My Top 10 Smart Decisions!





I was pondering doing a blog about my top 10 mistakes in business, but then I thought maybe I would FIRST focus on what I think some of my best decisions were!!  It's more fun for one lol, but I will probably adress BOTH the mistakes as well as smart decisions so you understand better!  

Let's get right to business!! 


SMART DECISION #1


My girls are troopers and put up with a lot of their mama following them around with a camera, but I will tell you that I see them looking through scrapbooks all the time so it must have been worth it, even to them!  



I wouldn't be here posting as a professional photographer 18 years later, if I hadn't just decided to take a chance on turning my passion into a business!  Was I confident?  NO!!  lol  Was I excited?  YAAASSSS!  I was photographing my own daughters ad nauseum (sorry girls...lol) and friends/their kids and was becoming SO excited about what I was doing, the feeling I got from producing what I felt was a great feeling photo, and how much learning I could do to get better at the craft!!  It was a great chance to take!

Take away:  Just do it!  If you end up NOT wanting to keep going after you give your decision a solid go, it's not the end of the world, just take a different direction!  You will never know unless you try!! 

SMART DECISION #2

One of my first paid sessions, all shot on film, nervous AS, CAN, BE!



When I first started to charge for sessions, I didn't feel the need (thank goodess) nor did I have the funds to go out and get all new gear, or high end gear, or ANYthing new really.  IT IS OK!!  I am so glad that I let myself grow into the camera instead of trying to tackle a complicated machine that I would stress about getting to know instead of focusing on capturing people in their element which is really the ultimate end goal!

Take away:  If you don't have the best, don't sweat it! Make sure you have the "ingredients" to provide a product of value to your client of course, but don't feel like you need to start at the top!!


SMART DECISION #3


The knowledge and willingness of others to share their experiences has helped my abilities 100 fold.


I will never forget my first photography group that I was a part of! It was called "I Love Photography", and it was a safe place to post images, get critique from real professionals that had a LOT of experience, and be able to look at what other people are doing and learn from their successes and mistakes!!  It was all film based when I started btw..lol.   Today, I am part of multiple private facebook groups chalk full of inspirational individuals that do what I do.  We all have different experiences, backgrounds and KNOWLEDGE that is INVALUABLE!  This also could tie into my next decision...

Take away:  Get connected with other people who are headed where you want to go, or area already there!!


SMART DECISION #4



I will take chances, I will fix if I don't like it, I will not be afraid to try something different!

One thing that is hard for some and not so hard for others, is to leave your ego at the door (we say that at my CrossFit gym too lol).  THIS, I cant stress enough as being an AMAZING decision. I used to have a fear of looking dumb, making a mistake that people who were REALLY GOOD at photography would look at and laugh, or reveal some kind of vulnerability that made me feel inadequate!!  Guess what, we all start at the same place and if someone is going to make fun of you for learning, just like they did, they are there for the wrong reasons and frankly are just not worth the stress.  Today I can proudly say, I'm not afraid to fail...or let me rephrase, I may be worried about failing but I'm NOT afraid to take a chance because of a fear that I could fail,because I have learned so darn much from my mistakes and trials!!  So I do it anyway...

Take away: Get over yourself!  Don't worry about anyone but YOU and understand like with anything, we all start at square one!  


SMART DECISION #5


I purchased my new "baby" and lens right before our Hawaii trip.  Best timing ever.  I was ready.


Not skimping on your business,  once it's time to invest more!  I am a penny pincher in general lol.  I am more likely to go without than to invest the money because I am convinced that I can get away without something.  When I freed my mind of that mentality I am convinced my business grew, a lot.  Don't do it too early, when you truly can't afford it and it is more of a detriment than a help...but at some point to grow you need to change.  My last camera upgrade was about 10-12 years ago, so last year, I bought a REALLLY nice new camera body and lens , that I had been eyeballing, and it has helped me grow yet again, learn new skills and techniques and opened my creativity!

Take away:  Don't be afraid to do what it takes to grow your business.  




SMART DECISION #6

Making myself go out and find my own beauty in the dead (literally everything was brown and dead lol) of winter.  


I feel like it's common to want to be like other people, and this is across the board in life, not just your creativity.  PROBABLY The BEST smart decision I made, or actually I grew into it if I'm going to be honest, is to remain TRUE TO MYSELF!  Yes I am yelling that!!  When we start something, we use others as inspiration, goal setting and guidance.  That being said, I think this is a postivie thing!  I believe it's valuable to try to replicate or create a look that someone else has that you like, because it's a GREAT learning tool.  At some point though, it is the most freeing thing ever, to have the confience that YOUR outlook, creative mind, final product is good enough and doesn't have to be like Joe Shmo's to be valuable!

Take away:  Learm from others but remember that who YOU are is perfectly perfect!


SMART DECISION #7


Learning to think outside of the box I built around myself was wonderful!


Investing in continuing education has been invaluable to me! I found the e-courses through the people I follow on social media that I admired!  The financial investment is small and they make it so easy to participate since it's mostly online and can be spread out to fit your own schedule!  The people whom I recently have purchased courses from are Jasimine Star and Jenna Kutcher as well as a photographer Alex Strohl. Even though not everything they teach is new to me, the tidbits that were new, or were approached in a different way than I had though of, were worth every penny!

Take away:  You can never be too smart! 

SMART DECISION #8

Other people and beings were in charge here.  I followed, observed and let the situation be my guide.  

Staying humble is a VERY smart decision. I don't know everything.  I will never know everything. There will always be someone better, smarter and more experienced than I am.  Understanding that it's ok to learn from others and give credit where credit is due, is not only a very attractive trait, it will get us all far!

Take away: Stay humble. 


SMART DECISION #9


Adding a new lense to my line up here...one that shot totally differently than what I was used to.  I didn't know what to expect and just kept shooting and learning as I went! 

I used to be a certifiable creature of habit. If something involved change, my doors, windows and thoughts were be immediatly closed.  I can proudly say that today, I welcome the idea of trying new things. Whether it be learning another camera system, another way of shooting, another way of looking at light, another way of interacting with clients, another possible direction to take my business...I don't care what it is, feeling comfortable with the process of trying new things and seeing that there are endless opportunities is another hugely smart decision!!

Take away:  Have an open mind and willing attitude to try something new!  Don't be afraid!



SMART DECISION #10




Don't laugh, but this smart decision may seem odd, but it has been life changing for me.  Listening to podcasts.  I know I have talked about learning, education, being open etc...a lot of these smart decisions in my own life/business have come from me listening to people speak and relay their own personal stories and journeys.  When you relate to people (you would be surprised how many people are just. like. you.) and hear how they have overcome, transformed, succeeded, switched direction, helped others, helped themselves...it's inspiring, motivating and helps with giving yourself the self care that is SO very important.  I listen when I am in my car. Even though that may be 20 mintues a day each direction to work, I have learned, pondered and had a ton of food for thought introduced to a brain that in it's younger years was very jaded and focused in a straight line. 

Take away:  Feed your brain with positivity and thought provoking experiences of others.


Do you have any great tips on smart decisions you have made?  I would love to hear them!  DM me, email me or reach out however, I love to make new friends and chat!!!

Thank you for reading, whether you are here for the first time or the 24th time, I appreciate you!!

Until next week....

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