Do What Moves You

Last night, Jim and I tuned into the Beloved web event hosted by Jesh de Rox. It was an hour long preview of the Beloved Collective, a group of photographers and artists who are trying to bring photography back to a place of art. 

After waking up this morning, I saw that there was some controversy surrounding the whole thing: no one is ever going to agree on everything. It’s that simple. I chose to stay out of that whole thing, and instead reflect on the conversation that happened during the livestream.

If anything, I think talks like these create a buzz … they are a conversation starter for us. We already decided that 2011 would be our year. We decided that the client’s experience needed to be way above and beyond their expectations, and we decided that we’d work hard to create a brand and a company that people would want to invest in. 

I think it’s important that all photographers (or any business owner) ask themselves some questions:

  • Would you pay for yourself? This was such a great point. I know that J and I didn’t pay nearly as much for our wedding photographer as what we charge … I like to think that if we were to do it all over again, or just not be getting married, we would definitely invest in ourselves. It comes down to so much more than money as well. Would we invest in the kind of client experience we give? Absolutely. 
  • Does your work move you? Sometimes, it’s so easy to get so caught up in what everyone else is doing that you start shooting like everyone else. This is a huge goal for 2011. No more posey-cheesey photos … We want our photos to portray love and life. I want every potential client to look at our work and know we are without-a-doubt the photographers for them, because we will tell the story of their love. I know our clients love our work, but I want to deliver more!
  • Are you just keeping up, or exploring the new frontier? Shoot what you love. If you do that, you’ll always be with the group that’s exploring the new frontier. 

One of the best points I took away from this little talk was FOCUS ON WHAT MOVES YOU! I know that seems obvious, but seriously, I can’t imagine loving my job more if I were to only do what made me happy. Jim and I chose to be wedding photographers because we absolutely love capturing other’s love on camera. If we meet with a client who we think we might not be the best fit with, say goodbye (no amount of money should trump your happiness). If we’re shooting something we don’t like to shoot (corporate photography), say goodbye (the money might make us happy, but we’ll hate it so much while we’re shooting … it’s not worth it). 

So, that’s it. I highly suggest looking into the Beloved Collective if you’re a photographer. If it’s not quite your thing, at least try to take part in a seminar or workshop where you can learn from others who have been where you are. We can’t wait to continue working on our business this year … I have a feeling it’ll be the best one yet!

For those that are interested, Jesh is doing an encore of the Beloved presentation tomorrow morning at 10 AM eastern time. Check out his Twitter for more information and the link to sign up. 

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