Today I want to introduce you to one of my guest writers, Kerri Helms. She lives in rural southern Georgia, works full time and is also pursuing photography. She is in a relationship with a wonderful boyfriend who has two equally wonderful children. Her mother has HepC and Kerri helps take care of her – as it’s quite an awful condition. She is 30 and finds that life is as blessed as it is busy.
I found Laura’s Denver wedding photography website via facebook. You know how networking is—a cousin’s website of a friend of a professional whose blog you liked, so you friended that person. I immediately loved her photography. I was certainly interested when she asked for guest blog writers!
Earlier this week, I attended a photography workshop – The Fix with Jasmine Star. Jasmine will be speaking in Denver next week to photographers there. In this post I want to share my experience of The Fix with Jasmine Star.
Four words: Jasmine Star. The Fix. If you love wedding photography then chances are you know what those four words define. If, perchance, you don’t, then allow me to elaborate. They mean intensity, hilarity, passion, beauty, brutal honesty and an opportunity to rub shoulders, shake hands, and share thoughts with an acclaimed and international wedding photographer. Yeah. I did that. Monday, March 5, 2012, I experienced The Fix. Can I get an Amen?!
I’ve been following J*’s blog for months and when I realized she would be on tour in Atlanta I knew I had to go! I’ve read her magazine Exposed and loved every page but I really wanted to share in The Fix and connect with local photographers who have the same vision, dream and aspirations as I. That’s what she preaches, right? You must have connection—with your clients, your peers, with your own soul. I had to have me some of this!
I sweet talked/conned my uncle into attending with me and though he was not familiar with J*, he took several pages of notes and enjoyed The Fix very much! He is 64, has been doing photography for years, and was diagnosed with cancer last year. He was tired and I could see in his face that he needed rest, but he was enjoying himself and he wouldn’t leave until I had my picture made with Jasmine. Thankfully I was close to the front of the line. For the time spent with my uncle, I am grateful for this workshop. He is an amazing person!
Jasmine. Oh, Jassssminnnnne. She was SO motivational and encouraging and funny and when she tells you in her blog that she talks like an auctioneer, you can believe her. I understand fast talkers—my step daddy used to threaten to sell me to the auction barn if I didn’t slow down myself. So, when you attend The Fix, perk up your listening ears and have a fully loaded writing utensil ready at all times. She throws out inspiration like beads at Mardi Gras.
These are some of the points that hit home the most to me.
*Your work should be more about the creator, and less about the creation. Make your photography about you and what you want, not about the end product. If you’re trying to simply satisfy someone else, you’re selling yourself short.
*Connect with other photographers and help each other. We are not in this alone! Collaboration is a good thing! A circle of friends is always valuable—personal or professional.
*Work through your struggles in ways that make sense. What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. You don’t have to do what you have always done. Don’t be afraid to re-think the process/situation. Do what is right for YOU.
*Change keeps you hungry. It can be frightening, but learn from it and embrace it.
*The fight doesn’t go to the strongest, but to those who finish what they set out to do. Don’t be afraid to break the mold!
*Influential artists thrive on each other. They are inspired by their own kind—musicians, painters, singers, etc. They all have circles within their own genre. We are no different–reach out and make a friend! We are stronger together than we are alone.
*If you always fall back on what is safe, there will never be any growth.
*Success is not about quantity, but about being great at what you do.
*Don’t be afraid to show your clients what they don’t know they want. If they tell you what they want, but you know something wonderful and great, do it! Educate them, show them that you know what you’re doing! You are in control!
*Educate your clients and put yourself in control. Remember where I said show them what they don’t know they want? This is part of that. See a pattern??
*Make a list of your strengths–big and small. Make a list of your weaknesses–big and small.
*Maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. If you’re great over the phone, downplay your online contact by offering your phone number instead of an email address! See above in regards to working through your struggles in ways that make sense!
*Most photographers last less than 5 years. They feel like they don’t have industry impact; they feel alone. This goes back to connection. You can prevent this by making connections!
*Do the work. Get off of your couch and practice! Your dreams will never come to fruition if you never take steps to make them happen. If you want better pictures, then practice and practice and practice until you take better pictures! DO what you WANT!
***This one earns more than one star. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS and scratch them off when you meet them. Celebrate in some way. If you want to learn about aperture, write. it. down. Learn it and scratch it off. Do your happy dance. If you want to book 10 weddings, and 5 engagements, write. it. down. Get them and scratch it off. Then celebrate big time!
If you want to meet Jasmine Star, write. it. down. Then scratch it off. Oh, wait. I did that. Hey, I can’t help but rub it in that I rubbed shoulders with the fabulous J* this week. I told her my dog’s name is Repo because we got him from a shelter and figured he had be repo’d from someone else. She said she loved it and she loves my accent. So, we’re definitely, totally besties for life. Can’t you tell? She was seriously begging me NOT to leave. I think she wanted me to meet Polo! Come connect on Pinterest!
Laura Gravelle is an international wedding photographer based in Denver, Colorado.
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