knowledge

Yervant and Anie - The Photography Symposium 2016

“All good things must come to an end” and no better way to sum up the second day of Yervant and Anie’s Photography Symposium. This event rolled through Toronto as one of its many stops on June 15th, 16th and 17th.  I attended the event for 2 days and there was a master class on the third day which I opted out of.

It was an incredible experience and one I won’t soon forget. If you do get the chance to attend this event in your city, I strongly advise you do check it out, you won't be disappointed. Yervant and Anie put together an unbelievable program packed with a wealth of information, knowledge and not to mention an incredible line up of 6 industry professionals all experts in their particular area of photography. It took place at The Berkley Field House, a truly beautiful venue. It was geared at a smaller more intimate group of about 60-100 attendees which I feel was the perfect amount.

The two days were jam packed with information and personal stories and at times, astonishingly emotional and honest moments.  Yervant speaking about wedding photography and making us laugh hysterically.  Joe Buissink sharing his incredibly moving story of his childhood and why he is so passionate about wedding photography.  Sue Bryce sharing her brilliance on posing your subjects.  Michele Neal Celentano and her insistence on existing in your photographs because of her beautifully moving story.

There were a couple of common threads that were strung through these two days of presentations and stories. These recurring threads seemed to be:  if you work hard at your craft, you can achieve whatever it is you want for you and your business and you are worth it so charge your clients what you feel you are worth but keep in mind, you must deliver on that promise.

One thing in particular really struck a chord with me, the presenters kept re-iterating was with regards to printing your work.  Then I thought about it and we don’t print our work nearly as often as we should! You MUST print your work.  Preserve those moments in time through print as you never get a second chance to go back and relive those moments.  They are fleeting!

Remember, it’s not a photograph until it’s printed!  This statement really reverberated me and reminded me just how important it is for us photographers to print our work. Not only are you helping yourself but you are also helping to preserve our industry.

It's OK To Turn Down Jobs - Knowing When To Say No

I was recently approached by someone that wanted to hire me for my photography services. Everything started out ok, you know the usual asking for pricing etc. I sent over my pricing sheet for a portrait shoot as requested and was immediately met with resistance. They started out saying the pricing was more than they wanted to pay and they could only squeeze a certain amount out of their budget.

I thought to myself, ok let me see what I can work out in order to help this person out. I have known the person for quite some time and decided I would do my best to be as accommodating as I possibly could. Without affecting my bottom line too much I would find a solution that would be mutually beneficial for us both.

Well much to my surprise, this person had a very different idea as to how things should be worked out, in fact quite a contrast from what I had in mind. I just couldn’t accommodate the request and feel morally right about the whole thing so I decided the best solution in this instance was to walk away from the entire situation.

I won’t need to go into details as to exactly what happened and the reasons as this is not the point, I just feel it is indeed ok to say NO to jobs and walk away. You have to go about it a certain way though. You could always offer up a reference for another photographer to do the job in the hope that you will be helpful with their need and you also potentially helped out another photographer. Always better to take the high road in these situations.

Not every client you come across will be “THE CLIENT” for you and your business. In the long run, distancing yourself from the torment of an unmanageable client far outweighs the monetary benefits of the job. Sometimes you just have to SAY NO!

Image courtesy of yugenlee.com

Believing In You - Re-ignite Your Passion!

The other week I started down my new path in the form of my very first “official” mentoring session. Let me tell you, it was so much more than I had ever expected. I have always loved and been passionate about photography but deciding to get a mentor has taken this passion and love to another dimension/level.

After my first session I was on a complete high and wore a perma grin from the time the session ended that evening right through the next 24 hours. It was an incredible feeling of elation and excitement for all the possibilities that will come from this. It was next to impossible to contain myself, I felt as though I was going to spontaneously combust due to excitement. My head felt like it was going to explode or blow right off my shoulders because of all the information I was trying to retain, all the excitement and ideas. It could liken it to trying to stop a geyser from blowing into the air.

Now having a few sessions under my belt with my mentor I have adopted a completely new outlook on my business and getting it to the next level. I have also gained a new level of confidence in myself, my skills and abilities. I am now more convinced than ever, there is NO option for failure here. I am learning so much and yes it is most definitely overwhelming at times but not beyond manageable.

It’s a great feeling having a totally unbiased set of eyes and ears, someone who is also a professional in our chosen field of work, to bounce all your ideas off of and get honest feedback. Having a mentor that wants to see you succeed is an incredibly invaluable resource to have available. Like they say about a “good” “honest” mechanic, they are worth their weight in gold. Well I would have to say the same rule applies to mentors.

As my mentor said “it may take time, but I promise you the ride is incredible.” I know I have a ways to go yet and the road is going to be long but it’s all about the journey not the destination. I am so enthused and excited for all the possibilities, opportunities and knowledge which will be bestowed upon me. All I can do is embrace this new chapter in my life with an open mind and open arms.

Image courtesy of colouryourlife.net