The Importance of Using a Make Up Artist on a Photo Shoot

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I would like to preface this post by telling you this one was guest written by my amazing and incredibly talented make up artist Maddy McGhee aka "madeupbymads" Please show her some love and check out her work and talent by clicking on the hyperlinks below.

"The worst part about having my makeup done by some else is walking away and never looking like myself. However getting your makeup done to highlight your natural beauty can be an eye opening, wonderful experience! Between work/school/kids it's hard to always get in the time for yourself let alone your makeup - that's why sometimes doing something like a boudoir shoot where it's all about you is super fun! Makeup doesn't have to take over the shoot but just makes you shine and adds to the day. You don't wear makeup or a lot of makeup on a regular basis? No problem! I'm a big believer in using makeup to enhance the beauty that's there rather than covering so each application is light and natural but still adding that special something something! It can be an intimidating experience but also an empowering one and that's how I feel about makeup! You just have to find what is right for you and your look. The polished look finished off with a professional photographer can make moments last forever (ones that you don't want to crop yourself out of...) Can't wait to work with you! Maddy from @madeupbymads Check out more of my work on Instagram/YouTube/Facebook @madeupbymads "

Don't Burn Bridges - You May Just Need To Walk Across Them One More Time

Growing up as a kid, my dad bestowed a lot of wisdom unto me with his little one-liners and pithy anecdotes. Now, there were quite a few of them but one in particular really stood out for me: “Don’t ever burn your bridges”

For the past month or so, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster; a veritable whirlwind all rolled up into one for me. I quit my full time corporate job after 12 ½ years with the same company to pursue my passion, my love of photography. Scary as hell but I have a great support system in place in my family, my friends and my former colleagues, which to be honest I didn’t fully expect but it has been an incredibly pleasant surprise.

It wasn’t that I expected people to be pissed off with me or not be happy for me but I didn’t expect them to be as supportive as they have been, and it has been amazing to say the least.  When I handed in my resignation, my boss said he knew this was coming and he was one of the most supportive people out of everybody. He was totally 100% happy for me, unhappy to see me go but in my corner and wanted to help in any way he could.  He helped in more ways than one and I am incredibly appreciative for his help.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit but I was a little taken aback by the offers of help from the different people at work. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it ALL, more than words could ever express!  It was just a little unexpected. The outpouring of support from people was incredibly supportive and kind. It made me a little emotional reading some of them to be honest but moreover it made me feel especially good and supported.

I had partners at the firm approaching me and calling me to wish me luck in my future endeavours, asking for my contact info and offering their help. I even had one partner from the firm tell me to USE the network I have built there, ask for help. More often than not, people are willing to help out, you just have to ask!

I spent a lot of years at my job, met and worked with a lot of amazing people.  I made a lot of friends and forged some great relationships. So the “old man” was on to something.  You should never ever burn your bridges.  It’s always good to keep your relationships in good standing because you never know when you might need help from someone. Thanks for the words of advice Dad, they certainly came in handy!

Competition - YOU Are Your Only Competition

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You know, it always makes me laugh when I talk to people about being a full time photographer. The common response is: “ohhhh it’s so tough out there. There are so many photographers out there, so much competition”.

That same argument about competition could be used with musicians, artists, hockey players, hell just about anything really! Could you imagine if everyone followed and believed in that logic? It’s a pretty bleak way to look at things in my opinion.

Firstly, I am NOT in competition with anybody other than MYSELF.  Secondly, there is more than enough work to go around for all of the photographers out there. Thirdly, and I believe this to be one of the most important things, you MUST set yourself apart from all the other photographers out there, PLAIN and SIMPLE. This will help you attract clients.  Whether it’s through your style or your customer service, you should use everything at your disposal to your advantage.  There is only one YOU!

You should only be competing with yourself! This way, you are constantly pushing yourself to improve, to be better at whatever it is you are doing. So don’t listen to the noise in your ears, ignore it and do your thing! Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, that’s a waste of time!!  Focus on being the BEST YOU!

Testimonial by Miss R - Having my photos taken by Brad was a fun & fabulous experience

Having my photos taken by Brad was a fun & fabulous experience. He is a very professional photographer and showed he knew what he was doing on site of the photo shoot and he didn't fail to communicate the progress of the photos after wards. He got back to me with completed photos in a short amount of time along with the outcome of the completed photos being outstanding and showing clear talent in his work. I wouldn't hesitate to have Brad as a photographer for any occasion!

Jump Part II - The Aftermath

Well, I have finally done what I have been talking and thinking about for well over a year now. I jumped from the comfort of my full time corporate job to go full time with my photography business. It was incredibly exciting, invigorating and insanely nerve wracking ALL at the same time.

I mean I thought it was going to be a bit easier than it had been in terms of actually jumping but holy shit was I wrong. I didn’t think for a second that it was going to be easy but I feel like I have been on the highest, longest, steepest most twisty loop de loop roller coaster in the world and let me tell you, I HATE roller coasters with a passion.  That should give you some insight as to how I was feeling leading up to my final day at Ernst & Young. I know these feelings are normal and there were many who came before me who have been through it and there will be many after me who go through the same thing.

I knew I was going to be giving up the proverbial security blanket. Losing the comfort of my corporate job and a regular pay check were playing with both my head and guts almost every morning but I knew I couldn’t give into those fears and voices.

I have looked really hard at why the fears and voices kept creeping in from time to time.  I know they will creep again and again over the course of running my business.   Fear of the unknown at the root of all this internal turmoil.  As my last day approached, which changed 3 times before it actually happened, each and every time that day drew closer my fears grew and the voices in the back of my mind got louder and louder. I knew that I couldn’t let them drown out the excitement and the other voice that kept telling me I have to do this! I have to move on from my current situation!  It’s the only way for me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.

I have to admit, if it weren’t for the support of my incredible wife, none of this would have even been possible. She is 100% in support of me pursuing this crazy dream of mine so I owe a lot to her and I am eternally grateful. She talked me off the ledge countless times when that fear took over.   She pushed me out of my comfort zone so I knew it was what needed to be done!

I have been self-employed for just over a week now and let me tell you, it feels incredible.  That last day was rough; handing in my laptop, my company credit card and my security badge for the place I spent ¼ of my life. It was a bittersweet feeling I tell you, I had forged many relationships there so it wasn’t easy but it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders when I woke up that next morning.  Rolling out of bed, realizing I didn’t have to go back downtown again and that I was going to be the master of MY own destiny now.  I am totally in control!! Coming to that realization was an incredible feeling.

I am really looking forward to writing this next chapter in the book of MY LIFE, it is going to be exciting and challenging but something tells me it’s going to be better than the last.

Testimonial by Miss A - "Do yourself a favor... book a session with Brad and you'll find out it was worth every penny"

If you ever get the chance to do something special for yourself....get Boudoir photos taken of yourself by Brad Walsh!! Although it may seem like a frightening thing to do for some, Brad's professional manner made me feel comfortable and by the end of the shoot posing became effortless. I am more than pleased with the amazing photos that Brad had captured through his lens. His eye for detail and emotion made the sometimes uncomfortable poses all worthwhile. Do yourself a favor....book a session with Brad and you'll find out it was worth every penny and you'll ask yourself "why didn't I do this sooner?"

You Gotta Jump - If You Want To Be Successful

 

In the words of Steve Harvey, “if you want to be successful, you have to jump”.  A very good friend of mine shared a video clip with me a few months back. This video clip is of Steve Harvey standing in a parking garage talking about the dangers of not taking a leap of faith and not going after what you want in life. It’s a very raw, very minimal video about 2 minutes in length but it really resonated with me on a level I cannot even begin to describe to you in words. I have watched this clip about 30 times since the first viewing and I love it more and more every time I watch it.

The concept is so simple yet it’s not something that is simple to do and let’s be honest, not a lot of people actually follow through and do what he is speaking about in that clip. The follow through is much harder than the idea but as my Dad used to tell me when I was growing up, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.  I often wonder if my Dad would feel that way once I tell him that I am going to be doing just that! I guess I will find out soon enough as the time draws near.

Nothing will change my mind or my way of thinking about it because I do believe we have to do what we have to do!  Forge our own paths in this life. Sometimes you just have to say “FUCK IT”!  I have grown tired of dreaming and whishing my weeks away just to get to that glorious 2 day reprieve from the preceding 5 day personal hell.

The time for change is NOW! Albeit scary as anything but if I don’t do this now, then when? When is the right or perfect time? I have learned there is never one. So as the saying goes, it’s now or never or as my wife says to me “shit or get off the pot” See you on the other side folks!

Testimonial by Miss M - "Before working with Brad, I didn't know what to expect... Now I recommend it to all my girlfriends and to every woman I know!

Before working with Brad, I didn't know what to expect from our session. I had never done a boudoir shoot before and I was nervous. Brad quickly put my worries to rest! He was extremely professional as a photographer, but also very encouraging and attuned to what would make me feel the most comfortable during our shoot. Not only was this one of the MOST empowering things I've ever done, but Brad also made me look GORGEOUS in every shot, AND I have the AMAZING pictures to prove it (which have now turned in to a book as an anniversary gift to my husband). I recommend a shoot with Brad to ALL my girlfriends and to every woman I know!

Testimonial by Miss F - "I felt surprisingly comfortable for my first time doing a boudoir shoot"

I recently had the opportunity to work with Brad on a boudoir shoot for his portfolio. Having never done any kind of boudoir photography, I definitely had my hesitations (and excitement) going in, but Brad has a comfort and confidence that really put me at ease. You can tell just by his excitement for setting up his equipment that he loves what he does. During the shoot he gives positive and helpful direction and encouragement. My hesitations slipped away and I became very comfortable in the space and with Brad. The shots he took are all beautiful. He always asked what I wanted in the shots and included what he needed based on my comfort. Being lucky enough to work with Brad, I can say that you will have someone listen to what you want and deliver what you are looking for.

There Is NEVER A Perfect Time For Your Session - Celebrate Who YOU Are Now

This past weekend I had the pleasure of exhibiting at a women’s expo for the first time as a Boudoir Photographer and I must say it was quite an experience. Being one of the very few men in a room full of women was an amazing thing. The event was called Girls Day Out and was held in Vaughan Ontario and that’s exactly what it was, just an afternoon out for the ladies.

It was a relatively small event, perhaps 20 vendors and a couple of women speakers.  One of which was my business partner and author of the book Brave Ecstatic Woman, Merav Richter. There was also a fashion show and then of course time to mill around the room and peruse the products vendors were selling. I would say there were about 75 – 100 people there, many of whom were parents of the children and teens that were participating in the fashion show but all in all considering the venue and the publicity surrounding the event it was a fairly well attended event.

Among the good number of women that came by my booth, I noticed a common thread among some of them:  that they needed to lose weight before booking a session with me. Now to me, that is just horribly sad to think that way. ALL women are beautiful and come in ALL shapes and sizes. I honestly at the moment didn’t have a proper response to that except for telling the women that is NOT necessary at all, you look wonderful the way you are. Upon some reflection and speaking with a couple of women, I managed to craft an appropriate response albeit a little too late for that event but I know now what to say the next time I hear those words from a woman who is contemplating a boudoir session with me.  I can just tell them, you are perfect just the way you are now. If you wait to do things until “YOU” feel you are the "perfect" weight etc., you will never do them. Women are very hard on themselves. You should celebrate who YOU are right now.

I think we as boudoir photographers have an amazing opportunity to help change that mindset but not just within the photography industry. I think, we owe it to one another to flip that way of thinking upside down.  In fact, we need to eradicate it completely.   There is no need for women or men to feel they need to lose some weight before they can do a photoshoot or anything else for that matter. Embrace who you are and how you look NOW and celebrate it.

Beauty fits ANY body!

Let's Celebrate the Successes of Our Peers - Gender Should NOT Play a Role

Ahhhh the internet, it can be such a great thing on one hand and on the other hand a virtual breeding ground for idiocy and ignorance. I was reading a post a couple of months back on Facebook by a very talented and well established female photographer.

Now you might be wondering what the importance of said photographer’s gender is or why I even identified it however I will get to that and actually this blog post was inspired by the issue discussed in her post.

What I read shocked me mostly because of the ignorance and audacity. The gist of her post was stating that 90% of the emails she has been receiving as of late are coming from men and they are telling her she is running her business incorrectly or doesn’t know what she is doing. First off, who the FUCK do these men think they are? Secondly, you are giving all the good and supportive men a bad name and making the good guys look like chauvinistic Neanderthals. This is not the 1920’s! I would be inclined to say jealousy has played a role here in these men for them to have behaved in such an appalling spiteful manner.   Frankly, I don’t understand why some men feel the need to bestow their perceived wisdom onto women because they think women are in need of it.  That men just know better just because they are men is archaic and ludicrous and could not be further from the truth.  

Have any of these men seen what this woman is doing for the photography industry, let alone with her business? Do any of them know her back story and what she has been through in order to get where she is today? She is doing incredibly well with her business and is sharing her knowledge with all photographers alike.  Whether they are male or female it makes no difference or has no bearing, she is all about helping out her fellow photographers. Get over it and deal with it!  I would say to her naysayers perhaps you need to take a lesson or page from her book.  Maybe you could actually learn a thing or two from her instead of letting your delicate ego get in the way.

Shouldn’t we be celebrating our peers’ successes and building them up instead of tearing them down? No matter what gender they are!?  We are a community of professionals and when one does well and shares their knowledge and experiences, we all do well. There is enough room for all of us to share in the successes so instead of wasting your energies telling someone who is clearly doing well for herself that she is doing things wrong or she doesn’t know what she is doing, why not spend your energy working on and worrying about what YOU can do to improve your business.

In today’s day and age there is absolutely NO reason for this type of sexist behaviour to play a role in our business/industry. Off the top of my head I can think of AT LEAST a dozen incredibly successful female photographers in our industry and there are dozens and dozens more who are kicking ass and taking names in this business. Let’s keep that in mind.  We could all learn a thing or two from our female counterparts in this industry.

Just For Mom

There is still something to be said for physically holding in your hands a moment captured in time that was printed on photo paper. When you see a photo hanging on a wall, framed and in print...you just can’t beat the feeling it gives you. To be able to stand back and admire that gives you an indescribable feeling.

With Mother's Day just on the horizon, are you looking for something special for Mom this year?  Why not make Mom’s special day memorable by booking a shoot just for her and the children? This will be something that she will have to cherish and look back on with great fondness for years to come.  

Visuphoria Photography is running its inaugural Just for Mom Mother’s Day photo shoot promotion.  We currently have two dates open with multiple time slots for you to choose from. Allow me to capture and share in some of those precious moments with you and your children by booking your Just For Mom Mother’s Day photo shoot today! Follow the link and sign up now. Limited spaces available! http://www.visuphoria.ca/sessions/

 

The Boudoir Experience

The Experience

“A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”

boudoir (/ˈbuːd.wɑːr/; French: [bu.dwaʁ]) is defined as a woman's private sitting room or salon in a furnished accommodation usually between the dining room and the bedroom, but can also refer to a woman's private bedroom. The word itself, by its very definition says this is all about a woman, all about YOU!  

Today boudoir photography is one of the fastest growing genres of photography and this is NOT just a photo shoot.  It’s an experience and one like no other.  Yes, it may take you out of your comfort zone but you will feel like a queen for a couple of hours while in front of my camera. 

I am a professional and provide a professional service for you! I will never share or publish ANY of your images without your written permission.  As a male photographer, I also feel like I can provide a different perspective.  I love shooting boudoir photography and I feel it really comes through in my work.  

Not only am I a male photographer but I am also a husband, a father and a friend to many women and I hear the same things all too often:  “I’m not that good looking”, “I’m ugly”, “I’m too fat for boudoir” and so on.  But I want to be able to show you what I see!  I love the female form, hey let’s face it I am a man!!!  More importantly, I want you to see what I see because ALL women are beautiful.  No matter the shape or size, ALL women are beautiful and I want you to see what I see!  I will take the most beautiful photographs you have ever seen of yourself!  There is nothing more rewarding for me than seeing the excitement in your eyes and the joy in your expression when you see the finished product

Let me give you a little bit of a rundown on how I like to run one of my shoots.

There are 4 steps to my process.  First we start out with a pre-shoot consult.  This is where we have a little introductory session so we can discuss what kind of shoot you want.  We talk about your ideas/thoughts and desires for your shoot.  Do you feel comfortable with a sexy lingerie look? A casual sexy look?  Whatever your heart desires.  Basically, I want your input too!  This is about you after all, I am merely there to help you realize it! Your session will be unique and tailored to you so there is no worry about it looking the same as someone else’s. Just like a woman’s beauty is unique, your shoot will be as well.

Second, we book a date that works for you.  I want to work with you, to find the best time for you in your schedule so you are relaxed and ready to be gorgeous!

Third, the actual boudoir shoot!  When you arrive for your session, you will be greeted by me and handed a beverage. You will then be whisked off to “the chair” where you will be pampered by our hair and makeup artist.  You just sit and enjoy as we chat and you get beautified. You will get 2-3 outfit changes during your session.  I will guide and coach you throughout the entirety of your shoot.  Your job is to be beautiful!

And the fourth and final step is the moment of truth: the photo shoot reveal!  We will set some time aside to meet so we can look at your photos together!

I believe that a boudoir shoot is something every woman should experience at the very least, once in their lifetime.  This experience is all about YOU.   A boudoir shoot isn’t specific to a “type” of woman, it IS for EVERY woman!  I am hoping this experience will “transform” you.

We will celebrate your confidence, your femininity, your elegance, your sensuality and most importantly you will be empowered!  This is all about a body positive experience.

“The most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence”

Negativity and Ignorance About the Boudoir Photography Genre

The other day I had posted a boudoir photography promotion in a group on Facebook and not 10 minutes later I was banned from the group. I was given no reason or forewarning about it just removed from the group.  Because of this excommunication of sorts, I decided to do some digging to find out who removed me and more importantly, why?  

Armed with the name of the perpetrator, I reached out to find out their reasoning behind it. The first reason I got was because I placed my ad with no accompanying text which was complete and utter bullshit because my ads ALWAYS have accompanying text.  Through further conversation I got to the root or “real reason” behind the ban which apparently was and I quote: “your models are in underwear and it leads people to have negative associations with your offer”.  They also added that:  “a post with half naked women offering a boudoir shoot causes people to make assumptions”.

This conversation infuriated me because of the ignorance and negativity that was expressed. Boudoir photography is very intimate and can be very intimidating for many women.  To me, it’s about showing women the beauty in themselves they may fail or struggle to see. There is beauty in EVERY woman and I believe this should be viewed as a form of therapy for some women.  Helping them find and more importantly, see the beauty within, to recognize it and realize it. So I ask you, why is there such negativity and misconception when it comes to Boudoir photography?

Yes it is photographing women in suggestive, seductive poses, revealing clothing and lingerie but on the flip side of that, people need to understand this is incredibly empowering for these women.  Boudoir is confidence boosting, beautiful and emotive and it isn’t JUST for women.  There are men who participate in boudoir photography sessions as well.  Does it mean it is negative for men also? There are even couples shoots, are there negative connotations with couples shoots?

 I understand that there are some people who use this genre of photography for salacious reasons and personal gain but compared to the legit photographers out there I would have to say they are far and few between. Now this isn’t to say that the negativity is only geared at male photographers in the industry because I believe there is still negative stigma surrounding this entire genre of photography. We as photographers who specialize in this genre need to do our best to educate our clients and people about boudoir.  There is NO reason for an adverse connotation with boudoir photography.

Collectively, if we as boudoir photographers are diligent about educating our clients and people we come in contact with perhaps we will be able to elevate boudoir photography to the level it should be and have it seen as a beautiful art form.  Could we even begin to eliminate the negativity surrounding boudoir photography?  Boudoir photography is a collaboration between a client and a photographer where raw emotion and beauty are evoked and captured in still frames. Boudoir photography NEEDS to be celebrated! We need to promote positive body image!  Shout it from the rooftops!   Let’s eradicate the negativity and ignorance once and for all!

 

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Live Life According To You - Think Outside The Box

I had a very interesting conversation with a family member over the Christmas holidays. He is older than me and currently retired.  Our conversation started about jobs, pensions, vacation time and medical benefits, things like that. I was telling him about all the wonderful things I get from my employer for my years of service and he in turn told me about all his.  I already knew about most of it because he is family and I was familiar with the company he had worked with and what they offered to their employees.

I told him all about my job and the things that annoy me about it. He proceeded to tell me that I just need to suck it up and deal with it because EVERYBODY hates their job!  It’s just a part of life. He went on to tell me he hated his job and wanted to quit repeatedly over the last 14 years he was employed but stuck with it because of the pension and of course, the money.  Typically his generation stayed at one job for the duration of their working careers but things have changed and will continue to change with the each generation.

I found his statement to be kind of sad.  Giving it even further thought, I felt that it’s even a wee bit close minded.  Just because that was the path you chose doesn’t mean it has to be your destiny. On one hand it’s just human nature we stay with what we know, what’s comfortable but on the other hand so many people stay in something they are not happy doing every day for a variety of reasons.  Whether that is the money, the benefits, the pension or just the fear of the being without those things I do understand it and why he made that statement.

It really drove some things home for me.  I am thankful for our conversation but why the fuck should ANYBODY stay and be miserable at their jobs if they really don’t have to?  Who says you have to? Fear dictates this to a certain degree but why stay stuck in that box? Why be miserable at something we spend over half our lives doing? We typically spend more of our lives at work then we do with our families at home. This miserable feeling/mood will undoubtedly spill over into multiple areas of our lives, right? Break out of that box people I urge you to do so if you are unhappy. Life is far too short to be unhappy. Don’t stay just because everyone else says it’s the right thing or the responsible thing to do! Follow your heart and do something out of the ordinary.  Think outside the box and helllllz yeah it will be scary and there will be times you will be paralyzed with fear but at the end of the day, aren’t YOU worth it?

There Are No Shorcuts - You Have To Work For It

There Are No Shorcuts - You Have To Work For It

You know, I keep seeing all these ads on the subway and the bus: Become an android app developer in 4 weeks or become a massage therapist in 16 months or a paralegal in 12 months. Are these schools really promising bright futures in these careers if you sign up for their programs and give them you’re hard earned money? Are they creating false hope? Making empty promises? Or is this for real?

Putting Yourself Out There - Showing Your Work

For me this was one of my biggest struggles when I was first starting out as a photographer and believe me it was an ongoing inner battle, I was nervous!  What will other people think of my work? Will they say it sucks? Will they like it?

I was THAT guy who would only show my work to friends and family and of course the feedback was always good, which in hindsight was more of a hindrance than help when I look back on it now.  Showing your work to your family and friends is one thing, they are not going to tell you your work sucks are they? They are going to say the things they think you want to hear which doesn’t benefit you in any way, shape or form.

It’s very tough to put yourself out there, seemingly on display and sharing your work with a bunch of strangers. You feel vulnerable, naked and alone!  After all, this is something you created from scratch you put your heart and soul into this. Everybody is a critic, everyone has something to say. It takes a lot of courage. You are worried about being judged, what will everyone say about you’re work, I get it! You are going to get deflated and knocked down but you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and grab your camera and make more photographs.

You have to reach way down within and find the courage to get your work seen.  Get as many eyes on it as possible!  That way you find out what you need to work on and know which areas you need to improve.  There will always be areas you can improve on even after years of being a photographer and just as in regular life you are NEVER EVER finished learning.

One of my past photography teachers reached out to me recently and we were talking and he said: “…as artists, we thrive on encouragement. It's like the tide, when it's in it feels good and when it’s out, it can be damn lonely!” His words rang in my head for days afterwards. This really struck a chord in me and if you are reading this right now, you know who you are. Thank you for all your words of encouragement as of late, they mean a lot to me.

So people don’t give up!  Keep consistently putting your work out there. Yes, it is definitely not an easy thing to do but it IS necessary!

 

Photo courtesy of Linda Langerak

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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