter is off to college in a year, and we know travel is more important to us than a large yard that takes a ton of time in the summer months.

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Is The “F” Word Creeping Into Your Business and Personal Life?

Is The “F” Word Creeping Into Your Business and Personal Life?

“Most people die at 20 and live until they are 75.” – Les Brown

I saw this quote the other day and wrote it down to remember it. I have a whole list of quotes I love and look to them often for motivation.

And while I completely agree with this quote, another part of me asked “why”. Why do people give up everything, lose their dreams, and continue with a life they really don’t enjoy?

When I started out after high school, I attended college because my mom said I had to. I didn’t have a goal or a purpose; just my mom behind me saying I had to have a degree. She wasn’t allowed to go to college back in her day because her family assumed she would drop out and get married anyway; why “waste” the money? She always regretted it and made sure her daughters had a degree instead.

So I “fell” into a business degree because I really didn’t know what else to do.

Then I fell into a variety of “jobs”, from banking to accounting to auditing. I never loved it; I just did it. I did get paid very well for what I did. And I also traveled all the time, which I guess is what whetted my appetite for travel. But I just did it all because that’s what you were supposed to do.

Then something happened when I was 28. My dad died of a massive heart attack. It was very quick, no warning. Just here one day, gone the next. He was 54 years old and way too young to die. But he has continued to influence me more since his death than he probably ever did while he was alive.

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