Beyond Workshop: Three Days of Community, Creativity and Content
One of the best things that a photographer can do to serve their clients better is to invest in themselves. Just like with any profession, it's important to continue your education, so that's what I did and holy cow, I am so happy I did! There is just something magical about getting together with fellow photographers and learning, sharing, working together and separately to get the best shots, choosing to be vulnerable, working through differences and providing love and support. The ladies that I met are not only amazing people, but are unbelievably talented creatives! Let's be honest-having 15 women in one house can be difficult, right? Not everyone is going to get along all of the time; personalities are real-and there are bound to be ones that don't mesh. You are going a million miles an hour, packing in as much as possible, surviving on coffee (and for some alcohol), and jamming your brain with a ton of content. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but I think it's all in how you look at it...you have to set an intention BEFORE you go. If you do, you are bound to learn something! Sometimes just working on your own shit is the learning experience you need and frankly, can totally help you with your business! I set my intention, took that leap (these kind of things are way outside of my comfort zone) and learned a ton! New strategies for my website, new ways to pose, lots of self reflection and how to better serve you!
One of the biggest ah-ha moments for me was the fact that I really rely on my relationships with my clients! We had the most adorable couple for our in-home styled shoot. We were grouped into three groups of five and were given 10 minutes with the couple. And after the group shot, each photographer had three minutes alone with the couple. When it was my alone time, I froze! I realized that I knew nothing about them, so while yes, I could pose them how I thought they would look good, what was really important to me was to pose them with meaning for them! I spent probably the first minute asking them questions. One of their favorite ways to snuggle is with Lily curled up in Mikes lap. Realizing that knowing the connection between couples is essential to my work was such an ah-ha moment! One that I will be eternally grateful for! It made me thankful that I take the time to get to know my clients beforehand. But it also made me realize that I need to go into a shoot with a plan to capitalize on the moment!
The second thing that really stuck with me is community and how different each photographer conducts their business and that there is no one size fits all recipe when it comes to being successful. This realization was both comforting and terrifying! It's comforting to know that even the photographers who are seasoned, have a great website, are making money, getting ample inquiries, and seem to have it all together are still trying to perfect their business. They don't have all of the answers, and that is comforting to know we are all in the same boat to some extent. The flip side is the realization that having a photography business is a ton of work and you will always be working on it! You have to be a jack of all trades-a photographer, IT person, marketer, writer, accountant, social media guru...I could go on and on. It's a lot and can be terrifying, for sure! But that's also the beauty of this industry-YOU get to define your success! The fact that we are all figuring this stuff out and each business is unique is what I think makes the Community Over Competition movement really work. We can absolutely learn from each other, build each other up, support each other and share knowledge because each person is different in how they execute those tips.
The last nugget I took away is that collaborating with other creatives is essential to keep those creative juices flowing! We were able to work with some of the best in the industry over this weekend! Our workshop Hosts, Casi and Elle are two incredibly talented photographers! Teaching just comes naturally to Casi (Casi Yost Photography). Casi is always quick to share her tips, and embodies the community over competition movement more than anyone I have ever met. I honestly have not met another photographer who inspires me daily and I am so thankful that she is in my life. Elle's (Harper Grace Photography) love for mountains and the outdoors, paired with her adventurous spirit hooked me from the beginning. I am in awe of her editing and the locations that she takes her couples to! Dorotheea, the mastermind behind Kamea Events is truly astounding in her visions and being able to make dreams a reality. I was beyond stoked to meet Heather and her team from Sea of Roses! I have been Insta-stalking her forever because her florals are out of this world and it turns out that she is just as warm and welcoming as her florals are. And while I didn't get to meet anyone from Dream Cakes in person, I was able to taste the cake! Holy Hannah are they incredible! In fact, I am starting to salivate just thinking about it...nummy! All of the vendors and models were beyond my expectations-simply stunning!
If you are ever on the fence about attending a workshop, I say do it! Do your research-make sure it is reputable and then open yourself to being vulnerable, learning, laughing and invest in yourself and your clients.
Full list of vendors:
Florist: Sea of Roses
Hair & Make-Up Artist: Marina Haynes
Gowns: Elizabeth Dye
Paper Goods & Signage: Rebekah Carey
Cake: Dream Cakes
Rentals: Vintage Meets Modern
Stylist: Kamea Events