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The Big Announcement Part I

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Owning a business is a lot of hard work and nobody ever said it would be easy. It’s a roller coaster ride of many ups and downs. I truly do believe if you are willing to put in the hard work, the long hours and do things right, you will definitely reap the benefits of being a full time entrepreneur.

I know in my business of photography there is an amazing community of photographers which most of them are more than willing to share “trade secrets” so to speak lending a helping hand when asked with no hesitation. One of the many wonderful and amazingly talented people I have had the pleasure of knowing and receiving help from is Crystal Mitchell from Provocateur by Crystal Mitchell. She is an incredible human being, entrepreneur, and photographer.

This has been a long time coming and has taken a lot of work in a very short period of time to actually bring it to fruition. I have to say though, seeing the hard work put in literally materialize as results you can physically see, is beyond satisfying for me. I am so proud of what I have accomplished in this short time with my business.

So I am sure you are all curious as to what this BIG announcement I have been speaking of is..... well It isn’t just one thing, there are multiple things I have been working on that have culminated in this BIG announcement.

So I would like to formally welcome you to the new Visuphoria Website! A sleek clean feel for our everyday women to feel comfortable viewing. We have also enlisted some top Album manufacturers, and lower session fees! This makes it affordable for everyone to come in and have their own session with the team of Visuphoria.

Male Boudoir Photographers - It's NOT a Man's World

Now I am fairly new to boudoir photography and when I say new I mean I have done a handful of shoots.  I know there are lots of guys out there who aren’t photographers at all but think wow that is so cool and what a great gig that would be. Believe me I have even heard that from a few friends. You get to photograph half naked women in lingerie, look at sexy women all day and so on. While yes this is true I photograph women in lingerie this is not what it’s all about for me, not at all!

When I am shooting a session I am not even thinking about how sexy the woman is or anything like that because I am too busy focusing on posing her.  I am making sure the lighting works for the shot and ensuring my camera settings are correct in order to make certain I get the shot as close to perfect “in camera” as possible. I really don’t have time to be concerned about the other stuff especially when I am in the zone shooting, interacting with my subject.

I know that some people would balk at that and say I am bullshitting and it must be at least part of the intrigue and interest but it really isn’t. In all honesty for me it is truly about making the women who get in front of my camera feel comfortable in their own skin.  Feel beautiful, help them build their confidence, help them love their bodies.  Ultimately I want them to be happy with the images/art I create for them and if I can do that for EVERY woman that gets in front of my camera then I know I have done my job as a photographer.  I will have helped another person to realize their self-worth and beauty and that my friends is the icing on the proverbial cake!

The Networking Effect

There is no doubt that networking is a hugely advantageous tool to any and all business owners. Now there are many groups, clubs networks out there to choose from but which one is the right one for you? How do you go about deciding which one is the right fit for your business?

Networking definitely forces you out of your comfort zone but It can generate referrals and increased business as well as creating connections.  These sessions give you the opportunity to rub shoulders with highly influential people in the business world.  These are opportunities that you might not normally have. It is also a great way to get advice from like- minded entrepreneurs/business people and make new friends in the process.

It’s tough not to drown in the sea of options but you have to keep your head above water. Talk to friends, friends of friends, do your due diligence and research and find the right one(s) for you.  I know I am currently struggling with this exact dilemma right now and am trying to figure out a couple of more avenues to explore in order to expand my network.

I currently belong to the Toronto Board of Trade and this is a great organization. Business owners from all walks of life are members it’s a great place to meet people BUT you have to put in the time, do the work and that I think is part of the reason people have a tough time with this type of thing. These connections don’t get built overnight, you have to nurture them they take time and let’s face it you’re not going to connect on an organic level with everyone that you meet at networking events. Sometimes, you just need to walk away as there will be nothing mutually beneficial so move on, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Relationships are the catalyst for success. People tend to do business with people they like and trust. Be a resource for others and help them succeed.  Just because there might be nothing beneficial for YOU doesn’t mean you can’t help someone out in the process if you have the capability to do so. Remember, this networking thing ISN’T all about YOU! It’s a two way street.

 

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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.

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New Paths - On The Journey to Success

Have you ever had an idea or vision in your head of how things should go exactly and then realize it was very different from how things were actually progressing in the real world? Well that’s where I am right now with my photography business. I am sure there are a ton of people out there who have struggled with or gone through the same thing. I am stuck at the proverbial fork in the road, one path will lead me down the same route I am on right now with little to no progress and the other will lead me to progression in my career with some help.

I am anticipating my photography career to be a long and winding road. Soon I will embark on a new and exciting path and I am so excited and open to all the challenges and possibilities which I am sure will come with this new adventure. I am ready for a change in paths and ready to embrace the unknown of where this is going to take me.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help from people, if you ask, you will find that most of the time people are more than willing to help out with your journey. I am speaking of mentorship! I have decided to try mentorship and I couldn’t be more excited, nervous and scared for this new path and change. As I mentioned in my previous post, change is a good thing and we need to embrace that change and take the opportunities that come our way with vigor and enthusiasm.

Mentorship can only be a very positive thing, when you think about it, this is someone else who has been in the same or similar position you are now and they are willing to bestow their knowledge and life experience upon you, giving you the guidance you need to help you succeed. Your mind will be opened to new possibilities, thought processes and approaches to work and business. How can this be anything but a positive experience? I am looking forward to it and all the possibilities that could come my way on this new path.

Image courtesy of thepottershandacademy.com

The End of One Chapter - The Beginning of Another

I guess as the year 2013 comes to an end, it is time for us to reflect upon the passing year and figure out what our accomplishments were, the challenges we faced and how we dealt with them and the things we want to accomplish in the coming year.

People say, as one door closes, another one opens, well this year is almost at an end and the door to 2014 is in sight at the end of the hall. The time to face it head on with enthusiasm, passion and motivation is fast approaching. I know for certain that I am ready to do that in all aspects of my life. This year is going to be the year of Brad, I will make it so!

This past year brought quite a few personal struggles for me as well as my family, it was tough but here we are no worse for wear. We made it through. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I know that’s cliché but it is true. There were health issues with family members, deaths and the day to day struggles that we all endure. It has definitely been a tough year but I have persevered.

I don’t believe in setting New Year’s resolutions, they just end up getting broken and forgotten about although I plan on setting some goals for myself for the coming year, both personal and business. It will be full of happiness, fulfillment and achievements.

So, as each of us finishes penning chapter 2013 and we begin to write chapter 2014 in our own personal books. I would like to take this moment to wish you ALL, the very best for the coming year and may each of you have all the health, happiness and prosperity that you all deserve from my family to all of yours!

Image courtesy of azworld.com